Rock House Events Has a New Website That’s Ready for Summer Fun

Charlotte party planner, Rich Saner, knows how to throws great parties. He’s been hosting big bashes for over 15 years now through his brands Rock House and Rich & Bennett.

Bellaworks loves working with Saner and has designed websites for both of
his brands.  Recently, we launched a new website for Rock House, and we are excited about how it turned out.

Saner’s core audience is young professionals, who use the internet for
everything. They expect a quick and seamless experience on a website. Saner understands this and knows how important his websites are to his business and customers.

Bellaworks connects with Rich’s preference for a very clean look, super
intuitive and easy navigation, vibrant use of icons, and a general “don’t
make me think” approach. These websites are built to sell and convert and
have all of the tools ready to do so.

If you’re looking for some fun, you know who has you covered. Check out all the incredible events that Rock House and Rich & Bennett are offering.

Need a fresh website for your company? Let’s talk about your business
and how a new website can help you reach your goals.

 

Your Website Needs a Video

Does your company have an old website that you’d like to update?  Looking to add fresh content that can compete out on the internet?  Here’s a tip. Your website needs a video on the homepage.

A video, really?  Yes, here’s how it can help.

Improve SEO

According to research , adding video to your website can increase the chance of a front page Google result by 53 times.  Visitors to a website with a video are more likely to stay longer than they are if they visit a website without a video.  Google see websites with videos as being credible and relevant because visitors are finding worthwhile information and staying on these sites.

Engage with Customers

People connect with people.  And, videos allow people at your business to connect with your potential customers.  Videos can very quickly connect and convey emotion in a way that text and still pictures cannot.  There is significant data  to support the fact that video increases website conversions, sales, sign ups and click throughs.  Furthermore, video offers companies the chance to interact with viewers. Users are far more likely to comment on, share, or embed a video than they are a regular social media or blog post.

Tell Your Story

Bellaworks partners with many professional services firms, and we find that these companies have a particularly hard time telling their story.  A video can go a long way toward quickly explaining complicated services. Video can add depth and personality to a company and showcase expertise.  While you’re crafting your story, make sure to take a close look at your “About Us” page.  Website analytics points to this as being one of on the most frequently visited pages on websites because people want to know with whom they are doing business.  Make sure your story is a good one!

Video Options

Though it may not seem like it at first, there are so many different types of videos that can help businesses connect with customers.  Here are some ideas for video content:

  • Introduction video/ Tell Your Story/ Brand Video
  • Instructional/ Explainer video
  • Customer testimonials
  • Video a speaking engagement or event
  • Behind the scenes access
  • Projects/portfolio reel

Remember the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  We promise that it’s still true, only a video is worth maybe a hundred thousand words.  Let’s talk about your website and how incorporating video content can help transform your business.  

Bellaworks Web Design Moves to NoDa!

The Bellaworks website design and development team is excited to announce that we recently moved to a new office in the North Davidson area of Charlotte, NC that is affectionately referred to as NoDa.  If you know NoDa, you know that it has long been recognized as one of Charlotte’s most creative communities.  We are proud to be a new neighbor in a place with many other locally owned and grown businesses.  Our surroundings inspire us – the photo shown here is of a wall mural right outside our office.

Our new office is a very cool loft, if we do say so ourselves, above the small but mighty Reigning Donuts storefront.  We are across the street from the well-known long timer Cabo Fish Taco and next door to the delicious Haberdish.  Our building has a parking lot in the back and there’s more parking on the street.  Come for a meeting with us, and stay for some really good eats!

While our office has changed, our service remains the same.  We are committed to partnering with our clients to build fresh and modern websites with smart digital tools that can help them grow.  If you wish your website could to do more to support your business, please contact us and let’s talk… over a donut or fish taco if you’d like.

Charlotte Youth Ballet Starts Season With a New Website

Bellaworks is honored to have partnered with the Charlotte Youth Ballet to build a fantastic new custom website.  As a nonprofit organization, CYB relies on its website to connect with many different audiences – from patrons to parents and donors to dancers.  Staff need to be able to easily make content changes in order to support activities like event planning, student registrations, and fundraising.  CYB’s new website has a fresh look and lots of great tools to help support all of their programs.

A little note we’d like to share…

“Bellaworks has been an absolute pleasure to work with.  We are so happy with the new website as it’s fresh, current and very user friendly.  We are launching our 2018 performance season and the new website will offer our patrons\parents quality information.  Thank you for taking on our small project and making it a priority.  Greatly appreciated!”

Cindy Gruber, Charlotte Youth Ballet

Functional, Affordable, and Very Cool School Websites

Bellaworks Launches New School Websites for Parent Teacher Associations

Both the Myers Park High School and Alexander Graham Middle School parent teacher associations have partnered with Bellaworks to create brand new school websites to kick off the new year.  They need new school websites because Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools is no longer supporting any wiki websites.  These schools have to have websites in order to connect with their communities.

Both of these parent/teacher organizations provide a tremendous amount of support to students and teachers.  The new school websites offer easy access to information through online calendars and quick links to information.  Parents can complete sign-ups and support fundraising campaigns through online forms and payment systems.  These tools save time for parents and the volunteers and staff who are running programs and events.  The websites have user friendly dashboards where updates can be made.

Bellaworks has been honored to partner with many other schools in recent years to custom build websites that work well for school communities.  We are parents, too, and love incorporating solutions that make life easier for everyone!

If your school needs a new website, give us a call.  We’d love to tell you about our affordable options and how we can help.  Call 704-375-0831 or send an email to jenny@bellaworksweb.com.

Collect Customer or Employee Data? You Need to Know About the EU’s New Privacy Law – GDPR

This spring the European Union rolled out a privacy law known as the General Data Protection Regulation.  The regulation sets a new global standard for individual data collection, use, and protection.  It’s shifting the paradigm on the way personal data is handled, and all business owners should take note. If you have an employee or customer base in the EU, you must make sure you are in compliance or risk heavy fines and a legal hot mess.  Even if you don’t have contacts in the EU, GDPR signals it’s time for you to reconsider any personal data you collect and to assess its security.

What Kind of Personal Data Are We Talking About?

Most everything.  The data that is included in GDPR is very broad. According to the policies, personal data is any information that relates to an actual living individual.  This can include your name, home address, email address, phone number, or even location data from your mobile device.

A New Global Standard

It’s important to understand the driving principles of the GDPR legislation.  Whether you have customers in the EU or not, these principles are now setting the standard.  All companies can check themselves against these practices when collecting any personal data on employees, clients, or potential customers.

GDPR Guiding Principles:

Legitimate Interest

Companies may only collect personal data for a very clearly defined legitimate purpose.  They may not use personal data for a purpose that it was not intended.  A company may not collect more data than is needed for the purpose it is intended.  Example – If you are delivering pizzas, you can ask for a home address but not the marital status of your customer.

Consent

Individuals must be told when companies are collecting their data, and they should be allowed control over giving access to their data.  Example – If a company’s website uses cookies to track online activities of customers, this must be disclosed and permission must be obtained.

Individual Control

Giving individuals control of their privacy is a guiding principle of the GDPR legislation.  Along with establishing consent (above), individuals must be given the ability to access and view data and to delete it if they so choose.

Data Security

Companies must secure the personal data they are collecting and processing.  If a data breach occurs, you must notify individuals within 72 hours of being informed of the breach.  Gone are the days of notifying customers months and years after a breach.

Length of Storage

Data should only be kept as long as it is legitimately needed for its intended purpose.  Example – If you keep employee data, you must purge the information when you no longer have an employment or legal relationship with an individual.  Similarly, customer data should be purged at the end of a contractual relationship.

The GDPR was seven years in the making, and its guiding principles make good business sense.  Companies who adopt these principles stand to strengthen trust with customers.  They will be better positioned to compete in a marketplace that is being required to take more responsibility for data privacy and security.

We are currently helping Bellaworks clients comply with GDPR, and we keep up with the latest standards in security.  Talk with us about how we can help your company.

 

Trying to Explain to Your Boss Why Your Company Needs a New Website?

In recent months, we have met with several millennials who have been on a mission to get their company to build a new website.  These millennials are impressive.  They instinctively understand the power and importance of a company’s web presence and are highly motivated to grow their businesses.

Many describe their company’s owners as being hesitant to undertake a website redesign, but once they get the “green light” to “look into a new website,” we meet to discuss the possibilities.  They return to their company and face the challenge of convincing older senior managers why a new website would be a great investment.

We want to help millennials and other savvy professionals communicate to their bosses why it is time for a website refresh or redo.  You know your site’s not working, but how do you effectively explain this to people who think it’s fine?

Here are some topics to think about that can help identify the pieces that are missing and the opportunities for improvement.  These topics can help your management team see that same old company site in a different way.  We want you to get both the “yes, look into a new website” and the “yes, let’s build it.”

Once Upon a Time?

Does your website tell the story of your company at another point in time?  In today’s economy, companies can experience significant growth even in a short period of time.  If your site does not reflect your company’s current level of expertise, it’s a great time to reposition, showcase your best work, and get credit for your experience.

You Do What?

Can your visitors figure out what your company does within about 5 seconds of landing on your site?  Has your company’s tagline and elevator pitch changed?  Visitors generally have a problem to solve or something they want to buy, and they want to qualify you and find out quickly if you have what they need.

Long Overdue for a Spring Cleaning? 

Clients come to us with cluttered sites all the time.  We hear that a site has been in use for years and now “no one can find anything.”  If your site has an old design and has become cluttered with years of additions, it’s time to get back to basics.  Your visitors need to be able to scan your site on a mobile device and get what they need quickly.

Who Do I Call?

Does your site easily convert visitors?  Has your process for taking inquiries changed or does it need to?  Clear contact info and calls to action are a must for engaging with your audience.

Do We Use Any of This Anymore?

Do you have a blog that hasn’t been updated in years?  Photographs of employees who no longer work at your company?  Portfolios that are outdated?  Rest assured, you’re not alone.  Reconsider the strategy behind how you use your website.

Stuck in 2016?

In the last two years, mobile viewing of websites has overtaken viewing on personal computers.  In fact, mobile responsive sites are now industry standard, and if yours isn’t responsive, it’s time for a rebuild.  A good mobile design supports everything else – your user experience, potential conversions, and ranking within search results.

 Are You Secure?

Installing a website security certificate (SSL), which gives your site the “https” in your domain, has become a best practice.  A SSL encrypts all information that is transmitted to and from your site, protecting both your site and your users.  A side benefit of an SSL is that your site will be viewed more positively by search engines, boosting you in search results.

Another aspect of security to consider is whether or not it’s time to protect some of the information you post on your website.  Maybe you would like to put certain information on a password protected page so that it is viewable only by certain clients or vendors.  Or, maybe your users should have their own log in.

Millennials know it.  Your company’s website is a critical tool.  When you “get the green light” to pursue a new website, call Bellaworks.  We will make sure that your customers connect with your company quickly and effortlessly.

Now These Are Dynamic Church Websites

One of the best compliments we can receive for a job well done is a referral.  Just recently we launched a new website for First Presbyterian Church Concord, a project that came to us through a referral from our friends at First Presbyterian Church Uptown.  We are so proud of the way the new FPC Concord’s site turned out, and we invite you to take a look.

The website redesign was part of the church’s efforts to re-brand and attract younger members and families.  The church recognized that in order to attract new members they needed to make it easier for visitors to get information and to connect with the church community.  In addition, the church wanted to freshen its look and showcase itself as a vibrant, dynamic, and welcoming community.

FPC Concord’s new website has a clean, modern design that is very user friendly and offers easy navigation.  New photographs offer wonderful glimpses into the community.  An “I’m New” button was added to the homepage to make it easy for visitors to get the information they need.  The church also designed a beautiful new logo that was inspired by needlepoint cushions stitched by members decades ago.  All of the interior content, forms, and sermon archives were reworked to make sure that they are easy to access and to keep updated.

We are so glad for all the ways this new website will help support the FPC Concord community.

Solutions Fuel Bellaworks’ Partnership with MyTownhome

As custom website developers, we are particularly passionate about two parts of our business.  The first is connecting clients with creative solutions that support the growth of their business.  The second is providing the highest level of service while we do this.  It is a bonus when we have the honor of working with clients over the long haul, enhancing their online presence as internet technology changes and their business grows.  Our work with local real estate entrepreneur TJ Larsen, owner of the My Townhome companies, exemplifies all of this.  We are proud to share a little about our work with his company.

Bellaworks has worked with Larsen over the past ten years to help realize his goals of putting the full extent of the web to work for his real estate business.  Larsen recognized early on that strategic use of internet tools could help change the way realtors connect with clients and prospects.  As Larsen’s business has grown, Bellaworks has created new sites for him.  These include MyTownHome.com, MTHRealEstate.com, MTHLeasing.com, MyHomeLeasing.com and MaisonProperties.com.  These sites integrate with each other, expertly deliver high quality information, and convert visitors into qualified sales leads.  Bellaworks has been an ongoing partner, providing the most current tools and performing updates every step of the way.

IDX Service

One of the first key solutions that Larsen partnered with Bellaworks to implement was the use of a highly custom IDX listing aggregate service through local provider Davis Farrell.  An IDX (internet data exchange) allows a method for extracting data from the Carolinas MLS (multiple listing service) and delivering it to a website for public viewing.  Bellaworks’ web developers custom code the IDX to integrate seamlessly into both the design and function of Larsen’s websites.  Larsen and his agents are able to provide oodles of real estate search features that pertain to the target market of his sites.  Visitors can obtain real estate listing information while staying on his site.  This helps convert visitors into clients.

Infusion Soft 

With this critical conversion step in mind, Larsen took his sites to the next level by working with Bellaworks to incorporate Infusion Soft products.  This allows him to convert site visitors into prospects by capturing valuable lead generating contact information.  This feeds into a customer relationship management tool that connects his agents with a fantastic pool of potential buyers and sellers, fueling his business and providing a truly unmatched web presence and lead generation ability.

Rest API

As Larsen’s sites grew, updating the same information in multiple places on his websites became cumbersome.  For example, when a realtor would join or leave the company, their information would need to be added or removed in multiple places across separate sites.  Bellaworks proposed and integrated the use of Rest API (Representational State Transfer Application Programming Interface) programming as a way to deal with this issue.  This improvement allows Larsen’s team to easily make updates to some of their most important information.  They can do this on their own and in one portal, a huge time and budget saver.

In the fast-paced world of real estate, websites are a critical tool for connecting with customers and turning leads into sales.  Larsen was one of the first in Charlotte to capitalize on the reach of this tool.  We are honored to have had the opportunity to work with Larsen, and we continue to be inspired by the success our partnership has helped create.