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The power of your website is undeniable. A business website can continue working for you long after you have closed your doors for the day. But not all websites are created equal. In order to get the most out of your site, you must focus on building a website that showcases the credibility of your business.

There are so many websites out there that look like they haven’t been touched in years. The information is out-of-date. Features just don’t function like they’re supposed to. A sloppily done or neglected website has the potential to turn off potential clients and can have a huge impact on your ability to profit from your online presence. 

Luckily, there are some things you can do to make sure that your site is as professional as you are. Here are some of my best tips for making an impactful first impression and positioning yourself as a credible business online. 

Six Ways to Build Credibility on Your Website Edit your copy

Grammar mistakes and misspellings may imply that your business is unprofessional and does not pay attention to detail. Proofread your website pages to ensure that the information is up-to-date, clear, and free of typos and other embarrassing errors.

Limit advertisements

A site that is overloaded with advertisements can seem untrustworthy to visitors. Many people have accidentally clicked on an advertisement, only to be brought to some irrelevant webpage. And nobody likes that! Avoid including advertisements, or at least limit them, to bump up your credibility.

Check functionality

When a site has been left unchecked, it is not uncommon that some of the features stop working the way they should. If you’ve neglected your site for a while, it’s important that you check to make sure that your most vital features still work properly. Slow page loading times and broken links are two issues that you should address to increase the trustworthiness of your website.

Include testimonials

With so many businesses online, the options can seem endless to consumers. Testimonials are a great way to showcase your work and let potential customers know that others have trusted your business. Include a testimonial page on your site or include them on your homepage. Social proof is a great way to boost credibility.

Provide contact information

Trust is so important when making purchasing decisions online. That’s why it can be helpful to include your current contact information on your website. When customers know that there is a real business behind the site, they tend to feel more at ease.

Showcase your team

Just like providing contact information, showcasing your team (even if it’s just yourself) can help build credibility. Making your business more than just your products or services is key to building the trust that you need. Including photos and brief bios of your staff help to create that sense of trust. 

A great site demonstrates to customers the quality of your product or service. Credibility is key when doing business online, so make sure that you are putting your business in the best position possible. Follow the tips above to help you keep your website up-to-date, credible, and working for you.

If you have concerns about your website and what it communicates to customers about your business, be sure to contact ACA Web Consulting for a consultation.

We can review your site and suggest areas for improvement, increased functionality or design changes that will make a huge impact. 

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For nearly two decades, ACA Web Consulting has provided superb web development services to clients and businesses all over the United States and world. Our team of experts has constantly pushed themselves to learn and grow more, soaking up the latest trends and techniques in order to further the solutions and skills shared between ACA Web Consulting and our customers. 

Specializing in content creation, marketing, web design, and SEO, we have the commitment to help every client succeed, dedication that has recently garnered recognition from industry forces like Clutch!

The B2B research and reviews firm now highlights ACA Web Consulting as one of the top web design companies, which speaks volumes about our quality results and hard-working team. The ranking of businesses in the industry comes from an evaluation of each agency’s business operations, market presence, and prior experience, among other data points, so debuting so highly on the list represents a great accomplishment for us. 

As one client detailed, “ACA Web Consulting significantly boosted our online performance and, in turn, our lead conversion rate. Their SEO and social media content development accounts for 80% of the traffic to our site … They deliver results.

Due to their digital marketing work, business is doing exceptionally well,” shared a second client. “ACA Consulting is readily accessible and communicative. They’re proactive and skilled in their services. Customers can expect a personable vendor that delivers work on time and at an affordable price.”

Beyond our strong web design solutions, the digital marketing and SEO capabilities of our team have also garnered recognition from other business platforms, like Clutch’s sister companies The Manifest and Visual Objects.

The Manifest, a provider of business news, added our company to its list of the top SEO companies in San Diego, while Visual Objects, a curator of portfolios from design and creative firms, now showcases our industry experience and reputation as one of the premier digital marketing agencies around. 

Support from Clutch, The Manifest, and Visual Objects means a lot to the ACA Web Consulting team in validating our ongoing efforts to serve clients and share custom, creative solutions for success. As we continue to develop and improve, we look forward to new challenges and new customers, so if you have questions about our approach or are interested in a collaboration, we welcome you to drop us a line here. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Happy 2019! The new year often means an increased effort toward defining and achieving your goals. And for many small business owners, that means a focus on ramping up your marketing efforts. One avenue that you may choose to invest in is Search Engine Optimization. If you are looking to grow your small business and want to hire the right SEO expert to help you reach your goals, you should be aware that not all SEO experts are created equal. 

After doing SEO work for over 15 years, I’ve seen all kinds of promises and scams and I’ve met many business owners who have felt taken advantage of by a company who couldn’t deliver. If this sounds familiar, take a quick look at the tips below for finding the right SEO expert for your business. SEO can be a big investment, so it’s vital that you choose an SEO consultant that is reliable and trustworthy. 

Four Tips for Finding the Right SEO Expert

So, what does SEO success look like for you? For most small business owners, it means organic traffic to your website, increased contacts by the right customers and increased sales. It’s important to have a good understanding of your goals and budget before contacting any SEO firm. Then, follow these tips to help you make the best decision for your business. 

Do Your Research 

Just like you would for hiring an employee, buying a car or choosing a restaurant for dinner, you need to do your research. A quick Google search can give you a lot of information about the reliability of any SEO company. You can also search BBB to make sure they’re in good standing. Ask other small business owners in your network if they have recommendations based on their own experiences. Lastly, it is always best to contact an SEO consultant on your own rather than doing business with one that has contacted you unsolicited.

Areas of Expertise 

SEO is just one part of the game. You may want to find a web consultant that specializes in more than just search engine optimization. Depending on your goals, you may need a consultant who offers copy writing, web design and development or other online marketing services. You may want to find someone who specializes in local SEO. Again, knowing your goals will help you to identify the areas of expertise that will be most beneficial to your business.

Company Values

When you are giving your hard-earned money to any service provider, you want to be sure that their values and business practices match your own. Reliability and trustworthiness are important in an SEO consultant as well as communication and transparency. Beware of falling for the cheapest option or the flashiest presentation. Choose the SEO consultant that gives you honest advice, clear expectations and an easy-to-understand pricing structure. 

Get a Consultation 

One of the best ways to get to know an SEO expert is in the initial consultation. Here, you can interview them and get the answers to the questions you need to make an informed decision.  Create a list of questions based on your goals and ask for case studies and testimonials from past clients. The more prepared you are going in to your consultation, the more confidently you will be able to make decisions and avoid feeling pressured. 

ACA Web Consulting and SEO Experts 

At ACA Web Consulting, we take pride in our ability to get results for clients while being completely transparent in our pricing and upfront with client expectations. We achieve amazing results for clients with our integrity and willingness to do the hard work. No empty promises here! If you need a reliable, trustworthy SEO consultant to help you reach your business goals this year, contact us today for your consultation. Let us help you get the exposure your business needs online! 

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Off-Site SEO

Off-site SEO is the act of optimizing your brand’s online and offline footprint through the use of content, relationships, and links to create optimal experiences for prospects and search engine gurus. It can lead to gradual increases in search rankings, traffic to your site, and conversions.

Sounds fairly straightforward, right?

Well, for the mom seated in front of me while our kids played laser-tag – I might as well have just told her the earth was flat (no hard feelings to the flat-earthers out there!).

Her reading glasses may have practically slid off her nose as her head tilted down, as to see if I was somehow pulling her leg. “You mean there’s all this stuff an SEO does on my site and there is also stuff that me, my team and I and the SEO should be doing off our site?” BOOM. There you have it, ladies and gents!

Not caring about off-site SEO is like having a beautiful home with a lovely backyard, but none of your friends want to visit because they’ve heard you don’t pick up after your dogs, and no one they talk to can confirm or deny it.

(But really, make sure to pick up after your dogs, no one cares for a stinky backyard)

Optimizing Off-Site Content

Optimizing the content living outside of your website is not always an easy beast to tame. You don’t always have full control, or you may have limited opportunity, such as with the character count on social media. However, where you can, you should ALWAYS think ahead about the audience who will potentially be engaging with your content and which keywords would appeal most to them.

You can use much of your existing keyword research for your digital marketing strategy and apply it as suited to off site content. You may also want to do some additional keyword research specifically for each channel, such as determining popular hashtags in to include in your Instagram posts.

Social Media Schemin’

You should aim to have a consistent and responsive social media presence. People are likely to visit social media with an unmet need, learn more, ask questions, and interact with their friends, family members, businesses and acquaintances.

So you see where we’re going here, right?

Social media MUST be an invaluable component of your off site SEO strategy. It’s much easier than most companies think, too.

Be present: if you have social media accounts, make sure someone on your team can provide timely responses to comments or direct messages.
Be human: people want to experience YOU and genuine interaction. Don’t provide robotic responses or constant promotion.
Be proactive: you want your company or brand to be seen as an online community. And your online community should be served with proactive integrity!

Unresponsiveness on social media can be a negative detriment to far more than SEO. So, keep up the good social media fight!

Don’t Ignore Off-Site SEO

In the SEO world, we don’t need to be convinced of the value of off-site SEO. We know that before people seek out a web developer to hire, they have formed an opinion based on reviews, comments from friends, family or online acquaintances, and WHATEVER else one can glean from online or offline platforms.

Therefore, we’d be ill informed to not make off-site SEO a priority, given its importance.

Think of it like this:

The goal of off-site SEO is to accumulate positive signals and interactions, with the hope of those factors being a net positive.

You just gotta’ do it, my friends!

If you need any assistance with your Internet Marketing, Off-Site SEO, or Web Consulting – don’t hesitate to reach out, we’re here for you!

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Have you heard of rich snippets? Have you been wondering why some Google search results include pictures and other important information? In this post, I’m going to tell you all about rich snippets, how they can benefit SEO and how you can include them on your WordPress website.

What are rich snippets?

A snippet is how Google displays search results on its search engine results pages. In a typical snippet, you will see the title of the page as well as the URL and a brief description. But about 10 years ago, Google started providing just a little more information in some of their snippets. These are called rich snippets.

Here is an example of a typical snippet. 

A rich snippet is a search result that provides more information and often includes an image, a rating and other details pertinent to the search results.  As Google continues to improve the results they serve up, rich snippets give users more helpful information right in the search results, allowing them a better overall experience.

Here are examples of rich snippets. 

Rich snippets are not meant for all types of content. Rather, rich snippets make most sense when used for content such as recipes, products, blog posts, video and music, and events.

How Do Rich Snippets Benefit Your SEO

Although rich snippets do not directly benefit your SEO at this time, they do indirectly impact it in a number of ways. For one, rich snippets make more of a visual impact on users. They look more appealing, often including images and other details that entice users to click on them over other search results. This means that rich snippets can help increase your web traffic and give you a higher click-through rate. And this is something that Google values when it comes to page rankings.

Along with the more appealing look of the rich snippet, the additional information that it provides means that users will likely spend more time on your site. When users can quickly determine the relevancy of your site directly on the search results page, the chances of them sticking around are much greater. Again, this is something that Google likes.

Another benefit to SEO involves the way in which rich snippets are created. Rich snippets are structured data that is added to a page’s HTML code. This code is easily readable by search engines who then create rich snippets for the page content.

How to Create Rich Snippets in WordPress

If you are interested in creating content which uses rich snippets to help benefit your SEO, there are a number of options depending on your experience level. If you are new to WordPress (and even if you are experienced!), adding the correct structured data may be difficult. However, experienced web developers like those at ACA Web Consulting can create this code for you. For those that want to do this on their own, there are a number of WordPress plugins that can get the job done.

Do you want to use rich snippets on your business website? Contact ACA Web Consulting today for a consultation. We can help you identify the best method of implementing rich snippets on your business website. Call us to see how we can help you grow your business today.

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One of the things we love over at ACA Web Consulting is helping WordPress beginners learn how to manage and maintain their websites. We want our clients to feel empowered to make updates on their own without the help of a web developer. We also recognize that for WordPress newbies, there are a lot of new terms to know. And that can be very overwhelming. 

5 WordPress Terms for Beginners  

Here’s our list of five terms that all WordPress beginners should be familiar with as they get started with WordPress. And here’s a bonus: many of these also cross over to other content management systems and web design in general! 

Dashboard

Also called the backend of your site, the Dashboard is the admin panel that is not visible to your readers. This is where the actual design and customization of your site happens. It’s also where you create and edit content such as blog posts and pages. As the owner of the website, you have unique credentials to access this part of the site. You can also grant access to other users and manage their permissions to give you even greater control over your website.  

Responsive 

These days, all websites must be responsive. A site is responsive when it adjusts itself depending on the size of the screen on which it is displayed, like a smartphone, tablet or laptop. As the size of the screen gets smaller, the various elements of the website may rearrange, disappear or change their appearance so that the user has the optimal viewing experience. This reduces clutter and confusion, making those viewing your site happy. 

Permalinks 

Permalinks are just that – the permanent links or URLs to your WordPress posts and pages. The default URL used by WordPress is not very appealing to the human reader. It is suggested that you change your permalinks to a format that is more reader and search engine friendly, such as using the post or page name. You can change the permalinks easily by going to Settings > Permalinks in your Dashboard. 

Shortcodes 

Shortcodes are small bits of code that are programmed with specific functions. When they are included in your website, the programmed functions appear. Shortcodes are shortcuts of code that create effects such as buttons, quotes, layouts and many other WordPress functions. Many plugins also come with shortcodes to input a plugin’s functionality into various parts of a website. 

Widgets 

Widgets are features or elements that can be dropped into certain widget areas to add more content to places like the header, footer, sidebar and really any other area of a website. WordPress has default widgets that you can use such as most recent posts, menus, search, and categories. The widget areas vary from site to site. You can even create your own widget areas with a little bit of coding experience!

Do you need help learning WordPress? Give ACA Web Consulting a call today.    

Although these terms will get you started, there are many other vocabulary words you will come across as you get deeper into learning about your WordPress website. The internet is a great resource for learning about WordPress, but if you need more personalized assistance, contact us to set up a WordPress consultation. During these sessions, one of our WordPress experts can answer all of your questions and help you troubleshoot any issues you are having. 

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In a previous post, I talked about how blogging can greatly benefit your business by bringing in traffic, educating your readers and converting leads into paying customers. But as a business owner myself, I understand that blogging takes time. And that is something that many of us don’t have much of! How can you quickly generate blog topics for your business website?

One thing I’ve found that makes the blogging process easier is to have regular brainstorming sessions where I jot down as many ideas as I can. I then go through my list, breaking down topics into even smaller topics. When done periodically, this process gives me an arsenal of blog topics to choose from and greatly cuts down on the time I spend blogging. 

If you own a business website and have been avoiding your blog like the plague, I have a few tips that can help you generate blog topics for your website.

I have found that setting aside an hour or two a month and using some of the strategies I describe below can help me brainstorm a robust list of blog topics for the coming months, with very little stress. Here are some of my go-to strategies for generating great blog topics for my business website.

Industry News and Events

Are you up on the latest news in your industry? Have you attended an industry conference or educational event? Chances are that you can come up with a long list of blog topics related to industry best practices and the latest innovations. No matter what your industry, think about new developments that might be of interest to your readers. If you’ve attended an industry conference, write down the most valuable takeaways that you can share with your readers or those interested in the same industry.  

Common Customer Questions

Are there certain questions that your customers always ask? Do you find yourself regularly helping clients with the same problem? These are great opportunities for blog posts. Think about the customer calls you have had over the last month. Read through old emails to find topics that your customers have needed help with and base a series of blog posts on those requests.

Deep Dives into My Services

Although my primary services are explained on my website, sometimes it helps to go into more detail on some of them. This helps potential clients better understand what I can do for them. It also gives me the opportunity to showcase the value I can provide. Plus, not every customer is an SEO or web design expert. Service-related blog posts allow me to break down complicated service offerings into more understandable snippets for novices.

Client Case Studies

Nothing builds trust more than client case studies. Give potential customers an inside look into what it’s like to work with you, the results that you can get for your clients and the impact it has had on their businesses. Regularly highlighting client results not only builds trust but gives potential clients a visual confirmation of the service and results you can provide them.

My Life as an Entrepreneur

As a business owner myself for over 20 years, I’ve learned a lot about marketing, productivity, work-life balance and other topics that would be of interest to my fellow business owners. These are all great fodder for blog posts. They allow me to connect to other business owners and be seen as a valuable resource for information pertinent to entrepreneurs. 

Using these topic areas as inspiration can help you brainstorm a ton of potential blog posts for your business website. Not only will these posts help inform your customers, but they will also help you build the trust and authority you need to grow your business. 

If you are struggling to write blog content or need help setting up a blog on your WordPress website, contact ACA Web Consulting today for a consultation.

We work with small- and medium-sized businesses across the country to create top-notch WordPress websites with killer blogs that help attract new traffic and rank well on search engines. Find out how we can help your business today.

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At ACA Web Consulting, we exclusively use the WordPress platform for our San Diego web design clients. Why? We find WordPress to be the most user-friendly and easily customizable platform out there. Plus, we believe that the SEO capabilities of WordPress far exceed those of other content management systems. And that helps us achieve top search engine rankings for many of our clients. 

Like anything new, there can be a bit of a learning curve for new WordPress users. That’s where we come in! We offer WordPress consulting services for new and practiced users alike to help them better manage their websites, fix bugs or troubleshoot technical issues. Plus, as your business grows and your needs change, we can help you add additional functionality to expand your site’s power. 

How Can ACA Web Consulting Help You? 

We help website owners get the most out of their sites by being part tutor, part troubleshooter, and often a combination of the two. For the most part, clients come to us for one of three reasons. 

Troubleshooting a bug or perplexing issue. 

Have you spent hours trying to fix a bug and you just can’t seem to figure it out?  Is there a mysterious error message that you can’t get rid of? Are your forms not working properly and you don’t know why?

This can be frustrating and dealing with your website’s functions.php file can be a bit scary when you don’t know what you’re doing. We have experience in finding and fixing these bugs so your WordPress website will always look good. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind you need to run your business online. 

And because we are WordPress experts, we can fix these perplexing issues quickly and clearly explain the cause so you can be better informed in the future. 

Learning how to be an expert user. 

There’s nothing we love more than clients who want to take charge of updating and maintaining their own websites. We work with many clients to provide tutoring services that allow them to become more adept WordPress users and feel more empowered to fix any future issues that come up.  When our website consulting clients don’t have to rely on a web developer for updates, we know we’ve done our job!

Adding new functionality to an existing site. 

A basic WordPress site may have cut it in the beginning, but as your business grows and your needs change you may find that you need to add additional functionality to your website. At ACA Web Consulting we help clients to determine the plugins or custom functions that will help them serve their customers better.

Some examples of additional functionality may include implementing a membership feature or e-commerce function, or even adding a complex photo gallery. We love to work with our clients to come up with the best solutions for their business needs.

If you have an existing WordPress website and need assistance from experienced web consultants, contact us today for a consultation. Our team of WordPress experts can help you fix those pesky bugs, add new features or teach you how to confidently update and maintain your website on your own.

Let us know how we can help you today.
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Does your business website have a blog? A blog feature on your website can help you to market your business online. A dedicated blogging strategy can help you grow your business as well as improve your search engine rankings. If you don’t already have a blog, or if you have one but it hasn’t been updated in years, it may be time to revisit your business blog. 

There are multiple benefits of blogging for business owners who want to improve their search engine rankings and grow their businesses. Let’s explore some of the biggest benefits. 

How a Business Blog Can Help You Grow Your Business  Drive Traffic to Your Website 

As a business owner, you want people on your website. The more people that are looking through your services and learning about your company, the better the odds that some of them will be converted to customers. So how do you get people on your website? 

If luck is a large piece of your marketing plan, then you should think about beefing up your blog. Every blog post that you create is another page that is indexed by the search engines. This means that you have a greater chance of being found by your ideal customers. Regularly updating your blog also lets the search engines know that your website is active. 

Blog content is also highly shareable via social media and other outlets. The more content you produce, the higher the likelihood that it will be shared, driving important traffic to your website. 

Establish Trust and Authority 

Depending on your business type, your blog can be a great opportunity to educate or entertain your potential customers. If you operate a personal injury law firm, your blog can be a go-to resource for those who have been injured due to the negligence of another person. If your business is catering, you may share recipes and party planning ideas. 

Your goal is to become a trusted source of information about your business area. And the more you update your blog with relevant information, the more potential customers will return to get the help they need. When you become a regular online destination for your readers, you will be the first one they turn to when they are ready to make a purchase. 

Converting Visitors to Customers 

Blogging has great potential for taking casual or new visitors to your website and turning them into customers. As with any marketing campaign, consistency is key. Create a blogging strategy where you are regularly posting great content for your readers. This will not only establish the trust and authority you want, but it will also help you improve your Google rankings. 

At ACA Web Consulting, we set up WordPress blogs for our clients that are easy to maintain and update. Our clients often ask us to create content for them! We love writing great content to help get your business to the top of the Google search rankings. If you need help getting your blog off the ground, contact us today for a consultation. 

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Writing blog content for your WordPress website is great for helping educate and entertain your readers. It also helps boost your search engine rankings which expands your online presence, allowing you to grow your business. But all this content is most helpful to readers when it is properly organized. That’s where categories and tags come in.

Do you know the difference between categories and tags in WordPress? Let’s talk about the difference between the two and why it’s a good idea to categorize and tag all of your WordPress blog posts.

Categories and Tags in WordPress

Categories are the main topic areas that your blog will address. Although they are relatively broad, all of your individual blog posts should be able to fit nicely in one category. For example, if you are writing a life coaching blog your categories may include relationships, career, spirituality and health. Each of your posts should go into one of these broad categories.

As you create more content, you may choose to create subcategories. Subcategories allow you to further organize your content. Subcategories for the health category mentioned above may include nutrition, yoga and running.

If you are starting a new blog, it’s a good idea to take some time to brainstorm the 5-7 primary topics that you will be writing about. These topics will become your categories for all of your future blog posts.

Tags are different than categories but just as important when it comes to organizing your content. While blog posts should go into only one category, these same posts should have multiple tags. Tags are keywords that give your readers an idea of what will be specifically addressed in your post.

Using the example above, a life coach may write a post about the benefits of superfoods in a healthy diet. The coach could choose to put the post in the health category and the nutrition subcategory, with the tags superfoods, leafy greens and acai. This method of organization makes it easy for the reader to find the content they’re looking for.

Why should you use categories and tags in WordPress?

The primary reason your posts should be categorized and tagged is to help your reader find the information they want. Organized blog posts that are in logical categories and tagged with logical keywords make finding content easy on the reader. 

And a better experience for the reader means some good things for your business. For one, it helps you to establish authority and trust as a knowledgeable website under your given business topic. It also encourages readers to stay on your site longer which is known to help improve your search engine rankings.

Have you been using categories and tags in your posts?

If not, you can always go back and create categories and tags for old posts. At ACA Web Consulting, we help clients create blog content and organize it in a way that appeals to both readers and search engines. If you need help getting your blog in order, contact us today for a consultation.

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