Total Branding Project for As Your Baby Grows Gift Boutique

As Your Baby Grows Gift Boutique has been our client for a very long time. Initially I noticed my client, Sue, was very creative when decorating her house for family birthday parties. Very outside the box creative.

So I encouraged her to expand upon that in whatever way she was comfortable. Creativity like that needs to stand up and be counted.

Well, Sue did exactly that. As time went on, she went from custom made diaper cakes and gift baskets to custom made party decor, cake toppers and baby shower and party centerpieces. Today, she handles a few drop ship items but not that many. She is focusing on what makes her happy and successful, which is custom made party and baby shower pieces.

Over the years as well we came up with a branding image she liked. Her website incorporated that nicely but it needed kicking up a notch or six. It was nice, but not perfect and it was not consistent across all venues and all social media.

Recently we decided to raise the bar and move her to a more cost effective shopping cart, but before doing so, she wanted her branding to be perfect. And Sue is a perfectionist.

So, we put our heads together and came up with a look that she loved and put it out there on her website, blog, Etsy shop, Amazon Handmade, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

She put a lot of work into choosing fonts. Which we of course whittled down to one that we loved once we saw the mockup. The others may have looked nice on black and white but didn’t cut it when put up on her artwork.

As Your Baby Grows Gift Boutique

It was a great deal of fun for us, as a website design and graphic arts design agency to put together her artwork. Her branding now has the consistent, across the board look we love and that people will identify her product, brand and company with. It was an honor for Maureen McCullough LLC to work on this project for our client.

Sue is totally happy with her branding. Now, we are focusing on moving her to a more cost effective and search engine effective shopping cart to increase her sales and search engine visibility.

This is how we treat our clients. Each one, with total care for their business and their success. Call or text us at 201.753.1677 to get started on your perfect branding and search engine optimization project!

Be Aware of Google Maps Hackers

Yes, I know this article was written back in 2014…….. yet it still holds the same relevance today as it did then unfortunately. With the rising rates of fraudulent transactions and mean spirited behaviors among people, when a competitor wants to shut you down there’s a very easy way to do it. On Google Maps. They can take your Google My Business listing down in a virtual heartbeat. 

All the stories in the article I’m about to link to have either taken down the business completely or caused enough grief to the business owner to cause real financial hardship. Community edits are a main source of trouble, as are the infamous map hackers and those who change the business hours and flood the business with fake reviews.

Read original article here

The point is no one checks their Google My Business listing every day. I check it about every two weeks on my phone or iPad with the app. All has been well with my Google My Business listing for a long time. No issues.

I checked it today whilst doing social media because I thought how neat would it be to copy my Instagram post which immediately is shared on Facebook to my Google My Business listing. Lo and behold I was listed as a duplicate listing which could NOT be removed because someone else had become the manager. Which was not true because when I looked up Users it was only my account managing it. 

I had no ability to change anything and I could not obtain permission to transfer it to another account. Then I noticed 2 other listings had been tampered with as well. Bottom line after 2 hours of trying everything in the book, I copied my reviews, and finally was able to delete all listings. Then I created a new listing which was immediately suspended. I was not allowed to use LLC after my name. 

I created yet another listing and now am waiting for that pesky verification postcard. 

It really is imperative that you stay on top of your Google My Business listing because you never ever know when that evil individual who is your competitor or a hacker will strike. Sad world we live in. But one must remain vigilant. 

Leveraging Google My Business for Business Success

Google is finally doing away with Google+, which in my eyes, was fairly useless as far as business is concerned. Up on the up side, they have made Google My Business much easier to use, more clear cut, and have incorporated the posts feature from Google+ into Google My Business.This is a key selling point in why your small business should take advantage of this and leverage this tool for your business success.

The key to using Google My Business correctly for best business exposure is simple.

  • Fill out your INFO section as completely and thoroughly as possible. Don’t have a dedicated appointment URL? Use your contact us page. Be sure to pick the most relevant categories for your business.
  • Reviews. Respond to your reviews, both good reviews and not so good reviews. It shows you’re keeping up with your client feedback.
  • Turn on messaging. Get the Google My Business App so you can respond quickly to any inquiries that come your way.
  • Upload some photos of your business. They don’t have to be images of your office if you prefer not. They can be images you use in your blog posts or social media as pertains to your business.
  • They give you a free website. We don’t need it because we have one of our own. However, you can turn this one page freebie into a useful landing page for your business. Food for thought.
  • Above all, take advantage of posting POSTS. What we do is we post on Instagram, share it to our Facebook business page, then copy it to our Google My Business Posts. All posts expire after 7 days so it is important to keep your feed fresh. Save images from expiring posts in your photos.

Be consistent and watch your INSIGHTS grow and your phone call rate go up!

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Why Blogging Matters to Your Business

Why does blogging matter to your business? No one has any time to do it, and no one wants to put forth the extra effort to do it, much less take the time to conjure up original content.

How many times have we searched on Google for anything, and see 10 – 20 websites that have the same blog content posted. Not exactly original content.

So back to the original question of why blogging matters to your business.

It doesn’t matter what kind of company you run………… construction, the arts, landscaping, food and drink, jewelry, fashion, attorney services or medical practitioner. We’re all in this together. Every business type needs to blog, end of story. Here’s why.

  • Credibility – the more you blog and provide original content of value, the greater your overall credibility becomes on the Internet.
  • Visibility – it doesn’t matter whether you are peddling your products or your services………. providing your reader base with quality content increases your visibility.
  • Search Engine Value – yes, the Gods at Google like fresh quality content to be in constant circulation on the Internet. Even though they do not crawl or index all pages that are pumped out, and when they do crawl or index it is on Google’s time frame and not ours, it’s still a good idea to provide fresh quality content.

What if you are just starting out with your blog? There’s always that classic excuse of “I have no subscribers”, or, “No one will read it”.

First off, everyone has to start somewhere. No one got anywhere who didn’t at least make an effort.

Second, there’s social media. Put your blog posts out on social media. Post on your business Instagram, share it to your business Facebook, and share that to your personal Facebook. Post on LinkedIn. Post on Google My Business. Oh that’s right, I forgot. It takes too much time. Are you serious?

Third, attract an audience by using appropriate hashtags. How on Earth would you know which hashtags to use? By researching hashtags and also Google keywords.

Now that we are done with the excuses of why it’s too much trouble or too much work to blog, let’s move on.

Is blogging something you should be paying someone to do, or is it something that should be done in house at your company? It depends. Some types of businesses work better if the blogging is done by staff in house. Others, you can feed content to the marketing agency you’re paying and they will polish it up and put it out there. It is entirely up to you.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

10 Tips to Make Your Attorney Law Practice Successful

An attorney law practice, like any other business in the world, is subject to the same set of rules as any other business – an extremely competitive environment. So how do you make your attorney law practice stand out from the competition?

Having worked with lawyers throughout Northern New Jersey for over 7 years as their Business Coach and Marketing Agency, we have some marketing tips that can help you IF you are willing to put in the extra hours and effort. If not, your law practice will just stagnate and go nowhere.

Tip #1 – Get yourself a customizable website that can grow and evolve with you and your business. Customizable means exactly that. No cookie cutter template nonsense just because it’s free. If you want to set yourself apart from the rest, you’ve got to walk the talk and look the look. Find out more here.

You think you’ll pass on having a website? Then you may as well pass on the business cards, and the overhead………. like the rent of your law office. And while you’re at it, figure out a different way to pay the bills.

Tip #2 – Figure out your niche target markets – what areas of law are you going to practice in. Understand that over time this may change and evolve. In order for you to become a successful law practice, you need to excel in a few areas and become the expert. If you feel like you’re just going to jump in and practice in all areas, you’re just branding yourself as a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Tip #3 – Populate your website with quality content, and lots of it. Each area of practice needs strong positive content, letting the public know what you can do for them. Potential clients are not interested in you patting yourself on the back. They are in trouble and need to see what you can do to get them out of said trouble. End of story. It’s not about you. It’s about your clients.

Tip #4 – Blog on a fairly consistent, constant basis. Your blog posts need to focus on your targeted niche markets. Your blog posts need to detail aspects of relevant cases, case outcomes, new laws and how they can and will affect various criminal court outcomes. The more information you make available in a professional helpful manner the more your law practice comes over as a leader and expert in the field.

Tip #5 – Make your branding consistent across the board – using the same handles and branding hashtags on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Your law office should be instantly recognizable by your consistent brand hashtag. Potential clients may not remember your name when they go looking for you, but your hashtag will be your saving grace as they very well may remember that and find you that way.

Tip #6 – Populate your website with meaningful informative videos. This also establishes you as the expert that people can turn to for their legal issues. Whether they video is a lecture you gave, part of a round table session, or a short video on your chosen niche areas of practice, this goes a long way in establishing you as the expert. Plus, people like the visual. They feel like you are talking to them and this makes you much more approachable and relatable.

Tip #7 – Get involved with your local Bar Association, get on some committees. This brings up your visibility within the law circle itself. No, it’s not just schmoozing and nonsense. It’s networking, gaining peer respect, and getting referrals from other attorneys.

Tip #8 – Populate your website with all of the professional memberships you belong to, speaking engagements, education, continuing education seminars you attend over the course of your career. This is another very valid tactic to establish yourself as the pre-eminent expert in your field. This goes a long way in gaining potential client’s trust because they feel you actually know what you are talking about. Remember, they don’t know you from the next attorney and they have many other potential choices to take their legal issues to.

Tip #9 – Hire yourself a good marketing agency that will work with you to either build your website for you, or do a complete audit of your current website. A reputable marketing agency will identify all issues and weaknesses with your website after a thorough audit. Your marketing agency will then work with you to implement all organic methods possible to establish your presence in the search engines through proper white hat SEO, organic marketing techniques, local geo targeted SEO, reputation management and responsible social media marketing.

Tip #10 – Take advantage of your free listing on law directories. Don’t spend thousands of dollars a year on paid listings. Even on paid listings there are still other attorneys appearing on your page. This leaves the door open for a potential client to still click on one of them. Take the free listings, encouraging your clients to leave reviews for you there as well as on Google, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Remember, people like 5 star ratings. The more legitimate 5 star ratings, the stronger your reputation will be without you breaking the piggy bank.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Why Your New Startup Business Will Benefit From Business Coaching

So you’ve got yourself a brand new startup business and you’re wondering where the heck to get started building your new empire. Let’s say you are starting an e-commerce store. All the online ads about starting an e-commerce store make it look and sound so easy. It’s not. There are many facets involved in pulling it all together and getting it to work right. That’s why your startup business will benefit from the guidance of a business coach.

Here are just a few hurdles you will face:

  • deciding what your business model will be, subject to evolution and change
  • picking an e-commerce venue that is right for your business model
  • deciding whether you will be needing dropshippers or making your own product or sourcing product to buy and stock
  • carefully researching your dropshippers to find one that will work with your budget and your business model
  • picking a domain name that fits exactly with your marketing brand that you will establish
  • picking the right e-commerce store template that will work for you – features, layout, customization abilities, etc.
  • choosing the right colors for your e-commerce store – color psychology is very important
  • setting up shipping, taxes, and other backend tools for a smooth and correct checkout experience for your customers
  • loading products
  • writing SEO friendly category or collection titles as well as descriptions
  • writing SEO friendly product titles and descriptions
  • pricing your product to fit your targeted market of potential buyers
  • properly creating a BUSINESS Facebook page – taking advantage of all the tools given, naming it in accordance with your branding
  • properly creating a BUSINESS Instagram page – again, taking advantage of all tools and keeping your branding consistent
  • tying Facebook and Instagram together so that they work seamlessly
  • integrating your store products on Facebook
  • integrating your store products on Instagram
  • establishing a branded Pinterest presence
  • putting your product feed out to Google Shopping
  • consistently marketing your product for best visibility and to keep it fresh
  • using the proper hashtags on your Facebook posts and your Instagram posts
  • researching best keywords on Google
  • choosing an email newsletter provider and creating attention getting emails

In most cases, the startup business owner will not have a comprehensive list like this to guide them down the path to success. And even if they do, it’s far too much of a daunting task without the knowledge and experience of a business coach to help you and guide you along. Cutting through all the hype and zeroing in on what needs to be done and getting it done correctly is critical to a successful launch and building up your business.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Small Business Start Up Coaching A Great Story

I’ll be very honest. My digital marketing agency doesn’t attract many high fliers with appreciable budgets – my agency has always attracted small businesses, Mom and Pop businesses, and clients with less than deep pockets. And that’s ok. To me, it’s very important that the average guy have a shot at making his or her dreams come true too.

My focus as a digital marketing agency is to establish that very special, one on one, personal relationship with my clients. The business coaching they receive leaves no question in their head that they can trust me, and that I know what I’m talking about. They have no question who will handle their account, their questions, their needs. It’s me. They don’t like to be passed off to an assistant, or anyone else. That being said, the close personal bond ensures that 90% of my clients stay with me for the long haul.

And so today it was my distinct pleasure to be able to help an emerging women’s fashion client to finally see some light shed on her venture, her dream, her project. We specialize in WordPress and Shopify e-commerce clients who want that custom look but more importantly that custom set up.

She started this project two years ago. Life got in the way. She phoned me a few months ago and said she was ready now to move forward. I set up weekly / biweekly meetings with her as our schedules permitted. We keep it moving forward.

Last time we met she wanted me to evaluate her choice of a dropshipper. I told her quite honestly that the one she picked would not be a good thing for her business. I also laid out a plan of action that we would need to follow through on in order to keep things going in a positive way. I presented other dropshipper options to her, and sent her home to think about it.

Today we met and she decided I was correct about the original dropshipper for the reasons we had discussed. She also like one of the other’s I had picked out for her, based on her ideas and goals for her new business.

So, we dumped #1 for #2. I suggested we explore different templates as the original shop template she picked out I wasn’t crazy about from a functionality and esthetics standpoint. After a few samples, we settled on a template that we both liked and would serve her very well.

We loaded a few products into her store just to get an idea of look and feel. So far so good. We decided on her branding details, so that her domain name, Instagram handle and Facebook handle would be uniform across the board. We purchased her domain name.

I explained the process to her, and how each of the parts of the process would work and in what order they needed to be addressed.

When we are eventually done, she will have a beautiful Shopify store, a shop on Facebook and a shop on Instagram. Then we tie it all together with expert marketing and SEO to generate traffic so she can make the sales.

And so it goes. Another satisfied client well on the way to making her dream of an online fashion boutique a reality.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

How to Handle the Social Media Pressure on Small Businesses

There is an incredible amount of social media pressure on small business and many do not know how to handle it. That’s completely understandable. Small businesses rarely have the budget to outsource their social media strategy and campaigns to high tech companies nor do they have the budget to hire an in house professional who can really deliver results.

Some small businesses DO have the resources to outsource to a local SEO and marketing company who delivers results and gives them good bang for their buck. Others cannot justify spending money on it at all and they just muddle along.

The result is that none of these companies actually understand how it all works and so they end up flopping around in the social media ocean, trying one thing, trying another, and ultimately failing at all.

Instagram

As an SEO and marketing company owner, I read many articles about the latest trends, about what works and what doesn’t, the latest and greatest, and it occurred to me not that long ago that the average person also reads these articles in an attempt to get a handle on it all as well. Thing is, the articles are written for us, not them. No wonder the average individual and the average business owner throw their hands up in the air in despair and swear they just don’t understand any of it it’s all too complicated.

Well, they are absolutely correct. I get it because I work with it day in and day out, besides which it’s just my thing. These people are trying to run their business, in addition to which they are trying to wear too many hats, and they are not going to be able to take on what’s involved with establishing brand recognition across the board on all mediums.

Facebook

So, I decided I will write a series of articles not only explaining various topics in layman’s terms, but also with visuals that truly dumb down many of these topics which are too complex.

Some of the topics I will explain are Instagram, Facebook, e-commerce in general, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Shopify, WooCommerce, WordPress and any others that come up that I feel will help mainstream small business get a grip and be able to make headway for their business.

Enjoy reading and learning!

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

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