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Blog Articles from Fawkes Digital Marketing

Benefits of having an actual credit card merchant account compared to a Stripe, Square, or PayPal

Benefits of having an actual credit card merchant account compared to a Stripe, Square, or PayPal

By John Marx on 7/15/2024 8:02:38 PM | Tags:

Yes, there are benefits to having an actual credit card merchant account compared to using third-party payment processors like Stripe, Square, or PayPal. Here are some advantages of having an actual credit card merchant account:

How to Prevent Email Spoofing

How to Prevent Email Spoofing

By John Marx on 3/3/2024 12:00:00 AM | Tags: DMARC, Email, SPF

When it comes to email security, YOU are the first line of defense to protect your customers and YOUR business's reputation. Phishing attacks account for one-third of all security violations in business today. Reducing your domain from being used in phishing attacks can be easily done, and we will cover everything you need to do. We'll do our best to make this non-technical while providing you with enough technical knowledge that you can speak with knowledge about the subject.

Email subject line tips and best practices

Email subject line tips and best practices

By John Marx on 8/25/2023 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Subject Lines, Newsletters

We're noticing a recurring issue with subject lines that lack impact, resulting in open rates of less than 10%. This situation often leads to the misconception that email marketing isn't effective. The key change needed is in crafting subject lines that resonate with your recipients, making your bulk emails more successful.

Fixing Missing Google Reviews

Fixing Missing Google Reviews

By John Marx on 2/27/2023 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Google Business Profiles, Review Management

If you're like us, you've known you've received a Google review, and it has yet to show up. One client has had this issue and just signed one with missing reviews. How many more are there? With the techniques and information below, you will be able to fix your missing reviews.

What is needed for SEO

What is needed for SEO

By John Marx on 1/17/2023 12:00:00 AM | Tags:

You will hear from people that doing search engine optimization or SEO is hard. It's not. Okay, now that I've put myself out of a job and shut down the company because of it, why do SEO companies even exist? The simple answer is time, education, and knowledge.

The Dream Of The Ideal Domain

The Dream Of The Ideal Domain

By John Marx on 5/8/2022 12:00:00 AM | Tags: clients

Dreams come in many ways for each of us. We started over nine years ago with a desire to help businesses achieve their dream domain name. As of today, a dream we have now done is to help companies to gain their desired domain name four times. Let's look at all four as each was unique. We'll then explore how we announce it to each client and how you can work on getting your desired domain name if someone else owns it.

Can You Rank For What Doesn't Exist?

Can You Rank For What Doesn't Exist?

By John Marx on 5/6/2022 12:00:00 AM | Tags: SEO

Recently I had to go back to organic search engine optimization or organic SEO learning and school/research. I always find it good to go back to your fundamentals to re-evaluate if you're missing something. I was told to rank a site for three keyword phrases. Out of the nine words (three words in each keyword phrase), only one of those words existed on the site. That word existed once out of around one million words on the site. Was I wrong in my logic? Had I become "complacent" in the daily SEO tasks that I missed this capability? Was I truly not as knowledgeable as I thought? This is the journey of my research.

Coffee Shop Organic SEO Checks

Coffee Shop Organic SEO Checks

By John Marx on 3/29/2022 12:00:00 AM | Tags: SEO

We love coffee (and beer), but this article will be all about the coffee and checking on organic SEO results for our clients. We have some great software and team members who know SEO's ins and outs. Our software allows us to sit anywhere globally and get our clients ranked in the towns they want without ever setting foot in those cities and towns. For me, that is in Valparaiso. I always do real-world validation checks for quality control by physically driving to locations to test their organic SEO.

Press Release: FDM Donates 10% of Each Year’s Profit to Help Homelessness

Press Release: FDM Donates 10% of Each Year’s Profit to Help Homelessness

By John Marx on 3/29/2022 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Homelessness

Valparaiso, Indiana, March 20, 2022 -- One of the most important things that contributes to people being successful and well-adjusted in life is ensuring that they have a home. One local web and graphic design and development company is making it their mission to help with those efforts. Each year, Fawkes Digital Marketing (FDM) donates to ValpoShelter.org to facilitate in the education of homelessness and provide resources for men, women, and families in need of assistance. This assistance goes deeper than just finding a home. Valpo Shelter helps with food, health, and religious support in the local communities of Indiana. Valpo Shelter is the largest and most complete shelter directory in the State of Indiana.

What is TF-IDF in relation to SEO?

What is TF-IDF in relation to SEO?

By John Marx on 3/13/2022 12:00:00 AM | Tags: SEO

Another abbreviation from the land of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. The first place ot start is what does TF-IDF stand for. TF-IDF stands for "Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency". This is a technique that came out from Hans Peter Luhn in 1957 came up with the Term Frequency part. In 1972, Karen Spärck Jones, conceived the Inverse Document Frequency (IDF) portion. So, this is nothing new in regard to existence. What is new is how the search engines use this information to help in the calculation and rating of your website pages.

Replying to Reviews

Replying to Reviews

By John Marx on 3/7/2022 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Review Management

There are three ways to reply to reviews. We're going to cover the worst to the best way. I encourage you to read all as I explain why the bad ones are awful and hurting your business growth.

Why Size Matters to SEO Growth

Why Size Matters to SEO Growth

By John Marx on 2/18/2022 12:00:00 AM | Tags: SEO

We started our series of organic search engine optimization or organic SEO techniques we're starting with when we wrote about "FREE Press Releases." That was indeed the start of what we're doing for each one of our social media management clients. I will discuss what we're doing for over 100 of our clients and over 1,500 pages of content, how it benefits you, and why the search engines will see a considerable boost with this change to help you grow your business.

FREE Press Releases

FREE Press Releases

By John Marx on 2/17/2022 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Press Release

We are bringing back a feature that we once had but was not taken advantage of by clients, so we killed it off. The original version required the business owner or those they designated to be involved. We thought this was the best approach, but in hindsight, it wasn't. Articles went months without being distributed. They didn't produce the results we wanted them to.

A Change for the Future of Digital Marketing

A Change for the Future of Digital Marketing

By John Marx on 1/31/2022 12:00:00 AM | Tags: FDM, Business, Fawkes Digital Marketing

Yes, a name change. Let's start there. I (we) have grown in the last nine years and learned a lot. We started knowing nothing about running a business but a ton about marketing and technology. I now fully understand the basics of business and still learn daily. With the change noted below, nothing for your business changes. Your still price locked into the plan you are on.

What is Organic SEO?

What is Organic SEO?

By John Marx on 1/28/2022 12:00:00 AM | Tags: PPC, SEO

As soon as I say, "organic SEO" or "organic search engine optimization," I always get a "deer in the headlights look." Many are aware of what paid advertising is or PPC, but what is this "organic" stuff. Let's look at what organic is and why it should be the foundational element of what you need for your online marketing strategy, even if you use paid advertising.

Are Angi, HomeAdvisor, and CraftJack Honest?

Are Angi, HomeAdvisor, and CraftJack Honest?

By John Marx on 1/18/2022 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Service Business

We have a client that was using HomeAdvisor and CraftJack. Both of these are owned by Angie's List (now Angi). The deal our client had was that they would get leads from both companies. That is where things got interesting for our client and we're going to tell the story from what they've told us. This aligned with what we had heard from other service-based companies that we felt we need to educate service-based businesses as a good portion of our work comes from them.

SmaterMail Exchange Compatible Mail Server

SmaterMail Exchange Compatible Mail Server

By John Marx on 12/23/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags:

Microsoft Exchange is a great system that indeed requires IT support to manage it well. During 2021 we've pushed, tested, and built a system with the same core features as Microsoft Exchange but made specifically for small-to-mid-size businesses. With the latest build of our SmaterMail Exchange compatible email system, we can now match the core features of Microsoft Exchange, be faster, and charge less. Sounds good, but what do you get?

Building of a Local Directory

Building of a Local Directory

By John Marx on 12/19/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Valpo Shelter, Domestic Violence, Homelessness

Building a business directory isn't anything new to us. Over the years, we've made several, including the largest local directory in Northwest Indiana, Region Adventures (www.regionadventures.com). Making one for men, women, and families that is 1/100th the size you would think would not only be a slam dunk but super easy. Well, this directory has pushed us to the limits and have opened new opportunities for us as a business. I will be writing as we continue to grow, but I thought covering the first hurdles would be a great place to start.

1.2 Million WordPress Accounts Hacked

1.2 Million WordPress Accounts Hacked

By John Marx on 11/23/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Security

Let's start by saying no web host is perfect. GoDaddy was missing the security basics of encrypting passwords and user information. This is something that should ever happen. That is what happened with the last security breach at GoDaddy 18 months ago (May 5, 2020).

When A New Customer Call Comes In A Panic State

When A New Customer Call Comes In A Panic State

By John Marx on 11/17/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags:

Imagine getting a call from a potential new client panicking that they are to launch on BLACK FRIDAY, and it's a week before that day. Well, that just happened. Let's cover how we are handling this type of phone call.

Google Rebrands Google My Business to Google Business Profile

Google Rebrands Google My Business to Google Business Profile

By John Marx on 11/4/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Google My Business, Google Business Profiles

The history of Google My Business started as Google Places for Business back in 2010 and continues to be a virtual online directory for anyone using the Internet. Google, on November 4, 2021, chose to change the name to Google Business Profiles. We're going to look at the history of Google's business directory page and how the changes will help your business grow.

10 reasons having a website is Important for Your Business

10 reasons having a website is Important for Your Business

By John Marx on 10/18/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Website, Business

Imagine a low-cost showroom giving every customer and potential customer 24x7 access that educates and provides a consistent message generating revenue for you. That is what a well-designed business website will do for you.

Why Jobs Need To Be On Your Website!

Why Jobs Need To Be On Your Website!

By John Marx on 9/28/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags:

As a web design company owner, I am biased toward career information being on the website. I feel that having your career page helps qualify your employees more than any other channel. If you are hiring for a critical position (e.g., CEO/CFO/Sales), I believe using an assessment test to qualify those positions further is key to long-term success.

FREE Malware Removal Process for Small Businesses

FREE Malware Removal Process for Small Businesses

By John Marx on 9/7/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags: WordPress

This past labor day weekend, I searched the internet for a specific niche industry and came across a site with malware on it, as noted by the blog image. I started thinking of all the small businesses that aren't updated and could run into this and present the worst possible first impression. So we came up with a solution.

What to look for in website hosting with prices

What to look for in website hosting with prices

By John Marx on 7/29/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags: hosting, Website

Website hosting only is just asking for your business to fail and not grow. As business owners, we all want our businesses to grow, thrive, and reach our expectations. Website hosting alone is a "Field of Dreams" where you build it and "Hope they come."

Why You Need WordPress Maintenance

Why You Need WordPress Maintenance

By John Marx on 6/8/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags: WordPress

We hope you would never hire an employee, show them the ropes, and leave them all independently without continually mentoring and training them. Your website is an employee and often the first thing a new customer will see. Continual maintenance, or website employee training, allows you to keep everything humming along as efficiently as possible. Since WordPress has come out, it is averaging more than 27 updates per year and over 60 in the past five years. Plugins or add-ons are not even in this total and produce higher updates, often daily.

The WHY and the HOW of UTM Codes for SEO

The WHY and the HOW of UTM Codes for SEO

By John Marx on 4/22/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Google Analytics, Google Analytics, SEO, SEO

UTM codes stand for Urchin Tracking Monitor. The name comes from Urchin Tracker which was a web analytics software that served as the base for Google Analytics. These are often used with Google Ads (formally Google AdWords). Marketing in the old days you spent hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on newspaper ads. These ads you often didn’t know the results. Either due to you or your employees not asking how you heard of us or truly thinking the newspaper was making results (e.g. you guessed). Today with technology you often will spend less but demand to know whether the results are working for you. First, you should’ve been asking that question under old school methods but there really was no 100% way of knowing. With UTM codes you can have some pretty accurate methods of how people are reaching you. They also can be used beyond just paid ads if used correctly. We’re going to not only dig into what UTM codes are but how you can use them and how to create them (easily).

How to Setup Facebook Your Facebook Business Page

How to Setup Facebook Your Facebook Business Page

By John Marx on 2/26/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Facebook

Social media is a great way to start building your brand message and getting heard online. Although we don't see it as the best place, it is a place you need to be. You may wonder why we feel it's not the best place. It's simple. Your competitors are also on the same social media channel. Having control over your business with no competitors is the ideal place to get your message heard. That is your website. This doesn't mean we should ignore a great channel to get your voice heard. To that end, you need to have your information set up correctly to provide your audience the best message.

Stop being Nickel-and-Dimed to Death!

Stop being Nickel-and-Dimed to Death!

By John Marx on 2/25/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Business

I got upset today when someone stated that our prices are "too low" and why they went elsewhere. The thoughts that rang through my head were that you don't know our company or the cost of doing business -- every business structures their prices based on the cost of business plus the profits they want to achieve. Some are higher while some are lower. Let's dig into why our costs are the way they are.

Stop Being Creative!

Stop Being Creative!

By John Marx on 1/7/2021 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Website, Responsive Design

A benefit of the internet is you can do whatever you want with it. We're going to answer why you should drop the "over creativeness" on your website, use industry best practices, and adjust your website continuously to fit these best practices.

SEO Basics: Title Tags

SEO Basics: Title Tags

By John Marx on 8/3/2020 12:00:00 AM | Tags: SEO

We all see the descriptions in the tabs of our favorite browser. These are title tags and are an essential part of your on-site page SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Often believed to be a beginner SEO technique, these tags are crucial to your optimization and being found. They need to be well thought out and updated to meet the needs of those visiting your site.

Converting Browsers to Buyers with Web Standards

Converting Browsers to Buyers with Web Standards

By John Marx on 5/18/2020 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Web Design

We all want to change the world and improve it into what we feel is "best." Since the mid-1990's the internet has gone through several transformations: some good, some bad. Today's highly refined design works for 99.9% of all situations, and trying to be unique is not going to help your business grow.

Google Limits Google My Business

Google Limits Google My Business

By John Marx on 3/21/2020 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Google My Business

Google has started a new era in helping businesses large and small protect their online reputation. Their latest update has temporarily limited the functionality of Google My Business or GMB. These changes are designed to help your business rather than hurt.

Business Owners and PB&J

Business Owners and PB&J

By John Marx on 1/5/2020 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Small Business

As I sit at a Starbucks a distance from home, a person named Phil is sitting next to me eating a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. He starts up a conversation while he is eating, stating he is traveling through the area and owns a paving business in Lombard, Illinois. He's on the road actively looking for bad consumer driveways to make money.

Crafting the Perfect Blog Article

Crafting the Perfect Blog Article

By John Marx on 12/31/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Blog

When it comes to getting found, telling your story, and all-around adding to the bottom line, you need to write consistently for your audience. It would be best if you answer the question and not just write to write. Write multiple articles for your website with new ones posted consistently. You write dozens, even hundreds of blog articles to get your information out there.

Press Release Information

Press Release Information

By John Marx on 12/8/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Marketing, Press Release, Marketing, Press Release

Press releases can produce major benefits to a business for marketing even when they do not reach major media outlets. You will find both free and paid press release outlets that can help promote your press release. Utilizing both is a key that we always use to gain the largest buzz for our clients. With paid advertising you can feel more confident your PR will reach more people and appear in leading publications. Getting your good word out to news organizations is never an easy business and getting a journalist to write about you is never easy. Without a press release they certainly will not know and with one you stand a better chance of being heard.

Web Header Status Codes

Web Header Status Codes

By John Marx on 11/30/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Websites

Every page you look at on the internet that works comes with a code of 200 (Success). But what are all the codes when you don't get a successful message. The list below is all of the currently known codes used on the internet today.

Ten Techniques to Grow on Social Media

Ten Techniques to Grow on Social Media

By John Marx on 11/27/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Social Media

It's time to learn from the past, move forward, and start increasing your engagement and adding to your bottom line with these ten steps (you can always watch the video!)

Educating America Series - The Brief

Educating America Series - The Brief

By John Marx on 11/6/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: politics

Many don't talk politics, not because they don't have something to say or have an opinion. Many don't speak as it's a taboo subject. Some don't fully understand the entire process. I know for myself it is a little bit of each. I want to be an informed American, and I believe others do as well.

Copywriting Equals Money

Copywriting Equals Money

By John Marx on 11/1/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Quality Content, Content

Copywriting is all about closing the sale. You use words to convince someone to purchase your product. Imagine you have an article that sells one in a hundred people that makes you a hundred dollars. You modify just the title or a few words to convince someone to buy and move that to two in a hundred. What you've done is doubled your revenue to two hundred dollars. The power of the written word has the potential to add value, educate, inform, and drive revenue to your bottom line.

Changing Marketing & Software Development Forever

Changing Marketing & Software Development Forever

By John Marx on 10/18/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Marketing

I am a software developer and a marketer. These are two totally different sides of a mind to use. Thankfully I have multiple voices in my head that allow me to accomplish both successfully and break out of the norm. Being a software developer means I am a nerd, analytical, agile thinking, and an introvert. Being a marketer it means I need to think differently, look at everything, and agile thinking. Everything says "think out of the box." I say "what box?"

1st Blog Article Ever

1st Blog Article Ever

By Teresa Gagne on 10/16/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Remote Work, Work Life Balance, 1st Blog Ever

For four years now John has been trying to get me to write a blog article about what I do. I specialize in graphic design and eCommerce websites. Maybe in the future I will write something about color theory or minimalism especially when talking about logo design.

Eight Mind Hacks for More Money

Eight Mind Hacks for More Money

By John Marx on 10/14/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: eCommerce

There are eight proven mind hacks to get your customers to purchase more, spend more, and add more profits to your bottom line. These are some of the tactics we use for all of our clients with their eCommerce and in-store sales.

The Benefits of Inbox Zero

The Benefits of Inbox Zero

By John Marx on 8/17/2019 4:00:00 AM | Tags:

Truly the holy grail when it comes to email is getting your email to no items in it and everything completed quickly, accurately, and on-time. But why would having no email in your inbox be such a benefit to you and how can achieve this? Today I will be covering the struggle I had in achieving inbox zero and then how it has increased my productivity, my health (I think so), completed items on-time, and increased overall communication in the company.

Local Search Engine Success

Local Search Engine Success

By John Marx on 8/16/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Local Search, SEO

Did you know there is a way to reach your local audience without paid advertising and increase your search results? To do it right you need to do the following ten items to achieve success.

Tripling Down on Real Estate

Tripling Down on Real Estate

By John Marx on 8/9/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Real Estate

Over the past three months we’ve enhanced our system for realtors and real estate agents. I am going to cover the top features we’ve added and outline the top features we’re working on for the next release.

More Original Content

More Original Content

By John Marx on 8/9/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Content

When it comes to having your digital voice heard you need a draw to further reach your audience. Curating great content is one way to show how you are searching and finding content to share with your audience. Then you have truly authentic content that you create to not only showcase who you are but let your voice and brand be heard. We’re going to talk about the later of original content and three types of content you can create to increase your engagement, educate, and showcase your expertise to your audience.

Introducing the Moose Tracks Sellers Club

Introducing the Moose Tracks Sellers Club

By John Marx on 7/30/2019 12:00:00 AM | Tags: Valpo Shirts

It's amazing how many people with great talent are not being noticed. This is why we've created the Moose Tracks Sellers Club. We want to help starving artists, bands, and those with some truly great ideas make money for their talents.