Blog Articles from Fawkes Digital Marketing

14 items to a successful eCommerce business

14 items to a successful eCommerce business

By John Marx on 3/10/2018 | Tags: eCommerce

eCommerce for many businesses is their lifeblood and their sole source of income. For others, it is a value-added service to their loyal following and those too far away to come into a physical store. We all know companies like Amazon, Target, and Walmart that sell their products online so we all know what the purpose of what eCommerce has. What many don’t realize is an eCommerce is not the same as a regular website. All the items of a regular website matter but in different ways. A third of all our clients doing online sales it’s time to truly look at what works for eCommerce.

Too much social

Too much social

Back before 2010, and even today some people have too much social media. One might wonder how you can have too much social as social is getting out there, talking, and getting your good word out to the masses. Well, it can happen to everyone, including you. You can have too much social and when you do you will actually set your social media back. Social media is as important to have a website with great content and optimized for not only your readers but the search engines.

30-day blog article challenge results

30-day blog article challenge results

By John Marx on 2/19/2018 | Tags: Blog

Over the past 30-days, I challenged myself to write some very short (500-1,000 words or less) blog articles. This goes against many that say you should make your articles from 2,000-3,000 words for optimal search engine optimization. This 30-blog article exercise had a challenge and two hidden objectives that I didn’t tell anyone. The challenge was the topics were chosen by others and randomly selected by one of our computer programs. The second was what would happen search engine optimization wise writing 30 blog articles in 30-days. The final and third reason was to stress test some blog functionality being we now have several influencers in multiple industries using our blogging system specifically for increased SEO. Let’s take a look at what happened, what worked, what was improved, and talk about a few gems that were not expected during this entire process.

Starting with eCommerce

Starting with eCommerce

By John Marx on 2/18/2018 | Tags: eCommerce

eCommerce is a growing sector of the Internet. It is growing around 10% per year and increasing each year. eCommerce is our fastest growing segment for the past two years with our clients. Many clients are either doing two websites or they are doing solely eCommerce. Part of this is due to our own push on eCommerce where we are reducing the credit card percent, transaction fees, and monthly fees with our credit card providers. The other is businesses want revenue from their internet marketing presence. We have clients on nopCommerce, Etsy, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Shopify.

Scared Stiff; saved by co-working

Scared Stiff; saved by co-working

By John Marx on 2/17/2018 | Tags: Small Business, Co-working, Business

The day I decided to start my own business scared the crap out of me. I was going from a beyond comfortable guaranteed income to one where it was a complete unknown. Since I was twelve years old I had worked. Starting out as a paperboy for the Chesterton Tribune was my first step into being a freelancer as I might have delivered newspapers but was responsible for collecting money and delivering the product. I wanted the money for candy, fancy shoes, and anything else a teenager would want. I know that in the past five years if I would have stayed working for “the man” I would be close to having made half million dollars in that short period of time. So why in the world would anyone give up luxury for something less? Actually, I didn’t!

Being Human

Being Human

By John Marx on 2/16/2018 | Tags: Humanity

I find it appropriate to write about being human on a day I am truly struggling with humanity. I am human after all (I know shocking – even to me) so why not talk about being human, making mistakes, treating people around me with respect, and making a positive influence in people’s lives. When you grow up in a small town like Chesterton Indiana which has some really great values and then move to a growing community like Valparaiso Indiana you wouldn’t think that I would have any struggles with being human at all.

Feedback (aka Reviews)

Feedback (aka Reviews)

By John Marx on 2/15/2018 | Tags: Customer Service

Feedback for any business is crucial to its success. You can learn what your customers are enjoying as well as areas for improvement. The key to any feedback is it not be attacking but helpful. The people that are providing feedback are doing so as they want to be heard. This is whether the experience is a positive one or a negative one. In the old days, we had feedback forms that could either be filled out during that stay or mailed in on a postcard. There are several ways of gaining feedback from users today and we’re going to look at the top three methods of not only getting feedback but also how to protect your business from negative feedback (as much as possible).

Marketing Procrastination

Marketing Procrastination

By John Marx on 2/14/2018 | Tags: Marketing

At one time we have all procrastinated and waited until that very last moment to try and get something done. We are normally not happy with the results and the results tend to show that we rushed, didn’t think everything through, and almost certainly didn’t get the results we were expecting. We have seen this a lot and even with ourselves in years past where we only marketed our company when things were slowing down. We went into a panic mode saying we need to add a customer or we’re doomed (well not that bad but I think you understand).

The 7 P’s of Services (any) Marketing

The 7 P’s of Services (any) Marketing

By John Marx on 2/13/2018 | Tags: Marketing

Marketing like everything isn’t hard but a time-consuming process that requires diligence and a strive for excellence. There is a service marketing standard called the 7 P’s of marketing. There’s also an 8th P which we will also cover which extends the 7 P’s to include one more (go figure). By being patient, studying your market, and taking care of your customer’s needs marketing is something that can propel your business to a new level.

Email is NOT the ultimate communication tool!

Email is NOT the ultimate communication tool!

By John Marx on 2/12/2018 | Tags: Email

As a company that lives on customer service and quickly communicating we live within our email system. Not only does our internal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system keep us informed of deadlines, new tasks (e.g. work to be done), and new leads & clients it sends and communicates with our customers. On any given day we send out hundreds of emails to keep communication at the highest level possible. Email though for us is not our primary communication method as there are a lot of downsides to it. Let’s look at how we use email and how we don’t.

Organic eCommerce SEO

Organic eCommerce SEO

By John Marx on 2/11/2018 | Tags: eCommerce

It is no wonder that over 40% of our clients use eCommerce to sell their products and services. Nearly 8 out of every 10 Americans is using online shopping to purchase products and services. When the search engines stated 50% of the internet was using mobile there was a big push to fix websites to be mobile friendly. With roughly 80% of the internet purchasing online shouldn’t you have a piece of the pie as well as being optimized to take the best advantage of it? We think so and these are my top tips for rocking your eCommerce SEO organically.

Low word counts

Low word counts

By John Marx on 2/10/2018 | Tags: Content

On the internet being found organically (or free) is what the internet game is about. Sure, you can pay the search engines to rank but that puts you into always paying. Why not pay on your own terms rather than on the terms of the search engines? Successful websites are ones that are found organically (and paid if you want a wider audience). Your marketing shouldn’t be solely paid as that is a plan for failure. We’re going to look at one of the biggest factors I continue to see when moving a website up in the search engines organically. That is pages with low word counts.

Why do we care?

Why do we care?

By John Marx on 2/9/2018 | Tags: Business, Environment

Today I want to talk about our bottom pillar of our company and that is about environmental impact. When it comes to our environment there are three approaches a company can take. They can either do something, not do something or do it partially. This is one of the easiest yet hardest things any of us could ever do as a society. Yet it is also one of the hardest as well. This is where many fall into that third area or if it’s convenient they will do it and if it takes one extra amount of energy they slip into the someone else will do it phase. Let’s take a look at the challenge of being friendly to the environment.

What are heatmaps?

What are heatmaps?

By John Marx on 2/8/2018 | Tags: SEO

Heatmaps are dynamic and interactive reports to visually show you what users are doing not only on your website but in great detail on a given page. A heat map will overlay colors on your website to show where users are clicking, where mouse movements are (e.g. this is considered eye tracking as well!), how far down on a page someone scrolls, percentage of clicks on a given area, and many will even allow you to export the information for deeper dives in analytics software or spreadsheets.

Creating a Digital Marketing Plan

Creating a Digital Marketing Plan

By John Marx on 2/7/2018 | Tags: Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is one of the key areas that we cover for our clients and creating a digital marketing plan is critical to any success. What I will be covering today is the foundational blocks to creating a plan that will allow any small business to grow online. A digital marketing plan can be done on a single sheet of paper. It won't be complete but will give you a start. What I am going to cover is something a bit deeper than the single page start and not as complete as a book. This is what I feel every business needs at a minimum to be successful and grow their business online

Slowing Down

Slowing Down

By John Marx on 2/6/2018 | Tags: Business

Our lives today run at a blazing and rapid pace. As a society, we have put ourselves here with technologies like text, email, and phone. We are now more used to the instant gratification lifestyle. That doesn't mean we should be in a rush. In fact, by slowing down I actually will get more done than I would if I rushed. It took me twenty years to come to this realization. I've had many bosses over time explain this to me. Many times, I listened just to appease and shut them up as I thought I knew better than what their experience was trying to teach me. It is only in the past four months that I have truly started slowing down and 'enjoying life' the way it should be. It's truly hard and I am going to cover the core areas I am focusing on and how it's helping me get more done in the same amount of time.

Top 4 Internet Image File types

Top 4 Internet Image File types

By John Marx on 2/5/2018 | Tags: Graphic Design

The internet is a visual medium and when you look at an image online it can be in one of several formats. Each format has pros and cons, key differences, and specific use scenarios. We are going to look at the top four image file types used on the internet and when you should use each. We chose these top image formats as these are the image file types that most internet users will run across on a daily basis. For many web developers and designers, they will run across countless more but for the masses, these formats will do.

Top 5 SEO Lies

Top 5 SEO Lies

By John Marx on 2/4/2018 | Tags: SEO

As a company that everything is based on 'no lying' it's always good to cover some of the biggest lies that we know people have been told. Today we're going to cover search engine optimization and the most common lies that we routinely here. Slick talkers will say whatever they can for a sale. Business owners want to get as high on the search engines and when they hear a deal, even one too good to be true, many will jump on board.

A different approach to hiring

A different approach to hiring

By John Marx on 2/3/2018 | Tags: Business

We've been asked many times over the past month how we do what we do. Our prices are unreal, our tactics are not normal yet produce continuous results, and our work/life balance is only like the most successful and profitable businesses. I thought it would be good to start telling people how we do what we do being we are always asked the question every month. I feel that it will also help other businesses. We will start with the most basic of processes which are hiring of the right people to do the job.

19 Ways new users mess up on social media

19 Ways new users mess up on social media

By John Marx on 2/2/2018 | Tags: Social Media

Today's team challenge is to talk about the pain points and top challenges many make in social media when they are beginning. We started this as only a top 10 list. That became eleven, then twelve, and we ended up with nineteen ways new users mess up when they start with social media. We actually had another but everyone does 19 lists and we wanted to be just a bit different. As Facebook and other social media outlets continue to change the rules you definitely want to make certain you do the right thing on each platform to reach the largest audience. We have all been in the beginning stages of social media marketing – even experts had no knowledge and grew over time. Over time we have seen some pretty horrific mistakes and these are what we are calling the top 19 social media mistakes any new user will make.

What is eCommerce?

What is eCommerce?

By John Marx on 2/1/2018 | Tags: eCommerce

What many don't realize is that eCommerce is and has been the fastest growing segment of our Valparaiso Indiana company for over three years. When you think of a web design and marketing company the thought of eCommerce doesn't seem to be the thought of many. What is more interesting for us is why it isn't. A good eCommerce site requires a beautiful design, software development to make it function the way you want, and a way to market it to the masses. Even those that come into our office for eCommerce don't fully know the core capabilities of what eCommerce provides to a business. They think Amazon, Shopify, or Etsy when it comes to online sales but selling is just a very small part of it. Let's take a look and discover what online sales are and why your business needs it.

Writing when you are not a writer

Writing when you are not a writer

By John Marx on 1/31/2018 | Tags: Blogs

What readers don't realize is that when we write we are doing more than just writing. We are telling a story about a subject that we hold dear to our heart. The story that we are telling has a deep meaning to us that can be informative, educational, and sometimes even therapeutic. Sometimes when I write a story it is written for no one other than myself but more often it is for the audience to educate and inform. Today is one of those informing times where we look at the English teacher version of an article having a beginning, middle, and end.

Got Blog?

Got Blog?

By John Marx on 1/30/2018 | Tags: Blogs

We have talked about the benefits of blogging but never truly covered why you really want to blog. Think of a blog as a short story that covers a core area of expertise you or your business is good at. You want people to learn from you, you want them to learn about what you offer, and you definitely want them to buy from you. If you run a small business you blog (or should) so that people can see you as an effective leader and expert. Sharing content shows you know the power of copy/paste. Writing shows the power of wanting to reach the masses, educate, and influence others. You blog as you want to improve the internet, the lives of your customers, and the lives of those that may one day be a customer (or at least more educated).

Agile Marketing

Agile Marketing

By John Marx on 1/29/2018 | Tags: Marketing

As software developers, we understand the importance of change and being agile. After all, software development is all about being agile. Technology changes at a pace that quickly overwhelms traditional marketing methods and why there has been a shift to being agile. No longer does traditional marketing work.

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