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6 Hidden Downsides of the Best Website Builders

Graphic featuring a variety of website layouts

Website builders like Squarespace or Wix make building a web presence for your business seem quick, painless, and cheap. They promise simplicity, clarity, and tools to help you design your site that are so intuitive, even the most inexperienced user can
feel like Mark Zuckerberg. And all of that for only a few dollars a month. 

The appeal is obvious, whether your business is well-established and you’re looking to overhaul your website without a major headache, or you’re a start-up operating on a shoestring budget. Website builders, also known as “WYSIWYG editors,” look like a way to deliver a slick website without making a major investment.

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get

WYSIWYG editors have been around for a long time, and they always make the same promise: that anybody can build a website. And while that’s true in essence, a good website is a lot more than a few pages with a URL.

Like any promise that sounds too good to be true, the promised “simplicity” of using a website builder comes with some major drawbacks. And if you aren’t careful, the low price of choosing a WYSIWYG editor could lead to costly headaches down the line. Here are 6 hidden drawbacks of website builders to consider before you decide to stake your company’s future on a website you built in the time it takes to make a sandwich.

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Boost Organic Traffic With These 5 Smart SEO Tactics

Despite what you may have heard over the years, SEO is still here to stay.

In fact, in an era of inflated marketing budgets and boundless technical innovations, the art of maximizing your presence on search engines matters more than ever.

The long and short of it all is that SEO is still vital for spreading the word about your business, particularly if you’re trying to connect with local audiences. It’s one of the most consistent ways to drive traffic to your site, increasing your brand’s visibility and helping to generate warm leads over time.

But – and, we know, there’s always a “but” – just thinking about SEO won’t make it start producing results for your brand. Instead, you need to understand SEO – what it does, how it works, and what types of audiences it will bring to your site.

For one thing, it’s vital to understand the type of audience driven to your site via search engines – which digital marketers call organic traffic. In simplest terms, organic traffic refers to the volume of visits to your site that come through queries on search engines.

And now, more than ever, it’s important to recognize that your organic traffic consists of hyper-local audiences, mobile users on the go, and people looking for quick solutions to complex problems. These are all users prime for conversion – if you know how to help guide them into your funnel in the first place!

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Using a Story to Create Conversions

Using a Story to Create Conversions

When it comes time to get serious about an inbound marketing strategy, many brands start to hesitate, or lose heart. On one level, we understand their worries – launching a comprehensive and multi-faceted digital marketing strategy can be a daunting undertaking!

In particular, we’ve heard – and assuaged – one concern from many different parties over the years (even among other professionals in our own industry). It goes a little like this:

“Can my content actually directly generate revenue? Is creating content only good for spreading my brand messaging, or can I actually expect it to create conversions and sales?”

The answer? Of course your content can create direct value in the form of conversions – if you’re creating the right kinds of content!

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How to Create a More Consistent Content Strategy


“Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison

Widely regarded as the father of modern electricity, Thomas Edison was a relentlessly prolific inventor, and is considered to be one of the most important engineers in American history. So it’s a little bit reassuring to read that such a significant figure sometimes struggled with his productivity and creative output.

We know how it feels to be burnt out, tired, or otherwise unproductive – and we’re willing to bet that you sometimes feel the same way. Like there aren’t enough hours in the day? That no matter how much you accomplish, you’ll never actually manage to polish off your “to-do” list?

Whenever feelings like these creep up, it can be easy to retreat from what needs to be done, and instead fall back on that old, reliable stand-by – procrastination.

“Why force it, if the creative juices just aren’t flowing?” you ask.

“Isn’t it better to wait,” you may well reason, “until I feel that big, creative second wind?”

These feelings are completely natural. But when it comes to your content marketing efforts, they could be dangerous.

The Importance of a Consistent Content Marketing Strategy

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How Do 5-Star Reviews Affect Your SEO?

Businesses of all sizes, from across many different industries, can benefit from turning their attention to generating and curating positive reviews, as part of a process that we call online reputation management.

Time and again, studies have highlighted the remarkable power of positive reviews. For instance, did you know that 92% of customers read online reviews, and 68% trust a local business more if it has positive reviews? Or that brands typically see a 5-9% increase in revenue by improving their Yelp rating by just one star?

And one of the most important benefits of cultivating and sharing glowing reviews is (almost) as old as the internet itself. We’re talking about our geeky bread and butter: search engine optimization, or SEO.

What do positive reviews have to do with search engine success? Where do stars and SERPs overlap? How does getting more five-star reviews equate to greater rates of organic traffic – and more conversions – for your business?

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How to Create the Content That Your Audience Wants to See

How to Create the Content That Your Audience Wants to See

As recently as a few years ago, we had a better grasp on what “content” meant online. It referred to individual posts – blogs, vlogs, infographics – typically stored on your site and discovered or shared through different channels, including search engine rankings, social media, and email.

But today’s internet works differently. There are more social channels, more types of media to pick from, more content creators than ever before. And as a result, users’ preferences have changed over the years. The ways in which we consume content have changed fundamentally, for example; we multi-task more than ever, and are more likely to “skim” articles than read them in their entirety.

More broadly speaking, even the ways we think about content have changed fundamentally in recent years. It’s no longer discrete, but omnipresent, built into the very fabric of the way that we use the internet now. Readers and searchers have grown more savvy and media literate, and your approach to content creation needs to be as sophisticated as they are – crafted in a way that consumers find appealing and made accessible on the channels that your audience is already using.

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Launching a New Website? Don’t Forget to Check These 10 Key Elements Off Your List

Website Launch Checklist

It’s hard to overstate the importance of having a website for your brand. Today, your next customers are connecting with businesses and doing their product research online, via search engines, review platforms, and social media networks - which can all help funnel users directly to your personalized landing page. 

Having a unique, handcrafted website that is functional, responsive, and optimized for search engines can go a long way in helping your business stand out from the crowd. Your brand website is also a powerful marketing tool. It’s your calling card, your elevator pitch, and your sales funnel, all rolled into one. Your website can help your brand reach new audiences on search engines like Google, and help convert curious visitors into lifelong customers. 

If you’re nearing the end of your website design and development process, you’ve probably been over all this - and then some! You’ve talked about design. You’ve discussed creating compelling calls to action and functional conversion tools. You’ve thought long and hard about the importance of UX. 

Now, it’s time to move into the last phase, and start fine-tuning your site so it’s ready to launch. It’s time to look over the little details, to make sure your website is going to appeal to audiences, and rank highly with search engines. Before your site goes live, it’s also important to start planning for the future, and develop a strategy for all of the maintenance, performance, and security tasks to come. 

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Looking For Leads? Start With Your Content!

Looking For Leads? Start With Your Content! (Image Source: Wikimedia Creative Commons User Felixibel)

We've defined the importance of quality content on this blog before. Long story short? We believe that creating high quality content can help your business truly stand out on search engines and social media - making content creation the single most important thing you can do to get customers to your site.

But before you get cracking on that latest blog post, it would help to make sure it’s primed and ready to add value for your business. It’s important to always create content with a strategy. You should take time to identify the specific goals of your writing, and organize it in a way that will let you accomplish your chosen goal - whether that’s to expand your brand reach, to retain your existing clients, or, perhaps most important of all, to attract warm leads.

A lead is a party interested in your product, who is also able to eventually make the purchase. Sounds pretty critical to the success of your brand - let alone your content marketing - right?

Let’s look at how you can create content that helps you gain leads, from two different angles. First, we’ll dive into how you can make sure that you’re reaching an audience that’s eager to hear from you, and ready to sign on the dotted line (or at least fill in that lead capture form).

Then, we’ll focus in on the types of creative content you can craft to help sway different audiences, guiding them down your conversion funnel and helping create real value for your brand.

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How to Use Social Media and Content Marketing to Build Your Brand Authenticity

In an age of fake news and clickbait content, authenticity for your brand on social media is is more important than ever. It may sound like a no-brainer, but there are missteps you can take that can turn consumers off, and stop your next customers from choosing to engage with you online.

But what does brand authenticity even mean when it comes to business?

Defined by the Journal of Consumer Psychology, brand authenticity refers to:

“the extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful toward itself, true to its consumers, motivated by caring and responsibility, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves.”

The meaning is right there in the name: if your content marketing and social media efforts remain authentic, people will recognize you. The more they recognize you, the more likely they’ll be to engage with you. The more they engage, the more likely they’ll be to recommend you to friends and followers. We could keep going!

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The 3 Keys to Designing and Optimizing Landing Pages

The 3 Keys to Designing and Optimizing Landing Pages

In terms of the online buyer’s journey, a landing page works a bit like a gateway, guiding your prospective customers to take the all-important steps that get them from “curious visitor” to “lifelong customer.”

Whether your users find you from search, social media, or email, the landing page is a critical keystone – so it’s important to make sure that yours are up to scratch.

Here are three huge things to keep in mind as you begin the process of designing and optimizing your landing page for maximum impact:

1.) Know the Goal of Your Landing Page

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).