Keep Selling During a COVID Lock-down with a Virtual Storefront

Have coronavirus fears kept people from coming to your company’s physical location? Are you concerned that CDC recommendations for people to avoid crowds and maintain safe distance from one another will impact your ability to survive this national crisis? Maintaining a thriving business during a time of national panic is the emergency scenario that no business owner or manager ever wants to have to navigate. And while the ideal time for creating an emergency business plan has come and gone, the next best time to enact an emergency business plan is now. We can help!

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4 Ways Updating to WordPress 5’s Gutenberg Will Affect Your Business’ Aging Website

WordPress has changed forever. WordPress' update to version 5 released on December 6, 2018 and brought with it a whole new way to compose blog posts and pages. The WordPress team is calling the new post editor "Gutenberg" (you know, after the guy who invented the printing press and changed media forever).If your business or nonprofit has an aging WordPress website you should know what you're in for and how to prepare before clicking the "update" button to WordPress 5.x. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] What is Gutenberg? Gutenberg is WordPress' attempt to keep up with the growth of popular DIY site builders like Weebly, Squarespace, and Wix. The classic WordPress editor is showing its age. It isn't drag and drop, it gets cluttered by plugin features, and it requires authors to keep clicking "preview" to see what their post will look like. Gutenberg aims to solve all of this. With WordPress 5 Gutenberg replaced the classic editor completely. WordPress users are now composing blog posts using rearrangeable content "blocks" instead of a single giant block of text, interacting more intuitively with plugins, and previewing their posts as they compose them rather than toggling between the editor and preview. Gutenberg has been a polarizing release for WordPress (just check out the comments below). But regardless of whether you think Gutenberg is an instant success or a slow burn it will affect how your business or nonprofit uses its website. WordPress 5's Gutenberg update will affect your business or nonprofit by... 1. Forcing you to develop a new workflow Have you ever tried to use…

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J.R. Snider Plumbing

J.R. Snider, Ltd has been providing professional plumbing services to the Northern Virginia region for more than three decades. From general plumbing to water heater replacement, J.R. Snider does it all. J.R. Snider has been working with an area social media expert, Michelle of Loud Mouth Social, to grow and improve their online presence. But they were in need of a couple tweaks to their WordPress website that required some professional WordPress Maintenance and Support. We’re thrilled that Michelle contacted us to help out. We’ve enjoyed collaborating on this project with J.R. Snider and Loud Mouth Social. We assisted J.R. Snider by… Changing Colors Consistent branding is important for every business to effectively reach its market across various media. J.R. Snider’s logo is primarily blue and red but their website utilized orange often as an accent color. It was natural for their website’s design to match the atmosphere of their logo. Their original developer hard coded those colors in the home page template. They could not be easily changed using additional CSS or by editing the page in the WordPress admin panel. The theme template itself needed to be edited. We carefully replaced the orange elements of their homepage with blue and red colors from their logo in order to lend greater consistency to their homepage. Adding a Page for Requesting a Quote When we began working with J.R. Snider their website lacked a dedicated form for requesting a quote. Using their criteria we designed a form for them, styled it to match their site, published a new web-page with this form, added it to their menus, and tested the form for reliability. Now J.R. Snider can receive detailed quote…

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Get Your Time Back and Reduce Your Stress with a Web Maintenance and Support Retainer

Maintaining a website is no easy task. From security to backups and software updates to new content, a website can consume a lot of your time. Worse, if you aren’t a web professional, maintaining your website may become yet another stressor. No wonder so many small businesses and nonprofits leave their websites unattended for months (or even years). Your website isn’t a billboard or a Yellow Pages listing - it doesn’t perform well if it is just created and then left behind. Your website is more like a digital storefront or office. It doesn’t only exist to be seen. As a digital location for your business your website also needs to maintained, secured, visited, and shopped. But are you the guy or girl to do it? If you haven’t been maintaining your website it’s about time to leverage it and get noticed. If you have been maintaining your site but it’s taking too much out of you it’s about time to delegate. A web maintenance and support retainer with a web professional may be just the thing you need to get the most out of both your website and your time. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] Why Did You Launch Your Website? Perhaps you launched your website to drive more leads to your business. Maybe it was to invite more foot traffic to your storefront. Or maybe it was just so you would be perceived more professionally when people searched for you. (Why did you launch your website? Let us know in the comments below.) Regardless of the reason, you need to get back…

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Reflections on our First Year in Business

What have you loved about your first year in business? Joshua A few weeks after quitting my full time office job to run Rystedt Creative I remarked to Gabrielle that this was the best decision of our marriage. Why? The time with my family means the world to me and I'm now pursuing one of my passions full time (my previous job didn't have a very positive or creative environment). I love that I can answer client questions any time they have them. I love the people I have worked with so far - especially Farm Market iD, Lady Environmental, and Holy Cross Lutheran Church. I love the combination of creativity and organization that running a business like this requires. Gabrielle I guess to answer this I need to back up a few months before we actually started Rystedt Creative. You could say it’s the “inception moment”, when Josh and I sat down to talk about our future and decided to actually do this crazy thing and start a business. I say crazy because, well, it was crazy. It still is. And I love that about this whole thing. We said “yes” to an off-the-wall idea (okay, not that off the wall – we’re both first born INTJs – there’s no true off-the-wall here) and went forth and did the dang thing. Together. I love that Rystedt Creative is truly a family business. Sometimes our three-year-old will want to “play client”, and we have to answer phone calls and talk about copywriting or blog posts. The whole thing is awesome to me. What have you not loved about your first year in business? Joshua Let's face it, running a new…

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Stand Out From the Crowd and Stay One Step Ahead of Copycat Competitors

Copycats. Just when you thought you’d left these middle school nuisances behind, you see something come across your Instagram feed that looks shockingly familiar. A little too familiar… You overhear a newcomer to a networking event with an elevator pitch that you’ve heard before. That you’ve delivered before… Copycat competitors are lurking everywhere, regardless of what industry you work in. And with the proliferation of online content and widely shared ideas, it’s easier than ever for someone to pick up your trail and start mimicking your every move. If you haven’t experienced copycat competition yet, chances are, you will at some point down the road. Since getting off the Internet and conducting business by smoke signal isn’t exactly a viable option, how can you set yourself apart and stay one step ahead of your copycat competition? And are there any ways that copycats can actually help you stand out from the crowd? Read on to learn more about how you can stay ahead of your copycats and mute their impact. Step One: Own Your Niche Chances are, if you have a business of any sort, you also have a niche. Whether you cater to Colorado newlyweds seeking unique honeymoon itineraries or repair air conditioners in government buildings, you know your market and how to reach them. When you work your niche, you gain visibility in and develop strong relationships with others in that niche. Typically, you don’t have a lot of competition within that niche, and you stand out from the crowd simply because it’s such a specialized portion of the market. When copycats try to enter the scene, they may be watching your moves and try to gain an…

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Top 10 Blog Posts Your Business Blog Should Include

We’ve been talking a lot recently about why your brand needs a blog and how to schedule time for accomplishing your creative to-do list. But before you sit down to write, it’s important to know what you’re going to write. While your editorial schedule should have you covered here, what happens when your ideas run dry? What do you do when writer’s block strikes before you even sit down to write? If you’re looking for some ideas to fill out your editorial schedule, consider some of the following ideas for your business blog posts: [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] 1. Top 10 Lists Share your favorite accessories for the products you sell, leaders in your industry, productivity tips, or anything else you think your audience will find helpful. People love lists! If you are famous for your beauty tutorials, consider sharing a list of the top 10 products you always have in your makeup bags. If you do HVAC work, consider sharing your top 10 favorite air conditioners of 2018. Top 10 lists are easily sharable, and lend themselves well to distribution on other platforms. For example, they translate easily into pinnable images for sharing on Pinterest, can be made into infographics or are a fun way to drive some traffic to your YouTube channel. 2. Interviews Get out there and talk to someone else in the industry whom your audience would love to learn more about. You don’t have to interview the most famous person in your industry to get attention. Start with someone local with a business that does something complimentary to…

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Renewed Strength Personal Training Studio

Renewed Strength Personal Training Studio is a local fitness and training studio that was concerned about a competitor's position in Google search engine results pages (SERPs). In certain searches this other fitness coach was also ranking on page one or even above Renewed Strength Personal Training. Yet their competitor's website is poorly designed compared to Renewed Strength and the services they offer are limited. So why were they still ranking well? SEO on Wix Renewed Strength contacted us to ask if we could evaluate their Wix powered website and determine what could be done to improve their search ranking. We evaluated both Renewed Strength's website and their competitor's site and then provided Renewed Strength Personal Training with a four step plan for improving their ranking. Structured Metadata One of those steps was implementing robust structured metadata on their webpages. Renewed Strength's website was using barely any structured metadata and thus not taking advantage of the local SEO benefits available when you provide your business data in this format. The studio decided that this step, in particular, was one they wanted us to take on. Navigating Wix's Limitations However, Wix limits what kind of metadata can be added through their admin panel (eg no Open Graph tags). Yet structured metadata works as long as it is inserted into the header of your web pages and Wix does allow you to insert custom code into the headers. So we got crafty! We evaluated what metadata Wix was already implementing (only two tags), coded unique metadata for every page of Renewed Strength's website, and added that code to their Wix pages using an alternative method in the Wix admin panel. With this and…

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15 Common WordPress Mistakes Small Businesses Make (and What to Do About Them)

WordPress is a powerful content management system (CMS) that meets the needs of countless small businesses. Many small businesses launch the first version of their website themselves. You slave over it, tweak it, launch it, and sit back basking in your shiny new website's glory. Yet we all make mistakes from time to time... and too often, with the Web, we don't realize our mistakes until they've come back around to hurt us. We at Rystedt Creative have worked on small business WordPress websites for bloggers, dietitians, restoration contractors, and more. Throughout our work we've come to just expect some mistakes on websites we stubble upon, review, or work to improve. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame]     Here they are! The 15 most common WordPress mistakes small businesses make. Try to avoid these mistakes as you build your site or improve upon it. #1. Starting With the Wrong WordPress Platform There are two ways you can build a WordPress website: WordPress.com's hosting service or WordPress.org's open source software hosted on a server of your choosing. Many small businesses looking to launch a WordPress website assume that these options are identical... they aren't. WordPress.com is the official WordPress hosting service and thus wants to provide their customers with the smoothest experience possible. In order to do so they limit what you can do with your WordPress website. Want a custom domain name? You'll need at least the Personal tier for $4/month Think you may need to edit your website's look with CSS (or have a web designer do so)? You'll need at least the…

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