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Content Strategy & the Web Development Process

September 19th, 2014

Not All Web Development Companies Work The Same Way

content_strategyAll web development companies do not work the same. We each have our own internal processes, philosophies and ways of doing business that provide very different client experiences. Some web development projects include an internet marketing component, while other projects can be simple brochure-style website. Some of the experience a client receives is based on how we describe our capabilities to our prospects or how well we convey the value of our services. Other factors that can affect a project, of course, are the project’s goal, purpose and budget.

At Orion Group, internet marketing services are a standard inclusion in most proposals we send out. Occasionally the internet marketing consulting line items are marked as an optional deliverable – it’s in the proposal, our prospects can see it, and they can decide for themselves. If the budget just isn’t there or if they’re confident in doing it themselves, they don’t have to purchase the service.

How The Internet Marketing Team Gets Involved in Our Web Projects

You might be wondering, “What is internet marketing all about?” What it means to you, as an Orion Group client, is that we ensure highly competitive, high-traffic keywords are strategically chosen and written into the text of the website and into the behind-the-scenes portions of the site, like the Title Tags and Meta Descriptions.

The Internet marketing team helps our clients and our web developers determine what the website structure will look like and ensure the various page names and categories are properly set up based on the findings revealed in our keyword and competitor research.

“Who Will Write the Content?” Should Be One of the First Question Asked.

content-strategy-word-cloudBefore a project begins, the decision of who will be responsible for producing the content will have already been decided. However, if at some point during the project our client feels they don’t have the time or the desire to write their own content, we are always available to jump in and help by doing some copywriting on their behalf. We understand that this can happen from time to time –  it is a normal part of any process. We have to be flexible and roll with the punches.

When the internet marketing team is involved in a web development project, we review any content that might already exist that was provided by our client in order to make suggestions for optimizing it for search engines. We also work with our client and the web development team to ensure the site structure is going to make sense from an SEO perspective, that the page names are going to have good keywords in them and to ensure the various sections of the website are laid out in such a way that it truly represents the specific services or products that the company offers.

When Companies Do Their Own Content Strategy

Sometimes, when companies do their own branding and content strategy, they make up words that they feel describe their services in a good way from a marketing perspective. For example, a full service manufacturer we almost worked with wanted to refer to themselves as a “premier multi-facturing company.” They wanted to include that word all over their website. We told them not to use the word “multi-facturing” in their menus and as the page headings. The problem is that the search engines don’t know what the word multi-facturing means. If you search for that phase in Google, it tries to auto-correct it to a different word. Until Google knows what it is, it’s probably not a good idea to use it as the main keyword in the headings, URL structure, and titles of the website. That’s an example of where our internet marketing experts can make suggestions that will help the company’s overall success online. Our clients don’t always listen to us, but we at least take the appropriate steps of making the types of suggestions that we believe will help them in the end.

Getting to Understand Our Client and their Content

Early in the web design process, we take a look at the perspective sitemap and talk with the graphic designer before he’s makes the web design mockups to ensure they will be laid out in such a way that the designs agree with what needs to be communicated from a marketing perspective. When the internet marketing team is involved in the initial meetings, we are able to learn more about our client’s messaging requirements. By doing it this way, we get a sense of their important keywords and the navigation and site structure that will be needed to make the project a success.

In an Ideal World, Content Drives the Website Strategy

We can’t just depend upon the graphic design mockup to guide the content strategy. Sometimes, what is presented in the mockups are just conceptual ideas that the graphic designer implemented into the layout because it looks good graphically. We keep in mind that just because the initial mockups might display the content in a certain manner, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will automatically work well with the content strategy. In an ideal world content drives the website. For ultimate impact, we must understand what the brand message is and what our client’s objectives are and compare that to what the graphic design mockups are conveying.

Strategic Marketing Guidance

In summary, spending the time to figure things out strategically from a marketing perspective requires both time and talent. If an internet marketing expert is involved at the beginning and all the way through a web development project, possible issues can be foreseen and avoided. When considering a web development company for your next project, keep in mind that not all companies are created equal. It is important to think things through strategically for the sake of search engine optimization and user experience. Be sure follow through with creating compelling content using competitive and relevant keywords that search engines like. And, if you don’t feel equipped to do it yourself, reach out and ask for help sooner, rather than later.


New Kid on the Block: 10 Tips for Settling In at a New Workplace

September 18th, 2014

Whether you’re joining a new company, or moving to a new position within your current organization, the change can be stressful and filled with unknowns. There are some simple actions you can take, however, to make the transition a smooth one and help put you on the path toward success.

Fortune Cookie: A new job is on your future.

Photo Credit: www.flazingo.com

1. Ask questions

As a new hire, no one expects you to know everything your first day (or first month). At the same time, being the new kid means it is acceptable for you to ask lots of questions. Take advantage of your newbie status and ask as much as possible.

2. Listen and observe

Asking questions is only part of the equation for learning the ins and outs of your new place of work. Listen to what your coworkers say to each other and observe what they do and how they interact. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Businesses Need Facebook

September 12th, 2014

Businesses Need Facebook

Since my internship two years ago at a local organization in Green Bay doing social media content management and recently starting my job at Orion Group, I have explored why businesses need Facebook as a means of marketing. Facebook is a social platform where people share their personal feelings, beliefs, desires, and lives. Why then, do businesses need Facebook as a means of revenue growth or something that helps with exposure and profit? Read the rest of this entry »


Meet Benny, WordPress 4.0 Released

September 4th, 2014

image of WordPress logo

Today version 4.0 of WordPress was released.  Most of the big changes in “Benny” are changes in how the admin area, or WordPress Dashboard, works and interacts with the user.  The biggest changes are:

  • Page/Post content editor stays in the same place as users scroll down the editing page.
  • Plugin search results are rearranged in a grid and allow admins to easily checkout a plugin’s ratings, documentation, screenshots and other information.
  • The Media Library images are in a more fluid grid pattern, not in a list.
  • Embedded videos now show as a preview inside of the WYSIWYG content editor so users no longer have to publish or preview a page to see the video.

Read the rest of this entry »


7 Tips on Getting Paid Faster

August 26th, 2014

Many small businesses are faced with the challenge of collecting money owed.  This is one of the most important aspects of being in Final Noticebusiness as delayed payments can seriously disrupt cash flow that keeps the business afloat.  The amount of bill collectors advertising services on the web suggests that this is a big problem.  Here are a few suggestions that can result in getting paid faster and with less hassle: Read the rest of this entry »


A Domain Name Worth Its Weight In Gold

August 22nd, 2014

To most people, domain names are simply the addresses for their favorite websites. However, a select few understand that these Web addresses, also known as URLs, are a vital commodity in the real world, and large businesses and new startups are willing to pay top dollar for the right names. In some cases, this can amount to a foresighted investor becoming an instant millionaire. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Orion Group Is Using Google Hangouts Rather Than Skype

August 14th, 2014

Over the past couple of years the Internet Marketing team at Orion Group had been relying on Skype in our daily internal communications. Recently, We have been testing out Google Hangouts as a communication tool for our team as well. Our team has had a good experience using Google Hangouts, due in part to the fact that one of our Analysts had purchased a Chromebook and found it convenient to bring to meetings. Its small frame and easy access to all of the programs we use on Google made it very easy for him and made the rest of us feel like we needed one. Read the rest of this entry »


Social Media Platforms, Explained

August 5th, 2014

The purpose of this blog post is to provide deeper understanding of the various social media platforms available and to aid in establishing a social media strategy in order to achieve specific marketing goals.

Social Media Platforms Strengths Best Use

Social media can be used to reach both a diverse and a niche-centric audience. Those who use social media should engage with that awareness in mind, establishing their presence in the outlets that most closely match their engagement objectives. Read the rest of this entry »


Creating Compelling Content Through Blogging

July 26th, 2014

In this blog post, I’ll share about what makes content compelling and how to create and promote compelling content. You’ll understand how blogging is an easy way to get found in the search engines and how to get your message across to your audience. Read the rest of this entry »


Best Practices for IYP Venues to Deal with Duplicate Listing URLs

July 25th, 2014

In a white paper published by Yext called ‘The Definitive Guide to Duplicate Listings‘, Andrew Shotland suggests 3 ways that IYP websites can handle duplicate listing URLs. In the section called ‘Best SEO Practices for Publishers Dealing With Duplicates’ he recommends that publishers:

1. 301 Redirect Dupes To The Canonical Listing
2. Or Use Canonical Tags
3. Or 404 Them Read the rest of this entry »