Sage Web Marketing Group
148 East Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc, WI


Embrace Social Media

Posted on: December 10th, 2013 by Katie Mikulak

Embrace Social MediaPlease don’t limit your knowledge of social media to teenagers glued to their iphones and friends posting pictures of their four legged furry friends (guilty!).  Social media possesses incredible influential power and since the dawn of the Internet it’s evolved from a simple way for people to keep in touch into a massive global network connecting organizations, communities and people. Believe it or not, social media is the easiest, fastest and most explosive way to transmit and receive information. The coolest thing about it – absolutely anyone can take advantage of it.

Active membership of the most frequented social network is now at 1 Billion. Can you believe it – 1 out of every 7 people on Earth is on Facebook.  Our population is rapidly growing and it’s abundantly clear that social media is not a passing fad either.  The influence is quite remarkable.  Small and large corporations alike have tapped into this influence to reach new customers and generate real, honest communication.

This explains a number of phenomena. For example, 64% of Twitter users are more likely to buy products from brands they follow online or that the average Facebook user spends 405 minutes per month interacting with friends and following their favorite pages.

My best advice? Embrace the ubiquity of social media and use its power to better yourself, your business or cause. Below are some fun facts and statistics that may surprise you about just how influential social media really is! These stats show that social media is here to stay!

Be Social,





20 Best Practices For Your Website

Posted on: November 21st, 2013 by sage

The Do’s and Do Not’s of a Website

Knowledge is the key to success! Right? Well same stands for your website. We’ve always preached don’t just be on the internet – be effective! Below are the top 15 best practices for any business’ website – off the top of my head – pulled out of my back pocket, yada, yada, yada.  Prepare to be enlightened!

1.  Look Professional

Visitors are turned off by a sloppy, plain or homemade looking website. Your website is a 24/7 extension of your brick and mortar.

2.  Be Secure

Websites need to be secure especially for online merchants accepting credit cards through the website. Your site must comply with the requirements of the payment card industry security standards (PCI DSS).

3.  Make Checkout Easy!

Dear business owner with an ecommerce website: shopping cart abandon rates are high due to too many steps to check-out! Don’t make your customers jump through hoops!

4.  Memorable Domain Name

Your private domain name should be easy to remember and contain the name of your business.

5.  Business Name and Address Should be in Text

Search engines can’t index from your logo so make sure your business’ name and location are able to be indexed.  The rule is – no text, no search indexing!

6.  Business Phone Number in Click-to-Call Format

Let’s face it…everyone is looking for businesses using their mobile devices. Bring more customers to your business by giving them a one-touch way to call your establishment. Oh, and on that note – make your contact info easy to find. Search engines aren’t the only ones that need easy access to your contact info.

7.  Your Core Products/Services Should be “At-a-Glance”

What do I mean by this? I mean through images, succinct descriptions or both; visitors to your site should be able to tell right away what it is you do.

8.  What is Your Unique Selling Point (USP)?

Highlight your unique selling point. Let visitors know why they should stick around and do business with you and what sets you apart from the competition. You don’t want visitors to click the dreaded back button when they get to your site!

9.  Visitor Feedback

The old adage “you’ll never know if you don’t ask!” applies to your business on the web. Encourage and invite clients and visitors to complete the contact form for feedback and testimonials.

10.  Testimonials

Sharing testimonials is the best way for people to hear about your business. There isn’t such a thing as too much either! Choose testimonials that highlight different aspects of your business (i.e., customer service, installation, project management, etc.).

11.  Content Should Speak to Your Customers…Not Your Ego.

Your website content should focus on how you can benefit your customers instead of how awesome you are.

12.  Offer Fresh Content

When your website is updated on a regular basis, your visitors AND search engines are happy. Integrating a blog is an excellent way to do this.

13.  Contain Keywords

Organic SEO (search engine optimization) strategies are essential in getting new visitors to your website.  Make sure you understand Google’s Panda and Penguin updates for the best effectiveness. (Stay tuned for a blog post dedicated to this!)

14.  Link to Other Websites

Outbound links can help improve your search engine results and make you look like a valuable resource. Vice versa too! Have other websites link to your website as well. Inbound links carry even more search engine credibility.

15.  Be Social!

Your social sharing buttons should be prominently placed for increased reach.

 What list would be complete without the Do Not’s?

16.  Not Alot of Bells and Whistles

Do not pack in every widget, form and/or plugin on your website. Less is more. For the last ten years I have been saying this, and I stand by it to this day.

17.  No Flash Animation, Moving Text, Cursor Graphics or Sound! Eek!

All of the above are really good ways to annoy your visitors – and slow down your website’s loading time – not to mention they are completely unnecessary!

18.  Post Images WITHOUT ALT Tags or Text Captions

We know search engines can’t read images, but we need them to by using ALT text and text captions. Your rankings will thank you for it!

19.  Dead Links

Bad! Check your links frequently to make sure they still work and they don’t lead to an error page.

20.  Listing ALL Your Products and Services

List them on one big, continuous page or paragraph on the home page. Break it up, and create smart ways for your visitors to find what they need.

Got all that!? If it’s still a little fuzzy or you need help implementing them – give me a call or shoot me an email.

Seriously though – useful tips that mostly we have been preaching all along. Now go practice them.

Good Day,


What’s in a signature line, anyway?!

Posted on: September 23rd, 2013 by sage

As business owners, marketing experts and website gurus, we’re always looking for the latest and greatest marketing tool to help sell our products or just get our company’s name out there. We have Facebook accounts and tweet, but one of the best ways to get our information in front of other people is, and has been, right before our eyes for years. It’s our signature line.

Email signature lines are one of the easiest and least expensive marketing tools we can use to promote our business while providing the highest return on our investment. It’s an extension of our company’s brand and can help spread awareness about what we do.

So, how do you go about creating a signature line? Most email accounts allow you to create a signature that automatically appears at the end of all of your e-mails. However, before jumping over to your email to create one, there are certain rules you should follow.

1. If there are other employees in your company, make sure all email signatures are consistent. Standards should be in place for signature lines to create brand awareness and build brand identity.

2. Be sure to include your website and social media links. This allows your customers and potential customers to access your information quickly and easily.

3. Include direct phone numbers so customers can reach you right away.

4. Do not include your email address. Your e-mail address will already appear in your header. It’s important to keep your signature line short and sweet.

If you want to take this to the next level, you can use your signature as a promotional tool to reflect your marketing campaign. If you have an upcoming event or sale, add that to your signature. You can change the information as often as you like at no cost, and you will see an increase in traffic to your site.

If you employ ten people who send out at least ten e-mails in a day, that roughly leads to 24,000 free advertisements a year for your business. The more you can get your company’s name in front of people, you will increase your brand awareness, thus increasing sales. And who doesn’t want that?

Do I really need a website?!

Posted on: September 12th, 2013 by sage

With all of the various avenues of social media available these days, many businesses wonder if they even need a website at all. “Why should I pay for a website when I can use Facebook or Twitter for free?”

It’s not only about marketing yourself on the web – you need to effectively manage your brand. While, yes, many social media sites are free; Facebook, Twitter and the handful of other social marketing websites that businesses are using were never meant to be used in lieu of a website. These tools, including a business’ own website, are all pieces of the marketing puzzle for your business; and when all working together they create a picture of great success.

An effective online marketing plan should include the following:

  1. Website – A website is the face of your businesses. It’s the foundation of your online marketing plan and your image. People are still going to search engines when looking for things and you want to be high up in the search results.
  2. Facebook Business Page – This will help your business create an ongoing database of customers that you can reach out to in other forms of online marketing.
  3. Twitter Page (if you blog and content is worth a link to on Twitter)
  4. LinkedIn Business Listing – It is important to cross promote by utilizing all forms of online marketing.
  5. Email Marketing Plan – With all of your social media outlets you’re now using, you’ve created a solid database of customers. Now you can utilize that to share additional information, and if executed properly, your e-mails, newsletters, etc. can route customers back to your website, thus creating more traffic.
  6. Blog – By creating a blog you will help to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Customers will come to you wanting to learn more which is, again, increasing your traffic and visibility.

According to the Facebook newsroom, it has 845 million users. If even a small fraction of those users like your business page, and you periodically post updates and links that relay back to your site, you will obviously generate traffic to your site. Think of how many potential customers you could gain. That is the idea. Social media marketing is meant to capture your audience’s attention with your human side enough to get them to your site to experience your business side.  Now once they get to your website is another thing….