JM Gives Back to CASA

Our web design and web marketing team is excited to announce that for the month of July, we are donating $250 to CASA for Douglas County for every website sold. CASA for Douglas Country is a JM customer, and after working to build its website and being moved by it’s cause, we can’t think of a better way to give back to the Omaha community.

JM and CASA partnership graphic

What is CASA?

CASA trains and supports volunteers to represent the best interest of victims of child abuse, neglect and severe domestic conflict. These volunteers are appointed by judges to be a voice for these children in court and in the community. In Omaha, over 1,300 children, at any one time, are entangled in the foster care system because they are victims of abuse or neglect. We want to partner with CASA to ensure the basic rights and needs of every child are met by providing a CASA volunteer for every child who needs one.

How can you help?

JM cares deeply for children and for Omaha. We hope that our gift will help CASA continue their good and important work in the community, giving children a voice in the midst of brokenness.

You can visit CASA for Douglas County’s website to learn more about their mission and how you can make a difference by volunteering. You can also make a donation directly to CASA or give to specific needs through its website. CASA also has many other ways to serve and support its cause, through employee giving, Amazon Smile, item donations, among other things.

And, you can support CASA through JM. If you’re considering a new website, simply request a quote today for a chance to support CASA through your purchase.

Support CASA

Employee Spotlight: Stephanie Effken

True to the industry, our web design and web marketing team team has changed and grown over the last year. And while we are still a small company who works closely with its customers, there are many people working on the front lines and behind the scenes for the success of its customers and for JM. So, we are taking time to highlight each team member; and up next is Stephanie Effken.

Stephanie has been with JM for 9.5 years and is JM’s third longest-running employee, after JM’s CEO Jonathan and his wife Megan. Stephanie started as JM’s Account Manager, transitioned into project management, then returned to account management after passing the PM job off to her husband, and is now the Brand and Marketing Coordinator. Here’s more about Stephanie…

Stephanie Effken, JM Branding & Marketing Coordinator

 

In Her Career

How do you balance your career at JM and family?

Jonathan has made it very easy for me to be a mom and wife first, and an employee of JM second. Because of the flexibility I have been afforded through JM I have been able to transition to a part-time position to raise my two kids, and serve JM in various capacities during naps and evenings.

How has JM helped you in your career development?

JM gave me a shot 9.5 years ago! I previously worked as a reporter for a small town paper as my first job out of college. My husband and I moved to Omaha and I applied for (what seemed like) 50 jobs. I didn’t get any of them. I was waitressing and boldly asked an Omaha Chamber of Commerce employee who I was serving if I could send her my resume to pass out. It ended up at JM… and well, the rest is history.

I went from only being able to check my email and Facebook 9.5 years ago, to writing website specifications and physically building out WordPress websites. And because of JM’s devotion to me and my family, I will likely never work anywhere else.

What are 3 words to describe JM?

Honest, Family-Focused (yeah, I know that’s 2 words) and Innovative

What do you find the most challenging at JM?

I’ve worked remotely from Denver, CO, for the last 7 years so I find it challenging to keep up with personal relationships. I wish we could come and visit the office more often, but in the season of small children, it’s really difficult to travel too much.

What has been your favorite project at JM?

About 8 years ago we built and launched the Cupcake Island website while I was account manager. It was super fun to oversee the photography and creative vision for the website… and eat all the cupcakes, of course.

What is your favorite part about working for JM?

My co-workers. We’ve grown a lot over the last 1.5 years, but the team we have is extremely solid. They are dedicated and work VERY hard… often working on their own time to continue their education to serve JM’s customers better. These are the kind of people you want to work with. And, of course, Jonathan and Megan have loved my family very well. They work and sacrifice for the good of the JM team and I have personally witnessed their devotion over the last 9.5 years. It’s incredible.

On a Personal Note

Are you messy or organized?

I’m an organized mess… like my desktop…

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog?

I love to listen to NPR because I don’t really have time to read the news.

I like reading Neil Patel’s blog about content marketing.

Against All Grain is my current go-to food blog.

RisenMotherhood has been a great blog and podcast for me, in the midst of raising littles.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

Jen Wilkin, because she is brilliant. But only for a day, because she lives in Texas and I don’t like Texas.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

A lactation consultant, visiting new mamas and their babies.

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

Phone, a way to change my phone with solar energy and a water bottle with filter.

What does true leadership mean to you?

A person who sacrifices for the good of the team.

What is an ability you wish you had?

I wish I could better understand technical documentation. I am highly social and it’s really difficult for me to have the attention to read technical stuff and for my brain to comprehend it.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

City O’City in Denver. It’s a crazy vegan hipster place with fabulous cocktails, the BEST seitan buffalo wings and an awesome vibe. And no, I am not vegan or a hipster.

You’re happiest when?

It’s Friday night, my kids are in bed, I have a cocktail in my hand and my hubs by my side.

Meet Carl Jacob, JM’s Tech Support Specialist

JM’s newest team member is Carl Jacob, Tech Support Specialist. From over-the-phone troubleshooting to back-end server builds, Carl keep JM’s internal team and JM’s clients’ websites and email running smoothly.

Carl Jacob Working at His Desk

As a Tech Support Specialist, Carl works within a growing department at JM where consistent growth and continuing education on technologies and strategies is necessary to provide the best service possible. Carl loves the challenges and growth available in the department, and works closely with JM’s Server Admin to best servre JM’s customers.

Carl was born and raised in Omaha. Outside of work, Carl enjoys reading, video gaming and PC hardware/upgrading (clearly a great hobby for a tech support specialist).

TemplateMonster Features JM as Top Affiliate

We are honored and thrilled to be named as one of TemplateMonster’s top-performing affiliate partners. As an affiliate partner, we work in cooperation with TemplateMonster to provide pre-built WordPress templates to our customers for affordable, easy to manage and beautiful websites.

TemplateMonster interviewed JM’s CEO Jonathan Patton to discuss our success in using its templates. The web design industry has changed many times over JM’s 20 years in business. And while JM still designs and develops beautiful custom websites, the market has shifted to using more templates. Using a pre-built WordPress template allows us to give our clients a robust and customizable CMS. By modifying the design, JM can provide a branded web design that can grow with you. And with expert guidance and a professional web designer’s touch, our websites are a beautiful and long-lasting marketing piece for our customers.

TemplateMonster has provided a platform for us to best serve our customers and the Omaha market. We’re grateful for this shout-out! Read Jonathan’s interview and checkout TemplateMonster’s WordPress templates to see if we might be able to help you upgrade your website with a pre-built WordPress template.

Employee Spotlight: Lindsey Adams

JM’s team works together for the WHOLE online presence of our clients. And while our web design, web development, web marketing and web hosting teams are on the forefront, JM has many behind the scenes faces that help run the day-to-day and internal operations.

We are taking time to highlight each team member at JM; and next up is Lindsey, JM’s Finance Director.

Lindsey brings to JM extensive QuickBooks knowledge and a strong background in mathematics. Since coming onto the JM team, Lindsey has streamlined our invoicing and internal processes, making our lives MUCH easier. Lindsey brings sincerity to our office and a witty sense of humor. Here’s a bit more about Lindsey…

Lindsey Adams and Family

In Her Career

How do you balance your career at JM and family?

JM has always been committed to families. I am part-time most of the time, and my family loves that I love my job and can flex around needs with my hours and working from home. If Mommy is happy, everybody is happy!

How has JM helped you in your career development?

JM has offered me continual personal and career growth with educational opportunities, challenges, projects, transitions and goals. We build each other up, and we hold each other accountable!

What are 3 words to describe JM?

THE BOMB DIGGITY.

What do you find the most challenging at JM?

Honestly, the transition from working only from home last year to working at the office two days per week on team days was a challenge because I wasn’t used to the simultaneous conversations, both in-person and on the phone, going on around me. Now I am very skilled at being in the zone at my desk in my corner and popping my head up for the frequent office fun that comes up.

What has been your favorite project at JM?

In the next few years, I would love to add a minor or another major to my college goals in order to be able to serve JM in a higher capacity.

What is the favorite part about working for JM?

This is a difficult question to answer. (I hope my boss isn’t reading this…) My favorite part of JM is my boss, his wife (who used to do my job and still works for JM), and our awesome  dream team of employees I get to work with every day. It’s easy to be completely dedicated in working with our positive team members under Boss’s leadership.

On a Personal Note

Are you messy or organized?

Organized!

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog?

Well, here’s the thing:  I don’t really read the newspaper or blogs—I actually don’t even watch the news. However, I do look up a lot of recipes on WellnessMama.com. For actual reading, I read mystery/thriller novels. Confession: I’m currently making my way through my grandmother’s Reader’s Digest Condensed Novels volumes my parents gave me last year.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

It’s too much work to try to be someone I’m not, so I’d just stay me

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

Detective!

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

My husbands and my girls. However, if they couldn’t come, I would bring a tent, a water filtration system, and some seeds for hardy, edible foods. If one of those items was not available, I would substitute a book or my cross-stitching to keep me sane.

What does true leadership mean to you?

When you don’t have to look for it, then you know it’s truly there.

What is an ability you wish you had?

I wish I could learn ballet as an untrained adult.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

My bed. I know, it’s not healthy sleep hygiene, but I just sometimes want to read and snack in the most comfortable place in the house.

You’re happiest when?

I am happiest when my house/office is clean and organized (A.K.A.- when my OCD tendencies are appeased).

Employee Spotlight: Alex Scheideler, Business Development Manager

JM is made up of individual professionals who work together for the WHOLE online presence of our clients. With specialists in web design, web development, ecommerce solutions, web marketing, SEO, web hosting and customer support, our individual expertise allows us to successfully build and market a website for any industry.

We are taking time to highlight each team member at JM; and next up is Alex, JM’s business development manager.

Alex started as an account manager, learning the core processes and services of JM. Alex’s personality, motivation and foundational understanding of the industry made him a clear fit for a sales position. Alex is a key member of JM’s team – wowing prospects with top-notch follow up, setting up realistic expectations for customers and bringing in many new web design and web marketing customers. So, here’s a little about Alex…

 

In His Career

How do you balance your career at JM and family?

It sounds a little corny but everyone that works at JM with me is a friend of mine in one capacity or another, and we really are like a small little family. Time at work, though very busy and at times stressful, is comfortable because of the fantastic dynamic that we have with one another. Our CEO, Jonathan, also does a fantastic job of always making sure that if any of us have an important family function, emergency, or just need time off work, he makes it happen. Flexible scheduling and great communication are key. The best career and family life balance I have ever had in my life I have found with my extended family at JM.

How has JM helped you in your career development?

JM has been fantastic as far as career development is concerned. There is always something new to learn, and after about two years with the company I still learn something new each week. Because I am constantly learning new things, I am constantly developing skills which make me able to help other positions. I feel more and more valuable as an employee as time passes because of this. My new skills that I learn here also open new doors. I started with the company as an Account Manager, a position which I loved, but had the opportunity to begin working in business development and sales and found my true calling in this role. I wouldn’t be as good at my job as I am, if it had not been for everything I had learned in my role as an Account Manager the first year with the company.

 

What are 3 words to describe JM?

  • Authentic
  • Reliable
  • Diligent

 

What do you find the most challenging at JM?

The most challenging thing at JM is when we have clients that don’t have much of a technology background, or online marketing experience. Bridging the gap between what we are saying and what they are hearing, as many technical terms sounds like a different language. Luckily for us, we have 20 years of experience and have became very proficient at explaining complex ideas to clients in ways that not only do they understand but they soak up and can speak on later. We strive to educate, and it works very well in our favor and the clients love it.

 

What has been your favorite project at JM?

My favorite project at JM so far has been Storm Aeronautics: http://www.stormaeronautics.com/

I was an account manager at the time and I worked with a great team, and had a great client contact and we had amazing communication, and he was one of those clients that had some specific ideas he wanted, but also gave us creative control over the website and it was a perfect balance, super fun to build, and my personal favorite.

 

What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with JM?

Continue to work in my position, help JM to grow into a larger company that can handle more and more projects but not lose that small business feel, that when our clients call in we still know them by their first name. I would love to continue to grow with the company into a managerial role one day and keep JM alive and providing the same amazing services we do today.

 

What is the favorite part about working for JM?

My favorite part of working for JM is the team we have. We have such a fun, diverse group of individuals, that all bring their own unique, quirky, and brilliant personalities and talents to the team. We are very good at what we do, but aside from that, everyone who works here is a genuinely good person.

 

On a Personal Note

Are you messy or organized?

Organized.

 

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog?

https://www.jmwebdesigns.com/blog/

 

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

My wife. Just once I would like to always be right, if only for a day.

 

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

I would love to be a character at Walt Disney World. Just run around and make kids’ days. That would be super fun and memorable.

 

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

  • VHS of Home Alone
  • Tub of Vanilla Ice Cream
  • A Business Card

 

What does true leadership mean to you?

The true function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not followers. A leader is a person you will follow to a place you would not go by yourself.

 

What is an ability you wish you had?

Pick winning lottery numbers.

 

Where is your favorite place to eat?

The kitchen table at my mom and dad’s house, eating anything my mother has made.

 

You’re happiest when…?

It’s the holidays, surrounded by friends and family. Followed closely by 8:30pm – 10:00pm, snuggled in bed with my wife and dog, watching forensic files.

Website Content Consultation Offer

content is king graphicPerhaps it’s been a while since you’ve evaluated your website’s content. Or perhaps it’s been a while (if ever) since you’ve looked at your Google Analytics to evaluate how your website content is performing.

You’ve likely heard the phrase “content is king.” From text and images, to web page titles, to H1 tags, to general call-to-action placement, website content matters to the search engines and it matters to potential customers. As a marketing tool with the intention of bringing in business, website content should be evaluated again and again so that your website keeps working for you – bringing in leads, making sales and building credibility.

What is website content?

Website content is more than just text and photos on a website “About” page. Some examples of website content that should be evaluated for success includes:

  • Clear, concise, keyword-rich text on all pages
  • Strategically selected keywords and keyword phrases
  • Optimized web page titles and H1 tags
  • Clear calls to action
  • Strategic landing pages for AdWords/social campaigns

Websites are meant to be investments for increased prospects and increased sales. Let us help you with that.

Increase website success

Did you know JM has a team of experts who work in-house to analyze data, build out web marketing and SEO campaigns, and monitor the results? We provide monthly reports and advice to our web marketing clients, so they can tweak their website content for better results.

For the month of April we are offering a one-time website content consultation for $100. Our web marketing team will analyze your analytics report and Google Search Console data and offer you advice on how to improve your website content to reach your goals.

One hour, $100… and you’ll leave with action steps that YOU can take to improve your website content and website performance.

Call 402.292.7500 ext 115 to schedule a one-hour consultation or send us an email.

Tips for Preserving SEO Value: Monitor Post-Launch

We’ve been taking the last several weeks to discuss critical steps when designing and building a website for a successful launch – so organic search engine rankings don’t take a hit and maybe even improve! You can read about these SEO tips in our posts on 301 redirects and website content. But what happens after launch?

A website should never sit stagnant. It should always be evaluated, refined and updated to satisfy your industry as it changes, your customers and the search engines. Monitoring organic rankings, traffic and Google Search Console in the months and years after a new website launch will help develop short and long-term strategies for improvement.

Monitor Rankings and Traffic

Google analytics admin

With a new website launch, you can expect fluctuation in both rankings and organic traffic. Ideally, within one month you should hit a baseline. By monitoring Google Analytics closely in the weeks post-launch, you should be able to identify problems and solve them quickly. Larger sites can take more time for a recrawl.

And while it’s impossible to rank and track every keyword that goes into driving traffic to your website, monitoring organic traffic will provide data on what keywords are performing best, what pages are out-performing/under-performing and what updates need to be made for improvements.

Use Google Search Console

google search console admin area

Google Search Console is a diagnostic space, provided as a free resource from Google. As with all Google products, Search Console keeps improving and providing more data for your benefit. All you need to do is know about to interpret the data. You can track your 301s and 404s here to ensure your strategies are working; and information covering clicks, impressions, CTR and average position are all critical for a long-term SEO strategy.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

As with anything, you’ll likely want to weigh the options of a DIY approach or hiring a professional Omaha web design and SEO team. From the initial stages of website design, to the content building and population, to the post-launch monitoring – do you honestly have time to do it yourself? DIY is always an option, and in some cases the only option. But considering the information we’ve reviewed in the last four posts relating to preserving SEO with a new website launch – it seems that the failure of a botched launch could cost a lot of money down the road.

If you have the time and skills to prepare your new website for a successful launch by analyzing old data, evaluating SEO strategy, implementing redirects, refining website content and monitoring data post-launch, then DIY is definitely a viable option for you. But, if you do not have the time, skills or know-how to complete all the needed tasks for a successful website launch, then hiring an experienced Omaha web design and SEO team is worth its weight in gold!

 

 

New Website Launch: Restoration Now

Restoration Now of Omaha initially came to our SEO and web marketing team for our SEO and Pay-Per-Click marketing. After months of analyzing its web marketing campaigns and reviewing the data, Restoration Now has a new website design to assist in its marketing efforts.

The new website is built on a WordPress CMS, which gives us access to many robust plugins, including ones for SEO. With quality content, applicable H1s and a commitment in keeping his website blog updated through our monthly SEO service, Restoration Now’s new website is well poised for SEO and PPC efforts.

We’re thankful that Restoration Now continues to trust our guidance and expertise, and we look forward to continually analyzing data and refining the website for its success!

Visit Restoration Now’s New Website

 

Restoration Now new website homepage screenshot

JM Rolls Out New Bus Advertisement in Omaha-Metro

Omaha bus ad for JM Web Designs

 

If you’ve spent much time driving around the Omaha-metro this last year, you’ve likely seen JM advertisements wrapped on the back of a couple Omaha transit buses. After a successful effort in 2017, our Omaha web design and web marketing team is continuing down the route of more traditional branding, adding another bus advertisement to our fleet. This time, we wrapped a half a bus.

Bus advertising offers us a high impact and affordable method of branding. With a positive response from current customers and prospects, it’s clear that our mobile advertisements are helping to keep JM top-of-mind in Omaha. Additionally, advertising on an Omaha-metro bus ensures that we are promoting environmental responsibility and community improvement efforts. Public transportation reduces traffic, promotes individual health (walking to a bus stop), provides access to education and health care, reduces pollution, and increases public safety. Our advertising dollars also help go toward public improvements and to upkeep the roads we all use every day.

Our Omaha web design and web marketing team values supporting local, Omaha efforts that benefit the entire community, and we’re excited to see the results of our new bus advertisement.

If you see our bus ads rolling around the Omaha-metro, be sure to snap a photo and post to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #JMonWheels.

 

Preserving SEO Value: Website Content

graphic showing all the moving parts of seo services

Launching a new website is exciting… and there are many critical steps to be taken pre-launch to carry over organic rankings from a current website. Because lost organic search rankings and decreased traffic is NOT exciting. This post is the third in a series about preserving SEO value when launching a new website. A website should not only keep its rankings in Google, Bing and other search engines with a new website launch, but it should also incorporate new SEO opportunities – which were either not utilized in a previous website build, or not yet known.

Website content is so much more than just content on a page. Website content, in this context, includes text, images, new pages, H1 tags and webpage titles. All these items working together (along with countless other criteria) help Google rank a website.

A website that’s been around for years has been ranked according to it’s content. And depending on the website, this could either be a great opportunity to implement quality content on each page, tag each image appropriately and properly title the webpages… or a devastating botched SEO effort with lost rankings.

The Data Doesn’t Lie

screenshot of Google Analytics pageview data

Good decisions can only be made by looking at data. If a website has little-to-no content, H1’s have never been optimized and images are not tagged… it’s fairly safe to say there’s a lot of room for improvement in a new website launch. However, if you’ve worked hard over the years to create good quality content packed with keywords, optimized each page with relevant H1 tags and properly tagged each image in an extensive gallery the data can tell us how to move forward with preserving work that’s already been done.

By sifting through analytics for bounce rates, total traffic, organic rankings, keywords and several other items, we can determine if your current strategy is successful or where it can be improved.

Room for Improvement

If there is room for improvement with the designing and launching of a new website, there are a few thing our Omaha web design and web marketing team would recommend implementing prior to launch.

  • Clear, concise, keyword-rich text on all pages
  • Strategically selected keywords and keyword phrases
  • Optimized web page titles and H1 tags
  • Clear calls to action
  • Strategic landing pages for AdWords/social campaigns

To be clear, building a strong presence in the search engines does not happen overnight. Implementing even just a couple of the items above is a step in the right direction and can contribute to a long-term strategy.

Carrying Over Success

If, upon evaluating the data, it seem that your current website is performing well in the search engines then it’s best to keep things as similar as possible on the new website – URLs in particular. If you can keep the URL structure and page names the same, it’s ideal. Any changes should be done strategically and for the greater good of website performance, and not just done for the heck of it. Also, where you have page content that currently performs well you’ll want little, or no, changes. There will be plenty of opportunities to tweak the content post-launch, after it is indexed and ranked. This includes well tagged images.

And as for carrying over webpage titles, H1 tags and META descriptions, your old site may allow you to easily export all the key on-page elements to import into the new website. By keeping these items the same, it offers the same benefit as keeping the web content on the page similar. You can always go back post-launch and make updates as-needed, but avoiding a severe loss in SEO ranking is more important than making any major shifts in webpage titles or H1’s before launching a new website.

 

So the bottom line: when it comes to webpage content, H1 tags, page titles, page names, etc., if your current website is performing well make little-to-no updates until after launch. This is less work on your plate up-front, and will give you a chance to evaluate the performance of your new website’s design and layout before considering how to update the text on each page.