Having a website is no longer optional.
Of course, choosing to invest in one is still up to you. But if a searchable online platform is your intent, a website is the obvious choice.
A website is crucial in attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. As the central hub of your business, it can help you:
But you’ll need a good website and web host provider for all these incredible benefits to come true.
Your web hosting provider determines your website’s performance. So be sure to choose a company you trust.
This article explores 8 key features of the best Canadian web hosting companies.
If you’re searching for a hosting provider for your website, consider these factors first!
Site speed, or load time, is one of the vital components of a successful website.
When a visitor lands on your site, you have under two seconds for your page to load. Any more than that, you risk a higher bounce rate or lower SERP (search engine results page) ranking.
Why is this?
If a searcher navigates away from your site quickly, Google’s algorithm takes this as a signal. It could mean the visitor didn't find what they were looking for or it was uninteresting.
If this happens often, Google could rank your site lower on the results page.
Another reason site speed affects your site's success is your searcher’s expectations.
People’s attention spans have drastically decreased. At the same time, their expectations for immediate gratification have increased.
According to a study by Neil Patel, “47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less”.
The study also states that “40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load”.
In other words, the world is in a hurry.
If you slow it down, you lose the game!
After all, the purpose of the Internet is to provide instant information. If that information doesn’t immediately load on one site, there’s a high chance that it will on another site.
Increasing your site speed can help keep people on your site longer.
That’s why this is one of the most crucial factors to consider when searching for a web host provider!
A good hosting provider ensures a competitive site sped across all your pages.
A built-in customer support system in your hosting package is a necessity.
You never know when a problem will arise or how serious it will be. It could be a minor technical glitch or a more complicated programming issue.
Reliable customer support means that there’s already a team working on a solution.
This ensures your site's problems receive faster and more effective solutions. This, in turn, increases site uptime and reliability.
There are many different forms of customer support, including:
What matters most is that your support team is knowledgeable and timely.
Strong security is a must for any website. But it is even more crucial if your site collects and/or stores personal data.
Secure web hosting protects your site from cyber threats and ensures your servers run 24/7.
Storage space, or disk space, refers to how much content your site can hold.
Storage space holds both public and behind-the-scenes data.
Examples of public information:
Examples of behind-the-scenes information:
When choosing and setting up your hosting provider, be sure you have enough storage space. It should be enough to hold both current and new content - so make sure you have lots of space to work with!
Is it your intent to grow your online audience, increase web traffic and up your sales? If so, then invest in a hosting company with higher bandwidth.
The more bandwidth your site has, the faster it can deliver content during peak traffic times.
This ensures each visitor has the same fast browsing experience - regardless of how full your site is!
Most hosting companies offer maintenance and upkeep as part of their hosting package.
This includes routine maintenance like renewing your domain name, SSL certificate and hosting. It also includes things like CMS updates, security patches and system updates.
Your hosting provider should always perform proactive maintenance and updates. This ensures your website operates effectively and efficiently.
Do you plan to offer online shopping on your website? If so, you’ll need to find a hosting provider that offers e-commerce.
E-commerce, or “electronic commerce”, is a method of buying and selling on the Internet. Many hosting providers offer this design and functionality feature alongside a web design package.
As you're searching for a web host provider, look for one that offers email hosting for your website’s primary email.
This professional email hosting service links your website domain with your email address. This reinforces the connection between your website and email.
This results in a more professional and trustworthy means of communication.
Looking for a local and reliable web hosting provider in Ontario? You’ve found it!
Our OSM team has offered web design, management and hosting services since 1997.
We feel honoured to work with such incredible companies in our community over the last 25 years.
We’ve built incredible websites and even more incredible relationships over the years. And we look forward to continuing to support our local businesses in Ontario for many years to come!
To learn more about our hosting services, call (613) 969-2626 or visit us online.
Investing in a website for your business is a must in 2023. But investing in a CUSTOM website design company? That value is unmatched!
Picture your physical office location:
How much effort do you put into designing your office, entrance, landscaping, lobby, etc.?
If you’re like most business owners, you’ve invested a good chunk of the budget in your office design.
And you weren’t wrong to do so!
After all, your office location is many things:
Unsurprisingly, investing in the design of your company’s central location has a high ROI (return on investment) potential.
And, you guessed it, the same goes for your website!
That’s why business owners invest in their office design - to ensure their central business location is professional, comfortable and approachable.
Keep reading to discover how valuable a custom website design is for your business.
Visitors form a first impression of your website design in 50 milliseconds.
That’s just 0.05 seconds!
This means in under 1 second, your website visitor has already created a mental image of your brand.
Whether that’s a good image or bad, it’s there to stay!
That’s how powerful a first impression is. It can cause visitors to stay on your page or leave it for a competitor’s site.
Good web design is crucial in catching visitors’ attention and keeping it.
That’s why a custom website design company skillfully implements:
Consistent branding can increase your revenue by up to 23%!
Consistency is the key to making your brand both professional and recognizable.
Think of a well-known, easily-recognizable brand like No Frills.
You can spot a No Frills from miles away by just a few key factors:
You expect to see large block font, a bright yellow building, and a bunch of bananas!
These brand elements are what makes No Frills so familiar to us. They make it easy to find and recognize.
But more than that, these elements help nurture customer trust and loyalty.
Customers know what to expect when they walk into a No Frills. They’ve come to depend on the familiarity of the environment.
Creating a consistent and easily recognizable brand is crucial in establishing trust.
That’s where a custom website design company comes in!
A professional web designer creates a consistent design throughout your entire website. This ensures a cohesive experience for your visitors - no matter what page they’re on!
75% Of users judge a company’s credibility based solely on its visual design.
Good visual design helps increase brand credibility.
For example, imagine if a website had a poor design, difficult navigation and unreadable fonts. You would, most likely, deem that site unprofessional. It may even bring you to question its legitimacy.
A good website design company knows how vital credibility is to your brand. They work to create a platform that not only reflects your brand well but encourages its viewers to trust it.
Before purchasing, 70-80% of consumers research a company online.
It goes without saying that your website should be optimized for web searching. How else are people going to land on your page?
A searchable site needs to meet specific SEO (search engine optimization) standards.
For example, code, content and design all affect the searchability and ranking of your site. Ensuring these elements meet the necessary standards helps search engines crawl and index your pages.
This means that when looking for a good custom website design company, you need to ensure that it
If your website content and layout are unattractive, about 38% of people stop engaging.
High web traffic is a great start. But traffic that converts is even better!
To bring people to your website and keep them there, you’ll need to invest in some bounce-rate-reducing factors:
Your custom website design company checks off each of these criteria!
All the above elements combined create a quality website with a high potential to
At OSM, we’re pleased to offer a full suite of web design services! We offer everything you need to ensure your site is search-engine friendly and built for high conversion rates.
Our web designers have ample experience working with a variety of industries. We’ve worked with landscapers, family care centres, community events, HVAC companies and more!
We understand how essential it is to create a website that’s unique, customer-driven and visually stunning. And we’ll do everything it takes to get your website there!
Our designers meet with you to discuss your vision and identify your goals. Then they’ll work their magic!
Ready to start your project?
Give us a call at 613-969-0626 or browse our web design packages online!
Copywriting is quickly becoming one of the most powerful web-boosting tools.
Suffice it to say, it’s well worth the investment!
Interested in learning more about how copywriting services can benefit your business? Keep reading!
Words hold incredible power, potential and opportunity. They can influence, persuade, warn, prompt and call to action!
But more than that, they can also affect feelings and emotions.
Kind words can help foster camaraderie and friendship. “Hey! I loved your presentation today. You’re a great public speaker!”
Harsh words can easily tear down and destroy a relationship. "You're the worst friend!"
Emotionally charged words can even bring a person to tears! It’s one of the reasons why films like the Titanic became such classics. “I’ll never let go, Jack!”
The Notebook is also a great example of this! Have you heard this famous Nicholas Sparks quote?
“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough...”
Pretty gut-wrenching stuff, right?
It’s incredible how words can influence our emotions in the moment and stay with us for days or years to come!
They are so powerful, in fact, that marketers use words to help structure their marketing campaigns. AKA copywriting!
Here are some examples:
Have you ever felt that urgent need to pick up your phone during a radio ad? “Be caller number 1 to win lunch for your whole team!”
Have you ever clicked “show more” on an Instagram post that got you hooked in the first 4 words? “Don’t read the caption👇👀”
That right there is the power behind good copywriting. And it’s yours for the taking!
Today, consumers look for relationships, answers, knowledge and trust.
They look for solutions to the problems they face. They look for brands that they can trust to be up-front and honest with them.
But above all, they long for connection!
Because according to a recent article by Business News Daily, “consumers show similar emotions in relationships in brands as they do with other humans”.
In other words, consumers personify brands.
They build a relationship with that brand, just as they would a human - with trust, conversation, experience, etc.
This is where copywriting and good copywriting can differ.
Copywriting can easily come across as fake, fluffy nonsense that’s only purpose is to make a quick sale.
Good copywriting conveys your message clearly, uniquely and effectively. But, first and foremost, it’s relationship-driven - one of the most crucial factors of a successful brand in 2023.
Click here for our Top 5 Content Writing Tips!
The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving. But the one thing that’s become clear is the need for quality content.
Let’s be honest. With the internet at their fingertips, consumers don’t need to go far to find a great product.
But how do you ensure that customers find and choose your product over the masses?
By using your newfound power of words!
Whether it’s a blog, landing page, social media post or Facebook ad, your content should,
a) Capture the heart of your audience,
b) Show them the truth of who you are.
Click here for 7 Reasons To Start a Blog in 2023!
According to a Microsoft 2015 report, you have 8 seconds to capture your audience’s attention.
While it’s a little sad to admit, apparently our human attention spans have shrunk to that of a goldfish. If not shorter!
So when we say it’s imperative to get your audience’s attention fast, we mean it!
Thankfully, good copywriting gives you the power to do just that!
But to catch their attention, you'll need to do your research.
Target Audience Questions:
These questions enhance your content approach - ensuring it effectively reaches your audience.
This is an age-old message you've probably heard since you were three. But the truth of the statement stands the test of time.
There is incredible value in simply being ourselves, staying true to who we are and standing firm in our beliefs.
But have you ever used that same mentality in your brand messaging?
Your brand is a part of you. And with good copywriting, your brand voice can become an extension of the powerful voice you bring to the world!
As mentioned above, humans personify brands. And while this is helpful knowledge, we can take it one step further.
We can personify our brand first!
Brand Personification Questions:
These questions take your brand to a whole new level!
Now that you’ve thought of your customer, you can begin the construction of your messaging.
First, you’ll want to consider the benefits and features of your product. How can you relate these benefits and features to what you know about your audience?
Using the knowledge you have of your audience to write clear and compelling messaging is the key!
When a customer searches for ‘headphones’, you need to strategically position your headphone brand as the #1 must-have.
But how do you do that?
Maybe your headphones have the “best all-around sound”. Communicate this to the customers looking for the best quality sound.
Maybe they’re easy to pack in a suitcase, making them “the perfect travelling buddy”. Communicate this to your avid travelling customers.
Maybe they’re packaged with 100% eco-friendly materials. Communicate this to your environmentally conscious customers.
Or maybe they’re the only headphones designed for sensitive ears. You guessed it…communicate this to your customers with these sensitivities!
Whatever the truth of your product is, good copywriting communicates the message loud and clear.
A good copywriter ensures your message is crystal clear and reaches your target audience effectively.
Ready to take your marketing efforts to the next level?
Contact our team today for professional copywriting services.
You can reach us at 613-969-0626 or contact us online!
You see Facebook ads all the time! For food delivery services, local retail stores, apps, restaurants, etc.
The list of companies using Facebook in their marketing strategies is endless!
But have you ever stopped to think about what would happen if you used Facebook ads for your small business?
The cool thing is, no matter how big or small your business is, Facebook ads offer incredible potential!
Explore OLG Slots at Georgian Downs when you travel to Innisfil.
Huge companies like Netflix have 86 million likes on their pages. And then there are small businesses, like yours and mine, which have about 500-1000!
Regardless of your business size, you have the potential for improved reach, high-quality leads, widespread brand recognition and more!
With Facebook’s micro-targeting, you can reach your niche audience with the right message at the right time!
Keep reading if you’re on the fence about adding a Facebook ads strategy.
OSM, your Facebook Advertising Agency, Quinte, share our complete Facebook ad guide below!
Digital marketing has come a long way since that first clickable banner ad in 1994. That first ad was part of the You Will campaign by AT&T.
44% of people who saw that ad actually clicked on it!
After that, the advertising world exploded! The potential to put your product in front of so many people worldwide was too good to pass up.
And here we are today, almost 20 years later, still engaging with the same general concept as that first banner ad.
But way better!
Today's technology has advanced so much that we can pinpoint who we want to see in our ads. We can specify where, how, when and why our ads get shown.
And the results are incredible!
You no longer have to filter through a giant list of prospects to find potential leads.
Your unique Facebook ad can reach the people who WANT to hear from you! Facebook filters for you, so you’re left with high-quality leads.
Interested? Who wouldn’t be?!
As a local Facebook advertising agency in Quinte, we’ve seen the success that Facebook ads can bring. And we’d love to see that same success happen for you!
Let’s dive into the specific benefits of Facebook ads!
So, here’s the real question…
As a small business, stability and growth are the keys to success.
Consistency in your clientele is vital to keep your business running smoothly. But a steady influx of quality leads to help your business grow is also crucial.
Facebook ads could be the solution for you!
This powerful web marketing tool offers unmatched brand awareness and exposure.
But we’re not going to say that Facebook ads are for everyone. Every business is unique and needs a marketing strategy that fits its specific needs.
As a small business, you don’t just want to throw a wide net out and catch whoever happens to fall in. You want to target specific individuals that already fit your niche audience.
For example, a 30-second Super Bowl commercial worth over $5 million can reach a HUGE audience. Last year (2022), it had around 99 million viewers!
Talk about a wide-net tactic!
You’ll notice, though, that the brands in these commercials have varying audiences. Brands like Budweiser, Uber Eats, General Motors and Lays have many target personas. That means a wide-net tactic could produce great results for them.
But for a small business with a smaller, specific niche audience? A Super Bowl commercial would most likely be a waste of money.
You need a platform that puts your product in front of the right people. The people who are already looking for you!
Is that you? If so, Congratulations!
You could be the perfect candidate for Facebook ads.
Ready to get started? Contact our team, your local Facebook advertising agency, Quinte!
Not quite ready for a Facebook ad? We can help!
At OSM, we offer digital marketing services that can help give your brand the boost it needs. We'll define your marketing strategy, clarify your messaging and help you get started!
If you’re planning your ad strategy, the next step is to learn how to get the most out of your Facebook ad(s).
As we mentioned before, you don’t want to reach just anyone. You want your unique audience!
And to do that, you’ll need to apply what you know about your audience and this platform to create something that,
a) Stands out from the sea of competitors vying for your audience’s attention, and
b) Compel them to take action on your ad!
Here are some tried and true ways to make your 2023 Facebook ad make a powerful impression:
If you've been engaging with your audience for a while, you probably already have a strong social media presence. Great! You know what makes your people tick.
Use that knowledge to write ad copy that’s unique to them.
We recommend high-resolution imagery (photos, graphics or videos) that compliments your ad copy. We also recommend using bright, contrasting colours that don’t clash with your branding.
Your headline should be short and to the point. You want your audience to immediately understand your ad and engage.
Your call to action button should encourage your audience to take the next step. Although this button isn’t customizable, there are tons of CTA options, each dependent on the type of ad you choose to run.
For example, if you run an Awareness ad, you’ll have CTA options like:
While if you have an Engagement ad, you’ll have different options like:
Learn more about Facebook Ad best practices through Meta!
Ready to get started with your first Facebook ad? Give us a call!
We’ll put your brand in front of the right people at the right time and the right place.
Book a marketing consultation online or contact us by phone at 613-969-0626.
We look forward to working with you!
The New Year is here - full of fresh starts and exciting opportunities!
Our team at OSM can’t wait to see what this year has in store - for both existing companies and new startups!
Will 2023 be the year you start your own small business?
If so, keep reading!
We wrote this article with emerging small businesses in mind - AKA you!
Because there’s no reason why you should be jumping into this exciting moment in your life alone.
And while you might not have the budget for in-house employees, there’s a cost-effective way to get the help you need!
Hiring a local digital marketing agency for startups gives you a competitive edge from the get-go! They can help you:
a) Create a strong foundation for your business.
b) Hit the ground running.
c) Scale, scale, scale!
A digital marketing team is your key to starting strong and staying strong!
Below are 7 benefits of hiring a digital marketing team as a new small business:
You’d be surprised at the cost of an in-house operation vs that of an agency.
Over time, the agency route typically costs much less!
First, you won’t have to hire a specific employee for each digital service you need.
These roles range anyway from content writers to SEO specialists! With many more between!
Hiring a marketing team means you get an all-in-one marketing wizard!
Secondly, you won’t have to pay for other costs associated with having full-time employees.
These extra expenses include payroll taxes, health care costs, salaries, benefits etc.
Thirdly, you won’t have to pay for costly subscriptions to essential marketing tools. Your digital marketing agency has these covered for you!
Agencies have professional tools to optimize and streamline their digital marketing services. These tools typically come with a costly one-time payment or subscription.
Since agencies use them for all their clients, they can sign up for cheaper package deals. This help lower their overhead costs - and yours!
Examples of these digital marketing tools include:
You’ll have to pay for these services alone if you do your marketing yourself. But if you hire an agency, a fraction of these costs is usually built into your plan!
Every business is unique. It has its own mission, vision, audience, niche etc.
Key differences set you apart, even if you sell similar products as your neighbour. This is your USP (unique selling point)!
Because your business is unique, your marketing strategy should also be. Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s a specifically curated plan that’s designed for your business alone.
When you hire a digital agency, they work with you to create a strategy that fits. This strategy is a realistic plan that intentionally caters to your business goals and budget.
Having someone in your corner is a huge asset as a brand-new small business. That could be a mentor, a coach, a fellow business owner, a consultant etc.
A digital marketing agency for startups provides you with an on-call marketing expert!
Helping businesses grow from the ground up is what they do every day.
An agency also brings a third-party perspective to your growing business. They provide fresh ideas and strategies from new marketing trends and past experience!
Digital marketing is constantly evolving. Social media algorithms, Google ranking metrics and ad targeting techniques are changing all the time in order to find new ways to keep their audience happy.
Google uses different ranking metrics to help show more accurate search results.
Two recent ranking metric updates include the Helpful Content Update and the Core Algorithm Update. Both were released this year!
These updates focus on quality web content. They help Google determine whether your site satisfies its visitors.
Your digital agency studies these updates to help you create rank-able content!
One of the main goals of a digital agency is to help you create and sustain a healthy online presence. This could be within your social channels, website, Google Business Listing etc.
Social media management services help set up, grow and enhance your social media platforms.
Web marketing services help grow your online reach, traffic and leads.
Google Business Listing services help optimize your local visibility.
Lastly, and one of the most valuable to business owners, is the time you get back when you hire an agency.
As a business owner, you wear a lot of hats. You’re the accountant, production manager, production team, sales associate etc.
Not to mention the entire marketing team!
If you ask us, that’s too many hats for one person to wear.
Your small business can quickly take centre stage in your life - monopolizing your time. But with a digital agency, you can spread out these roles to the team that always has your back!
Here are 5 signs that it’s time to hire a marketing agency.
Looking for a local digital marketing agency for startups in Quinte? We’ve been serving our Belleville community and beyond since 1997. And we’re excited to work with you!
Meet our OSM team! We are passionate and dedicated individuals - ready to take your business to the next step.
See more of our web marketing services on our website!
You can also message us online or call us at 613-969-0626 to speak with one of our team members!