Digital Marketing & Concrete5 Tips Blog 

Advice, tutorials, news, training and expert advice on the Concrete5 content management system, ecommerce, website design, online marketing and social media optimization from Pixo Web Design & Strategy. To watch training videos visit our Concrete5 videos page.  To learn more about our Concrete5 and Wordpress services or to get your own Concrete5 website please feel free to contact us.


Concerned About a Business Slow-down? 5 Things to Do Now on Your Website Guaranteed to Ignite Your Business.

During the 2008 recession a lot of businesses came to Pixo looking for ways to ignite their marketing after their marketing budgets had been slashed.  They needed solutions and they needed them fast.  What we learned in 2008 applies to the COVID-19 economic slowdown that we face today.  The best thing you can do is to act fast.  Your best friend is to be ahead of the situation and be well positioned for when things see an upturn.  The following are tips and marketing recommendations that can work for all businesses.

category: Online Marketing
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5 Biggest Mistakes Small Business Owners Make with their Website


Over the years we've talked with and helped 1,000+ different business owners with their websites. Everything from website design, to eCommerce to search engine optimization.  In interviewing business owners I've found there is a pattern that develops when it comes to their perception of the value of their website and their opportunities from it.  Often times websites either start out bad or start out good, but fail to keep up with the competition  over time. These are the top five mistakes that business owners make with their websites.

category: Website Design
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15% of Millennials Say they Never Use the Internet to Find Local Businesses (12% change in just 1 Year)!

In 2019, the percentage of millennials who said they never used the internet to find local businesses rose to an astonishing 15% (up from just 3% the year before).  This is a remarkable change in usage.  And this survey was done year-over-year with the same survey group.  Why the wild change in usage?  It isn't quite clear yet.  One possible answer is semantics.  It might be how millennials perceive the phrase “use the internet to find local businesses.”  It might be that they look at that phrase to meaning only using the web browser rather than other apps, voice controlled smart devices and other similar internet enabled devices.  It might also mean that alternatives to directory type listings are being used, like social media recommendations.  Also, make sure you are doing what you need to locally to compete with apps like Amazon.  To Millennials Amazon is just as “local” with two-day shipping and may be perceived as more convenient then driving to a local business.  So, most businesses that are product based need to consider online retailers as their competition.   Either way, what a local business owner needs to realize is that young people’s usage is transforming and their perceptions of the best places to get local business information is evolving. 

What should a local business do?

  • Make sure that your Google My Business listing is on the top of the list and optimized properly.  This will help drive traffic from map listings.
  • Get more active on social media to get in front of young people and interact with them.  Don’t necessarily try to sell them but build community and gain a voice.  Also, do hash tag type of campaigns, contests and special offers to build interaction.
  • Go where the young people are going.  YouTube, Yelp and other outlets can be used to drive traffic back to you website and/or store.
category: Social Media


Top 10 Concrete5, Marketing & SEO Blog Posts of 2019

In case you missed them, the following are the top blog posts of 2019.  We had some great blog posts and conversations with clients about them.  If you haven't read it, I'd highly recommend the 'Secret Google My Business Map Listing Ranking Factors for 2019' blog post.  It is the best article you'll find on how to get your map listing ranking on Google.  But we are biased of course.  Enjoy!

  1. The Definitive Guide to Concrete5 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Secret Google My Business Map Listing Ranking Factors for 2019
  3. Enterprise Level Multi-site Content Management System (CMS) with Concrete5
  4. SEO Rant: Concrete5 CMS vs. Wordpress for Top Rankings in Google
  5. Iowa State University Awards Pixo to Build Multi-Site Concrete5 Websites for Iowa Public Libraries
  6. How to Migrate Your Website From Wordpress to Concrete5 CMS
  7. How to Make Your Concrete5 or Wordpress Website Load Faster
  8. Concrete5 eCommerce for 5.8
  9. How to get the best Concrete5 themes
  10. Why Now is the Time to Upgrade your Concrete5 & Wordpress Websites
category: Concrete5


Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning Benefits in a New Business World & Website User Experiences

We are living in a new era of artificial intelligence computing power (also called AI) and machine learning that is going to affect your business.  New algorithms have been created that can allow computers to "think" and accomplish things that in some cases weren't dreamed about even 15 years ago.  It is a revolution as big as PCs and the iPhone. AI allows a computer to try billions of different scenarios in ways a human mind couldn't that allows it to solve problems and come up with solutions that a brain may not consider or have the ability to consider.

category: Website Design
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Why Online User Business Reviews Matter; Sometimes

We are about 10 years into online business reviews era and a new large study by Womply is giving us better insights to how online business reviews can impact your business.  Do you stress over getting 5-star reviews.  The latest findings say that review are important, but they also tell us 5-stars isn't everything.

Did you know a 5-star rating is actually NOT associated with the highest revenue for small businesses? In fact, 5-star businesses actually earn less on average.  Why?  There could be many factors, but the most likely is that when a customer sees dozens of five star ratings with no 4 or 2 star ratings then they become suspicious.  No business should have a customer not have any complains.  The star-rating sweet spot for revenue is between 3.5 and 4.5 stars, according to Womply’s study. But even businesses that average 35-50% negative reviews earn nearly the same as the average business. 

category: Search Engine Optimization
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Concrete5 Themes

One of the best things about concrete5 themes (aka website template / website design) is that they can look any way you want in concrete5.  There really is no limit to where you can take your website.  When we built a custom concrete5 theme for a website, we look at a number of different things and usually are designs are quite different.  

category: Concrete5
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Managing Multiple Concrete5 Websites in a Single Installation with Multi-Site

Iowa State University recently chose Pixo to setup a multi-site installation for the Iowa state libraries which we just recently unveiled to rave reviews.  The beauty for the managing team is that all the websites are in a single concrete5 installation, so they can easily make one change in many situations that will be applied to what eventually could be 300 websites.  This saves them time and money as well as gives them opportunities to do even more with their websites.

category: multi-site
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Concrete5 Multi-Site

Pixo is one of the only agencies who has access to the unreleased new concrete5 multi-site.  With concrete5 multi-site you can have technically an unlimited number of websites hosted in a single concrete5 installation, each having their own domain name.  Concrete5 mutli-site has been used by the U.S. Army for years and more recently BASF and Iowa State University has chosen Pixo to setup over 200 websites for the Iowa State Libraries utilizing multi-site.  The new concrete5 multi-site is an enterprise ready application that also works nicely for smaller organizations.  It works just like concrete5, because it is concret5.  The main difference is that you can setup different installations, each having their own sitemap and then utilizing Advanced Permissions give control to each site owner over their site or pieces of their site, that can share resources with other sites.   This is a game changer for organizations that have more than one website, but don't want have to deal with the maintenance or cost of having multiple sites.  Also, SSO becomes much easier with multi-site.

If your organization could use the advantages of multi-site contact Pixo today at 720.334.7496 for a full demonstration of how concrete5 multis-site can work for you.

category: Concrete5


Iowa State University Awards Pixo to Build Multi-Site Concrete5 Websites for Iowa Public Libraries

Pixo Web Design & Strategy in proud to announce that it was awarded a multi-site concrete5 CMS project by Iowa State University for the State Library of Iowa and Iowa public libraries websites.  Pixo will provide project management, implementation, website design and development of a model or template library site and consulting for continuation of a multi-site concrete5 web hosting environment.   

category: Concrete5
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Why Now is the Time to Upgrade your Concrete5 & Wordpress Websites

Do you have an older concrete5 or Wordpress website that a little voice has been telling you is ready for an upgrade?  Or maybe you have a business website that is older but looks good that works for you needs, that you don't see a reason to upgrade.   Well now might be the time.  A lot of older websites were built to run with older versions of PHP.  For example, concrete5 version 5.6 sites and older, along with Wordpress 4.6 and older are not compatible with the latest PHP versions.  However, the issue is that the older PHP versions are no longer supported so for security issues, many hosts are now requiring website owners to run the latest PHP version (7) on their hosting accounts.  This means if a website owner doesn't upgrade their website then their website will start throwing error messages.

What should you do?  Contact us and we'll give you a free advice on what is best to do for your website.  The latest version of concrete5 and Wordpress give you the latest functionality and security, but often times there are many options to consider.  We can help you with that.  Also, the newer versions of PHP 7 runs faster than older versions of PHP which will give your users a better user experience on your website along with more security for yourself.  Give us a call at 720.334.7496 and we'll help you figure out what is best for your circumstances.

category: Website Design


Concrete5 & Wordpress API Developers

I love it when a business grows to the point that the business owners recognize the need to innovate to attract new business, find new markets and streamline processes.  If your business is looking for concrete5 API development work (or Wordpress) to integrate with 3rd parties or to enhance the abilities of your website, you've come to the right place.  We have a great deal of experience working with Concrete5 APIs as well as integrating with third parties.  Need a SalesForce integration?  We've done that.  Need to customize an eCommerce website.  Where the best in the business!  Need to setup a SSO for a membership website?  We've got lots of experience.  Need database integration.  We've done it a hundred times.  have a SAML for REST project.  We can help!  You get the point.

For over 15 years Pixo has helped businesses of all sizes with their concrete5 website development needs.  We have concrete5 developers (and Wordpress) with extensive knowledge of API services and we can consult you on the best options for your website development project and help you find the best solutions for your particular needs.  Contact one of our developers today for a free consultation:  720.334.7496.

category: Concrete5


#ValleyOfTheBoom & a Historical Look at the Internet in 2019

I watched the first episode of the Valley of the Boom on the National Geographic channel and it was a little like a walk down memory lane.  Fascinating to see where the internet has come over the years.  I first started playing with the internet in High School prior to the world wide web.  Back that it was dial up modems and bulletin boards.  I remember writing papers on the Vietnam War that came completely from digital sources back in 1989.  I would be surprised if even one other person in my High School was doing that at that time.  Modems weren't a common household item back then and bulletin board systems were fairly limited, but I found the whole thing fascinating.

Then in college I had a roommate that was a college science major who was working on a web page for a class and doing a little HTML.  I had taught myself coding as far back as the 6th grade and asked him to show me what he was doing.  HTML was easy, so I picked it up quickly.  In 1995, as I recall, the the Netscape browser was on version 1.1.  It was still fairly new.  Had what I called the "breathing N" which told you it was trying to load the page.   It was very limited.  No style sheets or even HTML tables at that time.  That came out shortly after however.  I started building websites professionally around that time.  My first client was a company that sold long distance calling cards (lol talking about Netscape and calling cards is making me feel old right now).

Around that same time I wrote a paper for a business communications class on the number of users on the internet.  It was the first publication that I know of that looked at the research of a number of different surveys to get at a true number.  I believe the numer was right around 30 million users.  I put that paper on the internet and the University of Michigan contacted me and asked if they could re-publish my paper for some work they were doing.  Not that long ago the internet was a relatively small place.  30 million users compared to about 4.02 billion users today is very different.

Watching Valley of the Boom got my creative juices going.  It was a day of the wild west of the internet.  Even before the gold rush.  It was a lot of fun.

The internet of today is still fun.  But different.  When compared to television, we are still in the black and white TV days, but it is the larger screen b&w TVs with clearer pictures.  We are getting close to color TV, but nowhere near HDTV yet.  That will come quickly however.   If your business isn't prepared you'll be in the same place Netscape, long distance calling cards and the rest are today.  Give us a call and get a free consultation on how to revolutionize your business.  

category: Website Design


The Best Content Length for EVERYTHING

Often times people ask what the best length is for blog posts, page content, homepage content, tweets, Facebook posts, etc.  The simple answer: what are you trying to do with that content?  Different needs require different applications.  But there are good averages to shoot for that studies have found tend to get the strongest engagement.   

Studies Show Ideal Content Length For:

  • Tweets:  100 characters is the engagement sweet spot
  • Facebook Post:  40-45 characters 
  • Page Headline: 3-6 words
  • Paragraph Width:  40-55 characters
  • Blog Post:  this varies by topic, but a good average is 1,500-1,600 words
  • Email Subject:  25-40 characters
  • Title Tag Length:  55 characters (this although is for visible text for users and not for SEO)
  • Best length for a Domain Name:  8 characters (although the best domains match your business

Again, these are general guidelines that give you a target.  Is some content super successful outside of these averages?  Absolutely.  Depending on your goals, audience, how technical and design, you may want to go outside the norm.   Need some help figuring out what might be best for you?  Contact us at 720.334.7496.  

category: Social Media


Wow! Sweet Sixteen & A Birthday Present from Us.

I can't believe it is already sweet 16!  What an amazing ride it has been.  Today I spent some time on the WayBack Machine looking at old websites we've built for clients and how far they have come.  I'd like to thank the best clients in the world for a fantastic time of the years.  I really mean that.  Our clients make our success.   Who could have thought when Pixo was started that we would be where we are today.  It has been fun.

We would like to give a special gift to you.  Get 20% off a new website or Advanced Search Engine Optimization setup.  That is an amazing deal.  Just contact us at 720.334.7496 and tell us you saw the ad to get this special offer. 

For more information about this blog or Concrete5 please visit my: Google+ profile.