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helpful info for our clients

site-image website design blog - helpful info for our clients

Outdated Website Features

In this article from Mashable, 12 Outdated Web Features That Need to Disappear in 2014, old trends are exposed and new ways of creating websites are featured. I don’t fully agree with all of these – I do have a few caveats, but the recommendations are generally good.
Here’s the quick list:
1. Irrelevant Elements
2. Flash Intros
3. Photo Carousel
4. Large Hero Images
5. Stock Photos
6. Animated GIF Flags
7. Autoplay Videos
8. Automated Popups
9. ‘Hello World’ Blog Post
10. Sidebars
11. Reloading Pages
12. M.dot Sites

Click on over to Mashable to read the full article.

Awesome New Product: ChargeKey

chargekeyI don’t often write about tech accessories, but this one is excellent.

from hellonomad.com:

ChargeKey is a portable lightning cable in the shape of a house-key. It’s designed to fit onto your keychain just like a house-key, so you’ll always have an iPhone cable on you. Use ChargeKey to charge/sync your iPhone from any USB port. An Android version is also available.

They also have the ChargeCard:
ChargeCard is your iPhone lightning cable, shaped like a credit card. It’s designed to fit into your wallet just like a credit card, so you’ll always have a charging/sync cable on you. Use ChargeCard to charge your iPhone from any USB port.  An Android version is also available.

Check them out!

Website Trends 2014 and Your Business

website trends 2014

Website design is going flat; this trend is being driven by Microsoft Windows 8, Apple’s iOS 7, and Google amongst many others. Gone are the glossy buttons, drop shadows, heavy graphics, etc. The new trends are flat, simple buttons and icons, a focus on text, images only as needed, and responsive layout that adapts to different browsers and devices.

Responsive websites adjust the layout and function automatically to the width of the device. It is much like a grid of blocks which move based on the width of available space. In combination with this responsive design trend, there is flexible navigation based on the device type, and content which expands to the full width of the browser

Mobile-only websites are a fast-growing trend. Mobile sites, usually created as a complement to an existing site, are great for providing quick info, directions, and features like a click-to-call button. The goal of mobile sites are most often immediate sales or contact conversions. Mobile-only websites are especially good for
service-related industries.

Having both a responsive website and a mobile site creates a win-win web presence.

Continuing to gain more of the web-world are Content-Management System (CMS) websites like WordPress, which is currently powering 19% of the world’s websites. These sites make it easy to create and update business-related content. They can also act as a blogging platform making the site more content-rich, which helps drive search traffic to the site. These sites can also be developed using responsive design

7 questions to ask yourself about your website’s visual look

  • Is my home page visually compelling?
  • Does my website lead visitors to want to learn more about my
    business?
  • Is it visually consistent with my company’s branding?
  • Is it easy to navigate? Can first time visitors easily find the information they need?
  • Does my site look out-of-date?
  • Does my website use Flash for videos or a slideshow?
    (If yes, you need a redesign because Flash won’t play on iPhones and iPads.)
  • Does it look good on all types of devices: desktop, laptop, tablet,
    and smartphone?
  • Does it integrate with my social media marketing such as
    Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pintrest?

7 questions to ask yourself about your website’s content

  • Is my website meeting the needs of my customers and, is it positively connecting with those whom I want to reach as new customers?
  • Does my website tell what is unique and special about my business, setting it above the competition?
  • Is the content relevant, informative, and targeted to promoting my business?
  • Is the content well-organized and is there enough information (but not too much)?
  • Is it consistent with my company’s marketing efforts?
  • Is the text organized and written with search keywords (SEO) in mind?
  • Am I sharing my business’ success by having customer reviews on my site and in social media? Last year, consumers’ trust of online reviews has risen to 70%. Television, newspaper, and magazines “trust rank” is about 47%.

Need help with your website?

With your answers to the questions above, we can address what type of website you need, whether it is informational, interactive, mobile, responsive, blog, or ecommerce.
Visit our Home page or Contact us today to talk about your website needs.

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A Common Keyword Research Mistake

A Common Keyword Research Mistake

Writing by Nick Stamoulis, Brick Marketing

Depending on the industry your website operates in and the content on your site, there might be hundreds of keywords that you could target with your onsite SEO. Best practice dictates that you only target 2-5 keywords per page, which means you’ll have to get picky. Even if your keyword research was on the right track, you might miss the mark when it comes time to choosing the most appropriate keywords for your site and your SEO goals. One of the most common keyword research mistakes I see is that site owners don’t choose keywords that are specific enough for their website. They are still in the right ballpark, but they didn’t take it all the way and are missing out on valuable SEO opportunities.

Let’s say your company offers B2B lead generation services. Obviously, keywords like “lead generation,” “b2b lead generation” and “lead generation company” are going to be incorporated into your site on various pages. However, these keywords are so broad that you might run into a few issues in your quest to improve your organic SEO. First and foremost, the broader the keyword the larger a search volume it will have, which means more companies are competing for that keyword. This makes it much harder to rank well in the search engines.

Secondly, broad keywords like “lead generation,” while they could potentially drive a lot of traffic to your site, they might not be sending the RIGHT traffic to your site. What kind of lead gen services does your company actually offer? Live telephone leads? Online leads? Do you specialize in a particular niche like real estate or finance? Those broad keywords might accurately reflect your business, but chances are there are quite a few long tail keywords that are even more appropriate.

Why is it so important to target those long tail keywords? Site owners often ask me why they should target a keyword that only gets 250 searches a month when they could target one that gets 2,500 searches. The answer is simple—those long tail keywords are going to bring a more targeted visitor to your site. Someone searching for “lead generation” could be looking for a multitude of things and might not be ready to buy anytime soon. Broad keywords are typically used when visitors are still in their research mode and are “shopping around.” However, if someone found your website after searching for “b2b live lead phone transfers,” chances are they know exactly what they are looking for and are looking to make a purchasing decision soon. You might only get 10 visitors each month by targeting “b2b live lead phone transfers,” but they are a much more targeted and highly qualified visitor.

Would you rather get more visitors or more qualified leads? The keywords you target are going to dictate the kind of searchers that find your site. By incorporating long tail keywords into your site you’ll get better traffic, not just more. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can only target keywords with a large search volume. While it is important to incorporate broad keywords into your site’s content, don’t forget to add those long tail keywords!

Local SEO Guidelines to Remember

Writing by Brick Marketing

If people are looking for a local business these days, they don’t turn to the Yellow Pages. They head for the search engines and type in the service, product, or kind of establishment that they are looking for in addition to the location that they are in. While the search engines continue to improve their personalized results and often can guess where someone is located, a typical searcher will still type in “hairstylist in X location” or “X location hairstylist”. If your website isn’t optimized for local search, it won’t be found in the search engines, and you will lose out on business to competitors. Here are 4 guidelines for local business owners to remember when optimizing a website:

Read more at Brick Marketing

Videos On Your Website

Want to show off something about your business? Video is a great way to do it.
Aside from the common advice about, make it high quality, think twice before doing your own commercials, etc., the best way to put a video on your site is by using YouTube as embedded content. Not only is it guaranteed to have the broadest compatibility, but it is also another part of a great marketing plan.

Read more about YouTube marketing for small businesses at Mashable:
6 Best Practices for Small Business YouTube Marketing