Happy Holidays from Apple Pie Design

Hi I'm Peggy, and I specialize in Website & Print Design, Social Media, and eMarketing


About Peggy @ Apple Pie Design
Contract-for-hire

Website & Print Design | Social Media | SEO and Local SEO
eMarketing | Consulting and Training

An avid lover and follower of technology. I help businesses create solutions to complex problems whilst maintaining the focus on vision, needs & strategy.

For the past decade I've been crafting user-centered strategies and experiences within a client's marketing plans using print, web and social media. I specialize in design, both print (brochures, annual reports, inserts, flyers, etc.) and web (Responsive, Bootstrap, WordPress, HTML/CSS and PHP) and eMarketing through client preferred social media platforms and email blast campaigns. Some other areas of expertise of mine are creative direction/art direction, photography, interface design, concepting and production, website SEO and more. Most days I work with colors, pixels, grids, typography, and lines of code. Being a self-taught professional, I am excited about the vast opportunities we have today in technology, design and marketing. It's no longer a question of what I can do, but what we can think of doing. We can come up with the ideas together, and figure great ways to implement them.

Advanced levels in the following Marketing and Print Design programs:  InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, PowerPoint \ Prezi Presentation, MS Word \ Excel, Acrobat, iMovie production

Advanced levels in the following Web development programs: Dreamweaver, Sublime, MySql Database maintenance, HTML, ASP, PHP, CSS, WordPress, WordPress Blog Tools, CSS, Templates and PlugIns, Bootstrap, Git, Responsive Design, UI/UX principles, basic Javascript

Advanced social media and writing programs:  Social Media (Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogs, Website Bookmarking, etc.)

Feel free to learn more about my experience, and connect with me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/peggyhiemer/

Some Cool Stuff I Created


RESPONSIVE
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WORDPRESS
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CAMPAIGN
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DESIGN
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SOCIAL MEDIA
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PRINT DESIGN
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RESPONSIVE
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LOGO DESIGN
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EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY
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SOCIAL MEDIA
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WORDPRESS
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CREATIVE FOLLOWUP
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WORDPRESS
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WORDPRESS
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WORDPRESS
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WORDPRESS
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WORDPRESS
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Social Media
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Sometimes I Blog

THOUGHTS ABOUT DESIGN | SOCIAL MEDIA



You're going out with a bunch of friends and you are looking for a place to eat after a long game of softball. You whip out your smartphone and search for nearby restaurants. You find a couple of suggestions that you run by your buddies and the first thing they ask is, "what do people say about them?" In other words, people are already programmed to weed out the establishments with the weaker ratings.

It's a love-hate relationship. As a business owner, every positive review, you feel like patting yourself on the back, but you will agonize and get yourself upset for each negative post. This just happened to a new client of mine and he was very upset about it. It seems that when people have negative things to say, they seem to go right to "Yelp". Negative reviews affect a business's overall "star" rating and this is the first thing Yelp users see next to your listing. As an avid social media moderator, I know firsthand that what customers have to say about your business, can influence others. Good reviews bring in new business. Bad reviews could keep potential and existing customers away. It happens to many businesses, but Yelp is going to be around for the long haul, so I thought it would be nice to suggest some ways that I help businesses combat their negative reviews. Enjoy.

1. Own your Yelp. It's very important to "claim this business," on Yelp. By doing so, you'll be able to respond to reviewers, or "Yelpers," who have given you a weak rating in a public forum so that future visitors can see that you're working to amend any issues.

2. Fix it and research. After learning about the situation, it is important to fix the issues both internally and externally whenever possible. Here is an example, a client was very unhappy with a pizza delivery, and had called the establishment to complain. Your management staff had done its best to rectify the situation, but it still does not mean that the client will not speak about their experience online, or on social media. Make sure that after you fix the issues internally, it is important that you research a bit externally online, to make sure that the person complaining is well taken care of as well on social media platforms as well.

3. Flag any false reviews. False reviews are not permitted by Yelp and can be flagged for removal. A false review can be a post that is hearsay or even one that is misleading.

4. Get the most out of Yelp. As a business owner you can subscribe to an array of tools on Yelp that can help bring more customers through the door. With more Yelpers utilizing your products and services, this creates an opportunity to boost your overall rating. You can also partner with Yelp to participate in events where the majority of those attending are active on Yelp. Put on your best efforts forwards and watch your Yelp rating grow over time.

5. Create a social following. Build your reputation through other social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. If your business can build a community and establish itself within local social groups, active Yelpers are more than likely to be lenient and go a little easier on negative reviews.

- Peggy Hiemer.



In order to choose the best search terms for your website, and for your search engine optimization (SEO), it is very important for you to understand why you need them and how they are used. Here's a little background insight to help you get started.

What does "Search Terms" mean?
Search terms, often referred to as keywords, are the words or phrases that customers use when searching online. Think about how you use the internet to search. What keywords and phrases do you use in order to find the solution or product of choice? Let's take for an example that your business is "Landscaping" or "Flowers". When having a website, you'll want to incorporate the search terms that you think your potential customers will be searching for. That way, you'll appear closer to the top of the search engine results for those particular search terms. But you also have to be willing to "THINK OUT OF THE BOX" when it comes to your products.

Why are search terms are necessary?
Every time someone uses a search engine to find something online, the term or phrase that they enter will pull and rank related websites. In order to make sure your website is listed in these results, it's extremely important that you identify appropriate search terms and use them throughout your website text.

Are you choosing the right search terms?
To find the best search terms ask yourself one simple question, "If someone were looking for my business, what would they search for?" Something you should also consider is making sure your search terms aren't too specific. For example, Marchie's Salon could enter "Massage" or "Nail Care," but a broader term like "Salon" or "Spa" would be best to get the most attention and best ranking in search results. You should also use a term that is familiar and commonly used by the general public. For an example, if you own a limousine company, "limo" might also be a good search term to use.

Here are some categories you could explore when selecting your terms:

  • Your type of business and town
  • Your industry keywords and phrases
  • The types of products and services you offer
  • Popular brand names that you sell

NOTE: It is not best to keep your searches with your business name in them. You have already cornered the market with your new website and capturing the name there. You want to think bigger. Think about those that don't know your business by name. How will they find you with only knowing the service or need they are looking for.

Pick a few search terms (usually three is a good starting place) and optimize your site by incorporating them into your website text where they make sense.

Change is good.
If you decide to sell a new product or brand, move your store to a new location or offer more services, make sure you update or add to your search terms to reflect the changes in your business. As your business evolves, your search terms should as well. Make sure all of your terms apply to your website and business and add new terms when necessary.

These are just a few ideas on how to improve your SEO on your website. Feel free to contact me at phiemer@sbcglobal.net to learn more on how to keep growing your website presence and how to keep moving your information up the search engine rankings.

- Peggy Hiemer.



With a community of over 300 million active monthly users, Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms with high engagements, and yet is still a very untapped territory for most businesses. But like approaching any social media platform it is important to do a bit of research and then create a strategy before jumping right in.

Make sure to check out the official Instagram Business blog for more tips and examples of how other brands are using the platform for inspiration. For example, here are some successful ideas that popular brands all have in common as they post on Instagram:

  • Laid Back Posting: Unlike Facebook and especially Twitter, you do not need to post on Instagram multiple times a day and sometimes not even every day, depending on your audience. You do not want to aggravate your followers by saturating their feed with only pictures from your brand, which may cause them to unfollow you.
  • Real pictures: When taking pictures, they make sure that the pictures that they share are of real things and look like they are taken by real people. For Instagram users it is more important for your picture to look real than professional.
  • Adding context to their pictures: If you are trying to sell a product, take a picture of it being used in a real life situation. For example, instead of sharing a picture of a dress on a mannequin, take a picture of a girl wearing the dress while out having coffee with friends.
  • Hashtag Heaven:  Instagram is all about the hashtag! Find hashtags to piggyback on that fit well with your strategy. Such as, a pizza restaurant would want to jump in on the #FanReviewFriday or #ThrowbackThursday hashtags to increase their exposure and following.

All of these ideas are of course just my own findings as I work with the social media platforms daily. Feel free to email phiemer@sbcglobal.net if you had any thoughts on how you successfully have been able to use Instagram for business. Cheers!

- Peggy Hiemer.



I love WordPress – in fact it's my Content Management System (CMS) of choice. And with the popularity of WordPress being used, the people that develop WordPress work very hard to release new versions of their software every so often to give users access to new and improved features and to patch up any security holes that have come to light. Similar plugins, like your contact form and formatting tools, need to get updated as well as these are the favorite features that hackers are focusing on. Many of my client's WordPress websites have been compromised because their websites have not been properly maintained. One of my clients had their WordPress website hacked with some information that only comes up when you repost a blog on Facebook...might not be noticeable until it is too late.

Best practice for updating

  1. Log in weekly as your WordPress site administrator and check for updates; you will see notifications across the top of the dashboard area and in the 'Plugins' section when updates are available.
  2. Always back up your site before undertaking any updates, so that if something does go wrong, you can easily restore your site to the way it was. WordPress provides step-by-step instructions on how to back up your data: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Backups
  3. Once everything is backed up, follow the steps on the WordPress website, to update to a new version of WordPress http://codex.wordpress.org/Updating_WordPress. To update plugins, just follow the on-screen instructions in the 'Plugins' area of WordPress.
For help and guidance on backing up and updating your site, please don't hesitate to contact me at phiemer@sbcglobal.net.

- Peggy Hiemer.







Connect with me:

cell. 815.302.9034
e-mail. phiemer@sbcglobal.net
facebook. www.facebook.com/appl3pi3design
linkedin. www.linkedin.com/in/peggyhiemer/
twitter. twitter.com/appl3pi3design

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