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The Forbin Blog

Jan 21

6 Opportunities You’re Missing Out on by not Using Analytics

Posted by vgmforbin in Web Marketing

Use analytics for your website to optimize your web presence.

Analytics shouldn’t scare you. Repeat with us: “Data is my friend, data is my friend…

Analytics.

 

When you read that, did you think about a bunch of complicated numbers, percentages and alien terms such as “unique pageviews,” “bounce rate” or “ratio of customer lifetime value to customer acquisition cost?”

 

If so, you’re not alone. Just thinking about analytics has scared many a business owner or marketing manager away. However, as budgets have tightened and success has been in higher demand, you may have found yourself creeping back to the idea of using analytics on your website.

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Jan 14

Engagement, Security and Experience: 11 Predictions for 2015

Posted by vgmforbin in Web Development

Forbin's bold predictions for 2015 web trends

Last year saw a huge number of changes in all things web. In fact, there were so many changes that we can’t list them all for you. But all the changes in social media, mobile use, development & design, measurement, optimization and so on created a more powerful, functional and user-friendly web.

 

This year will be no different.

 

While we don’t claim to possess a magic crystal ball, we do have a ton of intelligent and driven team members who are inspired by what is coming next. We have melded our minds together to create this list of 11 bold predictions for what 2015 will have to offer in the web world. We got excited just thinking about the possibilities, so without further ado, we present VGM Forbin’s web predictions for this year.

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Jan 6

2014 in Review: Moves, Changes and Tons of Fun

Posted by vgmforbin in Forbin History

“The only time you should look back is to see how far you’ve come.” -Unknown

We’re in a business and industry where it pays to look back to see where we started. From looking at the evolution of a line of code to changes in design or content, looking back gives us a chance to see how far we’ve traveled over time.

 

That being said, 2014 was definitely a year of progress for VGM Forbin. We changed scenery and were the most productive and creative we’ve ever been. But not everything was strictly business. There was a lot of fun and excitement thrown in with our passion for everything web.

 

Join us in taking a look back at the previous 365. They were busy for sure, full of challenges and change, but we wouldn’t take a single one of them back.

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Dec 1

Remarketing: Retailers AREN’T Stalking You (we promise)

Posted by vgmforbin in Web Marketing

Remarketing may seem like stalking, but it's as simple as cookies.

Let’s say you are doing a little online shopping for the people on your Christmas list. You need to find a new pair of Nike running shoes, so like any savvy shopper, you type “nike running shoes” into a Google search.

 

You see that a page on the Zappos website is high in the search result, which isn’t that surprising since Zappos is a large company known for their great products and service. After a little maneuvering, you find a shoe you like and click on it, taking you to the product page.  (more…)

Dec 1

5 Reasons Why Simply Building an E-Commerce Site Means Nothing

Posted by vgmforbin in Web Development

It takes a solid financial foundation , determination and more to do e-commerce successfully

“If you build it, they will come.”

 

If you’ve been around a particular business or industry long enough, chances are you’ve heard this phrase used when discussing a new project or venture. The phrase, adapted from the original line “Build it and he will come” in the 1989 film Field of Dreams, may have actually inspired you to move forward with a new building or product line.

 

It also has some weight in terms of the internet and building a website to sell whatever products you produce. “If you build it, they will come” you may say, thinking that simply building an amazing e-commerce platform will attract customers.

 

However, there are over 276 million registered domains worldwide as of March 21, 2014 according to Verisign. So, now the popular phrase becomes a question: “If you build it, will they come?”

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Nov 10

Goal-Minded: The Importance of Setting Goals for Your Website

Posted by vgmforbin in Web Development Process

Goals keep your website development process focused and let you know how well your website is performing after launch

“What are your goals?”

Chances are you’ve been asked this question throughout your life. It may have been in a job interview, by your fiancé’s parents or by your own parents. Having goals in your life is a way to tell if you’ve met the expectations for yourself and helps you know if you’ve made it.

The same approach should be brought to any website project. Having goals during development helps keep the focus on building a site that meets your target audience’s needs. Goals are also crucial after the site is live to ensure it keeps performing and to push traffic to the right places that allow you to do business better. It’s an integral part of the web development process here at VGM Forbin.

Let’s take an in-depth look at both of these types of goals…

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Nov 10

Giving Thanks for a Busy Year at VGM Forbin

Posted by vgmforbin in General

thankfulness

As we turn our calendars to November, it’s time for us to start thinking about Thanksgiving. And while all of us at VGM Forbin are looking forward to a large meal and spending time with our families on November 27, we also want to take a moment to give thanks for all the strides that we’ve made as a company in 2014.

 

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Oct 20

Ask the Audience: Why Customer Input is Crucial for Your New Website

Posted by vgmforbin in Web Development

Give your customers a voice by asking what they want to see in your new website

Who knows, you may learn something valuable from them!

Humans are needy; it’s a basic fact of life. One of our most pressing needs is to have the approval of others or to please an audience. That’s the premise of social media:

  • You post an awesome picture of a sunset, then nervously wait for people to like, comment on or share it on Facebook.
  • You write a witty or hilarious tweet, then check your phone constantly to see how many retweets and favorites it has.
  • You post this sweet video you worked for days on YouTube and check back every 15 minutes to see how many views and comments it has.

 

You need to make sure that whatever you do, whatever you create is accepted by others. When things go wrong, you don’t want others to be angry with you and continue criticizing you. You try and rectify the situation and make things right.

 

This same need can and should be recognized as a useful tool when you’re in the planning stages for a new website. You need to ask your target audience what would make their experience easier and more enjoyable. 

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Oct 20

6 Slammin’ Sites Added to Forbin’s Website Launch Leaderboard in 2014

Posted by vgmforbin in Banking, Customer Websites, Website Launches

6-slammin-sites

While we were planning our 20th anniversary that took place in early September, we were also working hard on several new websites for clients across different industries. Here are a sampling of websites that we designed that were unveiled in the last couple of months.

 

EZ-ACCESS – ezaccess.com

 

EZ-ACCESS’ new website allows users to better navigate their way through products while also connecting them with three new tools to more easily decide which product is best for them. The new tools—the Ramp Selector, Incline Calculator and Dealer Locator—increase efficiency and allow customers to determine what products best fit their home or business.

 

By going outside of our PowerWeb template, every facet of EZ-ACCESS’ site was reworked to improve the user’s experience while creating new infrastructure and interfaces. Creating a new website from scratch to fit EZ-ACCESS’ specifications required a lot of creative thinking from our entire team. But now, the website has been fitted with all new product descriptions for residential and commercial products that can be viewed from anywhere thanks to its mobile platform.

 

ChildrenFirst Home Health Care System – childrenfirsthealthsystem.com

 

Central Florida’s ChildrenFirst Home Health Care System now has a website to connect parents and care providers of medically fragile children to resources and services.

 

With landing pages built by our team to help the company’s staff see what pages people are visiting most, the staff has total control over what content is posted and can let customers know what services are available at each of their locations.

 

We always appreciate hearing kind words from our clients, and ChildrenFirst paid us a nice compliment when they updated us on how the new site was working.

 

“I can’t express enough the gratitude and respect that I have for each of you. We finally made it. The site is very impressive and our owners are extremely pleased with the final product,” said Brian Justice, Contract Administrator for ChildrenFirst.

 

Raccoon Valley Bank – raccoonvalleybank.com

 

Based in our BankWeb line and customized to fit their needs, Raccoon Valley Bank’s website went live in August and has been well-received by its clients thanks to a new content management system that gives the staff more control over messages to customers.

 

The Raccoon Valley Bank home page has also been designed to show the social media feeds from the bank’s blog and Facebook page, allowing customers to see content written specifically for the bank by Forbin’s web marketing team.

 

For customers, the new website gives them the ability to make loan applications online. Those applications are submitted to our VPanel system, which allows them to be stored securely. The new website gives more direct access to customers and allows them to find the service they are searching for faster.

 

Bank of Blue Valley – bankbv.com

 

Since going live in mid-September, the usability of Kansas’ Bank of Blue Valley website has dramatically increased. Our team’s work helped make navigation easier after we reorganized and simplified categories on the site.

 

Bank staff can now make changes and add content, something that was difficult in their old system. We also added several features that allow the bank’s customers to fill out information online. Now, a customer can apply for a consumer loan or fill out a mortgage inquiry form with total confidence that their information will be secured in VPanel system.

 

The launch of the website was the capstone to a busy six-month period for Bank of Blue Valley. The bank completely rebranded itself and we were happy to provide them with a beautiful new website to enhance that new brand.

 

Milledgeville State Bank – milledgevillebank.com

 

What a difference a few months of work makes. Milledgeville State Bank’s site saw a lot of changes when it went live in early September. Like many of our new sites, it’s aesthetically pleasing and easier to navigate for the user.

 

Our new navigation layout allows customers to find what they’re looking for more quickly. But it’s not only customers that are having an easier time with the new site. Our new content management system, based in our BankWeb program, gives Milledgville State Bank’s staff control over what appears on their site.

 

Exchange State Bank – exchangestatebank.net

 

The biggest change in the website for Exchange State Bank—located in Martelle, Iowa—is there is an easy-to-follow navigation plan to the website, a vast improvement over the bank’s previous system.  The site now has drop-down menus, which added structure and allows the user to find what they’re looking for much faster.

 

Exchange State Bank is also getting into the social media game with customized content coming from Forbin’s web marketing team. On top of that, we’ve given the site’s users more tools with things like financial calculators and giving them a contact page to reach out to the bank’s staff.

 

We’re incredibly proud of the work our teams put in to make these sites possible. Completing these sites took a collaborative effort from our programming, web marketing, design and sales teams, but that’s our specialty here at Forbin.

Oct 16

Is Your Business Social? If Not, You’re Missing Out

Posted by vgmforbin in Social Media

Be where your customers are and go to know them through social media  with your business

Be where your customers are and get to know them through social media!

There are numerous competitive advantages to having an active social media presence for your company, regardless of your size or industry.

 

Remember when “social media” was a buzzword, an unprofitable fad that would pass by just as quickly as it came? Well, that prediction certainly didn’t turn out to be right, did it?

 

Today, social media incorporates dozens of platforms, including household names like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as some not-so-famous ones like Delicious, Digg, and Vimeo.

 

All of these social platforms offer much more than just somewhere to showcase the food you just took a picture of or post cute kitten videos. For businesses, social media offers a way to increase the public’s awareness of your company, create a positive reputation and yes, even drive a little business your way. However, getting started isn’t always easy.

 

As we said, there are dozens of social platforms to choose from. There are also two questions that need to be answered: “Why should you use social media?” and “How do you get started?”

 

Let’s discuss.

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