As a business owner, you are likely constantly looking for ways to improve your experience for customers. Luckily, the increasing presence of online reviews makes it easier than ever to learn what your customers do (and don't) like about your products or services. One way that customers can provide feedback online is through first-party reviews. In this guide, we'll outline what first party reviews are, why they are important, and how they can help improve your business's reputation.more
If you want your business to have a strong digital footprint, then you want to make sure that you are making the most out of your Google My Business listing. One step you can take to optimize your listing is by taking advantage of Google’s attributes to describe your business.more
SpaceCraft’s website solution offers user-friendly tools that make it easy to manage image libraries and image blocks. SpaceCraft has released a number of performance enhancements, dynamic image capabilities, and opportunities for SEO improvement so that users can easily build and customize their website.more
Make the most out of local profiles
If your website is for a business, then you should make sure to have profiles on major local listing sites. At the very least, having listings on major aggregate sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook, are essential. These local profiles are important because they provide space for users to leave reviews. These websites also have a very high domain authority, so they appear prominently in search engine result pages. You should also create local profiles on industry-specific sites, like Angie’s List for home services or The Knot for wedding-related venues or services.
Of all the local aggregate sites, Google My Business is likely the most important. The information on your Google My Business listing displays in Google’s “local 3-pack” in the search results and on the map listings. If you want your business to have a strong online footprint, then you should make the most out of these listings by adding posts,...more
Does your business or organization have a verified Google My Business profile? If you want your business to have a strong digital footprint, then a robust Google My Business listing is essential. The information in your Google My Business profile is what appears in Google’s “3-pack” and the map listing. Optimizing and verifying your Google My Business listing is important, especially after Google’s recent algorithm changes that favor local results
Luckily, the Google My Business interface is easy to use and customize. You can access via desktop or download it to your smartphone through iTunes or the Google Play store. It is also completely free to use. While it is easy to use, it does take some effort to live up to its full potential. Read on to see how to optimize your Google My Business listing.more
In the early days of Google over a decade ago, search engine optimization (SEO) strategies were very different. In those times, the best way to drive traffic to your site was to show up on the first page of search results. Over the years, especially recently, Google has made many algorithm changes. This means that search rankings are not the same as they used to be.more
Many business owners are aware of how important online reviews are when finding new customers, but many struggle with actually getting people to leave reviews. We all know that the best way to get 5-star ratings is by perfecting your customer service, but actually getting that review can be a bit trickier. We’ve put together a few ways to get positive reviews, faster, so you can grow your online authority.more
As a business owner, you work hard to provide excellent customer service for your clients. Your may have perfected your customer service on the job, but what about on the internet? Your online presence is essentially an extension of your business, and online reviews bring extra opportunities to build relationships, solve problems, and also improve your business’s reputation.more
At SpaceCraft, we're constantly looking for ways to improve our website building platform, and we're excited to announce that all SpaceCraft websites can now take advantage of HTTPS, the most secure protocol available for websites today. Read on to learn more about SSL web hosting and HTTPS, and discover the benefits it can provide website owners and visitors alike.
What Is SSL?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) creates a private session between a web browser and a website. During the session, the browser and the website use a cipher to encrypt data before sending it to the other party. The website, and the browser being used to view it, use a decryption key to decipher the data. Without the key, the data looks like a random jumble of letters, numbers and symbols.
What Are the Benefits of SSL Web Hosting?
SSL creates a safer web browsing experience, which is a great thing for you and your website's users, especially if your website gathers personal information such as credit card information, phone numbers, passwords, or medical...more
At SpaceCraft, we're constantly adding new features to our platform based on client feedback, and we're excited to announce our brand new reporting tool. Quickly check your website's traffic right from the SpaceCraft dashboard. You can also see what devices your viewers use to browse your website. Best of all, there's no code to implement this new reporting functionality - we've already set it up for you. Professional and Concierge customers can simply click on the reporting tab within the dashboard overview page. From there, you'll see your unique website's stats automatically. Interested in boosting your website's traffic? Check out our marketing packages. With SpaceCraft, it's easier than ever to create, manage, and promote your online presence within one simple platform.
Real-time analytics are only available on our Professional and Concierge plans. Basic and Premium customers can upgrade through the SpaceCraft dashboard. To learn more about this new feature, contact us today.more
Now that you've launched your beautiful new SpaceCraft website, it's time to start thinking about how to get more website visitors that you can convert into customers. The right approach to increasing online traffic can push your site higher in search rankings and put your business ahead of the competition. As you build your web presence, you'll notice that there are many ways to advertise your business online. At SpaceCraft, we offer marketing services that incorporate three common tactics for attracting more search traffic. Read on to learn the basics of these online marketing methods, and contact us today to see what kind of online marketing is right for your unique business.more
Your website content plays one of the most important roles in creating your online presence. It can tell the story of your unique brand, illustrate your service or product, and drive potential customers to purchase. Now that you've chosen the perfect website template, the next step is to figure out what types of content your website needs most. From blog posts to logos, there are many kinds of content you'll need to consider if you want your website to accurately communicate your product, services, and brand. Whether you're redesigning your website or starting a new website from scratch, gathering and creating your website's content can quickly become overwhelming. To help make this process a bit easier, our designers have created an overview of the types of content you'll need when starting your website design, as well as some best practices to use when placing content on your website. Save valuable time by reading these tips before you start building your website.
How Many Pages Do You Really Need?
Before you start typing,...more
The complex task of putting together a website for your small business becomes easier when you know how to choose a website template. A template provides a foundation to work with when establishing your web presence and makes building and maintaining a site easier than starting from the ground up.
Ready to build your own website, but don’t know where to start? Check out our tips for how to choose the best website template for your business.more
Some companies believe websites are simply a tool for advertising their services and telling potential customers about themselves. While having a website to communicate your unique brand and services is the first step to broadening your company’s marketing efforts, online marketing is an ongoing task, and many companies fail to realize the importance customer feedback has on their online presence. Customer feedback and reviews can make or break your reputation both online and offline, and are a critical part of your online success. Read on to learn more about the importance of customer feedback, and why you should make online reviews a focus in your marketing plan.more
If you've been watching your website's search engine performance, you know how important mobile-friendly web design is to Google. In fact, Google now processes more searches made from mobile devices than from PCs -- so providing great search results to mobile users is the company's priority.
Google recently announced a fundamental change to the way in which it will handle search queries in the future. The company plans to create two entirely separate web indexes -- one for mobile pages and another for desktop pages. Google will prioritize the mobile versions of pages on its search results pages, and it will display the desktop versions when no mobile pages are available.
Following the change, websites without mobile-friendly designs will likely receive significantly reduced search engine traffic. Is your website ready?more
At SpaceCraft, we're proud to offer websites that are completely responsive and scale across all devices seamlessly. While these mobile-friendly features come standard on all our websites, we also want to give our customers the ability to easily edit the design on every version of their website. We've been working hard on improvements to our mobile navigation styling options to give our customers the power to easily change their website's navigation structure across desktop and mobile devices. While other website building platforms may require an expensive developer for these types of mobile navigation changes, our user-friendly CMS lets even those with no coding experience take back the reins on their website management. Learn more about our exciting new mobile navigation styling features!more
At SpaceCraft, we're constantly looking for new and innovative ways to help our customers improve their web presence. We're excited to announce our new video gallery functionality that gives you the ability to add multiple videos on one page in a visually pleasing way. Engage your website visitors by adding various video resources onto one page, and let your video content take center stage.more
A landing page without a powerful Call to Action (CTA) is like a boat without water - it will get you nowhere. CTAs encourage consumer engagement and prompt your customers to take action. Not just any action, but the specific action you want them to take when they land on your website.
Without a clear call to action, your website visitors are left in limbo not knowing what step to take next. Ultimately, this is where many online sites lose their potential customers. Why spend time designing a wonderful, dynamic landing page, without putting the same effort into creating a CTA that will help you gain more customers?more
Ready to get started building your online presence with SpaceCraft? We created a short video to help you navigate our easy to use website building tool. From choosing a template as your starting point to adding a custom domain, we'll walk you through the basics so you can start designing your unique website.
Watch our Getting Started video today, and sign up for our 14 day free trial to start crafting your space online.more
Your website looks best when you hire a photographer to get great shots of your workspace, products, and staff. However, we realize this isn't always possible. If custom professional photos aren't an option for your business, you can still get access to high-quality photos for your website through stock photography sites. Learn more about recommended image sizes and formats for the web, and try out some of the SpaceCraft design team's favorite stock photo resources.
Recommended Stock Photo File Formats and File Sizes for the Web
When you incorporate images into your site, you should favor JPGs. This file format is ideal for photos because they are "lossy", meaning additional data is not saved, so you end up with a smaller file size. The only exception to this rule is when you need a transparent background for your images. In this situation, you should use PNG files. We recommend minimizing the amount of PNGs used, as this format is lossless and retains all color data. Using more PNGs results in a larger file size, which may slow down your website...more
At SpaceCraft, we're constantly looking for new ways to help our customers grow their businesses through our easy to use website platform. In our most recent webinar, we teamed up with the email marketing gurus at Emma to discuss what makes a killer CTA, and how to best capture potential customers at every step of the buyer journey. Listen in to learn more, and start growing your customer list today!more
So you've just launched your brand-new website, and you're anxious for new customers to start rolling in, or want to make sure your existing customers can still find you online. What some business owners don't realize is that web users need to be able to find you online before they become a customer. Since the very beginning, web users have favored websites that show up higher in search results, as they want to find the information they need fast. Showing up on the first page of search results has become even more difficult as search engines have adapted to increased browsing on mobile devices, more ad space, and tougher competition as more and more businesses are getting online. That being said, following SEO best practices is critical to building your online presence and attracting customers to your newly launched website. Below are six critical SEO actions to take before you launch your new site or as soon as possible afterwards to give your website the best chance to rank against the competition.
Action 1: Redirect Old URLs
If you have an existing...more
“How are you different than WordPress?” has become one of the most common questions that our team seems to get these days.
For some people, WordPress is synonymous with the word website. At SpaceCraft, we are quickly trying to change that mindset. Don’t get us wrong, WordPress is a good platform if you are a serious blogger, experienced developer, or have an in-house IT team.
Unfortunately, with a WordPress website, your site is only as good or optimized as the person who is building it. There are many creative shops building WordPress websites, but they’re certainly not all created equal. Our biggest warning to any client weighing their options is to make sure that they understand that choosing WordPress as their CMS won’t magically give them or their business a leg up on the competition.
We might be biased, but in our eyes SpaceCraft is a superior solution for small businesses needing a turnkey solution with beautiful designs, great support, and fantastic SEO, all while breaking their dependence on developers. (Don’t take our word for it, give it a test...more
Our Image Galleries are becoming extremely customizable with the series of updates we have been putting together for you this quarter. A wide selection of gallery arrows are now available for you to choose from, 45 total options to be exact! That includes the option to add one of three colored shapes behind the arrow along with other detailed controls.more
We are launching some fresh effects for your photos and image galleries today! A big request from our customers was to include Title and Descriptions as a feature for their images. We consider this a great option for photographers or businesses who are looking to add more descriptive content to their portfolios.more
The SpaceCraft team is constantly cooking up fresh new features for you to use on your website! We are also always listening to our customers in an effort to keep our platform one of the leading website builders available in the market. This week, we are happy to include Parallax scrolling and Carousel slideshow options in our rich selection of design options: two new features in line with the advancing world of responsive and beautiful web design.more
The customer experience is spoken of constantly. We are reminded everyday that this is the era of the customer. Their journey matters more than anything else. Their impression of your company can make or break your business, and one of the first impressions they may get is from your website. First impressions are important, right? So why isn’t your website doing it’s job?more
The SpaceCraft team has been hard at work building amazing new features and functionality for our platform. You can now drag and drop images and update your website copy on the fly with our latest release. These powerful new features save you time and make it a breeze to update your website.more
You asked for it...we listened. Check out SpaceCraft’s new image editing features. Now it's even easier to customize your image shapes, styles and sizes right from our design panel. You no longer need Photoshop or a separate photo editing software to make basic image modifications. This fantastic new toolset will save you time and allow you to customize your images for a professional look.more
So you want to set up your first website. You have a great idea: a product to sell or a service to offer. You know exactly what you want your website to do, but you don’t know how to code.
Luckily, some really smart people know how to code, and they’ve built some awesome tools for us non-coders.
When it comes to websites, this tool is called a CMS, or content management system.
Using a CMS means that you can create the website of your dreams, all without using any code!more
With the new SpaceCraft website building platform now fully launched, it’s even easier to manage and design your responsive mobile-friendly website. We have incorporated years of research and feedback from SpaceCraft website owners to make the platform better in every way.
There are hundreds of new features and enhancements in the platform, all designed to make your website management easier than ever. We’ve put this guide together to highlight and walk through a few of the most user-requested updates.more
Google has announced that a "significant" change is coming to their search algorithm. According to Google Webmaster Central, this change is starting on April 21, and will expand on Google's use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
A Googler even noted that this algorithm change will impact more than 40% of websites on the internet. This means that it will be the most significant mobile algorithm change to date.more
The holidays are quickly approaching, and with them come more and more customers starting to search for Christmas gifts. While these searches do occur year-round (albeit in minimal numbers), according to data from Google Trends, searches including the term “Christmas gift” tend to rise exponentially starting in late October and early November.more
Today’s Search Engine Optimization efforts have grown to include much more than entering a website’s keywords and meta-data. Providing fresh, interesting content has become the key to great SEO. Every website owner should be creating new content and analyzing it over time to ensure a truly optimized user experience. But, if you aren’t skilled at SEO, the data can be difficult to find, understand, and act upon. The good news is that if you’re lucky enough to have a SpaceCraft website, many of your SEO concerns have already been addressed!
Our platform auto-generates rich, clean micro-data vital for search engine crawlers, is completely responsive across all devices (and browsers), and easily integrates with data analysis tools including Google Analytics. Taking a holistic approach to SEO can seem overwhelming, but even if you aren’t an experienced SEO (Search Engine Optimizer), there are still simple steps you can take to improve your current search rankings and create buzz around your website and brand.
Creating a conversation with customers through your social media...more
Our designers have put together a list of their favorite places out there to find stock photography. These sites make it easy to grab fresh images to take your website to the next level, and we use them every day to find awesome shots, including the ones you see in our new templates. Whether you're looking for a specific photo to complete your design or in need of a new look and feel, these sites will help you find what you're looking for.
Unsplash: We like Unsplash for their landscape and cityscape photography. If you need a photo of a far-off mountain path, a quaint corner bakery, or a sprawling skyline, Unsplash has you covered - plus they mix it up with some awesome abstract shots.
Picography: This feed is filled with interesting outdoor shots and city scenes, all downloadable and hi-res.
Foter: This collection is huge, and entirely searchable, making it a...more
Let's dig into a hot topic for businesses with multiple locations. Franchises and multi-unit businesses have struggled to choose between having one website with a page for each location and having separate websites for each location. It’s tough to say if there is a right or wrong answer that will work for everyone. However, at SpaceCraft, we agree with Matt Cutts (Head of Webspam at Google) that having location specific websites is best in most scenarios.
"Make a web page for each store location. If you want your store pages to be found, it’s best to have a unique, easily crawlable url for each store” - Matt Cutts
Cutts even goes so far to say that neglecting to give your franchisee or local dealer their own website positions your business at a severe disadvantage against the competition.
Giving each location its own website provides the opportunity for each location to tell their own story. With SpaceCraft, each location can have their own blog and integrate their unique social feeds. They can add events and promote specials. And they’ll be set up to work...more
In the world of building websites, to say that forms are important would be an understatement. A majority of people assume that forms are used exclusively to capture potential clients' contact information, but they can also be useful in a variety of digital marketing strategies.more
As mobile phone and tablet usage continue to surge, so does the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. At the onset of our platform's development, we had two directions that we could have gone in to provide our customers with websites that worked across all devices.
The first option was to create a separate mobile website, in addition to the desktop version, for each customer website. This approach required having separate URLs and managing unique content for the mobile specific website.
The second option was to leverage responsive design. Responsive design is an approach aimed at building sites that provide optimal viewing experiences across all types of devices. There is only one URL and one set of content to manage. A site designed with responsive design adapts the content to the screen size available by using fluid grids and images. Here’s a SpaceCraft customer website showing responsive design in action:more
Window shopping on Main Street is something that we’ve all probably experienced. It’s also something we take part in hundreds of times a day, but more on that in a minute. A store’s or parlor’s front window displays were some of the first examples of marketing and advertising. For a business owner, a display was an invitation for customers to come on in. If the glass was not smudged with handprints of onlookers, the display was probably not tantalizing enough.
A display needed to be inviting and pleasing and clearly communicate the shop’s purpose. Customers wouldn't dare enter an establishment if a front window display was overwhelming and confusing. A front window display was a business owner’s first interaction with a potential customer, occurring even before the handshake.
Sadly, fewer people shop on small-town Main Street in 2014, but the idea remains the same. Main Street has expanded into every one of our offices, living rooms and phones. Even if they are unaware of it, all small business owners still have a front window display. In 2014, websites must...more
Schema.org provides a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to mark up their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, Yandex and Yahoo! Webmasters can use the schema.org vocabulary, along with the microdata format, to add information to their HTML content. While the long term goal is to support a wider range of formats, the initial focus is on Microdata.
At SpaceCraft, we’ve done all the work for our customers on the backend of our platform to be ready to take advantage of this movement. Our software is built with structured data so we can serve up our customer's content the way search engines prefer. Take a look at this example for ASTI, one of our favorite restaurants in Austin, Texas. When you search for "ASTI menu” the search results display the actual menu data from the ASTI website. Too cool!
Here's to smarter search results!more
We started SpaceCraft to help small businesses and individuals have a great web presence that works on all devices AND one that has great search engine optimization (SEO). So of course we love Jay Taylor's article, 3 Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is the Best Option For Your Mobile SEO Strategy. His 3 reasons center around things we talk about all the time with our customers:
- a responsive website is recommended by Google
- a responsive website provides a great experience across many devices and screen sizes
- a responsive website is easier to manage since you are only managing one website and one SEO campaign
Check out Jay's article here. And if you don't have a responsive website, then...more
Over the weekend, you may have noticed some nifty new functionality and a spiffed-up design in the SpaceCraft tool. Now, managing your SpaceCraft website is even easier - and prettier! We added drag-and-drop content reordering and also updated the tool's interface with a flatter design, new icons, and enhanced user experience.more
Austin, Texas - September 10th, 2013 - SpaceCraft announced today that it has merged with one of Austin's leading digital design and marketing firms, Element Creative. The combined company will retain the name SpaceCraft and operate under the co-leadership of current SpaceCraft CEO Adam Moore and Element CEO Dan Isaacs. This strategic merger will allow SpaceCraft to rapidly expand operations, improve product offerings, strengthen design capabilities and support customer growth.
SpaceCraft's cutting edge software builds responsive websites for small businesses that work seamlessly across smartphones, tablets and PCs. SpaceCraft debuted its web-based software in May 2012. Since then they have seen an influx of customers, powering over 1,000 websites for restaurants, musicians, fitness studios, business professionals and more. Joining with Element Creative allows SpaceCraft to sustain its rapid growth rate while continuing to offer exceptional customer solutions.
We recently installed a slew of new Typekit fonts in our design panel. We added whole families of multipurpose fonts, like Brandon Grotesque, some fun handwriting fonts like Kremlin Pro Web, decorative fonts like Hotel Open, as well as varying weights and styles of our most popular existing fonts like Futura and Museo. We’re enjoying trying out all these fresh options and finding new ways of pairing and contrasting on websites we’re currently working on.
Remember, when picking out your fonts, it’s worthwhile to do a little digging to find out what it was meant for originally. Typekit makes that easy to do with its font library, which gives helpful info about the font designer, makes recommendations for the kind of content the font is suitable for, and offers the...more
If you're like me and sometimes can't decide on one background, or if you just like changing up your website constantly then adding page-specific backgrounds is the perfect design option for your SpaceCraft site. This is also another great way to keep your website updated and fun!
Just follow these few steps and you will be set.more
You use Facebook to share photos of your kids, Twitter to share opinions about the latest news (or your latest snack), and Google+ to…wait, what’s Google+ again? A recent study by respected analytics software firm Searchmetrics suggests you better find out – and start using it and other social media platforms to promote your website. Researchers collected massive amounts of data on search engine rankings and released their findings in an eye-opening whitepaper detailing correlations between high-ranking websites and various factors such as social media activity, backlinks, and page load speed. Since 2012, Google has substantially changed the algorithm it uses when crawling the web to deliver the best content to searchers, and this research helps us understand what are the best things to focus on if we want our websites to get found.more
Ariel Hyatt, founder & president of Cyber PR®
Eric Tarlo, Sales Manager
Anyone in sales or support at a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform knows the importance of improving your conversion rate and decreasing churn. On a basic level what this means is simple: obtain as many clients and lose as few as possible.
In most software sales positions, you can accomplish these goals by staying organized, learning the product inside and out, listening, treating clients fairly, staying driven, and being honest. But the rules of the game change when you're just getting started, as any entrepreneur or new small business owner will tell you. And being able to adapt and analyze these new rules can help accelerate business growth at every level.more
Calling all bloggers!
Blogs are essential for small business today, mainly to create a connection with their community. Whether it's a personal journal, product income, or just a talk about what's going on in your business today, there are all types of bloggers and readers. But once you start building a community around your blog, interaction is bound to take place. Your readers want to have a say in your topic, tell you how much they enjoyed your post, or just give a commentary!more
Email marketing is a great tool for every small business owner’s arsenal. It’s one of the most accessible versions of permission marketing, a method of business development which is much more effective than many more expensive types of advertising. With email marketing, you’re able to send information about your business to someone who asked for it. That means there’s a level of buy-in right off the bat.more
Mike Broberg, marketing communications manager, Cloudant
Today, Cloudant, our database service provider, published an interview with our CTO, David Wood, on their blog. We appreciate the work and vision at Cloudant, which closely aligns with our own: to support small businesses and make it easy for them to do more online. Read on for the full interview.more
Pinterest, the visually-driven social media website with over 25 million users, is a powerful (and fun) way to generate buzz around your business, drive traffic to your website, and engage your visitors. We make it easy to optimize your SpaceCraft website for Pinterest users so you can reap the rewards of this quickly-growing social platform.more
Bringing your personality to life in a website can sometimes seem a bit daunting, especially when you’re a small business. How do you take all your personality and place it into your website? With a little bit of thought and few key design decisions, it can be done quite well.more
In our first installment of Ecommerce 101, we examined six solutions for website owners who are interested in selling online on a smaller scale. Today, we're looking at two, more robust platforms, Retailr and BigCommerce, for business owners whose primary goal with their web presence is to sell products or services over the interwebs.more
A few days ago, we noticed a free trial signup that was a little out of the ordinary. The website was created by a nonprofit organization for famine relief, and within a few hours of signing up, they had added a background pattern, some decorative typography, a bright green navigation bar with a dark grey header and footer, and had even customized some of their content blocks with containers and drop shadows. They'd also added colorful photos of smiling Africans and interesting information and statistics about famine. What caught our eye, though, was what they said on their "About Us" page.more
Shopping online has never been more popular, more secure or more accessible. More and more people are taking the convenience of online shopping a step further by purchasing from their mobile devices. (In fact, mobile shopping has burgeoned into a $20 billion a year industry.) There are several options for taking advantage of this opportunity with your SpaceCraft website. Read on and decide which of the following six ecommerce solutions works best for your business.more
Owning a website that's optimized for mobile gives your business a decided edge. Whether you're a roofer or a restaurateur, more and more consumers are using smartphones and tablets to search for your services and products. If you can provide a superior mobile experience, you're on your way to gaining their loyalty.more
We've been working on some new enhancements that we're excited to introduce to you.more