To Build a Winning Business, Think ‘Team’ Before Talent

To Build a Winning Business, Think ‘Team’ Before Talent

Building a business isn’t easy. Sustaining one over the long haul is trickier still. Neither of these ideas is exactly a secret. Whether your company is a startup or an established enterprise, the challenges always come thick and fast: Changing technologies, changing regulations, changing market tastes, economic upheavals – all piled on top of the normal day-to-day hassles involved in running a company. It probably comes as no surprise that many of those daily hassles involve people. People can be a problem. They have the capacity to be capricious, unpredictable, and prone to behavior that – from a company’s point of view – defies logic. Yet they are almost always the most important element of any business, and the single strongest determining factor in whether a company succeeds or fails. Given these facts, it’s obvious that there’s a lot riding on who you hire, what responsibilities and authority you give them, what positions you put them in, and what you empower them to achieve. At PGN, we are given the rare opportunity to get an inside look at the companies we work with, and at the people working at them. All too often, it’s obvious to us that considerations like these haven’t been taken seriously enough. Just about any help wanted ad will list a series of qualifications, roles, and responsibilities – education and experience requirements, software abilities, or other skills deemed necessary to fulfill a given role. While these may be necessary, in our view they are often the least important factors in determining whether the people you hire succeed or fail – and whether your business does...
Six Reasons You Need to Verify Your Business Listings Right Now

Six Reasons You Need to Verify Your Business Listings Right Now

Really, how important is verifying your business listings? You might be surprised to learn that verification is crucial to your business. To perform well in any online marketing strategy, you need to prove that you’re a true representative of your business. Failing to do so leaves room for lost opportunities and smear campaigns. Correcting Misinformation Modern consumers are far more likely to look online for information about an interesting business than they are in a phone book. If your information online isn’t accurate, then you’re inviting disaster. In the age of speed and convenience, a potential customer who is embarrassed by calling an old, inaccurate number isn’t likely to try another. Instead, they simply take their business elsewhere. By verifying your business listings, you take advantage of the opportunity to fix such errors. Creating a Reliable Image for Customers As an online business, you want to control the information that people see. However, when you neglect to verify your business listings, you lose that control. If you want to create a smooth, multichannel selling experience, you need to make your listings somewhat uniform. Differences confuse users. Of course, an officially verified business account also helps you appear far more professional. It isn’t as always visible as the check marks next to business names on official Twitter accounts, but it’s the same principle. Preventing Fraud or Sabotage Obviously, corporate sabotage isn’t common for small businesses. However, an angry ex-employee or even personal connection could cause serious damage to your online reputation in a short amount of time. When you verify business listings, you gain access to additional features. These features...
Why Is Responsive Web Design so Important?

Why Is Responsive Web Design so Important?

There’s a lot of decisions to make before building a website. How many pages will be on the site? What will each page contain, and how will all the pages be organized? What elements are must-haves? What would be nice, but only if it’s in the budget? In this blog post, we’ll be focusing on the importance of one aspect of web design: responsiveness. What is responsive web design? Responsive web design is a website build that enables it to adapt to devices and screens of all shapes and sizes. Before the rise of smartphones and tablets, people primarily used the internet on desktops and laptops. As a result, everyone’s screen was large enough for any site. Now, however, more people use tablets and smartphones to access the internet than desktops and laptops. Responsive website design means that your site will look good and be easy to use on any device. The website adapts to the dimensions of any screen by shrinking and rearranging elements. What does responsive web design do for my business? If you’re paying someone to build your site, you deserve an amazing end product. If you don’t build your site to adapt to mobile, desktop, and tablet viewers, you’re not putting your best foot forward across all platforms. Building a website that isn’t responsive is like spending all of your money to repaint only a single side of a building. Even if you paint a beautiful mural there, anyone viewing it from the other three sides will see old, flaky paint. Instead, it’s worth the additional investment to ensure your site looks incredibly on any...
Why Do I Need SEO for my Website?

Why Do I Need SEO for my Website?

Any marketer can tell you about the value of SEO, emphasizing why your website needs it and what it can do for your growth. Still, there will always be skeptics. If you’re not a digital marketing expert, it’s natural to be wary. If you’re not sold on SEO services, it’s worth doing some research. By educating yourself further on the subject, you’ll have a better understanding of how SEO offers unique opportunities for growth. We wrote this blog as a primer on the subject. For starters, SEO improves the user experience of your site. One of the largest ranking factors for Google is ease of use. As such, SEO experts will improve the user experience of your site by making it mobile-responsive, slashing loading times, and incorporating quality content. All these factors transfer into visitors spending longer amounts of time on your site and reducing the bounce rate, which Google interprets as a solid user experience. In short, optimizing your site for Google means optimizing your site for users. SEO is your path to local business. Every day, there are hundreds or thousands of people in your area searching for products and services. Whether they’re looking for coffee, pizza, or movie showtimes, they’re going to Google to find local businesses. Google reports that “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day.” If you’re looking to gain more business from your community, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than optimizing your site for search engines. Organic search still beats paid search. Numerous studies have pointed to the fact that...
4 Things Every Content Marketer MUST Do Differently in 2017

4 Things Every Content Marketer MUST Do Differently in 2017

“What’s dangerous is to not evolve.” — Jeff Bezos, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Amazon One of the most exciting things about the marketing industry is that things are always changing. The use of social media and the internet means the industry is evolving faster than ever, prompting a content marketer to constantly adapt their strategies and tactics. To be successful, it’s vital that content marketers stay informed and work to stay ahead of the curve. We’ve outlined a roadmap for avoiding some of the largest pitfalls in 2017: Create a specific content marketing strategy. Many companies use content marketing simply because everyone else is doing it, or because they heard it was important. Unfortunately, that’s not going to cut it. If your efforts and time are going to be worthwhile, you need to define success for your content marketing. Once you’ve defined it, document it. Put your content marketing strategy in writing to put everyone on the same page and get on track if you drift astray. Generate content that fits the platform. When you post something on Instagram or Facebook, you can rest assured that audiences will skip 90% of what they see. As such, brief videos, short posts, or eye-catching pictures will be your best bet. Educate yourself about the platforms you use and create content that works for that medium. Use more video content. Video is one of the more pricey forms of content. However, it’s worth it — people watched 19% more videos online in 2016 than the year before. While text and graphics are easy to produce, the data shows that video is...
IMPORTANT VS. URGENT

IMPORTANT VS. URGENT

Knowing The Difference Makes A Difference If you’re like many business leaders, you start your day with a glance through your email inbox, scanning dozens of items demanding your attention. Chances are that as you go, you take note of the important items, the urgent items, the really urgent items, and the pants-on-fire emergencies that demand your immediate attention. You mentally prioritize these, and file away the remaining messages for future attention – probably some time in the 23rd century. Then you set to work tackling the emergencies and urgent matters as quickly as you can. Chances are good that tomorrow you’ll find yourself repeating the same steps. Same thing the day after, and the day after that, on into infinity, while you wish to yourself that some day the urgent matters would cease to exist. Well, maybe they can. And maybe all you need to do to make it happen is change the way you look at important matters versus urgent ones – and then put the important ones first. The first step is to correctly distinguish between the two. So how do you tell the difference between important issues and urgent ones? Important matters almost always have at least one – and often, all three – of the following characteristics: A deadline A price tag The possibility of emotional disaster in the event of a bad outcome. Do urgent issues also involve these things? Of course – magnified and intensified many times over. So what are the unique characteristics of an urgent matter? An urgent matter is an important matter that has been inadequately or improperly addressed....