Gulf Coast Local Blog


Responsive Web Design and Why Your Business Needs It

Our customers use any number of difference devices to surf the web, including laptops, desktop computers, tablets and smartphones.  It has become increasingly important to provide a seamless experience to potential customers no matter what device they are using, your business website needs to be built with responsive web design in mind.

What is responsive web design? And why is it such an important part of your overall digital marketing strategy? Here’s what you need to know on the subject.

Responsive Web Design

A website that utilizes responsive web design will automatically resize depending on the type of device being used to access the site.

Responsive websites intuitively respond to the type of device being used and adjust the layout of a website accordingly, information is more easily accessible and the user experience is much more enjoyable.  No more scroll bars, no more pinching and squeezing to be able to read content and no more separate mobile sites.  Think beautiful, clean websites that are easy to read and navigate on any device.

The Importance of Responsive Web Design

Are you thinking of updating or building a new website for your business? Make sure you go with a web designer (like BIS Designs) that knows how to create responsive web designs.  Here’s why:

Consumers steer clear from websites that aren’t mobile friendly. 57% of mobile users say they won’t recommend a business that has a poor user experience on their smartphones.  Today, mobile users account for nearly half the internet traffic and online shopping, browsing and researching is the new favorite past-time.  If it takes too long to navigate or load a website, the consumer will move on to your competitor.  The key is to be accessible, no matter what device is being used.

You have a limited amount of time to catch a consumer’s attention.  Websites that don’t load within 9 seconds are considered to be low quality and if the site does not fit the screen of a user's smartphone, making it more difficult to navigate, the consumer will leave your site without engaging, and more importantly, no conversion. 

Also important to keep in mind, the higher quality your website, the more stock goes on in SEO.  Google is impressed by a responsive design and knows it creates a better user experience, which in turn puts your business higher in the rankings. 

Here at BIS Designs, we’ve made it our business to create high quality, responsive and seamless websites for our clients, no matter their industry.  Let us improve your customers’ online experience when they visit your website!


5 Benefits of Business Blogging 


Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

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. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527

Why Your Website Needs to Switch to HTTPS
Http SSL Secure Website

This is the year for websites to become more secure. Since 2014, Google has given search engine ranking boosts to sites that use https://, also known as SSL or Secure Socket Layer, for their web addresses instead of http:// alone.  As of this year, Google’s web browser Chrome is taking huge strides towards making the internet a safer place by labeling all HTTP pages that take payment information or collect passwords as non-secure. This is part of Google’s long term plan to eventually label all HTTP sites as non-secure. Other web browsers are said to soon follow suit.

Switching to encrypted SSL certificates, meaning sites change to https:// rather than http://, is now more important than ever.


What is HTTPS?

HTTPS is the acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is a protocol used for secure communications over the internet. Communication over HTTPS is encrypted between the end user and the server so the data cannot be tampered with and listened in on.


What is SSL?

SSL is the acronym for Secure Socket Layer and is another type of protocol that helps encrypt data transferred over a computer network. Through purchasing an SSL certificate, an encryption key is placed on the server to protect your communication via your website.

Why should you care about HTTPS and SSL?

This gets back to the main reasons why Google is calling for all websites to switch to HTTPS. The beginning of your URL ( begins with either HTTP or HTTPS. By remaining on the unsecured HTTP, the data transferred between the web server and the browser on your computer or smartphone can be compromised. 

Even if your website is not an eCommerce site or doesn’t have login capabilities, it is still at risk. User behavior has become a very hot commodity for cyber criminals. The best course of action is to get a fully encrypted SSL certificate on your website so you can continue business as usual without feeling any ramifications from being viewed as an untrusted website. Implementing SSL on your website is definitely a direction all websites should be headed in as it helps keep everyone a little safer.

It no longer suffices to make certain pages https:// and not others. Your website has to be fully encrypted or it will lose search engine placement, and anyone who views it will soon see a warning sign that they may not understand. This might deter them from ever visiting your site again. 

Since most of BIS Designs' websites are easily editable by our clients, we include a login in the footer on each page. As a courtesy, we are moving all non-SSL certified sites to a secure encrypted SSL server.  

Here’s an example of how a secure SSL certified site appears:

Secure website https

And here is an example of what a website’s address in a web browser might look like without an SSL certificate starting this year:

http secure website 

Here is how the http:// web pages are said to soon be displayed:

HTTP secure website 

BIS Designs is a web design and marketing company based out of Robertsdale, Alabama with clients spanning from Gulfport, MS to Pensacola, FL. With our clients’ best interest as our top concern, we take every effort to ensure their online presence accurately communicates their mission, produces results, and engenders trust among their customers. If your business is in need of an online makeover, contact us for a free website audit and marketing evaluation.


April Newsletter: Why You Need to Switch to HTTPS on Your Website

 Read Our April 2017 Newsletter on Why
You Need to Switch Your Website to HTTPS

HTTPS - Why You Should Switch Your Website

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  • Why You Should Switch Your Website to HTTPS
  • The Shiny New Gadget of the Month: Virtual Reality
  • How to Dodge a Data Disaster
  • The Misnomer of Failure

November 2015 Newsletter

Read Our November 2015 Newsletter Here!

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  • How to save up to $25,000 in taxes on IT software, equipment and services
  • 4 Tips to create a safer password
  • The top 3 marketing trends in 2016.
  • About copier applications that will simplify your life.
  • The 5 traits of a lead generating website.
  • How your laptop battery could revolutionize the way you drive.

Why is a Mobile Website a Must?

The Mobile Necessity

In today's world of smartphones, internet browser usage is now dominated by mobile devices and not the desktop. With more and more individuals surfing the web on their smartphone, the requirement of having a mobile friendly website has reached the point to where Google is now strongly influencing website rankings based on whether or not a site is mobile friendly. Here are few more key points on why a mobile friendly website is so crucial:

Always Accessible

Consumers carry their smartphones everywhere, and are able to make instant decisions and follow up those decisions with purchases. Thus making it crucial for you to make your business, services and products accessible to consumers anytime and anywhere.

What They Want to Know

Consumers often access your mobile website for quick information access. They want a contact number, email for to fill out a form for further information. Your mobile website gives them quick and easy access to all the information they want to know about your business.

Consumer Friendly Content

If your website is not a mobile version, your customers and visitors will quickly become annoyed with having to zoom in and out and scroll around the page to find the information and products they are looking for. You mobile website is already built for their smartphone browser, and makes navigating your content and your website a breeze.

Keeping Up with Competition

If your competitors have a mobile presence, you can't afford to fall behind. If a potential customer is stuck between a mobile website and non-mobile site, it could quickly become the deciding factor on whether or not you gain a customer or lose one.

What Traits Create a Lead Generating Website?

Quality Leads Come from a Quality Website

The internet and business are fused together more than ever. And in today's age of online marketing, a business won't last long without an online presence. And the heart of every business and its digital presence, is a home website. However, with snap judgments from customers and users, if you want to generate quality leads from your website, you must present a quality product. If your website is hard to navigate, is of low quality, or doesn't engage your visitors, you can plan on missing your target audience. To help you ensure you have a website worth its weight in leads, follow these keys:

Who Are You Going to Call?

A contact number may seem like an obvious piece to your website. Or, if you sell a strictly digital product, it may seem pointless. However, you can't overlook the value in customer trust that a contact number provides. You'll quickly find that while customers won't often use this number, it does give them a higher level of trust in your company and your website, as they know that direct line of communication is there, should they need it.

Put Forms Front and Center

If you want lead generation from your website, give your visitors easy access to lead generating forms! Include forms on multiple pages, or even every page. Don't make the form the focus of the page, but keep it above the fold to ensure its visibility to the user. Also, don't be too greedy with information requested from your web visitors. Keep the initial info simple and not too personal, and be sure to try and include an incentive for them, such as a "Free Quote" or "Special Discount."

Promote Your Reputation

You always want to include testimonials with your website whenever possible. Show your potential customers that you have a quality reputation backed by satisfied customers. Try to be specific with your testimonials without getting too lengthy. Don't just have quotes that say "They are great" but try to point out what specific areas of doing business with you the customer enjoyed. Take this one step further by including a photo of the individuals giving the testimonial. This humanizes your company, while also creating a deeper level of trust from potential customers when they can attribute a testimonial with the actual person.

Avoid "Build It Yourself" Websites

If you want quality results, you need a quality website...bottom line. If your website doesn't have a professional look, feel and layout to it, you aren't going to get professional results. While your customers may not be professional web designers, they can still tell the difference between a professional website and a website built in your spare time. Think of it like a business card. If the business card looks like it was printed on a home computer with regular stock paper, you aren't likely to trust the person handing it to you.

Are You Using Pinterest to Boost Sales?

Using Pinterest to Pick Up Sales

Pinterest is a great marketing tool for visually engaging your target market and boosting sales. But if you want to take the next step to increase your sales numbers and user engagement, give these social marketing tactics and tips a try:

Sweeten the Deal

Along with creating specific boards and categorizing pins for your products, be sure to include coupons with these items. These coupons won't just encourage your followers to purchase your products, but you are showing them specific products within the board that they can use the coupon for. This greatly increases the point of purchase incentive for your followers.

And the Winner Is...

Along with coupons, give contests a try. This gives your audience incentive to continue to follow and monitor your pins and boards. Be sure to make the contest rules clear and available, make contest entry as quick and simple as possible, and be sure to include prizes that are going to interest your audience and give them clear incentive to enter. Once you get the hang of things, try running contests on a regular basis and switch up the prizes and products you offer.

Spread the Word

Don't limit yourself to just Pinterest. Be sure to cross engage your audience on all social media channels and share the work you're doing on your Pinterest account. Include links and posts to your Pinterest boards on your home website, Facebook, Twitter and even your monthly email newsletter. Let your audience know where they can go to stay up-to-date on all your social media efforts and products!

Keys For Your YouTube Business Channel

Tuning In to Your Audience

Video marketing is a great way to engage your audience while also providing a form of entertainment for them that promotes and generates a genuine relationship between the company and the target market. Videos allow you to share information, products and business news in a direct and engaging way, as compared to traditional written content. YouTube is the perfect social media site to promote your videos, and here are a few simple key factors to help you maximize your channel traffic.

Add Your Personal Touch

YouTube receives millions of unique visitors every month, with over 6 billion hours of video being watched. In order to get your slice of the marketing pie with this type of traffic, the first step is simply setting up your page. You want to make sure to include the essentials, such as a link to your home website, as well as some well designed page art to grab the audiences attention and give that initial impression of what your business is all about. Be sure to alter your page design on a regular basis, it is recommended to do so quarterly. This keeps your page fresh and lets your followers know you are active.

Variety is the Key to Success

Be sure to use a variety of subjects for your posted videos. Alternate between topics such as new products, how-to instructional videos and even question and answer videos. By alternating your topics, you widen the range of the audience you are attracting. Be sure to include links to your home website and other relevant sources to tie in with the videos that your audience and follow for more information or even to purchase the product you featured.

Be Sure to Share

Don't limit your videos to just your YouTube page. You want to be sure to integrate your videos across all your social media channels. This allows you to build your audience across all of your social platforms. This means you want to link up your pages as well. Make it as simple as possible for your audience to find your other pages, such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn, where they can begin to follow you as well.

Are You Using Videos To Make the Most Out Of Your Social Media Marketing?

Excel in Engagement

Videos are a great marketing tool, and social media networks are making it easier than ever to incorporate them into your marketing strategy. Facebook, Google+ and of course YouTube are allowing for new forms of integration across platforms to allow you to engage and attract your audience like never before.

Do a Demo

Demonstrating a new product or giving your audience a how-to process to solve a common issue are a great way to not just grab their attention, but also grab their loyalty. These videos provide a great platform to demonstrate the options, and uses of not just your products, but ways they can find solutions to common problems in your industry or field. This is a sure way to build a genuine relationship with your target market.

Let Your Audience Get to Know You

Another great way to foster a genuine relationship with your audience is to bring them into your business. Post videos that give a tour of your store, office or restaurant and feature the employees that make the business run. This associates a human side to your business and puts a face with your product. This allows your audience to relate to you more and builds that friendship with your fans. You can take this even further by posting videos that show involvement between you and your community. If you are helping to sponsor a community event or have employees that are participating in that event, use videos to show and share this! Also, ask questions and provide video answers to your audience that addresses both the question, answer and the individual that asked it! This gives that personal touch that people love to see.

Webinars are the Way

Everyone loves education and webinars are a great way to encourage that. Host a webinar where you teach individuals about solving issues, addressing concerns and sharing general knowledge about your field of expertise. This also allows you to take their questions and interact with them individually which lets your fans and audience know you care about them as individuals.

Give THEM a Turn

Host contests or encourage interactions with the audience where they post videos to your page. This not only is a great tool for building your brand awareness and brand loyalty, but it gives you a great opportunity to know your audience and your market even better. It also lets them know you hear them and their ideas, concerns or even their positive feedback about how much they enjoy your business, products or services!