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Location, Location, Location! The Best State for Businesses

Thinking of starting a business? Wonder if you will have the right type of resources available where you live? Well, fret no more! Each year, CNBC ranks all 50 states in ten different categories based the criteria each state uses to market itself to potential business owners. Each state received a numeric score depending on their rank in each category. Cost of doing business, infrastructure and transportation, and economy weigh the heaviest in metrics, as well as available workforce, quality of life, technology and innovation. Adding up the scores determines the order in which each state is ranked.

 

For the year 2014, Georgia ranked number one overall as the best state for businesses, beating out states like Texas, who’s population is three times bigger, and Utah, who’s unemployment rate is a little over half of what Georgia’s is. Our state has shown its great outlook for businesses in scoring highly in available workforce, its economy, and infrastructure and transportation. All of these metrics bode well for aspiring businesses.

 

Georgia’s workforce is ever increasing, from new college graduates, to unemployed workers looking for new jobs. In order to have a successful business, you have to have a pool of workers to pull from. Georgia is also an Employment-at-will state, meaning that the employee works “at the will” of the employer, and you can terminate the employee with any reason, as long as it is not because of a discriminatory reason (think race, age, sex, religion or disability). The education level of available workers is higher, and the quality of government sponsored training programs.

 

A state’s economy needs to be unyielding and varying in its resources and industries. There are new buildings being built, as well as new homes, so there is plenty of real estate to go around in Georgia. Also, big time corporations, such as Delta Air Lines, UPS, and Home Depot use Atlanta as their home base for their main office. Georgia’s financial health is constantly improving, as it was ranked 19th for its economy in 2013, but jumped sixteen spots to number three this year (2014).

 

Even with all of the complaints about Atlanta traffic, Georgia still managed to snag the number one spot in the infrastructure and transportation category; they actually tied with Texas. If you were to ask any resident of the Atlanta area what do they think of the transportation here, you would be bombarded with all kinds of stories, complaints, and quarrels about how horrible the traffic is everywhere. However, as the need for transportation grows so does the solutions available. Roads are constantly being upgraded and improved, and Metro Atlanta Rapid Transportation Authority, (or MARTA), continues to adapt and blossom as its patrons do. Atlanta is the transportation Mecca of the south, with goods traveling through ports on its eastern coast, through cities on trains and trucks (freight and logistics), and through air, with Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport being considered the busiest airport in the world.

 

Overall, the potential for a successful business in Georgia is tremendous. The economy, workforce, and infrastructure is there, open and inviting for any current or would-be business owner. Every day people flock to Georgia, for personal motive, as well as business. Various companies select Georgia for their headquarters for a number of reasons so would it not be wise to follow suit? The path that is already walked is always a little easier.

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Do You Know Who Visits Your Website?

Do you know who visits your Website? Not really? Kind of, sort of? Maybe you know just your target audience. Is there really a way to know not just how many people frequent your site, but who? Yes there is! In fact, there are many different ways to track this information, some that cost, and some that are free. The most popular solution to analyze web traffic is free (shocking!) Google Analytics. Just to be clear, there is a premium version of Google Analytics, but most site owners do fine with the free version. Plus, it is ridiculously expensive and almost certainly reserved for Internet giants.

 

Google Analytics is a tool used by millions (over ten million to be exact) to track activity on any particular website. By using first party cookies, Google can track everything from how long visitors are on your site, what pages they viewed (click path), or if they are a new visitor or repeat. Cookie detection narrows the identity of the user down to the lowest common denominator, and therefore, gives a more accurate summary of your actual audience.

 

Google Analytics can be a very valuable tool if you know what to look at and how to program it to work for you. The first thing to look at is Audience Overview. This allows you to see the amount of traffic coming to your site, how long they are staying on your page, as well as location and operating system. Having this data gives you a general idea of how your site is performing and may lead to ideas on where to advertise, such as a city that you see a lot of traffic from. Next, shoot on over to Users Flow still under the Audience tab. This let you see how people are moving through your site, and will allow you to optimize pages that you see have a high drop off percentage. Next, head on over to Acquisition Overview to see how people are actually getting to your page. If you notice a lot of traffic through social media, think about placing an ad on Facebook. If your traffic is coming through paid searches, think about increasing your budget on Google AdWords. Also, be sure to link your AdWords account to your Analytics account so you can see what ads are working, and which can be optimized.

 

We also wanted to cover how to set up goals within Google Analytics. Goals allow you to track conversions on your website. Conversion happens when someone fills out a form, buys something from your site, or watches a video; it can be any desired action that can be performed on your site. You will be able to see how that course of action works, and enhance it in the future. Google has a number of statistics that you can set up Google Analytics to track. The easiest way to do this is with destination URL’s. Make sure your forms have a “Thank You” page after being submitted as well. Your audience wants to be appreciated!

 

In order to add a new goal, first:

  1. Login into your Google Analytics Account
  2. Click on Admin
  3. Then click on Goals on the right hand side
  4. Click + New Goal button
  5. Select the sign up template
  6. Make sure Destination is checked and click next
  7. In the Destination equals to field enter just the last part of the URL IE. /thanks.html
  8. Turn on Funnel and just place a few steps like home page then contact page, but make sure Required Steps is not selected.

 

You have now created a goal and can see how many people have completed that conversion you have set up. If you want to track things like e-mail campaigns, or a banner ad on another site, you need to create a traceable link through Google here and use the link that Google gives you for the ad or e-mail:
https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en

 

We hope that you found this article extremely helpful. There are many benefits to using Google Analytics, and it is very essential to a business with a web presence. Seems like too much work, or too complicated? MediaLinkers Web Design is here to help. Our skilled staff has been trained to know what works for you, and how to apply the right analytics to your site. Contact our office today to set up a time to find the right track to take your business further.

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Google AdWords and Why You Should Use It

Every business wants a fast, easy, and effective way to advertise their business. Whether big or small, local or international, advertising your business efficiently will grow your customer base, and in return, grow your revenue. One of those effective ways is through Google AdWords®. Google is an advertising giant, gaining thirty–three percent of all online ad revenues this year. Out of the top ten largest ad publishers in 2013, Google’s revenue was more that the other top nine combined. So, logically, it would make sense to spend advertising dollars with a company that statistically everyone is using, and here’s why.

First, you need to know what AdWords is.  AdWords is an effective way for any type of business to advertise online. Online advertising is fifty-four percent more successful at generating leads, compared to TV ad’s success rate of one percent. AdWords gives you more control over where your ad is seen, and how much you pay to advertise. Your business only pays when a potential customer clicks on your ad. Your business ad will appear on Google search, various websites, on mobile phones and tablets, and even to people who live in specific areas you want to target. Google ads reach ninety percent of all Internet users.

Where your ad is positioned is determined by your “Ad Rank.” That rank is determined by relevance and how much per click you are willing to pay. This ensures that just because you have a small business, that doesn’t necessarily mean a bigger business will always be on top. If you can improve your “Quality Score,” which is an estimate of how relevant your home page, keywords, and ad are to what the consumer is searching for, then you can lower your cost-per-click, or CPC.

 Businesses average for every dollar they spend advertising using AdWords, they make two dollars in revenue. There are numerous advertising outlets available, but using AdWords is the most beneficial. Overall, it is fast, easy to manage after setup, and best of all-it works! We at MediaLinkers are here to serve all of your Internet marketing needs. Contact us so that we can get your business started with AdWords today!

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Mobile Optimization

Who uses a PC anymore? In recent years there has been a steady decline in PC users. In a recent study researchers have found one half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. Mobile tags on products carry more information (price comparison, product review) then the barcode itself. Major businesses and brands are all trying ways to target this vast mobile audience.  It is said an average American spends 2.7 hours a day socializing through their mobile devices; 91% of all Smartphone owners user their phone for web browsing purposes. As technology is swiftly changing it is about time, online businesses and companies with an online presence enhance their mobile presence. Thankfully, MediaLinkers can help you in this regard. All of our websites are developed to be mobile friendly, but we can also help you with the development of separate mobile version of your website and mobile apps. 

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Flash Vs. HTML 5

Flash is gradually becoming obsolete. There are a few notable differences between flash and HTML 5.  Some key issues with Flash, is that Flash products are composed as large files which can be troublesome to load on a website. Using a flash player will also be an inconvenience to your Web visitors, since they will have to download and install Flash. This may mean you miss your chance to get your message or video in front of your prospect; not to mention the amount of times a website will crash and slows down because of the flash coding. Flash is also not supported with Apple products and most other mobile devices. According to Pew Research Center over 63% of cell phone users access the Internet with a cell phone and 34% use it as their primary source to access the Internet. MediaLinkers can design or redesign your website using HTML 5 instead of Flash. HTML 5 is a robust Web language, which is supported by mobile devices and above all its cheaper and more modern way of creating websites, using similar if not better amount of animation compared to Flash. 

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E-bay Gets Hacked

E-bay got hacked sometime in February or March, but this e-commerce giant is just now releasing this info to the public. According to the article your credit cards are safe, but your personal information like name, address, and birth days were compromised. What can we learn from this? That no matter how big the company our personal info is almost never safe.

Some simple steps we can take to protect ourselves:

1) Change your passwords regularly
2) Keep the passwords different on each site you visit
3) Avoid using common things like family names, "password" Etc
4) Instead use a combination of Upper and Lower Case Letters, Numbers and Symbols.

To learn more about the attack read here

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New Team Member Joins MediaLinkers

We want to welcome Shawn Sias our new Marketing Manager to our team. We are excited to add Shawn who will be helping to grow the company and assisting with all our clients needs.   

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Andrew Goudelock Website goes live

Official website of professional NBA Basket Ball player Andrew Goudelock was put live today! Check out www.agoudelock.com  You can now see upcoming videos, download wallpapers, see latest videos and read the tweets and news. A mobile version of website gives you advantage of browsing compact version on your cell phone.

Andrew Goudelock web designers

 

We have more surprising projects going live within next few weeks. We hope to hear from you about our work!

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What Makes Your Website And Business Unique?

Have you ever heard of UPS? You might think it as something affiliated with internet, basically it is a concept that has been around for years. UPS is Unique Selling Proposition and it could make you prominent from your competitors. So the chief element is to identify what is unique about your business and what makes it different from your competitors. If you know this then you have won half the battle. Being unique and brining something innovative is what make your business different, if you don’t know, it’s time to evaluate your business and the competitors.

The basic ingredient is target audience, and understanding what your audience actually need, their interests create an approach which outlines who you want your site to reach and how can you differ from rest of market.

Design part, Logo is the basic and most important component  if you are like me, as soon as a new webpage is loaded , its either the logo or the design that often conclude that whether I have to stay or go. Logo is your unique identity, presents a polished “we are professional and real” look that tells about rest of your website.

                                    

The stage is set, now you have to convince a visitor/reader to keep looking around. Eye movement, Negative space, Typography, and a color scheme is what you should keep in mind while designing. Creating a balance in design is what keeps your reader comfortable. First things first, keep in mind that content should be laid in such a way that what’s the most important is most easily found. Moreover, never overload your audience with flood of knowledge, or force them to search for essentials. Navigation should simple and direct.

Once you are done with the stage and framework, it’s time for content. This step is sensitive and extremely significant. Everything on your site must give benefit to your readers, it’s got to be genuine, it got to fix your strategy, it got to be convincing. No SEO junk. If you are done with this step cautiously and effectively you’re likely to move to a higher level of sites that make the “bookmarked” list.

Making a perfect website is not a big thing it’s all about meeting a customer requirement, designing a thoughtful, attractive design and providing an excellent worth. If you assure them all, your website will definitely look extraordinary from its competitors. So start your distinctive website today

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Communicate Needs & Expectations to Web Designer

 

You are looking for a designer, before you even had your first meeting about what you want done, the important element is to understand what a designer does. Clash between both parties is majorly because of misunderstanding about roles and false expectations.
 
Designing a logo, stationary, and a business card is quite different than getting them printed. Designers have knowledge and their own opinions in respective area; you want them to help you navigate in waters that you don’t feel assured paddling into alone. You hire development and production people to get something ready in finest and most efficient way.
 
Before hiring a designer, you really need to think about what is needed, what kind of functionality you want your users to get out of the design, what sort of information you want to convey and type of feelings you want to evoke.
 
At times people like some existing websites, and they want same as their competitors. You should always take into account why you like a particular design, how it relates to what you want. Special attention should be given to functionality part of what you like. The most helpful exercise can be asking questions from yourself like where is the logo placed? What sort of navigation I want? Where should be search and button placed? After few such questions, you get a more clear picture of what is required, with better understanding of what you really want.
 
One of the toughest things for a client to do is to give freedom of work, the most basic element is to give the control. This never means you won’t get what you are looking for but micromanaging the process of designing is not a good idea to go with. You hired a designer because you value her skills and expertise. So trust is the key element, trust them that whatever they are designing is according to your initial input and requirement. Designer know the designing part better then you, so its more comfortable and better to get out of the way and let them create with freedom.
 
The worst part of the picture is getting into the middle or end of project and discussing the payment matters. So the key is to discuss such money and deadlines in beginning of the project. Getting everything down on the paper before you start the work is the easiest way out and it avoids later headaches.
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