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The Art of Instagramming

Instead of representing your company through articles, or even harder-- a 140 word snippet on Twitter, use pictures! Instagram is perfect for any business because it pushes your brand right to the forefront. You have complete control over the color scheme, layout, and content that creates the vision of your company. You decide what people see in their mind when they run across your business title in a conversation. Use these 3 main tips to give them something to talk about-- "did you see that new dress? It was so nice to be able to see the length on Instagram!" or "there is a new project coming out, I saw it on my feed this morning!" People talk about things they see on social media, so make sure they are talking about your latest post!

Instagram easily slips your company's marketing into the morning routine of anyone checking their phone. Plus their lunch break, after work, and before bed routines, too. With the right pictures, people will enjoy seeing your business posts pop on their feed just as much as seeing a picture of their neighbor's puppy, or all of the wedding announcements this season. No longer is there a separation between ads and what the viewer actually came to see, now it's all just part of the Instagram aesthetic. 

So how do you flawlessly mix in your business' photos with all of those personal posts, while also making them memorable?



1. Good Lighting

I cannot stress this enough, good lighting is the holy grail of Instagram-- everyone tries for it, and it has the special power to get anyone to double-click faster than possibly anything else. Of course what your pictures is of matters, but good lighting can make anything look good. Plan out your posts well so that you can take pictures in the best lighting. Natural light is best. For outdoor photos, the best time to take them is the hour after sunrise, or the hour before sunset. Referred to in the professional photography world as "the golden hours," this principle also applies to simple pictures taken on your smartphone! But don't worry, if your schedule doesn't allow for early morning picture taking, just make sure you find a room that has good bright natural light. Take advantage of the indirect light. Know your focus so that you can make sure the light directs the viewer's eye to the right place. Instagram users usually respond best to bright photos that utilize white space, color, and angle. Good lighting incorporates other photo quality needs-- such as, focus. Never post a blurry picture. Don't use filters that are too strong, unnatural, or obvious. Using natural light will eliminate the need for too much editing. All of these photo taking tips lead into an idea that will create continuity in your social media branding--


2. Decide Your Aesthetic Now

Before you post, decide what kind of look you are going for on your feed, and don't post if it doesn't match! On social media is it easy to want to post all of your material, but the powerful businesses are ones who have a very specific brand and stick to it. New customers will be viewing your feed all at once, on your Instagram profile. Make sure they find a set of pictures that look good together, and that give them a quick idea of what your brand is like. Having a predetermined style will help you when deciding what to post and what pictures to even take. Social media is how you reach the masses, and trust me, any soccer mom or college student can be just as picky as any critic when it comes to double clicking an Insta picture. Plan out your posts, be specific about your look, and hold your posting to a standard of excellence. Yes, even Instagram should be excellent in today's business world. As good as your sudden new idea might sound at 10pm, don't take a picture for it until the next day. Not only will the lighting be better, but it will give you a chance to make sure your post idea is up to your feed's standards. Trust me, I am the worst offender when it comes to late night Instagram ideas, but double checking before you post will help ensure a lighter, more engaging feed. Lastly, don't assume that your services or products only fit into a certain marketing mold. As an avid Instagram user, I have seen dog food advertisements that look just as pretty and engaging as ads for trips to Hawaii. No joke. And before I even realize what I am looking at, I've double-clicked and liked an ad that fit so seamlessly into my feed, I didn't even realize I was being advertised to right away.


3. Interact With Your Followers

Your account can get easily lost in the sea of other personal and business accounts, unless you remind your followers that you're there with more than just frequent posts. Commenting, liking, and following regularly is essentially saying "hey we are over here! We sell products that you need!" On my personal account I am often followed by small companies who can sense I would like their products, because they have checked out my feed and have a great idea of what I am interested in. Companies who follow me have turned me into an online shopping fanatic, because often I don't even have to go looking for them. Don't just get on your account to post pictures, make sure you are following similar businesses (know what your competition is up to) and especially follow people who fit your brand, because your products will fit their lifestyle or needs and they will support you with likes and purchases. Important tip: Let your followers know that you would love to see them tag your products in their personal pictures. It's like creating an army of brand ambassadors bragging about your business, and for free! For example, if you sell clothing, tell people to tag your account when they post their excited post about their new shirt! This gives people the source when they think, "ah where is that shirt from? I'd like to get it for myself!" One incentive to get this happening is to offer post features on your account! Pick the best pictures tagged with your products, and repost them on your business' feed. Now, if your business' services are not easily or often posted about by your customers, still let them know you are there by commenting on their posts and liking other pictures. But of course the best way to interact with your followers is to post regular, high-quality photos!

Instagramming doesn't need to take a lot of time. Create good posting habits so that it social media can become an easy, seamless marketing tool for your company! Being decisive and specific about what you post will bring in a large crowd of customers, people who know your brand and talk about it with their friends.


Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">viral</a> | Post Comment

The Anatomy of an Infographic

Infographics are one of the most effective ways to present information and make it go viral. That is possible thanks to our brain; it naturally prefers to see colors and shapes than a monotone black and white paragraph. So whatever you need to communicate, make it in a clear, creative and clutter-free way, you'll be able to teach your reader more because you have already captured their attention with compelling graphics and colors.

Keep in mind these tips next time you create an infographic, and you'll see higher engagement from your readers.

The anatomy of an infographic


1. Engaging your audience must be your goal. Data visualizations are one of the best received and shared content types.

2. Study your data and visualize it. (Start with a blank page) Think of colors and shapes, and then visualize your data in between them.

3. Keep the design simple. Choose a theme color, and keep it simple! Choose colors that compliment each other and make that no more than 3 colors total. Same thing applies to different fonts and sizes.

4. Images > text. Always. If you can use an icon instead of the word, do it. Images are not only to beautify your work, they're also there to get your message across.

5. Support your work. If what you're doing is teaching facts or objective information on your infographic, then provide your sources and keep your credibility safe.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a> | Post Comment

Trending: Abstract Homepages

When it comes to making a statement, the main image is probably what first comes to mind. Depending on the website, you'll also expect a certain type of image. A vacationing website? Paradise. A construction website? some awesome building. Clothing store? Colorful jeans folded neatly on a table. What about... a powerful, abstract image instead?

A lot of websites have made the (temporal) move to have one of those amazing abstract backgrounds, a while ago it was a video, and before that, a very explicit image of what you do and offer; kind of salesy, even. However, presently, abstract images and shapes and colors are being played with and made great pieces of art, and then displayed on a homepage. 

They produce high impact, they're engaging and various types of websites have chosen to go this way and show they are their own brand, and they're not following any influences. It's a great way to stand out from your competitors, and also a great way to be reminded by your customers. 

Check out some of these examples:



What do you think about these designs? Would you try an abstract image on your website?


Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

How can you maximize your social media activity on a minimal time commitment?

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 12.11.24 PM.png

As with all things, social media management is what you make of it. Small business owners are always looking to strike the right balance between marketing their products or services and actually running their business. Because of this business struggle of not knowing what should be top priority, business owners are often hesitant to jump into social media because of the preconception that maintaining a social media presence online can be time consuming. Which is why most people will initially avoid it, because who has the time to spend tweeting and Facebooking when they are trying to run a business? But having the right knowledge and tools at your disposal can make all the difference in the world, and part of that is knowing when and how often to post to these social media channels. 

To stay as specific as possible, I am going to narrow my tips to Twitter and Facebook because they are the most popularly used across multiple industries and the easiest to use for those just starting out. 

Deciding How Often to Post

For Twitter, the research says that you should shoot for at least 5 tweets per day. This research can be a great starting point, but you should monitor your own results as you progress in engagement. Each market is different and they expect different things from different brands and services. 

For Facebook, research says that the most successful brands post just once per day. But you should keep in mind that bigger business have a better chance at being noticed on Facebook user's home feeds. This shouldn't keep you from using Facebook because of the notion of competing with bigger brands. Facebook can still be useful to small businesses even though the engagement rate drops off after the first post is seen. In order to keep up, research suggests smaller brands should probably post on average 5 times per day on Facebook as well. Keep in mind this is just research to get you started. You will need to monitor and track your engagements in order to create a schedule catered to your own company's market. 

Optimal Time for Posts

Twitter: Research says that the optimal time for tweets are at 12pm and 6pm because they have the higher click rate. But the posts at 5pm get the most retweets. 

Facebook: Optimal time for shared posts are at 1pm, but the mosts clicks are for posts at 3pm. 

Utilizing the Available Tools 

You can save even more time by scheduling your posts in advance. Facebook already has this capability built in which allows you to create posts and schedule them for a specific day and time in the future. There are also other social media automation tools available for business owners. We even have our own at LunaSoft that we built on our platform for our own use which is now available for our clients to use as well. It allows us to monitor our social media engagements and also create and schedule all of our posts. 

With a social media management tool, you could potentially spend only one day a week on your social media creating and scheduling posts for the entire week. This will really free up all that time you need to actually run your business. This way all your social media is already taken care of and you don't need to worry about getting to a computer all day. 

To wrap it up, it's important that the research should only be your starting point. Even with utilizing the social media management tools out there, its important to first find what works for you and your customers. Monitor your own results and then tailor it to what will fit the best for what you are looking for. 



Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

A World Lost and Found in Branding

I studied Art History while I was in school, and one thing that continued to come up in class discussions and in my own writing and research, was the issue of branding. We live in a world of brands to which we are exposed to on a daily basis. I bet if I asked you right now, you could name at least 10 brands off the top of your head. I can also assume that you could go on to describe their brand logo colors and maybe the jingle from advertisements. We live in a world of branding and there is no escaping it. Brands exist everywhere, and in every industry, including university art history discussions. Screen shot 2015-07-21 at 8.56.57 AM.png

Establishing and maintaining a consistent brand is not always an easy task, but it should be a major cornerstone to your business. Creating a brand goes much further than picking two colors in your logo. Although that step is important, creating a brand is more about creating a culture and overall feeling for your company and business strategies. This culture is how the public will perceive your company and that guarantee could eventually generate brand loyalty in the industry. People buy and interact with the brands that they trust and love. Which is why it is so crucial to establish your brand with the vision you have for it now and for the future.

I know here at Luna we take our brand very seriously. We never publish or put our name on anything that is not consistent with our brand image and standards. Our brand is a reflection of our culture and attitude and we want to make sure how we feel is also how the public perceives our business. 

What did you in your business, establish your brand? Leave a comment below with some tips for all our readers!

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Miscellaneous</a>, <a href="">opinion</a> | Post Comment

Retail Stores Ease Website Fears

As a software specialist at Lunasoft and working at the Lunasoft retail store, I have had many anxious people come in inquiring about starting a new website.  A lot of them are nervous because they are not tech savvy and openly admit that they don't know how websites or the process of building one even works. But after spending just a few minutes in our retail store, almost everyone who comes in is reassured and ready to move forward with their project just because of what we emphasize with running a store front.

Legitimacy and Quality

Many are put to ease after first walking into the retail store because they realize that Lunasoft is an established brand with an eye for quality and the reputation to back it up. Quality and reassurance is so important with something like a website because it is your face online and this makes it a personal experience for our customers. Many of our store visitors have voiced concerns over people who have managed their website in the past, because they felt that they were unreliable and inaccessible. Therein lies the beauty of a retail store because you can come in at any time and speak with a person about whatever concerns you may have. We have made our business and support easily accessible and reliable with face to face customer service. 

Lunasoft Retail Store

The Personal Touch

Many times, I am posed with this hard-hitting question asked by a skeptical prospective customer, "Why should I go with you? What sets you apart from online web-builders like Wix or Weebly?" Among one of the first things I emphasize is the fact that they are in a retail store where they can get face to face support. They quickly agree, because they know how frustrating it can be to call the support for online web agencies and to deal with lots of different people before resolving one issue. This business concept that we have extablished with the opening our retail store goes a long way, just because face to face customer service makes your life and business that much easier. 

Have you had a nice experience visiting the Lunasoft retail store? If so, please share your thoughts in a comment below! If not, we invite you to visit us!

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">organization</a>, <a href="">PR Public Relations</a> | Post Comment

Why You Should Offer Daily Deals on Your E-Commerce Website

Train Your Customers

daily-deals-ecommerce-software-boosts-sales.pngOffering daily deals on your e-commerce website helps your customers to see that you are a place where a bargain can be found. When visitors come across a site and get the feeling they won't ever get a good deal, they are less likely to ever return. Promoting the occasional sale may accomplish this, but the beauty of daily deals is that they create shopping habits: customers take advantage of a great deal and then keep coming back in search of more.

Boost Your Customer Base

There is nothing quite like a great deal to gain new customers and clear out inventory fast. Take for example what HTC did on Nov. 4, 2014. HTC is one of many Android device manufacturers that has been struggling in recent years, so they took advantage of an opportunity they had launching their Nexus 9 tablet.

Just one day after the product was launched, they ran a "hot deal" promotion where the tablet was 50% off, or down to $199 from $399. The promotion was incredibly successful, with HTC selling out of their inventory within the first hour. Although HTC offers deals on a daily basis, this particular sale proved one thing: HTC was able to turn themselves around and get their devices into the hands of countless new customers who otherwise would not have chosen HTC.

Take Advantage of Social Media

How do you think all of these new customers will be telling each other and spreading the word about the great daily deal on your website? Most likely through social media of course! Benefits include:

  • Your number of followers growing
  • More external sites linking to your content
  • Your website moving up the search engine results as a result

Urgency Drives Conversion

Daily deals in effect put you in control of your website sales. If your customers don't feel a sense of urgency, they are more likely to postpone purchasing a product, and this increases the odds they will forget to purchase or decide not to altogether. Generally, people don't want to miss out on a great deal, especially if it is on something they need.

Choosing The Right Daily Deals E-Commerce Website Software

There are a wide variety of daily deals website development options, ranging from the simple plugin to the more complex enterprise solutions. If you want to save yourself hassle and try a simple and elegant solution, consider using Lunasoft Daily Deals Software to draw more customers and boost sales.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">ecommerce</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">SEO</a> | Post Comment

New Google Maps Update is a Game Changer

Google Maps Integrates with Uber and Open TableMost of us use Google Maps here and there, and some of us use it on a daily basis for directions, restaurant info and more.  It has been a useful tool for quite some time; but, with the release of the new update last week, the application has been rejuvenated with highly useful integrations from Uber and Open Table.

In the past, Google maps could tell you how long it would take to drive from A to B by car, bus, by bike, or on foot.  Now, if you're on foot, Google Maps will also tell you how long it will take for an Uber driver to come get you, how long the ride will take, and how much it will cost.  You now have all of the resources you need to make a transit decision without leaving the app. 

Need a reservation at a cool downtown restaurant too?  The Open Table integration has your back.  Find open tables at the best restaurants in town, and book your table directly from the Google Maps app.  This feature has previously been available; but, up until now, you had to follow a link to and book the reservation there.  Now, you never have to leave the comfort of Google Maps.

The new integrations come in addition to a brand new user interface that has both bold colors and bold textures to stay current with design trends.  The ability to quickly get pictures or reviews at a glance makes the application more user-friendly than ever.  Our recommendation is in: Download the new Google Maps app, and let it go to work for you.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">news</a> | Post Comment

3 Tips to Help You Get to Know Your Customers Like Friends

Get to Know Your Customers Like Your Friends USing AnalyticsYou know what makes your friends happy, and you know what makes them tick.  Would it help you to know what makes your customers happy, and to know what makes them tick?  Sure it would. What if there is something about your homepage design that is a pet-peeve to the majority of your audience?  Wouldn't you want to know?  Avoiding pain points and making your customers happy can be the difference between a good and a great business, so getting to know your audience might be the first step in elevating your business from good to great.

  1. Who is Your Audience?  Understanding your demographic is the first step towards engaging with your demographic.  Just like understanding your friends is a vital first step in developing a relationship with them.  Are they married or single?  Are the retired or just out of college?  Do they live in New England, or the southwest desert?  Once you understand the demographic, you understand more about the person (i.e. someone in Park City, UT is more likely to buy a snow blower than someone in  Miami, FL).
  2. How Does Your Audience Find You?  Opening up your analytics software is like looking into a crystal ball.  If your number one referer of website traffic is Facebook, then you should consider allocating additional budget dollars to social media marketing.  Then, figure out which pages are getting hit, and create more of those pages.  Research which links your audience has clicked on in the past, and know that they will likely be clicked on again.  Answer this question: "How do my website visitors interact with my website?" With that answer, you can adjust accordingly.
  3. Don't Assume Anything!  You must be willing to let go of your preconceived notion of who your audience should be, and use statistics to identify who is really paying your bills.  Get to know those people because they may be very different from the people you know.  They may prefer to engage with you by email instead of by social media.  They may like to watch your videos, but they hate reading the copy you write.  The only thing you should assume is that there are people who want your product/service. 

Understanding your audience isn't done in a matter of hours or even days; however, by properly setting up your tracking software, all you have to do is wait and see.  Look at who is buying your product,  figure out where they are, and how they'd like you to address them.  Lastly, don't assume that you know them because you probably don't know them.  Unless, you are a barber with a clientele dating back to the 80's, then you'd better let your analytics tell you who they are.  Make them happy, avoid what makes them tick, and you're business will thank you.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">ecommerce</a>, <a href="">email</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">Productivity</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">video</a> | Post Comment

Retail Robots Are Real and Being Hired by Lowes

Lowes Robots Coming SoonThese days, several classic sci-fi movies are being proved right or wrong, as artificial intelligence becomes more common to society.  Some have hypothesized the future emulating the Terminator films with a super computer taking on the human race, while others envision a scenario from Minority Report with civilians being arrested for crimes that they have yet to commit.  Nonetheless, home improvement gitant, Lowes, is preparing to alter the social norm by adding robots to their staff in order to improve customer service and sales.

The robots, called OSHbots, have been programmed to patrol the aisles of a hardware store, armed with an up-to-date list of inventory, and the intelligence to connect customers with the products that they need.  The intelligence is said to be particularly impressive.  You should be able to walk into the store with a random screw or bolt; and, upon showing it to the robot, the robot should be able to identify the part and direct you to where you can buy the part in the store.  If the part is not in the inventory, it will also know that right away as well.

Among the criticism is the fact that the robots will replace people, and that means they are taking away jobs.  It's difficult to say which is more valuable at the moment.  The robot costs about 50k, while an average worker earns about 25k plus benefits; however, the robot never takes a sick day, and it's personal life never gets in the way of doing a good job.  How we define a good job will determine a lot of the robots' future.  Will people respond well to being assisted by a robot?  We don't know how efficient the robot is in terms of communicating with a customer. 

Would you buy from a robot?  Do you think robots will eventually replaces sales associates across a variety of industries?  Let us know in the comment below.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Social Media No Longer Organic: Requires A Marketing Budget

Paid Social Media Marketing BudgetHave you ever wondered why Facebook is worth billions of dollars?  They don't charge you to create an account, and there are no monthly fee for usage or maintenance; so, how does the company pay for their thousands of employees and for their Frank Gehry-designed campus?  Simple: by showing you ads every time you log in.

Social Networks, like medical clinics, restaurants, and clothing stores, need to pay their bills; and, for social networks, advertisements comprise the majority of their revenue.  With the number of social media users growing by the day, those advertisements are reaching broader audiences, driving the cost of advertisements up by the day. 

Facebook, which was once an organic platform where businesses could engage with their audiences, is now littered with sponsored stories and display advertisements. As a business owner, you can still use Facebook to engage and grow your business organically; however, if your competitors are paying to remain in your audience's news feed all day long, then you are missing out on business.

Slowly, each and every social platform will include paid features that are meant to help businesses engage.  And, as social media becomes an increasingly useful marketing tool, your social media strategy could become vital to your growth.  Developing a social media following is very different from a paid standpoint, as opposed to the traditional organic approach.

We've come to a time where you now need to allocate part of your marketing budget to social media.  Hiring a kid out of school won't get the job done, and neither will doing it yourself.  It's time that you prepare to take another step into the future of client acquisitions.  Facebook is paying the bills with advertisements, and everyone else is following the trend.  Get ahead before you fall behind.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

Update Your Business Listing on Apple Maps Connect

Apple Maps Connect for BusinessLast night, search engine land reported that you, as a small business owner, have one more thing to add to your tasks list.  Apple Maps is now editable by business owners, or by their authorized representatives.  Unfortunately, as of now, agencies and webmasters will have a lot of difficulty using the service because each listing claimed requires a separate Apple ID. 

Similarly to the way one would claim a Google Maps listing, obtaining access to an Apple Maps listing requires an automated call verification to confirm ownership.  The service is free, so, from the standpoint of a small business, there is no reason not to claim your listing.  Even if you think you're Apple Maps listing already looks perfect, we still recommend getting it done now, so you can add additional categories to your listing to drive additional traffic to your site.

New listings, or updates to existing listings, are said to go live within a week, possibly sooner, unless a listing is flagged for fraud, which could require users to proceed through a few additional verification steps.  The Apple Maps platform receives over a million visitors every year, and it's accessible to the general public.  So, take care of it now and capitalize on free web traffic.

To claim your listing, proceed to

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">news</a> | Post Comment

3 Ways to Get More Production Out of a Sales Team

More Production Out of a sales teamAre you feeling like you're wasting money by paying your sales team to work your leads?  After all, you did start the company yourself and you've been the full time salesperson before, even while completing all of the operations for your business.  You know you have an amazing product/service, and you know a well trained sales team should be able develop your business; but, why can't you get more production out of your sales team?

1) Training: Like you said, a well trained sales team should be able to develop your business.  On the contrary, a poorly trained sales team will bring your development to a screeching halt.  They must know the product/service better than they know their left hand, and they have to know the pain points that they will be solving by doing business.  Good training includes ongoing training, and regular performance reviews.  Help your sales staff develop on a personal level, and they will deliver for you professionally.

2) Tools: This implies software tools, but also includes a particular skill set that has become vital for successful sales people in 2014.  I'm talking about the teaching the sales team how to do their homework, or research their leads.  A good online marketing specialist has the tools to make a great private detective because of their ability to research information quickly using the internet.  These days, a sales person needs to be able to do the same.  Use Facebook to find their hobbies, use LinkedIn to find their credentials, and use their website to learn more about their history.  Any one bit of information found could be that one common ground that initiates the sale.  In addition to detective tools, a sales person needs a high quality CRM; and, preferably, a marketing automation suite to work with the CRM.  This way they are able to handle more leads, and handle them more efficiently.  Warning: software tools require great training, or they will prove to be a burden as well.

3) Polish: They say that in sales, you have to sell yourself.  They're right, of course.  The majority of decision makers will figure out who has the right solution; and, of those companies, they will select the company whose sales person made the strongest impression.  There are many deals a sales person will lose because their personality doesn't gel with that of the buyer; so, don't miss out on the deals that were in your control.  For many buyers, an annoying tone of voice, a stained suit, or non-groomed facial hair could be a deal breaker.  A bad pitch, a lack of confidence, or forgetting your belt could also lose you a deal.  The same goes for bad breath, crooked glasses, or a shirt that is just too tight.  Get the point here?  It's not that a polished sales person will earn more business, but that a salesperson lacking the polish will lose deals that they'd already earned.

In conclusion, take some time to assess your force.  Do you need to get more production out of your sales team?  Make some changes, and watch the results.  Just remember, they are on your team, and they want to sell.  Help them sell and everyone wins. 

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Professional Web Design</a> | Post Comment

American Tech Companies Looking Small: What is Alibaba's Ace in the Hole?

NYSE Alibaba Tech CompaniesWhen Alibaba had their IPO about a month ago, we already knew they were going to be the next tech giant.  With an initial offering of $68 dollars, it was obvious.  So, what has happened since the IPO?  The baba stock has had ups and downs, hovering around the $85-$90 price point, while the majority of the stocks listed on the NYSE have begun to deplete in value. 

Yesterday, a CNBC report speculated about the coincidence between the Alibaba IPO, and the S&P 500's all time record high, which occurred just 8 minutes after the IPO.  Since then, we have seen sharp declines from the S&P, as well as the other major indexes here in the states.  While it does seem to be an interesting coincidence, many people have speculated that the stock market has been on the verge of a downward turn for several months.  Alibaba could have been the last major IPO to cash in for quite some time.

Alibaba Stock Price IPOEither way, it's fun to speculate about what caused what, and why this stemmed from that.  So, let's question the future of Alibaba.  With that stock value of just under $90 dollars per share, the company is the 4th largest tech company on the American market, only behind Microsoft, Google, and, of course, Apple.  Additionally, they still have a very serious ace in the hole.  That being, they have already dominated the Chinese market, and they are still expanding throughout the world.  The other three companies on that list have all taken on the global market, yet none of them have been able to penetrate and dominate the Chinese market.

At the moment, with China's Firewall still looming, and with their government well in control, it seems most likely that Alibaba will be able to dominate the world before anyone else is able to dominate China.  Alibaba's future is still uncertain, but not in comparison to the state of American stock prices.  The next few months will tell an interesting story, but who will come out on top?  Will anyone come out on top?  Let us know your thoughts below!

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">ecommerce</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">Government</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

New Google Adwords Display Ad Formats and How They Can Help Your Business

Lunasoft Google EventYesterday, the Luna team hosted an Online Marketing event, sponsored by Google, during which two Google experts delivered a presentation on how new Google tools can help SMBs better compete in the digital space.  The Google team members discussed everything from video marketing and using maps to new AdWords features, mobile and more.  Of everything mentioned, a lot of our guests were curious about the new ways they could capitalize on the new AdWords features and the new mobile capabilities, so we wanted to publish a quick review of some of the more useful formats and tools.  Let's take a look:

LunaSoft Google PartnershipEngagement Ads "Lightbox Ads": These ads utilize the technology of HTML5 to create high-end dynamic advertisements that are intended to engage the user.  To be more specific, when a user hovers their mouse over a lightbox ad for a duration of two seconds, the advertisement is programmed to expand into a full screen experience.  If the two second duration is not met, the advertisement stays in it's place and the advertiser is not charged for the experience.  Typical media for said advertisements include videos, shopping experiences, games, catalogs and more.  Engagement Ads are used to lower your cost-per-engagement (CPE) by preventing accidental clicks (due to the two second rule); and, if a user shows interest, the ad then takes over the screen while the remainder of the users' content is dimmed to highlight the ad.

Pay Per Click Advertising by LunastudiosAnchor and Magazine Style Ad Format: Also designed to increase mobile conversions, anchor and magazine style ads give advertisers the capability of disrupting a mobile user.  The anchor ads will stay put at the bottom of a user’s screen as he or she surfs through their loaded web page. As they continue to scroll through the page, the ad stays anchored to the bottom of the screen.  This gives the user more opportunities to click on the ad; however, we have to believe that this format could lead to several instances of an accidental click, which still costs the advertiser a pretty penny.  Magazine style ads, on the other hand, have been around for many months, but they have now been extended to display ads within mobile applications, in addition to mobile websites.  The purpose of these ads is to provide the glitz and glam of a printed magazine to the interface of a mobile device.  Both of these ad formats give the user the ability to dismiss the ad at any time.

All of these ad styles can be customized by industry or tailored to a brand like never before.  Google's strategy is to make their advertising platform more lucrative for clicks, so that they create a better user experience for their users (and they make more money off of more clicks).  At the moment, there are almost 30 different ad formats that can be utilized by advertisers and that number is sure to grow as Google continues their reign of dominance over the digital advertising industry.  Want to learn more about the advertisements, and how you can use them to increase your AdWords ROI?  Set up a free consultation with one of Luna's online marketing specialists.  We're happy to help.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a> | Post Comment

LunaStudios to Host Google Partners Event at LunaSoft Showroom

Lunasoft Google

Salt Lake City, UT - LunaStudios, the creative arm of software agency, Lunasoft, is pleased to announce an exclusive Google sponsored event at our retail showroom, located at 12 W Broadway in Salt Lake City, UT.  The event will take place on Wednesday, October 15th from noon-1:00pm MST.  Attendees will be treated to refreshments, and a live webinar streaming from Google's corporates offices. As an official Google partner, Luna will have multiple specialists present, all of whom have been previously certified in both Google Adwords and Google Analytics.  After the Google presentation, attendees will have an opportunity to chat with our specialists who can assist with any unanswered questions.

"We are thrilled to develop our relationship with Google, and to have the opportunity to inform our clients and partners about new and exciting ways they can use Google's tools increase revenue to their respective businesses' and organizations," states Michael Kanner, Director of Online Marketing at Luna.  "Google is innovating faster than anyone in the tech world; and, as of late, they have been increasing their focus toward helping SMBs compete in the digital space.  They've created so many opportunities, and we're happy to help our clients capitalize on them."

Google Reps

The live-broadcasted presentation will include a panel of Google executives, including Allan Thygesen, VP of Global Small Business Sales, and Fred Vallaeys, AdWords Evangelist.  Small Business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketing professionals are welcome to reserve a spot by following the link the following link:

Sign Up

About Luna

Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, Utah - we service clients world-wide. Half of our customer base resides in Utah while the other half are located in states as far East as Massachusetts & Florida, and West to California.

Luna builds more than websites. We create sales tools that cater to your audience.  For more information, head to


Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">PR Public Relations</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">tutorials</a> | Post Comment

The Future of Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Highly Targeted Ads

Ads PPCOld school pay-per-click analysts remember a time when you could simply pay off Google to rank for keywords that you couldn’t attain in the organic search results.  It was such a simple concept: Pay Google for every Click they produce to your website.  It was easy to get the placement you wanted; and, best of all, most of Google’s users didn’t know when they were clicking on an ad, as all results appeared to be the same.  Slowly, Google started adding visuals to tip off users to the fact that their ad slots were in fact advertisements.  As of this year, Google has implemented a small yellow square that indicates “Ad.” 

As pay-per-click ads become more visible, more expensive, and more ignored by the users, many businesses are showing smaller profit margins from generic AdWords, and they're starting to taking aim at their customers in different ways.  That’s not to say that pay-per-click is disappearing.  It’s just that in order to get your money’s worth out of PPC ads, you have to have a highly targeted audience of qualified leads.  Fortunately, this data is available and ready to be used.  Additionally, technology has allowed us to get closer to our audiences than ever before.  The new tools allow you to literally find your future consumers, and personalize a direct message. 

Seven years ago in the PPC world, we had to qualify a consumer based on the keyword that they were searching.  For instance, we’re a web development agency so we would’ve wanted to target the keyword: “Custom Website Development.”  Five years ago, that term brought us all kinds of leads (good and bad); but, for the price we paid per lead, it was a very efficient form of advertising.  In today’s market, the same number of leads for the same search phrase costs a significantly larger amount of money.  This is because there are more agencies and SMBs using AdWords and more competition means higher prices; that’s economics 101.  So, instead of continuing what worked 5 years ago, we’ve changed up our marketing system.  Now, in addition to AdWords, we also do contextual advertising, video advertising, display advertising, product advertising and more.  That’s because we can now target users based on age, geography, clothing brands and even relationship status. 

A married user in their fifties, living in Park City, Utah, who wears clothes made by Ralph Lauren, is a great target for a high-end couples spa advertisement.  On the contrary, a single user in their twenties, living in St. George, Utah, who wears clothes from Old Navy, is not a good target for the same ad, even though they both may search for "Relaxing Activity Utah."  So, we look at our demographic, we hit those consumers with what they want to see (maybe a specific product or service), and we show it to them where they want to see it (maybe social media) and how they want to see it (maybe video).  When we do use AdWords, we load our campaigns with extensions.  If we are targeting people in our general area, our ads will have a location extension so they can see where we are.  If we want the phone to ring, we will increase spend on mobile ads and enhance them with call extensions.  The goal here is to make the most out of a budget.  Spend your money on qualified leads that will convert by finding out who they are and how they would like to be spoken to.  With so much data at our fingertips, we certainly don’t want to waste time with old school PPC.  Find your team of experts and get started today!

INSERTED 10/01/14:

Luna Will Be Hosting a Google Sponsored Event! Stay Tuned for more information!

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">Professional Web Design</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">video</a> | Post Comment

A New Angle


The other night a notification popped up on my phone screen, it was from the Snapchat Team. Which typically I wouldn’t have opened, but I just clicked on it and to my surprise I was drawn into what they were informing me of. It contained an entire tutorial on this new story option they had created just for EDC stories on Snapchat. At that moment, I knew what EDC was but had no understanding of the concepts or dynamics behind it. Then I had a realization of the popularity of this event for one application as well-known as Snapchat to recognize one event so big that they decided to create a whole category for it. My curiosity at this point initiated my research behind what all of this was about.

 I have been to music concerts before but EDC would blow any of those out of the water I am sure. EDC standing for Electric Daisy Carnival is put on by Insomniac and a carnival it is. They don’t only play music but they have live performers, light shows, interactive art, and circus acts, but the audience participation is their number one focus. They create this experience for their guest’s that allows every sensation of their bodies to be enticed in this moment. From the lights to the creatures they bring to life all around the audience, they create a world unlike any other place on this earth.

While reading about the journey he has had to overcome, Pasquale Rotella is finally living his childhood dreams. He is the true mastermind behind EDM (Electric Dance Music). He held the vision of these extremely detailed events and technological advances now have helped him put all of this together to create EDC. He has not just created an entirely new category of music and concerts, but an experience for his guests that can never be taken away. The intricate detail that is behind the designs, with the coupling of technology is a powerful and almost unrealistic thought. The way these two extremes come together is pure beauty.

Now, I understand why Snapchat took such an interest to this event. They have always had stories where “snaps” can be shared with your friends for 24 hours, but now they turned it up a notch. With simply one location of an event, Snapchat can now bring all of these stories together. EDC was chosen to be the test run for this new category at their annual event in Las Vegas, Nevada this last weekend. Don’t worry though, your pictures weren’t shared automatically. The EDClive account would have to be added and your location turned on your phone.

The real reasoning behind this new feature is to be able to see every different angle and side of an event. This, in my opinion, is extremely creative. Now it won’t be just a curiosity of what the stage looks like from a different area, everyone added to this stream will get a slide show of everyone’s position and angle of EDC. How brilliant it is to merge this popular event and application, and it will, without a doubt, be a pivotal occurrence.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">tutorials</a> | Post Comment

7 Smart Celebrity Branding Tricks Your Business Should Be Using

Be honest: do you judge celebrities? Of course you do.

You had an opinion on Miley's scandalous VMA performance (what the?!) and Kim and Kanye's Vogue cover (ugh). Or if you're like many of us, perhaps you simply wonder how in the world the Kardashians became (and remain) famous at all.

Welcome to Hollywood.

Hollywood Sign

Bottom line? It's all about branding.For better (or worse…) celebrities (and their publicists, manager, assistants, stylists and that guy they tweet about who works at the gas station) have the ability to draw people in by being just 'regular' enough to make those not on the A-List believe that they know them. It's easy to write off one (or all) of the Kardashians as mindless. It's also easy to turn to Taylor Swift only during awkward relationship moments.

Not so fast —the tabloid fodder that Kate (Bosworth or Beckinsale… or Hudson or Middleton… Winslet or that other one…) channels in to photo ops, you can channel in to your business. Let's get started. Here are a few tips to building your brand (& fans) with sound nuggets of wisdom from your new celebrity friends (and their assistants.)

1. Make yourself unique.Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis may have been reluctant when it came to publicity, but there is no denying that the former First Lady's name remains synonymous with elegance. The same goes for Coco Chanel and the classic flap handbag.

As a company/brand, not only do you need a clear vision of what you stand for, you need to stay true to that and those values. By being clear and carving out your niche, your customers and fans become more likely to feel as sense of ownership toward your brand.

2. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week.

Branding is a 24/7 job. When you go out, you may be photographed (especially if you have your publicist tip off the paps.) Okay, while that's not the exact scenario for the average business owner, the message is this: you never know who's watching.

All press is good press? Not true. Lindsey Lohan may be in the tabloids, but notice she's not making movies and she's not in the position to be the face of much beyond a luxury rehab facility. Roger Federer on the other hand, has lived a scandal-free life (so far?) that's boosted his worth beyond pro-Tennis star —he's also the face of Rolex.

3. Be Transparent.

Public awareness has increased over the last few decades and customers genuinely want to know where their product comes from. Likewise, they want to know the people behind the service.

Know what you stand for and own it.

4. Be public.

While most small businesses will not be taking part in global campaigns, being a part of your community is key. Whether it's taking advantage of a public speaking gig or taking part in a local project, increasing your visibility helps you reach markets you may never have been able to crack otherwise.

5. Be social.

We've all been baffled by certain celebutants and their mass, cult-like following on social media. Although the majority of SMBs will not see millions (or hundreds of thousands…) of followers, social media is an important branding component.

Social media is about interaction and creating a fan base for the products and services you offer. It humanizes your brand in ways that were not possible 10 years ago.

Love them or hate them, celebs are masters of creating personal moments on social media. Creating a moment that has an authentic feel is why it's successful.

6. It takes a village.

Celebrities have handlers, publicists, stylists, agents and a handful of assistants to ensure their day-to-day runs smoothly. While most SMBs don't have the funds or resources to copy this exact model, the idea can be achieved in unconventional ways.

Such as? Make your customers a part of your team if possible. Invite them to use Instagram, Twitter or FaceBook to send you photos of themselves using your products. Engage with them on these networks. Like their photos, even if it may be unrelated to you or your industry.

Although your claim to fame is unlikely to come from a reality show or inviting your fans to join you on a private jet tour, business owners would be smart to take a few short pages from celebrity 101… Remember, you and your employees are your best brand/business advocates.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">blogs</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">PR Public Relations</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

Hey Girl (or Guy), What's Your Name?

Steve JobsSteve Jobs wasn’t a fan of overt, ‘branding’ and ‘marketing’. ‘Dirty’ is how he described the two words, preferring instead to focus on educating his audience, providing them with value. Some will argue it’s semantics at best —and it is, at least on some level. Regardless, it’s a rather ironic twist of fate that in the end, Jobs and the icon company he lead and co-founded have come to be known, respectively, as being some of the great marketing geniuses of our time. 

There’s no doubt that there is much inspiration, plenty of knowledge to gain surrounding both the man (and the myth) that was Steve Jobs. Yet with every new Jobs article, when I glimpse at the photographs showing current Apple CEO, Tim Cook, outfitted in Steve’s trademark black shirt and jeans, it’s this bit of copy my mind recalls without fail:

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

—Apple, Inc.

It’s brilliant copy; its message strong. There’s no question it’s made a lasting impact. Yet the question must be asked: Why are ‘we’ as individuals and brands obsessed with being ‘the next Steve Jobs’ or ‘the next Apple’?

Again, perhaps we’re arguing semantics. We claim to crave innovation, to value creativity and to want to change the world. Is it genuine or do we merely value the idea? Is our driving force really innovation and individuality as opposed to ego?

What I really want to say is simply this:  

Stop trying to be Steve Jobs.

You’re were not, are not and will never be, the man who spawned a generation of Apple fan boys and the tablet computer whose release garnered lines of perspective owners that spanned 3+ city blocks in downtown San Francisco.

And that’s okay.

The unknown symbolizes beauty. Creativity. A new generation of innovators who aren’t satisfied with the status quo.

Let us never forget history and its crazy geniuses who ‘pushed the human race forward,’ but that doesn’t translate to ‘hey, let’s strive to become them.’

When we recognize that fame isn’t, or sadly shouldn’t, be the name of the game, perhaps it will also be the moment that the world, however unintentionally, is to learn your name.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">branding</a>, <a href="">Copy Writing</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Are You A Likable Person?

As a society we tend to place high value on people with extroverted personalities. Nowhere does this become more apparent than in business. While we can agree that it's an edge, extroversion should not be confused with superb people skills.

Most people will agree that they want to work with people they like, or at the very least, people they don't mind being around. Clients will evaluate you in much the same way —while you may be competent at what you do, if people don't like you, they surely won't want to work with you.

You're Fired.

3 Key Traits to Cultivate to Increase Sales & Better Your Business Relationships

Studies have shown that there are 3 characteristics shared by likable people: empathy, reliability and integrity. While cultivating them may take effort, the ability to attract and retain long-term business (and personal!) relationships is worth it.

#1. EmpathyEmpathy

By definition empathy is being able to be sensitive, relate to and understand the situation and/or perspective of another person. The majority of strong, lasting relationships have a foundation of mutual empathy, yet it's not only a skill that many lack, it's also hard to fake.

Empathy requires self-awareness as opposed to self-absorption. The ups and downs of your personal and professional life often influence how you empathize, with whom or whether you do at all.

Don't mistake empathy as a way of suggesting you need to be a people pleaser. It means that you need to cultivate the willingness to listen, react less and put yourself in the other person's position.

#2. Integrityhandshake

Take a peek at politics, entertainment, sports or business and it's easy to see how we've become a culture permeated with an unfortunate lack of integrity. If no one's watching, will you do the right thing? Will you speak up about wrong doing, even if it's not a popular opinion?

Smart and capable people are a dime a dozen, but integrity is more difficult to come by, especially in business. If you have it, you're likely leaps and bounds above much of your competition.

#3. Reliabilityreliable connection

Starbucks is a great example of reliability. With as much as I travel, I've been to a Starbucks in so many airports and cities, I've lost track. Rant about corporate coffee as much as you want, but here's why I continue to patronize Starbucks: whether I'm in Los Angeles or running through Minneapolis — St. Paul Int'l Airport, I can count on Starbucks to deliver my drink exactly as I want it without variation.

By cultivating a reputation for security, customers become attracted. If service is consistently reliable, people will continue to pay because they know what they'll get. The second service becomes manic, customers get nervous. Mistakes happen and most people will be understanding so long as it's rare. Deception on the other hand, tends to cause people to run for the hills and not look back.

Try and try again.

At the end of the day, we're all human. While it's impossible to be perfect all the time, try. If you're genuinely likable and consistently work to build strong relationships with your co-workers, current and perspective clients, as well as friends and family, it will be time well spent.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Miscellaneous</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

You're Invited to the Grand Opening of LunaSoft

LunaSoft is opening the first website and online software retail store ever.  Please come. You're all invited and we'd love to see you.  Check out the days activities at



Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

New Websites: A Valuable Investment


The biggest problem with building a new website is usually trusting that, after you spend a few thousand dollars of your hard earned cash, you will receive a product that will inevitably earn that money back.

A website is not tangible.  You can’t pick it up with your hands.  And, unlike a new big screen TV, you can’t simply turn it on for the best results when you get home.   This makes buying a website a scary investment, and for good reason. We hear stories from many people who readily admit previous experience(s) with web development companies who've built their previous websites has caused long and lasting scars from the whole process. As one put it, "Thousands of dollars and countless hours have been spent, and yet at the end, we feel there's nothing to show for it."

Best product vs. best value.

Like any consumer, you are looking for the best product at the best price. Yet when it comes to building websites, there are no standards that "must" be met. If you hire a contractor to work on your house, then he must meet per-defined standards or his work will be declared unsatisfactory and the work is no longer valid.  In web development, the developer does not have to meet any standards, which makes the consumer very vulnerable to being scammed.

Because building a website seems like a straightforward process, many first time website buyers will end up choosing to work with a freelance developer (usually fresh out of college with a B.A in Computer Science and the mouth to talk a big game) because they are cheap.  This developer will create a basic website with a mediocre design and very spotty code.  The website is usually installed to a free CMS like WordPress, and this website is bound to break countless times over the subsequent year.  This is because spotty code won’t cater to all of the popular internet browsers (especially Internet Explorer), and WordPress, and all of its free plug-ins, make the website an easy target for hackers.

Very few consumers know what it takes to build websites that meet requirements and standards.  The short answer is that it takes a lot more time, effort, and skill.  The reason established web development companies charge so much for websites is because they pay big money for skilled developers, who will spend the time and effort to produce a website that is built to last for years to come. 

If you hire a freelancer to build a website for $1500, you may end up spending an additional $1500 for the same developer fix all of his/her own mistakes.  Then the website may break so badly that you will have to hire a new developer to rebuild the website.  The countless spending of your hard earned money trying to get a bargain on a website is an endless cycle that we have seen countless times.

Spending big money the first time means not having to spend any money the second, third, or fourth time.  Here at Luna, we know we are not the cheapest firm, but we will build your website the right way so that you don’t have to pay again for the same product.  Instead of spending all your money on a website that will never work, spend your money the right way and let your website start putting your money back in your pocket where it belongs.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">CMS</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">PR Public Relations</a>, <a href="">Professional Web Design</a>, <a href="">web projects</a> | Post Comment

We're Having Gmail Problems, Trading In and Up, But We Will Always Support Justin Beiber

Google caused First World Problems to reach epic proportions when users determined their service was interrupted. Before there was a full on meltdown, users took to Twitter to confirm the problem.

It went like this... 

OMG Gmail Is Down

But there's always a plan!

No Google Outage Contingency Plan

Well... in this case, there wasn't one. Oops.

Things deteriorated even further when one user provided insight in to Google's involvement: they'd been master mining an apocalypse. Naturally, locasts and Justin Beiber received starring roles.

Apocalyptic proof:

Apocalypse on Twitter Starring Google and Justin BeiberAnd then there was #TradingInAndUp.

(It didn't actually do anything wrong... It was just an innocent promoted #hashtag caught in the crossfire.)

Trending Twitter Hashtags

After a harrowing 50-ish minutes...

Google restored service and all was well, right? Well, not really. Post-apocalyptic fear quickly became anger.

Google, blah, blah, blah

Jabs at GooglePlus were free of charge.

GooglePlus Is Not Popular Tweet 1

GooglePlus Is Not Popular Tweet 2

Just when all hope was lost, common sense prevailed and saved the day.

Common Sense Following Google Outage

The moral of the story?

Although Gmail, Trading In and Up, and supporting Justin Beiber really shouldn't go together under any (okay, most...) circumstances, social media will often surprise you.

If you're trying to establish your business or brand as part of an online social community, you need to be a part of the community. 24-7 shameless self-promotion is boring. By keeping an eye on trending topics, getting involved in the conversations, and providing helpful information goes a long way. The last rule of social? Always, always, always, consider the consequences of your actions... especially if you're serious about (always) supporting Justin Beiber.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">viral</a> | Post Comment

Free Websites for Small Business: You Get What You Pay For

Free Websites for Small Business: You Get What You Pay For

These days, every business knows that they need a website.  At the very least, it serves as a digital business card to advertise on your actual business card, or to use as a tool in your advertising campaigns.

Most small to medium sized businesses, agencies, organizations, and committees will need to decide whether to use a free website builder, learn to build it themselves, or to hire a professional development company, in order to get a new website.  This can be a very difficult decision, as you want your website to look professional, but a smaller organization’s cash assets are very precious.

We have worked with thousands of small to medium sized businesses over the years, and price is always the biggest factor when getting started.

The thought of spending $8,700 on your company’s new e-commerce website can be very intimidating for a small business.  It is money that could purchase new equipment, pay the rent bill; or, it can even pay for all of the company’s employees for a month.

With that thought process, the idea of building a website for free is incredibly tempting.  There is nothing more appealing than the word “free,” and there are many tools these days that will allow you to build a website for that price.

So, why not just build a free website?

It’s a good question, and worth consideration.  But, a factor to consider is that unless you fill out a cheap template with your company information, websites take time to build, regardless of who builds them.  Additionally, if you fill out a cheap-looking template, it will produce a cheap-looking website, which will then cause potential customers to develop a cheap feeling about your business. 

When was the last time that you purchased anything by entering your credit card information into a cheap-looking website? These types of websites typically cause people to stop and wonder if entering personal information, such as a credit card, will cause them to be at risk for potential compromises. Before a customer completes the checkout process, they will most likely have exited the page and possible gone in search of one of your competitors.  Building a website from a free template is never the solution for a company or organization with a commitment to quality customer service.

So, that leaves you with two alternative options:

1)      Hire a company to build your website.

2)      Build it yourself or assign it internally.

Let’s say you decide to take on the project yourself or assign it internally. This will require you to learn very difficult programming languages.  Our experience tells us that, on average, it will take about 6 weeks for an individual to learn how to code and build a website. 

 “Do you want to specialize in HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc. or do you want to be running, growing, and profiting at your business?”

As a small business owner, six weeks is way to much time.  You are everything to your business and taking time away from operations is not an option.  The second option is to have a middle management employee take it on.  By the time he/she has spent six weeks of time learning, designing, and launching the site, you will have paid them for approximately 240 hours at let’s say $25/hour.  That’s $6000!  And, the website looks average, has no functionality, could break at a moment’s notice, and your payment gateway could be vulnerable to compromises.

As a web development company, we get a lot of our clients after they’ve tried it themselves or hired a cheap freelancer with limited experience and had a bad experience.  If you spend all of your time and effort creating a project that goes wrong, you will end up back at square one and likely out of about $6000.

Having a website built professionally is an investment.  The site makes your money back.  In most cases, spending the money to get it right the first time means not having to spend the money a second time to get what you should have gotten the first time.  Doing it yourself is always an option, but you are always going to get what you pay for.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">CMS</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">ecommerce</a>, <a href="">Graphic Design</a>, <a href="">outsourcing</a>, <a href="">Professional Web Design</a>, <a href="">web design</a>, <a href="">web projects</a> | Post Comment

Budgeting for SEO: 3 Secrets (Most) SEO Companies Won’t Tell You

‘Humbling’ isn’t often a word you hear people associate with marketing, yet having worked in online marketing for the past few years has proved to be an extremely humbling experience.

In the minds of many, SEO (aka Search Engine Optimization) is believed to be an exact science. Reality paints a picture showing SEO as being as much a science as meteorology. In other words, it’s predictable to a certain extent; however, there will always be those instances in which you find yourself caught in a downpour while wearing your best suit. Regardless of having followed all available best practice, there will be instances in which your website will isn’t going to rank on the first page of a search engine.

Before you start spending money on an SEO package, take a few minutes to read through a short list of three secrets most SEO companies won’t tell you. If you’re committed to a healthy website and strong SEO, our short list of where to spend your money is the place to start.

1. Google AdWords Is Awesome & Worth the Money…

but only if you don’t cheap out. Chances are you or someone you know, (#askingforafriend anyone?) has blow a ton of money on AdWords. Here’s the thing… it isn’t because AdWords was a terrible tool, but rather that the person hired to oversee said AdWord Campaign was terrible at their job.

If we’re talking SEO and science, AdWords is one of the most scientific forms of online marketing resources available. A rock star online marketing manager will create a strategy that determines exactly who will be presented with your ads. Even in the event that you do not receive a direct lead, you will still be able to determine which keywords converted & later use those keywords in an organic SEO campaign.

2. A re-design should always come before SEO investment

For all the emphasis placed on content creation, it is a waste of money to create content on websites that are pitifully unattractive. The content itself may be fantastic, but if your website is cluttered, hard to follow, or just has a simply horrible design, visitors are going to turn around and go back the way in which they came.

Layout, fonts, and great code are important. When used improperly, search engines are unlikely to even attempt to crawl most of your content, which renders it useless. Are you dying to spending thousands of dollars per month for the privilege? Yeah, didn’t think so.

And finally, the Grand Rule of SEO:

3. Cheapskates Need Not Apply

Nope, it’s not a sales pitch. Here’s the thing: as a society that lives and dies by free-market capitalism, most online marketing companies will take your money, despite knowing you’re unlikely to see any results from their efforts.

That entry-level plan they suggested may seem affordable on the surface, but in reality, it’s a way for them to get every time they can until you ultimate cancel the service and they move on to their next client.

As mind-blowing as this will be to some visitors, truly killer SEO work is unlikely to cost less than one thousand dollars per month. If someone tells you otherwise, it’s time to research new companies. Cheaper is not better when it comes to SEO; it’s actually a massive waste. Stay tuned as we fill you in on the ‘Whys’ in another post.

This list was created based on my experiences working for a number of SEO companies where sucking money out of clients and having them cancel after six months was standard operating procedure. After six months, we would tell them we needed a larger budget in order to get results and when they inevitably canceled, we’d tell them ‘Sorry. Best of luck moving forward.’

We want your website to succeed and we want to help with your online marketing efforts, but we don’t want to waste your time or money. To discuss needs specific to your website, please contact our online marketing team directly.

Michael Kanner

Director of Business Development



Best Practice SEO

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">blogs</a>, <a href="">branding</a>, <a href="">Content Writing</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">Graphic Design</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">Productivity</a>, <a href="">Professional Web Design</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">Utah Search Engine Optimization</a>, <a href="">web design</a> | Post Comment

Mobile Savvy: 5 Key Points Small to Medium-Sized Businesses Can’t Afford to Ignore

Can I tell you a secret? I know you may feel (at least occasionally) that mobile devices have ruined your life (just a little bit.) I know sometimes you really, really wish the fad would just die already. I don't relish being the bearer of bad news, but the truth is, that shiny, overpriced, white thing that appears to be super-glued to the body of every teenager and the majority of adults under 50, isn't going away.

Hard as it may be for some to hear, small business to medium-sized businesses need to embrace mobile if they wish to stay competitive within the consumer market. As we near the beginning of 2014, here are 5 tips for taking your business to the mobile market.

Location, location, location

Unlike desktop users, mobile users are more likely to only perform local searches. In some cases they search only within their neighborhood, but others will search only within their own zip code.

In addition to optimizing mobile versions of your website text for your local neighborhood(s) and zip code(s), it’s critical to make sure that your information on Google Maps, FaceBook Business Pages,, and other popular popular geo-location sites is up to date with accurate contact information.

When it comes to pulling a map and/or directions, the easier you can make it for mobile users, the better.

Visuals are worth more than 1000 words

Short of reading an e-Book, mobile users are typically uninterested in anything text heavy. Pictures are great, but video is the way to a mobile user’s heart.

With that in mind, keep it simple. You don’t need long segments. In fact, length can hurt more than help. Focus on short (think 1 minute or less) segments that are tailored to your industry. Useful tips and hints, brief advice and more are all viable ideas.

Whiteboard animation videos are intriguing and quality whiteboard videos can be made for reasonable rates. Don’t say no; video in one area in which you definitely want to drive right in.

M isn’t doesn't only stand for Mobile —it’s also stands for Marriage

We live in a culture where our mobile devices are always with us. iPhone is the face on the pillow next to us in the morning. We say goodnight to Android after we’ve said goodnight to a romantic partner. As much as many say they want to escape, few of us can afford the costly divorce.

Rather than filing for separation, incorporating the 24/7 culture of mobile involvement is an important piece of any mobile marketing strategy. People can, do and will continue to access your mobile website, social media platforms, and any of your mobile apps at all times of the day, whether you’re at work or not. Keep it in mind and use it to your advantage.

Social butterfly says: ‘Just call me Queen Bee’

Mobile + social goes hand in hand. The majority FaceBook users connect via mobile device. Etsy has seen a 45% increase in users accessing the popular e-commerce engine via app. With this in mind, the more social you can be, the better.

It’s important to have a plan before diving in to the world of social media, but with that in mind, the more mobile-friendly you are, the greater your success with what is a rapidly growing user group.

Mobile promotions are the new black card.

Okay, not quite. Yet in all seriousness, offering special promotions and coupons specific to mobile users (think FourSquare…) is a great way to target this niche audience and encourage them to visit your business. Food trucks, boutiques, restaurants… mobile promotions or investing in mobile advertising, is the future.

So what’s the bottom line for small and medium sized businesses?

You can’t afford to ignore mobile users. Period. Larger companies and web-based start-ups brought us in to a mobile world. Each day that sees users becoming even more dependent on their mobile devices, means a day you’ve lost if you’ve held off on targeting this unique share of the market.

With mere weeks until we welcome 2014, now is the time to start planning your mobile marketing campaigns. Get a head start, make it your New Years Resolution… and remember, this won’t force you to give up cake! So... to prosperity and mobile in the new year? Cheers.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">Utah Search Engine Optimization</a>, <a href="">video</a> | Post Comment

Digital Marketing Going In To 2014: 7 Must-Know Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore

1. Creating a brand is synonymous with quality.

In the early days of the Internet, it was easy to win the search engine war by spamming it to death, allowing you to gain the upper hand in your market. Those days are long gone.

Going in to 2014, the future of business is dependent on delivering quality both in digital marketing and beyond. Anyone can create a company; not everyone has what it takes to create a brand.

2. Outbound marketing is no longer taboo.

That is, if you do it well. The best thing your company can do is to forgo traditional advertising in favor of generating unique, useful content. Great content adds value, and in the end, value is what consumers crave.

3. Value can come through despite the limitations of a medium.

Sure, Vine only gives you a few seconds to put together a video. Yes, you’re limited to 140 characters on Twitter, and to your annoyance, that content you shared on Snapchat will ultimately self-destruct.

Don’t look at it as problem. Instead, realize that these mediums enable you the luxury of endless creativity to create a moment that is memorable to your viewers. Unique, educational, funny… the only real limitations are those you impose.

4. Customer service trumps merely being on social media.

Social media marketing isn’t going anywhere, however, how you use it will change. A business grows with new customers, but when you’re thinking about marketing strategy, it’s the customers you already have that you’ll want to focus on. Let your clients know just how important they are and ultimately, action on their part translates to new clients and increased revenue.

5. Business intelligence trumps traditional advertising.

Technology growth has enabled us to place even more of an emphasis on efficiency, best practice, and measuring success. By creating marketing strategy that incorporates business savvy intelligence, you’re placing yourself in the position of being ready for the business world of the future.

6. Say hello to location-based marketing.

The technology has been around for a while (think Foursquare, Yelp, etc…) however, location-based marketing is still relatively new. By using location data and placing more of an emphasis on mobile marketing, the ability to interact with your customers in a way to which they’ll best respond translates to a win-win for both parties.

7. Partnering with experts, influencers and/or celebrities.

For small to medium sized businesses, reaching out and establishing connections with influencers translates to the ability to expand the reach of their audience. In turn, influencers and experts are able to do the same. Leveraging credibility and collaborating with other brands offers the potential to open doors you may not have previously considered.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Simple Tips to Aid In Attracting (and Converting) Mobile Consumers

With the explosion in the mobile market, the number of shoppers who opt for mobile devices to serve their shopping needs is only going up. Virtual market places such as Etsy report they are seeing as much as 45% of their site traffic arriving via mobile phones and tablets.

Is your website or mobile device application ready for the future of the online consumer market? Check out our super star strategies for attracting and converting mobile shoppers.

1. (Mobile) Shop 'Til You Drop.

Don’t worry; no money need change hands for this part. We’re merely encouraging you to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Take a look at how your e-commerce store and website stacks up compared to others.

  • What do you like about your go-to mobile e-commerce website?
  • Are there parts you find difficult to navigate?
  • Is it cluttered or clean?

Chances are you’ll begin to see commonalities in mobile market places that receive praise and positive word-of-mouth reviews.

2. Tighten and tailor.

No, not clothes. Think writing.

  • Use short, succinct titles offering only pertinent information.
  • Resist the urge to give too much information.

Research has shown that when it comes to browsing the web, readers skim for key words. TMI is well... too much.

3. Invest in an information bank. 

Analytics/website statistics software, such as Luna’s ‘Lunalytics’ platform are a great way to gain in-depth knowledge about the patterns of your web traffic. By adding Lunalytics to your monthly Luna Subscription, you will be able to gain valuable insight in to the patterns of those who visit your website.

Have you ever wondered...

  • Which are the busiest day(s) of the week for your website?
  • The time of day that sees the most traffic? 
  • The types of blog posts and content that garner the most attention?

I've only listed three things and with those alone, the marketers out there can already see how this type of information can be priceless in planning how best to reach potential clients.

4. Focus on fierce photography.

High quality photography is a important for desktop websites, but when it comes to mobile, high quality photographs vs. a lack thereof are often key to success within the mobile consumer market.

Despite the fact that screen size and thus, ratio will vary depending on a user’s device of choice, high quality images are critical. If you are unsure about how to obtain high quality photographs, contact the Luna team for photography and online marketing help today. 

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">ecommerce</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a> | Post Comment

What Small-Medium Sized Businesses Can Learn From the Less Than Stellar PR Moves of Mega Brands

When you think of PR, a lot of times you may find it synonymous with damage control. This should not be the case. A good PR strategy is an ongoing process that allows you to cultivate an nurture relationships with other entities and brands.

Apple flounders following Jobs’ death.

Photo: Tim Cook's Apple Announcement (by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Public relations have never been Apple’s strong suit.

Make no mistake, Steve Jobs was a brilliant marketer, but marketing and public relations do not necessarily go hand in hand. By pretty much all accounts, Jobs was secretive, arrogant, manipulative, and to put it a bit too nicely, a serious control freak. Following Mr. Jobs’ passing in 2011, it seemed reasonable to believe Apple could become more accessible under the reign of the more approachable (and let’s face it, likeable) Tim Cook.

Well… Or not.

As Apple moves from the Jobs' era to a future that is, for all intents and purposes, unclear in terms of brand identity, Apple would be smart to focus on one thing: PR.

Your image is most important asset and greatest liability.

Steve Jobs was brilliant, or at least arrogant enough to believe that he didn’t have to play nice with the media, competitors, or his own employees. He believed Apple’s image would flourish on its own merit. For a time, he was right. Or perhaps he was simply lucky.

For better or worse, Tim Cook does not possess the same level arrogance, or marketing genius as his predecessor. He is a brilliant CEO, but inevitably, every move he makes will be compared, scrutinized and questioned because at the end of the day, he isn't Steve.

With that in mind, Tim Cook can't (or shouldn't) go through his day ignoring what’s said about Apple within the tech world and in the market. By keeping an ear open, your company can absorb what’s being said and ultimately use that information to influence conversation. How many Mac/iPhone/Apple rumors have we read that imply Apple's next device will do everything from print money, transform in to a jet, and fly us off to a private island? In other words, it's easy to let rumors eclipse what's really around the corner.

A smart company is concerned about its public image. Unlike Apple, it will never let wild speculation of journalists, analysts or bloggers go so far off track that it sets unrealistic expectations.

Paula Deen’s Foreseeable Fallout

Paula Deen was known for three things: big hair, butter, and a big mouth. Unfortunately, the big mouth got her in trouble. By now you know the story. If not, a quick Google search will fill you in.

The bottom line is this: when it comes to damage control, stick to a plan.

Waiting until a crisis happens and then rushing to make an apology, release statements, and generally appease your audience will backfire miserably. By releasing not just one, but two ill-fated, never mind ill-timed, apologies via her YouTube channel as soon as rumblings of trouble surfaced, Paula Deen all but sealed the demise of her brand.

It’s important to take the time to develop a crisis management plan before anything goes wrong. No one likes to think about the worst-case scenario, but when something happens, you’ll be glad you did.

Play nice with the media and/or bloggers.

Getting Steve Jobs to do an interview was next to impossible. Tim Cook? Same deal.

For small-medium sized businesses, it often isn’t a matter of doing wide scale press, however, you would be surprised by the influence of bloggers within your industry. Not only should you be open to potentially seeking them out, forming a good relationship can help with generating a positive look at your company without waiting on word of mouth referrals.

If something negative is being said, your followers on various social media platforms are often going to be your biggest ally in quickly coming to your aid in defense.

In need of guidance in creating your own social media strategy? Contact a Luna team member now; we're excited to help.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">blogs</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">PR Public Relations</a>, <a href="">social media</a> | Post Comment

Free $100 Adwords Coupon from LunaWebs

free $100 adwords couponFree $100 Adwords Coupon

Try these free $100 Adwords Codes, or fill out our request form below for more offers:






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Google has generously granted LunaWebs with multiple adwords coupons to get companies started with pay-per-click advertising. Feel free to use these codes and get your first adwords campaign up and running! Setting up a campaign can be a little difficult at first, so if you have any questions about getting it started, and where to allot your budget to get the best ROI from specified keywords and ad text, give us a call and we can put you in touch with one of our in-house certified Google Adwords experts. 

Remember, these codes are used for a free $100 to Google Adwords after you spend $25. Make sure you get the maximum benefit of these free $100 adwords coupon codes and call us today.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a> | Post Comment | 1

Spring Cleaning: 4 Simple Steps for a Clutter-Free Website

What's the one thing we all know about, have, and most likely use until our secret is out? A junk drawer.

Sure, it holds plenty of necessary information, but if you have to sort through a mess every time you want to find it, eventually, most of us give up. The content of your website is no exception. If you want users to take in more or your content, you’re going to need a way to clean up the information. That’s where info-graphics come in. They’re the IKEA organizer of content.

Spring clean your website with these 4 steps to cleaner, clearer content...

(And if you're really ambitious, we'd love to see what you can do with our kitchens... this applies to junk drawers everywhere.)

1. Expel the irrelevant.

When creating an infographic, you first need to get rid of the “filler” sentences and anything that doesn’t apply directly to your main point. Weed out the dried up pens, used tissues, and stale candy ‘till you’re left with the stuff that really matters.

2. Secure the most important pieces.

This is the good stuff: the working batteries, pristine sharpies, and engaging statistics. Figure out what message you really want your readers to walk away with, and what parts of your content most strongly support it. These are things like the following 'bet you didn't know' statements such as:

3. Arrangement is everything.

Create a hierarchy of what is important, what will grab the readers attention from the start, what will engage them further, and what you want them to leave with. Each part should be intriguing and present the material in a new, unique or interesting way.

4. Sigh with relief; bask in glow of contentment.

When you post a thoughtful infographic on your website/blog/FaceBook you can breathe easy that your readers will take away more information than they would a typical text post. As the writer you can leave the kitchen knowing that you provided your readers with pertinent information presented in a clear, concise, and compelling way.


Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">Content Writing</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">Graphic Design</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">organization</a>, <a href="">web design</a> | Post Comment

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