BIS Designs Blog


Employee Spotlight - Christi Kannapel
Christi Kannapel


Christi is the Marketing & Public Relations Director for BIS Technology Group, the umbrella company over BIS Designs. She has been with the company for two and a half years and has been instrumental in leading many of the prosperous changes for our company. 

Her favorite part about her job is being able to be creative and work with a passionate and innovative team. At BIS, Christi’s main duties and tasks include: 
Managing and creating new content for company websites
Organizing, promoting and hosting events including lunch & learns, meet & greets, webinars, seminars and sales events
Developing and managing marketing strategies, campaigns and budgets
Generating revenue for all three divisions of the BIS Technology Group by implementing campaigns such as webinars, seminars, cross-selling, direct mail, and contests
Designing marketing materials

She graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Radio, TV & Film (Mass Communication). While at Auburn, she started her own radio show called Live & Local where she brought in local artists to interview. She successfully increased the number of listeners by marketing the show through social media, her website and outbound marketing. Thus, her passion for marketing began!

Christi’s passion and leadership have always been hallmarks of her life. She has won or placed in several competitions, such as the Laws of Life essay contest and the state of Alabama’s Science Olympiad. Other accomplishments include:
4th in the state of Tennessee for Digital Productions for the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
Achieved Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do
Captain of the Marketing Minions Accountability Group
Leader of BIS’s internal PR ‘Wow’ Team.

Christi’s main hobbies and interests outside of work are reading, swimming, running, crafting, trying new restaurants, traveling, playing with her dog Gunther, playing the piano, and exploring her new town of Charlotte, NC with her fiancé Drew.

We are thrilled and proud to have Christi as our Marketing Director for BIS. Her drive and insight continue to motivate and inspire employees, and propel BIS towards continued success.

Digital Marketing - It's What's on the Menu!

If you're in the fast-paced restaurant industry, then you know marketing can be a challenge to fit into your busy schedule. However, it's extremely important and must be made a priority. A complete digital marketing plan is made of many ingredients including a website, blogging, mobile website, email marketing, search engine optimization and social media marketing.


For your free digital marketing consultation, give us a call at 251-4107601!

Google to Release Penguin 4.0 Update That Could Potentially Hurt Your Website's Search Engine Rankings

Google to Release New Penguin 4.0 Update That Could Potentially HurtYour Website’s Search Engine Rankings

At some point this year, Google will release an algorithm updated called Penguin 4.0. Some might remember the very first release of Penguin where it was compared to “dropping a nuke.” Many websites lost their first page rankings which affected their traffic, conversions and profit even putting some websites out of business.

Google’s goal is to promote high-quality content. When webmasters use blackhat search engine optimization (SEO) schemes like link buying, they can get poor quality sites to rank high on search engines – at least for a short period of time. Unfortunately for users like me and you, it makes searching for good quality content difficult. Google became wise to these unnatural links and developed algorithms to prevent this from happening. As new blackhat tricks are created, Google releases new updates to stop these websites from ranking.

When Penguin 4.0 comes out this year, your website will suffer if you or your SEO specialist:

  • Buys links
  •  Embeds numerous links into widgets 
  • Creates excessive partner pages for backlinking
  • Gives away services or products to someone for the sole purpose of receiving a written review with a link back to your website
  • Participates in large-scale article marketing campaigns
  • Links to articles that are considered spammy

With BIS Designs, our SEO and content specialists will:

  •  Get real, non-spammy links from websites
  • Focus on internal linking
  • Add new optimized content
  • Optimize every page of your site for your chosen keywords

Get your free SEO audit today! Give us a call at 251-410-7601!



Why Customer Support Needs to be a Priority on Social Media
Customer Support graphic


There’s more to running a successful business than simply having a superb product or service. Market saturation and growing consumer power have rendered traditional means of differentiation ineffective. To tackle this, businesses must raise the bar on their customers’ experience.

Social media is one of the most powerful tools available to assist in providing impeccable customer support.

While most businesses adopt social media in their marketing endeavors, there remains a bit of ambiguity over how best to gain and retain loyal customers. Social media marketing reinforces brand recognition, assists in search engine optimization, and strengthens public relations. 

However, to truly wow customers and retain loyal repeat business, the need to interact on a one-to-one basis on social media is crucial.

Common sense and analytical reports tell us that people on social media don’t want to be bombarded with preachy posts. Instead, they want to engage in conversations and interact with their favorite brands. 

Be warned though: this type of interaction presents a few vulnerabilities to companies. We’ve all seen posts on Facebook from a disgruntled uncle over how his credit card gouged him, or read a rant from a friend about how rude a store clerk was recently. When a business decides to embrace social media as a marketing tool, they need to be prepared to go all-in. Having an employee dedicated to monitoring and responding to your social media page is essential. Many companies find it to be too time-consuming and outsource their social media marketing, but it’s still important to have staff that can assist in customer service related issues or questions from time to time. 

A couple of years ago, customers were pleasantly surprised when they received a customer care response on social media. Now, if a company does not respond quickly, consumers have no problem moving down the line to the next company. Undoubtedly, social media is the new customer-service platform and business owners must have a plan in place. 

Today, the appropriate window for a response on social media is 60 minutes or less.

Your customers don't have time to wait for you to get around to their queries, and they will move on to your competitor if you aren't on top of their needs. 

Not convinced on the necessity of using social media for customer support yet? Consider these benefits for both companies and customers:

Communication is instantaneous.

If you can respond within minutes of a post, you will make your customers very happy. It also demonstrates to their followers – and potentially many others – that your company actually cares and is committed to handling customer service issues quickly.

Companies can offer a personal experience. 

Consumers like being able to contact businesses on social media. It means they don’t have to waste their time on the phone. To have the chance to deal with a living, breathing person, rather than with a nameless, faceless corporation, is much more palatable. 

Companies have the opportunity to think carefully about a response and craft it in a casual, conversational manner. This way, the brand voice can still resonate, while at the same time adding the human element.

The conversation is transparent.

Customers want vindication when something goes wrong, and posting on social media allows them the perfect place to be heard. Not only does the customer feel more in control, but the company also benefits from the transparency.

Other potential customers will witness how well the situation is handled. If you can answer a customer’s concerns quickly and effectively, you ultimately gain trust as a company that really cares and goes the extra mile.  

Prompts positive feedback.

It’s in our nature to share the wealth. When we discover a good company, our altruistic side steps in. A report by Hootsuite claimed that 78% of online customers recommended a brand to friends after a great customer experience. Due to the nature of social media, it only takes a moment to leave a positive review for a company or post on Facebook about a pleasant experience.

Resolving customer issues and questions on social media does present some potential risks if not handled correctly and promptly. However, the positive effects solidifies long-term relationships and increases the visibility of your brand in the process. Interested in more benefits of social media? RSVP for our Executive Business Luncheon on How to Develop & Implement a Successful Digital Marketing Plan to Increase Company Revenue.

BIS Designs Helps Local Business Owners Grow Their Business Using Successful Digital Marketing Strategies


Contact: Christi Kannapel



Complimentary Luncheon on July 21st


Robertsdale, AL (June 9, 2016) – BIS Designs, digital marketing firm on the Gulf Coast, will host an educational luncheon titled “How to Develop and Implement a Successful Digital Marketing Plan to Increase Company Revenue.” This event will be held on Thursday, July 21st from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM at T.P. Crockmiers in Mobile, AL.

The goal of this free lunch-and-learn event is to help local businesses in the downtown area grow their organizations using digital marketing strategies like search engine optimization and social media marketing. Phillip Long, CEO of BIS Designs, will walk business owners through all four components of a successful marketing plan.

Reservations are required for this event. Please register by visiting or calling 251.410.7601.

According to ConversionXL, it only takes .05 seconds for a visitor to form an opinion about a website. During the luncheon, BIS Designs will teach businesses how to successfully set up their website to convert visitors and generate sales.

Who Should Attend?

C-level executives and managers who have an interest in learning more about digital marketing and growing their business will benefit most from this seminar.

Long will discuss how executives can grow their companies with a successful digital marketing plan utilizing elements like a website, email marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization.

“According to Simply Measured, 55% of SMBs find developing a social media strategy challenging,” said Phillip Long, CEO.  Long continues, “At this event, I hope to educate businesses on the importance of social media and help them develop a strategy that works for their business.” (Photo: Phillip Long)

To learn more about this event, visit Additional business updates are planned throughout 2016. For more information, for details.  


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. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit


Employee Spotlight: Donald Johansson

Donald Johansson


Donald Johansson wears many hats for BIS Designs. Not only is he the president of BIS Designs, but he’s also our lead designer and front-end developer.  Donald founded BIS Designs in 2009 – along with Phillip Long and Kevin Welch.

Web design has been his passion since 1995. After graduating college in 1999, he worked at a local printing company. Soon, the printer realized Donald’s talent for web design which would allow them to expand their client offerings. From then on, Donald has been the go-to designer for each company he has been with. 

Today, Donald designs and develops websites for BIS Designs’ clients. As an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop, he also designs logos, brochures and other printed materials clients request. Donald’s expertise is an incredible resource as he also helps with the troubleshooting and maintenance our client websites require.

Not all his time is spent behind the computer screen. In fact, Donald has received numerous awards for painting miniature figurines, his greatest hobby. He also enjoys playing the classical guitar, photography and helping his wife in her garden.

In his own words, he’s quite adept at: 

Playing guitar
Ping pong
Miniature painting
Slicing bread
Morse code 
Eating candy
Picking strawberries
Untangling knots
Doing things quickly
Directions, running
Board games
Making spaghetti sauce
Repetitive tasks
In the spirit of full transparency, Donald admits he could use some improvement on: 
Touching his toes with straight legs
Creative writing
Remembering names
Going to bed on time
Maintaining a good posture
Pop culture
Remembering which switch is the light and which is the fan
Throwing things away
Running fast
Binge watching TV shows

We’re thrilled to have Donald lead our team at BIS Designs. Every day is filled with creative assignments, and being able to work with the witty, even-keeled, inspiring webmaster Donald makes each task that much more enjoyable.





Newsletter: Don't Ignore Shadow IT!

 Read Our June 2016 Newsletter Here!

Digital Marketing in Mobile, AL

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  • Shadow IT: Ignore at Your Own Risk
  • 12 Tips for Your Data Security Plan
  • Facebook Wants to Help You Blow Up Your Business
  • What If Your Smartphone Had Wings

  • 12 Unusual & Historical Facts on Printing

  • Which App Best Helps You Take Notes on the Go - Google Keep or Evernote?

  • Separating Yourself from the Start-up Pack


ReTargeting Ads: A Quick Explanation and Its Top Two Benefits

Retargeting SEO concept

Heard of ‘retargeting’ before, but not sure how it can benefit your business?

Retargeting levels the playing field for small business owners to be able to reach their target audience on a much larger scale than ever before. When used in conjunction with search engine optimization (SEO), retargeting can:

Drive traffic to your website through increased brand recognition. 

Maximize a company’s return on investment (ROI).

In a nutshell, retargeting is the process of targeting and serving ads to people who’ve previously visited your website, used your mobile app, or in some cases, visited and bought something from a physical retail location. 

You’ve seen it before: you search online for ‘shoe stores Mobile, AL.’ You visit the first website that pops out and you browse around for a while, but then something else needs your attention so you leave the site. The next time you go online, whether it’s watching a YouTube video or scrolling through Facebook, you see an ad for that same shoe store company showcasing the exact pair of shoes you were last looking at earlier. 

Many people have mixed feelings about this, and numerous blogs have been written about the overall ethics involved in this type of marketing. Needless to say, it’s here to stay, and over the years marketers have refined the practice to include better targeting and less intrusive messaging to avoid creeping people out. As a side note, web users always have a way of opting out from being marketed to through retargeting by regularly erasing what cookies have been enabled in their browser history.

Studies have shown that close to 98% of website visitors leave a website without completing some form of conversion (i.e. finishing a purchase, submitting a form, or downloading something being offered). 

Therefore, it is not uncommon for a web user to take numerous steps before being ready to seal the deal. If a company’s brand name is not well established, users won’t be searching specifically for a company’s brand name and associated branded keywords. That’s when companies often invest in SEO or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing to help drive traffic to their website or store. In time, they may see their website out rank their competitors on the search engines, and typically see a healthy influx of website clicks. However, if there is no brand recognition to go along with such prominent placement on search engines, users often forget what site they visited once they have left. 

Retargeting can successfully bridge that gap, especially when combined with SEO. Through building your brand’s familiarity with your target audience, you are increasing the opportunity for specific company branded terms to be entered into a Google search or an organic site visit. 

Comscore found that retargeting campaigns led to a 1046% increase in branded search and a 726% lift in site visitation after four weeks of retargeted ad exposure. 

By specifically marketing to people who are familiar with your business, retargeting ultimately will move them closer to a sale and improve your overall ROI. 

Learn how BIS Designs can increase your search engine ranking and drive traffic to your website here.


Newsletter: 10 Things You Need to Do Now to Prevent Costly Data Disasters

 Read Our May 2016 Newsletter Here!

LinkedIn Marketing in Mobile, AL

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  • 10 Things You Need to Do Now to Prevent Costly Data Disasters
  • Laptop, Tablet...Or 2-in-1
  • 6 LinkedIn Marketing Tips to Attract More Clients
  • Calculating the Cost of Downtime

  • Access Your Emails & Calendar Directly from Your Printer

  • Conquering Connecting


6 LinkedIn Marketing Strategies to Attract More Clients Today

Has your business been struggling to find new clients? Consider LinkedIn. This powerful professional networking site has proven to be very effective in generating qualified leads and prospective customers. 

Maybe you’ve tried LinkedIn, but you’re not getting the results you want. Well, you’re not alone. Business owners often tell us they know they are not leveraging this platform’s opportunities to yield the fullest result.

But…you can. What if I told you that if you spent a little bit of dedicated time on LinkedIn each week, you could start receiving a continuous flow of qualified leads? Well, that’s just the case with these five basic LinkedIn strategies that you can implement today to start seeing results immediately. 

Sign up here for our next Executive Business Luncheon on May 19th, 2016, at Wintzell’s Oyster House in Fairhope, Alabama, to learn more about how to develop and implement a successful digital marketing plan to increase your company’s revenue.

Strategy #1: Create a professional profile.

When we meet with our social media marketing clients, the first step is to understand their business goals, their target audience and their unique market differentiators. Once these are defined, we cater their business profile on LinkedIn to those target audience decision makers. Here are some helpful tips to assist in making your profile stand out:

Make sure that your profile is professional, search-optimized, and most of all, client-focused and written to get the attention of the prospective decision maker. 

If you’re the owner of your business, list your title as CEO, President or something in that realm. Other CEOs often want to associate with CEOs, not “Business Development” people.  

Be specific. You must have it clearly spelled out who you are, who you help, and how you can help them to avoid confusion for those who land on your profile.

Get to the point fast in your “Summary”. Forget telling stories about how you used to play with computers when you were two. It’s ok to tell an origin story, but do that after you tell me what you can do now.

Try to throw in a little creativity and personality into your profile where appropriate to make it the least boring as possible. 

Strategy #2: Connect with everyone you know (or have known in the past).  

LinkedIn is all about business and personal connections. You never know where that next connection is going to come from or where someone in your past might lead to your next big deal.  Here are a couple tips to maximize your efforts: 

Send a personal message along with every request to connect with that person.  Unless you’re close friends, don’t assume that someone will remember who you are. Gently remind them and most people will connect with you. 

Never miss a chance to connect. Build up your contacts by reaching out to your second and third level connections. When you meet someone online or off, make sure you follow up with a connection request while you are still fresh on their mind.

Strategy #3: Identify prospects.

Join as many relevant groups as you can find. Look for your college alumni groups, groups from previous jobs, social groups, industry groups, and anything else you can find. 
Most LinkedIn users rely on groups to stay abreast on industry news, but they can also be an excellent source for new sales leads by:

Giving insight into a prospective company’s current situation through reading their comments in the group activity.
Allowing you access to more personal details of the LinkedIn user, whereas unless you already have a first level connection, you usually cannot see their full name.
Creating an opportunity and reason to connect, as one of the options available when sending a connection request is that you both belong in a group together.

You can also use the LinkedIn Advanced Search tool to find prospects who have job titles within your target audience such as: CEO, Accountant, VP Sales, Marketing Director, HR Specialist, etc. 

This search can be performed with or without selecting specific groups to search in.
Just type in your keywords (the job title) under the Advanced People Search then select 2nd connection under Relationship, then check the group you wish to search in.
LinkedIn Advanced Search

The Advanced Search Tool can also be used to search for companies within a specific area. Once the results list returns results, you can choose to follow those organizations and/or research their company pages to find out who their decision makers are.

Strategy #4:  Use InMail to connect with those hard to reach senior decision makers.  

LinkedIn allows you to send an InMail to anyone using LinkedIn without having to request a connection first, and ensures that it goes straight to their inbox. However, they are only available on paid accounts but with the Sales Navigator Professional premium plan, you’re able to: 

Send 15 InMail messages a month
See who’s viewed your profile
Have an unlimited profile search ability 
Hone in on the decision makers and create custom lead lists with advanced search filters 
Get lead recommendations able to be saved to a list

*As a side note, to avoid the costly InMail messaging options, if you do not already have a premium account and are not able to get one anytime soon, when you join a group, you are able to send 15 free messages per month instead of expensive InMails to people that share the same LinkedIn Groups as you.

Strategy #5: Write LinkedIn recommendations for your fellow colleagues.

LinkedIn’s recommendations are incredibly powerful when it comes to hooking your dream job.  The more you can obtain from different colleagues, the better.  With permission of course, you can take these testimonials outside of LinkedIn to be used on your website or other marketing materials. More often than not, when you write a recommendation for someone, they recommend you back (LinkedIn also sends them a reminder).

Strategy #6: Research and connect with Joint Venture and referral partners. 

Start by making a list of people that are a natural fit for your company. Depending on your industry, this could be a variety of local companies that interact with the same type of target audience clientele you do.

As explained above in the Identify Prospects section, once you have your list, start plugging in keywords in the “People or Company Search” on LinkedIn.  

Whenever you find someone on LinkedIn who appears to be a potential partner, you can ask to connect with them by saying something like this in the connect request: 

“Hey ‘Firstname’, I just happened upon you here in LinkedIn. We happen to both be friends with <insert mutual 1st connection>. I’m the CEO over here at ‘YourCompanyName’ and we often find the need to refer out business to people such as yourself. I’m not sure if you’re taking on any new business at this time, but figured that I’d introduce myself and connect with you here on LinkedIn in case you are. -­‐’YourName’.”

The Boolean search abilities on LinkedIn are staggering. Most people do not realize how targeted they can actually make their search criteria. You can read this Tip Sheet from LinkedIn here on how to use modifiers like quotes, parenthesis, AND, OR, and NOT.

We hope this breaks down some of the mystery behind how LinkedIn works for business prospecting. The strategies outlined here are tactics we employ with our clients when they opt in for the LinkedIn Prospecting services we provide. We also provide several different social media marketing and search engine optimization packages. To learn more about how to develop and implement a successful digital marketing plan to increase your company’s revenue, sign up here for our Executive Business Luncheon on May 19th, 2016, in Fairhope, Alabama at Wintzell’s Oyster House.




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