Your Website Needs To Do More Than Look Good

Your website can do more than you think. Most people think the most important part of their website is how it looks. A good looking website is mandatory these days, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. The harder part is making sure it performs well. If you aren’t sure what that means then it might be time to call your website person and ask them. If they don’t know how the website is performing on the back end, then it might be time to find a new website team. New York City website design by Van West Media relies on years of agency experience to deliver premium websites and web marketing strategies.

At Van West Media we talk with business owners all the time that don’t have any idea how effective their website is in terms of performance. An effective website should contribute to your businesses bottom line. This means different things to different people depending on the type of business you have. For example, a Manhattan restaurant will have different website goals than a new residential development in Brooklyn Heights.

Van West Media is a NYC Digital Marketing Agency that helps clients to market their goods and services. All business have different goals but creating a successful strategy has some common components.

Create a Compelling Website
Websites that look good perform better. This sounds simple enough but translating an idea into a website is not easy. Take 5 minutes to Google your competitors or some of the other businesses in your vertical and take a quick look at each of their websites homepage. Right away you should be able to tell which sites are done well and which sites have room for improvement. How does your own site look when compared to your competitors?

Get People to See Your Website
What good is a beautiful website if nobody sees it? There are hundreds of millions of websites out there and getting your site noticed can be challenging – especially in a competitive market like New York City. There are a number of ways to get people to visit your site. Optimizing for search engines and web rankings is as complicated as ever and it takes someone with knowledge of the industry to do it right.

Turn Site Visitors into Customers
A business website should be a tool that drives business. As obvious as this may sound, it’s something that a lot of companies overlook. Building a nice website and generating traffic and visits doesn’t do any good if it doesn’t help generate business.

Measure, Monitor & Improve
Once a website is published and getting visitors, knowing what works and what doesn’t work can make the difference between a good site and a great site. Data on each and every individual visit can be recorded and analyzed to help show how effective the website is in helping to generate business. Some of the important pieces of data collected on websites designed by Van West Media include:

  • Most/Least visited web pages
  • Search Queries & Keywords used to find site
  • Geographic information on site visitors
  • Social Media mentions
  • Traffic patterns throughout the day
Not sure where to start on your next website design in New York City? Contact Van West Media


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The $19 Billion Dollar App You’ve Never Heard Of

Mobile messaging app WhatsApp has $19 billion reasons to celebrate after Facebook recently announced that it had reached a deal to acquire the company for $19 billion in cash and stock. This is the largest acquisition in the history of Facebook and you can be sure that the $19 billion dollar number made headlines across the tech world and beyond. The initial reaction by many was that Facebook might have paid too much for a company with less than 60 employees, but other analyst point to a lot of upside – if nothing else to avoid competitors from getting the app first. One thing is certain – WhatsApp cofounders Jan Koum and Brian Acton are the Silicon Valley’s newest billionaires.

What Facebook Paid – $19B acquisition details
Even in today’s speculative tech market, $19B is a huge chunk of change. Here are some of the details on the cash side of the WhatsApp acquisition:

  • $4B Cash, $12B worth of shares, $3B restricted stock = $19B
  • Largest acquisition in the history of Facebook
  • Costs close to 10% of Facebook’s Net Worth
  • Nineteen times the price of 2012 Instagram acquisition

What Facebook gets for $19 Billion?
Is this company really worth this kind of cash? It is to Mark Zuckerberg and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. Here’s some of what he gets in this deal:

  • A company with 450 million users (think double what Twitter has)
  • A company growing by 1 million plus users daily
  • The only app that has grown faster than Facebook ever did
  • Younger user base, mostly outside North America
  • Expanded presence in Mobile

WhatsApp…? Never heard of it
You’re not alone if you haven’t heard of WhatsApp prior to this announcement. Despite being a Mountain View based company, a large part of the user growth is in Latin America, Europe, India and other developing markets. In other words, a lot of places that Facebook wants to be. This means huge potential growth in terms of user base for Facebook, and may be part of the reason Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg were willing to pay so much.

With a market cap close to $200 Billion, Facebook needs to continue to convince shareholders it can keep performing in a landscape that continues to innovate and change. In acquiring WhatsApp, the company gains a big chunk of young users in new regions. It also prevents it from being acquired by competitors (read: Google).

How does WhatsApp work?
WhatsApp is cross-platform messaging app that lets users exchange messages without paying the SMS charges many carriers apply. Basically it found a way to exchange messages via the internet using the same data plan your phone uses for email or web. It also allows for images, video and audio messages and group functionality. This appeals to many users globally and the app is available across iPhone, Blackberry, NokiaS40, Symbian and Windows platforms. Feel free to contact VWM for more info on Mobile App Development

Off the cuff:
Snapchat might be feeling pretty good right now. The company turned down a $3 Billion dollar offer from Facebook not too long ago, and now might be looking more valuable in the eyes of Google or well positioned for a potential IPO sometime in the future. Instagram on the other hand might be feeling a little jealous.

Some of the sources referenced in researching this article: 2/14/2014

Forbes here and here

New York Times

The Guardian

Martin Varsavsky

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Win $1.5 Million with Esurance Post-Superbowl Commercial

With pricey commercials during the Superbowl, Esurance used their savvy saving skills by grabbing the first commercial slot after the Superbowl. They not only saved $1.5 million by purchasing this commercial instead of one during the game, but they spread the word about it to their viewers.

The tactic was carefully planned and worked out accordingly by starting with a celebrity spokesperson. Many know John Krasinski as “Jim Halpert” from the popular NBC television series The Office and because of this, Esurance hired him to capture your attention. From there, they started to deliver their message.

By using their savings, Esurance encouraged viewers to help promote the company with by tweeting with the hashag #EsuranceSave30 to win the money they saved from placing their commercial after the Superbowl. By incorporating social media and giving their viewers incentive to participate, Esurance became a trending topic almost instantly. What added to this was how they made each tweet with the hashtag another entry to win the $1.5 million. This helped achieve constant promotion rather than a one time deal so that Esurance would remain a trending topic until Wednesday night, when they would announce the winner on Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel.

The marketing doesn’t even stop there. Insurance companies are there to help you “save money” and Esurance also correlated this with their tactic of promoting their company. Many viewers don’t fully understand or realize that they were informed of Esurance and their insurance savings, but it has been engrained in their minds. Not only has the thought of saving been engrained, but the name Esurance has as well and that name will stay in their minds until the winning announcement Wednesday night.

By giving people incentive to promote for your company through social media, which is the fastest marketing tool, Esurance became the buzz everywhere since the Superbowl ended last night. This trending topic will remain trending and be constantly spread through all friends and family for the next 3 days. This makes Esurance the most influential Superbowl commercial this year (even though it was played after) because with $1.5 million to win, who wouldn’t want to join in on this promotional deal? Don’t miss out and start hashtagging #EsuranceSave30 today!

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Don’t Forget About Second Screen Superbowl

As Superbowl XLVIII is approaching this weekend, everyone will gather in clusters of family and friends to watch the big game and advertisers who got commercial slots are ready to display their million dollar ads. However, those who don’t have the financial backup to join in don’t have to worry about missing out.

There are some who sit during the entirely of the game and watch all of the commercials but most are more practical than that. There are bathroom breaks, food breaks and alcohol breaks where people get up and what most people don’t leave behind is their cell phone. In this age, almost everyone has a smartphone; even those who haven’t even reached their teenage years. With the need to constantly socialize, smartphones bring everyone together through social media and texting. Because of this, advertising on social media is the most affective form of advertising.

Commercials may only have a mere 30 seconds for an ad campaign, but there are always links as well as hashtags and handles that are presented at the end to keep their viewer’s interest and stay connected with them after the commercial has passed. You don’t need to have a million dollar commercial to do this. Place your ads straight to social media and you may even be ahead of those who invested millions in commercials. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter now all have integrated ads in users feeds, which makes marketers’ lives easier.

There are commercials that can be missed, but if your ad is placed in a social media feed, it is less likely to be. People are constantly scrolling through their feed, reading all of their friend’s statuses or looking at their pictures and videos. The integration is great, because your ad is camouflaged with all of the other content. People will see your image or video or read your status before even realizing that it’s an ad. From there, they can decide whether or not to follow the link provided but you have already taken that first step. This introduction is more likely to receive feedback because your information is already presented to your viewer and they have already taken it in.

Take advantage of these opportunities as people are always constantly checking their phones. They might even be checking their phone while sitting in front of the television instead of watching the commercials. Some even update their statuses with play-by-plays or complain or cheer during the game. A smartphone is the second screen of the Superbowl and you need to take advantage of these marketing opportunities to reach out to your audience.

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