Your website is a chance to establish yourself in the marketplace. Make sure your site brings prospects and customers to you.
Let’s face it – your website is vital to the success of your company. In the digital age, online interactions and impressions are arguably more important than any other aspect of your clients experience. Small business analyst and Forbes contributor Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle reminds us that a website can be a “professional destination that gives customers the impression you mean business and the motivation to want to engage more with your business”. Your company’s online presence is an opportunity to extend your brand influence, reach new customers, and maintain existing clients. Here are four simple reasons your website matters and should work for you.
1. Help Customers Find You
Consumers rely on technology to make decisions more than ever before. Search engines like Google, Yelp, Yahoo, and Bing are essential to the consumer experience. Modern users rely on search engine services to deliver customer reviews, location, pricing, and industry information in a second’s notice. Having a website that responds well to keyword searches online is key to driving the growth of your business.
2. Enhance Your Customer’s Experience
Websites are an opportunity to add value to your product or services in a variety of ways. An e-commerce or online shopping cart is a proven way to eliminate the barrier of a physical point of sale. Moving your storefront online will often reduce the costs associated with a physical storefront, streamlining the process of delivering your goods and services and increasing efficiency for your business. It also adds to the user experience by offering the option to act immediately and make real-time consumer decisions from the convenience of the web.
3. Increase Customer Retention
It’s hard to overstate the value that brand recognition and influence represents for your business. Your website is arguably the most efficient tool at your disposal in communicating a well-crafted brand to your existing and future client base. Leinbach-Reyhle tells us in regards to customer loyalty that, “79% of customers would take their business to a competitor within a week of experiencing poor customer service”. Increasing customer retention and reducing client-turnover is one of the best ways to help your business. Your brand reflects the reliability and consistency that should define your business, your website is the most effective way to bring your brand and business together.
4. Without a Website, You’re Toast
We spoke earlier about the importance of using your website to drive search engine engagement and optimize traffic to your product or service, but it’s important to note that the alternative can be devastating. Having no website can make you impossible to find. Many small businesses rely on social media pages or local business listings alone and are consistently overlooked by engaging consumers. The mechanics of search engine optimization can quickly render a Facebook Business page useless, keeping it from ever appearing on a detailed google maps listing, and placing it so far down the list of relevant search engine results that it is may as well not exist. Without a website you run the risk of relying strictly on word-of-mouth association without excuse.
Whether your company consists of a few agile creatives, hundreds of employees performing services, or a retail experience that you’d like the world to see, these basic principles of website development will hold true. Engaging your customers, enhancing their experience, and highlighting the important parts of your business are key. It’s imperative for your business to embrace the importance of an individual website and consider the areas within your industry at which that website could work for you. To learn more about your web needs
Let's talk about your SEO. The jargon and technicalities behind your search engine optimization can seem daunting. Your standings on Google and Bing are so radically important to your digital success. Put yourself in the shoes of your desired audience. No one likes digging through pages of search results to get to the content they're looking for, but there's a few basic things you can do that will really improve your placement.
1. Keep Up With Adding Relevant Content
Posting new and relevant content is really where the rubber hits the road with SEO. Your search engine results rely heavily on the recency and relevancy of your content. You want to be posting regularly and with quality content
Setting yourself a schedule with weekly blog posts, videos, or other content is a huge boost to SEO. Multiple recent posts indicates for search engines that you have an active digital presents. The foremost killer of search engine rankings is outdated content. Google and Bing push down websites that haven't been updated in a long time, assuming that the websites are just abandoned.
Relevancy is the number one necessity for your SEO. When crafting your content, keep in mind to use key phases when writing copy. Don't go out of your way to spam up your work with lines that don't make sense. Think about the way your readers will search for you. Take phrases like "Where can I print architectural plans in Oxford, MS?" and "Best cleaning services in Nashville, TN", and repeat them a few times in your article or copy. This will pay dividends in improving SEO placement.
2. Get Social
Linking your posts to your social media accounts is a huge SEO booster. Sharing your posts, videos, and other content gives you a quality SEO presence and brings more traffic to your website. Web traffic is a key factor in search engine rankings.
Make sure to diversify your social media and reach out to a variety of groups. Don't discount the power of a strong Instagram, Pintrest, Snapchat, or Youtube. A variety in your social media indicates to Google and Bing that you are producing a multiple different forms of content for a variety of audiences. This is a big plus for your search engine ranking.
For some good examples, check us out on facebook!
Here's where things get interesting. Meta data is data included in the build of your web page to communicate info about your site to search engines. There's three different key types of Metadata to be aware of.
4. Get Link-y With It
Use outbound links. This connects you to other, often more established websites, and makes more traffic for your webpage. Use links to reference other authorities on the subject, link to other articles that further explain your point, or to other media that you don't want to host on your page.
5. What's media got to do with it?
Your video and media have metadata of their own. Add descriptions and alt tags to your media, and they will also improve your SEO. Adding plenty of well tagged images and videos plays a huge role in your search engine rankings.
6. Go To The Pros
These are just the basics on improving your social media. The absolute best way to set yourself ahead of the competition, is to trust your site with a pro. That's what our team is all about. Victor Marketing's Google Certified SEO experts are here to take your site and make it run, leap, and dash to the winner's circle. For more information, contact us!
Barbour Cuts Ribbon On Winchester In Oxford
Yesterday, Haley Barbour cut the ribbon on a new chapter for both the Winchester company and for the Oxford-Lafayette community..
The ribbon cutting celebration was for the creation of the new Winchester Centerfire Ammunition manufacturing facility in northern Lafayette county.
The event celebrated a milestone growth in the operations of Olin Corporation, Winchester Division with the creation of a state-of-the-art facility that will allow more efficient production and customer service.
The people that will be most affected by the initiative are those of the Oxford-Lafayette community, as the facility is expected to bring in over 1,000 jobs to the area.
“Our decision to move down here was a big one for us.” Joseph D. Rupp, President and CEO of Olin Corporation said at the event. ”We are convinced that moving to Oxford was the right decision for us.”
Winchester has been a part of the Oxford-Lafayette community since the opening of its Rimfire operations in 2005 followed by its Military Packing operations in 2008. Since then Winchester has employed more that 300 workers in Oxford.
The move of the Centerfire productions to Oxford represents a large investment of money and man power by the Olin Corporation in the Oxford Community. With the creation of jobs, the $36 million payroll, the $1.35 million in property tax, and the expenses of moving, the facility represents a $100 million investment in the Oxford-Lafayette community.
“When a company like Winchester first decides that they want to move, first they look at states, but at the end of the day they ultimately pick a community.” Governor Haley Barbour said. “They picked Oxford. This is a great choice Winchester.”
The decision to move Winchester operations to Oxford was based on economic advantages to Mississippi, and the available and skilled workforce that the area generates.
“The reason we chose Oxford and this region is the level of available talent and skilled labor.” Thomas O’Keefe, Winchester Ammunition President said. “There’s no question that the people of this area are a tremendous asset to Mississippi.”
A major goal of Olin in this move was to make the transition as seamless as possible. Initial hiring began in early 2011 and the transport of equipment began this September.
“The city, the Mayor,and Board of Alderman were great partners on this.” Governor Barbour said. “They were instrumental partners in what we did here.”
While the ribbon cutting event was iconic in the company’s expansion in Oxford, the facility will continue to be worked on until planned completion in 2016.
“I appreciate the commitment by Olin and the support provided by the Mississippi Development Authority, Lafayette County and the city of Oxford to bring Winchester Centerfire here.” Governor Barbour said.
In short, this major movement by the Olin Corporation, Winchester is planned to improve both the business of the corporation and relationship between Winchester and Oxford.
“Winchester is proud to be a part of the Oxford community now and in the future.” O’Keefe said. ”We are excited to expand our operations here, creating jobs and opportunity.”
Mississippi Makes The Choice For Voter ID
Due to the newly passed Initiative 27, voters will now be required to present a photo ID before casting their ballot.
Yesterday, initiative passed 63 percent to 37 percent, exceeding the required simple majority of 51 percent.
“It just makes me feel more confident that all the people voting are registered, and have a right to be there voting,” Oxford resident and nurse David Allen said. “It feels safe, like along the same lines of when you charge for something on credit card and they ask for your ID.”
The initiative will require voters to submit government issued photo identification before being allowed to vote. It exempts certain residents of state licensed care facilities and religious objectors from being required to show photo identification.
To vote, any government issued photo identification is accepted, including drivers license, military ID or an ID from the Dept. of Public safety, and will now be required every time one goes to the ballot.
This idea has met a lot of controversy due to cases in Tenn., Kan., and Wis. that make it difficult for students, lower income citizens, and minorities to get voter IDs. Civil rights advocates have said that the requirement of specific forms of ID will disenfranchise the under privileged who lack drivers licences, military IDs or any other form of government identification.
“I think it’s neglecting the voices of a lot of people in this country,” said Doug Whitely, sophomore philosophy and psychology major. “It’s neglecting their voices on any governmental affairs.”
The inclusion of voter ID in the election process is also receiving a lot of support from those concerned about the legitimacy of the political process.
“I fully support initiative 27,” said Evan Kirkham junior public policy major and ASB Attorney General. “It’s a surefire way to prove the continuity between voter registration documents and the physical voter. The integrity of this state’s elections are sure to be upheld.”
This issue has been debated amongst the Mississippi State Legislature for over 2 years.
Though the initiative is official policy, the debate over voting rights and the integrity of the voting system still goes on as it is expected to be challenged in state court.
“Now that it’s passed, if there is still strong dissent I am all for seeing how this initiative holds up in the state courts,” Kirkham said.
The University Green Fund Accepting New Proposals For Spring Cycle
BY: Joe Scott
OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Green Fund is accepting project proposals for the Spring Funding Cycle through March 23.
The UM Green Fund (UMGF) was created in spring of 2013.The UMGF provides funding for the implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability projects, programs, and policies. University administration supplies the UMGF with an annual budget of $15,000 and matches donations by 50%. Proposals can be made by any students, faculty, or staff of the University of Mississippi.
“I guess I never saw myself as an activist or anything.” said Grace Herrington, sophomore and author of last year’s RC South Recycles Proposal. “There were just no easy options for recycling, so we started collecting on our own. We realized that others were doing the same and saw willingness to recycle if the tools were provided. The Green Fund was the best chance to make that happen”
Herrington’s proposal, that was selected by the Green Fund Committee last November, will bring recycling bins to all dorms and a larger bin to all of the trash closets at the RC South.
The UMGF committee will review all project proposals and select an initial round of proposals to consider. All proposers selected during the first round will then be invited to speak at the public hearing/forum. One member from the project group must be present at that event to present and answer questions about the project. Following the public meeting, the committee and, in some cases, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance will make final selections.
The Green Fund Committee will review proposals and make selections using the project’s impact, visibility and feasibility as criteria. Projects selected last November include a Bike Repair Station at the RC South, the Recycling Program for the RC South, Dorm Dumpster Donations, and the Mississippi River Dance on Mud Island.
Past proposals have been nonspecific and of wide variety. Proposals should meet the guidelines found at http://green.olemiss.edu/propose-a-project/.
“This is a non-traditional project in that it is temporal and focuses on the use of the arts to call attention to sustainability issues.” said Prof. Jennifer Mizenko, author of the Mississippi River Dance Proposal.
Mizenko is a Professor of Dance at the University of Mississippi. Her project is in participation with the National Water Dance 2016. The National Water Dance is a collection of dance artists and educators that use the medium of dance to call attention to pressing water issues nationwide. Through creating simultaneous, site-specific performances across the nation on April 16, 2016, the art of dance is used to express the absolute necessity of clean water.
“This project advances the university’s commitment to sustainability issues by supporting the arts as a means to communicate the importance of clean water.” said Mizenko.
The UMGF offers an opportunity for members of the University community to participate and make progress happen on campus. The proposal process is meant to inspire participation by students, faculty, and staff.
“The proposal process was easy and great to do.” said Herrington. “The public speaking aspect can seem daunting, but the Green Fund really gives you a sense that we’re all in this together for a greener campus.”
Learn more about the University of Mississippi Green Fund at http://green.olemiss.edu/.
HED: UM Green Fund Now Accepting New Proposals
SUB: Green Fund implements innovative sustainability projects on campus
by Joe Scott
OXFORD—The University of Mississippi Green Fund is accepting project proposals from faculty, staff, and students through Oct. 19. The Green Fund, created in 2012 to fund sustainability projects on campus, is supported by the university as well as donations from the public.
Projects by the Green Fund vary in scale, ranging from the installation of several campus hydration stations to provide refills for reusable containers to the launch of a composting program which has diverted more than 36,000 pounds of campus food waste from the landfill since 2013.
“The Green Fund is extremely important to the university's commitment to sustainability,” said Ty Allushuski, assistant director of Admissions and UM Green Fund Committee member. “As a campus we have made tremendous strides in recent years related to sustainability, and the Green Fund helps encourage sustainable practices and brings much-needed attention to the efforts.”
Students, faculty, and staff are able to submit proposals as individuals, groups or departments. Groups of students in Allushuski’s EDHE 305 course submit Green Fund proposals each fall.
“The entire process of brainstorming an idea, researching the potential environmental impact, making contacts with different offices on campus, and working as a group provides valuable skills and lessons for the students,” Allushuski said. “In addition, several of my students have had projects funded in the past and this gives them a vested interest in sustainability and their own campus.
The UMGF Committee will review proposals and make selections using the project’s impact, visibility, and feasibility as criteria. All proposers selected in the first round will be invited to speak at the public forum to be held the week of November 8. Proposal awards will be announced in late November.
“I like the two-step evaluation process in which the award committee was able to hear from the applicants in person and ask them questions,” said Jason Hoeksema, associate professor of biology who received funding for an upcoming native plants project. "Most grant proposal review processes don't allow for this back-and-forth process, which is really valuable.”
Proposals should meet the guidelines found at green.olemiss.edu and should be submitted firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 19.
Past proposals have made lasting impacts on the environment and the university’s sustainable culture. The projects provide a unique chance for faculty, staff, and students to contribute to the sustainability of their university.
The Compost Project Expansion composted 6,000 lbs of food waste, creating 19 cubic yards of compost used by the Residential College Garden Club. This year the project expects to compost up to 36,000 lbs of food waste.
The Low-E Film project provided low emission film on the Eastern windows of the J. D. Williams Library. The film works by reflecting 57% of solar energy, thus lowering cooling costs. The film is expected to lower energy use from 10-40% and will pay for itself within 3 years.
Last year the UMGF committee funded the purchase of a Rhoades Car for campus and the installation of native plants on campus.
Students and faculty are encouraged to participate not only by submitting proposals, but also by measuring and analyzing the success of the Green Fund projects.
"My hope is that the Green Fund will continue to grow in size and in its impact on the Oxford-University community,” said Alex Borst, a senior international studies major from Madison, Mississippi and a student member of the UM Green Fund Committee. “The funds are there, we just need more innovative people to utilize them more often."
To get involved with the UM Green Fund or make donations, visit green.olemiss.edu or email email@example.com.
City approves 2011-2012 Budget
The Board of Alderman approved the 2011-2012 budget in a special meeting yesterday. The meeting addressed some of the pressing issues facing the city.
The approval came a week after the board held a public hearing on the budget during their town hall meeting, to hold any concerns and to allow a clear view of the city’s spending by anyone interested.
The city’s budget was the top priority for the board during their special meeting. The motion was quickly approved, as the budget has been the talk of the board for several meetings now.
The rest of the meeting was spent reviewing some issues that had been discussed recently among the board and making routine approvals for various programs.
Issues included traffic issues on Sisk Avenue, the Square and Taylor Rd, declaring mills for the Oxford-Lafayette Vocational Technical Center, declaring the mill rate for 2011-2012 and to revisit the recent issue of the bars of silver that the city intends to sell this year.
The discussion of improvements on Sisk Avenue revolved around the improvement of the sidewalks leading to the school and the removal of residence mailboxes.
The work on the street will be made financially possible in part by the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program paying for a majority of the costs.
The removal of the residence mailboxes will be addressed by the city replacing them with standard mailboxes with the residences of Sisk Avenue having the option to replace the boxes independently.
"The main concern in this situation has to be making those sidewalks as safe as possible" said Mayor "Pat" Patterson.
The Cobra Security direction Square traffic was also addressed due to the regular congestion experienced by people driving through the Square on game days. It was decided that during the Georgia game the city would try putting traffic guards on both sides Lamar on the south side of the square.
The introduction of a round a bout on Taylor Rd. to free up traffic was discussed due to concerns about the size of the bridge across Highway 6 and its accessibility for bikers and pedestrian walkers. The issue will continue to be discussed at coming Board of Alderman meetings.
The discussion of selling the city's silver bars also continued due to request by the city officials to postpone the sale until next year. The silver sale will also be discussed next Tuesday.
Green Week Sees a Touch of Black
By Joe Scott
On the backdrop of a beautiful, festive Green Day celebration, the organization Campus for Clean Energy held an event Friday in remembrance of a truly dark event for Gulf Coast.
Friday the group held an event called I Stand With The Gulf: Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Day of Remembrance and Awareness to recognize the two year anniversary of the BP Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill.
The event went on all day and was located in front of the Student Union. The CCE decided to make the anniversary of the spill a priority event to show strong resolve in a state still feeling the detriment brought on by the environmental catastrophe.
"This event is our way of standing in solidarity with our Gulf Coast, and remembering the importance of our Gulf not just to our environment, but also to the people who live in it.” a statement from the CCE said.
The Deepwater Horizon spill is considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the drilling industry, claiming 11 lives and spilling oil into the ocean for 87 days. The oil contained 40% methane, which causes large “deadzones” throughout the coast, depleting sea life of oxygen. The spill reached for 68,000 square miles, a distance roughly comparable to the state of Oklahoma.
The event was sponsored by the Southern Energy Network, a group that facilitates state networks that focus on cleaning the environment. The SEN is receiving proceeds from similar events being held at several college campuses across the South East.
The aim for the group was bringing focus to the major environmental catastrophe by sending postcards signed by supporters to local representatives, encouraging people to wear black and black out their social media pictures to show support of Gulf Coast, and making a banner signed by supporters to send to a coastal community and those still working to clean up the waters.
The postcards that people signed included a section where the student stated what they were doing to help reduce oil usage, and a section where the political leader who receives the card must state what they will do to push for a less oil dependent policy.
“We are trying to raise awareness of the Oil Spill and also the bigger issue, which is our nation’s over consumption of oil.” Zach Jarjoura, CCE organizer and Grad Student said. “We want for students to hold themselves and their politicians accountable for helping to reduce that consumption of oil.”
The CCE meant for the day to be a blackout day, where student use the color black to show solidarity with the Gulf Coast, which is still seeing effects from pollution. The clean up for the Coast is still an ongoing process now 2 years after the fact. In Mississippi the cleanup work is on the south side of the barrier islands and an area near Bay St. Louis and tar balls continue to appear on the beaches of Fort Morgan, Ala.
“I think the Gulf Coast Oil Spill is definitely something that has fallen by the wayside.” Will Bedwell, Freshman ASB Director of Sustainability said. “The Gulf Coast community is still trying to rebuild their way of life and make a safe environment for fishing, tourism, and their own living conditions. There are still concerns for the environment there and it is definitely something we need to keep a light on.”
Students visited the table through the day and did their part to contact their public leaders and sign the banner to send to the Coast.
“They are gonna hang the banners up at public libraries for 88 days for the 88 days that the spill happened.” Bedwell said. “The idea of the black banner and to where black is remembrance.”
Green Week has been a big week for environmentally conscious students, marked with many events to promote a more sustainable future. This event brought us closer to the end with a reminder that we are responsible for our environment.
“As a whole I think we should be more aware of what resources we are using.” Younne Gooden, Senior Sociology Student said. “A lot the blame goes to BP, but I feel like the blame can really fall on all of us because of how we use oil.”
10 Reasons Recycling Is Cooler Than Snuggies & NextflixPosted on July 14, 2016 by josephwscott
Sure, binge watching shows with the convenience of blanket sleeves is the pretty cool, but recycling at Ole Miss is even cooler. Recycling also never gave anyone the freshman 15 either, so it’s certainly healthier. Recycling is one of the most convenient and easiest ways to do our part for the environment, so here are the 10 reasons recycling is cooler that Snuggies & Netflix.
1.) Last Fall, 153 tons of waste were generated from the Grove alone. (That’s the weight of 14 empty O.U.T. Buses and a Prius being driven by a bear.)
2.) Recycling 1 aluminum can saves enough energy to run your television for 3 hours. (That mean it takes 8 cans to binge watch the latest season of your favorite show.)
3.) 45% of all food produced in the U.S. goes to waste, when it could be recycled into compost. (So don’t get those 5 desserts until you’re sure you want them all.)
4.) The most thrown away products in America include diapers, pens, razor blades, tires and aluminium- all of which can be to be recycled into other useful products. So that's just money being thrown away. (Record for most money thrown away belongs to Transformers 4. The movie cost $593 million to make, and cannot be recycled into another useful product.)
5.) Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown way in the U.S. every year. (If you’ve seen M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, you know that doesn’t bode well for us.
6.) A plastic bottle thrown into the landfill today won’t decompose for another 500 years. (Just in time for The Rolling Stones’ final farewell tour.)
7.) Aluminium cans can actually be recycled and put back into use at a grocery store in just about 2 months. (So make a mark your cans and hope they come back home to you.)
8.) Diners at the Rebel Market throw away more than 6 tons of food per month. That’s enough food to feed 140 students per month. (Or enough to feed one cat for one month apparently… Looking at you Finnegan.)
9.) 14 billion pounds of garbage were dumped into the ocean last year. Most of it was recyclable plastic. (The remainder of which being unused jogger pants. They looked ridiculous. I mean really what were we thinking.)
10.) Recyclable items on campus are plastics #1 and #2 (look on the bottom of the item for the number,) aluminum cans, paper and e-waste. (If you want help recycling your pre-consumer food waste, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
In all seriousness, recycling is a very important step towards repairing our struggling environment. Recycling has the power to reduce ocean pollution, deforestation, and green house gas emissions. All it takes for recycling to make a difference, is a little bit of environmental consciousness and responsible choices for our future. We can either hangout with the bottles we throw away for the rest of our lives, or give those materials new life on our shelves. Remember, the power is yours.
I've had the privilege to write content for a variety of publications and digital media, including The Daily Mississippian, The Oxford Eagle, The Red Blue and Green Blog, The Elevator Project, and The Visit Oxford Blog,