Web Design and SEO Blog

Nov201820

Make it Easier For People to Do Business With You

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Content, Design, Development

Peak Property Management is the perfect case study for a company who improved their business — simply by updating their site.

Peak Property Management
Peak Property Management
In a high-octane rental market, Peak Property Management in Bozeman, MT is finding their edge against competition with a website overhaul. During our planning and vision discussions, many of the features we discussed with them would benefit any administrative offices in the property rental agency industry. Here are a few ways we are helping Peak Property not only attract new customers, but also make life easier for their staff.

Tenant Portal — Renters are more often than not, busy people. They have jobs, school, pets and children to feed and errands to run. Having to drive across town to drop a rent check in the mail or at an office can add to that to-do list. A tenant portal allows tenants to log into a secure area to view their balance, pay rent and submit maintenance requests. In this case, Peak Property’s website will link to a third-party portal, Property Boss, with the potential to update to a custom portal in the future. Offering a tenant portal will cut down on the hassle of late payments and make your rental agency more desirable against competition who do not have this capability.

Pre-Approval Process — Property managers use applications to gather basic information and pull credit reports on individuals looking to rent. On their new site, we encourage users to use this pre-application process where it seemed helpful, so that Peak staff receives less phone calls from potential tenants who have not yet completed this process.

Automated Mailer — The automated mailer for Peak Property will serve three primary markets: property owners, tenants and potential tenants.
  • Property owners will be kept up to date on the status of their investment. This way, they can make the decision to raise or lower rent, add amenities, or adjust their listing in other ways that may attract renters.
  • For tenants, the mailer will also serve to notify tenants of important announcements. 
  • Potential tenants who have used the site’s saved search feature will receive daily or weekly emails showing available properties that fit their desired criteria. 
Because the mailing system will be automatically generated from existing site data, it requires very little staff time.

Education — Like many businesses, Peak Property staff spend an exorbitant amount of time answering phone calls from people with the same questions over and over. The new website will feature helpful information sourced from a list of frequently asked questions the company has accumulated over the years. We plan to organize this information into categories aimed at the needs of renters, students, and parents of students. It also includes community information: bus schedules, bike paths, Montana State University information and statistics about on-campus vs. off-campus living costs. This resource will save Peak Property staff from constantly answering phone calls or emails so that they can work on more important things.

Investment Properties — In addition to managing rentals, Peak Property is licensed to buy and sell real estate. Our Digital Marketing team found some significant keyword optimization opportunities in this industry. We plan to build Peak Property an Investment Properties page and link to their listings on Windermere as well as write content that focuses on these underutilized keywords.

Conclusion
In addition to theses features, a website overhaul also updates the overall design and content to better represent Peak Property’s business, and the site will now be designed to perfectly accommodate any mobile device. We are excited to be underway on this new project! If you are in the market for an website overhaul, talk to us about getting half off — or any other questions you may have.
Nov201816

JTech Is Closed for Thanksgiving

by Mira Brody in Announcements

Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Just a reminder that the office will be closed Thursday, November 22nd and Friday, November 23rd so that our team can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with our family and friends, play with our cats, and go skiing.

We will reopen on Monday, November 26th. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Nov201812

Your Business Needs to use HTTPS

by Mira Brody in Industry News, Security, Tools & Tips

A blog article by technical support partners, Wolfguard IT

Wolfguard IT
Wolfguard IT
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP — the 'S' at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure,’ meaning all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. As HTTPS gains traction in industries beyond ecommerce, Google has been marking websites without HTTPS as “insecure,” motivating business owners to convert to maintain credibility and security amongst their customers.

Learn more about encryption from our partners over at Wolfguard IT in their recent blog post, Your Business Needs to use HTTPS. In order to secure your address, you’ll have to acquire an SSL certificate — we recommend Let’s Encrypt for most website needs. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Nov20187

Why Your Site Needs a Refresh

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Design

Great Divide Dental's New Website Design Project

Great Divide Dental in Helena, MT
Great Divide Dental in Helena, MT
From Apple to McDonalds to Firefox — most well-known brands are update their look and feel over the course of their lifetime to keep their brand fresh and relevant, and your business is no exception. Whether you do a full company rebrand, simple design update, or a site refresh, you’ll appear more modern, stand out in your industry against competitors, and reach more customers. We recently did a refresh of Great Divide Dental’s website, which we are excited to show off! We believe the new site better reflects Great Divide Dental’s professional staff, modern office and extensive services. Here are a few areas we worked on —

Highlighting Services
Great Divide Dental’s new website has two tiers of navigation. This focuses attention on the most likely reason for your visit — dental services — in primary navigation while keeping other useful navigation points above, in the secondary navigation. For the refresh of their website, Great Divide also took advantage of our custom copywriting services — we were able to research and expand each service page with in-depth, informative copy, benefitting their search ranking and establishing them as industry leaders in dentistry care.

Custom Imagery
We helped Great Divide Dentistry partner with Ben Johnson Photography to capture real, local imagery for the new site. Custom photography often can draw in customers with a power that stock photography can’t always achieve. Hiring a photographer to shoot your office, staff or atmospheric images from around the town your business resides in makes you appear more credible online

Care Instructions
Going to the dentist is a common fear. Great Divide Dentistry’s goal is to make everyone who comes through their doors feel comfortable, no matter their oral health history. To encourage transparency, we’ve detailed procedure details and after care instructions on the website. The new Care Instructions page includes a search function to quickly find the information you need and various procedure topics to ease anxiety and prepare for post-procedural care.

When It’s Time to Redesign
Great Divide Dentistry’s new, refreshed website better serves their clients, attracts new customers and is more informative to users. If you feel your site is in need of updating, contact us — we’d be happy to talk through some affordable solutions for you.
Oct201829

How to Prepare For The End of Google+

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Google, Social Media

The end of Google+
The end of Google+
Citing low usage, as well as a recent data breach, Google has announced they are shutting down Google+ for consumers. The social media platform had always trailed behind others such as Facebook, Instagram and even LinkedIn; even though registered users are estimated at 111 million, those numbers are mostly due to the fact that profiles were automatically created when someone signed up for Google and the actual activity was low. In a study that included 500,000 randomly selected Google+ profiles, 90% had never posted publicly at all.

Data Breach
While it’s possible Google+’s demise was in the cards for a while, many speculate it was their recent security breach that ended it all. During an internal security audit in March 2018, it was discovered that a bug in the Google+ People API allowed access to user profile information that was set to private — including name, email address, occupation, gender and age. Although Google cannot confirm which users were impacted, they estimate nearly 500,000 accounts were affected.

Aside from security, however, here are a few reasons why Google+ failed to maintain engagement from its users:
  • Competition — Consumers are drawn to more popular social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
  • Spam — As it lost popularity, Google+ became a hotbed for spam, making the platform undesirable.
  • Lack of Consumer Input — Time and time again it seemed consumers were giving negative feedback about Google+, but Google refused to listen or make changes based on that feedback.
  • No New Offerings — People preferred Facebook to Google+, because Google’s approach to social was never fun or new. Their needs were already being met by existing social media platforms in more engaging ways. Although the initial offering promised a revolution in the way we shared information with our friends online, the reality is that it never took off.

Lessons for Business Owners
Although Google+ did contribute slightly to online authority, the loss of your account will not affect SEO or your long-term digital marketing strategy. Google reports they will shut Google+ down over a ten-month period, so if you were one of the few who did have a large following, encourage them to add you on your alternate social media pages instead. This is a good reminder that the industry is ever-changing and to never rely on a single platform for your social media strategy, no matter how popular it may seem at the time.
Oct201818

Firefox Joins the Tracking Prevention Crusade

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Google, Industry News, Security

Firefox joins the fight against tracking.
Firefox joins the fight against tracking.
Last summer, we informed you of Safari’s tracking prevention efforts — Apple’s crusade to protect their users from being tracked and targeted by creepily persistent advertisements while browsing online. Very soon, Mozilla’s Firefox browser will join them with the introduction of Content Blocking, providing users with more control over what information they share with the sites they visit. “This is about more than protecting users —  it’s about giving them a voice,” states Mozilla in a blog post announcing this change. Mozilla believes users don’t experience the level of privacy they deserve; even though some sites find data collection necessary to stay in business, users should have control over this transaction and be aware of it before it happens.

What Firefox is Targeting
  • Blocking trackers from loading in the first place, increasing page-load speed
  • Stripping cookies and storage from trackers that store access from third-party content
  • Blocking tools that allow per-user fingerprinting or silent cryptomining
  • Giving you control with clear tools to choose what information to share

What It’ll Improve
Site speedGhostery, an independent tracker-blocking service, cites that about half the time it takes any given webpage to load is spent loading third-party trackers. Blocking these trackers will make websites load much faster and improve user experience.
Your right to privacy — Strengthening the campaign against web-based invasions of your privacy is always a worthy cause. Although sites need to store cookies in order to provide an optimal user experience, this should never compromise your privacy as a user and a healthy balance should always be encouraged. Firefox blocking cross-site tracking is a step in this direction.

How To Manage Your Privacy
Firefox’s Content Blocking is currently available for Firefox Nightly users to try out, and will be available to all users in Firefox 65. Further refinements to these efforts will continue as new versions of Firefox are released. If you are a Firefox user, information about managing your privacy settings can be found here. For Firefox Nightly users, Mozilla provides the following helpful steps in the “Content Blocking” preferences panel:
  • Click the checkbox next to “Slow-Loading Trackers”  to improve page load performance.
  • Click the checkbox next to “Third-Party Cookies” and select “Trackers (recommended)” to block cross-site tracking cookies.
Oct201816

Please Join Us In Welcoming Our Newest Employee

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Optimization, SEM, SEO

We are happy to take on our former marketing intern, Nick Jensen, as a full time employee!


Nick has been an exceptional intern, aiding our Marketing Department with his skills in search marketing, link building and other SEO efforts. As a full-time member of our front office Digital Marketing and Customer Service Department, Nick will have more time to spend with our clients, helping them to devise a long-term plan for the success of their business.

Nick came to us from Montana State University’s School of Business — JTech has had a close internship program with MSU’s business students for many years and are proud of the success it has shown. So far, Nick has been composing our clients’ monthly advertising and quarterly marketing reports, purchasing domains, and learning the ropes of our Digital Marketing Department. We look forward him being an involved member of our team as we expand the quality services we provide our growing clientele.
Oct20184

The Importance of 2-Factor Authentication

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Industry News, Security

An article on security, by our partners at Wolfguard IT

Wolfguard IT
Wolfguard IT
2-factor authentication is when a website or software you use to store private information utilizes an extra level of security in addition to a traditional password. These are crucial to protecting your bank accounts, social media and email from potential data hacks. Learn about the importance of using 2-factor authentication in this helpful blog article by Wolfguard IT.

Why 2-Factor Authentication is Important.
Sep201821

A Sneak Peak of Google’s New Search Snippets

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Google, Industry News, Optimization, SEO, Tools & Tips

…And how you can prepare your site.

For a couple years now, Google Search has been displaying “featured snippets” above results. Featured snippets are meant to provide a user with information from the top search result so they can quickly get the answer to their question and assess the credibility of the source before navigating to the site. Google’s newest form of search result snippets take the form of Q&A, FAQ and How To — here is a brief overview of each before they officially debut.

Q&A
Q&A snippets will be shown when Google detects that a reputable site has questions and answers in its content. After the preview of the answer, Google will provide a “read more” link to drive users to the source.

FAQ
FAQs will be presented as questions with expandable answers, very similar to how common questions are displayed currently in search results.

How To
How Tos will be a condensed set of instructions, similar to how recipes are currently displayed, with a “read more” link to the website.

Prepare Your Website
In order to best position yourself to be featured in these snippets and visible to your customers, you can update your website’s code to used structured data — schema — that will help Google easily understand the purpose and content of your website. While Google hasn’t formalized these features, a standardized schema for these data types exists and is documented on schema.org. To increase the likelihood of content on your site being served as a featured snippet, you could start structuring the data on your site now.

HowTo markup
QA page markup
FAQ markup

If you have any questions about how his affects your business or have questions about how schema works, don’t hesitate to give us a call — our digital marketing experts would be happy to help you.
Sep201820

Help Our Team Bowl for Kids’ Sake

by Mira Brody in Announcements

JTech is excited to participate in Bowl For Kids’ Sake to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin Valley!


Working under our pirate-themed moniker, the JPEG Legs, JTech is working to raise $600 for Big Brothers Big Sisters so they can continue to support children, families and volunteers in building long-lasting relationships in our community. We have until October 5th to achieve our fundraising goal and we need your help!

Just head over to our fundraising page and part with some of your hoarded doubloons to support us and this worthy cause! 
Any amount is greatly appreciated and a sound investment in a child’s lifelong learning. To celebrate reaching our fundraising goal, the JPEG Legs will head down to the Bozeman Bowl with our fellow participating businesses and dominate the alley. The team member who has raised the most money will receive this prestigious chocolate Fundraising Award.

Thank you!