How to Grow Your Business by Optimizing Your Website

Website Optimization: The Secret to Growing Your Business

Prioritize Creating a Data Recovery Plan

Unfortunately, business owners too often minimize the importance of cybersecurity until after their company has been targeted and compromised by cyberattackers. Rather than waiting until disaster strikes, it’s imperative to educate yourself about cybersecurity data protection and be proactive about protecting your company’s website.

Coming up with a cyber-recovery plan to safeguard your company’s digital assets – including your website – should be your number one priority. This will allow you to get your website back up and running quickly in the event of a cyberattack. You’ll want to establish a proposed timeline with your preferred “deadlines” for system recovery, as well as details about which programs and applications will have to be addressed in order to execute recovery. Finally, make note of who will be responsible for conducting each task included in your recovery plan.

Develop Educational Content

Sure, your website is a sales and marketing platform – but it can also serve as a vehicle for customer education. Whether your typical customer is another small business, a nonprofit organization, or an individual consumer in your area, you can establish your website as a place that visitors can turn to for up-to-date resources on everything from product use cases to new developments in your industry.

So, how can you ensure that your marketing content is also educational? Business 2 Community recommends publishing blog posts that address your audience’s most common “pain points,” hosting live video lessons with product demonstrations on your website or even establishing a special membership section of your site with bonus content for paying subscribers.

Integrate Your CRM & ERP

Your customer relationship management (CRM) system and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software are both indispensable to your business. From tracking and capturing leads to managing your overall operations, these software programs can be leveraged to carry out a plethora of key business functions. You can use these programs to their fullest potential by integrating them and then connecting the internal, integrated system to your website. In doing so, not only will you boost your team’s productivity and efficiency but you’ll also be able to seamlessly transfer information from your website to these interconnected programs.

User-Friendly Design

Have you ever had an unpleasant experience while browsing a particular website? Maybe you found it difficult to find the particular page you were looking for. Perhaps you tried to use the search function to find an important piece of content, but it didn’t deliver accurate results. Or, maybe you were seeking contact information so that you could get in touch with a customer support specialist – but no matter how hard you looked, you didn’t see any contact forms, email addresses, or phone numbers.

Crafting an enjoyable user experience should be at the heart of your website design and management approach. But, how can you go the extra mile to make sure that your customers can easily navigate your website and make the best use of all its features? Rock Content recommends designing a clear menu that allows your customers to visit key sections of your website with one click, including an easy-to-find contact form.

In addition, it’s also essential to make sure that your overall site layout looks attractive – after all, visually appealing content might prompt visitors to stay on your website longer (and the longer visitors stay on your site, the more likely they are to take action, such as making a purchase or booking an appointment). If you can’t find a theme that you like with your current content management system, you might consider enlisting the services of a professional web design and development firm that can create a custom layout for your site.

Local SEO: How to Get Found Online by Customers in Your Area

You might be acquainted with the basic principles of search engine optimization (SEO), and perhaps you’ve even been incorporating some useful keywords into your website content already. But have you taken the time to focus on local SEO? By emphasizing local SEO in your website strategy, you can specifically target customers in your area who are seeking products and services like those that you offer.

What can you do to reach customers nearby using SEO tactics? BrainChild Studios recommends putting your city and state on your homepage, adding your city to your page title tags (including the local schema code in your website pages), claiming your Google Business Profile listing, and including your business in local online directories.

Boost Your Conversion Rate

The ultimate goal of your business’s website is to convert visitors into paying customers. Therefore, you need to find ways to boost conversion rates with your website. While implementing user-friendly website design principles can help in this area, there are also some other steps you can take.

A/B testing is key to increasing conversions – you can run tests to analyze your conversion rates with your current site features. Then, as you implement new features like headlines, calls to action, or contact forms, you can run additional tests to compare their effectiveness. By conducting multiple A/B tests at once, you won’t have to wait until a new feature has been thoroughly tested to analyze the impact of another.

Speed Up Your Website

The ultimate goal of your business’s website is to convert visitors into paying customers. Therefore, you need to find ways to boost conversion rates with your website. While implementing user-friendly website design principles can help in this area, there are also some other steps you can take.

A/B testing is key to increasing conversions – you can run tests to analyze your conversion rates with your current site features. Then, as you implement new features like headlines, calls to action, or contact forms, you can run additional tests to compare their effectiveness. By conducting multiple A/B tests at once, you won’t have to wait until a new feature has been thoroughly tested to analyze the impact of another.

Final Thoughts

Your website doesn’t exist just so your company will show up in search engines. In reality, your website might be an unrealized tool for your business’s growth. If you haven’t prioritized growing your business by maximizing your website’s potential, you can get started by integrating some of these recommendations.

If you need help with your website optimization, creating a new website from scratch, boosting your SEO for greater discoverability in Google searches, or any other aspect of your digital marketing, you don’t have to go it alone! HighClick Media is here to help! Call 252.814.2150 today or drop us a line here to see how we can help elevate your brand!


Guest blogger Cody McBride’s love for computers stems from high school when he built his own computer. Today he is a trained IT technician and knows how the inner workings of computers can be confusing to most. He is the creator of where he offers easy-to-understand, tech-related advice, and troubleshooting tips.

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5-Step Guide to Video Production

5-Step Guide to Video Production

Is your business is curious about how to make a YouTube video? How many times have you seen a competitor on Facebook Video and thought “we should have done that“?

2016 saw the rise of video content marketing to promote or market brands, products, or services. With each passing year, video marketing integrated deeper into a digital strategy for content marketers until it became a must-have for businesses. 

Video marketing relies on creating and distributing valuable and consistent video content to your target audience to attract, engage, and connect qualified leads. 

54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. On top of that, researchers say that by 2022, 82% of global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads.

All of this is great seeing as 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing.

Video content gives a booster shot to your search engine optimization, as well as creating engaging content for your clients to interact with on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook, or in an email blast. Wherever your target audience can be found!

The production process and how you get the message of your brand across is what matters, and in this blog post, we’ll guide you through each step on how to make a video and give you tips and tricks to rev up your video marketing campaigns.

Here’s your 5-Step Guide to Video Production!

Step #1: Conception

Conception happens when you decide you want to integrate video marketing into your business strategy. This is the stage where you figure out your target audience and campaign goals. These set the foundation of every successful marketing campaign, and as such are needed in video marketing. A campaign with no foundation will gain no elevation.

After that, it’s time to figure out how exactly you want to build upon that foundation with a wide variety of types of videos to choose from, including company commercials/trailers, client testimonials, employee spotlights, demos, how-to videos with your products, and even videos that showcase your company culture.

Video Marketing is only limited by your imagination.
Just don’t hurt yourself in the process

Next, ask yourself whether you’ll do it in-house, or if you’ll hire out. If you want to produce videos internally, you’ll need to research the equipment and editing programs necessary to produce the content. There are cameras, mics, and lighting set up for any budget. However, you get the quality you pay for, so be mindful of that! 

Do you have the staff power and capability to do so? Do you have the time to manage every step of the process? Creating video content can be a time-consuming ordeal, so be sure you’re prepared to take it on!

If you want to hire out, do your research on the agencies, freelancers, and production companies in your area (like us, for instance). Reach out and meet with companies that you feel would capture your video marketing the best. Once you seal the deal, it’s time to start pre-production.

Step #2: Pre-Production

..or as I like to call it “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” So you have the goals in place, now it’s time to film!

In reality, it’s time to plan the production. It’s not as simple as “have an idea, now Lights. Camera. Action!” Pre-production is VITAL to the success of your campaign.

There is a method to the video marketing madness. You have the foundation, but you need the skeleton of the video. 

We’re talking about:

  • Who is going to be in it?
  • What equipment, permits, props, scripts, etc. will you need?
  • Where is it going to be filmed?
  • When is it going to be filmed?
  • How is it going to be filmed?

A script is developed either internally or externally in conjunction with the goals, target audience, and company branding. As the script is created and edited, a storyboard is worked on to help focus the director’s vision.

A storyboard is a frame-by-frame shot list attached to the script so the director, cameraman, and post-production know exactly what goes where and when that frame happens. Not everyone will use a storyboard – but it does help with shoots that have multiple locations and angles. 

Speaking of locations, this is where filming logistics will need to happen if they did not already happen before pre-production. 

If you’re filming outside, have you checked the weather for the week and set up rain delays?

If you’re filming in a city or residential area, do you have the right permits to avoid fines? What location scouting has been done? 

Who will be in the video – employees of the company or paid actors? Have they been contacted ahead of time and worked into the filming schedule? 

There is a lot of planning that must happen with each production – so to help out, we’ve created a downloadable file for you to use! It’s a guide and checklist for each part of pre-production to help keep yourself organized.

Step #3: Filming

The purpose of pre-production is to make filming easier. It’s the day of the shoot, and everyone is prepared. Fantastic!

Film multiple takes to have more to work with and give yourself more than enough time to film. Even the best-trained actors stumble, and equipment problems can pop up.

Make sure to film the right thing

When filming, try to grab B-roll footage, which is supplemental or alternative footage inter-cut with the main shot. It’s the footage that shows what a person is talking about, shots of the location area, and maybe interaction between two people.

B-roll footage blends in with the video to create a cohesive story that is visually appealing outside of the main footage. Integrate B-roll footage into your pre-production planning.

Step #4: Post-Production 

Post-production is where all the editing magic of visual and sound effects happens. If filming was organized and efficient, then post-production will be smoother. All the footage captured is edited as per the script and storyboards.

Any planned voiceovers are captured, and if needed, a sound editor works on adding music and sound mixing; making sure to obtain a high-quality sound mix to go along with the high-quality visuals an audience is seeing. 

Visual effects, like utilizing a green screen, color correction, or other video graphics, are added and managed. When selecting the visual effects to add to your video, keep in mind your company’s brand image. What colors and fonts do you have set for your brand, and what sort of visual styles does your company present? 

Imagine the Instagram pictures from Middle Earth

With post-production, you’ll be given a lot of footage that needs to be cleaned up and trimmed down to the desired length.

If you’re working with an agency, once the first edit is done, it’s sent to you for revisions and suggested edits. You may want to add more or trim some lines. Maybe the colors are off or you don’t like transitions in some places. 

This is where you need to remind yourself of the Target Audience, Campaign Goals, and most importantly your Brand. Does this video represent your brand well? If not send it back with notes for the editors! Be specific with timestamps!

Step #5: Launch the Video!

Once you’re happy with the video, it’s time to release it. 

Will you host it on your website, or release it on platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook? It could be a part of your marketing campaign or internal training videos. The choice is up to you!

Where the video is going and who it’s for was determined back in step 1. Be specific with where you release and promote your video. Focus on the copy and keywords to take advantage of SEO. It doesn’t hurt to review the video one more time before you click upload for any textual typos or edits that escaped the post-production team.

Once you’re happy with it, then let the world know all about it!

Here at HighClick Media, we follow each of these steps in our video marketing process. We have our target audience and campaign goals that we keep in mind with each of the videos we produce. For our brand, we create videos to help educate our community and clients on digital marketing, and we sneak in some company culture here and there.

We work as a team in each step of the process to produce content we’re proud of, while at the same time pushing ourselves to improve the product, our skills, and capabilities. We saw video marketing as where we want to be, and together we’re elevating HighClick to new heights!

Video branding and online video are taking the entire digital marketing frontier by storm, and it’s time for your company to jump in before it’s blown away.

If you’re interested in how video marketing can help your business, call HighClick Media at 252-814-2150 today or drop us a line here! Together we’ll elevate your brand to new heights.

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Make Your Holiday Marketing Stand Out

Make Your Holiday Marketing Stand Out

Make Your Holiday Marketing Stand Out

So, we’re seven days deep in November, but most stores have had Christmas decor and a holiday marketing plan in place since before Halloween! If you’re one of the ones grumbling about “premature Christmas decorating” or rolling your eyes at the sight of twinkling lights, glitter, and PURE CHRISTMAS JOY. First of all, shame on you. It’s never too early to get into the holiday spirit! Secondly, keep reading.

In the wild world of retail, the holiday season doesn’t wait until after Thanksgiving to kick off. In fact, it starts way earlier.

You see, holiday marketing is really no different than everyday marketing. Your brand should not exist to sell a product. Your brand should exist to solve your customers’ problems. 

People don’t care about your business. They care about their problems. Be the solution that they’re looking for.

Consumers start Christmas shopping as soon as Fall hits- some even sooner! So to make the most out of your holiday marketing, you need to be ready way before Black Friday rolls around.

So, do you know what it takes to get your holiday marketing plan working in time to capitalize on the holiday rush? I’m going to discuss how to approach your target audience and craft campaigns that show them that your brand has the solution to their problems!


Understand Your Audience

Like any marketing campaign, the key to a successful holiday marketing plan is knowing what you have to offer to the audience you’re selling to. And I’m not talking about the products you’re trying to sell. I’m talking about the thing that makes your brand the most desirable: value proposition.

Are your products or services more cost-effective than your competitors’? Higher in quality? Do you offer more options? Is your brand socially aware? More consistent?

An effective value proposition will:

  • Be brief and easy to understand
  • Tell others what you do
  • Allow your brand to be easily found in an online search
  • Explain how your product solves customers’ problems
  • Answer the question: “As your target customer, why should I give my business to you instead of your competitors?”

Specific value propositions attract specific consumers, so understanding what your value proposition is will help you identify your target audience.

In digital marketing, the competition is only a click, swipe, or tap away, so it’s vital that you pitch your brand to the right people in the right ways. Understanding who your value proposition attracts and why will give you the confidence to create a compelling holiday marketing plan that consumers can’t resist.


Win Them Over

While knowing your unique value proposition is beneficial, holiday marketing is an intense game, and standing out from the competition is typically more difficult during the most wonderful time of the year.

Whether it’s your needy Aunt Nancy or a stressed-out salesman, the appetite for your attention during the holidays is insatiable. And while it’s nice to be wanted, it gets exhausting.

For your brand to stand out amid the madness, customers’ attention has to be earned, not demanded.

If you can give customers a campaign they actually enjoy, you can break through the holiday marketing fatigue and create an experience that customers love. Try not to frustrate or overwhelm them. Create content that will warm their heart or make them laugh or smile. They’ll be grateful to your brand for evoking positive emotions and be more eager to buy from you.

Send a message that perfectly fits the needs of your target audience, and gives them an experience that will make their lives easier.


Think Ahead – Build Brand Loyalty

In the holiday rush, it’s hard to think ahead. The nature of the season can easily attract first-time customers, which is great, no doubt, but the goal is to keep ’em coming back in the first quarter of the new year.

To build your base during the season, strive to make sure customers have a smooth experience. Oftentimes, a spike in store traffic can also mean a spike in technical issues or customer confusion. Backtrack to last year and take note of any issues that can be solved ahead of time this year. Create a customer service plan specifically for the Christmas season.

When you take care of your customers, you’re building brand loyalty.

Another way to keep customers loyal is to invite them to connect with your website, email list, and social media channels. Post a balanced mix of engaging, entertaining, and informative content throughout the season and once the season ends. To put things simply, withstand the urge to ONLY promote in November and December. Your customers want a relationship with your brand all year long.

So, next time you walk into a store that is decked out in all things Christmas, don’t roll your eyes. Use it as a reminder that it’s time to get your butt in gear, and get to work on your holiday marketing plan!

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How to Increase Brand Awareness with Social Media Marketing

How to Increase Brand Awareness with Social Media Marketing

How to Increase Brand Awareness with Social Media Marketing

As a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to grow your business. You know how to price your products competitively while still generating a profit. You know that special promotions such as flyers, TV ads, and signage are generally reliable for bringing in a few new customers. You know what works for you, and you’re confident that these practices will continue to propel your business in the future.

But are you using social media to further increase your brand awareness? If so, great! If not, why not? It may seem like a small thing in the big picture, but the reality is stark. The future of your business could depend on how well you can adapt to changing technology.


What Is Social Media?

Let’s go back to the basics. Social media is any means of electronic communication, such as a website or application, through which users build online communities to share and exchange information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.


Who Uses Social Media?

The short answer: practically everyone. Facebook is by far the most popular social network, with 2.45 billion monthly active users (MAUs). YouTube users number 2 billion each month, while Instagram boasts 1 billion MAUs. Twitter (330 million MAUs) and LinkedIn (260 million MAUs) round out the list of the top social networks in use throughout the world.


Why Does Your Business Need Social Media?

Your business can benefit greatly from the connection between brand and customer that only social media can make. Similarly, social media can increase your overall brand awareness, which can boost leads and ultimately generate more sales.


What Is Brand Awareness?

Simply put, brand awareness is the extent to which someone can recall or recognize your brand. Over time, Kleenex and Band-Aids have become so associated with the products they represent that it’s easy to forget they’re actually trademarked names. The ultimate goal of brand awareness is for your business or products to become a “household name” for your customers. Specifically, you want your business to be the first name they think of when they’re seeking the services you provide.


Is Social Media Marketing Effective?

Much more than you might think, actually. Studies have shown that 71% of consumers who have a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that brand to friends and family. In addition, 74% of potential customers say they’re more likely to trust a business with positive reviews on social media. It’s been said, and rightly so, that social media is the new “word of mouth.”


Is Social Media Marketing Affordable?

You may be wondering whether you can afford to market your small business on social media with a limited budget. The truth is that you can’t afford not to! If you’re willing to invest a little time and effort, that’s really all it takes – and the payoff can be amazing! You don’t have to use paid advertising to get results, though it can improve your chances of a successful marketing campaign.


How to Use Social Media to Increase Brand Awareness

Now that you understand a bit more about social media and what it can do for your business, how do you put this knowledge into practice? Here are 7 practical ideas to get you started:


Image Is Everything

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to social media, this is especially true. Users will instantly stop scrolling when something catches their eye, and a compelling picture or illustration will cause them to do just that. Be sure the image you choose offers a snapshot of what the post is about. Also, make certain you have permission to use the image. A quick Google search will lead you to more than a few websites where you can source images for free. If you have the ability to shoot and post your own video – perhaps a how-to, tutorial, product demonstration, or live “Q & A” session – even better! Infographics also resonate well on social media – design your own or find one that clearly addresses the subject of your post (and tag the original source). Infographics that provide helpful or insightful information are more likely to be shared than a huge block of text. Nobody wants to read a thousand words, anyway!


Get Personal

There’s nothing more tedious than a business that inundates its followers with post after post proclaiming the superiority of its brand, products, or services. Aggressive sales pitch posts? Even worse! Social media users want to be entertained and engaged, not simply informed. Tell a story that piques their interest, then find a way to subtly tie it into your brand. Don’t be afraid to add a dash of humor now and then. Some of the most-followed brands on social media are those that regularly inject their marketing with mirth. Another great way to keep your audience engaged is to actively listen and respond to their opinions, comments, and critiques – both the positive and the negative! You just might learn a thing or two about your own business! Encourage users to share your content and you’ll not only reach your followers but their network as well.


Speak Their Language

Social media users have short attention spans. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention. If your content isn’t fresh, valuable, or relevant to their interests, the chance of reaching followers with your message is greatly diminished. Focus on topics that are closely related to your particular field. Chances are, that’s why they’re following you in the first place! Use emojis, hashtags, and other popular text languages to show your target audience you’re in touch with how they communicate. Finally, draw your audience in by letting them interact with you. Ask a question that generates responses in the comments. “Question posts” are much more likely to get shared, which also serves to increase your reach.


Give Stuff Away

This may not immediately strike you as an intelligent way to grow your small business, but it actually makes a lot of sense. People love getting something for nothing, so use that to your advantage.

Create a contest for the best idea about X, Y, or Z, with the grand prize being a gift card to your business or perhaps a free product. Encourage followers to share the contest post with others, and maybe even offer bonus entries for each share. The more people see the post, the more you’ll have people talking about your business – and that’s never a bad thing!

Consider initiating a referral program where you offer something for free to followers who refer a new customer to you. Any way you look at it, that’s a win-win situation!


Mix It Up a Bit

While keeping a consistent brand voice across the board is key, it’s perfectly acceptable – and highly recommended! – to use a different tone depending on which social media platform you’re utilizing.

On Facebook, you might post interactive content that’s more likely to get likes and shares (which is how you get the most eyes on your post).

Twitter posts are short and snappy, and it may serve you best to adopt a more playful tone there.

Instagram is image-driven, so you’ll probably want to reserve your strongest visuals for that platform.

LinkedIn tends to be more serious and therefore might be an ideal landing spot for your more informative blog posts.

As easy as it might be to copy and paste the same message across all your platforms, resist the urge! Each social media site should carry its own unique message along with the relevant info that you’re sharing.


Stalk the Competition

Keep an eye on the social media accounts of your direct competitors. What kind of marketing campaigns are they attempting? What seems to be performing well for them? What appears to be falling flat? Learn from their successes and their mistakes, come up with your own strategies and solutions, and put them into action.


Track Your Progress

Most social media platforms – Facebook Page Insights, for example – offer solid feedback on the number of likes, shares, and comments your content has generated.

You can delve in even deeper by using web analytics programs to see which platforms are providing the most referral traffic.

Pinpoint what’s working and what isn’t, and adapt your methods accordingly as you continue to optimize your approach.

These are just a few of the ways you can use social media to your business’s advantage. Identifying your target audience will help you determine which platforms to use to promote your brand.

You don’t need to have a presence on all the major social networking sites, just the ones that make sense for your customers and their online habits.

Define your social media goals, identify the various types of content you’ll produce, and determine how you’ll measure your success.

With these tools at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to take your business to the next level!


Final Thoughts

If you’re curious to learn more and get started, HighClick Media is here to help. Reach out to us and one of our campaign experts will contact you to chat about your marketing goals.

We’ll work hand in hand with your small business to design the perfect strategy that will make your marketing efforts a success! Call us today at 252.814.2150!

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Becoming HighClick Media

Becoming HighClick Media

Becoming HighClick Media

You may be wondering where in the world HighClick Media came from. Sure, we recently developed this alternative identity, but this isn’t our first rodeo.

In 2001, Joe Thigpen created DataGroup Technologies, Inc. (DTI). Offering web design and IT solutions, Joe began as a one-man show. The following year, DTI built its own data center to provide high-quality hosting. Since then, we’ve designed nearly 1,000 websites for a diverse range of businesses.

As the business continued to grow, we realized the need for digital marketing and began providing solutions to select clients. To date, we have assembled an experienced team of web developers, graphic designers, and digital marketing strategists providing services to clients in Eastern NC and beyond.

Locally, our brand is known as a regional IT provider, but we like to think big. We needed a new national identity. That’s when we established our new digital marketing component – HighClick Media – offering our premium services to the world.

The name says it all. We are committed to helping our clients receive the highest number of clicks or visitors to create the highest return on investment.

As a full-service digital marketing agency, HighClick Media can help your business with website design & development, branding services, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media management, marketing strategy, local marketing, ecommerce, and so much more!

With our seasoned team and our high-tech in-house data center, we are confident that we can provide better results that meet the specific marketing needs of our valued clients.

We’ll never stop growing. Come grow with us! Reach out to us today at 252.814.2150 or drop us a line here.

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Branding for Beginners

Branding for Beginners Social media marketing. Search engine optimization. Branding. Copywriting. When people find out the type of work that I do, they will undoubtedly

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5 Reasons You Absolutely Need a Professional Website Design

Why Your Business Needs a Professional Website Design
Why Your Business Needs a Professional Website Design

5 Reasons You Absolutely Need a Professional Website Design

First impressions matter! Fun fact: It takes only about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website design. That’s 0.05 seconds for your potential customers to decide if your site, and ultimately – your business, is worth sticking around for or not.

Seriously, friends– 88% of consumers research a product online before purchasing. 88% of your potential customers will visit your website (and probably your competitors) before deciding if they’ll visit your business. Does your website do a good job of representing your business?

If it’s not obvious yet, I’ll go ahead and tell you: Your business *needs* a website.

No, not just any website; your business needs a professional website design. Because a website that’s boring or cluttered, takes forever to load, and doesn’t include critical info your potential customers are seeking, will hurt your business rather than help it. The appearance and usability of your website can make or break your business.


Here are 5 compelling reasons why your business NEEDS a professional website:



Again, about 9 out of 10 people are going to search for their solutions online before they visit your store.

If you don’t have a website at all, chances are one of your competitors does. Where do you think the potential customer is most likely to go?

Having a website says, “I care about my business, and I’m here to stay.”

I don’t recommend using a free website-building platform, but it’s better than no website.

However, if you have a DIY freebie website that you built yourself, ask yourself, is it providing you with the image you envisioned for your brand?

Please don’t be that business owner that has a website online that says “Hey look, I used a free website builder!”

10/10 Very unprofessional. I’m telling you this because I love you.

With mindful planning, designed efficiently, and with your current and potential customers’ needs in mind, your website will offer a professional image and a great experience when visited.



In its most elementary form, imagine a website as an online brochure that can be updated anytime.

A website is an effective way of reaching your customers to announce new services, products, upcoming events, or special promotions.

Some other forms of advertising can quickly become outdated, but your website can provide current information and news.

A website goes so much further than being an online brochure though. We have endless media outlets to showcase our skills, smarts, and products.

Not to mention integrating social media so you can share info on your site across numerous other channels, reaching an even wider audience.



A website is open 24/7, 365! A website gives you the ability to provide the convenience of seeing your products or services when your physical business is closed.

Also, with so many add-ons available, website visitors can contact you, schedule appointments and, if you’d like, purchase directly through your website.

We live in a crazy busy world. Convenience is such an awesome selling point!


Customer Service

A website can improve customer service, which improves loyalty, which guarantees your customers will keep coming back to you when they need your products or services.

It doesn’t matter what you sell, consumers love a personal touch. Sharing tips and advice to customers regarding your products or services can be a huge asset to your customer service.

If you’re selling hair products, you could provide styling tips that line up with each product.

If you’re offering insurance, you could offer advice on how to choose the right insurance policy based on their needs.

Last but not least, including a FAQ page allows you to address a lot of your customers’ questions before they even ask. Talk about customer service!


Ownership & Control

With a professional, self-hosted website, you own everything contained within your online space. If you ever decide to move to a different web host, you can take everything with you.

With free DIY websites, you’re not always able to take your content with you (at least not easily) when you’re ready to move on. Starting from scratch isn’t appealing in this case.

If you’re serious about the long-term prospects of your business, professional website design is the way to go. Professionally designed websites look better, work better, and are easier for business owners to deal with.

And to be frank, a cheap pre-made template looks like a cheap pre-made template, and it doesn’t have much room for improvement.

A professional website design requires tons of fine-tuning and technical knowledge.  But the impact it has on your digital marketing? Priceless.

If you’re ready to discuss building a website that thrives, let us know. We’re happy to help!

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Branding for Beginners

Branding for Beginners

Branding for Beginners

Social media marketing. Search engine optimization. Branding. Copywriting. When people find out the type of work that I do, they will undoubtedly ask all the questions about what it actually entails. Look – as a digital marketer, I could take you down the rabbit hole at any given time trying to explain what goes into it, but it would take hours… days… YEARS! Maybe not years, but you catch my drift. My goal for this blog as a whole is to help you get your feet wet and inform you of the importance of digital marketing, little by little, without totally overwhelming you.

So, today, we’re talking about branding.

What Is Branding, Exactly?

Well, I’m delighted you asked! Like most digital marketing terms, branding means more than just one thing, and typically, it means different things to different people. Some see branding as good public relations, and some believe it to be a simple logo or slogan. Branding can include both of these things and so much more. For me, your brand represents your business’s identity, enhances your culture, and extends your value proposition. Your brand is your personality, your story – a story that cultivates your vision, influencing your mission. The strongest, most successful brands use a distinct direction and a powerful message to guide the creative and visual aspects of their brand.

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
~ Seth Godin

Mr. Godin is totally onto something here. You must communicate your story clearly so that your audience can pick up what you’re putting down. The goal is for your audience to develop a positive feeling and a grasped concept regarding your brand. Your brand is your foundation. It is the fundamental ground that upholds your values, message, mindset, and more.

When Evaluating Your Brand, Keep These Tips in Mind:

  1. Invest in Discovery: Conducting a brand audit is the only way to review where your company’s brand stands today. Check out your brand’s past history. What’s working and what’s not?
  2. Be Confident in Your Direction: Ensure that your employees (especially those with leadership roles) have a firm grasp on the vision and mission for the company. This may not be fully mapped out before you begin a branding process, but having some sort of concept in mind is beneficial.
  3. Keep an Open Mind: Let go of your preconceived notions and restrictions, as they may be holding you back from brand growth and direction. Immerse yourself in any and all ideas, even if in the end, the reins are pulled back. Being open-minded will allow you to reach and exceed your creative potential.
  4. Work with a Third Party: Branding or rebranding is difficult for any company. Sometimes you’re just too close to your own brand, and an outsider’s perspective can give you the fresh insight you didn’t even realize you needed.
  5. Enjoy Yourself: Branding is important stuff, and falling into a state of constant stress and worry is easy to do during this process. But if you have fun with it and work with a proven agency or consultant to guide you through the madness, your journey will be all the more positive and exciting!

So, are your wheels turning yet? Do you know what your brand stands for? How well are you communicating your story? Is your brand strategy aligned with your marketing plan? If you’re unable to answer these questions, or you think it may be time to revisit your strategy, we’re here for you!

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Is It Time To Rebrand?


Is It Time To Rebrand?

Rebrand – to change the way that an organization, company, or product is seen by the public.

Every next level of your life will demand a different version of you.

And the same rings true for your brand. One beautiful (and sometimes, equally frustrating) thing about consumers is that they’re constantly evolving. Their preferences, views, and priorities are not always the same today as they were a few years ago. For example, did you know that Amazon, the largest internet retailer in the US, began as an online bookstore? In the last 20 years, Amazon has continuously recognized their customer evolution, requiring them to regularly rebrand.

rebranding logo

Your brand has a massive effect on how customers perceive your business, and it is so much more than your logo design or the colors associated with your brand’s name. Your brand is your message, your voice, and your activity. Your brand is your customers’ perception of the value of your company’s personality.

So, how do you know when your company is past due for a rebrand?

Your leads are less qualified.

All the leads in the world aren’t going to grow your business if they’re not quality leads. Think about the people that reach out to your company, and decide if they’re part of your target audience or not. Are they the kind of consumers who would buy your products or services? If your target audience isn’t engaging with your brand, the reason is simple. Your brand doesn’t appeal to them anymore.

Traffic is tapering.

At HighClick, we keep a close eye on our traffic stats in order to capitalize on trends and find patterns. If your traffic numbers are steadily decreasing in direct and referral, then there’s a good chance that people are becoming less engaged with your company and a rebrand is needed.

Your value proposition has shifted.

Most business do not stay on the same path from beginning to today. Maybe your company has changed directions or chosen to take an entirely new path. If this is true for you, does your brand reflect this? If a fresh pair of eyes took a look at your website, does it successfully represent what you currently do?

Your products or services are different.

If you’ve altered the products or services you provide, then you should alter your branding to reflect that. Are you currently serving an additional set of clients that weren’t part of your original target audience? You may have adjusted your pricing structure or moved to a more diverse set of services or products.  A rebrand will ensure consistency between the products and the brand.

Your look-and-feel is out-of-date.

Is your look aesthetically pleasing, or is it just …blah? Is your website mobile-friendly and easy to navigate? A brand that isn’t modernized can cause companies to miss out on business opportunities they’re qualified to receive. If you’re not sure if your look is outdated, you may want to ask someone outside of the company. Send over a link to your website and ask them what they think when they first look. How does it make them feel? Pro tip: If there’s any Comic Sans, just delete the whole site. 😉

You have an unclear message.

“What do you do again?” If this is a common question your business encounters, then it’s time to re-evaluate your message. Is your brand able to educate visitors on what you actually do, or is there a disconnect? When a prospect sees your logo or brand name, what your company offers should come to their minds immediately. If this isn’t happening, then your message is unclear. An unclear message causes confusion and can hinder your ability to improve brand awareness.

A total rebrand takes a lot of effort, but if done correctly it’ll be way worth it.

If you’re not sure if your brand needs a makeover or not, reach out to us and we’ll take a look!

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Reputation Management SEO: Monitor Your Branded Keywords

Reputation Management SEO / Elevate Your Online Reputation

Reputation Management SEO: Monitor Your Branded Keywords

Reputation management goes beyond building credibility via social media platforms and an established website. Brands spark discussion on various channels all over the web, and the loudest of these conversations come together on Google.

Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is.
– Chris Anderson

Have you ever typed your own name in a Google search? I’m willing to bet money that you have. Maybe it’s not something you’d admit to, but with access to endless information at our fingertips, who can resist?

Personally, I’m a Google searchin’ fool! I literally lay in bed at night and think of things to look up on Google. It’s slightly pathetic, but hey- no shame in my game. So, naturally, I search my own name semi-regularly. My results are probably similar to the majority of self-searchers: my LinkedIn profile, my company’s “Staff” page, and a handful of results featuring total strangers that happen to have the same name as me.

Maybe you’ve searched yourself out of curiosity, or boredom, or because I’ve put the idea in your mind just now. But sometimes your name gets searched for a specific purpose, like a business owner considering hiring you, or a new love interest making sure they’re not about to go to dinner with a serial killer.

In situations like that, the search results could make or break your reputation.

And of course, the same is true for brands.

Branded Keywords

Branded keywords are searches that include the name of a specific business or brand. For example, branded keywords for “Business X” would look something like this:

  • Business X
  • Business X hours
  • Business X Greenville, NC

These results a consumer gets from searching these keywords have a major effect on that businesses reputation, and that’s where reputation management SEO comes in.

Reputation Management SEO

This refers to search engine optimization approaches and techniques meant to positively influence the results for branded keywords with the goal to improve and uphold a brand’s digital reputation.

How Does Google Search Results Impact a Brand’s Reputation?

It’s Sunday morning, and your crew is daydreaming about brunch, but they’re over the usual go-to brunch spots. So, you whip out your cell and Google the name of that restaurant downtown that opened up recently.

One of the first things you see in your search results is a preview of their Trip Advisor rating:

26 reviews – 2.3 stars – $30-50 price range

2.3 stars for a $50 brunch? #Nope

And, just like that, your opinion has soured.

Review sites can heavily influence your online reputation. Not to mention articles, blog posts, directory pages, Google reviews, and the long list of other third-party sites that rank for branded searches. There wouldn’t be an issue if brands could control the content of these sites, but that typically isn’t the case. So, now what?

Reputation Management SEO Strategies

1. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em!

Review sites are so important regarding local reputation management. The reason so many review sites rank on the first page of a Google search is because they provide relevant information in the form of authentic reviews from real customers.

If you play your cards right, you have the ability to turn these sites into a valuable source for reputation management. 

  • Scope out the options available on third-party sites. A lot of them will allow brands or businesses to “claim” and revise their profile. Take the opportunity to add valuable information to the profile, using it as a platform to reach potential customers.
  • If there’s a section for photos, upload relevant, attractive, high-quality photos of your brand or business + your products and services.
  • Encourage existing customers to add positive reviews to the site, lessening the influence of the negative ones.

2. Create New Content

When carried out strategically, blog posts, videos, and photos that utilize branded keywords have the ability to outrank the review pages that you’re not so cool with.

Utilize every resource. Creating new content on your brand’s website is a great start, but go the extra mile. A few ways to create content for reputation management SEO outside of your website are:

  • Creating content and engaging with followers on social media platforms.
  • Branded Youtube videos!
  • Check out the local discussion boards that are relevant to your industry and join the conversation.

3. Reach Out to Credible Outside Sources About Discussing your Brand

Start by contacting your local news source. You would be surprised at how many opportunities are available to local brands and businesses through these sources, but you have to be proactive to find out! Other options include:

  • Partner with influential locals that have a strong online following.
  • Sponsor events that are likely to get press.
  • Partner with industry bloggers with a large readership.

Spreading positive news and information about your business helps to scatter a variety of brand-relevant content across the web.

Online Reputation Management

Reputation management SEO, like regular SEO, takes time, but hear me when I tell you it is totally worth the time and effort.

Get in touch with us if you’re ready to chat about where your brand resides in the digital marketplace.

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Brand Persona: What, Why, & How?

Elevate Your Brand Persona
Elevate Your Brand Persona

Brand Persona: What, Why, & How?

Brand persona is a term that’s gained recognition in the digital marketing world over the last several years. Maybe you’ve heard of it, but if you haven’t, fear not! I’m going to explain what brand personas are, why they’re valuable, and how to establish yours to elevate your brand.


What Is a Brand Persona?

Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like! A brand persona is the embodiment of a company’s brand in the form of a persona. It’s the attitude, the voice, and the qualities that highlight the personality you want your brand to be associated with. If your brand was a walking, talking, living, breathing human, what would it look like? How would your brand carry itself? How would it speak, and what would it say?

Look. I know what you’re probably thinking.

Is this crazy person really saying I should develop a character based on my brand?

The answer is yes! I know it sounds silly, but developing a brand persona is a necessary component of your overall brand strategy.

With that being said, it’s important to note that your brand persona doesn’t have to be a literal person – though sometimes that works! (Shout out to Flo from Progressive!)

Brand personas can simply be an idea.


Why Does My Business Need a Brand Persona?

Let’s start with a statistic. 90% of US marketing leaders say brand persona is key to retaining customers.

You see, today’s consumer has a unique purpose when making a purchase. Sure, they want high-quality, budget-friendly items. That’s nothing new. But, now more than ever, they also want an emotional connection, a sense of belonging, an array of options, and a full-blown experience.

A dedicated brand persona will allow your brand to shine in an increasingly emotional and visual world.


How Do I Create a Brand Persona?


Know Your Brand

  • Review your brand materials. Look over everything from your website to promotional items, and take note of what’s working and what’s not.
  • Do some research. Visit your favorite social media platforms to see what’s trending about your brand.
  • Make lists. List descriptive words that you want to be associated with your brand.


Know Your Customer

  • Examine your customer demographics, and attempt to understand who they are.
  • Define your customers’ pain points and expectations.
  • Analyze your customer engagement.


Brand Persona Tips

Aaron Walter, the author of Designing for Emotion, provides excellent advice on creating a successful brand persona. He provides a list of elements that are helpful to consider as you define your brand persona.

  • Create a personality image. How would you visualize your persona? Is it a person, an animal, or another object?
  • Describe your brand’s voice and provide copy examples. Would your brand’s voice be cheerful, sarcastic, encouraging, or something else?
  • Describe how your persona engages with others. Is your brand a buddy or more of an authority figure?
  • Create a style guide that includes fonts, colors, and images that match your desired brand persona.


5 Brand Personas to Use for Inspiration

When it comes to brand personas, one size does not fit all. However, if you’re new to this, look to these personas for inspiration.

  • The Nurturer: Empathetic and kind, this brand is full of compassion and care.
  • The Intellect: This persona is a leader and influencer who helps users make decisions based on the facts.
  • The Cheerleader: Spirited and optimistic, this brand’s excitement is infectious!
  • The Athlete: This confident and competitive brand is a little rough around the edges.
  • The Class Act: This elite brand radiates elegance and style.


Final Thoughts

You want to establish lasting connections between your brand and your customers, so if you haven’t already, the time to intentionally develop a brand persona is now. Without one, personality will still come out of what you do, but it might not convey the vibes you want.

A solid brand persona can take your business to the next level. Your customers want to know what you’re about, so they can be about it, too. The most important thing to keep in mind when developing your persona is that it embodies what you want customers to think about when they interact with your company.

If you’re not sure where to start or need a little extra guidance, reach out to us! We’ll work with you to create an authentic brand persona that will resonate with your customers for years to come.

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