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09 July 2019 Published in Blog Written by

1 Look - 7 Seconds to Stay or Go

First Impressions Really Matter!

Can you honestly say that your website, social media profiles, or local listings present a positive or good impression?

Thirty-six percent of small business shoppers look for new businesses through online research … so, isn’t it logical that your online presence make the best impression possible? The suggestions below help you evaluate and fine-tune your online presence.  

Consistent Visuals

It’s really important to keep your website, Facebook and LinkedIn page visuals consistent. This includes logos, accent colors and message. When inconsistent your online presence appears disorganized and suggests unreliability. So, present the same properties for each: one standard logo, consistent brand fonts and colors, and similar language in “bios” and “about us” pages. Cohesive online continuity establishes authenticity and credibility … or should.

Online Reputation

Protect your brand before someone else steals it. Owning your custom domain name (www.mycompany.com) and social media handles (myname@mycompany) across all social platforms is required. Why? Because your brand will be vulnerable and other businesses with similar names will absolutely claim your domain and encroach upon your search results. Uncertainty about selecting your url almost always ends the search. Own your custom domain then create Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat social media handles. Once you own them, then decide how to use them.

Mistakes

Website or social media post typos or grammatical errors detract from the value of your content and ultimately your business. Writing errors detract from your positive branding. Always spellcheck and review whole page and review more than once. Finding a typo after you publish your online document is bad; people notice and disappear ‘hmm’. Not good.

Ignoring Comments / Reviews

Pay close attention to online reviews, comments and feedback you receive. If someone takes time to comment - whether positive or negative – that’s good. Google Alerts is the easiest and best approach to ensure you don’t miss these messages. HQZ has used this easy tool for a long time and it’s been very beneficial.

Social Media Reinforces

Social media is an important part of building your brand and reinforcing your marketing outreach. It establishes familiarity, humanizes your brand and strengthens opinions about your sphere of knowledge and influence. People love consistency and watch for new content from their favorite posts. So, give them something! Deliver regular social media posts - frequent hits humanize your brand and strengthens viewers’ opinion about your business.

Maintain Local Listings

People are constantly looking for new businesses online and search results influence their decision to view a website or call you. If your business has outdated or inaccurate information in its local listings (online profile: business name, address, phone number, and other details), the wrong message is sent, and causes consumers to exit.

It’s simple to manage your business listing and maintain consistent company information across various online directories. First, register your business with Google, and they use services that submit your business profile to dozens of local directories on your behalf. You do the work once, and they take care of the rest.

Delete Old Website Copy!

Having old or incorrect information on your website is a major mistake for a company’s professional online look. If your website has old event data, wrong operation hours, incorrect copyright date in the footer (i.e. © My Small Business 2018), visitors assume that your business ignores details. Adjusting website content is simple and though subtle, helps maintain a reliable image. Regularly review your website content for inaccurate information. The rewards for sweeping out debris are worthwhile.

Go Mobile Too

They don’t care … but you should! Offer your website visitors the best mobile experience possible. Create a website that is formatted for desktop and mobile viewing. Using a website builder tool automatically formats your website for mobile and desktop. Doing so makes you appear professional and reputable.

Photos Make or Break It

Because images process 60,000 times faster than text, people won’t ever read the text if your images are bad. Think about how your website looks. Engage guests using high-quality, eye-catching images that instantly reflect the solution (product or service) they relate to. Purchase images; downloading images is risky since most are trademarked – posting unpurchased images can cause you a lot of grief. Let your images do the heavy lifting for your website and social media activity. Be selective as well.

As you review your own website or consider designing one first carefully consider: Usability, Clarity, Consistency, Visual Appeal, Ease-of-use,

Menu with effective site navigation, and Distinctive Content. Each is critical to your success.

HQZ Experts assists clients in working more efficiently, solving marketing issues and managing tactics.

Call us and learn more - Contact Pat Dwight: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 949-454-6149.

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18 June 2019 Published in Blog Written by

Grab Readers' Attention

Tell Us Why You're So Terrific

Website landing pages convince customers to engage and convert. They grab readers’ attention with catchy headlines, easy, pithy text, short paragraphs and bullet points, with dramatic images that strike an emotional response. Yes, there’s more to building a high-performing landing page than meets the eye.

1.  Landing Page Objectives

Hub-style Landing Page: These pages contain multiple offers—infographics, e-books, videos, whitepapers, and more. People seek them to educate themselves about a topic and while they attract a lot of views, they generally result in fewer conversions. So, if your goal is to engage top-of-funnel prospects, hub-style landing pages will work.

Single-offer Landing Page: These pages include only one asset—a research report or a buyer’s guide, for instance. They’re designed for people who are already aware of a problem they need to solve. Single-offer landing pages may not generate as much traffic, but readers who wind up there are more likely to convert.

So, if you’re targeting prospects further along in the customer journey, deploying single-offer landing pages is a wise move. Both styles are proven; deciding on who you want to find your website will determine which is best for you.

2. Consistent Story Thread

Landing pages should fit the message told to your audience. Like a book, landing pages draw in readers and set the stage for what’s to come. A landing page makes or breaks a website view option! It’s really important and if you miss the mark at Home … they’ll leave and not even see your great story. Make your landing page resonate, vary material and offer enough value and intrigue to convince prospects to stay and learn.

3. Build A Working Landing Page

Can you say … “Customer Experience”? If you leverage innovative marketing automation software, you’ll gain viewership. Remember, your headlines must roar, not whimper! Grab visitors and quickly convey who you are, as in what you can do for them and why they will benefit by reading on. It’s called a unique selling proposition (USP). Use the word “you” to speak directly to them. Further clarify your USP with benefits ... what they gain by exploration.

Landing Page Images - Any photo or video on your landing page should help the visitor evaluate your offer, and if it doesn’t, fix it. Help your visitors evaluate an offer with:

  • Introductory video that proving you’re a credible source of information or solve a problem for them
  • Images that reveal different product angles and features that clarify and entice
  • Vision images help visitors imagine what their lives could be like using your product or service

4. Your Call-To-Action Button

  • Make it benefit-oriented for them.
  • Make it stand out – contrast other copy size (bold or italics), colors or images.
  • Make it look like a button. People like buttons and quickly recognize them.
  • Link to Contact Us page

5. Why Are You So Terrific?

Offering “social proof” … someone says … they think your product is better because a stranger says so. Consider suggested topics like these for rave reviews:

  • Display enthusiastic reviews from people who like your product or service.
  • Showcase high-profile places your brand has been featured.
  • Include emblems of trusted clients or customers.
  • Feature detailed testimonials from happy customers with their photo or company logo.

If you have any question about this article give us a call: 949-454-6149. The websites we build follow these key tactics. Our clients consistently enjoy steady clicks and get “Learn More” inquiries. HQZ Experts removes the guesswork from website marketing … So, let’s talk.

Pat Dwight

HQZ Experts assists clients in working more efficiently, solving marketing issues and managing tactics.

Call us and learn more - Contact Pat Dwight: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 949-454-6149.

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11 June 2019 Published in Blog Written by

Stuttering Mouse

My Page Took On A Life Of Its Own

A few weeks back I was writing an article and used my mouse to underscore a word … then the strangest thing happened. My page took on a life of its own and began to repeat pages and wouldn’t stop until I turned off my Word application.

Thinking that I’d been hacked or that there was something dreadful happening from outside my browser, I turned off my computer and rebooted.

Everything seemed fine until using the mouse again to copy and paste words in a document. Again, the document began to auto repeat constantly. Before I could use the keyboard, 20 unique new documents had been created. Yikes!

Distraught and fearful that a hacker had taken charge of my computer, I called my Microsoft guru Leonard. Our computers run on Windows 7. We talked about the syndrome. He set me about methodically running assorted system tests to verify if we had a major breach. After running an ESET, Malwarebyte, CC Cleaner, and assorted Internet cache tests, removal of the mouse in device manager and re-booting the system, we determined that my computer and our network was not compromised.

Leonard ran some deep clean boot analyses remotely and called the next day with his analysis of the problem. He said: “As strange as this may sound, it seems as if you have a stuttering mouse.”

I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or ask if he was joking. He went on to say that while looking for the syndrome he discovered mention of the stuttering mouse presenting the same strange problem I was having. Leonard suggested that we replace our remote mouse with a new model. We had already changed the batteries the previous day, and realized it wasn’t a battery issue.

So, we bought a new remote mouse, turned off the computer, inserted the remote wireless mouse receiver/driver, inserted a battery and everything seemed to work well. I had no issues whatsoever the remainder of the day. Problem resolved.

Well, not exactly. The next day I booted up the computer ready for catching up on all the projects I’d been unable to work on … and my keyboard wouldn’t function. The mouse was working perfectly but the keyboard was dead. Even though we changed the keyboard’s battery, just sat there.

This time we didn’t call Leonard. Realizing that the old mouse was a matched component with the keyboard purchased several years previous, we further deduced that the new wireless mouse receiver/driver was not programmed for the old keyboard – they obviously share one remote wireless receiver. So, we went to Staples and bought a combo mouse and keyboard, came home, inserted the new receiver in the mainframe and poof, the problem was solved.

This fix was inexpensive and simple once we realized the problem. However, it terrified us because we naturally went to the ‘worst-case’ scenario and assumed a security breach or hack.

We had never heard the term “Stuttering Mouse” before this incident. I’ve been using computers and keyboards since they were invented. Maybe reading this article will save you the fear and surprise of a similar experience.

Now you know how to handle this surprise; hope you never have to deal with it.

Pat Dwight

HQZ Experts assists clients in working more efficiently, solving marketing and managing tactics. Let's talk about your approach

Call us and learn more - Contact Pat Dwight: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 949-454-6149.

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13 May 2019 Published in Blog Written by

Smart Business

A Little Help From Your Friends

It seems more often than not today unexpected chaos or disruption enters our professional sphere. And so, risk management should be at the top of your meeting/event planning focus.

Even though we don’t like to think about it, the potential hazards causing the most disruption or danger in groups of people include “manmade” threats such as cybercrime, protests, terrorism, and shootings. “Natural” occurrences such as earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires also fall within this discussion.

The value of risk prevention is really immeasurable. Everyone benefits when management does its homework and plans accordingly. Implementing the practices below offers proven risk management preparations every company needs to explore when planning events and meetings. The following disciplines create a safety net by avoiding risk management problems.

  1. Evaluate Risks: When selecting a venue, evaluate the risks of each meeting location and activity for potential issues and hazards.
  2. Identify ‘Request for Proposal’ Issues: Use the RFP process to identify security areas. Ask for relevant information such as:
    • Emergency procedures strategy
    • Additional security costs
    • Keeping non-attendees out of meeting areas
    • Record of recent criminal incidents in and near facility
    • Cybersecurity measures available to protect attendees and staff from hacking
    • Firearms policies
  1. Consider Safety Measures: Meetings/events with certain types of activities may require safety measures and additional scrutiny, including:
    • Athletic events - “fun runs” and swimming
    • Events where alcohol will be served
    • Events featuring cannabis (marijuana), or when the meeting organizer knows that attendees may be using cannabis at meeting-related events, even where legal
    • Permitting attendees to carry firearms
  1. Safety ‘Perception’ Matters. Be aware that attendees’ perception of safety may be as important as actual safety, when encouraging meeting attendance.
  2. Request Emergency Plans: Ask hotels and venues for their emergency plans and adapt/integrate them as appropriate.
  3. Design a Security Plan: Create a security plan, including attendee ID verification and a crisis communications system. Consider hiring security personnel based on all risk factors.
  4. Allocate Security Responsibilities by Contract: Use meeting contracts to allocate responsibility for risk and possible losses that clearly designate which parties are responsible for each type of security. Execute indemnification (hold harmless) agreements to protect against loss caused by venues and contractors.
  5. Protect Computers and Cyberspace: Secure computers by running antivirus software, changing passwords regularly and educating staff and management to avoid “pirate” networks and risky websites/emails.
  6. Safeguard Attendees’ Personal Information: Only divulge attendee personal information on a “need-to-know” basis, and then only to persons and businesses that provide demonstrable assurances of protecting data and securing their networks. Ensure General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) compliance, when required.
  7. Insurance Is Essential: The meeting organization, third-party planners, venue and other contractors should all have their own insurance, in sufficient types and amounts.

If you already have included some or all of these practices into your charter, fantastic. Any mentioned that you haven’t considered will likely provide your company a soft cushion of comfort and confidence when you incorporate them in your risk management program.

Pat Dwight

HQZ Experts assists clients in solving marketing and managing tactics. Let's talk about your approach

Call us and learn more - Contact Pat Dwight: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 949-454-6149.

Read more

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