our blog

Trust me. I’m a doctor.

Why Google professional web development, when Terrostar is here to help? In a world where we think we can diagnose anything with a click of a button, there are some things that you should leave to the pros.

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LaraChat Episode 17: Featuring Ryan Thompson

Terrostar’s Development Strategist, Ryan Thompson, was featured on LaraChat Live for their 2016 in review episode. LaraChat is a Slack community of more than 15,000 members worldwide. Each month LaraChat Live features some of the world’s most talented Laravel Developers. If you’re using PyroCMS, Ryan discusses its evolution and new features to expect in the coming year.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Use a Professional Web Designer

Designing a website for your business can be an intimidating task. Overwhelmingly, your website is a new customer’s first impression of you. So, why would you hand your website over to an amateur? Hire a professional web designer instead. Find out why.

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Get Off the Boom/Bust Design Cycle

Your website is built on technology that is continuously evolving. Regular maintenance is required to keep it running smoothly, but is your team equipped to do that? Maybe it’s time to explore a retainer with your web development agency.

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A Love Story…Sort Of.

The spotlight on your website has never been brighter. From color to content, your website is likely a consumer’s first introduction to your business. Is it love at first sight?

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Command All the Things

You may not realize it but behind your beautiful website there are 100’s and sometimes 1000’s of PHP classes working together within the software to make it happen.

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What Designers Really Do

The design process isn’t magic. The ability to produce a great marketing campaign or a beautiful website requires a professional designer with keen listening skills, remarkable acumen in design, and the ability to communicate openly with their clients. That’s what designers do!

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Client Spotlight: CHMIowa.org

Long time client, The Congregation of the Humility of Mary, has just launched a new responsive site.  The staff and sister’s of CHM are getting to enjoy new site features like their integrated blog and Sister Stories, along with a Content Management System that far surpasses their old system.

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(well dressed) Content is King

What you say is important but how you present what you have to say is of equal importance.  Don’t miss these commonly overlooked guidelines when presenting your content.

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Every Garden Needs Tending

Successful websites require your continued attention to be a fruitful tool for your business.  What have you done to your site lately to keep it relevant for your clients?  Are you stuck with little options for change and growth within your site?  Let Terrostar help you keep your website blooming!

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Can you spot the ads?

A simple color change might lead to a higher CTR for your Google AdWords campaigns. Maybe these color changes are a reaction to consumers’ increased annoyance with other, more intrusive forms of online advertising such as pop up ads or self-playing videos (yuck). People learn to ignore ads when they stand out.

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Keep them coming back for more

Remarketing ads are everywhere and if you know how to navigate a successful remarketing campaign, you will understand why.  Learn a little more about the basic concepts of remarketing and how it can help your business!

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3 Tips to Plan Successful AdWords Campaign

When done correctly, PPC campaigns are an effective and easy tool to boost your site on search engine results pages! Learn 3 tips to help you start planning your AdWords campaign today.

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The Rise of Programmatic Advertising

Advertising is a continually growing industry in the US, with digital advertising quickly becoming the most prominent advertising form. The US spent nearly $187 billion on ads in 2015. By 2018, one in three dollars of total advertising revenue will be used for internet advertising. Over the next four years, internet advertising will likely equal, or even overtake, TV as the largest advertising platform.

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Journey to the Website Warlock: Part 2

As the pair continued walking through the fresh powder snow, both deep in thought, they failed to notice a small igloo off to their right, almost hidden in a big patch of evergreen trees. It was only when Flurry noticed two beady eyes watching them from the shadows that he realized they were not alone.

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Journey to the Website Warlock

The snowmen in charge of the NNL Department (Naughty & Nice List) use a special computer program, called PolarExpressionEngine, to process and store the information. It is a powerful program, capable of holding information regarding millions of children’s behavior, both good and bad. One snowy December not too long ago, that special program froze, and that is where our story begins…

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Branding Architecture: Cue Alphabet

Over the last ten years, the branded house structure has been the trend, with companies like Apple, IBM and GE creating extensions of the master brand. Google has always been an “unconventional” company, as Larry Page described the company in the original founder’s letter, and its new restructuring is definitely a game changer.

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Brand and Rebrand

Each company has a unique story to tell, and does so through its values, relationships with clients, and marketing. However, those elements don’t always clearly communicate the correct message to consumers. When that happens, it’s time for a change.

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Calculating SEO Success

Luckily, the advancement of the search engine algorithms also means it is easier for businesses to increase their SEO. All of the Google updates aim to make the search engine more life-like, presenting what the user is actually looking for. So, instead of writing content for a search engine, write content for a user. And lots of it.

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Grow Your Organic SEO

When searching Google’s infinite knowledge, you may not realize the two types of results that pop up for each search. The right hand column and the first three results that show are actually ads that the company paid to show in those top spots. The rest of the page is what is known as organic results.

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Brand Development

If you are a startup company or small business it can be difficult to accurately determine the strength of your brand, but it is not impossible. Try some of these ROI measuring techniques to see where you stand compared to competitors, and gain insights into how you can strengthen your brand initiatives to where it will matter most.

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Build a Better Brand

Not all companies communicate their brand correctly. It takes more than a catchy logo for customers to know a company is trustworthy and dependable. A strong brand delivers a clear and credible message that customers can connect with on an emotional level. Almost every consumer has at least one brand they “love” and buy from repeatedly. So if your company is having an identity crisis, here are a few tips to build a better brand.

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In English, Please.

No matter what industry you are in, it is important to market yourself in a way the public will understand. Each blog, tweet, white paper, and email is a reflection of your brand. If your marketing materials use heavy corporate language, your audience won’t know what your company is asking of them.

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Missed the Memo?

No matter how big or small your company is, it can be easy to misunderstand, misinterpret, or just plain miss an important piece of information. We all know how many emails we have to deal with in a day, yet we still expect an instantaneous response when sending an email. Ironic. While it may seem impossible to keep up with the continual flow of emails, there are ways to make the constant communication less stressful.

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Do Your Customers See the Same Brand You Do?

Companies no longer have total control of their image. In today’s marketing world, some of the most influential information comes from the consumers. 46 % of web users look to social media when making a purchase. But those consumers are not just looking at the company’s social media page. They also take into account what other consumers are talking about in terms of customer service, product quality and overall satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with a particular company.

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Social Media Campaign Do’s and Don’ts

Creating a social media campaign is no easy undertaking. It is more complicated than simply putting a hashtag at the end of each tweet or post. It takes careful planning and consideration to make sure your social media campaign doesn’t end up in the “How Not to Run a Social Media Campaign” articles.

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Spruce Up Your Social Media

Social media posts are a great way to gauge how customers are reacting to what a company is sharing. While it may just be a silly post or tweet to the customers, it is a goldmine of information to the marketer when putting together the next social media message.

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Image is Everything

Instead of spouting off a mini thesis paper, sometimes it is better to let the picture do the talking. Human brains can process an image in under 13 milliseconds, making visuals a more than effective way to share your message.

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Grammar Check

It is important for a company to continually produce unique content as part of its marketing strategy. That content helps to build credibility among customers. However, one obvious grammar mistake and that content goes from helpful to hurtful.

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Content is King, but the Kingdom is Growing

The saying goes “Content is King”, but the realm is expanding. Now that content marketing is an accepted part of a successful marketing strategy, the challenge is to keep up with the evolving trends to ensure content is relative and competitive.

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Smart Design Keeps the User in Mind

Design and usability are one in the same when it comes to our approach on web design. A beautiful website can fall short if the proper web standards aren’t considered. As a designer, I always strive to find ways to make the user experience smooth and visually engaging. This can be a difficult balancing act as the world of web is ever changing. One false move in the wrong direction and you may lose your viewer to confusion, or just plain boredom.

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The Problem with Old Browsers

A web browser is just like any other technology. Would you constantly ignore an update on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone? Having the latest technology can sometimes lead to bugs, but majority of the time an upgrade is just how it sounds; it gives you a better product to work with. Not updating your browser can risk compatibility, speed, and security concerns.

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I’m Not an Information Architect, but I Play One at Work

Not everybody has the luxury of including an IA on a web development team. Small businesses are often tasked with a redesign or a fresh build using just one or two people. If this is you, here are a few tips from the IA discipline that will surely result in a better website.

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Keep It User Friendly

A company’s website is the first thing a customer will go to when the physical store is not available. The website must be even more inviting to make up for the lack of human interaction. Like a store, the website must be easily navigable and give all relevant information a customer would need before deciding to make a purchase. If the website is not easy to understand, the customers will become impatient trying to find the information they are looking for and ultimately choose a different company.

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Humanize Your Brand Through Visual Storytelling

So, what is visual storytelling? If you’re a fan of Pinterest or Instagram, YouTube or Vine, you’ve already been exposed to visual storytelling in the social media context. But, for thousands of years, people have used drawings, paintings, and later photography, films and videos to tell stories. According to Jason Cormier, Co-Founder of Room 214 “If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the story behind it is worth a million more.”

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Measure This Year’s Success

The only way to know what will appeal to your company’s consumers (after narrowing down your target audience’s interests) is trial and error. To measure the profitability of each marketing campaign, you must be able to evaluate the success of each campaign using metrics like ROI, KPI, and CRO. Here’s a breakdown of what all the acronyms mean.

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Digital New Year’s Resolutions

The gyms are packed. The grocery stores are full of organic fruit and vegetables. Office supply stores are advertising new ways to de-clutter your life. And for a period of time, people are determined to better their lives. However, there are more ways to use these resolutions than you might think. Here are a few ideas on how to apply some of those common New Year’s resolutions to your digital life.

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Having Trouble Attracting New Customers?

The start of a new year brings with it the hope of new opportunities for business growth. But, finding all of those potential new customers can be a harder task than you realize. How exactly do you persuade someone that they need to buy your product or service? If you look for customers in the right places, it shouldn’t be too hard.

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New Year, New You

Haaaaaaappy New Year! Well it’s official; 2014 has come and gone, and we’re at the start of a shiny new year full of well wishes and New Year’s resolutions. Despite the almost negative temperatures of a Midwest January, there is a spark of excitement and opportunity in the air. A clean slate. A fresh start. All of the planning for the next business year always seems to be focused on strategies for the business, but what about the people that make up the business? The company will never improve if the people that make up the company don’t improve as well.

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The Twelve Days of Terrostar

We are a very festive group here at Terrostar, and know “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” So, we came up with our own rendition of The Twelve Days of Terrostar just for you!

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Cutting the Clutter. A Year in Review.

With the New Year approaching, everyone’s speculating about what web design trends will stand out in 2015. I believe we can better forecast by taking a glance back, and reflecting on what a big year 2014 was for web design. This year’s success can be measured by the beautiful streamlined designs focused on impactful imagery, and cutting the clutter. We believe many of these trends are here to stay, and can graduate themselves from trends, to web practices to live by.

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Marketing Masters

Much like a construction crew, a marketing department needs the right tools to build a successful marketing strategy. But, rather than literal drills and screwdrivers, we need knowledge. There is a new term for that figurative marketing ‘tool’ – the ‘Jack-of-All’ marketer. They are SEOs, content strategists, and social media marketers all rolled into one; the Swiss Army Knife of the marketing world.

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3 Tips to Pick the Perfect Holiday Card for Your Company

In my creative neck of the business world, there is a lot of pressure to design cool, trendy cards. No pre-made templates for us. I’m neither an artist, nor a particularly clever writer. So, when it comes to holiday cards, I focus on the process itself and delegate as much as possible. (I mean, I have my OWN holiday card to stress about, right?) But as the Agency Director, I have to contribute. Here are a few ideas from a non-designer, non-writer that may help you get your company’s holiday card in the mail just in time for the New Year!

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Use Social Media to Maximize on this #HolidaySeason

Every shopper will be hunting for the best deal on computers, tablets, and smartphones before, during, and after their shopping excursions. All of that online shopping will lead a large number of shoppers to surf social media sites while standing in never ending checkout lines. All of this social media traction is a great opportunity for companies to spread holiday messages and promote products available this shopping season.

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How to Keep Content Creative

Every blogger has been there at one time or another. Sitting at a computer, staring at the screen, without a clue of what to write about. Some weeks the creative juices are flowing and the article practically writes itself! Other weeks there’s just nothing; no spark of genius, no creative title, no motivation at all.

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Is Your Website Responsive to Mobile Users?

Imagine trying to look up a website on your smartphone and needing a magnifying glass to read the content. Customers using mobile devices to look for products and services is growing at an exponential rate, and not having a mobile friendly site could be costing your company customers and money.

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Do You Know NAP? The Local SEO Component

To go one step beyond SEO, some companies aim to rank well in local organic search results. Those companies need to know NAP. NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number (of the company); the information that search engines like Google and Bing take into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches.

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Halloween Marketing: The Good, the Bad, and the Boring

Much like the consumers, marketers change the messaging of a campaign to fit what the consumer is shopping for. When consumers turn on the TV today, the commercials are full of mock scary movies and confused monsters to reflect the Halloween mindset of most shoppers at this point in the season.

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The Missed Opportunity: Email and Content Marketing

In the early days of content marketing, digital marketers were part of the group that dismissed content marketing as merely fluffy information. This misconception of content marketing lead to a missed opportunity of combining content marketing with one of the most important digital marketing strategies: Email.

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Is Your Social Media Strategy Sending the Right Message?

With the click of a button, a company can announce new products, accomplishments, and interact with customers all in one place. In our constantly connected world of iPhones and Androids, consumers have access to an instantaneous stream of updates on their favorite brands.

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Twitter’s eCommerce Plans

Twitter still holds the number two social networking site spot, only to be topped by Facebook. Though LinkedIn and Pinterest are not too far behind in unique monthly visitors to their sites. Could this be the motivation for Twitter’s new ecommerce plans?

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Is Pigeon Helping or Hurting Your Local Business?

It is our belief that major algorithm updates from Google are generally meant to help, not hurt, the businesses that are following the rules, and prior to now, there seemed to be a big push to come to the aid of SEO-law-abiding businesses. Our stance on white hat vs. black hat has not and will never change (100% white hat), but there are occasions where Google, king of search, leapfrogs over these certainties, leaving us puzzled (a fun game they like to play to keep us on our toes, perhaps?).

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Beyond the Engagement Funnel: How to Target Your Potential Customers

We are excited to share a guest blog from Diane W. Pease, Inbound Marketing Manager at Cisco, on the topic of buying behavior. We have discussed the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) before and this ties right in with that concept of utilizing your content marketing strategy to first gain your buyers’ trust and, eventually, increase sales. But, if you take the approach of a hungry salesperson, buyers will sense that and feed your competition instead! The tide has changed which means we have to change with the tide!

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What Being a Terrostarian Taught Me

You know that feeling you get when you know you’re part of something awesome? I just had that feeling for over a year during my time at Terrostar. Being a part of the Terrostar team has been equal parts a blast and an honor. Our tiny office contains the perfect storm of weirdness and talent that has allowed me to see some of the greatest projects and biggest laughs I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with. As even the biggest man-children do, I’m jumping on a new opportunity and starting a new job in a new city.

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How to Become a Pinterest Warrior

First thing’s first, women warriors are fierce and Pinterest is definitely a woman’s world. If you read last week’s blog on Pinterest for Business, you’ll already know that women dominate the booming internet pinboard, making up anywhere from 72% to 97% of total usership. This is astronomical for any social media service and, with the right tools, can make Pinterest a powerful platform. But there is much more that makes this tool worth exploring; take a look at our guest post and accompanying infographic for compelling Pinterest stats!

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Get Pinspired to use Pinterest for Business

Pinterest for business; have you considered it? Upon visiting Pinterest’s website for business owners, you find these words, “Get discovered by millions of people looking for things to plan, buy and do”. In essence, this is yet another targeted audience searching for you.

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Search Marketing Integration: A Cross Between Digital Marketing and SEO

You’ve heard of SEO and you’ve heard of digital marketing but what are the differences between the two? More importantly, how can they be tied together to create a powerhouse marketing strategy? Over the years, I’ve observed similar misnomers and often wondered how or why. For example, some think of sales and marketing, link building and content marketing , or marketing and advertising as one in the same. Nobody likes to be misunderstood so let’s explore what sets these two friends for life apart.

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Wise Up to Social Advertising

A wise man once said that some of the best things in life are free. Between library cards, sunshine, and 30 day Netflix trials, this guy had a good point. However, another (and presumably equally wise) man once said that you get what you pay for. Who’s right here? Well, in the world of social media, they both are.

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3 Social Media Myths, Busted

You’ve been sailing along, tackling social media when time permits. Things are good, you’ve got a few more likes than you had this time last year and your posts are creative and on point. You have convinced your friends and family to follow your business page minus Grandma who isn’t quite up to par yet on the line. So what’s the problem? Let’s just say you’re not doing anything wrong but there are things you could be doing right, advancing yourself to that next level of social media hierarchy.

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White Paper Marketing

With so many different types of content possibilities, we are often asked by clients, “What else can I write?” By now, most companies are blogging, updating their website with current events and specials, and utilizing social media to its fullest. So, what else is there? Another impactful and in-depth media choice is a white paper. Why on Earth would you write a paper that is white?! Read on.

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Content Dictates Design

Design is a tool used to enhance and communicate a message. Content can refer to both text and visual elements while design can refer to the same. So we want to clarify the role content plays when it comes to designing websites, print material, and everything in between.

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Do Not Feed the Panda

Pandas like more than just bamboo when they work for Google. And, while we covered what Panda 4.0 is last week, we’re back this week to arm you with the tools you need to either recover from the latest update or avoid the next, which is coming soon! Our disclaimer is that we cannot predict future changes and we cannot guarantee you free of penalty if you follow our advice. We can only share our knowledge and hope it helps.

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Google’s Panda Strikes Again

Google has unleashed Panda 4.0, placing websites lacking strong, original content at a disadvantage. If your rankings tanked last week, it’s probably not a coincidence. But please don’t shoot the messenger! We want to address Panda for you because we are aware that we have some readers who somewhat understand it, but would like to delve a little deeper. At an easy pace. While getting bonus points for doing the right thing!

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Google+: Social Media Platform or SEO Tool?

Who remembers a few years ago when it seemed as though there was a correlation between Facebook posts and Tweets on search engine rankings? Well now you can dot your i’s and plus your 1’s because there’s a new social media service in town. Launched nearly three years ago, Google built Google+ in such a way that would have most industry gurus believing it was built specifically for SEO (at Terrostar, we prefer to refer to this as content marketing). What all of this tells me is that I really shouldn’t ignore Google+ despite the fact that, if they’ve even signed up, most people and businesses I know aren’t very active on it. Neither should you and here is why.

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Are You Content with Your Content?

Previously, we have discussed content in terms of who you are writing for (clients, prospects, search engines, etc.), social media posts, blog posts, and content management systems, but where do you start when writing for a brand new website? Should you transfer the content from your old site into the new site or write fresh text? Should your verbiage also be available in another language? Should your copywriting be funny or über-professional? How many ways are there to say “content”? Okay, the last one wasn’t serious but I think you catch my drift.

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5 Dumb Questions It’s OK to Ask a Web Developer

It can be intimidating to embark on a project you can’t fully wrap your head around. I bet all of us have been embarrassed to ask a question, kept quiet, and regretted it later. In our world that can translate to a delayed project and a blown budget. So, here are my top five dumb questions to get you started.

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Is Your Brand’s Social Media Two-Faced?

You have a brand and your brand has a face. What to do when it comes to social media? First, be brave. Don’t shy away from multiple social media profiles simply because you are uncertain how to proceed. If you have something to say from multiple angles, then PREACH. Just don’t do more harm than good with poor execution. Luckily you are here, and you have us. Our turn to preach!

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Social Media Strategies for the Busy Social Media Butterfly

You have decided you want to be more efficient at this social media thing but you are unsure how to get there. Well, admitting is half the battle and letting us guide you is the other half! The good news is, you don’t have to stay up until midnight to announce a promotion that begins first thing tomorrow. Not only are there great tools out there like HootSuite, Sendible, and Buffer but many social media services directly offer handy tricks to make social work for you, rather than you working for it. Around the clock, no less. Who has time for that?

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We Need to Talk

When working with clients, do you ever feel things get lost in translation? Or wonder if there is a better, more efficient way to get things done that will benefit both parties? We hear ya! And while communication with anyone will never be perfect, we are sending you a few project streamlining ideas to b-storm internally and see if there isn’t something you and your team can glean from our experiences.

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Set Your Sights on Retargeting

What happens when a customer visits your site, shows some interest in your products or services, and then splits without converting? Are they gone forever? That is up to you. By using remarketing you can gently beckon them back to your website by reminding them of the items they showed previous interest in. What is this internet magic? Remarketing (sometimes called “retargeting”) works by using deliciously helpful internet cookies. In tech speak, “cookies” are totally harmless bits of code that latch on to users as they surf the web to record basic browsing data, history, and settings.

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The Word on Google AdWords

What is rarer than a holographic Charizard in 1999? A marketing medium that reaches users as they are searching for your widget, offers a completely flexible budget, and has the ability to tweak on the fly. As usual, Google has hooked you up. Google’s AdWords intelligence targets consumers who are most likely to click your ad, like what they see, and become valued customers. First timers beware: the AdWords interface can be somewhat stupefying. Take a look at our quick-start guide to ease yourself in!

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Insight into Facebook Insights

Facebook creeping. We all do it. It starts out with a banal curiosity of what your old friend from high school is up to these days and ends with you knowing what they ate for breakfast on September 28th, 2009. Did you know that as a business page owner hard core Facebook reconnaissance is not creepy, but actually encouraged? Facebook has a robust analytics dashboard known as Insights to indulge your curiosity about your fans and help your plan your social media strategy. If the sight of all of these analytics makes your breakfast rise up in your throat, don’t worry! We’ll break down a couple key bits of info that deserve your focus.

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Apparently, Social Media Offers Transparency

So you’ve signed up for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest…and then realized you might need a little less social activity in your life. There was no fee to sign up for these social media services, but there has to be a cost somewhere, right? Where does your personal data go? If you cancel a social profile, is your account (and account data) really gone for good? No worries! If you are having second thoughts, we can walk you through the data maze so that you know exactly what you are and aren’t getting into.

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How To, Version “Non-Geek Speak”: Adding Media Objects in ExpressionEngine

A few weeks back our front-end developer, John Johnson (a.k.a. JJ), wrote the wonderfully geeky blog post “How To: Add Media Objects to the Body of Your ExpressionEngine Entries.” If you read it and understood it, kudos! You must be a web developer. If you’re like me – someone who uses ExpressionEngine to update my website’s content – then read on.

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Google+ and Some of Its Pluses

Have we talked about Google+ yet? I don’t think we have and we really should. Many of you may think of it as unnecessary or a nuisance or maybe you’ve never heard of it and therefore don’t even understand the words coming out of my mouth. No matter how you feel about it, there are several very good reasons why you need to be getting your G+ on. After all, it is run by GOOGLE, the largest search engine in the world. Google THAT.

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What’s the WhatsApp?

Before this week, had you heard of WhatsApp? It’s okay; you’re not the only one. WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile messaging app. It offers real-time communication with all of your contacts and, similar to Google Hangouts, offers a group chat feature. Remember Blackberry Messenger back in the day? (Yes, 2007 is now “the day”.) It’s pretty similar to that except it is not exclusive to one carrier or phone brand. This means that finally iPhones, Androids, and Windows phones can all play nicely together and enjoy SMS-, ad-, and fee-free messaging.

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Facebook: Older and Wiser

A multi-billionaire at age 10, Facebook has the maturity and wealth to really have some fun. So, how will Facebook celebrate its 10th birthday? You have witnessed the preceding socially enhanced decade; let’s look forward and see what our treasured ‘book may be facing now.

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Twitter in an Eggshell: Tweet, Retweet and Repeat

Twitter is a social medium that has a personality all its own. Perhaps much like Tweedledum and Tweedledee characters from the classic tale, Alice in Wonderland. Acting as one, they were quirky, original, logical, and often got their message across…cryptically. The purpose of social media is to converse with your audience. When your audience speaks to you, speak back! In Twitter-land, it’s done through a Retweet or reply via the @ symbol.

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The Zero Moment of Truth

What is the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)? It is Google’s way of describing that moment where a consumer has done enough research (largely online) and a buying decision has been made, often long before the actual purchase. The Internet has changed our buying behaviors so drastically that many of us wouldn’t even know what to do without it anymore (and we certainly wouldn’t know that we are without a doubt getting the best value for our money)! How does ZMOT apply to you?

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Top 4 Marketing Practices to Continue in 2014 and Beyond

For businesses, this is a common time to reevaluate old and consider new practices. Some things never change but some should…and will, whether we like it or not. Are your thoughts centered around marketing related topics several days into the new year? Funny, so are ours! But that is just everyday life for us. Read on to find out the top 4 practices we’re predicting to continue to be a large focus for businesses and marketing professionals in 2014.

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We the Team of Terrostar Are

You didn’t know we could sing, did you? We wrote this especially for you this holiday season!

Verse 1
We the team of Terrostar are,
Building websites for companies afar,
Want it bright blue, we’ll dissuade you,
A website is not a sports car.

Chorus
O’ tales of wonder,
Tales that ain’t,
Logos made in Microsoft paint.

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A Day in the Life of an Information Architect

Simply put, an “Information Architect” is defined as an individual who creates the method by which your site will portray your company. In the past I’ve been called a “Webmaster”, “Web Developer”, or even a “Web Guru”, which are often applicable monikers for what I do; over time, however, my role within Terrostar has evolved from a straight web developer to something far more complex.

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Managed Marketing: Firm Up Your Marketing Plan

Many businesses experience the daily struggle of having just one marketing employee, or, even worse, none at all. So many times we have spoken with business owners that want to achieve major growth, but are fighting a staggeringly uphill battle to get there. When we sit down with these business owners, the first question we are asking (besides a gentile “How are you?” as we pull out their chair, because we are mega-polite like that) is “What are you doing for marketing now?”. Most will talk about various trade shows they are attending, events they sponsor, or even some mailers they sent out here and there. The commonality we find amongst many businesses we speak to is that they possess no strategic marketing plan.

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Hummingbird is the Word

No, this blog post isn’t about the hummingbird, nature’s tiniest avian rascal (a detail that wasn’t fully explained to me when I first received this blogging assignment. Did you know that a hummingbird’s average heart rate is over 1,200 beats per minute? I do now.). I’m actually here to tell you all about Google Hummingbird, the web search giant’s latest algorithm update. What does this mean for you, both as a die hard Googler and a savvy digital marketer? Flutter on to find out!

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Extra, Extra, Blog All About It

I will admit, when blogs first became so popular I thought they were just a trend and took no interest in them. At this time, they hardly resembled the blogs of today, and were set up more like no-frills, text-based chat forums. I mean, who cared what the writers had to say, much less their commenters? Were these just ramblings of some unknown numbskulls? Why were their websites so plain and uninteresting? Yes, looking back, it’s hard to believe there was a time before the ubiquity of social media where we weren’t so interested in what everyone was doing every minute of the day.

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When in Chrome

Google Chrome has fast become the most popular browser used today. Whether a casual user or mad coder, there are many reasons to love this Google product.

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Just Browsing?

Chances are that, unless you are in the far future and this is being fed directly into your brain, you are reading this blog from the comfort of a web browser. What is a web browser? Allow the immortal bard to explain…

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It’s Not You, It’s Me: A Tribute to Our Old CMS

I’ve heard it said that “if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.” As most of our readers know, we’re going through a growth spurt ourselves!

In order to grow you have to plant and for some of our long time customers, this seed is for you. Our original CMS will be announcing its retirement very soon but don’t worry, we will offer plenty of notice and explain what this means for you when the time is right. For now, business as usual. And if you are using ExpressionEngine already, then this change does not affect you.

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WordPress: Let Us Dissuade You

Why Not WordPress? The topic of the week could easily be “Why not Drupal?”, “Why not Joomla!?” or any number of the various CMS platforms out there; so, why not WordPress? Let’s first be fair and disclose that WordPress is a mature platform that is very popular with companies ranging from a mom-and-pop to a large multi-national. So we figured we’d train our sights on a popular product and explain that for us, its “why not WordPress?”.

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Definition: Analytics (Not) Impossible

You know now that measuring web traffic and conversions is extremely important along with the business objectives you have already set. Having a fresh perspective and looking at every angle of your business often leads to new ideas that can quickly turn into growth. Checking your ego at the door is a must and sometimes inviting an outside perspective can be just the thing to help you escape the rut you might have found yourself in.

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Measure. Adjust. Rinse and Repeat.

In an age where the new standard for doing business is largely online (blogs, web searches, email, etc.), there are still so many businesses out there relying on websites that are not working for them. Your website is your first impression and the goal is conversion whether you are for profit, non-profit or just having fun, so put it to work! Even easier, if you are in the market for a new site utilize your marketing team or firm to build in the analytics before mapping the site out, sort of like prewiring your home for surround sound – easier done now than later. With products being so interchangeable and service organizations being in a highly competitive environment, this is a step that should never be skipped.

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Analyze This and Measure That - Where to Begin with Web Analytics

You are a business owner seeking growth but growth has been stagnant for some time now. Sometimes the hardest place to look is in the mirror. But it is often the most productive too. This month we will focus on setting measurable goals and web analytics – are they for real? What can be measured? How can you narrow down and capitalize on this sometimes overwhelming data?

This week, we will focus on some questions you can ask yourself to help weed out the fluff from the true pain points. It’s your choice – you can either weed your garden or get to the root of the problem, pun intended!

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Supercharge Your Revenue

With our recent rebranding, we not only expanded our service offerings but we created the mothership of all business growth programs: the Revenue Supercharger. The purpose of the Revenue Supercharger program is, quite simply, to increase revenue and profit for our clients. But how? Getting there is a much more complex endeavor that we want to take on with only the most dedicated clients. The businesses who mean business. The crème de le crème. The “I want my cake and eat it too’s.” I mean, only crazy people have cake and don’t eat it, right? Let me grab my fork…

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