Gulf Coast Local Blog


BIS Designs Expands Service Offerings With New Digital Marketing Specialist

BIS Designs Expands Service Offerings 

With New Digital Marketing Specialist

Robertsdale, Alabama – April 14, 2016 – BIS Designs, a notable web design and digital marketing firm along the Gulf Coast, welcomes new digital marketing specialist, Taylor D’Amico. With this addition to the social media marketing department, BIS Designs will now be able to offer basic videography services to enhance clients’ marketing efforts.

Phillip Long, CEO of BIS Designs, stated, “Taylor is a great addition to the team. Not only will her passion for what she does help accelerate this company, but her skill set will, too. We’ll now be able to offer a service that we’ve never been able to offer before: videography.”

After receiving her Bachelors in mass communication from Auburn University, D’Amico went out West to join forces with local production companies where she produced engaging videos. In addition to strengthening her videography talents, she developed public relations and marketing skills from promoting the various production companies. Upon relocating to Mobile, she spearheaded marketing initiatives for several different clients in the area.

Currently, D’Amico is working on her Masters of Science in Internet Marketing from Full Sail University. She plans on graduating in September.

Long went on to add “Since Taylor has a keen eye for marketing and an analytical mind, we can’t wait to see the results she’ll produce for our clients.”

About BIS Designs
BIS Designs provides web design and digital marketing services to hundreds of small and medium businesses in the local market. With the solid understanding that marketing is vital to the success of your business, BIS Designs is de-bunking the “if you build it, they will come” myth by providing the highest quality web design and digital marketing solutions available. Headquartered in Robertsdale, Alabama, BIS Designs has been serving Gulf Coast businesses for over 6 years. Learn more at

About BIS Technology Group
BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast comprised of four divisions: information technology, web design & digital marketing, office equipment and business consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, go to


Newsletter: April 2016

 Read Our April 2016 Newsletter Here!

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  • What Do You Need to Know About Voice Search?
  • What Flavor of the Cloud Is Right for You?
  • How to Be Efficient in the Workplace with Your Copier/Printer
  • New Printer Fits in Your Pocket

  • The Anatomy of a Crypto/Ransomware Attack & How to Prevent Them

  • Your Tech: Productive...or Distracting?


What do you need to know about voice search?

As of 2016, there are almost 3 billion smartphone users across the globe. And research expects a whopping 6.1 billion smartphone users by 2020.

That’s a huge number… Think of 10 of your friends, family members or colleagues that have a flip phone or brick phone… Now, how many people could you actually think of? Probably not many. That’s because we are living in a tech savvy age.  Statistics illuminate the vast amount of technology the average consumer is using. As of May 2013, 63% of U.S. adults use their smart phones to go online. Whether it is through a search engine, email, or app, smartphone users access the internet on their phone constantly.

Here’s one last statistic for you:  As of October 2014, approximately 55% of U.S. teenagers and 41% of U.S. adults were using voice search on their smart phones. Whether it is Apple iPhone’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, or Google Now, almost all smartphones come with an option for voice search now.

Voice search enables the user to perform searches quickly and easily with the press of the button. The answers to their search queries are fast and reliable. This is extremely helpful in situations like driving a car or multi-tasking or when you’re on the go. Since it is a popular feature and useful tool, what do businesses need to know about voice search?

Well, it all comes down to SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO ranks websites and businesses on keywords, backlinks and a plethora of other factors. The end result is your website coming up at the top of a search engine query.

For example, say you searched for “clothing boutique, Mobile, Alabama” using voice search on your smartphone. Well that would bring up a list of boutiques in the area that rank high in SEO or are using Google’s local business feature. If you’re a boutique in Mobile, Alabama and your website does not come up in the listings or on the map, you probably need to work on your SEO a little bit, and register your company on Google My Business.

How voice search effects SEO is a little unknown currently. There are suggestions that phrases used in voice search differ from typed search queries. This means that people are speaking differently than they are writing when they search for a topic, which makes sense if you think about it. Most people don’t talk the same way they type something out, or else it would sound robotic and strange.

SEO for written search queries is dominated by keywords, so keyword optimization for companies just contained the keywords and not the sentence structure that accompanies those keywords. In contrast, Voice-Search SEO uses more sentence-like, conversational phrases with keywords to mimic what someone would ask during a voice search.


Voice Search SEO: “What are good restaurants to eat at in Gulf Shores, Alabama?”

Typed SEO: good restaurants gulf shores, al

See the difference?

Google has recently launched a new SEO update called Hummingbird that incorporates voice search into their new SEO algorithm. This Google updates makes it easier for searchers to find what they are looking for without having to use short, terse keyword search phrases.

With the shift from searching using awkward keyword phrases such as, “Subaru Spanish Fort,” and instead using a conversational tone like, “Subaru dealerships in Spanish, Fort,” you can expect the SEO landscape to change with it. Though currently not many SEO experts are investing too much time key wording for Voice Search yet, it won’t be too long until it will becomes a larger player in the SEO realm.

A tip to consider: Try adding a Q&A section to your website. This will help Google pick up natural, conversational keywords and phrases within your website that will be used to influence your company’s SEO ranking.

If you need help with your business’ SEO strategy, give us a call. Our SEO experts at BIS Designs can great a plan and take proactive stance for your business’ SEO ranking. Call: 251-923-4252

March 2016: Newsletter

 Read Our March 2016 Newsletter Here!

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  •  Effective Campaigns to Gain Emails & Capture Leads
  • 5 Critical Facts Every Business Owner Must Know Before Moving Their Network to the Cloud
  • Why You Should Avoid Using a Debit Card When Shopping Online
  • Print From Your Phone with the Kyocera App

  • 5 Traits of an Effective Leader

  • New App Tames Expense Tracking

Effective Campaigns to Gain Emails and Capture Leads

Sign up for our FREE webinar on February 25th at 2 p.m. CST to listen to us discuss our best campaigns to generate leads and new emails. You can ask questions and listen along. This is a useful webinar both both business owners and marketersSign up for the webinar. 


If you’re a business, big or small, you need to have a running list of email contacts for marketing purposes. This means collecting your current customers’ emails along with potential customers’ email addresses. Having a running list of emails from your customers and prospects provides valuable ways to marketing your target audience and keep them informed.

Whether you are sending an email blast out about the latest updates and news within your company, promoting a new service or product, or notifying customers about an issue or update that could affect their business, it’s important to communicate with your target public via email.

But for many businesses, particularly small businesses, it’s tough to collect emails, especially if you don’t have a strong email marketing game plan. Even if you do, your current email list will shrink by the end of 2016, specifically by about 22.5%. Email addresses change, get deleted, people leave companies for new ones, and people opt-out of your email marketing. It’s just a fact of email marketing, but you need to have a strategy to tackle that shrinking list.

We use a strong email marketing strategy at BIS Designs, Inc. It’s essential to keep our customers informed and to reach out to prospects and qualified leads. Obviously, we keep an active list of all our current customers and that list is not hard to retrieve, but for generating new emails we use a couple different methods. We also have great advice for B2C businesses, as B2B and B2C marketing can differ.


1)      Run online contests and giveaways

This is one of the easiest ways to gain emails. If your business is active on social media (which it should be), run a contest or giveaway that people will want to enter and have participants sign up using their email address. Make sure you specify in the contest or giveaway rules that they are agreeing to be opted-in to your company’s email marketing campaigns.

If you’re going to promote on social media, make sure you always create a landing page or form on your website as well. This will direct traffic to your site and make it easy to submit their information.


2)      Create valuable, meaningful content

The saying, “Content is king” really rings true here. People sign up or get added to email lists and then get spammed with irrelevant or badly-written content. Provide value to the reader. This in turn can encourage them to share the email with their friends or colleagues- make sure you have social shares buttons and “email to a friend” buttons on all your emails to make it easy for them to share.


3)      Make sure you create specific email lists for your groups

Not everyone in your email list will want to receive an email about a specific product or service. Make sure you send specific emails to specific groups who will be most interested in what you have to say— or else you will have opt-outs and unsubscribes.


4)      Have a sign-up form on your website

This is a big one. It goes hand-in-hand with # 1. If you don’t have a way to sign up for emails on your website, then you are missing a huge avenue to gain emails. Very likely, your website visitors are interested in your business and products— that’s why they are visiting your website.  Those people are qualified leads that you could market to, and they will more than likely want to sign up for emails from your business. Take a look at our sign-up incentive on our home page.        

  •  You can also use incentives for your website visitors that will prompt them to sign-up for emails:Offer a one-time discount or coupon when they shop at your store if they sign-up, or a free white paper download, eBook or guide if you are a B2B business. It doesn’t cost much, but can have a significant effect on your ROI.


5)      Consider creating a Sign-Up Popup on your website

You’ve seen them before: They are a popup that takes up a good bit of space and asks the website visitor to sign up for more information on a topic. You can easily exit out and continue on the website, so it’s not forcing anyone to sign up, but it’s giving them an easy avenue to enter their information by taking the option to sign up to them and not the other way around.

Mail Chimp offers this service.


6)       Host an Event

This goes beyond just email marketing, as hosting an event is another marketing tactic that can do wonders for your company. Whether it’s a luncheon, seminar, webinar or phone conference Q & A, and all these events need email addresses to register. Plus, it puts your company in a thought-leader position in your community. Check out BIS Designs’ events for guidance (We have a webinar on this topic on Feb. 25th!).


7)      Cold-Calling

Sure, it’s not the most exciting or fun task, but cold calling on a list of qualified leads is a way to introduce yourself over the phone and ask to send them more information via email. One of the best resources to create a call-down list of your local Chamber of Commerce directory for small businesses.


8)      Promote your sign-up forms on social media

Make sure you have a clear way for your social media followers to sign up to your email list. On Facebook, tabs (we like Woobox) or the Call to Action button is a great way to take visitors to the sign-up landing page on your website. Make sure you consistently promote sign-ups in your social media posts with a link to the form.


9)      Use social media advertising to promote your company and encourage sign ups.

Make sure the link in your advertisement takes the visitor to a sign-up form with the incentive. Either to “learn more,” “download a free ebook or white paper,” or “to get a free coupon or discount.” Give them a reason to sign up.


10)   Partner with another company

Co-host a webinar or event or offer that will generate sign ups through your partner’s audience along with yours. Share leads with each other. 


Sign up for our FREE webinar on February 25th at 2 p.m. CST to listen to us discuss our best campaigns to generate leads and new emails. You can ask questions and listen along. This is a useful webinar both both business owners and marketers. Sign up for the webinar. 

February 2016 Newsletter

 Read Our February 2016 Newsletter Here!

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  •  4 Ways to Use Facebook Advertising to Drive New Business
  • How to Boost Your Sales in the Summer Through Proven Digital Marketing Strategies
  • The Theory of Constraints
  • A Backup Plan You're Sure to Fall in Love With

  • What Is the Best Brand of Copiers?

  • Pain Relief Gets a New Look Thanks to Technology

  • 10 Ways to Eliminate E-mail Overload

  • Free Report: What Every Small Business Owner Must Know About Protecting & Preserving Their Company's Critical Data & Computer Systems

4 Ways to Use Facebook Advertising to Drive New Business

If you’re marketing your business digitally, which you should be in this day and age, you probably have a nicely designed website, maybe some SEO integrated into your site and a company Facebook page. It doesn’t take a huge budget or hours of labor to get your business seen online. Actually, some digital marketing tactics are pretty downright inexpensive.

 Compared to traditional advertising via print or TV and radio spots, digital marketing puts less strain on your wallet and can be seen by thousands of people daily. But it really depends on how far you want to go to market your company online. Don’t be surprised if a “barely there” presence is not generating the amount of traffic to your website as you hoped.

But many small business owners ask, What do I do to help grow my business online? Well, there are many avenues to go down when it comes to digital marketing, some complex and some simple, but there is one specific tactic we want to highlight: Facebook advertising.

We are firm believers in using social media to help grow a business. Social media creates exposure, two-way communication with your audience and helps expand your business. There are organic ways to do that such as creating valuable content, establishing dialogues with your page fans, posting consistently and sharing interesting, cool articles and knowledge. But there are also paid tactics to grow your business on social media. 

Facebook advertising is one of those tactics.

Facebook offers businesses a way to promote, grow and drive website traffic through “sponsored” posts. These advertisements show up on your target audience’s newsfeed and have a strong call to action that prompts viewers to:

  1. Click to your website
  2. Like your page
  3. Engage with a post
  4. Enter a contest or apply for an exclusive offer

 The list extends further than just those four CTA's too. It really depends on what you want your Facebook advertising to do.

The best part about Facebook advertising is that you can place your ad in front of the people who truly matter to your business.

 You can select very specific demographics that you want to target and Facebook does the rest. For example, say you were a local clothing boutique who catered to women aged 16 – 32 that lived in Baldwin County and are interested in shopping and fashion. You can enter that information and Facebook will find users that match those specifications and put your message in their newsfeed.

But how does this directly translate into new sales? 

Well, if you don’t yet see the value, let me simplify:

Facebook ads put your business front and center of the people who matter on a channel they use daily. This exposes your business to people who have not yet heard of your company, but who will be interested in your product, then prompts them to visit your website to take a look at your services/products, and ultimately can lead to those visitors calling about how your business can help them. Ta-da!

Best part of all, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is a digital marketing tactic that is very inexpensive. You can create an ad for as little as $10 or as much as $300. It’s all based on your budget. Talk about a deal! Facebook is not the only social media channel offering advertising either.LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are other channels that let your business shine.

So, think you want to jump on the Facebook advertising bandwagon, or are you still hesitant? No worries, that is why BIS Designs is here to help. Get in the know all about digital marketing with our free luncheon coming up on January 28 at the Original Oyster House in Gulf Shores, Alabama. RSVP today and enjoy a complimentary lunch and listen to our experts present on “How to Develop & Implement a Successful Digital Marketing Plan to Increase Company Revenue.” We want to help business owners grow their business and market the right way! Walk away with a powerful toolkit to make 2016 the best year yet for your business. Sign up here: 


Whitney Jones

Digital Marketing Specialist 


Newsletter: January 2016

 Read Our January 2016 Newsletter Here!

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  •  How to Boost Your Sales in the Summer Through Proven Digital Marketing Strategies
  • Avoid Headaches, Downtime and Frustrations by Following This Advice When Upgrading to Windows 10
  • Cloud Storage vs. Dedicated Servers: Which One Should You Use?

  • The Ultimate Small Business Guide to Setting Up a Work-From-Home System for Your Staff

  • Tips for Marketing to Tourists Digitally

Tips for Marketing to Tourists Digitally

Ah, life on the beach. It’s many people’s dream retirement destination. Luckily for us, and everyone else that calls the Gulf Coast their home, someone else’s dream is our life. But as great as it is living by the water, for businesses in our area, it can be extremely profitable. Living in an area where tourism is a main profit-generator, businesses can be either very successful marketing their brand, or sometimes miss the mark.

As tourism fuels our economy here, local businesses look forward to times of the year when tourists are most abundant. Summer, as you can imagine, is the peak-season to travel to the beach for vacations. Spring break and winter getaways are also very popular. But the times of the year people visit the beach play into their demographics too. Fall and winter yield a higher number of elderly visitors, seeking refuge from the harsh winters in the northern parts of the United States, while spring is when many college students vacation for their Spring Breaks.

Local businesses prepare for tourists year-round and adjust their marketing programs based off of the season and the common demographics of visitors for each season. At least most business do. Now that digital marketing is here to stay, and is an important player in the marketing sphere, make sure your tourism marketing includes digital.

Facebook Advertising

Targeted social media advertising lets you select exactly who you want your ad set to reach. Whether its adults aged 55 + whose interests are traveling and shopping, or adults aged 18 – 25 whose interests are water sports and the beach, you can determine your exact audience with Facebook advertising. This lets you get your message out to the people that are most interested in your product.

Social Media

Facebook represents one of the largest online communities in the world. You can connect with friends, groups, and business pages. Set up a business page to engage with fans and followers, inform them of yours services and products, specials and discounts and create a two-way conversation with them instead of just spitting out promotions. Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are just a few others that have excelled for businesses. Travelers will look up businesses on social media channels to see if they are still in business, check out user reviews and what the business is posting about. Check out BIS Designs' social media services. 


Provide travelers with the information on destinations they are looking for at every stage of their planning process. When deciding upon a destination location, internet users go to search engines, with Google dominating the market at 67%. Google is the key search engine that you should focus on because of all the applications Google owns, such as Google Maps and YouTube, which aids in SEO. The higher your business ranks for your specific keywords, the easier it will be more tourists to find your shop, restaurant or whatever your business may be. Google Maps is now becoming a fast and easy way to search for businesses in the user’s location. There is a lot of SEO works that goes into making your business searchable. Page titles, great content, meta tags, backlinks, and HTML code are just some ways to use SEO to increase your ranking. If you feel overwhelmed with the task of SEO, that is what BIS Designs is here for.


PPC marketing uses search engines in a different way to help market your business. PPC is paid advertising that shows up at the top of the search results. Say someone searched “water activities in Gulf Shores.” You can use PPC to have your water recreation business show up at the top of the search results for a limited time. This does not take the place of organic SEO, but helps to showcase your business quickly.


Make your website responsive on mobile devices. This is a MUST. The majority of travelers, and online users in general, use their mobile devices to search locations and business. In 2014, one half of all local searches were performed on mobile devices. This number is higher in tourists because they are on the go and don’t have a desktop readily available when they are traveling. Use landing pages attached to your website that redirect searchers to coupons or discounts on your products.

Travel Blogs and Review Websites

Reach out to travel bloggers. These bloggers are followed by thousands of people and are opinion leaders online. Pitch your business to a well-known travel blogger and if they agree, these bloggers will come visit your business and write about their experience. User reviews on businesses hold more sway than traditional advertising. You can manage your online reputation through blogs and business review sites, such as TripAdvisor. Review website are a key component to reaching travelers and helping make their decision whether to visit your business, or not.


These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digital marketing designed for tourists. There are many different outlets and methods to help communicate your message to your target audiences. At BIS Designs, we have a highly-educated staff that understands digital and how to effectively market your business. Give us a call today! 251-923-4252




BIS Designs Gives Back to the Community

Code for a Cause. Design for a Difference.



Call To Community For Nominations – Deadline: December 11 - 8 am

Robertsdale, AL (December 3, 2015) – BIS Designs, an experienced web design and digital marketing firm on the Gulf Coast, announces thelaunch of their latest effort to give back to the local communities where they serve:  Code for a Cause. Design for a Difference. With this exciting, first-of-its-kind social media giving campaign, BIS will award one lucky, local non-profit a new website – complete with concept, design and technical services. Because the need is great and budgets limited with so many deserving organizations in the area, BIS Designs is asking for nominations and votes from the community for their favorite non-profits.

How It Works:

1 - The contest began on November 20th and will continue through December 24 at noon.

2 - Nominations from the public will be accepted until December 11 at 8 AM and the top-five nominated organizations will be announced later that afternoon.

3 - Voting will begin December 12th at 8 AM and end on December 24th at 8 AM. Winner will be announced that same day at 1 PM.

"We really just wanted to give back to our community," said Phillip Long, CEO of BIS Technology Group. "With so many great non-profit organizations out there, we could not decide which was the most deserving! Therefore, we have enlisted the help of the local community to nominate their favorite organization and vote for a winner."

To learn more, call 251.943.1744 or visit


About BIS Designs
BIS Designs provides web design and digital marketing services to hundreds of small and medium businesses in the local market. With the solid understanding that marketing is vital to the success of your business, BIS Designs is de-bunking the “if you build it, they will come” myth by providing the highest quality web design and digital marketing solutions available. Headquartered in Robertsdale, Alabama, BIS Designs has been serving Gulf Coast businesses for over 6 years. Learn more at


About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: information technology, web design & digital marketing, office equipment and business consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. BIS is located in Robertsdale, AL. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit