John Armstrong

October 16, 2014

Seven Steps to Analyzing and Designing a Better B2B Website

seven steps to analyzing and improving your website

Our President Andy Swindler and I had the chance to present a workshop to a smart group of people from SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services) about how to analyze a website. It’s something that our company does all the time, and a task that falls onto the desk of every marketing manager.  Every now and then, a CEO comes down from the upper floors and asks a simple question, “Is our website working? Someone told me it could use a refresh.” 

John Armstrong

September 5, 2014

Seven Tips to Becoming a DIY Website Analyst – A Think-n-Drink

Seven Steps to become a DIY Website Analyst

Eveyone has a website, but not everyone is a website analyst. By budget necessity, there are a lot of Do it Yourself website analysts. The 3.4 million blog posts (like this one) on various website topics speak to that. Unless you’re in the business of digital marketing or web development, sometimes it’s not obvious if it’s actually working. “Working” means different things to different people, but in our office, we have a quick-guide on how we look at websites to determine talking points for improvement. It’s a simple list of seven vital considerations…

John Armstrong

July 11, 2014

From the Launchpad – A B2B Website Redesign for Pioneer Environmental Services

pioneer b2b website design development 6

It’s a perfect match: Both Astek and Pioneer Environmental Services work to efficiently and effectively clean up clients’ sites. Although Astek wasn’t testing soil or performing intricate remediation tactics, we were better aligning Chicago-based Pioneer’s website with their brand, developing an improved mobile experience, offering information and functionalities important to customers and optimizing copy for search engine traffic – all very important elements to a new B2B website redesign and development. 

John Armstrong

April 4, 2014

2014 Astek Grant Recipient: Conscious Capitalism Chicago


Every year Astek awards one non-profit organization with a grant that covers the cost of a project designed to improve their online presence and advance a mission. This can be anything from a new website to an integrated Foursquare campaign to build local notoriety. In all cases, it’s great fun for the staff to support worthy organizations and get chummy with a passionate staff. As many of the employees at Astek come from strong arts or community backgrounds, the annual Astek grant program is a natural fit for our company culture.  

John Armstrong

March 28, 2014

Digital Delphi – Client Questions Answered: Tags, WordPress, Infographics.

Digital Delphi

digital delphi - social media training chicago


This week my time was spent on prepping the launch of two new websites. Although many of the strategic decisions happen very early in the process, as we get toward the end of a project, clients begin to see the details. A new website in an unfamiliar CMS has a lot of details. As someone who likes to empower clients in their marketing strategies, this is a good thing. As someone who’s excited to play teacher, it makes for longer sessions than might otherwise be needed. People need to get to happy hour. I understand that more than anyone. Those well drinks aren’t $4 forever…

…so I’ll get to the point. Here are three interesting questions that don’t have simple answers, but that’s why they make for good reading.

John Armstrong

March 21, 2014

Digital Delphi: This Week’s Client Marketing Questions Answered

Digital Delphi

digital delphi - social media training chicago

Welcome to Astek’s Digital Delphi…

Every week we’re asked a lot of questions. Some related to SEO, social media strategy and training or web site strategy. Some not. In any case, we answer them with all the glorious confidence by saying, “at least, that’s the way it worked two weeks ago.” Funny how in most cases, it’s a legitimate concern.

I’m going to take this and future Friday afternoons off, pour a glass of wine and write about these inquiries. Maybe I’ll put in some headphones and crank up some Lake Street Dive. I might even be a bit tipsy by question 3. Who knows?

I sometimes don’t. An honest digital marketing consultant never pretends to have the right answer because one can find 10 blog posts with 10 different opinions on page one of search. <note to self: add pseudo-relevant keyword phrase “social media strategy and training Chicago” throughout this text>. Let’s begin…