MARKIT Group launches new site for Green Apron Cafe

Green Apron Cafe, a delicious meal ordering service specializing in family-style meals, was in search of a new website that would allow customers to submit orders online.

MARKIT Group, in partnership with Meal Track (a website ordering technology), built Green Apron Cafe a new, fully-functional website that allows customers to submit orders for meals for pick up or delivery. Visitors can also inquire about Blue Zones events, view the gallery, and more.

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New Site Launched for Paradise Coast Marine Services

MARKIT Group has recently built and launched a brand new website for new Southwest Florida company Paradise Coast Marine Services.

The site includes a custom logo and branding as well as a gallery, tours and services pages and more. Built on WordPress, the site is easy to update for the client.

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The importance of landing pages

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Landing pages, schmanding pages. You’ve probably heard the term landing pages so often that you don’t care what it is anymore. But I want to get you going in the right direction when it comes to marketing online. If you want to do marketing the right way on the internet, you’re going to need landing pages.

What’s a Landing Page?

A landing page is like a website, but super focused on one thing. Let’s say you click a Facebook Ad for a watermelon flavored chapstick. The click takes you to chapstick.com’s homepage, and now you have to search and find the watermelon flavor you want. That’s not a great experience, right?

Instead, you want someone to click that same ad and go to a landing page that is just about the watermelon chapstick and nothing else! The sole focus is that flavor.

Some landing pages will be focused on getting sign ups for a product launch, getting people to purchase, getting people to sign up for an ebook, etc.

Landing pages have information about the one thing you’re looking to put in front of visitors. It focuses their attention.

Why not send them to a page on your website?

Sure, you can do that. But we all know how easily distracted people get. If you send them to your website, they may end up clicking the navigation bar or the sidebar to go somewhere else.

A landing page is sparse. It usually has information, a graphic, and a form to fill out or a buy button. You remove much of the distracting features of a website like the navigation bar, cluttered sidebar, and footer. You can have some links on the landing page, but you want to stay focused on your goal.

Can you give an example?

Yes! Let’s say you’re doing a giveaway to grow your email list. You’re running Facebook Ads to do a giveaway of 1 month of your service for free. Your landing page should include information about the giveaway and your company and a form for people to sign up.

Can we see some landing pages?

Absolutely! This article from Hubspot has some great examples of well designed landing pages.

How do I get started?

If you have a web designer on staff, you’re in luck because they’ll be able to create landing pages for you. Otherwise you may need software like Leadpages or Unbounce to build and launch your landing pages. These sites are easy to use, drag and drop, so you can get a simple page up in less than 30 minutes.

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How to optimize a Google My Business page

If you’re a local business, you MUST be on Google My Business. This helps you show up on the sidebar when someone searches your business on Google. And you will also show up on Google Maps (probably the most important part in my opinion).

Think about the last time you took a trip and wanted to find a restaurant. Most likely, you went on Google Maps and typed in “restaurant” or “pizza” or “burgers”. Then you tried to find a place nearby. You don’t really want to Google “Burgers Nashville” because you might find a place that’s 10 miles away, and you want to walk. Google Maps will bring up the burger places nearby.

But if you’re a burger restaurant that isn’t on Google My Business or Google Maps, you won’t show up. And you’re probably losing business because of this.

How to Get a Google My Business Page

First off, you need a Gmail account. Then, you have to go to Google.com/business.

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Then it will bring you to a map where you can search to see if your business is already listed. If it isn’t, Google will send you a verification code either by mail or some other method. Once you get the code and enter it, your business is verified!

If your business happens to be listed but is claimed by someone else, now you have to figure out who has the listing and try to get in contact with them.

Information to Enter

Now that your business is verified, you can start adding all the details.

This includes:

  • Business Name
  • Categories
  • Address
  • Hours
  • Special Hours
  • Phone
  • URL
  • Amenities (Often Google will add these automatically)
  • Photos

How Important Are Reviews?

Google Business reviews are often overlooked when it comes to local businesses. Instead they focus on sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp.

You should be funneling customers to fill out a review here. Especially because people will see the reviews if they type your business name into Google and if they find you on Maps.

Maintaining & Updating

A big mistake people make with Google Business is that they set it up and forget about it. Anytime you change something within your business such as hours, holidays, payment methods, etc, you need to be updating your listing.

I have run into the issue of wrong hours on Google Maps so often that I don’t trust the listed hours for a business anymore. But many people do, and they will be upset if you say you’re open until 10pm but now you close at 9pm.

Every month you should be adding new photos, replying to reviews, and making sure all of your business’s info is correct.

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Custom vs. Themes for Your Business’s Website

If you keep up with the latest online, you know that sites like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace are becoming huge players in the web design space. It wasn’t long ago when you HAD to hire a web designer to make you a website, unless you knew HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other coding languages to build one yourself.

For most business owners, you don’t have time to learn all of this, so you outsource the work to a design shop. But now, these website building platforms make it so easy that just about anyone can make a site. But is it worth it?

Why use a website builder?

Website builders are useful for one reason, you can do it yourself. They generally come with standard templates that you can fill in with your information, photos, and products and then you’re ready to go.

These sites make it easy to not only build the site, but also to edit it later on.  Many of these newer builders also feature mobile responsive themes so they look great on phones and tablets.

Why you shouldn’t use a website builder

These builders are great for getting something up and running quickly. If you need an MVP (minimum viable product) site to test out a concept, then these are a good idea because they’re relatively cheap.

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But if you’re looking for a custom site, you’re out of luck using a site like Wix or Squarespace. The templates are meant to be easy to use and build, but that makes it hard to create anything custom to your business.

Using a web designer means you get exactly what you envisioned, not a “close enough” version.

You can still have the ease of updating capabilities that sites like Wix or Weebly offer if you use CMS platforms like WordPress. Just make sure to let your designer know when you’re outlining the scope of your site.

Using a website building platform also means you’re limited to what they offer. If you are a restaurant and want to add in a function to let someone order and get delivery, you’re stuck with what your platform lets you do. If you have a custom site, that can be built in.

What’s the conclusion?

It’s really up to you! If you just need a basic portfolio or brochure site to lay out your information and a few photos, and maybe host a blog, then a website building platform is fine.

If you want to make a great impression on your audience, include custom features and get the site looking just how you envisioned, then you need to hire a web design agency.

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Best Books for Copywriting

Best books for copywriting - MARKIT Group

Copywriting is an art and a science. It’s all about understanding your customer, what they want, and how your product can help them. Many business owners get this part wrong, and that’s why their copy is bad. They talk about themselves, and a customer doesn’t care about you, the business owner, they care about how you can help them.

How do you learn copywriting? The best place to start are books. There are so many out there, but the classics still remain the go-to for many master copywriters.

Here is our list of the best copywriting books.

Advertising Secrets of the Written Word
Joseph Sugarman
Learn advertising, copywriting, marketing and creativity from the man who made millions of dollars from the power of his pen. Many marketing experts teach you to put benefits in your headlines, use plenty of pictures and make your copy brief and to the point.

Ogilvy on Advertising
David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy is a master at advertising and his book is no exception.

The Boron Letters
Gary Halbert
These letters have been recommended to me so often. They’re a collection of letters from Gary Halbert to his son Bond and they’re a copywriting classic.

Tested Advertising Methods
John Caples
The fifth edition of this work on how to create successful advertising features new coverage on small businesses with limited revenues, non-profit advertising, as well as techniques of headlines, illustrations and layouts. There is also new information useful to smaller businesses.

Breakthrough Advertising
Eugene Schwartz
This might be one of the best copywriting books out there. Yes, it’s a textbook and sure it’s old, but many copywriting rules from decades ago still apply today.

Scientific Advertising
Claude Hopkins

Influence
Robert Cialdini
Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.

How to Win Friends & Influence People
Dale Carnegie
For more than sixty years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in this book has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.

Don’t Make Me Think
Steve Krug
Since Don’t Make Me Think was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug’s guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it’s one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.

Predictable Revenue
Aaron Ross
Discover the outbound sales process that, in just a few years, helped add $100 million in recurring revenue to Salesforce.com, almost doubling their enterprise growth… with zero cold calls.

 

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Should I expect ROI from social media?

Yes and no. While social media is great for interacting with your audience an community, it’s not necessarily the best channel for selling. People are savvy and will tune you out if you are promoting too much, that is why content marketing is so popular.

While it’s difficult to directly attribute a sale to social media, it does play a big role. It’s not often that a person will buy because you posted a link on your Facebook page. But it could lead to them mentioning it to a friend who then buys the product a few weeks later.

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Our client Fresh Catch Bistro

If you’re a restaurant, social media is huge. People still love posting pictures of their food and drinks. It’s important to have a place where they can do that and where you’ll engage with them. It takes time to respond to all these images and comments, but people will appreciate it.

What to expect from social media?

While you shouldn’t start trying to attribute direct sales, you should be seeing how much engagement you’re getting. One difficulty in this is that sites like Facebook limit the amount of followers who see any given post.

But if you share a customer’s photo and it receives 15 likes, while posting your menu only receives 1, it may tell you something. These are one off cases, but look at the aggregate of your post history.

  • What post types get the most likes, comments, shares?
  • When is the best time for you to be posting? Is there a best time?
  • Should you be taking more photos or creating graphics?
  • Are there certain topics people seem to like more than others?

Collect the data and see. Social media is about interaction and engagement. You won’t do well on social if you just queue up some posts and leave it at that. You need to be constantly checking notifications and monitoring hashtags to respond to people promptly.

If you have a dedicated following, like Buffer, they can engage many people in the community through things like Twitter Chats. Though these chats don’t bring in direct sales, they’re a way for people to grow even more fond of the company and the community they’ve created.

Social media best practices

There is no one way to use social media. Your company is not the same as others, so don’t base what you do off what someone else does.

Try and experiment with different ideas and see what sticks. Maybe you try a Twitter chat but only get 1 person to join. Try it again for a few more weeks and if the same thing persists, then hold off until you have more following.

If you really want some best practices, check out this guide from Moz. 

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