FAQS

Over the years, we’ve fielded a lot of questions about web development and digital marketing, and we’re answering some of the most common below. (Not finding what you’re looking for? Don’t hesitate to reach out.)

GENERAL QUESTIONS

    3. How do your internal teams work together?
    • We have in-house “specialty teams” (e.g. website development, graphic design, paid digital advertising, and SEO) whose efforts are coordinated by an account executive or project manager. We all share one open office space that makes collaboration easy.

    7. Can you explain digital marketing versus traditional marketing? Is traditional marketing dying (or dead)?
    • On the surface, digital marketing is pretty straightforward: it uses digital channels like the internet and social media to promote brands and businesses. It gets more complicated when you dive into strategy, execution, and measurement, which is where we come in.

      Traditional marketing, on the other hand, typically involves tangible products like printed-out mailers, billboards, and old-school newspaper ads. It isn’t dead — it’s just changing. Depending on your business’s target market, location, and industry, there’s plenty of potential for traditional advertising efforts to have an impact on your bottom line.

      Despite the big ol’ “digital” in our name, we do both digital and traditional marketing here at TDR.

    8. Can’t I just hire an intern to do all of this “marketing” stuff?
    • While it may be tempting to pass your marketing efforts off to any digitally savvy college student, we encourage you to take a step back and think about working with a professional.

      A successful marketing plan has a lot of different parts. It’s more than posting on Facebook or designing a pretty logo — when done right, every digital and traditional marketing effort aligns with your business’s long-term goals.

      We’ve found the biggest success from combining multiple skill sets under one roof. Our developers, designers, copywriters, and more work together under the guide of a strategic plan to make sure our clients get the best bang for their buck.

WEBSITE DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT QUESTIONS

    1. How often should I update my website? How do I know it’s time for a site refresh?
    • This depends on your business’s industry and specific goals. A good rule of thumb is that you should update your website when any of its information or design elements are out of date. Ever been to a product site straight out of the 80s and felt compelled to make a purchase? Yeah… we haven’t either. For all the details on our web design and development services, click here.

    2. Does my business website need a blog page?
    • We love a good blog here at TDR. Generally, good candidates for blog sections are businesses who:

      • Want to position themselves as a source of authority on a particular topic
      • Have regular company news they’d like to share online
      • Want to take their SEO to the next level by using high-value keywords and internal links

      In short, we always want to be thinking about the “why.” As long as you have a strategy driving your posts, blogs are a fantastic way to connect with potential customers, keep your existing audience informed, and improve your website’s search engine rankings. (Want to learn more? Click here.) 

    3. How long does it take The Digital Ring to build a new website?
    • We’ve developed a unique website creation process to finish an average client website in just 90 days. We’ll start off with a website development workshop that involves our internal teams from the get-go so we can move forward thoughtfully and efficiently.

      If your website needs extra-fancy animation or has 700 pages, it might take us a little longer than three months to complete. We’ll work with you to develop an accurate timeline at the start of your project.

    4. What do “mobile-friendly,” “responsive,” and “mobile-first” design mean? What is the difference between a mobile-friendly website, a responsive website, and a mobile-first website?
    • These terms all mean that a website works on a smartphone, but the specifics of each design process are a little different.

      A mobile-friendly website is designed for desktop and “shrinks down” to display on a mobile device. A visitor is technically able to navigate by pinching to zoom in, but it’s not a great user experience.

      A responsive website adjusts fluidly based on the device viewing it to look good at any screen size. For example, a large top navigation on desktop might turn into a small toggle menu on mobile.

      A mobile-first website is a type of responsive site designed to be viewed on mobile devices from the very beginning. In a mobile-first design process, designers prioritize a website’s key functionality and build it out for smartphones before considering how those elements might look on desktop.

    5. Why does my website need to be mobile-first or responsive?
    • Responsive websites are industry standard for a few key reasons.

      First, more than half of all internet users view websites from their smartphones. It’s important to give them a seamless, consistent user experience across devices — especially when you’re trying to sell a product or service.

      Second, search engines like Google have started using mobile indexing to determine what websites to show on their results pages. If your website doesn’t provide a good user experience on a smartphone, you’re likely out of luck to rank on Google’s first page.

    6. What platforms do you use to build a website?
    • We’re pretty big WordPress fans over here, but we’ll work with any website platform or content management system a client requests. At The Digital Ring, we’re proud to be “tech agnostic” — that is, willing to use any technology tools that fit the project at hand.

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT QUESTIONS

    1. What is custom software development?
    • Custom software development is the process of designing, building, and maintaining software that helps businesses handle various processes. Well-built software can help businesses streamline operations, accelerate processes, and increase efficiency. (Learn more here.)  

    2. Does my business need custom software? What about an out-of-the-box solution?
    • “Out-of-the-box” software refers to software designed for the mass market that can handle generic business processes. It’s cost-effective and fast to deploy, but if your business is more unique, a custom solution might be your best bet.

      At the beginning of our partnership with you, we’ll learn about your business and what you’d like to accomplish before recommending out-of-the-box versus custom software.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION QUESTIONS

    1. What the heck is SEO, and why should I care? And what's up with Google's algorithm?
    • SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a combination of technical website development and content strategies to make your business’s website rank higher on search engine results pages.

      This is important because most people click one of Google’s first few results when they search for something — in fact, 90% of users never go past Google’s first page!

      Search engine algorithms can be viewed as the “decision makers” that choose what website pages appear when a user enters a search term. Search engine optimization helps your website better “talk” to these algorithms to increase your chances of showing up first. (Click here to learn more.)

    2. What determines my website’s search engine rankings? How can I improve my rankings?
    • There are hundreds of factors that affect your site’s ranking, but it all comes down to delivering a high-quality user experience that helps you solidify your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Key considerations include site content, performance, and backlinks (i.e. inbound links from other high-quality sites).

      Your business’s search engine optimization strategy will depend on your specific industry and long-term goals. We’ll work with you to develop a unique plan that takes into account every last detail to help you see results.

    3. How is content written for SEO different than regular ol’ content?
    • Website content that’s written with search engine optimization in mind is based on keyword research with the goal of answering a user’s search query. In other words, it aligns your web content with topics users actually care about.

      Content written for SEO is also structured in a way that helps the user move through the content quickly and easily: think headers, bullets, and short, uncomplicated paragraphs and sentences.

    5. What is “keyword stuffing”?
    • Back in the internet’s old days (circa early 2000s) search engines primarily relied on a metric called “keyword density” to determine what websites would show up when a user entered a search. This led to marketers “stuffing” their web pages with keywords by hiding them as white text on a white background or behind a cleverly positioned image.

      Google’s gotten smarter, though, and if you do this now you’ll be penalized. It’s best to get search engine traffic the right way by creating valuable content and making sure your website’s technical features are top-notch. We can help with that.

    6. Do Google reviews affect my business’s SEO? How should I manage my Google reviews?
    • Your customer reviews affect your website’s ranking on search engine results pages, especially within your local geographic area. Just like people, search algorithms see third-party reviews as a strong signal of trust — yet another reason to stay in tune with your customers and do work worth talking about!

      You should regularly monitor your customer reviews and respond to both the good and bad comments. This not only encourages community — it’s a valuable opportunity to adjust to feedback.

CONTENT MARKETING & COPYWRITING QUESTIONS

    1. What is copywriting, anyway? That sounds sort of “legal.”
    • You’d be surprised how often we hear that one! While our copywriters aren’t intellectual property lawyers, they are skilled at creating written content that helps businesses connect with customers, educate their audiences, and generate more revenue.

      Copywriting — also simply called marketing or advertising writing — ranges from case studies to email newsletters to blog posts and everything in between. If it has words and it’s involved in a marketing effort — it’s copywriting. (To learn more about copywriting at TDR, start here.)

    4. What is content marketing? How is that different from other writing?
    • Content marketing is the creation of content (e.g. blogs, infographics, and case studies) that informs, educates, and/or entertains the user as opposed to directly selling a product or service.

      By publishing valuable content without asking anything in return, you can build trust and establish yourself as an authority in your industry — all while genuinely helping your customers. Then, when the time comes for customers to purchase a product or service — they naturally turn to you.

    5. How will you measure the results of our content marketing?
    • The goal of content marketing is three-fold: to build authority and demonstrate expertise in a particular industry, to nurture customer relationships, and to improve a website’s Google rankings. Each of these goals has its own respective metrics that we carefully track.

GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTIONS

    1. What graphic design programs do you use at The Digital Ring?
    • We use Adobe Creative Cloud programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for most of our graphic design work. With these industry-standard tools, we’re able to create high-quality marketing collateral on an efficient timeline.

      To learn all about graphic design at TDR, start here

    3. How do you adjust to different clients’ brand guidelines?
    • We adjust to designing within each of our partners’ unique brand guidelines with a sort of shape-shifting magic: our graphic designers have spent years honing their ability to flit back and forth between dark and light, serious and funny, understated and bold.

    5. What are some examples of marketing materials that your design team can create?
    • How long do you have? Here are just a few examples: desktop and mobile-friendly websites, direct mailers, billboards, point of purchase materials, logos, complete brand guidelines, social media graphics, display advertisements, branded swag (t-shirts, water bottles, backpacks, whatever you can dream up), vehicle wraps, banners, business signs, golf tents… and anything else we send them on a creative whim.

       

BRANDING QUESTIONS

    1. What is a brand, anyway?
    • Your brand isn’t just your logo — although that’s part of it. In reality, it’s everything that makes you recognizable to customers and distinguishable from the competition. This includes elements like your typeface, colors, taglines, mission statement, values, history, messaging, and yes — your logo.

    2. Does my brand need a revamp?
    • That’s a good question. Here are just a few reasons why a rebrand might be your best option: 

      • Your brand feels dated — it’s no longer reflective of who you are today
      • You’ve been struggling to connect with your target audience or you’d like to pursue a new one
      • You’ve expanded or updated your product/service offering
      • You look just like everyone else in your industry
      • You need to disassociate your brand from negativity (it happens)
    3. What’s typically involved in a branding project process?
    • This varies by project, but our process typically begins with a kickoff meeting and extensive research on our end. Then, we often move into a brand gap analysis — evaluating where your brand is currently and where you want it to be — before creating the various elements to bridge that gap. To learn more about our branding processes, click here.

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT QUESTIONS

    1. How do you decide which social media platforms a business should be on and what types of social media content a business should post?
    • The best social media platform for your business depends on your target audience. For example, Facebook is now the popular choice of Gen X, while Millennials and Gen Z flock to visual platforms like Instagram.

      Once we know where your business’s audience lives, we figure out what types of content get their attention. Do they love videos? Do they engage with humor? Are they looking for copy-heavy posts with lots of information, or do they just want an eye-catching photo on their feed? We’ll decipher the data to answer all these questions and more.

    2. What are the best times and days of the week to post on social media?
    • The short answer? Wednesday late mornings. The long answer? That’s just an average pulled from a huge population of social media users… and, like any sweeping generalization, it won’t apply to every brand.

      Each business’s ideal social media posting time depends on their audience. When you work with The Digital Ring, we’ll analyze all the data we can get our hands on to see when your customers are actually engaging online — and we’ll continue to test those insights throughout our relationship.

    3. Do my Facebook recommendations really matter to my business?
    • Facebook recommendations make a big difference for some businesses, like service-based companies with a middle-aged audience, but they don’t carry much weight with others.

      We can help you figure out exactly what type of customer reviews matter most for your company. Whether it’s Facebook, Google, or the Tripadvisors and Yelps of the world, we’ll make sure to get the word out.