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Knowledge Centre Website Design & Development

3 website platforms (and their benefits) to consider when starting a new business

3 Website Builders (and their Benefits) to Consider When Starting a New Business.

Let's Find Out The Best Website Builders For Small Businesses

Are you starting a new business? If so, congratulations! It’s an exciting time, but it can also be daunting. There are many things to do, and it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where digital marketing comes in. 

We’ve outlined the benefits of the top 3 website builders for small businesses to consider when launching a new business or re-designing your website! Need help with ensuring you’re selecting the right platform? Send us an email, and we’ll be happy to help!

best website builders for small businesses

1. Need a new website - great! Ask yourself these questions before creating your own website... 

Before even opening your browser and looking at your options – you need to sit down and ask yourself what the goal of your website is. What are the tools you’ll need to make website visitors become clients? What automation would you like to have to help your business’s operations?

We’ve compiled the following questions for you:

1. What’s your website’s optimal goal?
– sell products/services online
– showcase services/offerings
– educate and inform (content-focus)

2. How much time and money do you have to invest in your website for maintenance and upkeep work?
3. What kind of automations / tools / app integrations do you need to run your business?
4. How quickly do you need to get your website up and running?

2.  Things to consider when evaluating which platform is best for you.

Ease of Use

The website builder you choose should be easy for new users to understand and use if you aren’t tech-savvy. You need an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, and powerful editing tools with customizable design options that make it simple enough.

Pricing

It’s important to look at which website builder offers the most value for your money. We ask questions like: does it come with a free domain? SSL certificate and business email account too! If not – how much extra do I have to pay as an entrepreneur when signing up?”

Design & Feature

Are you hoping for a neatly designed website builder that has the ability to add Google Analytics, CRM and other marketing tools? Or are you going to hire someone who can build a website for you that has the website design and development knowledge so you don’t have to do it?

Customer Support

Website builders are an excellent way to get your website up and running quickly, but they’re not perfect. That’s why it’s essential to look at their customer support for any problems you might run into when using their software.

Short Term VS Long Term Plan

Are you hoping to do a quick and easy website to get your business up and running quickly? Or is it important for you to invest in a website that you will build upon and grow throughout the years? What are your long-term plans for your website? Is the website you create today good enough for your business in 5 years’ time?

3. Squarespace (portfolio & online store)

Pros

  • Started as a website builder for creative portfolios (branched out and strengthened their eCommerce options more recently)
  • Great, simple, minimal designed templates
  • Drag and drop website builder
  • Offers domain registration and hosting within the platform
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Gmail integration (cost $$$)
  • Integrates with industry-standard POS like Square, Stripe and PayPal.

Cons

  • Limited customizability
  • No access to backend
  • Dependent on Squarespace’s platform
  • You do not own your asset completely

Squarespace is the perfect platform for entrepreneurs who want to build their own design and content-driven websites with just a few products or services. With its one-stop-shop feature, it’s an excellent choice!

4. Shopify (online store)

Pros

  • started as an eCommerce platform and has been a prominent leader in the industry for years
  • offers domain, hosting and eCommerce all in one space
  • manage high volume of products, inventory and customer profiles in one unified platform
  • great premium templates to get a ‘custom’ look
  • Integrates with industry standards POS like Square, Stripe, PayPal, as well as 100s other options
  • 24/7 customers support
  • access to backend codes to optimize for SEO (organic rankings)
  • Growing to international markets is possible with them

Cons

  • Limited customizability without the help of a developer
  • You do not own your asset
  • Easy to build a store, but harder to create content focus pages

If you want to launch right away and have a flexible platform that can scale your business, Shopify is for you. It’s powerful yet easy to use, so it doesn’t require much time or expertise to make things happen on this site! Plus, its customer support team has been known never to give up until they find an answer – meaning no more worrying about maintenance tasks from here on out. 

5.  WordPress (advanced custom website builder)

Pros

  • you can buy a custom-designed theme already created by experts
  • you can use a website builder like Elementor or Divi to help design your site
  • You have complete control and ownership of your website data
  • You can optimize your website for better organic rankings with SEO-friendly plugins
  • You can find a ton of plugins available to add to your website’s functionality

Cons

  • it needs monthly maintenance performed manually
  • you are in charge of securing your website (SSL certificate)
  • it can be an overwhelming platform for non-web designers
  • it can be more expensive to use if you need a lot of pro plugins

WordPress is an excellent option for those who want to build an online store with the functionality of an advanced platform. It offers robust content management system (CMS) capabilities, giving you complete control over how your website looks; in addition, it’s SEO-friendly which means better rankings on search engines like Google!

6. Review of the top 3 best website builders for small businesses

Squarespace is ideal if you need a content focus website. It has a reasonable price point, requires little to no maintenance, and allows you to write new content easily. 

Shopify is ideal if you need to sell products online with its easy website builder. It also allows for customization in its back-end, making it a strong competitor to platforms like WordPress.

WordPress is ideal if you need a custom design website and can handle the tech-savvy backend needs to maintain it. 

Pro Tip: make sure to map your customer’s journey online (conversion paths) to understand how they will interact with your site and how you will receive any information they send. Automation is key here. More knowledge coming your way during next’s month’s topic!

We’ve taken the time to review the leading top 3 best website builders for small businesses, but many other options are available. If you select a different website builder than Squarespace, Shopify, or WordPress, ensure to read reviews about their software! 

If you need help with any of these steps, don’t hesitate to contact us for support. We would be happy to help you get your business off the ground and soaring high in no time. You can also review our Website Design & Development services.

Thanks for reading, and good luck on your entrepreneurial journey!

Hire Online Experts Today!

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Knowledge Centre

7 Digital Marketing Steps You Need To Take When Starting A New Business

7 Digital Marketing Steps You Need to Take When Starting a New Business.

Are you starting a new business? If so, congratulations! It’s an exciting time, but it can also be daunting. There are a lot of things to do, and it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where digital marketing comes in. 

We’ve created a complete digital marketing tips for new business guide and wanted to share our seven steps you need to take to get your business off the ground. Need help with any of them, send us an email and we’ll be happy to help!

digital marketing tips for new business

1. Secure Your Domain Name

Before even registering your business, take some time to look at a domain registrar to figure out if you can have the website address you’re looking for. If you can’t find your exact name, try for alternatives using the tips below.

For example, L8P [Loop] Digital Marketing wasn’t supposed to be written using “l8p” as “loop” until we discovered that www.l8p.ca was available to purchase. Just like that, we got a 3-letter domain! #excellent ✨

Tips for picking the right domain name:

  • Stick with .com or .ca
  • Use keywords such as your services, locations, etc
  • Keep your domain name short
  • Make it easy to pronounce and spell
  • Keep it unique and brandable
  • Avoid hyphens
  • Avoid doubled letters

2. Create a Professional Email Address

To create trust and add professionalism, avoid using your personal email address to conduct business.

If you do not know how to set up an email address in your domain/hosting environment, don’t worry. There’s a more straightforward solution.

You can head to a service like Google Workspace and create a new Business Starter account. Then, for a small $8 per month, you will get a professional email account that gives you access to Google Meets (video calls) and 30 GB of cloud storage. Ideal for conducting business all in one place.

3. Create your social media handles

Now, listen carefully – even if you might not want to be on all the social media platforms, it is still essential to create an account and secure your ‘handle’ for each of them! That way, if in a few years from now you have a social account manager who wants to start using TikTok to promote your boutique shop, you already own the same handle as all the other platforms!

Ideally, your handle needs to be short, memorable, distinguishable, easy to spell and tells something about your brand.

Tips for picking the right handle:

  • Try your company name
  • If that doesn’t work, try with hyphens or a period
  • Use ‘the’ in front of your name
  • Use one of your main keywords (service or location)
  • Keep it short and easy to remember

4. Launch a Coming Soon Page (Website)

Bravo! You’ve already secured all your digital addresses, and it’s time to create your website. But wait, you feel it will take you a couple of months before you have all the information you need (read here: everything always takes longer than you think). It’s true. We know it and experience it over and over with our clients. And guess what we tell them? We say: that’s ok, but let’s create a quick splash page, so we don’t lose traction and momentum!

Head to any ‘build your site’ provider (Shopify if you’re selling online, Squarespace if you are offering services), and design a one-page website. Keep it short and straightforward.

Things to add to your splash page:

  • company name
  • description of services/products
  • a quick note about you
  • contact information (address, phone number, email)
  • social media links

5. Create Your Google My Business Listing

The easiest way to tell everyone you’ve started a new business is to create a Google My Business listing. Why? Because it will create an ‘information card’ about your business which will show in Google Search and Google Map.

It takes 5 minutes, and it’s free.

Things to add to your Google My Business Listing:

  • company information
  • hours of operations
  • website link
  • images of your products or services

*PS, if you are a business offering services, you can still have a Google My Business listing and select an area/location where you offer your services.

6. Register to the Local Business Directories in Your Area

When you have your website domain, business information and a brief description of your services/products, head to local directories and add your info!

Your local directories can be either the generic ones (Yellow Pages, Yelp, etc.) or the more advanced ones like The Locals Guide or The Chamber of Commerce.

(Pssst, curious to know how the Locals Guide offers you more than a simple listing? Head over to their website to learn more!)

Tips for adding content to local listings:

  • Keep a list of each listing you create
  • Save your email and password somewhere safe
  • Be consistent when adding your information (same info everywhere)
  • Remember to review your listing if your business details change!

7. Share Your New Business In Your Personal & Professional Network

After completing all the previous steps, it’s time to share your new business in your personal and professional network.

Don’t be shy. Share, share and share!

Give yourself a like from your personal profile on your business page (TBH, everyone does it!), and create stories on Instagram about your new business to share with your network. Also, email old colleagues and people you know that might be interested in your new business.

It’s your time to shine 💫, and there’s nothing wrong with sharing it in your community!

Even though it’s a lot of hard work, launching a new business is also incredibly rewarding. And we want to make sure that your digital marketing efforts are off to a great start. That’s why we put together this guide of seven essential steps you need to take when launching your new business online.

If you need help with any of these steps, don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance. We would be happy to help you get your business off the ground and soaring high in no time at all. Thanks for reading, and good luck on your entrepreneurial journey!

Hire Online Experts Today!

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Knowledge Centre Pay Per Click Advertising

4 Signs Your Business is Ready for Pay Per Click Advertising

4 Signs Your Business Is Ready For Pay Per Click Advertising.

Are you interested in online advertising but not sure if your website marketing is ready? If so, this blog post is for you! In it, we will discuss 4 signs that indicate your website marketing is ready for Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC). Online advertising can be a great tool to help grow your business, but only if it’s done correctly.

To understand the fundamentals of pay per click advertising, you can read about advertising with Google.

4 signs your business is ready to advertise with pay per click advertising

Your website's messaging is clear and complete

Ensuring that your website’s content is clear and complete will help your visitors. They will be able to understand your offering, your story, and what they can get from you. For example, you’ve taken the time to break down your services and added clear descriptions to each of them. You’ve also added your pricing structure for anyone who wishes to hire you.

Your customers don’t spend too long trying to find answers to their questions and know by now that you are committed to providing quality services and that you stand behind your work. As a result, they are able to make an informed decision about whether to use your services or buy your products. 

Your processes are in place

Having processes in place for your business is important so you can funnel your inquiries and leads. By taking the time to set up processes, you will be able to more effectively field questions and guide potential customers through your sales process. This will save you time in the long run and help you close more deals. Additionally, having processes in place makes it easier to train new employees on how to handle customer inquiries.

If you want your business to run smoothly, it is essential to have well-defined processes in place. Having these processes will ensure consistent customer service for your clients.

You have enough manpower

If your business’ major revenue comes from warm leads (such as referrals or networking leads), your sales staff may become overworked quickly if you don’t prepare them or hire more personnel before implementing PPC.

Pay Per Click Advertising often drive leads to call a phone number, so make sure you have enough qualified staff members available and prepared to answer those calls. 

If your team is having trouble handling the current pipeline, PPC may introduce more problems than it solves. Because PPC leads are less emotionally engaged, your staff will need to spend more time and energy addressing queries, locating pain spots, and overcoming objections in order to close the transaction.

Having to deal with a deluge of leads that need more attention can quickly lead to difficulties. Consider whether you need to have additional employees pitch in or recruit more staff before turning on the PPC fire hose if you have a small team that is already full.

You're ready to launch a new service or product

One way to ensure a successful launch is to use Pay Per Click advertising. PPC allows you to target potential customers with ads for your new product or service, and you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This type of advertising can be extremely effective in driving awareness and interest in your launch.

Additionally, it can help you to quickly build up a base of customers who are ready to buy your new product or service. With PPC, you can launch your new product or service with confidence, knowing that you have a proven marketing tool working for you.

PPC advertising can be a great way to generate leads for your business, but only if you are prepared to handle the influx of new leads. Make sure you have a solid lead capture system in place and that your sales team is ready and able to close the deal when someone expresses interest in your product or service. If you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry!

Our team at L8P Digital Marketing can help get you set up with a lead generation strategy that will increase traffic to your site while also capturing valuable information from potential customers. 

Hire Pay Per Click Advertising Experts Today!

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Knowledge Centre

Google My Business, A Free Advertising Spot For Your Business

Google My Business, A Free Advertising Spot For Your Business

Everyone has come across a Google My Business listing before. It appears every time you search for a service or product on the web. It’s a great way to quickly find what you’re looking for.

In fact, Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.

In this article, we wanted to cover each element of an optimized Google My Business listing. If you still haven’t created your own account, have a look at Google My Business Account.

If you have any questions throughout your process, feel free to reach out. Often a quick email or phone call is all you need to get things sorted 😎 .

Showing a Google My Business Listing Example For Digital Marketing Benefits

Add Your Company Information

Google My Business is a great way to ensure that your company information is accurate and up-to-date. You can add pictures, hours of operation, and your location. It’s also a good idea to add your company title so that people can easily find you in search results. This is a great way to attract new customers and keep existing ones informed about your business.

For example, having updated hours for holidays and special events can help customers know quickly if you are open or not- avoiding frustrations and disappointment.

Get Your Google My Business Verified

Any business owner knows that visibility is key to attracting new customers. A Google My Business listing is one of the best ways to ensure that your business is visible to potential customers searching online. When you verify your business, you tell Google that your business is legitimate and that you are the rightful owner. This helps increase your ranking in search results, making it more likely that potential customers will find your business when they search for products or services in your area.

In addition, verifying your business allows you to manage your listing, add photos and information about your products and services, and respond to reviews. These factors can help increase customer confidence in your business and encourage them to choose your business over a competitor.

To get verified, it’s a straightforward process where you request a verification code to your business address and receives it via mail a few weeks later. (Pssst, we do offer help with verifying your Google My Business listing, so if you do need help, contact us!)

Get Google My Business Reviews

Google My Business offers your customers a voice and a chance to leave you a review to share their experience with your business. Reviews, even negative ones, can have a positive impact on your customers. It can tell them who you are, how you are about your customers, how’s your customer service, and even how you handle more challenging situations.

However, don’t let reviews solely define who you are as a business. Responding to reviews (both good and bad) shows potential and current customers that you’re paying attention and care about what they think. This active engagement will only help improve your business in the long run. So while reviews may not always be positive, remember that they offer an opportunity for growth. Google My Business is one way to give your customers a chance to speak up–make sure you listen.

Lastly, don’t be shy to ask for reviews. You can ask your happy clients, yes, but also people you do business with. They all have valuable thoughts to share and can help convince other people to do business with you in the future.

Keep Your Customers Informed With Posts

Google Posts are a great way to connect with customers and promote your business. Posts can be used to promote offers, advise customers about updates, highlight products and events, and much more. Google Posts appear in the search results when people look up your business on Google. They also appear on your Google My Business listings. You can control what appears in your posts by including keywords important to your business.

Posts can be up to 1,500 characters in length and can include up to 10 images or a video. Posts appear in the Knowledge Graph panel on the right-hand side of Google search results pages and on your Google Maps listing. You can control when your posts appear and who can see them by editing the post’s visibility settings. To create a post, sign in to your Google My Business account and click “create post”. From there, you’ll be able to choose what type of post you want to create, add images or video, write your text and select a call-to-action button. Once you’re happy with your Post, click “publish” and it will go live immediately.

In conclusion, by claiming and managing your business on Google My Business, you can control how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. You can also use insights from Google My Business to track how customers are finding and interacting with your business. With this valuable feedback, you can make changes to improve your marketing efforts and better serve your customers. So get started today by claiming or creating your free Google My Business listing.

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Knowledge Centre

What are Digital Marketing Services and can they help my small business?

What are Digital Marketing Services and are they beneficial to my small business?

You are the owner of a small business in Squamish and aren’t sure of what is your best plan of action to promote yourself in town? You’re turning towards digital marketing but can’t understand where to start? At L8P, we make things easy for you. We create a roadmap, a plan, that will help you grow your business online. But before we start, we need to give more knowledge on digital marketing services for small businesses. 

What is Digital Marketing Services?

Digital marketing is the process of using electronic devices such as computers, tablets, phones, and digital billboards to reach your target market. It’s a broad term that can be broken down into several smaller categories including:

– Search engine optimization (SEO)

– Pay per click (PPC) advertising

– Social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

– Content marketing (blogging, infographics, eBooks)

– Email marketing

Each of these categories can be further divided into subcategories, but these are the most common services that fall under the digital marketing umbrella. Now that we’ve answered the question “what is digital marketing?” let’s dive deeper into 2 specific categories: SEO and PPC.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search engine optimization is the process of improving the ranking of a website on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The higher the ranking, the more likely people are to find the site. There are two types of SEO: on-page and off-page.

On-page SEO refers to optimizing the content and code of a website to make it more visible to search engines. This includes things like using the right keywords in titles and meta tags, as well as making sure the website is easy to navigate.

Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to activities that take place outside of the website to improve its ranking. This can include things like link building (getting other websites to link to yours) and social media engagement.

What is Pay per Click (PPC)?

Pay per click (PPC) is a type of online advertising where businesses pay a fee every time someone clicks on one of their ads. The most common form of PPC is Google AdWords, which allows businesses to create text, image, and video ads that appear on Google search results pages.

PPC can be an effective way to get traffic to your website because you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad. This means that you’re not wasting money on ads that no one is going to see.

Do I need digital marketing services for my small business?

Digital marketing services can be beneficial to small businesses because they provide a way to reach a large audience without spending a lot of money. They can also be customized to target specific demographics, which makes them more effective than traditional marketing methods like print or television ads.

Having said that, it can even be more beneficial if used for a specific location, like Squamish for example. Let’s say you’ve just opened a book store in Squamish, and you wish to tell everyone about it. You could put up a sign on your store, which might reach the people walking or driving by. Or you could take out an ad in the local newspaper, which would reach a wider audience but be more expensive. Digital marketing services would allow you to target Squamish specifically with your message and only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad.

What budget should I plan for digital marketing services?

The budget for digital marketing services will vary depending on the size of your business and the scope of your project. For a small business, a budget of $500-$1000 per month is typical. This can be used to hire someone to manage your social media accounts or run a PPC campaign.

A larger business with a more complex project may need to budget $5000-$10000 per month or more. This could be used to hire an agency to handle all aspects of their digital marketing, from SEO to content marketing.

No matter what size budget you have, it’s important to remember that results take time, and there is no guarantee that you will see an immediate return on your investment. Digital marketing is an ongoing process, and the best results are usually seen after several months of consistent effort.

If you’re thinking about starting a digital marketing campaign for your small business in Squamish, we can help. We offer affordable, customized packages that are designed to get results and are tailored to your business.

How do I know if my digital marketing is working?

There are a few ways to measure the success of your digital marketing campaign. One way is to look at the number of visitors to your website. This can be done using Google Analytics, which is a free tool that shows you how many people have visited your site and where they came from.

You can also look at the number of leads or sales that you’ve generated from your digital marketing efforts. If you’re running a PPC campaign, for example, you can see how many people have clicked on your ad and then gone on to make a purchase.

Finally, you can ask customers or clients how they found out about your business. If you’re seeing an increase in the number of people who say they found out about you online, then you know your digital marketing is working. Digital marketing can be a great way to reach new customers and grow your business.

In conclusion, digital marketing services can be beneficial to small businesses because they provide a way to reach a large audience without spending a lot of money. If you’re considering using digital marketing services for your business, make sure to target a specific location like Squamish for the most effective results.

If you’re still unsure if digital marketing services are right for your small business, we offer free consultations to help you decide. Contact us via email at [email protected] or visit our contact us page.

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Knowledge Centre

5 Reasons why you should invest in SEO

5 Reasons why you should invest in SEO

If you own a website, then you should be thinking about investing in SEO. Contrary to popular belief, SEO is not dead, and it is still one of the most effective ways to improve your website’s visibility and organic search traffic. In this article, we will discuss 5 reasons why SEO is important for your website.

1. Organic Search is Most Often the Primary Source of Website Traffic

Organic search represents a major part of most websites’ performance. It is also known as “Google search”. As marketers know, Google owns an overwhelmingly larger part of the search market than other competitors like Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex. A Google search is an engine that allows people to find and request webpages.

On the other hand, it’s a well run organization that always acts as a role model and sets clear guidelines for followers. But, the remaining part of a market that is owned by other engines is also valuable to brands. It is especially true for niche brands that are supported heavily by visual search engines, voice search engines and even vertical search engines. Google, the biggest internet company, also happens to be the most widely used email service globally. With more than 1 billion monthly users, YouTube is the second biggest search engine and over 2 billion users visit it every month.

Although the majority of the world has access to the internet, nearly all are searching Google at least once a day to find information. Having that visibility in the search results will always work favourably for any brand. Branding a high-quality website and doing great on-page and off-page optimization will benefit a business.

2. Get Ahead of Your Competitors

If you are a small business, it is more probable to the likelihood that your competitors aren’t taking serious steps to optimize their websites. Through the process of SEO, you can do so. You could gain market shares and overtake your competitors simply by doing keyword research on them and adding new strategic content to your website. 

3. Local SEO Means Increased Engagement, Traffic & Conversions

Local search has become a fundamental part of business’s success. Local SEO focuses on optimizing the web page for a specific area, so that people can find your web page quickly and easily. This includes optimizing the web page as well as the content, including local citations and backlinks. This practice improves brand visibility and helps clients build relationships with local customers.

SEO pros should find ways to improve their company’s local search results through optimization efforts. They should also enhance their company’s own Google My Business profile, its Google Places Page, and their social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. A strong emphasis on user reviews on relevant websites should also be a consideration. This list of local SEO tips should guide you in all the right directions.

4. SEO Builds Trust & Credibility

SEO is an essential part of establishing a brand’s credibility and building trust with its target audience.

In fact, SEO is the most trusted form of marketing out there. A recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that nearly three-quarters of B2B marketers use SEO to generate leads. While brand-building and lead generation are obviously key goals of any company, the fact that SEO is the most trusted marketing method is a noteworthy revelation. In addition, it’s important to note that SEO is also a cost-effective marketing strategy. There are many other marketing avenues, such as paid search, that are much more expensive and inefficient. A study by The Content Marketing Institute found that paid search ads are about 30 times more expensive than SEO.

That said, brand-building is as important for a business as it is for any other organization.

The good news is that SEO is the most trusted marketing method for building credibility and trust.

5. SEO Benefits Outweigh Its Costs

Search Engine Optimization has good and bad effects on businesses. Although this technique will cost money, it will pay dividends because it will make your site simpler and easier to use, improve customer service, and it will increase your business. Through SEO, your website will be offering a better user experience, provide valuable information to your visitors, and ultimately, helps bring your business’ overall value up.

Learn more about our SEO services here.

If you have questions about your business and how you should invest in SEO, contact us today!