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What Manufacturers Love About Web-Based Software

Posted Wed, January 28, 2015 by Julie Short

Once you get past the initial creativity needed to imagine a new product, manufacturing tends to be an almost scientific process – find a way to produce more quickly, affordably, and reliably than the other guy, and you’ll see your profits go up. Fail to pay enough attention to your margins, and your business will be bleeding cash in no time.

It’s that fact – that manufacturers are always walking a tight rope of efficiency – that makes web-based software options so important to staying in the black over the long term. In fact, at WebRevelation we’ve helped several different firms to update their manufacturing processes, eliminating waste and lowering costs at the same time.

Along the way, we’ve learned there are a few important things manufacturers love about specialized software:

No more data errors. Ordering the wrong materials, scheduling the wrong employees, or miscalculating a customer order are just a few of the ways businesses can accidentally squander huge amounts of time and money. With web-based software, you can turn data input errors into a thing of the past.

Getting rid of ill-fitting software packages. Often, an audit of a manufacturer’s software processes shows they’re using extensive workarounds in the form of add-ons and endless spreadsheet pages that amount to dozens of hours of “busywork” for their employees, just because they don’t have the applications they really need for things like payroll and inventory.

Improved customer order flow. By letting customers place their own orders and set things like shipping locations on their own, you improve accuracy and free up time for your sales and customer service teams.

Better order delivery times. More and more companies are going to a just-in-time inventory system; that requires a software platform that can feed you up-to-date information across your company so you can meet tough deadlines when needed.

Less time and money being wasted. What all of this amounts to is more efficiency in every part of the manufacturing process. When you aren’t wasting time and money, you can lower prices, enjoy higher margins, or both.

When it comes down to it, manufacturers taking advantage of web-based software have a huge advantage over their competitors. The only question is: Are you one of the businesses that’s benefiting, or one of the others who are lagging behind?

Looking for ways to improve the margins in your manufacturing business? Talk to WebRevelation today and let us share some of our case studies and success stories with you.

Posted in : Business Strategy , ERP , THE HVAC GIRL | 
Tags : manufacturing , websites , manufacturing software


Has Your Website Gone Out of Style?

Posted Wed, January 21, 2015 by Julie Short

Has your website fallen behind the times? Usually, when new clients talk to us about an “out-of-style” or “not-up-to-date” website, they’re thinking in terms of looks and layouts. What they may not realize is that the more important problems are behind the scenes – and that even a great-looking website may be missing a few key upgrades.

That might not sound like a big problem, but it’s important to remember that thousands of visitors will see your pages each and every year. If your website isn’t attracting as many of them as it could be or converting them into buyers, that’s a huge missed opportunity.

To give you a sense of what kinds of upgrades and improvements we are referring to, here are just a few of the trends that have become incredibly important over the last few years:

Responsive web designs. Responsive web designs change their alignment and appearance to fit laptop and desktop computers, as well as tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices. If you want your website to be accessible by the tens of millions of mobile users, and don’t want to launch a separate website, responsive designs are the way to go.

Social media links and apps. Social media is no longer just about checking out vacation photos and cat memes. Buying recommendations, customer service, and a lot more can all be handled through social profiles. That’s why your site should be tied directly to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ at a minimum.

Conversion rate optimization. This is the art and science of squeezing the maximum number of conversions out of the visits you get to your website. If you aren’t turning enough readers into buyers, then your bottom line is going to suffer (and your competitors will benefit).

Online video. Numerous studies have confirmed that online videos get more attention than text and static images do, and help convert visitors into leads and customers at a much higher rate. Plus, it’s easier and more affordable than ever before to add video clips to your website.

E-commerce and secure account maintenance. Letting buyers place orders and update their account details online doesn’t just make your website more convenient for them – it also helps you save time and money by freeing your staff up to do other things.

If your website is missing one or more of these features, it could be time for an update – regardless of how good you think it looks. Remember that it only takes a couple of years for your web presence to fall behind newer competitors. Luckily, fixing that is just a matter of calling WebRevelation in Dallas, San Antonio or Oklahoma City and letting us do the rest!

Posted in : Websites , Website Content , Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : updated website , website trends , improved websites


Why All New WebRevelation Websites Are Responsive

Posted Wed, January 14, 2015 by Julie Short

For a long time, Internet marketing experts have been talking about the coming mobile web revolution. They’re not talking about it anymore, though, because it’s already here.

Industry observers expect mobile web users – those browsing through smartphones and tablets – to become the majority at some point in 2015. That means smart marketers have had to adapt their approach to account for lots of small screens, something we’ve been working on here at WebRevelation.

These days, we’re providing our new clients with current and responsive web designs. In the mobile-ready world, they offer the perfect mix of functionality and long-term value.

Why Responsive Design Is Critical

If you aren’t completely familiar with the concept already, a responsive website is one that shifts and changes with different browsers and window sizes. With just a little bit of behind-the-scenes coding, it can arrange things like text and images differently depending on what kind of configuration a visitor is using. Someone viewing your pages in full screen gets one version, while someone else working with a smaller space gets another.

This matters a great deal because industry experts now think more than half of all web traffic is composed of users who are accessing websites via mobile devices. And what’s more, they aren’t all iPhones and Kindles – there are iPads, Androids, and Samsung Galaxy devices, not to mention a dozen others.

Each of these can have a different size, resolution, and underlying platform… and as time marches on, there won’t just be more and more of these devices, but more types of them and different generations in use (i.e., original iPads versus second-generation and iPad Mini devices).

The Bottom-Line Benefits of a Responsive Website

What this all means to you, as a business owner or marketer, is that a website that isn’t responsive may not look the way it was meant to for all of your visitors, especially going forward. Every time text and images show up where they shouldn’t, or aren’t arranged in a way that puts your products and services in the best light, you are likely to miss out on a chance to win a new customer.

WebRevelation has chosen to build responsive websites for our clients to enable them to market more effectively and keep their businesses growing.

Responsive functionality makes great business sense in an online world that’s dominated by mobile devices. Why not speak to a member of the WebRevelation team today and see how easy it is to add mobile compatibility to a new or existing web presence?

Posted in : Websites , FYI , Announcements | 
Tags : responsive , websites


3 Reasons to Look More Closely at Web App Development

Posted Wed, January 7, 2015 by Julie Short

For the average business owner or marketer, “custom app development” seems like something for only Fortune 500 companies and high-volume e-commerce sites. Simply put, they tend to think of it as something they don’t need and couldn’t afford.

However, we frequently come across new clients who could profit or benefit from web app development and just don’t know it yet.

Could you be one of them? It’s possible. Here are three reasons to look a little more closely at web app development this year:

1. Web apps increase the power, functionality, and usefulness of your website. While there are more apps and plug-ins available to web designers and developers than ever before, sometimes you just can’t get something that does what you need – or the way you need it – from an existing product. When that happens, modifying an existing app, or having one developed from scratch, can be the perfect answer.

Custom web apps can help with things like databases, polls, inventory, marketing, transaction security and encryption, and so much more. Each of these increases the functionality and value of your website.

2. Having a custom web app developed can often help you earn or save money in other areas. Business owners are often turned off by what they imagine the costs of web app development to be. That’s easy to understand, but it can hide the potential for bigger opportunities.

As with any investment, web app development can be well worth the small hit to your budget if it helps your company reach more customers, get real-time updates from suppliers, streamline financial transactions, or improve your bottom line in any one of dozens of ways.

3. Web app development is more affordable than a lot of business people would imagine. Speaking of budgets, it’s worth pointing out that custom web app development doesn’t cost nearly as much as business owners and executives tend to imagine it might. Even having a new piece of software written from scratch doesn’t need to be a major expense, or something that holds up the development of your website.

Five or ten years ago, web app development and custom programming were expensive, technical, and time-consuming projects that really weren’t worth the trouble unless you had a huge website that needed dozens of complex or industry-specific features. Now, though, businesses of all sizes are getting in on the act… and they’re finding that it’s a lot easier and more effective than they ever imagined.

How can WebRevelation help you improve your business through Internet marketing and technology services? Call or email our team today to find out.

Posted in : Websites , Business Strategy | 
Tags : webapps , affordable , custom


Why a New Website Can Give You So Much More Than a New Online Look (and What the Difference Can Mean for Your Bottom Line)

Posted Wed, December 31, 2014 by Julie Short

For a lot of companies, the time for a new business website comes around at the exact moment that management decides the old site "looks old." While that's not a bad way to judge the aesthetics of your web presence, it's not a great measuring stick for trying to decide whether a new site can help your company be more profitable and efficient, either.

That's because a new business website can give you so much more than a fresh online look… and the difference in functionality can actually make a huge bottom-line difference in your company's future.

To give you a sense of why this is, and why the real value of the new site is in programming and business power, here are a few things a modern web presence can help you with:

Improve your marketing (even if it's business-to-business). Although Internet marketing is something nearly every business owner or executive already knows a bit about, most don't realize how effective it can be in building business-to-business relationships. At the very least, your site should add to your company's credibility and support your other offline sales and marketing efforts.

Make inventory control and logistics more accurate and efficient. With customized databases, real-time information entry, and even the integration of mobile devices, you can keep better track of what's going on at your production facilities and warehouses through your business website.

Help with routine customer service and account management tasks. Why make customers call you on the phone when they could place recurring orders or update their account information online, or through a mobile app? That reduces the burden of time and expense for you and your clients or customers. 

Move potential buyers along with lead automation. Do you or your sales teams spend a lot of time following up with individual leads? An automated response system can distribute marketing literature, steer them towards answers to common questions, and even perform lead nurturing tasks on your behalf, so your time is freed up to finalize concrete sales opportunities.

Help you manage employees, vendors, and projects. There are a variety of tools you can use and install to make your business website support collaborative, real-time project management, even if you have employees or vendors in other locations around the world.

If your business website isn't doing all for your company that it could be, we encourage you to get in touch with the WebRevelation team today and let us show you how we've been able to help other businesses accomplish more online.

Posted in : Websites | 
Tags : web applications , websites


SEO 101: Semantic Search and the Evolution of SEO

Posted Wed, December 24, 2014 by Julie Short

The deeper you get into search engine optimization, the harder it is to speak about specifics. This is partly because Google keeps its exact formulas and algorithms secret – we know that things like keywords and links are important to search engine rankings, for example, but don’t know exactly how they factor into the rankings at a mathematical level.

Another important reason, however, is that search engine optimization is always evolving. Google is always tweaking its approach to stay one step ahead of its competitors, and that means there are always going to be new wrinkles or ideas to consider.

Here at WebRevelation, we work hard to stay on top of these trends and best practices so our clients will always be prepared. The more competitive a search market is, the more fine-tuning and refinement is needed on a continual basis. If you want to bury your competitors and get the most traffic, you can’t let your website and search engine optimization plan become stagnant.

To give you an idea of why continual SEO refinement is so important, here are just a few of the most important search trends we’ve noticed in the past year or two:

Semantic search. Contextual search is getting to be an even bigger and more important part of Google’s algorithm. In a few years, individual keywords may not matter much at all; instead, search results will be based on a user’s preference and a host of other factors like location, visit history, and the overall depth and topic of a website. In other words, Google is getting better at figuring out what people really want when they search, and recognizing that the keywords they use might not be the clearest form of the question.

Local SEO. Now that Internet searches have effectively replaced the Yellow Pages and local print advertising in a lot of areas, local search engine optimization – based on geographic search terms – is more important than ever. If you don’t have text on your website that identifies your city, state, or area, you could be missing out on a lot of traffic.

Social inputs. More and more, Google and the other search engines are using social popularity and activity as a means for determining credibility. So having lots of followers, and comments on your social profiles, could conceivably help you achieve a higher search engine ranking. That’s especially true in the case of Google+, which is owned by the search giant itself.

Harsher penalties for bad SEO. Once upon a time, you could rank very well for lots of search terms by simply listing keywords over and over, “borrowing” content from your competitors, or having lots of low-quality links point at your website. Those days are over, however, and engaging in these kinds of tricks will likely get you penalized by Google and the other search engines to the point where they may not list your website in the search results at all.

Staying on top of search engine optimization takes a lot of work, but it also brings big rewards. If you can win visitors your competitors don’t have access to, you’ll enjoy a steady flow of buyers coming to your website each and every day.

How can we help you with your search engine optimization and Internet marketing campaigns? Call WebRevelation today to let us know, and we’ll be happy to schedule a free consultation for you and your team.

Posted in : Website Content , SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : semantic , search , google , SEO


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