Landing Pages – It’s Like a First Date for your Website

February 10, 2020

Landing pages and first dates have a lot in common. In both cases, poor performance will get you ghosted. This Valentines day we’re including 3 quick landing page tips, followed by some examples and useful links. Over the years our agency has designing a number of landing pages and, like dates, not all of them worked out the way we expected.

3 Quick Landing Page Tips:


Messaging & Consistency


If you told a date you were 6’2 and showed up being 5’5 your date might be a little confused. The same principle applies to a landing page. If I hint at something in a paid add, banner or social media post, but send users to a unrelated landing page – they’re going to bounce. And they should. If you stay consistent with your messaging there’s a better chance your date and your visitor will stick around.



Almost all landing pages should be created with a specific goal in mind you want the visitor to achieve. If you were dating – it might be going home together. So keep it simple. For landing pages, remove any unnecesary content, navigation or links and move the important messaging toward the top of the page. For dating, don’t talk about your Mom or college bro stories from Freshman year


Optimize for Scannability


When your walk through the door the first thing your date is going to do is a good once over and check you out. Did you comb your hair, are your shoes tied, is your shirt ironed, do you seem well put together etc. The same goes for a landing page. People browse landing pages like magazines at the checkout line, not books at the library. Create short content chunks with lists, images or other elements that are easily scanned if a user scrolls to the bottom of the page quickly.


Need to Build a Landing Page?

Ask us How

Landing Page Examples and Resources:


A few years ago we started working with the Unbounce landing page platform and highly recommend it. They also put on a great conference each year in Vancouver with all kinds of good speakers and resources if you can make it. We went to the Unbouce CTA Conference a few times and always found it valuable (read our conference recap post here if you want to learn about our experience). Here’s few high converting landing page examples from their site as well.


This site (and their podcast) has been on my radar for a couple years now and has a tremendous amount of resources and info on content marketing, writing and of course landing pages.

Request a Landing Page Quote

SMX East – quick notes from the cheap seats

November 21, 2019

Sometimes good software does bad things. Today I was reminded how important the very first piece of software is – the human brain. Programs and tools make a lot of things faster, but sometimes we forget to stop, think with our brain and apply common sense. Ironically, it happened at the 2019 Search Marketing Expo East Conference in New York.

I’ve been going to SMX East in New York for quite a few years now. To clarify, when I say ‘going’ I really mean walking the floor on the free expo pass and trying to read between the lines of the more interesting free sponsor presentations. I’m too cheap to pony up the $1K+ or so it costs for a full pass. The agency I work for, shall we say, has other places to allocate this type of spend (read: cheap).

Fortunately, living in NYC means the convention is only a few stops off my normal commute. Including the miserable hike out to the Javits Center that any local is familiar with. Although the insanely large Hudson Yards project has changed the area quite a bit.

Like most years, I ate well and rested up the night before planning to absorb as much knowledge as the expo pass offered. Like most years, my attentions span gave up after about three presentations. After a quick victory lap around the convention floor booths – which seem to be the same the past few years – I was back in midtown at the office catching up on email.

The good news was that I did walk away with something valuable this year – a renewed respect for common sense and practicality. As any search professional knows, things in this industry change fast and it can get very overwhelming. The realization that best practices and common sense still pay dividends was refreshing.

Sponsored SMX Presentation 1- LongTailUX

One of the first presentations was from a company that focused on long tail keywords in paid search and user interface. If that sounds a little in the weeds, it is and you should probably skip the next few paragraphs and go to the second presentation notes. I’ll link to the sponsors at the end (uncompensated).

In all fairness, they did have a software product that seemed great for larger retailers selling products online (1K+ SKU’s and $20K budgets and north). That part however isn’t what I cared about. What interested me was how they came up with it and the practical examples of why it could be used. It took no software to explain this part, only brain power.

Without using any software, you can use both Amazon and Google Shopping to perform search queries for a given product (like most customers shopping online). In each of these, you’ll see similar type results at the top of the page. Usually these are price carousels with different products, from different vendors at different pricing. Most of the time they keep the user in the Amazon or Google Shopping ecosystem through the point of purchase.

The point here was that if you were a company selling products, you were essentially being turned into a supplier. When customers searched and purchased entirely in Amazon or Google Shopping, they were not being exposed to your website, your brand etc. And even if you did have an individual product page you wanted to rank for, it would almost surely be down page from these shopping and comparison type carousels on the first search page.

This where someone (the founder I assume) used their brain and came up with the idea to fix this. Instead of using a keyword to drive traffic to a page with one product, why not feature multiple products in a similar way that Amazon and Google were doing? And why not make it super relevant and build it to scale.

The result was a single keyword landing page with multiple relevant products that ranked well organically, converted better and returned more on ad spend.

I loved this because it almost boiled down to a “why not do what they’re doing only better” using the keywords and products we’re already selling. Simple and smart. Of course, that’s just the idea – they actually had to build it.

Sponsored SMX Presentation 2 – Bruce Clay

The second presentation was one I had seen in the past. Seeing it with fresh eyes, I remembered how good it was all over again. This was a presentation about ‘content silos’ from someone who’s been around search longer than Google – Bruce Clay.

Content Silo’s are generally groups of related content in a website. There is a lot of value in taking the time to organize, research and archetype these when building a website.

I was particularly interested in this as it’s something most agencies don’t do or do very poorly when building a new site. Since I’m positive my boss won’t read this deep into a blog post I’ll admit our agency doesn’t do a very good job at this either.
Bruce has been around so long that being on stage at a conference speaking looked comfortable and easy. He spoke as casually about organizing enterprise amounts of web content as I speak to my favorite Monday bartender.

The best part about this is how much of it seems to be common sense. I’m surprised so many companies and agencies aren’t doing this type of thing in their sleep. I’m just as guilty as others in this respect.

Using Google’s own content guidelines on improving search, Bruce came up with a way to better organize content and navigation to improve search performance. These are content guidelines that have been around for awhile yet still seem to get overlooked.

Of course, there a lot of technical pieces to doing this at scale. The takeaway for me is that he used his brain and common sense. Books are organized in chapters, organization charts have a hierarchy, the military has a chain of command; Websites need to structure their content better as pay attention to how it interlinks sitewide.

Naturally there is a lot of analysis, keyword research and work that goes into ‘siloing’ a site. The results were undeniably positive when implemented in Bruce’s experience.

Another think I particularly liked about this was how easy it was to understand. You could explain this to a C level 60-year old or a hot shot 20 year. Both would understand.

In Summary

I’ll drop a few links below in all fairness (uncompensated and just being honest) but here’s a quick summary of my short drive by visit to SMX

  • Critical thinking and common sense trump software much of the time
  • Anything worth doing well takes time
  • Is it me or are the SMX vendors almost the same every year?
  • A lot of the info only applies to larger companies or business at the enterprise level
  • The Javits Center still sucks

The first presentation I caught was by LongTailUX and they mentioned a tool at that seemed interesting to companies that have > 1K SKU’s or $20K+ ad budgets

The second was from Bruce Clay and he seemed very cool sharing his knowledge/deck here so I feel comfortable sharing.

I’ll be back next year, sitting in the SMX East cheap seats.

Website Findability in 15 minutes

June 24, 2019

Do a Search for Your Business

This is the first thing that other people and customers will do and it is important to try yourself. Sometime there are very simple issues or updates that can be made.

Be sure to use a private window for a more objective view




There are a lot of reasons why it is important to use a Private Search Window or Incognito mode. You want to make sure you get close to seeing what others are seeing.


Search for Competing Business

After you search your own business, take a look at what other businesses are doing to see how you compare.

Look from a Phone and tablet!

Screen size can often change how pages look and you want to be sure to all views look ok.



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Local Business Marketing- Google My Business

February 21, 2019

An easy way to improve your local business presence online is right at your fingertips and it’s free –
Claim and verify your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Read through our tips below then claim your Google My Business profile to get started.

Failing to claim or verify your listing is a good way to hand business over to your local competitors end up at the bottom of the search engine scrap heap.


Now more than ever, customers are choosing local business without ever visiting the website. Pictures, hours, location and appointment scheduling or questions can all be asked directly through your company’s GMB profile.

You might be surprised that people see local business listings immediately in the search results and never look back – but they do. Of course, you want to make sure you have a mobile-optimized website too, but this is one more way to help people find you and Google likes it.

Local Business Guidelines

coffee house local business

Your business will need a physical location to qualify, or at least make in-person contact with your customers during stated hours. The full Google Guidelines are here but generally speaking if you have a business with an actual location (or more than one) you should be good.

Why this is a Double Whammy for Local Business

Verified listings don’t just give you better visibility, they are a Local Ranking Factor! This means you benefit two ways if you have a verified GMB profile. You get better exposure anytime someone searches on Google AND a full GMB profile is one of the most powerful ranking signals factored into the local pack rankings. These rankings appear above search results in most cases and can put your business right at the top search results for local customers.

Don’t skimp on your profile

Google My Business Commerce

Take the time and energy to create a full profile for your business. People who skimp on completing their business profile will not get the full ranking benefits as those who do.

At minimum you’ll want to add a few photos, business hours, a description and video if you have it. To take it to the next level you’ll want to add things like FAQ’s, allow customers to book appointments or even publish short posts (similar to a blog). If you can manage it, a post every 7 days with a short CTA can be the most effective.

Wondering what a Google Local Pack is?

If you’ve ever done a Google search and seen the three local listings that appear in their own panel before the regular search results – you’ve seen the local pack. This is a curated list from Google designed to help users find products and services from local businesses. If you can get your business to appear here, you occupy some seriously valuable search real estate – even if your website doesn’t rank well.

Having a complete, verified and optimized GMB listing is one way to boost your local business odds at appearing in the local pack.

If all this sounds too much, don’t write off the real impact it can have on the bottom line. Give us a call and let us complete and update it for you, along with a quote on some initial posts to give you a boost out of the gate.

Some other great posts on this from the good folks at Moz are here, and they have a great case study on the real impact of GMB

Half of search results pages using mobile-first indexing

January 31, 2019

Google is now using mobile-first indexing for over half of all web pages. Websites that aren’t designed with mobile devices in mind should plan for this. This post explains more about what this means and how it impacts your website.


What is Google’s mobile-first Index
Why it matters to every website
How to tell if your site is using mobile-first indexing
What steps (if any) you need to take
Quick Takeaways

Before we get started, think for a second on something we all take for granted – Google. Google literally has to process millions of search queries every single minute and return instant results. Not only does it have to do this, it has to do it accurately and quickly. It also has to keep track of millions of brand new web pages published every month and compare them to pages already published. And that’s only part of what Google does.

What is Google’s Mobile-First Index

Let’s start with the term “Google Index”. This term refers to all the individual web pages in the universe that Google is aware of. Every time a user types in a search query, it compares all the pages in the Index with the search query, ranks them accordingly, and returns the results. There are a number of factors the Google algorithm considers when matching pages with queries, but that discussion’s for another post.

Remember, just because a web page is published and public, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in the Google Index.

Smart Phones Changed Things


Smartphones changed the way people search and use the Internet. Prior to smartphones, everyone browsed and searched on desktop computers. Web sites and pages were designed and built accordingly. When Google first developed their algorithm to score and rank webpages, it used the desktop version of the page’s content to score the page.

Now that phones, tablets and high speed wifi are ubiquitous – both website design and the way people search the web continues to change. For example, I might browse the same website on my way to work using an iPhone as I do at work at my desktop or at home on my Surface Pro. As a user I want this experience to feel seamless.

The way people search has also evolved. More people started searching on Mobile than on Desktop in 2016 and it has continued to grow ever since. Google decided to change how they index web pages in response to this.

In 2016, Google announced that it had started the process of migrating sites for mobile-first indexing. This was a huge deal for anyone managing a website because it marked a fundamental change in the way Google indexed and ranked web pages. From that point on, Google began to first use the mobile version of a web page for indexing and ranking, instead of the desktop version. If a website does not have a mobile version, the desktop version will still be used.

Why it Matters to Every Website


People and businesses want to attract more visitors and traffic to their website (If you’re not interested in this you can stop reading now). If your website is not mobile-responsive, or it displays different information in mobile versus desktop view – your ranking position could be impacted. Additionally, this could be an opportunity to outrank a competitor site or gain visibility through mobile optimization.

Google still has one index and there are not separate indexes for mobile and desktop. Moving forward it will just use the mobile version first rather than the desktop.  Half of the websites have been migrated over to this type of indexing so far.

How to Tell if Your Site is Using Mobile-First Indexing

The best way to verify this is by using Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools). This is a completely free tool, from Google, that is relatively easy to setup. At VWM, our agency all but insists that every single website we work with uses this tool. Google will notify you when migrating to the mobile-first indexing. They will also give you other tips and advice on how to optimize your website or fix related issues.

Read our guide on Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager here.

What Steps (if any) You Need to Take

Mobile-responsive sites are good to go and should be impacted by the mobile-first indexation changes. Keep in mind there is a difference between mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive. Generally speaking, a mobile-responsive site means your content dynamically syncs between desktop and mobile views and generally sends the same HTML code regardless of the device that is requesting it. Mobile-friendly can refer to sites that conform to mobile, but the content might change slightly between desktop and mobile views – impacting how your mobile page is scored vs your desktop page.

You should also make sure to install Google Search Console on your website. You will be notified if your site has been migrated over. If your site hasn’t been migrated over already, you still have time to make adjustments or changes to help take advantage when it migrates over.

Quick Takeaways

  • Google has already migrated about half of all websites and continues to work on the remaining sites
  • Mobile-responsive sites should generally be fine and have no issues
  • Take 5 minutes to setup Google Search Console
  • This can be an opportunity to rank higher or a sign it’s time to build a new website

Other Resources:

Mobile-first and SEO article from MOZ

Site Preparedness Article from Search Engine Journal

Search Console, Analytics and Tag Manager Overview

September 1, 2018

Three of the most common free tools we use on websites are Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Google Tag Manager. We wrote the post below to help familiarize clients, but it should be useful to anyone looking to learn more about these tools and why to use them.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that is intended to help Webmasters monitor websites. Search Console is different than Google Analytics. Search Console gives insight into what pages of your site have been indexed, how you can better optimize your pages to improve visibility in Google and other related info. Remember, Google literally processes billions of searches per day and returns results based on a variety of factors. Search Console gives insight into factors that effect your website ranking and performance.

Not sure if you have Search Console? Try signing in with the same Google account you use for your Analytics (or create a new one).
If you don’t have an account the setup process is relatively quick and similar to Google Analytics. You’ll need to enter your website address and Search Console will generate some code that you need to add to your website. IMPORTANT: see the last tip if you are setting this up for the first time as you’ll want to create accounts for ALL versions of your site

Wouldn’t you want to know if Google had problems with your site? Or better yet, suggestions to improve it. While Search Console might seem a bit technical, don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t need it. The setup is fast, you do it one time and you’re done. Even if you don’t use it often, the data will always be there when something comes up. Think of this like a smartwatch for your website that monitors your heart rate, breathing and other vital signs. This provides data directly from Google on how you can improve your ranking and performance – why wouldn’t you want to know that? Other vendors or agencies can also make good use of the data and you can grant permissions to view as you see fit.

While Google Analytics tell you info about people visiting your site, Search Console tells you info on how Google sees and crawls your website, and how it impacts search performance. It’s primarily designed for webmasters to give them a better idea on how to improve a website performance in search, as well as address problems that might not be visible on the frontend or noticeable to the naked eye.

When you set this up, it is HIGHLY recommended you set it up for all versions of your website. What does this mean? Add your site with the ‘www’ and without as well as with the ‘https’ and ‘http’ versions. You can manage all these (and other websites if you have more than one) within one Search Console account. Even if you have a preferred version of your website that you use – maybe Google is seeing different versions and it’s something you need your web team to cleanup. At our agency we see clients with canonical and duplicate content issues all the time, where Google has a mix of different pages with www and non-www in the index. This is an easy fix but it will impact your rank. By adding all four combinations of your website in Search Console, you can help catch this. You should only see info gathered for the preferred version when you login to your account.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that tracks and reports on your website traffic, visitors and activity. It’s simple and fast to signup, and after some basic information Google will generate a few lines of computer code unique to your website. You’ll need to place this code in a certain place on your website, and then your done. From that point on, whether your webiste is old or new, you can see detailed information on visitors to your site, what pages people visit and more anytime you login to your free
Google Analytics account.

If you already have Google Analytics (or you think you do), great! If you’re not sure, here is a link with some ways you can try to check , but at the end of the day you’ll still need to be able to login. Make sure you have the login to access your account and if you don’t, find the person that does and have them grant you FULL permissions to view the account (you’ll need a Google email address or Google Verified email address to access). Multiple users can access the same website in Google Analytics, but there are a few different permission and access levels. You are going to need FULL access in order to grant other users permissions, make big changes and take on new initiatives. Be sure to get this before you start working with an agency or consultant.

If someone else manages you Analytics – great! Maybe they send you reports and answer all your questions. If you’re a business or an individual paying someone to manage your Google Analytics, they should ALWAYS be able to grant you FULL permissions to the account as well. This helps ensure transparency and provides a way to make sure your can access your own data. Your analytics data is your property, just like your website, and it is just as valuable. Make sure you can always access it if you need to or prevent being locked out if things go south. See the last paragraph in this section on the best way to structure your account if you work with agencies or consultants.

If you don’t think you need Google Analytics because you already get information from Squarespace, your web host, AWS stats or other sources – think again. Google Analytics is the most widely used analytics service, it’s free and it won’t interfere with anything else you are using. Any company or vendor you work with on tracking or marketing is going to want this installed and you are going to need it to hold them or other data accountable. Remember that this service is provided by Google, which controls the majority of the Search market and knows more about website and traffic than anybody. Don’t overlook this and make excuses for not gathering accurate data on your website.

Setup your account in a way that protects you and your business from vendors, agencies or others with access. Our agency works with clients all the time to setup/review/take over on their Google Analytics. Most of them just want us to ‘go ahead and do it for them’ but don’t really care how as long as they get reports. This is easy to do, but it’s important to structure it the right way.

The company or website owner should always be the primary person that signs and owns the Google Analytics account. Any agency or consultants should then be granted permission to view, manage or do whatever they need to this account. As the business or client, you want to avoid any situation where a vendor, consultant or low-level employee could hijack your account or hold it hostage and lock you out. Sometimes vendors go bankrupt, consultants quit or get fired and relationships end unexpectedly. What if the company that setup your Google Analytics account goes under, you don’t have full access and you can’t reach anyone? What happens if your vendor locks you out until you pay a bill or refuses to transfer to permissions to a new company? If you make sure you own and setup your account initially, you can avoid this and simply deactivate access or cut people out as needed.

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a bit different than Analytics or Search Console. Tag Manager is a free service from Google that is designed to help manage tracking tags, scripts, pixels etc. If that sounds confusing it’s because it is – but we’ll try to give a good general explanation. When every website and web page loads, there are lots of different pieces of code or tags that live behind the scenes. A lot of webpages have many tracking related tags in particular. For example, a page might have a Google Analytics tag, a Facebook tag, a CRM related tag, a chat box tag, a Paid Advertising pixel etc.

Any time you add a new tag/code/pixel you have to insert this code in the right place or have your webmaster modify the code so the tag loads when and where it is supposed to. This is where Google Tag Manager comes in. Tag Manager essentially adds one tag container to the code of your website, and then allows you to insert as many different tags, rules, pixels, html etc as you want into that container dynamically. The beauty of this is that you only need to add the Tag Manager code to your actual website code one time, and then you can manage all of your tags in the Tag Manager console without having to modify your website or call your webmaster every time you want to make additional changes.

– Travis Melvin is a digital marketing and web specialist based in New York City.

The 8 C’s of Social Commerce

March 30, 2017

Social Commerce

Four years ago, VWM published a blog on the 6 C’s of Social Commerce. Back then, it was a more relevant topic to write about because there were fewer aspects of e-commerce for marketers to be concerned with. The rise of Social Media has greatly impacted this. In the last four years, e-commerce, social media, and technology have evolved into something so monumental that there’s always something new to learn or latest trend to be aware of.

Social GIF

Wait…so what is Social commerce!?

Social Commerce is a subsection of electronic commerce that uses social and online media to support interaction and user contribution. This facilitates the buying and selling of products and services online.

In other words: Social commerce is the use of social networks within the context of e-commerce transactions.


In case you’re a recent reader, below is a refresher of the original 6 C’s of social commerce VWM highlighted in 2013:

Content: As in: “Content is King.” Consistently putting out valuable content on your site is key. It keeps you relevant and establishes your site as having frequent and more credible materials over your competitors.

Community: There’s a reason they’re called social networks! Building and keeping relationships with the people you’re trying to convert into customers is so important. Social allows customers to actively engage with your brand. Likes, comments and, retweets are all examples of ways you can get real-time feedback from your audience.

Social GIF

Commerce: You need to be able to fulfill customer needs via a transactional web presence whether it be B2C or B2B. Make Sure your sales funnel isn’t requiring several clicks or on-page searches before a customer gets to the actual purchasing part.

Context: Social networks make it easier than ever to gain insight into the context of where your customers are coming from. Brands can provide specific resources to customers based on location, interest, psychographics etc. Tracking things like check-ins, tweets or activity on social networks provides actionable insight.

Connection: Any connection made with a possible customer is a relationship worth having. Whether it is professional, social, or casual, social networks allow you that initial connection with other people and provide opportunities to develop and keep a relationship.

Conversation: The challenge is to tap into the conversations happening online in regards to what you’re selling. Smart marketers seek out the people who want to buy their products or services – social media features such as a “Like” button is a great way to start.

200w_d (3)

These are all still important, but it’s 2017 now. Marketers have a better understanding of just how influential social media and technology are when it comes to keeping an e-commerce strategy updated and successful.

Two New Additions for Marketers in 2017

ChatBots: The future really is now. With the creation of online chatbots, businesses can use AI and machine learning to create the feeling of a human interaction from anywhere in the world and at any given time. These bots can be expertly developed in any field and provide conversational answers to consumers presenting a much smoother interaction. This is beneficial both ways, you get a better idea of the kind of questions customers consistently have and they get a reply no matter when they ask.

Commitment: This is a big one (isn’t it always?) Having a social presence that will attract customers to buying whatever it is your selling is not a one time thing. Keeping up a strategy, establishing meaningful relationships, and consistently growing with your audience is essential to continuous success.

200w_d (2)

So, there you have it, our newly updated 8 C’s of social commerce. If you’re feeling a little lost after reading all that- don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

This is an updated post on the 6 C’s of Social Commerce.  


Client Spotlight: Club Fit Launches Their New Website

March 27, 2017

Club Fit offers comprehensive health and fitness facilities and programming to enhance the quality of life and physical well-being for Westchester community members of all ages.


Founded in Westchester in 1973, Club Fit operates fitness clubs in Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley, serving more than 14,000 members and their guests.

VWM has been working with Club Fit for the last five years helping them with paid advertising, social media strategy, ongoing development and updates, text alerts and promotions, lead generation, and web hosting.

Two website revamps later, we are now releasing the third and most versatile Club Fit website yet. New features include a custom WordPress web platform, a custom calendar scheduling feature, a streamlined user interface, and dynamic form routing and database integration.

Club Fit Launch Photo
Club Fit’s Bill and Ellen are all smiles as they get ready to launch their newly designed website. Via @ClubFitNY

Van West Media’s Social Media Manager, Stephanie Cowan, recently sat down for an interview with Jacquie Giannico, the Marketing Manager at Club Fit to talk about the launch of Club Fit’s new website, the effect it will have on the business, and how important it is to find, and develop a relationship with a digital agency that you can trust.


What part of your business will the new website have the most effect on?

“Everyone is really looking forward to the calendar. Having everything we have to offer all in one place really gives our members the one-stop-shop experience. There is so much to do at our club that sometimes it seems overwhelming to choose where to begin. We really see ourselves as a lifestyle club. We take someone from a single membership to a couples membership when they get married, and then they become a family membership, and finally a senior membership. Because of that, they have children of different ages and likes so we have created a calendar that will lay out clearly all of the classes offered at a given time. This will really be of benefit to our members.”

What has been your experience working with Van West Media?

“You have been great! I look at Van West Media as not an outside business partner but as an inside business partner and that’s important. It’s that trust factor. And it takes a while to develop that trust and we have worked with Van West Media for five years now. I also know when you say you are going to do something, you are going to do it and that is really important. And I know that if we need help on a weekend, someone always answers. The confidence and the quality of your employees is key.”

What is the hardest part of being in the membership business?

“Retention and new members. We need to make sure we are grabbing them as new members and obviously to retain them. I know the new website will draw new members and continue to provide useful tools to get the most out of their Club Fit experience.”

What makes Club Fit such a unique health and fitness club? 

“From a customer perspective, we have so much to offer. We are a health club that cares about our members well being. We offer so many activities for our members to participate in. The fact that you can swim in two different indoor pools, play on any of our tennis quarts, or participate in over 130 group classes is a testament to the range of opportunity here at Club Fit. We think of a company that gives back to our community most of our employees live in the area so it gives them an opportunity to serve their community as well. Our main focus is to keep people healthy and allow them to live longer.”

Success Board at Club Fit

What is the most exciting thing in Club Fit’s near future?

“Every month there is a new surprise. Like our March Matters and April Refer a Friend. We try to be very engaging with our members by creating unique events and content throughout the year. Come check us out!”



Van West Media Client Spotlight: Twin Parks

March 14, 2017

Twin Parks Montessori School is the largest accredited Montessori program in Manhattan with three premier preschool campuses in New York City.

Guided by the Montessori philosophy, Twin Parks helps children learn in a secure, prepared environment, laying a firm foundation for them as they grow older.

Van West Media began working with Twin Parks nearly a decade ago. This partnership began with initial branding and a website build and has evolved into Van West Media’s coordination and implementation of a robust marketing strategy revolving around the website, marketing materials, paid search, and social media. Most recently, we launched a custom website for Twin Park’s exciting new program for infants and toddlers, The Nurture Center. This strategy focused on driving visibility of Twin Parks and served as an initiative to welcome younger children into the Montessori philosophy.

Working with Van West Media has not only provided a framework for all of our branding and social media context but has taught our administrative team how to think and respond to social media. We are all a team and enjoy our brainstorming sessions together. Van West Media’s level of communication is top notch.

– Kathy Roemer, Executive Director of Twin Parks Montessori Schools

Twin Parks Blog post 6

The Website:

Van West Media built a custom website for Twin Parks that clearly and effectively showcases the three different preschool campuses, provides accreditation and financial aid information, and allows easy access to an online admissions application. From a visibility and SEO perspective, Van West Media created “Kathy’s Insights”, a personal blog from the Executive Director that builds and reinforces the school’s identity, leadership position, and mission, as well as a constant stream of custom content that helps optimize Twin Park’s search rankings with Google.

Paid Search:

When developing a paid search campaign for Twin Parks, Van West Media identified three specific opportunities: targeting families within the New York City Metro area searching for preschools, targeting families outside of New York City searching for preschools in New York City, and re-marketing to families who visited the website but did not complete a conversion. Our team began by creating campaigns targeting key neighborhoods in New York City and location-based keywords across the globe.

Our team also developed a display re-marketing campaign that excluded bouncing visitors and existing students’ parents, who visit the site to read blog posts and log into their child’s classroom details. These strategies led to a month over month performance increase of 36% during peak enrollment months. Additionally January 2017 saw the lowest Cost Per Acquisition in six months, and a record 95% increase to a 12-month record for paid assisted conversions.

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Social Media:

Van West Media recently overhauled the Twin Parks social media profiles and implemented a best-practice strategy that is both engaging and visually appealing. This strategy focuses on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and is used to provide information about the school, build visibility and online engagement, and to drive new leads to the school.

New Program Launch:

In 2016, Twin Parks approached Van West Media with the idea of creating a new program for infants and toddlers that would complement their existing offerings, just to a younger audience. It would also allow parents to try the Montessori Method in a very comfortable and relaxed setting. Van West Media created the new program’s name, logo, and branding, and also built a custom mini-site that would allow perspective parents to learn about the new program and apply online. In late 2016, The Nurture Center launched.

We receive weekly updates and immediate replies to any question we put to their team. We feel we are in a partnership with Van West Media to share the story of Twin Parks Montessori Schools to our community.

– Kathy Roemer, Executive Director of Twin Parks Montessori Schools

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Twin Parks is an extremely valued client of Van West Media. But, more than a client, Kathy and her whole Twin Parks’ team have become partners with us. Together, we work extremely hard to bring visibility to this incredible school and its amazing teaching environment that has been carefully and thoughtfully created at all of Twin Parks’ campuses. Because of our services, Twin Parks has greatly expanded their online visibility, created greater social engagement, and increased the number of applicants to the school. Our team at Van West Media looks forward to our ongoing work with Kathy and her top-notch team of educators and all of the amazing work they are doing for the next generation of children.

Meet Our New Social Media Manager!

February 20, 2017

IMG_9105Van West Media is extremely excited to introduce our new Social Media Manager, Stephanie Cowan! Stephanie will focus on increasing visibility, engagement, leads, and sales for our clients using their social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn. These platforms are a great way for our clients to effectively reach specific audiences and Stephanie is a master at putting together a social media strategy and creating the appropriate copy and visuals to accomplish this.

Stephanie brings to Van West Media a keenly artistic eye, sharp wit, and unbridled enthusiasm and we wanted to give her the opportunity to introduce herself to all of you:

“I am really excited to be working here at Van West Media and have hit the ground running in the social media department. My biggest focus for the first month was revamping our own Instagram account.  I am super passionate about creating unique and thoughtful content that can strengthen our brand’s voice and visibility. I want each piece of content that goes live to give pause and have reason. It is my goal to make every single aspect of a post on social focused and goal oriented. That’s what is so special about social media. You can mold the big picture by obsessing about the nitty-gritty to create something unique, flawless, and memorable.

I have also spent a great deal of time meeting with many of Van West Media’s new and existing clients, learning about their various industries, and helping them curate and tailor their specific social media profiles. This includes understanding their corporate culture and identity as well as their vision and goals moving forward.

One of the reasons I was originally drawn to Van West Media was because of the vast differences and variety between the client base. Some digital marketing agencies focus on certain niche markets, but Van West Media has a wide-ranging and exciting client roster including law firms, financial firms, fashion brands, luxury travel destinations, non-profits, and more. This diverse clientele makes my job uniquely interesting and fulfilling and means that I get to constantly create new, varied, and exciting content.

If you have not yet taken a peek, I encourage you to visit our newly revamped Instagram account! Follow @vanwestmedia for a behind-the-scenes look at all of the great work we are doing here. I look forward to continuing to improve our client’s social media profiles and if you would like to discuss your own company’s social media strategies, please reach out to me so that I can help you.”

-Stephanie Cowan