Our Brooklyn-based client needed a new logo and website for their brand new, state-of-the-art child care business. They knew they wanted a friendly, smart owl associated with their brand so we started with a custom logo design. We provided 6 unique logo concepts to the client and were able to quickly move into the web design phase after choosing their favorite logo. The client chose a one of our child care website templates (Kinder Preppers) and elected to make some additional enhancements and customizations to make it even more tailored to their specific audience. We placed custom imagery throughout the site, customized the color palette with their new logo colors and added additional pages and features such as the detailed Career Opportunities and Latest News section on the homepage.
It’s been called Google Places, it’s essentially tied to Google Maps, but it’s now referred to as, “Google My Business.” If there is one thing you need to do for your local child care business, if you haven’t already, it is to make sure you have a confirmed listing on Google My Business. It’s critical to making sure your website appears in local searches on Google for your type of business.
Your Google business listing is essentially your online business card – free advertising. This is the place to publish your operating hours, provide current contact info, your website address, and for people to leave you reviews (which show up in your Google listing.) Are you more likely to click on a child care business with zero ratings or ten 5-star ratings? Drive your customers to your Google listings for all positive reviews!
This page on Google’s website outlines the benefits, how easy it is to sign up, and a link to get started. If you already have a listing, now is a great time to make sure all of your information is updated.
First, wishing each of you a Happy, Prosperous New Year!
For this blog post, I wanted to feature two of our latest custom child care website projects. Two of our long-standing clients wanted their outdated child care websites to have a fresh new look and we also needed to get their websites mobile-responsive. So, we started from scratch and created unique, eye-catching designs, updated all of their content, and launched their new websites just in time for the new year.
Check out Little Scholars Early Learning and Young Years websites and please – give us your feedback!
We hope you will take a moment to browse their new sites and consider all the benefits of custom website design with Websites for Daycares!
Google Maps / Places (Get Started: http://www.google.com/business)
Your business is a “local” business and therefore needs to be on Google maps in order to display in the local search results for businesses like yours. It takes a few weeks to get your physical location confirmed on Google Maps but once it is, you will see your business pop up on the map listings that Google displays to your potential customers. Don’t miss out on this free advertising and organic traffic to your business website! Follow these steps via the link above:
- Go to Google My Business. Click “Get on Google”
- Enter Your Business Name and Address in the Search Box.
- Select or Add Your Business. Click on your business listing if it appears among the suggested matches. …
- Verify Your Business. …
- Confirm your Business.
Google + (Get Started: http://plus.google.com)
Google+ is essentially your Google Website Business Page. You can provide basic info about your business, upload photos, read and respond to reviews, and manage your map location. I highly recommend you ask all your customers to leave testimonials on your Google+ page! These reviews (star ratings) display on Google’s search result pages and map display alongside your listing. Potential customers can’t see your testimonials buried on your website pages. Make sure they are legitimized and more visible on your Google+ page.
When you visit the link above, click the “Join Google+” link to get started on creating your business page.
Google Analytics (https://analytics.google.com)
Google Analytics is the best tool available for analyzing your website visitor information. You can review highly detailed and comprehensive statistics to determine how many visitors to your site you are receiving, how long they are staying on your site, the bounce rate, how they found your site, even what browser and type of screen they viewed your website on. The information is endless and can be extremely valuable in determining what areas of your site may need more work and what marketing efforts are providing the most traffic to your site.
To get this installed, you will need to enter your domain name, verify ownership of the domain/website and then install a tracking code on each page of your website. Have your website developer assist you with that final task. Within days, you’ll start receiving analytics on your business website.
Good luck and if you’re not already a client, we hope to be doing business with you soon!
Our client in Surrey, BC – Pebble Lane Early Learning – came to Websites for Daycares needing a professional new logo and website. First, we created their unique, colorful and custom-designed logo which they are now proud to feature on all of their marketing materials for their child care business.
Once the logo was finalized, we moved onto designing a custom theme for their new website. We incorporated colors, styles, and features from their logo with the new website layout concept to ensure their theme and new brand was solidified. The site was built 100% mobile responsive and ready for phones, tablets, laptops and desktops.
The client has received wonderful reviews and feedback on their new site and we hope you will check it out as well: www.PebbleLane.ca
If you haven’t added your local business to Google’s local map tool (called “Google Places”) do it today! You are missing out on your business showing up in the local results that appear at the very top when someone searches for a local business. Here is a one-sheet flyer on all the benefits of Google Places. Unlike the way Google indexes and ranks websites automatically, your business won’t get added to Google Places unless you submit your website to them. So, here’s how you do it:
- Go to www.Google.com/places and click the link to add your new business. You can add lots of details regarding your business so take advantage of all of the available fields so that your listing stands out from the rest.
- You will have to wait for a letter to be mailed to your physical address to confirm your location. This letter will contain a confirmation code that you will need to enter back on Google’s website.
- Once your listing is confirmed (typically takes a week or two), you should start to see your business appear when someone searches for your type of business in their local area.
- Don’t forget to add an embedded Google map to the contact page of your website AND be sure to take advantage of Google+ reviews as those appear alongside your business listing!
You don’t get many free business advertising opportunities but this is one that could send you lots of organic (and free) internet traffic your way so don’t delay!
You may or may not have heard the term “mobile responsive” but if you haven’t (and you have a website) you should read this article to find out more.
First, mobile-responsive just means that your website is setup to automatically reformat to fit any screen size (on a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.) It means you don’t have to squeeze, expand, scroll left-right to be able to read a website on a mobile device (and we all know how much we hate to do that.)
Without going into a lot of explanation, let’s just say that Google thinks this is now a pretty important aspect of what makes a quality website so that means it should be important to you too. (Unless you don’t care about those silly website rankings.) Bottom line: you don’t want your website to be pushed down in the rankings because your site isn’t optimized for mobile users.
Websites for Daycares now builds all new websites in mobile-responsive format and if you have any questions about this topic, feel free to drop us a line or call us at 979-848-8266.
Here are a few examples of recent sites we built that are mobile-responsive. Open them in your browser window and resize the window to watch the content rearrange for optimal viewing.
If you have a business website, you have surely pondered: How many unique people visit my site every day? Every month? Every year? What pages on my site are getting the most hits and which ones are getting the least? How are people finding my site? What keywords are they using on the search engines? How long, on average, are they staying on my site? What pages have the highest bounce rate?
These are all answers that you need to know in order to continually improve your website presence and increase traffic to your site over time. The better website experience you provide to your viewers, the more time they will spend on your site. The more time they spend on your site, the more Google notices.
Installing Google Analytics on your site is very easy.
First, you need to create an account with Google if you don’t already have one and sign in here: http://www.google.com/analytics/.
Next, click on the Admin tab at the top of your screen.
Under the Property column, click on Tracking Info. Then Tracking Code.
You’ll see a script on the next screen that you should copy and paste into an email to your webmaster. Ask him or her to insert it into every page of the website.
Once it’s installed, you can revisit your Analytics control panel to verify that it’s been installed. You should start receiving data on your visitors within a few days.
On a side note, if you plan to use other marketing channels like Google Adwords or other campaign management conversion tools, you may want to consider asking your Webmaster to install your Analytics tracking code via Google Tag Manager. It probably isn’t necessary for 95% of the people reading this article but if you’re in that small bucket, go that route.
If you launched a brand new site to a brand new domain recently, you are in for a bit of a waiting period with Google’s search engine. Simply put, your new website simply doesn’t have enough authority to rank well yet for your keywords. Google needs some time to verify that your site is not malicious and that there is relevant content on your site. This delay doesn’t apply to our client’s that come to us with an existing site or domain that is at least a year old. This is for the client that has no existing website or domain and is just starting out. Be prepared for a 3 month, 6 month, possibly even a year delay to start seeing your site show up in the search results for your keyword phrases.
First, know that Websites for Daycares always optimizes our client sites with the client’s most important keyword phrases so there’s nothing “wrong” with your website. We wish we could magically control Google’s algorithm to get your site out of the Google sandbox faster but this is unfortunately a penalty all new sites have to pay initially. I hate telling my clients in this situation about this delay but the good news is that there are some things you can do to move things along more quickly.
1. Submit your local business to Google Maps / Places and do the same for Bing and don’t forget to incorporate your keywords with your listing! They will send you something in the mail to confirm your physical location and once your listing is confirmed (may take a few weeks) this will help you get more exposure and hits to your site because your location will appear on their local results searches.
2. Look for established websites in your community that could offer you a link to your site from their site. Look at your local chamber of commerce, getting an advertising link on your local news website, or submitting an article to a local magazine that will include a link to your site. Do not get links from low-quality sites or pay for links from spam-filled directories. This will hurt your site in the long run, not help it.
3. Utilize social media! Get that Facebook page created for your business and ask your local friends to like and share your new page. Create posts on your new Facebook page and include a link to your website wherever possible. For example, you could create a post letting people know you updated your school calendar and link people to that page right on the post. The more visitors and hits you get to your site, the more likely you are to get out of the sandbox early.
Most important: don’t give up and be patient – your site will start working for you very soon. You might also consider advertising (pay-per-click ads) with Google until you are getting more organic traffic in the coming months. Set your daily or weekly budgets for clicks and this will help you get a jump-start on your site traffic.
Whether you have been in business for 5 months or 5 years, it is important that you share positive customer feedback with potential new customers. Your website may include a Testimonials or Reviews page but your website visitors are going to know that you put those there and may not trust the reviews. The best approach is to get your happy customers to talk about your business on 3rd party, social media sites.
At a minimum, you should be asking customers to review you on Google+ and Yelp. Your reviews on these 2 websites will have a direct result on your search engine results because they rank very highly for local business and mobile searches. If you have 10 or 15 5-star ratings with these sites, your listing is going to stand out on their search results against those with few or none. Make sure you have a business profile page setup with both of these sites and customize it to the maximum extent possible. Add a banner photo on Google+ and include details about your business. Remember, most people will see this page or results before they find the link to your site so include the highlights and link to your website, of course.
Share the link to both sites with your customer base and also include it in your email signature, website, and social media pages. It’s important to keep the reviews fresh and up-to-date so try to actively keep this a priority.
Once you have some established reviews on both sites, take advantage of the website widgets that you can add to your website. This will allow your website visitors to read your reviews on those sites and also allow current customers another way to leave your business feedback.
If you utilize these sites and actively pursue positive feedback from your customers, your business will receive more traffic and conversions and ultimately more business!
Should you have any questions or need assistance friends, please contact me. I’m here to help you and as always, I would love to hear from you!