Twinkling lights lining neighborhood porches, the smell of Douglas Fir pines, and those holiday sales on top of sales – yup, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. With the biggest shopping days of the entire year lining up, the holiday season is an important time for small businesses. And while you have your list and we are sure you are checking it twice, there are a few things to keep on your radar as the year draws to a close.

Improving Digital Experience
Creating mobile responsive web designs is old news, however, continuing to improve upon the digital experience is going to continue to be of importance. The dominant use of smartphones and other mobile devices have made things like download speed and website security more of a necessity. Technologies like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) will continue to make this area a hot trending topic.

People are Putting More Trust in People (and Brands) That They Know
With the consistent growth of social media and the overwhelming amount of information online, customers are putting more of their trust in both the people and the brands that they are familiar with. And in the age of ad blockers, gone are the days of traditional ads reaching their target audiences.

So what can you do to stand out against your competition?

The answer really is simple, build that trust and build it through creative marketing. From small business to large corporation and the new companies popping up in between, the secret ingredient to creating brand loyalty lies with the understanding that building trust is important. In the upcoming year, you are likely to see a rise in content marketing, influencer marketing, and referral partnerships along with social media marketing methods that provide actual value to the end user.

Helpfulness and Authenticity Versus Technology and Automation
Time leverage is everything when running a successful business, so it comes to no surprise that marketing automation and technology is going to advance to help us work smarter. And while we are all looking for ways to operate more efficiently, our consumer markets are looking for that personal touch. Finding that balance is going to be key to leveling your business above the competition in 2019!

As 2018 starts to wind down and you start prepping your marketing strategy for the new year, we suggest keeping these top trends in mind. Certain things might not be the best fit for your business but preparing for these up and coming marketing concepts could set you up for a great kick off heading into 2019! And if you are feeling overwhelmed with all these holiday to-dos or you are just not sure where to start, our Maui marketing team are here to help. Schedule a free consultation today and our experts can help map it all out!

After reading that title you’re probably wondering what a blog post and your Thanksgiving turkey could possibly have in common. Actually, properly roasting and tending to your turkey can be a lot like creating a great new and engaging blog that has guests showing up to joyfully consume your content. Follow these fun holiday themed tips to wine and dine, not only the search engines, but your blog visitors alike.

Fresh Free-Range Turkey
The turkey represents fresh content and the meat of the matter (pun intended). Search engines are always on the lookout for new and engaging content to provide their users. If your website blog can’t deliver, and you are basically offering dry old leftovers, nobody’s going to be interested in your stale content and you’re going to have a quiet and lonely Thanksgiving.

Organic, kosher, natural, heritage, pre-brined… What should you pick?
If you’re not sure what to write about, think about who your target audience is. Are there questions that you’re asked on a regular basis that you could post about? Go right to the source and ask your customers or clients want they would find interesting. Write how-to’s and tips. Think about interviewing someone in your field. What is your competition blogging about? There are tons of ideas out there to be found!

Size Matters
You better have enough turkey to go around! Readers and especially search engines prefer a meatier piece to make clicking through worth their while. The longer the better. At a minimum, 300 words is okay, but 500 is even better.

Longer blog posts will naturally be more detailed and better likely to answer the reader’s questions. This doesn’t mean you can’t feature shorter pieces or that you should ramble on to meet a word count. Just that, when you can, go for that large 24 lb. turkey.

Preparation
From removing the giblets, drying, and rubbing with butter… there is key preparation that needs to be taken into account. Same goes for putting your blog post together. Now that you have a topic, ask yourself, what is the purpose of the piece? What do you want your blog post to achieve? Gather all those great ideas in a clear and concise way to best get across your information. Come up with a structure that makes sense and has a good flow.

Seasoning
Be sure to salt and pepper in strategic keywords throughout the content. Having the right words represented is an essential element of search engine optimization (SEO). Without them, the failure to be found in the search results is assured. Think about using important keywords in headers and alt tags when it makes sense.

Baste That Bird
Just like a tasty turkey, you can’t rush a good blog post. You wouldn’t come home from the store and toss a turkey directly into the oven. If you push out a blog without basting you’re going to end up with dry and burnt information that no one will want to consume. Re-read it several times and see if you can get others to read it as well. You may find things to edit or add to make a good post even better.

Turkey Thermometer
Once your turkey, I mean blog post, is complete, you will want a way to gauge how it’s doing. Are people spending the time to read the post? Check your referrals for inbound links and your social metrics. Check your traffic to get an overall understanding of how popular a post is and whether it is gaining traction over time. If certain topics are not resonating with your audience, it’s likely an indication they aren’t as important to your audience as you thought.

Presentation
Garnish your blog with images or include a short video when you can. People are very visually stimulated! Be sure to include helpful links that support your blog post whether it’s a reputable source off site, or a companion piece within your own website.

But remember, presentation is not only about the garnish, it’s about putting your best face forward. Be yourself and relatable. Let your readers get to know you. Your content is what got them there, but your voice is what will keep them there, and have them coming back for more.

Time to Eat
Don’t let your delicious content go to waste! Be sure to tell everyone you know. Post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and anywhere else you can. Use social media to make it easier for your audience to find your blog. Friends and family count as readers too!

Leftovers
Who doesn’t love leftover turkey? In our family, you’ll find my mom in the kitchen the next day making the best turkey jook (pronounced “chook”) ever!! Which some would say, even overshadows the actual Thanksgiving Day meal… The same can be said with great past blog posts that had a lot of buzz at the time of posting. It can pay to check those stats, say a year out, and revisit them if their traction is dwindling. Perhaps do a spin-off. Same topic different bend.

Happy Thanksgiving to All
We here at Meyer Computer, Inc. want to say that we are all #SEOGreatful for our clients and followers – past, present and future. Aloha!

Many long time readers will no doubt recall MauiRealEstateDirectory.com as a premier source of information for those looking to buy, sell, and/or invest in the exciting real estate market on Maui. Over the years, the Maui Real Estate Directory mission has been to provide valuable information and insight on all aspects of the real estate market on the island of Maui in a consumer friendly, easily accessible format. For 2018 the Directory has received a number of upgrades in an effort to provide this information to a wider audience. Here is a look at some of the new and improved features of this valuable Hawaii real estate resource:

  • Mobile Friendly / Optimized Design
    The new MauiRealEstateDirectory.com has been re-built from the ground up with a modern user interface optimized for viewing on virtually any device. Try it on your phone, tablet, computer, or other device to see the difference at MauiRealEstateDirectory.com
  • Secure Connection (SSL/HTTPS)
    To help keep their users safe while complying with Google’s latest best practices, the Maui Real Estate Directory website is fully secure, as evidenced by the ever more common “Connection is Secure” icon in the address bar.
  • Enhanced Featured Maui Real Estate Agents and Maui Real Estate Brokers Pages
    Looking for a first home, second condo, or investment property on Maui but don’t know where to start? Visit the Featured Maui Real Estate Agents and Featured Maui Real Estate Brokers pages to discover the best real estate agents and agencies on the island. Compare information, visit their website(s), or contact them to discuss all your Maui real estate needs.
  • Maui Real Estate Resources
    Want a top architectural firm to design your new home? A construction firm to build it? Or maybe you want to finance a new home, or have one of your current properties appraised prior to putting it on the market? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then you should visit the Maui Real Estate Directory Resources section for an always expanding list of top firms and specialists on the island, ready to help you achieve your Maui real estate goals.
  • Market Trends
    One of the most popular sections on MauiRealEstateDirectory.com, Market Trends gives you the latest information on the state of real estate on Maui in a colorful, easy to read format. Published monthly by the Realtors Association of Maui, these real estate market reports are a great resource for consumers as well as for those in the industry.
  • Spotlight Blogs
    Saving the best for last: If you want up to the minute information on Maui’s real estate market and more, then take a long look at the Spotlight Blogs section. Featuring blogs from top Maui Realtors and brokerages, you will find a wealth of information ranging from current featured listings to upcoming events and items of interest in these articles. Come back to this section often as new blogs are added on a regular basis.

Want to find out more? Pop on over to MauiRealEstateDirectory.com and enjoy!

Shopping for a new website, some assistance in marketing your business online, or both? While there may be numerous options to choose from, there are also a number of considerations you will want to take to ensure you and your business receive the level of quality in service that you deserve. Here are a few things to consider:

Depth of Knowledge

Does your web professional know their stuff? Like really, really know their stuff? If you’re considering contracting someone to design your website, build your database, get you millions of followers on Instagram, provide customer service via Facebook, run your digital advertising initiatives, and make your brand #1 on Google, prepare for disappointment. Simply put, an effective web presence requires an effective team of experts doing what they do best to put your business in front of the eyes and ears of those who your business values the most: new, well targeted, customers. With the online landscape being an ever changing place, not only should you have a team in place to take care of your digital assets, but you want to be sure that they are qualified to do so. To assess their qualifications: ask them a few basic questions relating to web design, search engine optimization (SEO,) social media marketing, Google advertising, etc. Even better, schedule a meeting with our experts at Meyer Computer, Inc. and ask us how we can help your business grow online!

Marketing Strategy? What’s That?

Every business has a unique set of needs when it comes to marketing themselves online. While certain methods may work for some, they may completely fail when it comes to implementing them for others. When marketing your products, offerings, or services online, your chosen agency should be willing to meet with you to discuss a strategy tailored to the specific needs and goals of you and your business. If they instead attempt to offer you a “one size fits all” type of service, it’s time to move on and find an agency who will to work with you and your needs (i.e. the friendly, knowledgeable staff at Meyer Computer, Inc.!)

Seeing the Results

Now that you have your new website up and online marketing strategy in place, it’s time to take a look at tracking your progress, in the form of online analytics and reports. For example, marketing clients of Meyer Computer, Inc. have numerous reports available to them, many updated in real time, including:

  • Traffic Stats/Analytics Report
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Success Report
  • Social Media Activity Reports
  • Facebook Advertising Report

Ready, Willing and Available

Not only should your marketing agency be able to answer your questions during your initial consultation, but they should be available to answer any questions that may arise during your business relationship. Additionally, you should be able to meet (preferably face to face) with your agency to discuss current and future strategies, additions or updates of new marketing products/channels, current campaign performance, etc. at regular intervals. As we like to remind our clients, regular communication is essential to maintaining top performing marketing campaigns; so be sure to hire an agency that is aware of this very important fact.

Benefits to Hiring an Outside Marketing Agency

Marketing your business online is a full time job. From optimizing content, running and managing ads, analyzing traffic, to setting up and maintaining your social channels on a regular basis; marketing online can easily take a team of full time professionals to do properly. We are often asked for our thoughts on whether a company should hire someone to be their in house online marketer, or if they should contract an agency such as Meyer Computer, Inc. to help their business meet its potential online. As such, we have compiled a few items to consider prior to making a decision:

In House

  • Will your budget allow for having full-time employees dedicated to Internet Marketing? Salary ranges from $55,000/yr. for a beginner to well over $90,000/yr. a year for a marketing veteran. Not to mention the taxes and other expenses that come along with having additional employees.
  • In addition to budgeting for each new employee, remember that you will need to have a separate budget for buying ads online through Google, Facebook, etc. as well.
  • As mentioned earlier; online marketing, done properly, requires a healthy amount of knowledge, skills, and time commitment, as well as constant learning and adaptation to new methods, trends, tools, etc. Do your new hires understand all that their job entails?

Contracting an Agency

  • Prior to hiring an online marketing agency, meet with them to discuss the needs and goals of your business. You want to paint as clear a picture as possible of how you want your brand represented online, and what kind of growth you would like to see prior to hiring an agency for your marketing needs.
  • Discuss with the agency how their team members will best address your needs, what strategies they suggest be employed, etc.
  • Consider contacting other clients of theirs whom may be willing to give you feedback on their services.

Following these tips will help you make the decision which is best for your business.

If, after reading all this, you have more questions or would like to discuss how Meyer Computer, Inc. can help your business grow online: contact us today!

For decades, Akina Aloha Tours school and tour bus service has served visitors and residents on the island of Maui through a wide variety of transportation services for groups big or small. In early 2018, Akina Aloha Tours took the bold step of re-branding itself to their new name: Akina Tours & Transportation. This rather major name change brought about a need to revamp Akina’s entire lineup of promotional services; including a rather substantial web presence. That’s where the website and marketing experts at Meyer Computer, Inc. stepped in to help!

As the premier web and marketing provider of Akina Aloha Tours for many years, Akina Tours & Transportation asked us to assist them in transitioning the entirety of their web presence to their new company name as well as help in promoting a host of new and improved group tour and transportation services here in Maui, Hawaii. In a bid to maximize promotional efforts, Meyer Computer, Inc. created an entirely new customer-centric website for Akina Tours & Transportation, which has just launched!

Upon first entering the all new AkinaTours.com, customers are treated to an expansive selection of views from the island of Maui; starting with a high resolution intro video featuring Akina Tours & Transportation’s newest luxury mini-coach set against a backdrop of the lush green West Maui Mountains, and continuing with a vibrant slide show of some of Maui’s most enjoyable beaches. Once you have been awed by the initial splendor of Maui, scroll down to quickly “Get a Quote!” for group tour and transportation services, view a quick introduction to the Akina Tours & Transportation company, use the 4-up on-page quick menu to instantly view transportation service options, and discover the newest tours and latest happenings with Akina Tours & Transportation and the Island of Maui.

Delve deeper into the new AkinaTours.com and you will find everything you need to learn more about Akina Tours & Transportations tour and service offerings, reserve your group transportation, and much more! Some highlights:

  • High resolution photos detailing the many transportation options available.
  • 360 degree virtual tours of select passenger coaches.
  • Quick access to learn about and book transportation services for groups, weddings, corporate get together, and more.
  • Introduction to the new range of specialized tours being offered by Akina Tours & Transportation.
  • High definition tour video integration.
  • Custom “Build Your Own” tour informational page with quick “Get a Quote” booking prompts.
  • Integrated online direct booking of specialized tour options.
  • Easy access to custom quote and information forms throughout.
  • Convenient Search option at the top of every page.
  • Fully responsive/mobile optimized design.

As a premiere client, Akina Tours & Transportation also benefits from a wide gamut of internet marketing and optimization services offered by Meyer Computer, Inc. to increase client acquisition, direct bookings, top ranking in Google and other notable search engines, brand loyalty and recognition, community growth, current and prospective client engagement, and many other notable web metrics.

At Meyer Computer, Inc. we are proud to provide the knowledgeable owners and staff at Akina Tours & Transportation with web services that enhance their client relationships while helping to take their business to new heights (or, in Akina’s case, roads!) Mahalo!

Never before has the average customer had the power that they do now. From directions to groceries, we are living in a time where virtually anything can be made available with just our fingertips. And with advancements in social media as well as mobile technology, consumers are looking for something unique and they are readily voicing their opinions about what they find.

The bottom line is there are other companies that are competing for the same target market you are. They come with employees with similar skills and they offer similar products or services. And your targeted consumers are going to purchase from the company that provides exactly what they are looking for when they are searching for it. If you are facing difficulties standing out in an oversaturated market, then there might be an ingredient that you are missing.

Psst…trust is the secret ingredient to sales and ultimately brand loyalty.

When customers trust you, they are more likely to buy from you. It really is that simple but unfortunately creating the secret sauce isn’t. So how can you build trust and ultimately gain brand loyalty amongst your targeted market? With a strategic internet marketing plan of course!

While we would rather sit down with you to hash out the minor details, here are some of the more major things to keep in mind when mapping out your marketing strategy:

Share Authentic Stories
Storytelling is one of the best ways to attract as well as engage people. It is also a great way to let your audience know who you are. Once you have captured their attention, sharing your brand’s authentic story helps consumers gain a sense of comfort and might even prompt interaction. The goal here is to be relatable, be informative, and be real.

Be Consistent
On that same note, it is important to be consistent when it comes to sharing your business’s story. If your company highlights incredible quality or unmatched customer service, you want to make sure that your business actions reflect that. You don’t want to advertise that you are committed to your customers when messages or complaints are left unanswered…don’t be “that” guy.

And while your company message should remain consistent, you also want to ensure that your design is as well. From your social networks right down to your website, maintaining consistency in your image helps create the sense of familiarity you want prospective buyers to feel.

Be Personable
With advancements in tech, it is not uncommon to come across an automated message…or an inbox full. Everyone, more specifically your customers, wants to feel special so make sure you are adding a touch of personalization in everything you do. Whether it is signing your name off in marketing emails or responding to each comment on social media, be personable and make it a habit.

Let them know that real human beings are working behind the scenes by spotlighting an employee on your website with a photograph and short bio. When writing web content, consider the tone and style as a more down-to-earth, casual voice can make your brand feel a little more authentic. You could even use video to your advantage by posting interviews of your staff as well as customers, live-stream a creative process, or even create a “how to” instructional video!

Address and Resolve Complaints
The reason why social media is so popular is that everyone wants to feel heard. With that in mind, if someone is taking the time to let you (and the internet) know about their experience you want to make sure that you are addressing their complaints. People make mistakes and admitting our errors is what makes us human, so react to your consumer feedback using the appropriate channels.

Make sure to take the steps to apologize and remedy what you can. This demonstrates your genuine desire to add value to a buyer experience, rather than to simply sell your product.

Demonstrate Transparency
The less information that people have, the more room they have to guess or assume what the truth actually is. This can be a risky game in a world where almost anything can go viral before you can even come up with a story. So be honest and overshare with all parties involved, including your employees.

Feeling a little overwhelmed and not sure where to start? Get in touch! Our Maui marketing team is more than qualified to help you map out the best strategy for your business to build trust amongst your clientele.

So your sleek new Hawaii business website is complete and you’re ready to grow your organic, social media, online advertising and/or local search engine presence… finding the perfect Marketing and SEO company can be tough to find. You need to find a reputable company that is easy to work with, tailors their marketing campaign to your needs and that understands your business growth goals. That can be a tall order, but far from unattainable!

So should your Hawaii business go for that big mainland company or choose local? Consider some of the following benefits of island businesses using a local Hawaii SEO and Internet marketing company (like us!).

Who Knows You Better?

Whether you are on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, The Big Island, Lanai or Molokai — Our Hawaii Internet marketing company has done a great deal of research on where to get your business found in our local target market. Are most of your customers on the mainland? No problem! From directories, local blogs, citation listings, social media and paid advertising, our company knows the ins-and-outs of getting your Hawaii website the exposure it needs.

Understanding of Hawaii

If you choose a mainland company, how are they going to give any of your content copy, ads, profile write-ups, social media posts, etc. that aloha feel? When creating content for your business, choosing another Hawaii company has its advantages. Being local means we understand the subtle nuances and specific things unique to our region.

Dealing with island SEO references to local areas and all the Hawaiian words is another reason it’s best to stick with a Hawaii company. We know how to spell the words and we know when and when not to use things like the ‘okina or kahakō. What would a mainland company do with that?

Our Hawaii SEO marketing services can help you include important regional references in your marketing strategy, giving you a local edge.

Personalized Experience

Once we’ve done the initial meeting to lay out goals and expectations, it’s easy to build a good relationship of clear communication with our Hawaii web design and marketing company. You always know who you are going to talk to. That ability to call with any concerns you have makes you less stressed and feeling free to ask even the smallest of questions. Whether by phone, email or setting up a meeting that fits your schedule, we are here for you. You can even stop by our Maui office just to say aloha!

Working with larger mainland companies, they tend to have high turnover and you can be passed around. It can be more difficult to communicate overall with the time-zone issue, which makes asking those “quick” questions harder, and you’ve lost that personal touch.

Buy Local – Buy Hawaii

Not only does working with a local company benefit you, but it also benefits the local economy. As a locally owned business, we see that first-hand. Whenever we can, we make sure our money goes right back into purchasing local products and services which continues to strengthen our community. We are invested in Hawaii’s future and are honored to give back to our community.

Reputation

Working with other Hawaii businesses to build their online presence, our marketing company here on Maui takes our reputation very seriously. We know how coconut wireless works… Meyer Computer, Inc. has been going strong for over 20 years now. Over that time we have built up some wonderful island relationships and look forward to building many more.

Here we are right in the middle of April, the perfect season for not only spring cleaning your website but to check to see if your current marketing tactics are effective, reflects your small business, and can reach the goals you have laid out. Keeping on the pulse of current 2018 trends, we have a few traditional and digital marketing ideas for you to consider adopting to help your business grow this coming year.

Social Media
It is important to hang out where your customers are, so if you are not already – it is time to get social. Social networking platforms are a cost-effective way to share, communicate, and learn with your target market. It is important to keep in mind that some platforms work better than others depending on the business, but it is worth putting in the time to experiment where your best audience is. Those are not leveraging you to your goals eventually should get dropped.

Sidewalk Signs
A brick and mortar looking to get creative with your marketing? If your business is located on a street that gets a lot of foot traffic, put a sign out. It not only communicates a sale or new arrivals, but it brings a sudden attention to your store and draws in curious customers.

Local Media
For those of you looking to target your local community, your local media outlets might just be the best way to reach them. Press releases and building a relationship with local reporters are a great way to utilize this resource. Purchasing an advertising spot is another way to promote what you have going on; but if you have something unique and newsworthy to your business, a mention by your local media might bring about a bit of free publicity.

Marketing to Existing customers
If this isn’t already a practice in your marketing strategy, this is one we definitely recommend you adopt. Existing customers have already looked into your business and converted, so why wouldn’t you want to keep that relationship going? Create an email list and update them with inventory updates or upcoming deals. You could even start a customer referral program where you offer incentives for customers to introduce new customers to your business.

Website
In this day and age, if you have a business you should have a website. When a potential consumer does a web search for your business, they are more inclined to learn more about what you have to offer if they have a place to do so. There are a number of things that make a website effective; clear business information, accessible contact information, and a mobile-friendly design to name a few.

Spring is a wonderful chance to start fresh, so maybe it is time to start incorporating these ideas into your business’s marketing strategy. And if you are stuck with how to do so, our digital marketing team is equipped to make that transition simple.

April showers bring May flowers and spring cleaning is now upon us! Starting a new season is a wonderful opportunity for any business to declutter and start fresh. But before you grab the broom, we at Meyer Computer, Inc. have a few website and marketing housekeeping tips to keep in mind.

Check On Your Goals
Audit your marketing and web content. Make sure that your branding reflects your company’s mission as well as expertise, and that it is consistent across the board. If you have taken the business in a new direction this year, you definitely will want to ensure that your messaging moving forward is an accurate reflection of who you are and what you are trying to achieve.

And since you are checking content, this is a great chance to make checking for broken or outdated links into a habit. There is nothing more frustrating as a consumer than clicking on a link that ends up taking you to a 404 (Page Not Found). Plus, broken links can also decrease your credibility. So check your Google Analytics or give us a call to check if any URLs need to be updated.

Take Out The Trash
The best part of spring cleaning is getting organized and the big ol’ trashcan will be your best friend for this task. If you have added social media to your marketing strategy, now would be a great time to take a closer look at which accounts, if any, should get dropped. Not all social platforms serve your business or your target audience best and this is the perfect opportunity to reevaluate which networks are helping you reach your goals.

There also may be a project or initiative that had potential in leveraging your company but simply isn’t working, think about letting it go. While this may be a tough thing to do, giving up good ideas can possibly lead to greater ones.

Check On The Competition
As you are looking for ways to improve your business, why not take a look at what your competition has going on? If they are doing something new that appears to be working, it couldn’t hurt to try it out for yourself. This is also a great opportunity to see which sites are linking to their business and if that would be something that you can do as well.

Lastly, do some shopping. There is nothing worse than pulling your summer clothes from the depths of your closet only to find that it doesn’t quite fit the same. If your website or your marketing strategy is a little outdated, it might just be time to go shopping for new website designers and marketing professionals. Our team might just be the fit that you are looking for, schedule a free consultation today!

And for even easier sweeping, we have created a checklist below of everything we talked about:

  • Audit Marketing
  • Audit Website Content
  • Let Go of Media That Doesn’t Best Serve You
  • Let Go of Projects That No Longer Align
  • Check on The Competition
  • Sit Down With Meyer Computer, Inc.