was successfully added to your cart.

Blog

Fresh Thinking
Need an Ad Grant? Google It!

Need an Ad Grant? Google It!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

We’re not saying money grows on trees, but this comes pretty close: Google offers $10,000 Ad Grants to eligible nonprofit organizations.

Yep.

That means access to the Google Display Network (which, according to Google, reaches 90 percent of global internet users) and Google AdWords (which, according to the Google Economic Impact Report, generates an average of $2 for every $1 spent on advertising).

About 20,000 nonprofits are currently benefiting from Google Grants, and the program is available in more than 50 countries. There are a few requirements, of course: your organization must apply to Google for Nonprofits, hold valid charity status, and have a live active website, for starters. To find out if you qualify, check here.

Need an Ad Grant? Google It!

Qualified? Copasetic!

Now that you’ve got your free advertising money, it’s time to tackle the business of actually managing AdWords – and this is where things can get a bit trickier. From writing to budgeting, juggling all the aspects of a successful AdWords campaign can be overwhelming.

Luckily, Google just gave you a healthy helping of cash – meaning you’ve got some left over for other things.

Things like a kick-ass marketing agency that can curate your keywords, craft your ad copy, and keep an eye on your campaign so that not a single cent goes to waste.

Which agency might we have in mind? Ahem – we look forward to hearing from you!

Social, Site & Logo: A New Approach for Cole Pro Media

Social, Site & Logo: A New Approach for Cole Pro Media

By | Clients, Design, Websites | No Comments

Social, Site & Logo: A New Approach for Cole Pro MediaThe owner of Cole Pro Media, Laura Cole, is the definition of a pro. A former national TV news reporter and CBS employee, Laura started her company specifically to help law enforcement and government entities (particularly police and fire) with social media management in the wake of the 24-hour news cycle. We were honored she came to Counterintuity to make some changes – and knew we had high standards to meet.

First order of business? A strategy session, of course. We learned precisely what Laura wanted and determined how to deliver.

Logo Design

We kept the logo simple and timeless so it would appeal to Cole Pro’s demographic and stand out on business cards, letterheads, and online.

Revamped Website

Straightforward organization makes information easily accessible and allows visitors to quickly determine whether Cole Pro is the right fit for them.

Social, Site & Logo: A New Approach for Cole Pro Media

Before

After

Redesigned Social Profiles

A social media company obviously needs a solid social presence; we stuck with clean images and concise bios for both Twitter and Facebook.

Social, Site & Logo: A New Approach for Cole Pro Media

We’re proud to play a part in Cole Pro’s contribution to the community – and we’d love to do it for you, too! If your business needs a boost, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Say Cheese! San Diego Dental Society’s New Website is Ready for Its Close-Up

Say Cheese! San Diego County Dental Society’s New Site is Ready for Its Close-Up

By | Clients, Design, Websites | No Comments

The San Diego County Dental Society has many things to be proud of – 2,000 members (70 percent of its area’s dentists), an active role in the betterment of its community and increasing access to dental care, to name a few – and now, they can add an impressive website to the list!

sdds

SDCDS came to Counterintuity with a few changes in mind, and here’s what we delivered:

  • A sleek new style. We knew a modern look was important to them, but didn’t skimp on substance. This site packs a functional punch!
  • Improved member services. SDCDS’s members are the heart of the society. Click-to-pay, click-to-schedule and click-to-post are all new additions aimed at giving them the smooth user experience they deserve.
  • Responsive + WordPress. We submitted 30 pages, 10 wireframes, 2 website mockups and 3 subpage mockups so we could be sure SDCDS was getting exactly what they wanted.
  • Updated features. Event management, dentist search, job listings, a donations center and member portal are all now easily accessible.

It’s an honor to work with this organization, and we’re confident this site will offer its members stellar support through the advocacy, education, and business management SDCDS is famous for.

Think it’s time your site got a refresh? Contact us today – we’re only a click away!

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go brush our teeth.

SSL, Stat: What It Is & Why You Need It by October 2017

SSL, Stat: What It Is & Why You Need It by October 2017

By | News, SEO | No Comments

We hate to be the bearers of bad news – but if your website doesn’t have an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), it isn’t secure.

Starting next month, Google will be flagging sites without SSL as NOT SECURE…and you do not want to be one of them.

  • How can I tell if my site is secure?
    You can tell whether you’ve got a secure connection pretty easily – in Google Chrome, just look for the green lock and HTTPS to the left of your web address.
    See it? You’re golden.
    Don’t see it? It’s time for a change.
  • First off, what is SSL?
    SSL is the means by which an encrypted link is created between two points on the internet. A secure SSL connection means your site isn’t collecting sensitive user data, such as passwords or credit card information.
  • Why is this suddenly a big deal?
    Google wants to keep the Internet safe from cyber attacks, hacking and snooping – as you might imagine, an SSL certificate has long been a must-have for contact and payment forms. For more information on why Chrome is taking this step, check out their blog.
  • Is an SSL certificate really necessary?
    YES. NetMarketShare reports that Google Chrome currently boasts a 59.38 percent market share. That makes it the world’s most popular browser. Know what else that means? Its NOT SECURE warning could send more than half of your visitors running for the hills.
  • How will a “Not Secure” tag affect my rankings?
    While we can’t yet be sure how the non-secure warning will impact SEO, it’s likely that over time non-HTTPS sites will fall lower in search results. On the flip side, according to GrowthScout, “an increasing number of HTTPS-protected websites” have begun ranking higher.
  • Okay, I’m convinced. What can I do?
    It’s time to add that “S” to “HTTP” by purchasing and installing an SSL. You’ve got two options here: either contact your host to learn their process, or let Counterintuity take care of it. We can purchase the SSL, handle installation with your host, and resubmit your site to Google for only $495.*

Contact us now and you’ll be the proud owner of an SSL certificate before you know it (and before Google knows you didn’t have one to begin with)!

* Subject to the capability and timeframe as mandating by your hosting service.

Image by typographyimages licensed under CC BY 2.0.

august2017--copy

Homepage Home Run

By | Clients, Design | No Comments

Q: Which is more important: a website’s aesthetics or its functionality?

A: BOTH! The two concepts are inextricably connected on numerous levels.

A few months ago, Hotel Council of San Francisco asked us for a transformative site overhaul and their expectations were high. Their new website had to demonstrate the organization’s significant influence in the region with a stunning-yet-user-friendly web portal.

 

hcHere’s a peek into what we delivered:

EXCLUSIVE, EXCLUSIVE, EXCLUSIVE

  • We developed a custom, secure membership platform where registration, event sign-up, and payment can all be managed in one easy place.
  • Time savings for staff: Not only does this process look great, the improved functionality serves as an immediate benefit to members while reducing the Council staff time spent on menial tasks.

HOMEPAGE, HOME RUN

  • Three second rule – Hotel Council’s site passes the 3 second rule: You’ve got about three seconds to engage a website visitor before they lose interest and wander off. Our team listened, and delivered a design to match the timeless beauty of San Francisco.
  • Bold wins - With that immediacy in mind, our design team armed this page with bold colors, clear navigation, and a clear value statement, helping guide visitors to their ideal location.

PRO TIP: Take a look at your homepage. Can you tell EXACTLY what your company does in under :03? Now try it with someone who doesn’t work with you. The results may shock you.

Does your site need a functional or aesthetic upgrade? Contact us today to learn more.

Panda Panda Panda

Pleasing Panda: Your Guide to Google’s Search Algorithm

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Back in 2016, we wrote a blog about Penguin, Google’s link evaluator. Now, we’d like to focus on Panda – and aside from their namesakes’ retweet-worthy levels of cuteness, these are two creatures of a different color.

Panda’s been monitoring your content and modifying your search ranking accordingly since 2011. Google’s increasingly frequent updates to the algorithm – six between January and May 2017, according to GSQi – mean it’s only getting smarter and more selective. So, what can you do to please Panda?

  • Take a good, hard look at your website. Is it fully functional? Filled with quality content? Easy to use?
  • Tone it down. Panda can smell aggressive advertising from a mile away, and doesn’t like seeing users pestered by persistence.
  • Beef it up. When it comes to content, thin is not in; low quality content can result in a serious penalty. Focus on providing your users with relevant, original content.
  • Be a query master. Create content to match user queries, and don’t get hung up on length. Resorting to spammy text to hit 300 words is not Panda-approved – what’s important is that your final answer is effective.
  • Service that SEO. While technical SEO doesn’t have a direct impact on Panda, any issues can negatively affect UX – so ensure that tech glitches or performance issues are promptly sorted.

Remember to keep your site tight at all times (with our help, if needed). Just ’cause you can’t see Panda, doesn’t mean it’s not there!

Panda Panda Panda

 

How to Cultivate a Cohesive Customer Experience (AKA Winning Like Walgreens)

How to Cultivate a Cohesive Customer Experience (AKA Winning Like Walgreens)

By | Customer Service, Email Marketing, SEO | No Comments

Here’s the thing about most modern customers: If they don’t like the way you’re doing business, they’ll take their business elsewhere.

Quickly.

They’ve got high expectations and a whole lot of options – so it’s vital to offer the best possible experience both online and in-store. While reading this Think With Google interview with Deepika Pandey, the Chief Digital Marketing Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, we realized she’s got this down – and three key points really struck a chord with us.

  • A customer is a customer. According to Business Insider, U.S. consumers are expected to spend more than $630 billion online in 2020. All that money funneling into online purchases means you’re going to lose in-store business. It’s just a fact. The trick is not to treat that as a problem to avoid, but as an opportunity to be seized. Like Pandey says, “Customers who shop in-store and on mobile are 6X more valuable to us than those who shop only in a store.” One of the reasons we at Counterintuity focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keyword optimization when creating ads for clients is that 93 percent of online experiences start with a search engine – and we want to ensure your customers see you first, even if they’re clicking a link rather than shaking your hand.
  • Anticipate needs (and wants, while you’re at it). Only 7 percent of online shoppers believe that brands do a good job of customizing their online experience – but you can be the exception. Walgreens makes it a goal to assist every single customer in the most efficient and effective way possible, and so can you. But rather than simply meeting the customer’s expectations, prompt them to consider needs they haven’t yet anticipated themselves. One great way to do that? Lead-capture forms. Not only do they gauge interest, but Formstack found that an impressive 62 percent of form users get more conversions when they embed a form on their website. And make sure your customer knows precisely what you’re selling with a clear Call To Action (CTA) – not only in terms of copy, but placement and design as well. For instance, a Copyblogger determined that a CTA in button form gains a 45 percent click boost and Kissmetrics saw a CTA within a video get 380 percent more clicks than one in a basic sidebar. Nailing details like these paves the way for a smooth journey from prospect to customer – just how we like it!
  • Don’t let gimmicks upstage goals. Remember that super useful lead form we just mentioned? Well, a good way to make it work against you is to make visitors feel like you’re blindly fishing for email addresses. Customers need a clear benefit in exchange for cooperation, or they’re outta there. To quote Pandey (just once more!): “Great consumer experiences should inspire technology, not the other way around.” It was only after Walgreens discovered that its customers weren’t feeling the manual prescription refill system that they introduced Refill by Scan, a technology that enables customers to refill in less than 20 seconds and turns the process from painful to pleasant. In that same vein, we never offer our clients services they don’t need – and we don’t recommend that they buy into fads, either. People appreciate authenticity, so don’t get too caught up in trivial tech trends. Determine what you really need to do to streamline your user experience and make it happen.

Remember, it’s not about online vs. in-store – it’s about making the two aspects of your business blend together to create an unbeatable overall customer experience. When in doubt, ask two questions: WWWD (What Would Walgreens Do), and 2) CCDIY (Can Counterintuity Do It for You). Pro tip: the answer is yes, we can.

Image by Mike Mozart is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Client Shout Out: Golden State Gymnastics

Client Shout-Out: Golden State Gymnastics Website

By | Clients | One Comment

When Golden State Gymnastics asked us for a site refresh that was inviting, playful, and fun, we bent over backwards (get it?) to deliver.

Our Mission:

Making it easy to register for Golden State’s awesome gymnastics classes, sign up for a stellar birthday party or kick it at one of their cool camps.

Our Method:

  1. We knew the Call To Action needed center stage, so we included two dedicated “Register Now” buttons: one up top and one in the right-hand navigation bar.
  2. New photos! We sent one of our favorite photographers to the gym for some shots of the newly updated facility.
  3. Restructuring content is a project, but we put the time in so it takes no time at all for visitors to find important details (like class and team programs).
  4. Adding full-screen images and making the site mobile friendly brought it into 2017.
  5. Last but not least, we increased both mobile and desktop speed by a whopping 40 percent [insert zoom sound effect here].

Final score? We’re thinking a perfect 10. Congrats on the new site, guys!