The Newsletter Connecting You to The World of Online-Access, Inc.
Volume 4 - September 2016
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Website Graders

By: Mitch Ortenburg, SEO Specialist, September 13, 2016
I lost… I lost? Wait a minute – I'm not supposed to lose! Let me see the script!
I've always been a huge fan of Mel Brooks' 'Robin Hood: Men in Tights'. When I think of Website Graders, this scene comes to mind. The shock that contractors often times feel when they put their site through a website grader is very similar to what Robin feels like in that scene.

What's wrong with this picture? I spend all this money and I get the equivalent of a 'D'? What gives—is my website truly this bad?

I'll save you the suspense and let you know that the answer the grader gave you doesn't reflect how well your website it doing. Understand, the grade you receive isn't an accurate reflection of how well your site actually performs; it's only telling you how well it conforms.
What's wrong with this picture, indeed?!
Don't think for a second that all these "free" graders are out there because of their designers overwhelming sense of altruism. You guessed it—they're out to make money! And they're doing so by trying to make you feel singled out, embarrassed, confused, upset and afraid. When people are emotional, they tend to have tunnel vision and not put too much thought into what they're doing. The fear that you're doing something wrong can cloud your judgment (queue any disaster movie ever – you know, the part where you yell "Don't do it!" at the screen). They want you to buy the services that they offer that can fix your "horrible …


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A Friendly Note from a Client

Received August 26, 2016
We just completed a website re-design with Online Access, and we couldn't be more delighted with the final result. And more remarkably the journey to get here. If you read no further, read this: you will not find better people to work with than the fine people at Online Access. Period. End of story. They are just that great.

I knew I wanted a new website but had to do it on a budget so I explored three different paths. I have pretty good technical skills for a layman, so option one was to use a DIY tool and build it ourselves. Option two was to use a local designer and developer that I have used before. Option three was Online Access. And when I started the journey they were in that rank order. I had a really hard time believing that I could get a great product that was truly customized to my needs for the price point that Online Access was offering. The virtually zero upfront investment was really tempting, but color me skeptical. My first interaction was with Colleen, I loved her straight talk and no nonsense approach. I got her to send me some websites that they had done recently. I was only mildly interested in the actual websites because I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted from a graphic design perspective; I was really interested to see what Online Access could do with SEO.

I did extensive keyword research and in every single market the Online Access
client was in the top three organic positions. They only got beat by Home Advisor or another aggregator if they got beat at all. At the end of the day that was the final deciding factor; doing it by myself I had been able to get my website on page one most of the time, but not in the top two or three consistently.

Then when I said "yes", Colleen turned me over to Mitch. I can't say enough positive about Mitch. Gracious, intelligent, patient, positive, helpful, the epitome of customer service. Along the way I was introduced to Nick and Brendan, they were outstanding as well. And I was able to experience Sarah's workmanship; again, exceptional.

I was a pretty demanding customer and had a good idea of what I wanted. They gave me the tools and the expertise to guide me to the final product. I'm very proud of what we accomplished and give credit to my team at Online Access. They are truly exceptional."

Thanks for all your good work in getting my website up and running! I'm a raving fan.
Tom Dearden, Just Right Air

A Dose of Dave: The Wolves are No Longer Dressing in Sheep's Clothing!

By: Dave Squires, President, September 13, 2016
For years, my advice to clients regarding YELP was to never be available when they call. The reasoning was that, as long as you hadn't officially heard the pitch and said 'no', they had no reason to punish you and mess with your reviews. Although YELP fervently and frequently denies that they bury your good reviews and float the bad ones to the top if you decline to advertise or stop advertising with them, there are too many people who consider themselves victims of this to assume it's just an Internet myth. In fact, you can see what I'm referring to in couple of different news exposés here, here and here. No matter what YELP claims to the contrary, it goes against all common sense to say there isn't a fire when you hear so many businesses say they got burned.

The good news is, the days of YELP claiming they are not manipulating the reviews appear to be finally over. Unfortunately, the bad news is that it's not because they have stopped doing it–it's simply because three Judges in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco (which, coincidentally, is where YELP is headquartered and is a major political player), says there is

Unless Your Last Name is "Stock", Lose the 'Stock' Family Photo on Your Website

By: Colleen Keyworth, Sales & Training Consultant,
September 13, 2016
Using nothing but stock photos on your company's website is just like leaving the example family in the picture frames you buy for your home. They're not real and they are not you! People buy from people they know, people they like, and people who are like them! In a day and age where just about every cell phone offers a camera with quality similar to that of an actual digital one, there is no reason not to have actual pictures of YOUR business, trucks, signs, and most importantly your PEOPLE on your site.

How critical is having a picture of you as the company owner on your website? Extremely critical. I can't say enough that "People deal with People." In a study where consumers were shown plumber websites that had a genuine photo of a business owner, a generic product or office photo, or no photo (just graphics and colors), 52 % of the people said they would choose the company whose site pictured the owner. When asked why, they said they felt it conveyed that he was proud of the work his company does.

When it comes to putting pictures of your people in your site, avoid making them look like mugshots where they forgot to hold up a number. You can do this by making sure that the person is doing something and don't forget that smiling is important. NO one want's to work with unhappy people. Here are some quick suggestions for the …
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