Category: Small Business


Divinely Natural websiteEffective web design is not just a placeholder on the internet. Rather, a website is a crucial employee of your business. This employee is often the first or second image a customer has of your enterprise. A web designer should be able to help you translate your image and goals into a design that works for you and your customer base.

One of the latest DKemp Designs‘ projects brought e-commerce to a brand of natural products for hair, skin and health. It was important to the business owner to immediately have a natural/health image on her site. Divinely Natural uses the most current design elements of breathing space, large clear images and responsive design while emphasizing the natural aesthetic with color and logo elements.

In addition, this entrepreneur had almost 400 products to load which required creation of a database to reduce time and ensure consistency.

Please visit Divinely Natural and let us know in the comments what you think of this elegant solution.

Samsung Comeback with the Galaxy Note 8

Techsnoop reviews Samsung Note 8The smartphone wars are on and the winners are consumers. At this time technology has assured that there is a phone for every use and budget. Techsnoop is a mega-multitasker and power user so there are only premium phones to consider in this market. The winner for Techsnoop is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Unfortunately, there is a problem with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 phone. A phone this premium and expensive needs a protective case. But the phone is too beautiful to cover up. What to do, what to do?

Seriously, in all the photos I have seen of the Orchid Gray model, it doesn’t compare to what this phone looks like close up. It is sleek, glossy, and beautiful from every angle. While Techsnoop prefers flat screens, the curved edges seem to be popular for people with small hands. The slimmer profile is also popular, but Techsnoop likes it a tiny bit wider. But these minor issues don’t detract from the excellent features of the Note 8.

Calls are clear and crisp, multi-tasking with the combo-app feature is fun and time-saving, responsiveness is super quick with the 6GB of RAM and the screen is beautiful. Videos play seamlessly and photos are crisp.

The all-important specs;

  • 6.3″ 2960×1440 Infinity glass display
  • The S-pen stylus, the Note’s trump card
  • Snapdragon Octa-Core CPU with 6GB RAM
  • 64GB built-in storage expandable to 256GB via MicroSD
  • Dual 12MP 2x optical zoom rear camera with optical image stabilization
  • 8MP front camera with eye scanner
  • Runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS
  • 3,300mAh battery

Seriously, some laptops don’t come with 6GB of RAM. This makes using multiple apps a seamless experience. And if you are into watching videos on the phone, the RAM boost gives a smooth and crisp display. There was some question abut the battery power but it seems to get a full day of multi use. (Update 4/11/18: the latest software update has shaved battery life. Hopefully, Samsung will address this quickly.)

Due to the amount of apps and use, Techsnoop has a 128GB Micro SD card installed. However, if you are a heavy video watcher, spring for the 256GB card. Trust Techsnoop.

Favorite feature: screen off notes. This allows you to take notes on the screen without having to wake the phone up. Great for meetings or middle of the night brainstorms.

After more than six months of extremely heavy use, Techsnoop can state that the Note 8 lives up to expectations as a powerhouse business tool. Have questions? Leave them in the comments and Techsnoop will answer.

Techsnoops Helper Marketing UpgradesStep Up Your Small Business Game

So, you have a small business and need to increase your marketing presence. What actions offer the most “bang for the buck” or great ROI? If your marketing budget is small, start with the basics to increase your reach on Google Local Search.

First, if you do not have a custom domain name, buy one now. Your domain name and business name must be unified so that customers can find you quickly. More than 70% of customers do local searches on their smartphone when looking for services. You must be listed. And if you have not formally registered your name, do it now. You don’t want to have to change your branding later if someone else takes your name.

Next, if you cannot afford professional web design just yet, make sure you create an attractive LinkedIn company page using your business and domain name. Park a simple template landing page on your domain name with contact phone number and email so customers can connect with you. Although not optimal, a template landing page is better than not being found.

Webdesign Ninja Techsnoop

Professional Email

A branded, professional email is important to distinguish you between hobbyists and serious business professionals. In fact, without a professional email address, LinkedIn will not allow you to create a company page. There are also many services on the internet that won’t accept your registration with a generic email address.

Yet another reason for a professional email address; Yahoo mail has had over 54 outage issues since January 1, 2017. This means if you are using a Yahoo address for business, you are missing messages. Since timely response to customers is a major reason for customers to switch, you cannot afford this. Techsnoop loves Yahoo and has used them for years, but not for business.

Cheap Marketing Upgrades

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Use 2017 as the year you narrow the gap between your business and the big box stores. Create a seamless online experience for your customers.

Even if it doesn’t result in a same-day sale, social media can be an important part of a customer’s decision to purchase.

 DKemp Designs Social Media Marketing Matters

DKemp Designs Social Media Marketing MattersIn a recent Manta poll, 45% of small business owners said they invest marketing dollars in social media. Social media marketing can help you build awareness and engagement with customers by posting interesting content on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others. But can social media marketing really help you increase sales?

The short answer is yes, social media marketing can help small business owners and contractors increase sales, but it often takes time to see positive effects.

“Social marketing efforts that are done consistently over time will absolutely generate business, but it’s not an overnight thing,” said author and small business expert Melinda Emerson. “It takes at least seven and as many as 21 quality interactions to turn an online connection into a paying customer. Social media credibility must be built over time.”

Business owners often get frustrated trying to calculate the elusive ROI of social media. Tools like Google Analytics can help you better understand how social media is (or isn’t) leading to sales, as well as which platforms and posts are most effective.

“Make sure you understand what role your social efforts play in your customer’s path to purchase,” said Brian Jensen, CEO of Congruent Digital. “We’ve found that for many industries, social plays more of an assist role, or acting as a touch point during either the awareness or consideration phase.”

The bottom line is that customers are watching what your business says and does through social media. Not only can these interactions drive sales, they can inspire loyalty. At the same time, neglecting the social media channels you build can limit growth and even create a negative reputation for potential customers.

So choose just a couple of platforms to focus on and engage with your audience in a transparent manner. This is the best way to build loyal customers who will recommend you. For a friendly, free consultation, contact DKemp Designs and get up to 30 minutes of advice and no high pressure sales tactics.

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Techsnoop Girls Want to HackGirl Scouts will now offer badges in cybersecurity according to Gizmodo. This is GREAT news for Techsnoop who has a 5-year-old female relative in Daisy with a strong interest in science. The Girls Scouts had the radical idea of asking girls what they wanted to learn. Surprisingly, girls want to learn cybersecurity and they want to join hackathons. Take note school districts across America; girls want to hack. They are interested in science, computers and robotics. And if they are struggling in math, it is the fault of the schools, not the girls.

“We surveyed a lot of girls,” Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo told Gizmodo. “In those evaluations, girls repeatedly said they wanted more computer science and they were really interested in cybersecurity in terms of protecting themselves online. Bullying is a big issue. Also figuring out hackathons, they wanted to do that as well. (via Gizmodo)”

So, step up teachers across the country. Wearing pink and purple and glitter does not mean a lack of interest in science, technology, engineering and mathmatics. Rather, it means girls want to look good while putting the cyber smack down on cyber criminals. The differening perspectives of women in tech can unlock critical issues in self-driving cars, AI and ecommerce. Time to leverage this huge resource in the STEM industries.

 

Watch out Silicon Valley, this new army of cheeta prints and glam wardrobes are coming to a computer near you.

 

 

SEO, SEM Techsnoop

SEO and SEM are Tools to Take Control of Your Business.

Small business owners have a choice; hire someone to completely control your digital destiny. Or, learn the basics of SEO and SEM to enhance your website and local business search results.

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization. When you or your web designer edits the metadata and content of your site, the search engine crawlers move your site link up closer to the top of the results. In local search, the customer’s location data is used to further filter these results. Search engine algorithms are constantly updated to push link-bait and spam sites further down and genuine sites further to the top of the results. Review the recommendations of Bing, Yahoo! and Google to lift your search rankings.
  • SEM: Search Engine Marketing. SEM is paid ads on sites like Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Bing. These ads show up at the top of search results and on the right sidebar of search results. This can be an effective short-term solution to help enhance your SEO efforts.

Organic search results are the results that naturally occur when a customer searches for your type of business. An example is ‘web design’ which used to be a keyword that businesses would overuse in their metadata and on their pages. The newest algorithms are able to determine web design from the page content without overuse of the word. In fact, today’s search engines will actually penalize your site for ‘keyword stuffing’ as this is now considered spam.

Providing good, relevant content that is updated often is the best way to reach the coveted first page of search results. These are the results most likely to be clicked by customers.

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Webdesign Ninja Techsnoop

Starting or updating a small business website? Interview your web designers like you would for employees. Here’s some tips.

Small business owners are busy wearing multiple hats running a business. So when it comes to technical solutions, most small business owners choose to outsource their website creation. To select a great designer or agency, you need to know some designer-speak. If terms like SEO, SEM, newsletters and list building are foreign to you, keep reading.

The purpose of your website is to increase your business income. Even if you don’t have an e-commerce site, bringing customers to your store or enticing them to call is the primary focus of a website. But if your site is not found by potential customers, no conversions can happen.

SEO = Search Engine Optimization; the process of having your site appear in search results high enough to cause clicks by customers.

SEM = Search Engine Marketing; the process of using paid search results to drive marketing activity.

To prepare for the web designer interview process, make a list of goals for your website. Decide on a color scheme and branding that you think reflects your business. Next, write a description of your ideal target customer. Having a picture of who you want to target helps direct the design process.

Does the designer communicate well?

Every tech person communicates differently. But when developing your website, the designer must be able to understand your goals and communicate how they will accomplish this. Is the designer clear, using normal English or do they use technobabble to make themselves sound smarter? This is a sign that working with the designer will be difficult.

Is there a portfolio you can review?

Does the designer have a range of work styles? Or do all their projects look exactly alike? It is ok for a designer to specialize in one area of design, but if your web site does not fall into their speciality, it won’t be a good match. Also see if the designer can do other things such as business cards to match your site. A web designer with multiple talents helps you to keep your branding consistent.

How will the web site be managed?

What platform will the designer use? Will you use an administration board to update the site or will the designer make updates for you? Will the designer train you to use the back-end? Most designers can offer a flat monthly fee for updating your site. But there are many options for making small updates to content, photos and prices yourself. Consider if you have the time to do this task.

Responsive Website Techsnoop

Will the Designer create a wire frame or mock-up of the site?

There are many wire frame or prototyping tools available so that you can get a good view of how the site will look and behave. Does the price include creating a wire frame or mock-up? If not, this is an important add-on feature that you should consider. You don’t want to be surprised with a difficult to navigate site that is not user-friendly.

How Much Will It Cost and What does it include?

Know what your budget is for a website and what features you need to accomplish your goals. Be sure to get a written proposal of the functions included and the total price. Understand that any changes will come at an increased cost.

Does the price include editing photos, uploading starter content and training? What about a logo? These are usually extra features that may cost more.

If the web designer is good to communicate with, offers the services you need and is within your budget, you are most of the way to your new website!

Need more help? DKemp Designs is always happy to help with a free consultation call.

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Unless you have been in a cave, you know that animation and video effects are taking over the web. The trick is to have unique content to bring visitors to your site. Adobe has released several new tutorials to keep you up to date with the newest technology.

Check out the latest video and let Techsnoop know what you think.

Adobe Character Animator Tips & Tricks (December 2016) from Adobe professional video on Vimeo.

Techsnoop is here to help you in buying, maintaining and upgrading your tech. Small business owners are too busy to spend hours pouring over manuals to get specs. So here is the first in a series of videos quickly explaining essential tech specs.

If you are in the market for a new laptop, you probably want to know the difference between i3, i5 and i7. Depending on the work you will do it can mean the difference in running apps or saving a few dollars. Thanks to Techquickie on YouTube, you can now tell the difference. This is a quick and understandable reference for any level user.

Let us know if this helped you buy a new system.

HP Envy Review DKemp DesignsTech Upgrade

Hello fellow geeks, technophiles and those who need translation of geek-speak. Wondering what Techsnoop has been up to? Wonder no more! Techsnoop has been busy learning many new software tricks. This put a massive strain on Techsnoop’s trusty Toshiba laptop which has served faithfully for many years as a design ninja.

Shopping for new tech is one of Techsnoop’s favorite activities, but not when there is a ticking clock. The stress of getting the best value in a crunch situation is not fun. But the Geek Gods were with Techsnoop, and a great deal appeared on an unlikely contender: the HP Envy x360. A convertible laptop was not even on the list of shopping items in this replacement foray. But the specs on this model were irresistible.

The Look

HP Envy CaseA sleek aluminum body with subtle curves, makes this a beautiful laptop even when closed. Under the hood, 12GB of ram, 6GB of video ram and a 1TB hard drive offer speedy response and lots of room for large design files. Altogether this created the need for a closer look. This is a Windows 10, 64 bit system with a 6th generation i7 processor and the price was so great, Techsnoop can’t even print it. Let’s just say many laptops with lesser specs were much more expensive.

 

Spectacular Specs

The official roundup:

Design – slim, lightweight aluminum body makes this beautiful to look at, hold and show off.
Weight – about 5 lbs, average and not too taxing to carry around. The trade-off is no optical (DVD) drive, but not a deal breaker.
Screen – bright, crisp, saturated colors. Not retina, but very close.
Touch – the touch screen has great sensitivity and seems calibrated correctly, with 95% or better accuracy.
Windows 10 – much better than Windows 8, Windows 10 allows you to configure and work the way you want with minimal distractions from the UI. Kudos.
Battery – five to six hours of use on a charge, Techsnoop gets between 4 and 5 hours with heavy applications and video playback.
Keyboard – keys are sensitive and responsive. A small dip keeps keys flush with the tray so keys don’t get pushed when in tablet mode. And there is a backlight button so you can keep working in dim lighting.

In fact, Techsnoop was working smoothly during a recent power outage in the Metro area! (But no internet :-()

Fun on the Go

The tent style is fun and efficient for watching video, learning tutorials or following recipes, while the tablet is great for taking notes, sketching or collaborating. No matter which form is used, the HP x360 is a solid computing tool to have. While Techsnoop will be adding more tech to the family, the HP Envy is a welcome and fun addition.

HP Envy Tablet HP Envy Stand