More often than not, people are turning to the internet for their consumer needs. It is obvious now more than ever that business that have a website do better than those that don’t.
Here are five reasons your small business needs a website.
1. Customers Expect A Website
According the the American Marketing Association six out of ten people expect a business to have an online presence. It is estimated that at least 50% of consumers use websites to gain information about a company. In today’s marketplace, customers are much more inclined to overlook a company if the website is out of date, not user-friendly, or easily accessible.
2. You Will Show Up on Google Search Results
The fact that more than 80% of consumers conduct online research before a purchase demonstrates the vital necessity of having an effective website to display your company’s products. The prospect of a business operating without a website means that the chance they will appear on the search engine results page (SERP) is close to none. Luckily, there are many avenues businesses can travel down to optimize an existing website to bring it up to date. You can customize your site with titles, meta descriptions, and keywords to make sure you are showing up at the top of Googles results.
3. It’s Always Up and Working
A business can only be open so many hours a day, but people are online at all hours of the day and an effective website that is easily accessible can connect you with customers constantly. Not only can your website increase sales dramatically because now you are open 24/7, but it can also reach people who are restricted by geography. The ability of a website to connect with customers you never knew you had is a tremendous advantage.
4. Become More Competitive
It may go without saying, but the modern marketplace is fiercely competitive which makes having a website undoubtedly vital to your companies continued existence. By not optimizing your website there is a huge risk, if not a certain degree of certainty that you are disadvantaging yourself immensely and giving your competitors a huge edge. Today’s consumer tends to shop primarily online which means they will not be buying from a company whose website is years behind other competing brands let alone take them seriously. If you want people to take your company seriously then it’s a good idea to hop on the website bandwagon.
Your website is your domain and this provides a company the luxury of having absolute control and autonomy over their public image and their interactions with customers. Control is something that a company rarely finds itself having, but a website can offer that which is a valuable luxury that can be leveraged to connect with customers on a much deeper level. There are many ways to leverage this control such as having a blog on the site to create a sense of community on your page between customers and yourself which allows for an in-depth understanding of your target market. Your website is a constant presence on the web, this allows a company to constantly try and dial in your effectiveness in reaching customers and improving your service. By leveraging your control over your website and your company’s public image you are also giving the user the chance to be as connected and informed as they would be shopping at a store.
When tackling a new project, you’re usually conditioned to think things will be straightforward: get project done by deadline and stay within your budget. Simple, right?
More often than not, we run into issues that both lead us to going way past our deadline and over our budget. It doesn’t have to be like this. Regardless of the size of your project, there are many ways to keep things on track.
1. Stay organized
All projects need a proper project manager – someone to maximize time, budget, and resources that’ll lead you to the finish line. Have a proper upfront meeting that can clearly establish the goals of the project – either laying out what kind of shots you want or what story you want to tell.
2. Know your scope
While successfully finishing your project is the end goal, you have to take into account all the steps it takes to get there. Each step is equally important as each step in your project depends on what came before it. Managing the scope of your project helps your stay on track
3. Proper feedback
Provide feedback that contains your input as well as a solution. Giving feedback that simply says that it’s not working for you or not what you want, makes moving forward toward your goal much harder than it should be. Providing next steps and ideas to make the project more to your liking, and reasonably so, will keep you on the right track. Adding more time to figure out what works best will ultimately cost more money.
4. Be prepared.
Have content ready to be implemented in order to finish out your project and meet your deadline. Let’s say you’re creating a brand new website. Not having content ready during the development phase of your project can easily put you behind. What good is a pretty website without the copy and photos to fill it ? Stay on track.
5. Know how to use your rounds of revisions
Make use of your rounds of revisions to either edit or improve the content already provided, not add additional content. Adding additional content which will also probably be revised only extends the project, rather than meeting your original deadline. For instance, if you decide that after x amount of revisions that you want to start over with, say, different colors and fonts, that will end up costing you more. Another example would be going into a fifth round of revisions, when your scope only included three rounds. This will not only extend the project, but will also end up costing you more.
Having a less-stressful, easy and successful project is not always a reality, but is a possibility. Document the time and steps taken throughout your project and you’ll already be one step ahead. Stay organized and revise accordingly, knowing full well how you’re project should be progressing. It’s always a learning game and will be an experience that’ll keep you on track for the next project you undertake.
Office spaces are slowly, but surely, moving away from the typical boring white walls. These days more companies are heading in the direction of colorful decor that brightens up company moral and makes a statement about one’s business. Companies like Google and Facebook inspire visual effectiveness when it comes to office decor and a sure fire way to do that is getting creative with art installations.
The Benefits of an Office or Retail Art Installation
Art Installations boost moral.
In general, visual elements create an exciting atmosphere in the workplace. Colorful custom installations create a new boost of energy and can positively impact employee performances. In addition to that, it influences productivity levels, moods, and employee behavior. They also become an instant eye-catcher for new and existing customers.
Art Installations work anywhere.
We’ve discussed office spaces and installations on office walls but that doesn’t necessarily restrict your creativity to just that. You can spruce up outside walls that can attract the attention of an entire community in addition to your office space. Think big!
Art Installations can send a message.
Installations are always custom and unique and can provide a statement about your company and what your brand represents. As a design company, the Bright Light office art sends the message of “Create Your Future” as we create productions and solutions for companies that ensure the opportunity for businesses to grow and evolve. Depending on what your brand stands for, there’s always a creative outlet that will allow you to stand out.
Check out some photos of art installations we’ve done below.
Your website is your greatest asset for attaining new business. Especially in this day in age where people walk around with the internet in their pockets, constantly thinking of what businesses they can use for their needs and necessities, having a fully-functioning website puts the ball easily in your court. But not any website will do. Having a website that is outdated, or poorly designed, or isn’t responsive, works against your more now then it ever did. If this is the case for your, it’s time for a new website.
But my website is just fine! I don’t need a new one. Yes, you do.
If you’re on the fence, ask yourself these questions:
Is my website servicing my current needs?
Businesses continue to grow over time and that means you could easily be outgrowing your current website. Does it have features you need to showcase your brand new call-to-action? Does it showcase your up-to-date portfolio? Technology also grows and evolves in addition to your business, and it happens that things that were “super awesome” and “flashy” back in 2011 are just not ideal in 2016.
A new website just might be the thing you need to grow and evolve with the future.
Is there functionality I’m looking to have that my current website does not provide?
It’s 2016, if you’re website isn’t optimized for mobile aka Responsive Web Design, then you’re doing it wrong. In the last year, mobile searches have already surpassed desktop search, so if you’re website isn’t mobile-ready, you are missing out on a huge market of potential customers on the prowl for you business.
Are you selling products physical or digital? Why not sell them online with your own easy-to-manage online store? It’s easier than ever to incorporate a an e-commerce store like Woocommerce into your website. Take orders, make customize your product, manage stock — there’s an array of flexibility without the hassle of an actual store.
Have my marketing efforts changed?
As your company ages, so can your branding and marketing efforts. If you’ve changed either of these things, it’s also probably time you redesign your website too. As said previously, your website is one of (if not the most) important business assets. If your current brand isn’t lining up with your website, your audience isn’t going to connect. It’s time to update.
Why can’t I make changes and updates to my website?
There’s no excuse to not be using a content management system (CMS) to manage your website. Systems like WordPress have come a long way in making it so much easier for you to be in control of what goes in and out of your website. Long gone are the days of having to edit lines of code to make a simple text edit, or upload some new photos.
Circling back to outdated and poorly designed sites, it’s time to redevelop your site to a fully-functioning and easy to use CMS that will allow you to keep up with the times and keep your website looking fresh.
If any or all of these apply to you, it’s time for a new website.
In today’s world, consumers expect businesses to have a professional and high functioning website. Sure, you could have a sweet social media presence or a nifty little google search but neither of those things will benefit you in the same way a website does.
Like any investment, a website isn’t just any regular expense. It’s a channel that results in revenue and growth. A good website can grow your business, sell your product, make you stand out against your competition, and be a revenue stream for your company.
It is no longer a luxury to have a website. It is a necessity.
1. To Attract More Clients
Obvious but true. A more organized and better looking website will lower your bounce rate and make you stand out. Readable content with a user-friendly navigation increases chances that potential clients will stick around on your site and get to know who you are and see what you’re all about. You might just be the business they’re looking for.
2. Go Responsive
Keeping up with the latest trends in technology will keep you ahead of the game. Today, most people are searching the web just in the palms of their hands. It has been documented that mobile browsing has outpaced web browsing since 2014. A quick google search could lead them to your website, so you better be responsive and ready. According to Skillcrush, 40% of people will choose a different search result if the first is not mobile friendly. Optimize your site for all devices and ensure you’re keeping potential clients from surfing to your competitors.
3. Take Control Of Your Website
Stuck with a developer you need for making any small change to your website? Migrating over to a content management systems (CMS), like WordPress, will allow you to have the control you want in evolving your business. A CMS gives you the ability to make quick and easy updates, have multiple users so you can assign blog entries or updates in an orderly and up-to-date fashion, as well as helps you manage all your content in the most user-friendly fashion. You’re in control.
4. Integrate Your Site with Social Media
If you aren’t taking advantage of social technology in 2016, your company is already behind in one marketing strategy. Integrating your website with your social media profiles is one of the best ways to generate traffic and potential client leads. It also helps your company stay engaged with clients and allow an avenue for your company to post in an up-to-date fashion.
5. Add E-Commerce
Get your products online and create an additional revenue stream that is simple to manage. Online stores are an easy way to attract new customers, save on operational costs, save customers time and money, as well as establish your brand. E-Commerce continues to grow 10% each year in the US alone and can take your company to new levels of growth.
6. Add a Blog or Industry Insights
Are you a leader in your industry? Do you have knowledge and expertise? Create your own content by adding a blog or newsfeed. It’s a great avenue for keeping your website up-to-date and fresh. A few blogs a month on fresh topics related to your business helps easily increase website traffic, produce organic search visibility, and most importantly, humanizes your company’s brand, helping customers find ways to relate to you in ways that make you seem reliable and coming back for more.
7. Bang for Your Buck – ROI
A website is the obvious answer to marketing your company. When a client is looking for a certain service, 9 times out of 10 they will google search businesses and judge you based upon the quality of your website before seeing anything else. Attract more clients with a fabulous website and quickly make back the money you spent to create it.
Bright Light Media, along with GIGS, Headfirst Summer Camps, and Georgetown Events came together to throw the first annual community event, Pumpkin Rock N Roll in Kensington, MD.
Warner Circle Park was transformed into a full-blown Halloween extravaganza, filled with tons of family-friendly attractions, festival-style music performances, costume contests, and the main event: The Pumpkin Roll, a derby race of Halloween pumpkins-turned-boxcars.
And with over 2,000 attendees, the event was definitely a success!
BLM was responsible for branding the event, putting together a logo and all the marketing materials to share with the community. We put together an event website, designed posters, flyers, volunteer t-shirts, and event banners.
We couldn’t have asked for a better time, weather, or turn out. Let’s do it again next year!
We recently launched the Old Takoma Business Association new community website. They were looking to upgrade the site for the city of Takoma Park (Maryland, Washington DC). From upcoming events, to a list of local businesses and available resources, the website is a central hub for all and any needed information pertaining to the community of Takoma Park. We implemented a custom, easy-to-use calendar that allows site users the convenience of submitting upcoming and recurring events, helping to keep the site fresh and up-to-date with content and happenings. In addition, we created an easy navigation for the site, dividing it into five main areas: Explore, Events, Business, and Live, accompanied by tertiary menus under each to add the ease of finding what areas apply to each site visitor.
For community websites, it’s sole purpose is to relay necessary information whether it’s needed or wanted. Now Takoma Park does just that with a clean and easy-to-use web presence that’s easily accessible on any device (desktop, tablet, and mobile).
+ Responsive Web Design
+ Custom Event Calendar
+ Custom Event Submissions for Users
+ Custom Featured Event Page
+ Tertiary Dropdown Menus
+ News/Blog Feed
Calling back to our Third Eye Comics Photo Shoot last June, we worked with local comic store, Third Eye Comics on a revamp of their website. The two main focuses were to implement both an easy-to-use online store as well as an active news feed that displays their latest highlights on a weekly basis. With that in mind, we designed and developed a simple and clean site that allows new customers and the Third Eye Faithful to stay up-to-date with all their recent comic releases.
From comics, to toys, to games, and everything in between the new Third Eye Comics makes shopping for comic-lovers and staying in the loop easy for anyone with any device.
Responsive Design: Desktop, Tablet, Mobile ready
PayPal and Credit Card ready
US, Canada, and Mexico automated pricing and shipping options
Ability to create coupons and sale items
Looking to upgrade your website or start your own online store? Contact us today to get the conversation started.
Artist/entrepreneur Emily Wolfson contacted us in hopes of redesigning and developing her company store, Unforgettaballs. Prior to the redesign of the website we were tasked with taking photos of each of the baseballs for use on the website in the store, and also for different pages for advertisement purposes.
First we created a DIY (do-it-yourself) lightbox to create a nice, clean, product shot for each ball.
Using the lightbox, we shot over 70+ products, at different angles and settings.
Besides standard product shots, we also set up specific and fitting scenarios to shoot the balls in for advertising on the website.
Looking to start an online store? In need of some good photography for your awesome product? Please, contact us and get the conversation started.
With e-commerce accounting for 1.2 trillion dollars in the last year and 40% (forty percent) of online product purchases, there’s no reason that an online store solution couldn’t be beneficial to your business. And it’s only growing.
E-commerce can be of benefit in a number of ways as it can be one of the cheaper means of running a store, reducing the cost of having to hire employees for store hour-type scenarios. There is no time restraint in having an online store either. You’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, allowing shoppers to do their shopping at any hour of the day, from any device of their choosing (mobile, tablet, personal computer). So if you’re still on the fence about adding e-commerce to your business, this post will help you make the next move.
From t-shirts and toys to file downloads and subscriptions, you can add or edit just about any type of product in your online store. With an already easy to manage content management system (CMS) in WordPress, adding different variants like sizes, colors, or amount is just as simple as posting a blog. You can add or edit specific images per product so shoppers can choose whichever variant they deem best for their needs.
In terms of taxing your sales, configuring local tax rates and classes is a breeze, allowing you to control precise rates per product, state, and country if needed.
Whether it be free, flat rate, international shipping, or even local delivery or pick-up, your online store is customizable for any type of shipping needed for your business.
Besides credit cards, your online store can extend into multiple payment gateways including the popular PayPal, or even accommodating for mailed payments and checks.
A good, clean website is a great start to giving past and future clients access to your company’s offerings. Adding an easy-to-use online store makes those offerings even more accessible to your clients. Start your online store today.