Are You a Professional or a Webmaster?

Are You a Professional or a Webmaster?

In today’s fast-paced world, professionals across various fields strive to excel in their areas of expertise. Whether you’re meticulously filling cavities as a dentist, passionately defending clients as a lawyer, creatively designing structures as an architect, or mastering any other profession, your primary focus is on delivering the best in your field. But here’s a curveball: when was the last time you checked if your website’s plugins were up-to-date? Or if the SSL certificate was still valid?

Now, let’s pause and reflect. It’s quite unrealistic, not to mention stressful, to expect a seasoned professional to suddenly don the hat of a webmaster post-working hours. The realms of root canals and website roots are wildly different, and mixing the two can lead to some unexpected, and often hilarious, results.

Imagine this scenario: After an intense day of back-to-back meetings or surgeries, all you dream of is sinking into your couch and catching up on that latest TV series. But instead, you find yourself glaring at a screen, deciphering cryptic error messages on your website. Or worse, trying to figure out why a specific plugin is wreaking havoc on your site’s layout.

Here’s the blunt truth: No professional ever said, “I pursued my career to moonlight as a tech support agent.” If they did, well, they’re truly one-of-a-kind!

Your expertise, passion, and countless hours of training are dedicated to your chosen field, not in navigating the maze of website management. And let’s be real:

  • Explaining to your child why “Mommy or Daddy can’t play now because of a website glitch” is far from ideal.
  • Having a romantic dinner conversation centered around website downtimes and security breaches? That’s a mood killer.
  • Planning a leisurely weekend only to be held hostage by web hosting issues? Adventure, yes, but not the kind you envisioned.

That’s precisely where our Webmaster+ plan swoops in to save the day! We’re here to take those webmaster woes off your plate. Our comprehensive plan includes:

  • Secure WordPress Hosting ensuring seamless website performance.
  • Regular Website Updates keeping your site fresh and glitch-free.
  • Dedicated Support ensuring any web-related hiccup is addressed promptly.

So, to all the dedicated professionals out there, keep shining in your field! Let us handle the digital realm, so you can focus on what you truly love, be it creating beautiful smiles, winning cases, designing skyscrapers, or simply enjoying well-deserved downtime.

Let us help you with your website so you can focus on your profession, and spend your extra time with friends and family.

CityRank Pages vs. Pay-Per-Click: The Long-Term Value of One-Time Investments

CityRank Pages vs. Pay-Per-Click: The Long-Term Value of One-Time Investments

In the world of online marketing, businesses often find themselves at a crossroads: to invest in content that lasts or to opt for ongoing advertising costs. It’s the classic battle between CityRank (Local SEO) pages and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. But when it comes to long-term value and savings, one clearly stands out. Let’s dive in.

The Pay-Per-Click Paradigm

PPC advertising operates on a simple premise: you pay for every click your ad receives. While this can bring immediate traffic and potential leads, it comes with ongoing costs. The moment you stop funding your ads, your visibility plummets. It’s a bit like renting a billboard; once you stop paying, your ad is taken down.

The CityRank Advantage

Enter CityRank pages. These Local SEO optimized pages are designed to rank your business high in local search results. The beauty of CityRank lies in its one-time investment nature. You pay once, and the content stays online, working for you indefinitely.

Let’s highlight the core benefits:

Evergreen Presence: Unlike ads that disappear once the budget dries up, CityRank pages remain online, continually attracting potential customers.

Immediate ROI: The moment a new lead, client, or customer finds you through your CityRank page, it has essentially paid for itself.

All Gravy After That: Every subsequent lead or sale from that page? It’s essentially free. No additional costs, just pure profit.

Cost Comparison: CityRank vs. PPC

To truly grasp the long-term savings, let’s break it down:

PPC: Ongoing costs. You pay for every single click, regardless of conversion. Over a year, these costs can accumulate significantly, with no guarantee of consistent results.

CityRank: One-time cost. After the initial investment, the page remains active indefinitely, drawing in potential clients without additional charges.
Long-Term Value in Perspective

Consider this: every business aims to maximize its return on investment (ROI). With PPC, your ROI is constantly tethered to your budget. But with CityRank pages, the ROI grows over time. The longer your page is active, the more leads it can generate, all without additional costs.

Key Takeaways:

  • One-Time Cost
  • Lasting Presence
  • Growing ROI
  • No Hidden Fees
  • Consistent Visibility

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, businesses need strategies that offer lasting value. While PPC has its place in quick promotions or short-term campaigns, CityRank pages provide a foundation for long-term growth, visibility, and profitability.

In Conclusion

The digital marketing world offers a plethora of options, but savvy businesses know where true value lies. By investing in CityRank pages, you’re not just buying content; you’re securing a future of consistent online visibility and potential growth. So, why pay endlessly for clicks when you can invest once and reap the benefits for years to come?

If you’d like to learn more, or get started, schedule a free, no-obligation, introduction call.

How We Increased a Client's Google Impressions by 400%

How We Increased a Client's Google Impressions by 400%

We were working on a standard review of one of our charter bus clients last week. The charter bus industry is expected to decline by 8.9% due to Covid-19’s impact so they were reviewing their spending on marketing services. We were prepared to see huge declines in Google impressions due to Covid-19 from when they started SEO, however, that’s not what we saw!

Let’s get right to it and then I’ll tell you what we did to achieve this. Impressions on Google increased by 400% over the last three months compared with the same number of days from just before they started SEO.

400%! That means their website was seen on Google for people doing local searches for their service many more times than before they started doing any SEO.

The increased visibility on Google resulted in a 650% increase in leads from search engine traffic!

How did we achieve this and set this client up for high-quality traffic well into the future? We created specific local content for the areas they serve and the services they do. We call them CityRank pages. It’s no secret that you need local and specific content to rank better in Google and other search engines and that’s what our CityRank pages are designed to do.

We also did OnSite SEO for their website pages. Each page on their website was targeted for relevant search terms and areas that they wanted to rank better in.

The only real difference between CityRank pages and OnSite SEO is that OnSite SEO updates an existing page on your website and a CityRank page is a new page on your website. Once we do the initial research and understand the intent of the page, we:

  • Update the page title
  • Update the meta description
  • Add or update 3 headings per page
  • Optimize the URL

And for CityRank pages, we write 400+ words of content for the page from scratch and then post it along with a call-to-action header to their website.

Both of these services are great because they generally will provide strong rankings and impressions long after the content is posted, and the client only pays one time for it! That generates a great return on investment (ROI) for them.

Interested in improving your own website visibility in Google search results? Set up a free initial consultation to find out how!

If you’d like to learn how we can do the same for you, schedule a FREE introduction call.

The Lazy Small Business's Way to Get More Positive Reviews

The Lazy Small Business's Way to Get More Positive Reviews

Don’t get left behind and let your compeitors out review you!  Read on!

85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust traditional recommendations and, on average, consumers require a business to have 40 online reviews before they believe its average star rating. Research shows that 91% of typical U.S. consumers read online reviews, but only 6% will leave reviews. Businesses need a way to get the other 94% of consumers to write reviews for them, especially since the majority of those will be positive reviews. Small business owners need to be proactive in updating online review profiles, asking for online reviews and responding to them to stay competitive in 2020 and beyond.

Step 1: Get Online Profiles for Reviews Set Up

The first thing you need to do is review the places that customers can leave reviews for you in the first place. It’s fine to display reviews on your website, but those will lack objectivity so you’ll need to identify the best third-party places for your customers to leave reviews. Having a presence on third-party review sites will make you look trustworthy in search results. For most small businesses you’ll want to focus on the big three – Google, Yelp, and Facebook and then also identify any other sites that are relevant to your particular business. Places like Angie’s List, The Better Business Bureau, or Houzz that are important for your business niche and that your prospects will recognize as an authoritative third party. Once you’ve made your list, it’s time to start claiming and updating those profiles.

Now that you have your list of profiles that you are going to use for third-party review sources you will need to make sure that you have claimed each one of them. Claiming them is usually pretty simple and requires you to set up an account with each site that you want. It’s recommended that you keep track of the URL of the login page, email you use, and the password. For most sites, there are free profiles available but you’ll have to watch out because they will do everything they can to convince you that a paid profile is worth it – or even required! We recommend that when you start, stick with the free profiles which will allow for reviews to be posted by your clients and be visible to prospects. You can revisit any benefits of paid profiles once you get everything set up. Copy down each site URL to your profile so that you’ll easily be able to direct customers to it to leave you a review.

Step 2: Ask Customers for Reviews

Now that you have your profiles set up and ready to accept reviews from your customers you need to ask them for reviews or at the very least make them aware of where you have a presence. Studies show that a consumer is 21% more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than a positive one. By asking customers just after you complete a transaction with them you will help level out the playing field by making sure that the positive customer experiences are reflected in your online reviews.

There are a lot of ways that you can ask customers for feedback and ultimately a review. Experiment with different ways of asking and see what generates the most reviews. Some ideas that have served clients well over the past are:

“We would love it if you could give us some feedback on the recent job we completed for you!”

“Small businesses like ours get new business because of positive reviews. It would be great if you could review the last transaction we completed with you.”

“Let us know how we did on your last purchase with us. Check out our reviews on the following sites!”

You want to make sure that you give customers a way to address any negative feedback with you first, before posting it to a site. You won’t be able to head off every negative review, but by bringing it up ahead of time you will lessen the risk. Even if a negative review or two slip through, responding to them with positivity or facts (niel patel) will give future customers context for the review and how you respond first-hand.

“We strive for 5-star reviews, if we didn’t earn one, please respond to this email and we’ll do everything we can to make it a 5-star one!”

“Our goal is for every customer to leave a positive review. If you aren’t able to we’d like to know about it right away and we’ll do our best to make it right.”

There are a lot of different channels that you can ask for reviews. Choosing the best ones for your business can require a little testing and also depend on the type of customer interaction that you typically have. No matter which channel you choose, the goal is to quickly ask customers just after a transaction or job is completed. That is when they have the most desire to do something for you, especially when you have done a great job for them.

Step 3: Respond to Reviews

Now that you are all set up and you’ve started to receive reviews from your customers, the next step is to respond to them. Research shows that 52% of reviewers expect a response to their review within 7 days of leaving it. Getting in the habit of responding to reviews shows potential customers you are active and responsive, allows you to watch and respond to any negative reviews, and is a chance for you to highlight positive reviews.

Existing customers and prospects will see the fact that you respond to all reviews quickly and that will give them an idea as to how you run your overall business. Seeing responses within a day or two says that you are paying attention and that you value your customers. The response will give your customers a positive feeling about you and help ensure that they will be repeat customers and referral sources.

While negative reviews should be minimal, they aren’t all bad. Research shows that 85% of consumers will look specifically for bad reviews to make an informed purchasing decision. Having a few negative reviews makes all of your reviews more trustworthy since prospects inherently know that you can’t please everyone all of the time. It gives prospects an idea as to how you handle any potential problems and your response to a negative review can ultimately make it a positive review. Create a response strategy for any negative reviews and stick to it.

Step 4: Now What? Save Time With Review Management Software & Service

It’s no secret that customers are using trustworthy online reviews to make purchasing decisions, in fact, in one survey 68% said that trustworthy reviews influenced them when they were shopping for something. Get your online profiles set up to accept reviews, ask customers for reviews and highlight them on your website, collateral or in sales calls, and have a plan to respond to reviews both negative and positive.

Whether you decide to manage your online reviews and reputation manually or by leveraging an online service, it’s clear that you need to do something. Our online reputation (review) management software can help you do all of these things with a very little learning curve and support along the way.

3 Reasons Why Now is the Right Time to Get a New Website

3 Reasons Why Now is the Right Time to Get a New Website

We wanted to find a way to help small businesses during this pandemic. Your online presence is front and center NOW because in many cases it is the only way for you to serve your customers. One thing is for certain, even after we can get back to normal you and your customers will rely on your website to do more.

With most of the US under stay at home orders, businesses are forced to figure out new ways to serve their customers in a contactless environment. Having a website that can handle the increased traffic and give your customers what they need is critical.

Many of us are finding that we have time now to do all those things on our list that we just didn’t have time for BEFORE. Creating a new website or upgrading your existing one probably is on the list – or should be. Use the time now to build a better online presence and get prepared for the rebound.

*** 50% 20% down and 20% off! ***


Don’t get fooled by companies offering cheap websites – you’ll get what you paid for. You will have very little input, won’t get the chance for revisions & once the site launches, they’ll be gone.

On the other hand, our project managers consult with you to create a professional, revenue-generating website that you’ll be proud of and will delight your customers. Plus, our webmasters will be there month after month.

3 Reasons Why Now is the Right Time to Get a New Website

According to the US Chamber of Commerce, 54% of small businesses report they are closed or could close within the coming weeks, and there is growing concern about cash flow among most small business owners.  Further, Harvard scientists warn that social distancing may not end until 2022.  These realities present an opportunity for small businesses to decide how they will compete in the post-COVID 19 economy.   Now is the time to get a new website that can support your business today and into the future.

1. Use Closed Time to Upgrade Your Web Presence

Over the years, we’ve heard a common response from many small business owners as we consult with them on upgrading or creating a new website – “I don’t have the time”.  They literally don’t have time to even think about their website because of all the things they have to do in the course of a normal business day.  Manage customers, employees, suppliers, etc. 

Of course, we know that just like us, many owners are busy adapting to the new normal, creating new services or products that can help them stay afloat during this unprecedented disruption.  Owners are also stepping in to homeschool their kids and dealing with the complexities of stay-at-home life.  That said, now is a good time to do things that will build your business and make it stronger now, and in the future…and you likely have some bandwidth to take a good look at your website.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your website mobile friendly? 60% of Google searches are done via mobile.  You can check two ways.  One, check with Google and two, just load your website on your smartphone.  Do you need to pinch and zoom to try and make things out?  Is there any horizontal scrolling required?  If it’s not easy to use, then searchers will just hit the back button and find a competitor.
  • Do you list out all the things you offer, or do you require the customer to assume that since you are X you must do Y? Spell it out.  35% of product searches start on Google.  If you don’t list it, people won’t find it in a search.
  • Is the content and images on your site updated or does it contain outdated information?
  • Does your website reflect your brand and the quality of your business or does it look like you haven’t paid attention to it in years?

If you answered “no” to one or more items above, then it’s the right time to get a new website.  You’ll be able to look back at this disruption knowing that you spent your time on making your business stronger.

2. Social Distancing Changes the Way You Serve Customers

Nobody knows exactly when we’ll be able to go back to normal, and the road back is a long one.  It’s expected that even once stay-at-home orders are lifted that businesses will have to operate a bit differently until a COVID-19 vaccine is available (which experts put at about 18 months.) Social distancing is here to stay so it’s only good business to learn to adapt.

Your website is a key component for a successful social distancing strategy.  Having a website allows you to communicate with customers and prospects (think hours of operation).   It provides them information and resources and, in some cases, even takes orders from them.  With so many people under stay-at-home orders now or adhering to social distancing for months to come, it’s more important than ever that you have an online presence.  You won’t be able to rely on people driving by your business to know that you are there.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Can customers find my business online?
  • Can I easily update information like hours, products/services and inventory updates when necessary?
  • Does my website have the necessary information available on it and functionality necessary to deliver products/services to my customers with social distancing requirements in mind?

If you answered “no” to one or more of these questions, then now is the time to upgrade or build a website that can be the lifeblood of your business going forward.

3. Website Stimulus Assists with Cash Flow

It’s no surprise that there is a growing concern with cash flow among business owners with about 59% saying they feel comfortable with the current situation – down 21% from Q1.   With typical website projects requiring a minimum of 50% down one might think now is not the right time – and they might be right!

*** 50% 20% down and 20% off! ***


That’s why we’ve decided to reduce the 50% requirement down to just 20%.  In addition, we are slashing the overall cost of a new website by 20% further reducing the upfront cost.  Businesses can now get a new website started for around $400* with options to defer final payment.

Now is the Time!

At Web Merchants Direct we consult with clients and drive the entire process.  We write the content, handle the SEO (search engine optimization), design and develop the site and manage any updates or changes once the site goes live. 

Small business owners are on the hook for just a few things.  The initial interview (which takes about an hour), getting pictures for the website and access to any resources we might need (like domain name, existing website, etc.).  Stock photos can be used, however, real photos of your business inside and out are preferable.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay productive.  When the economy bounces back in leaps and bounds, your business will be able to jump to the demand!

Flat Rate Website Packages

• Dedicated project manager

 Custom site design and development

• Basic SEO – be found on search engines

• Content professionally written for you

• Link with social media profiles

• Conversion tracking package available

• Free SSL for a secure website

Webmaster Plan Included

• Changes and updates to keep your site fresh

• Website hosting

• Security, virus/malware protection

• Backups so you don’t lose your investment


* This discount is available through May 31, 2020. Offer extended to June 30, 2020.