Get Ready to Rebound

June 4, 2020

Why would anybody invest in their website at a time like this! We hear that a lot and our response is the same: Now is the perfect time to re-focus on your website.

Make the moves others are pausing on and use this downtime to get your web presence in order. Start with what has the highest impact and refocus on the core objectives of your business.

Sales Pages – How Long Since You Really Reviewed These?

Sales pages are the high stakes pages that turn viewers in to leads. Review them, prioritize them and identify what needs to be updated or cleaned up. Is the language still current? Are there links to collatoral or reference docs? Do the headlines or talking points read as good as they should?

Start to update the pages that are most important or impactful to your business. Maybe consider a brand new landing page or start from scratch if things are really bad.


Almost everyone has more time then they like on their hands right now, including your best customers. Take the time to reach out to them and get an updated testimonial. They’ll appreciate you’re thinking of them and should have the time to get back to you fast. If you don’t have testimonials on your site then now is the time to add them.


You finally have time to take better photos. Do it now and get rid of that old stuff you rushed on your website. It will look fresh and you won’t have to worry about it when things get busy again.

Old Blog posts & old pages

Start pruning and be merciless. Of course you’ll want to check your traffic or GA to make sure you don’t lose any valuable pages first. Let’s be real – nobody cares about that 2015 post you wrote about tech trends, old product pages that are still published even if you removed them from the menu and other clunky content. It will feel good to get rid of this stuff and might even motivate you to update or replace some of it. You won’t get the time to do this for awhile so do it now.

Don’t let bad times stall a good move. Now might be the best time to dust the cobwebs of your website, prune your old content or get the housekeeping done while things are slow. Business and commerce will continue, like it always has, and it will favor those that are ready when the doors bust back open.

It’s easy to hit the pause button, freeze up or panic right now. Resist that urge, take deep breath and seize this opportunity. Somebody is going to take advantage of the situation we find ourselves in right now and for a lot of businesses everything has changed. The real question is how your business will come out the other side of this.

VWM can help you redesign pages, improve your website or take advantage of this time to better position your website.

About the Author:

Travis Melvin is a digital marketing professional. He currently works for VWM and lives in New York City.

Reinventing Your Business

December 31, 2014

It is believed that Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent species who will survive, but those who can best manage change,” and this rings true in several areas, including managing your business. Companies must adapt to an ever-changing economy and consumer base in order to succeed long-term; thus, reinventing your business is crucial.

Reinventing Your Business

When things start to dwindle, it’s important to recognize it and do something proactive before it’s too late. Stall Points, written by Matthew Olson, suggests companies who stall in growth and development have less than a 10 percent chance to ever fully recover. Two-thirds of stalled companies will be acquired, taken private or forced into bankruptcy. The upside is if you recognize the signs early (like complacency or little to no growth) and make strategic efforts to better the organization, you could come out on top. When reinventing your business, consider the following tactics:

  • Tweak your business model.
  • Throw it all out and create a new business model.
  • Take a calculated risk.
  • Change industries entirely.

An example: IBM began as the 1984 computer king, specializing in a streamlined production process for ready-made computers. By 1993, IBM had exhausted its time on Wall Street, as competitor prices drove them out – ultimately leading to an $8 billion loss. Fast forward to 2010; IBM had acquired over 200 companies in the IT services sector, and by 2013, IBM was back. This time, though, as the number one company in enterprise server solutions. The company changed its whole business model after recognizing the trend their company was headed to. So how can you look forward and adjust different areas of your organization to stay relevant?

Analyze where your company currently stands. Identify your group’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth and threats to the organization. Use these realizations to define changes you’d like to make in order to improve your company’s overall operation and reputation. All things need sprucing up from time to time, and reinventing your business is one way to stay savvy and ahead of the curve in whatever industry you work in.

Are you interested in evaluating and improving your business strategy? Please contact the team at Van West Media for a discussion and quote.

Van West Media is a full service design, support, and consulting agency, offering comprehensive Internet marketing solutions for small to mid-size businesses.

5 Things to Expect from Digital Marketing in 2015

December 30, 2014

Things to expect from digital marketingOver the past year, digital marketing has seen great changes and growth in several areas and is poised for another year of progression. Are you wondering what to expect in 2015? Blogs and articles detailing areas in which marketing will change are rolling out across the web, and we’ve compiled a list of the top five things to consider priority as we move into the new year.

  1. Content is still king.

With continual changes to Google, content is shaping up to be a focus in 2015; although the strategy behind your content should be thoroughly planned. If you want to influence the success of your business, consider what your content is, where it is and what it really says. Keep in mind that engagement as an algorithm is taking into account how long users stay on a particular page or post, as well as how many users click on page links to measure the value of published content.

Content should be relevant to your brand and message, but don’t let your company fall from the first page of Google. Optimizing your messaging for search engines is necessary, and we can help with our SEO-integrated content strategy model. Our strategic model takes into account your owned social media platforms, as well as your search ranking positions through targeted keyword analysis. Our SEO and social media optimization (SMO) work in tandem to lead your company in the right direction.

  1. Digital marketing analytics will expand.

We all are aware that marketers use many analytics tools to see how customers are interacting with a client’s products and services. In 2015, analytic spending is expected to increase by 60 percent, which tells us that collecting data on consumers is increasingly important to companies and marketers alike. With a plethora of channels, companies are seeking now more than ever to quantify their efforts, and this year is sure to be one for measurement.

  1. Personalization is key.

Although organizations have been saying it for years, it’s crucial that companies treat their consumers as individuals instead of segmented groups. Thanks to a focus on data analytics, we can better influence audiences and increase engagement by marketing specifically to them.

Last year, personalized content increased companies’ sales, enticed users to stay longer on websites and built customer satisfaction and retention. It’s expected to be a go-to practice in 2015, further developing the concept of 1-on-1 marketing.

  1. Don’t disregard mobile.

Similarly to 2014, we predict mobile advertising will continue to grow in 2015 as apps’ numbers increase and access to consumer data becomes accessible across large mobile advertising networks. With consumers spending nearly three hours a day on their smart phones, many predict to see a huge increase in location-based ad platforms in 2015.

  1. Online advertising budgets will increase.

Online advertising budgets are predicted to increase by 10 percent in 2015, and mobile advertising in expected to rise globally by 48 percent. Between the two, it’s almost certain that the cycle will continue to grow and develop, ultimately allowing for more hyper-local consumer targeting and increased online spending by consumers. If you’d like to boost your digital presence, we can help.

Van West Media is a full service design, support, and consulting agency, offering comprehensive Internet marketing solutions for small to mid-size businesses.

Senate Proposal: Online Sales Tax Bill

August 13, 2014


In July 2014, several Senators introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate which combines the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) and the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA). What are these two acts? To put it simply, the ITFA bans tax on Internet access, and the MFA leaves it up to individual states to tax remote sales, including online purchases.

If the Senate chooses to pass the combination of these two acts (making it The Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act), ITFA would no longer be permanent. Instead, its grandfather clause would be extended for 10 years, which allows states like Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin to keep pre-existing Internet access taxes.

Do you think the U.S. Senate has a good chance of passing the act in the House? How might this impact your life? Tweet us your answers at @VanWestMedia.

Van West Media is a full service design, support, and consulting agency, offering comprehensive Internet marketing solutions for small to mid-size businesses.

Do you *really* want to avoid price and timeframe adjustments with your digital technology vendor before a project begins? 

June 13, 2014


You’re about to get a new online application built for your digital marketing needs. You’ve found an excellent vendor who you know can build it well. The project’s scope had been outlined in broad strokes, and the vendor gave you a ballpark estimate of the price and time it would take to make your online vision a reality.

Working with the vendor, you prepare a thorough technical description for your online application, outlining the production process in detail. The new description lists all the elements of the application user interface and back-end functionality, and defines specific technical solutions that would give your business the edge in the never-ending battle against competitors.

It also becomes clear from the new description that the project will require a bit more work than you and the vendor initially thought necessary.

At this point, should you ask your vendor if there are any adjustments to the price and time frame?

At first, the question may appear absurd. Why would you want to offer your vendor the opportunity to deliver the project later, and at higher price?

However – isn’t it better to have this discussion with the vendor now, rather than in the middle of the project, or, worse, when the project is nearing the deadline – or, worse still, when the project is delayed due to vendor’s lack of commitment because the vendor feels the production team is being underpaid?

At the preliminary stage, before the project has started, you can analyze the vendor’s updated requirements, negotiate them, and include any extra cost into your business plan. Slightly adjusting your business strategy, and possibly the price offered to the end user, can make the resulting web application much more successful (and profitable). Later on, during the production process, should the vendor come back to you demanding more money or time, you can comfortably remind the vendor that you have already factored in adjustments to the price and schedule, and the vendor shouldn’t expect more.

If a vendor comes back to you with the demand for more money or time because you had not thoroughly analyzed the realistic cost during the preliminary stage, and the vendor feels the production team is not being paid for the work it’s doing – that could stall the project near completion, lead to lack of commitment from the vendor (the “underpaid” project will be regularly pushed to the back of the vendor’s pipeline, because the preference would be given to the projects the vendor perceives as more immediately profitable). This could even lead to losing your company’s reputation with the end user, and can cost your company the working relationship with the vendor.

Wouldn’t you be just “hiding your head in the sand” by not requesting the clear and final price / timeframe from the vendor early on, based on clarified project specifications? Being in denial about the very real possibility of a vendor coming back to you with price and timeframe adjustments in the future when your project is already underway is never a good idea.

Build more trust – and more leverage for refusing any future requests – by giving the vendor the fair opportunity to identify all issues related to cost and scope before the project is put in production.

Thinking in terms of Sun Tzu and military strategy, it may be better to give in early so that you can win later.

Did you find this article counter-intuitive? Please share your thoughts with us via email!