JPS Design Group - All categories graphic design, packaging design, web design en-us Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:53:00 -0800 Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 no 5 easy-to-miss SEO mistakes blogs make <h2>is your content great, but not ranking? here are some of the more common seo errors bloggers and content marketers make.</h2> <p>the digital marketing landscape has evolved significantly over the last two decades. and between google’s ever-changing algorithm and the deluge of misinformation floating through the digital marketing sphere, it’s easy to lose sight of basic practices we should be employing in our own seo and content marketing strategies.</p> <p>with every new algorithm update and technological shift in search, we become obsessed with how the field of seo will enter a wholly new paradigm, and we shift our focus to reflect this. yet as much as the medium may change, the core principles remain the same — and it’s time to get back to the basics.</p> <p>we all understand the secrets and best practices of seo, so why do we often fail to leverage these tactics? let’s explore five common blogging mistakes you may be making right now.</p> <h2>unoptimized keyword structure</h2> <p>despite the rise of semantic search and machine learning technology, <a href='' target='_blank'>keyword research</a> should still take precedence when modeling an internal content marketing campaign. all on-site content should be thematically linked by topics and keywords to your overall business objectives.</p> <p>if our content is simply covering topics and not keywords, how do we know what users <em>really</em>demand? without keyword research, how can you truly know who your audience is and who you are writing for?</p> <p>keywords serve as the bridge between user intent and informational/transactional content. keyword-optimized content helps to position individual web pages to rank higher organically and drive impressions for targeted searches. this effectively makes blog content a lead generator.</p> <p>for on-site blogs, the focus should remain on informational long-tail keyword phrases. common examples include question phrases beginning with <em>how, what, when, where</em> and <em>why</em>.</p> <p>other keyword ideas could include actionable phrases that are often searched for, such as the top “tips” and “hacks” to improve upon some process.</p> <p>bloggers often fail to optimize their headers, meta tags and content with targeted keyword phrases. consider the fact that specific keyword phrases will often be bolded within the meta description of a serp listing, potentially increasing your click-through rate.</p> <p>inadequate keyword research runs deeper than failing to optimize your header structure (e.g., title, meta description). many bloggers fail to leverage semantic seo, or similar keyword phrases with the same meaning. semantic seo allows bloggers to create more thorough and <em>readable</em> content that can drive impressions for multiple keyword phrases, answer more user questions and qualify your content to be a <a href=''>featured snippet</a> — think of the rise of voice search.</p> <p>on the other hand, over-optimized content could cross a dangerous line as well. keyword stuffing, or possessing a high keyword density, will qualify your content as spam. keyword stuffing also obstructs your content’s readability, which results in poor user signals.</p> <p>following seo best practices, it’s still important to optimize all relevant site elements, such as urls and meta tags, with targeted keywords to categorize and rank individual web pages. and aside from signaling to search engines the main focus of your on-site content, keywords also serve an important function for your site architecture.</p> <h2>inconsistent internal links</h2> <p><a href='' target='_blank'>internal linking</a> is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of seo optimization, and issues with internal links frequently occur on seo agency websites themselves!</p> <p>there are many functions of proper internal linking for seo:</p> <ul> <li>establishes paths for users to navigate your website.</li> <li>opens up crawling to deep linked web pages and increases crawl rate.</li> <li>defines site architecture and your most important web pages to search engines.</li> <li>distributes “link juice,” or authority, throughout your website.</li> <li>indexes linked-to web pages by the keywords used in the hyperlink anchor text.</li> </ul> <p>while backlinks remain the gold standard of search engine ranking factors, their magic can be amplified through strategic internal linking.</p> <p>ideally, you’ll want at least three to five internal links per blog post, and a drop-down or navigation menu on your home page to provide deep links to inaccessible web pages. just because a piece of content is posted to your blog, it doesn’t mean google or bing can automatically access it.</p> <p>conduct a thorough internal link audit and record which web pages have the most authority. simply insert internal links on these pages to other high-value internal pages to distribute authority evenly throughout your domain.</p> <p>many websites display featured posts in a drop-down menu or on the home page to distribute authority to their blog posts. a blogger’s home page will be his/her most authoritative. limit the number of links between each blog post and your home page to evenly distribute link juice throughout your domain.</p> <p>don’t overlook the importance of a sitemap, either. this will ensure all web pages are properly crawled and indexed — assuming url structures are clean and keyword-optimized.</p> <p>finally, optimize all anchor text to categorize and drive impressions for linked web pages. be sure to use varying anchor text phrases for each link so that you can rank your web pages for multiple search queries.</p> <h2>poor page copy</h2> <p>as we often say in digital marketing, it’s important to write for readers and not search engines. keep content light, don’t try to show off knowledge with excessive jargon, and write for readers on an eighth-grade reading level.</p> <p>in most cases, on-site content is not about publishing, but building awareness around a need. i always suggest placing actionable tips in informational content to provide value.</p> <p>content marketing is as much a branding exercise as it is a marketing tactic. consistent content production establishes your brand’s ethos and also creates your voice as an author. in turn, this establishes you as an authority in your niche.</p> <p>don’t sacrifice this authority with poor body copy.</p> <p>look over your blog post as a whole. what does a reader experience when they first encounter your web page? consider the fact that the average attention span is estimated to be eight seconds. optimize your header structure and meta tags to encourage easy scanability and communicate a clear purpose.</p> <p>leverage a powerful headline to pique reader interest, and nurture this interest with a strong introductory paragraph. always insert clear transition phrases, and consider using animated gifs and videos to give users a mental break between long chunks of paragraphs. these will also increase your average user dwell time.</p> <p>make your content visually appealing by utilizing white space properly and inserting images after every 400 words or so. this essentially chunks content and prevents information overload.</p> <p>finally, edit fiercely. many writers live by the rule that about two-thirds of writing should be editing and reworking. use tools such as grammarly and the hemingway app to create concise and clean body copy.</p> <h2>unoptimized images and videos</h2> <p>speaking of poor page copy, most bloggers still ignore image and video optimization. unoptimized image file formats and sizes are the most common load time mistakes that deteriorate seo performance.</p> <p>all on-site images should be formatted as .jpg, and all vector images as .png.</p> <p>always optimize image alt text to position it to rank in a targeted keyword image search. the alternative text is what’s displayed when a browser fails to actually display the image and tells search engines the content of your image. (it’s also used to describe images to those with screen readers.)</p> <p>when optimizing video files, host all of your video files in a single folder and create a video site map for search engines to index your videos. you should optimize the meta description of all video pages with targeted keywords for indexation. leverage a call to action in your meta description and video annotations.</p> <p>video marketing can be distributed from multiple channels, as well as your blog. according to <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>a recent survey by hubspot</a>, 43 percent of consumers want to see more video from content marketers.</p> <h2>poor content promotion</h2> <p>this leads us to probably the greatest error that plagues bloggers and stumps small businesses. we’re told that a good piece of content should serve as a natural link magnet and even rank highly based on the merits of the writing itself. to be candid, from experience we’ve discovered this isn’t always true.</p> <p>consider the idea that a 10-hour project totaling 3,245 words, featuring exquisite content and imagery, is just as useless as a poorly written 400-word listicle if it doesn’t drive conversions or traffic. this is what i refer to as potential energy. without a proper technical structure or any content promotion strategy at work, your awe-inspiring content is a dud.</p> <p>what if, after writing his theory of relativity, einstein had simply posted his theory on his front door and waited for someone to discover it? content distributed over a blog on a young domain won’t gather backlinks or social shares without promotion.</p> <p>leverage your connections, and follow these strategies to promote content and allow it to compound over social media:</p> <ol> <li>have influential members of your organization share and promote a piece of content.</li> <li>contact influencers over social media to share content.</li> <li>request a quote from an industry thought leader to place in your content; advertise this in your rich snippet on social media channels.</li> <li>repurpose content into a video or infographic for greater shareability.</li> <li>contact websites that have linked to similar content in the past.</li> <li>submit your content to replace relevant broken links on authoritative sites.</li> <li>run a paid advertisement campaign over social media to place content directly in front of targeted audience members.</li> </ol> <p>content promotion involves thorough audience analysis. segment audience members into one of three boundaries based on habits, demographics and psychographics. investigate what social media channels each audience segment uses the most and the points of time when they are most active.</p> <p>understand which pieces of content perform best over specific social media channels. the most viral content examples include:</p> <ul> <li>“how-to” tutorials</li> <li>infographics</li> <li>videos</li> <li>listicles</li> <li>“why” articles</li> </ul> <p>content serves as an effective pull marketing tactic and inbound lead generator. yet, if content is simply sitting on the shelf and gathering dust, it’s a lost investment.</p> <p>social and user signals factor greatly into organic ranking. essentially, social promotion will draw users to your content, which will determine — based on their engagement — the efficacy of your content.</p> <h2>conclusion</h2> <p>seo agencies and content marketers often tell clients about technical and onsite errors they may be making. but sometimes it takes a little realism to take a step back and analyze our own campaigns for greater success in the long run.</p> <p>hopefully, you’ll take the news that your seo content strategy is imperfect in the right way. it’s an opportunity to refine and improve.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine land</strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 50 Business Ideas Using Google AdSense <p>it’s easier than ever to start a website. and advertising platforms like google <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>adsense</a> can make earning an income from those websites easy as well.</p> <p>but not all websites are created equal. there are certain topics that tend to earn more than others when it comes to including adsense ads. and there are some topics that are especially popular with online consumers. of course, you’ll need some actual knowledge and expertise in the niche you want to build a website around. but if you’re looking to stick with a topic that has some adsense earning potential, take a look at these 50 options.</p> <h2>adsense business ideas</h2> <h3>health information</h3> <p>health is one of the most profitable topics out there for adsense websites. if you’re knowledgeable on health topics, you can offer general information or focus on a specific health related niche. but use care when dealing with medical advice.</p> <h3>fitness tips</h3> <p>you can also focus on fitness rather than other health issues. offer workout routines and tips to those looking to change up their exercise methods.</p> <h3>diet tips</h3> <p>for another popular health related niche, you can offer some diet tips and recipes for health food and weight loss.</p> <h3>technology</h3> <p>technology is another popular topic for adsense sites. you can create a website that share information about new innovations or even focus on a specific brand or type of device.</p> <h3>it news</h3> <p>you can also create a site that’s more geared toward it professionals or that can help individuals troubleshoot various tech issues.</p> <h3>smartphone information</h3> <p>smartphones are clearly one of the most buzzworthy types of products out there. so within the tech niche, you can create a website that’s all about different smartphone options and the new models being released.</p> <h3>mobile apps</h3> <p>you can also create lists and databases about the various mobile apps that are available, as mobile apps are another popular topic within adsense.</p> <h3>software information</h3> <p>or you could focus on a specific type or brand of software and build a business around sharing information and updates related to it.</p> <h3>fashion</h3> <p>fashion is another popular topic. you can share news from designers, trends, fashion tips and more.</p> <h3>beauty tips</h3> <p>you can also create a website where you share beauty tips and trends related to makeup, hair and nails.</p> <h3>relationship advice</h3> <p>if you have experience in relationship counseling or related fields, you can start a website where you answer questions and offer advice on personal relationships.</p> <h3>family topics</h3> <p>family related websites can also help you integrate a number of popular adsense keywords. you can share family friendly events and activities, parenting advice and more.</p> <h3>home care</h3> <p>or you can create a website that serves as a great resource for homeowners, offering tips and solutions to common home care issues ranging from decor to necessary home repairs.</p> <h3>gardening</h3> <p>gardening can also fall into that category, though you can also build a standalone website that’s just dedicated to gardening tips and advice.</p> <h3>personal finance</h3> <p>finance is a hugely popular topic online and when it comes to adsense earning potential. you can start a website where you offer finance tips and news that could relate to individuals and their finances.</p> <h3>forex trading</h3> <p>or you could get even more specific and build a website that’s completely dedicated to foreign exchange trading rates and updates.</p> <h3>student loan information</h3> <p>student loans also offer a lot of opportunities for you to share relevant information with people looking for help with their student loan related decisions.</p> <h3>mortgage information</h3> <p>you can also focus specifically on mortgage rates and updates to provide valuable information to homeowners and those looking to buy.</p> <h3>credit information</h3> <p>or you could focus more generally on credit and offer comparisons and valuable insights to help people make credit related decisions.</p> <h3>insurance information</h3> <p>insurance related keywords pay relatively high per click from google adsense and have relatively low competition so a site containing detailed and valuable information on various kinds of insurance might be a very profitable one.</p> <h3>real estate information</h3> <p>real estate is another popular topic for adsense websites. offer real estate listings or information geared toward a specific area.</p> <h3>automobiles</h3> <p>you can also create a website that shares information related to automobiles, like automotive news, vehicle listings and even repair tips.</p> <h3>celebrity news</h3> <p>popular celebrities also garner a lot of search traffic. so you could start a celebrity news site or start a fan site related to a specific celebrity.</p> <h3>entertainment information</h3> <p>or you could focus on more general entertainment topics, like reviews about movies, tv shows or books.</p> <h3>sports news</h3> <p>sports are also hugely popular online. so you could start a website that offers sports scores and headlines or one related to a specific city or team.</p> <h3>online games</h3> <p>online games can also be a great subject for a website business. you can develop your own games so that people are likely to spend a lot of time on your site. or you could also provide information and insights into popular games that people can play on other platforms.</p> <h3>political updates</h3> <p>political news and updates can get a lot of attention online. so you could start a site where you share news and information about different candidates or politicians.</p> <h3>viral videos</h3> <p>everyone loves a good viral video. so if you create a website where you share funny and interesting viral content, you could potentially get a lot of views and thus, a lot of adsense income.</p> <h3>travel</h3> <p>travel is another topic that’s popular with adsense advertisers, especially information about airlines and hotels. so you could create a website that shares travel tips and deals to get in on this popular niche.</p> <h3>photography tips</h3> <p>there’s also a lot of advertising power behind the photography business. so if you start a website where you share photography tips and opinions about different types of equipment, you could potentially earn a lot of revenue from adsense.</p> <h3>stock images</h3> <p>or you could start a website where you offer stock images in a particular niche and simply include some adsense space on your site.</p> <h3>blogging tips</h3> <p>blogging tips are also popular in online searches. so if you’re an experienced blogger, you could share some of your expertise in a separate website.</p> <h3>social media news</h3> <p>you could also start a site where you share social media tips and news about the various platforms that are popular with individuals and businesses.</p> <h3>search engine optimization</h3> <p>another aspect of blogging and running a website, you can use your seo expertise to gain a lot of search traffic to your seo website, then reap the benefits from adsense.</p> <h3>web design</h3> <p>you can also start a website that offers information about web design and development topics.</p> <h3>graphic design</h3> <p>or you could focus on graphic design related topics.</p> <h3>domain and hosting information</h3> <p>domain and hosting information is also fairly popular when it comes to adsense. so you can start a website where you offer tips and information related to those aspects of starting a website.</p> <h3>money making tips</h3> <p>one of the most profitable topics for adsense websites is money making tips — specifically, making money online. so you could start a website that offers tips and methods people can use to make some extra income online.</p> <h3>money saving tips</h3> <p>similarly, you could also start a website where you provide tips and methods for people to save their money or spend less.</p> <h3>business tips</h3> <p>most of the popular adsense topics are geared toward individual consumers. but you can also create a website that offers tips and information for businesses.</p> <h3>marketing tips</h3> <p>more specifically, you can offer marketing tips and valuable information on various marketing methods.</p> <h3>advertising news</h3> <p>advertising is another b2b topic that can be profitable for adsense websites. you can provide tips or share examples that advertisers can look to for inspiration.</p> <h3>cybersecurity</h3> <p>cybersecurity has become a major issue for both consumers and businesses. so you can help those looking for information and earn some adsense revenue by starting a website on the topic.</p> <h3>farming and agriculture</h3> <p>farming is another profitable adsense topic. so if you’re knowledgeable about farming and agriculture techniques, you can make a business out of sharing your expertise online.</p> <h3>education news</h3> <p>things like online classes and information about various colleges get a lot of search traffic. so websites that offer information in those areas can earn a lot of adsense revenue.</p> <h3>charitable information</h3> <p>there’s also a lot of popular keywords related to charitable giving, specifically donating cars or other large items. so you could set up a website where you can point people looking to donate those items in the right direction.</p> <h3>traffic updates</h3> <p>though this would take a lot of updating, people are always looking for updates on traffic in their area. so you could start a site dedicated to providing those updates in real time.</p> <h3>local business listings</h3> <p>you could also start a website where you list local businesses in different niches, ranging from restaurants and stores to service providers like plumbers and electricians.</p> <h3>law and lawyer information</h3> <p>specifically, information about lawyers and lawsuit information can generate a lot of search traffic and be very profitable for adsense sites.</p> <h3>breaking news</h3> <p>and of course, so many people turn to websites now for breaking news updates. so you could start a blog or online publication dedicated to sharing the latest breaking stories.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>small business trends</strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 12 SEO Mistakes To Avoid For Better Search Engine Rankings <p dir='ltr'>the power of search engine optimization is stronger than ever before: as many as 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search engine results, according to stats compiled by <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>search engine journal</a>. this is reason enough that you need to employ good seo techniques and get your business to rank on page one of every targeted keyword search.</p> <p dir='ltr'>employing poor seo practices can leave your business buried in search engine searches, making it impossible for your customers to find you. below are the most common seo errors that could be hurting your search engine rankings.</p> <p>search engine optimization is constantly evolving. here, 12 forbes agency council members share advice on how to avoid common seo mistakes.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>1. lack of quality content </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>while user experience is increasingly paramount, you also have to think about what search engine bots see when they crawl your website. your content needs to be effective in communicating to your audience and to bots. each page on your website should have 400 words of quality content at the very least, but 700 to 1,200 words is optimal. remember, this includes your product and collections pages as well.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>2. seeing double </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the most common seo mistakes out there is duplicate content. if you have the same content on more than one page on your site then the search engines will be confused and your pages will end up competing against each other or your website will get penalized.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>3. choosing the wrong keywords </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>the definition of "wrong" keywords extends to selecting keywords that don't accurately describe your products and services, or selecting keywords that don't convert into customers. select target keywords carefully, as they are your biggest determinant in seo success.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>4. not optimizing for engagement </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>while backlinks are still a heavily weighted value in seo rankings, you should focus on user engagement. we are finding that longer, well-written content that captures the reader's attention is increasing rankings. incorporate images, videos, quotes, resources and infographics to assist with the reader engagement. your bounce rate should reduce while the time on site and rankings increase.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>5. lack of title tag optimization </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the biggest errors we see with our clients' websites is that the textual content is not optimized. it is a best practice to have variations of your primary target keywords in three heading tags across your homepage and any other sub-pages where seo work is being done. the heading tags consist of h1, h2 and h3 title tags. keeping those optimized will help boost your rankings.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>6. keyword stuffing </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>now that google’s algorithms are much smarter and always change, they can recognize and penalize sites for keyword stuffing. instead of overstuffing, use relevant keywords within your site’s content but always in moderation. always keep your audience in mind.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>7. absence of a blog strategy </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one big seo initiative that we work on with our clients is developing a consistent, ongoing, informative blog strategy. too often, people create a blog and don't take the time to blog properly – helpful, meaningful information with regular posting that uses appropriate keywords. this is very helpful for organic search, plus it provides great content to share on socials and e-newsletters.</p> <p><strong>8. thin content lacking target keywords </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the most common issues for my clients is the use of thin and irrelevant content that lacks a target keyword and related keywords. content needs to have depth and deep analysis of the subject, and each piece should focus on one or two keywords at most. next, semantically related keywords are needed for algorithms to grasp the relevancy of the topic.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>9. index bloat </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>i'd say about 35% of the leads we receive suffer from index bloat in one way or another, whether from poor wordpress optimization resulting in tag, category, media and archive pages being indexed or from an absurd amount of thin content being indexed. typically, an excessive number of thin pages comes from blogging for the sake of blogging, rather than providing value and answering searchers' queries.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>10. not prioritizing high-value non-branded keywords </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>like with many other practices, success in seo starts with the fundamentals. and the reality is, many firms, including prominent ones, do not include valuable non-branded keywords in their title tags, especially on their most important pages. simply put: if you aren't taking the effort to use the keywords your target market is, they are going to have a harder time finding you.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>11. too broad optimization goals </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>trying to attract everyone. optimizing for broader, more generic keywords is an easy and understandable trap to fall into. but here are the pitfalls: 1) there’s a lot of competition when optimizing for generic keywords, and 2) you may be drawing traffic to your site that will never convert. instead, be as specific as possible with your keywords. you may get fewer visitors, but you’ll get more buyers.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>12. title tags not describing the page/business </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the most common seo errors is incorrect assumptions about how to label title tags. a lot of companies make their homepage or sub-page title tags the title of their company. instead, this should be a short description of the product or service the company provides.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 4 Tips To Ensure Your Website Design & SEO Is Done Right <p>website design and organic search performance are intrinsically linked, which is to say that design has an observable effect on a website’s ability to rank well for relevant terms. this can become problematic for companies with isolated teams, where design and marketing don’t work closely together, or in cases where marketing is only brought onto a project after a site has already been launched. sites designed without seo in mind can cause ranking issues down the line. </p> <p>at our digital agency, we work with clients across industries to design and develop websites that are built with seo best practices in mind. our marketing strategists are involved in design and redesign projects from the beginning, collaborating with the designer to create a website that is search engine friendly. from this experience, we’ve gained a lot of insight into the interplay between a site’s design and its ability to rank well in organic search.</p> <p>below we cover 4 methods to ensure your design is helping, as opposed to hindering, your seo efforts.</p> <p><strong>1 - know your usability factors</strong></p> <p>the goal of search engines is to provide the best results they possibly can to users who search on their platforms. this is the best way to ensure customer satisfaction and keep users coming back. more users equal more advertisers, and more advertisers equal more profits. </p> <p>what this means on a practical level is that search engines will reward sites that offer great experiences to users. the last thing they want is to place a site in the first position of the results page and have a user click on that site only to realize that it’s frustrating or difficult to use. poor usability translates to a bad user experience with the search engine. good usability translates to user satisfaction with both the website in question and the search engine that included it in the results. </p> <p>good user experience will bear itself out in longer time spent on a page/site, higher volumes of inbound links, and a healthy amount of social shares. these factors are seen as indications of quality and therefore are rewarded by search engines. of course, by now we all know that it’s not enough to focus solely on desktop usability - <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>mobile usability</a> has an equally important role to play in the overall picture of user experience. mobile-friendliness is an absolute must if you’re hoping to make gains in organic search visibility, and it should be a primary design focus.</p> <p><strong>2 - design for content discoverability</strong></p> <p>in order for content to be crawled and indexed by search engines, it needs to be discoverable. search engines, though sophisticated, are limited to discovering content through links. if the proper links to your content don’t exist, or they’re buried or broken, your content won’t be discovered and it will be impossible to get your site’s pages to rank. </p> <p>your goal from a design perspective is to create a site architecture that is intuitive for users to engage with, while your goal from an seo perspective is to create an architecture that allows pages to be crawled and distributes internal links judiciously. fortunately, these goals are aligned and can be achieved simultaneously. prioritize your most important content high up in the architecture - this will include top level service or product categories, which should also map directly to your priority keyword themes. from there, create subcategories and individual product or service pages. </p> <p>a search for ‘craft beer’ on bing results, guinness has mastered content discoverability through seo.</p> <p><strong>3 - plan for high quality content</strong></p> <p>the content on your website is what tells search engines what each page is about. where it once was enough to stuff landing pages full of keywords to achieve rankings, modern seo is all about quality content. </p> <p>in order to create content that can truly be called high quality; you need to begin planning for it before the design phase or redesign is underway. for each page you’re creating you should ask yourself: what purpose does this page serve? what do users want/need to know about this topic? what types of content are necessary to convey our message as effectively as possible? the answers to these questions should be used to inform the design of the site because the design of it must be conceived to accommodate the content you’ve deemed necessary. the alternative means wedging content in after the fact, when ideas about the design may have already become entrenched and difficult to alter.</p> <p><strong>4 - be vigilant during a redesign</strong></p> <p>a redesign can be a dangerous time for the seo value of a website. a website redesign that’s done without the input of a search expert puts the company at risk of losing much of the seo value it’s spent years building. not realizing this, many companies waltz blindly into a redesign, only discovering their error when their organic traffic takes a nosedive. </p> <p>before you begin the redesign process, you should crawl your site to come up with a view of the current site, including all the pages on the site and relevant information associated with them (eg; current rankings, existing title tags). are any of these pages outdated or redundant? if so, where can they be redirected in your new architecture? which of the current site pages rank highly for your target keywords? comb through all of your content to make sure that none of it gets left behind in the redesign - it’s essential that high value content is maintained on the new site. if you’re changing url structure make sure to do a redirect map and have redirects in place at the time the new site goes live.</p> <p> </p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Five tips to enhance brand design <p>design is not about mere decoration, but is a marketing tool whose primary purpose is to create common ground between a brand and a consumer, according to a leading industry figure.</p> <p>in a warc best practice paper, <a href='' target='_blank'>how to use design in today’s fragmented media mix</a>, katie ewer, strategy director at creative agency and brand consultancy jones knowles ritchie in singapore, notes a recent convergence of design and communications.</p> <p>while design has always been with us, its current growing influence is in part a consequence of a changing media landscape, she says.</p> <p>“fragmented, superficial and complex, we often have a handful of silent seconds in which to communicate with our audience. nothing does that job as well as an image.</p> <p>“an image has no story to tell; it is not dependent on dialogue or music, and it has no punch line. design is immediate, instantaneous and instinctive.”</p> <p>research shows that humans process visuals thousands of times faster than text, with one mit study finding that the human eye is able to interpret an image in just 13 milliseconds. and social media posts and tweets with images are more likely to be shared and liked.</p> <p>accordingly, ewer offers five tips to guide marketers in their use of design, starting with clarity on what a brand stands for and how design can advance that idea.</p> <p>what results can be outward expression of a brand’s inner spirit or something as mundane as a re-sealable bag for frozen peas, but, she stresses, “design is more than just surface-level adjustments”.</p> <p>the role of design is often to simplify unnecessary complexity, ewer adds, whether that’s through improving a user journey, making complicated data easy to understand, or making decision-making effortless and intuitive in a supermarket.</p> <p>related to that, marketers need to continually remind themselves that consumers often do not make rational choices. so covering packaging with product claims, for example, is unlikely to persuade as it simply “puts friction into the decision-making process”.</p> <p>but, done properly, packaging can be an effective communications medium. limited editions, for example, “allow buttoned-up brands the opportunity to let their hair down and bend the rules of their brand visual equities”.</p> <p>finally, it is important to understand the user journey, since today there are always multiple touch-points to consider, and “each should be visually cohesive, yet able to deliver specific messages at the right moment”.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>warc</strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Why Website Design Is Given So Much Importance? <p>having a website with simple functionality and dull website design is not going to fulfill the objective of any business. a website is an online presence of a business and has to be such that it clearly depicts the business and its objective to the online visitors and turn them into potential customers. it has been seen that intriguing design of a website tend to attract more visitors than websites that have a dull user interface and simple website design.</p> <p>website design tells a lot about many aspects of the business like creativity, objective, usability etc. it doesn’t matter how functional a website is but if doesn’t have an attractive design that defines its business services or products or objective well the visitors are not going to stay on it for too long. this means that the website will not be able to hold the visitors and in this era of technological advancements more and more people visit a website to enquire about a product or service before making a purchase decision. so if a website doesn’t have a good design it will lose its precious visitors and ultimately lose potential clients.   </p> <p>this is the reason that website design is given the utmost importance when building a business website. let’s quickly look at why good website design is important for a business?   </p> <p><strong>helps in better navigation and usability</strong>: no matter if the website is full of information but if the user is not able to find what they are looking for it is of no use. any visitor can judge the website within mere seconds of arriving on it. websites that are chaotic, confusing or cluttered the visitor will instantly hit the back button and will move on to the competitor’s website. good website design makes sure that the navigation and usability of the website is simple yet creative so that visitors find what they are looking for and stays on it and make a query.  </p> <p><strong>helps to build customer trust and provides better service</strong>:  a business website is no less than a customer service representative. so the first impression it will make is going to decide whether the customer will opt for the service or not. poorly designed websites tends to make impression of rudeness and unhelpful customer service. on the other hand a website that is well designed creates an impression of politeness and friendliness and makes the visitor to stay on it till he finds what he is looking for. good <strong>website design</strong> helps to build a better business-client relationship. </p> <p><strong>helps to surpass competition</strong>: it’s tough to survive the competition these days if you don’t have something that stands out of the competition. having an online presence of a business with <a href='http://https//' target='_blank'>good web design</a> and smooth functionality lets the business surpass the competition. this is because websites that look shoddy and amateur cannot stand against the steep competition as every business look to grab his share of clients.  </p> <p><strong>helps with consistency and coherency</strong>: it has been seen that people doesn’t like website that uses different fonts and is laid out differently. people are more likely to stick to a website that uses same style, set of format and typeface guidelines. all this serves as the backbone for all the pages of the website and creates a sense of consistency and creates a more coherent experience for visitor.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>training zone</strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How To Sell Web Design To A Sceptic <p><strong>in today’s competitive market it is extremely important for businesses to invest in web design. with the plethora of digital advancements available, competition is growing and getting stronger. that is why businesses need to understand the importance of having a well-designed website. however, there are remain many web design sceptics, or people who don’t see the value in website design or understand the concept. so how do you sell website design to a sceptic? it’s simple: show how important it is for having a successful business in today’s fierce market.</strong></p> <p>web design is a strategic field that involves the design, construction, function, and maintenance of a website. the design and function of the website are entirely moulded around the client’s brand, audience, and requirements. great web designers keep themselves updated on developments and trends in their field and appropriate them in fulfilling their clients’ needs.   </p> <h2>why is web design important?</h2> <p>there many reasons why web design is important, but the main idea is that a business’s website is an expression of its brand, an extension of its identity. how it presents itself online can contribute to its success or failure. it basically means if your business doesn’t have a website, has a poorly designed one, or has one that hasn’t been updated in a while, then you risk turning off your customers or not registering in their consciousness at all.</p> <p>in today’s market, potential customers are using the internet to find companies they trust or find appealing. no one uses the yellow pages anymore, and phone calls are rarely happening. think of the <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>website as a business storefront</a>: it is what customers see right away and what establishes your brand from the get-go. without a well-designed website, businesses are seriously lacking new customers and increased revenue. here is what web design does for your brand.</p> <h2>adds credibility</h2> <p>web design is essential to providing a business with credibility. when a potential customer is searching for a product or service, they are more likely to use the internet. if 85% of consumers are using the internet to find a local business or product, having an impressive website is extremely important. while customers are searching for the desired service, they are only going to choose one that has a website backed with credibility.</p> <p>web designs come options on how to build your reputation and gain trust. depending on the nature of your business, you could have customer reviews and testimonies, portfolios, or have dedicated pages for awards and citations. an attractive website that looks better than your competitors’ could also build your credibility to potential customers.</p> <h2>builds brand image</h2> <p>another vital aspect that web design provides for a business is a strong brand image. ever heard of the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover? unfortunately, potential customers are doing exactly that with your website. web design includes colours, visuals, and features, that strategically express your image and identity. your home page or landing page gives you that unique opportunity to show your brand image it a way that will resonate with your customers. </p> <h2>generates sales</h2> <p>having an online channel <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>connects you to more customers</a>. each visitor is a potential buyer. even if you’ve got a brick-and-mortar and have no plans of going the e-commerce route, your website could connect you to potential customers that your storefront and your traditional media efforts might not be able to reach. </p> <h2>what does web design include?</h2> <p>web design encompasses a variety of skills and disciplines. starting from the blank page, adding the layout, then company logos and images, there is a lot that goes into to constructing a website. web designers and developers usually offer packages that provide you with everything you need for a fully functional website that will draw customers in. here are typical inclusions in web design packages:</p> <ul> <li>domain and hosting – <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>online real estate, t</a>he address and space to build the structure.</li> <li>interface design – everything that a <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>visitor sees and interacts with</a>.</li> <li>navigation and layout – ensures that visitors can intuitively find what they’re looking for.</li> <li>graphic design – appealing aesthetics that are consistent with the brand image.</li> <li>add-ons – enhance user experience or facilitate management and site analysis.</li> <li>seo – helps users get to the site when they <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>enter a search term</a> in a search engine.</li> <li>full maintenance –  makes sure the site remains up and running.</li> <li>e-commerce – sets up the facilities for an online shop, including payment channels.</li> </ul> <h2>conclusion: so is it worth the investment?</h2> <p>this is the one question that gets sceptics hesitant to invest in web design. however, based on all the information provided above, it’s easy to see where all the money is going. creating a customised platform requires a lot of work and maintenance. also, you aren’t paying just anyone—you’re paying experts in the field. most web design packages not only cover construction, but also routine maintenance and updates. this means your website will always look up-to-date and functional.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>bcw</strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 A Beginner’s Quick Guide to Using Google Search Console for SEO <p>if you want a better website with better content, google search console should be one of your first stops. it's a powerful set of tools that can give you valuable information on errors you may have in your code, usability, search traffic and so on. and yes, there can be a slight learning curve if you're new to it.</p> <p>in the <a href='' target='_blank'>pr news guidebook: google for communicators</a>, chris hornak, owner of blog hands, argues that fluency with these tools is well worth the afternoon or two it might cost you to learn how to use them. he provides a thorough guide to using search console to maximize your search engine optimization and save yourself time and money. but to distill this advice into its briefest form, excerpted below are hornak's five simple steps to follow for your first foray into search console:</p> <ol> <li>add your site and verify it: this is step one. create or log on to your search console account, add property (your site), and follow the steps to verify that you are someone with access to the site. take your time and get this right. it gets a lot more interesting very quickly afterward.</li> <li>link <a href='' target='_blank'>google analytics</a>: an optional step, but one that will give you the best information between both sets of tools.</li> <li>make a sitemap: this is an ideal way to ensure that google crawls all of your website.</li> <li>test your robots.txt file: <a href='' target='_blank'>google’s tester tool</a> ensures that your robots.txt file is error-free. it’s a good thing to do.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>crawl for errors</a>: this section of the search console lets you know what, if any, errors are present on your site. armed with this information, you can fix the problems before they impact your page rank.</li> </ol> <p>if you are looking for additional help with specifics in the google search console, visiting the <a href=''>google search console help center</a> will not disappoint. it gives you valuable information about the console, how it works and what steps you can take to implement best practices for your site.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>pr news</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Visual Search: Looking Beyond Image SEO Marketing <p>i want to tell you a story about a young google algorithm.</p> <p>he was born blind, in a world where a picture is worth a thousand searches. this little algorithm had one dream. to be able to see. so he got his friends to describe him images, but still he couldn’t see.</p> <p>he built magical google goggles, but these didn’t work. then one day, he built a learning machine and finally, after years of struggle, he could recognize images.</p> <p>that little algorithm who could is named <strong><em>visual search</em></strong> and has taken on a job as the world’s personal shopper.</p> <h2>image searches are now commonplace</h2> <p>look at the two options below, which is more useful if you wanted to buy a handbag?</p> <p><img alt='google web vs image search results' src='' style='height:400px; width:760px' /></p> <p><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>slyce</a> asked that question to consumers. 74 percent of them replied that text-based keyword searches are inefficient in helping to find the right product online.</p> <p>a 2017 report by <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>jumpshot & moz </a>further supports that discovery through pictures is alive and well, with around 27 percent of all searches being for images. mozcast reports image blocks in around 11 percent of google results. while jumpshots’ data shows images earn 3 percent of all google search clicks.</p> <p><img alt='moz & jumpshot image serach' src='' style='height:392px; width:380px' /></p> <h2>image seo: the early years</h2> <p>let’s be honest, image optimization is the dinosaur of the seo world. sure you <em>say</em> you implement image seo for additional ranking opportunities in google image search, but in most cases, you don’t truly believe this will have a significant impact on your kpis.</p> <p>when is the last time you looked at the sessions from image search in google analytics? did you even notice years ago the change from the referral path /imgres under referral to a fully fledged source medium as</p> <p>most of the image seo best practices are more for user experience than search engines rankings. take a critical look at common <a href=''>image optimization tips</a>:</p> <p><strong>primary reason behind common image optimization tips</strong></p> <p><em>user experience</em></p> <ul> <li>rankings othershy away from stock to use original, high-quality images</li> <li>shy away from stock to use original, high-quality images</li> <li>context is key, be relevant to surrounding text</li> <li>appropriate file format so images are crisp</li> <li>optimize image file size for web page load times</li> <li>use standard image ratios</li> <li>use image dimensions large enough to be clearly visible on any device</li> <li>add descriptive captions for users who scan</li> </ul> <p><em>rankings</em></p> <ul> <li>descriptive image file names</li> <li>descriptive alt text</li> <li>descriptive image titles</li> <li>submit an image sitemap</li> <li>schema markup</li> </ul> <p><em>other</em></p> <ul> <li>open graph tags</li> <li>twitter cards</li> <li>beware of copyright</li> </ul> <p>and one can argue descriptive image file names, alt text, and image titles are used as an opportunity to add a keyword in order to rank the page, not necessarily the image itself.</p> <p>not to say the image optimization tips above are not valuable. you should still do these things.</p> <p>the hard truth is seo professionals often neglect image optimization as an afterthought to page-level optimization, if it’s considered at all. and this level of image optimization alone is not going to be enough to win users.</p> <p>so why are you reading about it…</p> <h2>the rise of visual search</h2> <p>in the past there was image search, where search engines took a text-based query and tried to find the best visual match.</p> <p>in the present there is visual search, where search engines, social networks, ecommerce powerhouses, startups and many companies in between take an image as the query.</p> <p>a change in consumer behavior is happening. in the words of jeffrey gitomer “people don’t like to be sold to, but they love to buy.”</p> <p>when you see something you’re interested in, whether it’s online or offline, you want a fast an easy way to get more information.</p> <p>for example, you see a pair of shoes in a magazine. with image recognition, you can take a photo and find similar item for sale online.</p> <p>this see-snap-buy behavior is becoming commonplace and has opened up opportunities for companies to enter the purchase cycle with the photo as the search query. this places them higher in the conversion funnel than a text-based search query.</p> <p>visual search is fast becoming a staple of shopping apps. and with the impact on kpis, it’s no surprise why.</p> <p><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>bloomreach</a> found that visual search is associated with 48 percent more product views. consumers are 57 percent more likely to make a return visits and spend on average 9 percent more on mobile than those who do not use it.</p> <p>amazon, pinterest, and many more have launched visual search capabilities on mobile. there is a battle of the brands to be your snap and shop app of choice.</p> <p><img alt='visual search timeline of brand entry' src='' style='height:394px; width:985px' /></p> <p>at present, early adopters amazon (turning the world into a hyperlink) and pinterest (promoting on online discovery) are leading the pack. but google isn’t taking this lying down.</p> <p><img alt='pinterest visual search' src='' style='height:540px; width:301px' /></p> <h2>visual search & google</h2> <p>google has been quietly adding <a href=''>machine learning</a> and image recognition capabilities to mobile image search over the last years. plotting the updates, you can see clear stepping stone technologies building on the theme of visual search.</p> <ul> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>related images</a> (april 2013)</strong>: click on a result to view visually similar images.</li> <li><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'><strong>collections</strong></a><strong> (november 2015)</strong>: allows users to save images directly from google’s mobile image search into folders. google’s answer to a pinterest board.</li> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>product images in web results</a> (october 2016)</strong>: product images begin to display next to website links in mobile search.</li> <li><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'><strong>product details on images</strong></a><strong> (december 2016)</strong>: click on an image result to display product price, availability, ratings, and other key information directly in the image search results.</li> <li><strong><a href='' target='_blank'>similar items</a> (10th april 2017)</strong>: google can identify products, even within lifestyle images, and showcases similar items you can buy online.</li> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>style ideas</a> (april 17, 2017)</strong>: the flip side to similar items. when browsing fashion product images on mobile, google shows you outfit montages and inspirational lifestyle photos to highlight how the product can be worn in real life.</li> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>image badges</a> (august 1, 2017)</strong>: label on the image indicate what other details are available, encouraging more users to click. for example, badges such as “recipe” or a timestamp for pages featuring videos. but the most significant badge is “product” – shown if the item is available for purchase online.</li> </ul> <p>these developments highlight that google is making a play to turn image search into shoppable product discovery. it’s easier to show than tell.</p> <p><img alt='google image search mobile functionality' src='' style='height:623px; width:360px' /></p> <p>the new visual search capabilities are all algorithmically selected based on a combination of schema and image recognition. google told <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>techcrunch</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>“the images that appear in both the style ideas and similar items grids are also algorithmically ranked, and will prioritize those that focus on a particular product type or that appear as a complete look and are from authoritative sites.”</p> </blockquote> <h2>how to get your brand’s images featured</h2> <h3>1. implement <a href='' target='_blank'>schema markup</a></h3> <p>badges are simple enough to win:</p> <ul> <li>for the recipe badge, use recipe markup.</li> <li>for the video badge, use video markup.</li> <li>for the product badge, use product markup.</li> </ul> <p>getting into the similar items and related items sections are a touch more challenging. to do this, ensure you have product markup on the host page with the meta-data minimum requirement:</p> <ul> <li>name</li> <li>image</li> <li>price</li> <li>currency</li> <li>availability</li> </ul> <p>but the more quality detail, the better, as it will make your results more robust. how product markup elements are populated into google image search is shown below.</p> <p><img alt='product markup for google image search' src='' style='height:639px; width:858px' /></p> <h3>2. validate your implementation</h3> <p>run a few urls through google’s <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>structured data testing tool</a>. don’t simply scan if there are no errors and move on. be sure to look at the information itself to ensure it’s user-friendly.</p> <h3>3. wait</h3> <p>it can take up to one week for your site’s images to be crawled. like all schema markup, how items display in search results is at google’s discretion and not guaranteed. however, quality markup will “increase the chance” of your images showing up.</p> <h3>4. do a query</h3> <p>why your own site? to confirm your images have been indexed. be sure to do this image search on mobile web or in the android search app. it is a mobile-first world. not all image search functionality is visible on desktop.</p> <p>if you see no image results badges, you likely have an implementation issue. go back to step two.</p> <p>if you see badges, click a couple to ensure they show your ideal markup in the details. once you confirm all is well, then you can begin to search for your targeted keywords to see how you rank and if you are eligible for similar items or related items.</p> <p><strong>note</strong>: while badges and related items are common, similar items only cover a limited number of products in fashion. google says it will expand in the coming months.</p> <h2>the next steps for visual search</h2> <p>the future is “<a href='' target='_blank'>lens</a>” – using your smartphone to translate real world input to digital action. no more qr codes or snap tags.</p> <p>markerless image recognition is coming. a world where nothing needs to be done to an image or object to turn it into a visual trigger to cue digital content. the static world becomes digitally connected simply by pointing your phone at it.</p> <p>both pinterest and google have the functionality, but i’ll let google ceo sundar pichai explain in more detail:</p> <p>i can envision:</p> <ul> <li>product packaging coming to life. you point your phone at the product and it displays recipe possibilities, maps to nearby stores with the item in stock or coupon for an online order.</li> <li>billboards of celebrities endorsing products will naturally connect you to the store to buy the product, but may also provide the latest gossip on that celebrity.</li> <li>stranger’s outfits become walking ads when i can snap a pic and literally buy the shirt off their back. this will be a world where you can spontaneously buy most items you can see.</li> </ul> <p>that is the power of visual search.</p> <p>so, what are you doing to make your brand more visually appealing?</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 6 SEO Trends That Will Influence Your Content Marketing <p>in the world of marketing, there are plenty of trends for leaders to stay on top of. from <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>pr trends</a> that affect their branding on a larger scale to the content marketing and <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>social media tools</a> that affect their day-to-day communication, leaders have a lot on their plates.</p> <p>i hate to be the guy who adds to your list, but if seo isn’t also on your radar, you could be missing out on serious opportunities. thankfully, moz ceo sarah bird shared lots of valuable insights on the future of seo at this year’s mozcon. my team rounded up a few of the biggest trends she highlighted and spoke with other experts in attendance to learn more about how seo and content will affect brands’ marketing; here are six trends in seo you need to know about:</p> <p><strong>1. search is taking on new and different formats.</strong></p> <p>most marketers tend to think of search as it relates to audiences typing queries into search engines, but that’s changing. you can now speak  directly to alexa or google home and search using your own voice in your own words. not only is this exciting for us as humans, but it ’s also pushing the industry to learn more about its consumers and exactly what they want.</p> <p>people are searching more than ever, probably because they have more ways to perform those searches. it’s your job as a leader and marketer to figure out how to influence search results on these different platforms and formats.that comes down to getting into your audience members’ heads, understanding who they are, and delivering what they want — only then can you start to unlock the analytical and creative processes of optimizing for search.</p> <p><strong>2. new formats mean new opportunities — but not all will translate into dollars for your brand right away.</strong></p> <p>this increase in search — and ways to search — doesn ’ t necessarily mean you ’ re going to be able to capitalize on it commercially. think of recipes, for example:  people could be using alexa to search certain recipes as they prepare dinner, but showing up as a result there probably won ’ t translate into dollars for your brand every time.  some formats and types of searches reveal purchase intent, and others don ’ t; this change in search trends just reinforces how important it is for marketers to understand those differences and create and optimize accordingly.</p> <p><strong>3. </strong><strong>paid search is seo</strong><strong>’s</strong><strong> biggest competitor for marketing dollars.</strong></p> <p>despite the fact that people tend to scroll straight to organic results on search engine results pages, the paid ads industry is still huge, making pay-per-click one of the biggest competitors for would-be seo dollars. sure, ppc can be a great way to test your organic strategy or boost your high-performing organic efforts, but building out your organic seo efforts is a more effective long-term strategy. eventually, we’ll see more and more dollars funneled into marketers’ organic search efforts, but a lack of patience is keeping this from happening sooner.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>4. marketers have to remember the long-term benefits of their search strategies.</strong></p> <p>when marketers start making search a priority, it’s not uncommon to see them focus on short-term wins — early signs that things are going well — before they spend a lot of money on tactics that aren’t getting them much closer to their goals. the thing about search is that the biggest benefits typically aren’t visible right away. </p> <p>paying to play in the short term is fine to get started, but you have to build your long-term <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>content marketing strategy</a> to create a foundation for your brand and your audience over time. seo is more of a brand-building and authority-boosting tool than a strict transaction. it doesn’t help that many times, marketers are incentivized to think in the short term, like through monthly or quarterly goals, instead of one to three years down the road. if you put in the time and budget to do it right, it should land you future sales calls, not just sales calls today. marketers and content creators would do well to remember the big picture as they execute individual search tactics.</p> <p><strong>5. content marketing is in a great spot for the future of search.</strong></p> <p>according to matthew edgar, co-owner of <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>elementive</a>, one of the classic functions of seo is shifting. in the past, marketers relied on search engines to drive traffic to their sites — but with google now displaying content on serps instead of directing users away from the page and to new sites, this is starting to change.</p> <p>google wants to give users as much information and content as possible on serps directly instead of forcing them to navigate to and from different sites. this is a powerful reminder for marketers that <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>content marketing</a> must be truly valuable, educational, and engaging to readers, not simply designed to get people to a specific site.</p> <p>and when people <em>do</em> land on your site — whether they’re coming from a google search or elsewhere — you’ve got to make sure you’re delivering a meaningful experience with high-quality content. that’s how search engines will know your content is worth ranking or displaying in the first place.</p> <p><strong>6. the fundamentals behind search will guide marketers through these trends.</strong></p> <p>heather physioc, director of organic search at <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>vml</a>, noted that while the formats of the content we create and how we optimize that content will continue to evolve, the fundamentals will remain the same. some of the biggest changes we’ve seen have come in how people perform searches, from searches on ask jeeves from a desktop computer to mobile and voice searches today. there are dozens of places to search for and consume content, but at the heart of it all is exceptional content.</p> <p>i get it — keeping up with trends in seo and actually executing a strategy that generates the kind of results you’re after is challenging. but it’s well worth the effort. it helps you build your brand, attract and engage your audience, and generate leads, sales, and opportunities. start with these trends, and make seo a priority for your team. if you don’t, i promise your competitors will.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Apple iPhone 8 event: what to expect <p>apple’s upcoming september 12th event is more than just its annual hardware event: it marks 10 years of iphone launches, which first shipped in june 2007 and is undeniably apple’s most important product. so, it’s not surprising that many of the early reports and rumors about this event have been focused on the iphone. will it have an oled display? will there will be a “pro” version of the phone? and just how much will it cost? </p> <p>but over the past decade, there have been just as many other notable product developments for apple, on its path to becoming the world’s most valuable tech company. it created the app store, and the app economy. it shipped the long-rumored ipad. it got into wearable computing and health and fitness tracking with the launch of the apple watch. its “services” business became one of the fastest-growing areas for the company. </p> <p>so this event could very well be about other products and services as much as it’s about a new iphone. here’s a rundown of what to expect from the event.</p> <h2>new iphones</h2> <p>okay, with all of that said: this event is really about new iphones. </p> <p>we are expecting as many as three different iphones. first and most obviously, there should be updates to both the iphone 7 and iphone 7 plus. the cadence between a new, numbered iphone and an "s" update is something apple has been doing since the iphone 3gs. all rumors point to that happening again this year. s models usually include faster processors and better cameras, so that's probably a safe bet, too.</p> <p><q>we’re expecting as many as three different iphone models</q></p> <p>as for naming, we still don’t know whether apple will continue its tradition of affixing an “s” to an existing model number, or if it will be called iphone 8. but our best guess is on the s model, because there’s <em>another</em> new iphone that everybody's expecting, and this one could be a very good candidate for being called the “iphone 8.” (other guesses include iphone x, iphone pro, and iphone edition — though those candidates don't seem as likely.)</p> <p>it’s widely expected that this will be some advanced version of the iphone, one that could possibly ship later this year. rumors and leaks point to an edge-to-edge oled display, a new 3d face-scanning camera, wireless charging capabilities, and a nonexistent home button. </p> <p><img alt='' src='' /><br /> <cite>photo by amelia holowaty krales / the verge</cite></p> <p>many of the new iphone headline features are new for apple, but not new in the broader industry. other high-end smartphones have bright, edge-to-edge oled displays, are using biometric sensors like iris scanners, or have done away with a physical home button, opting instead for fingerprint sensors on the backs of phones. and inductive charging isn’t even entirely new for apple, since the apple watch charges this way. </p> <p>what would set apple’s phone apart is the way it integrates this new design with software features, or gesture or voice controls, since apple’s distinct advantage is having control of the full stack in its products. we've also not yet seen a consumer phone with a face-unlock solution that wasn't insecure or slow (they're usually both). so if apple has figured that out, it will be a genuinely new thing that it can claim to take the lead on. </p> <h2>apple watch 3/lte</h2> <p>the wearables business isn’t nearly as important for apple right now as its phone business, but that hasn’t stopped the company from making vague claims about the apple watch being comparable to the size of a fortune 500 company all on its own. and, according to recent data from idc, apple is now only second to xiaomi in terms of worldwide wearable shipments. so it’s still a noteworthy product area for apple. </p> <p><img alt='' src='' /><br /> <cite>photo by vjeran pavic / the verge</cite></p> <p>that’s why it’s not surprising that we may see another update to the apple watch, one that adds an lte modem to the device. this means that certain features that currently require having your phone nearby — like making phone calls, sending text messages, streaming music, or even installing new software — could work on the watch independently of the phone. other smartwatch makers have tried this before, including lg and samsung. but one thing that often suffers when you try to make a tiny smartwatch act like your phone, and not an <em>accessory</em> to your phone, is battery life. so it’s still tbd what lte would do to apple watch’s 18-hour battery life. </p> <p>apple’s new watch software, watchos 4, is also expected to roll out in the coming weeks. this will bring new features like a siri-ready watchface, a tri-sport (or multisport) mode, and some direct integration with gym equipment. </p> <h2>apple tv</h2> <p>this may be the year that apple finally catches up with amazon, roku, and chromecast by offering 4k support on its streaming media device. the next generation of the apple tv, according to a <a href='' target='_blank'><em>bloomberg</em> report earlier this year</a>, will stream videos in 4k and in more “vivid colors.” (we're hoping for both hdr10 and dolby vision.)</p> <p><img alt='' src='' /></p> <p>it’s a move that will likely help boost sales of the box, which were down in the 2016 holiday season from the previous year, because it’s a shiny new thing. but apple tv has still been more expensive than many of its competitors, and it has an “app”-like interface rather than one that models a more traditional tv “channel” experience. </p> <p>apple, unlike amazon, has also struggled to make compelling original content that hooks people into its services the way it undoubtedly hoped it would. but if wwdc was any indication, apple is also fully aware of that: the company said at the developers conference that the <a href='' target='_blank'>amazon prime video app would come to apple tv</a> sometime this year. </p> <h2>homepod, imac pro, and mac pro</h2> <p>all three are products that apple has announced, but has yet to ship. so whether they'll get stage time is anybody's guess. the homepod's planned release date is december, and apple has, so far, marketed it <a href='' target='_blank'>more as a high-quality speaker than a digital assistant</a>. apple will surely remind us that it's coming, but probably won't do much more with it.</p> <p>the <a href='' target='_blank'>imac pro is also slated for a december release</a>, but there probably won't be time to touch on it during this month's event. as for the fully <a href=''>redesigned mac pro</a>, that won't arrive until next year, and it's hard to imagine that apple will unveil it now. sorry, mac fans. you'll have to wait a little longer.</p> <h2>ios 11, arkit, and macos high sierra</h2> <p>new hardware is great, but apple’s software rollouts are a lot more critical for people who aren’t planning on buying new macs or iphones in 2017. and this year, ipad users are arguably going to benefit the most: the new ios 11 software could very well transform the ipad into an actual productivity device, with a redesigned dock, advanced multitasking, and new drag-and-drop features. and on both ipad and iphone, ios 11 brings a bigger, consolidated control center, a new, grid-like app switcher, and a new file-storage app called, simply, files. </p> <p><q>apple’s software rollouts are a lot more critical for people who aren’t planning on buying new hardware this year</q></p> <p>these are just a few of the features — there’s even more stuff to come around siri, notes, screengrabs, and file markups — but one of the biggest advancements that’s rolling out with ios 11 is the launch of arkit, <a href='' target='_blank'>apple’s new app platform for augmented reality apps</a>. we’ve already seen a bunch of ar apps on iphone and android (the tremendously popular <em>pokÉmon go</em> is a favored example), but most ar mobile apps to date have been basic, 2d or “flat” imagery. arkit, on the other hand, lets developers build advanced, 3d ar apps without requiring months of work or computer imaging expertise. it’s expected to be a big deal in the ar world — especially since <a href='' target='_blank'>google</a> has also <a href='' target='_blank'>just rolled out its own version of this, arcore</a>, for android devs. </p> <p><img alt='' src='' /><br /> <cite>photo by amelia holowaty krales / the verge</cite></p> <p>we still don’t know exactly when apple’s newest software will roll out — it happened in mid-september last year — but it’s safe to guess that it will likely coincide with when the new hardware goes on sale. </p> <h2>steve jobs theater </h2> <p>there’s another new product out there that most of the world hasn’t seen yet, and that’s apple’s <a href='' target='_blank'>new $5 billion campus in cupertino, california</a>. (in fact, most apple <em>employees </em>still haven’t been inside of it yet.) the september 12th event will mark the first public event taking place in the steve jobs theater, a <a href='' target='_blank'>brand-new, 1,000-seat auditorium</a> named after the late co-founder and ceo of apple. the auditorium is also underground, according to <a href='' target='_blank'>floor plans</a>, which hopefully won’t impact wi-fi signals. as always, <em>the verge</em> will be on the ground (under the ground?) bringing you all of the latest news.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>the verge</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Finally, Someone Finds a Use for the Apple Watch <p>the 2004 comeback of the boston red sox against the yankees in the american league championship, coming back from 3 games down to win the best of 7, was as close to a miracle in baseball as you might get. except for now. the sox have done what no one else was able to do: find a use for the apple watch.</p> <p>apple has been in a money-making funk. it <a href='' target='_blank'>depends on the iphone</a> to drive profits. other product lines, like apple tv, have never come close to that level of popularity. even news that the <a href='' target='_blank'>apple watch saw a 50 percent increase in sales</a> might make your head shake.</p> <p>when a company seems worried about saying how many units of a product it sells even as it reports all the other major lines, a 50 percent jump might mean, what, someone sold an extra 20 or 30?</p> <p>a big problem for the apple watch is that it seems so unnecessary. you need an iphone for most of what the device is supposed to do. if you've already got the phone, who needs to strap a display to their wrist? how many people do you know who opt to use a watch to tell the time when they have a phone in the pocket.</p> <p>but the red sox pulled off another miracle that transcended sports to touch on tech. they reportedly <a href='' target='_blank'>made an apple watch useful by using it to spy on opponents</a> like the yankees, said the new york times.</p> <blockquote>the yankees, who had long been suspicious of the red sox' stealing catchers' signs in fenway park, contended the video showed a member of the red sox training staff looking at his apple watch in the dugout. the trainer then relayed a message to other players in the dugout, who, in turn, would signal teammates on the field about the type of pitch that was about to be thrown, according to the people familiar with the case.</blockquote> <blockquote>baseball investigators corroborated the yankees' claims based on video the commissioner's office uses for instant replay and broadcasts, the people said. the commissioner's office then confronted the red sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to red sox players -- an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.</blockquote> <p>see? even in a miraculous case like this one, the apple watch needed help from another source. the good tech news is that the yankees also resorted to top-notch electronics -- video cameras clearly equipped with a long telephoto -- to get their evidence.</p> <p>and then the sox said that the yankees use a video feed from the team's television network to steal pitchers' signs during games. the yankees said that wasn't true. quick, check them for apple watches.</p> <p>apparently there is also a rule that electronic devices are not to be used in the dugouts. what will people do? the players are almost all millennials. how will they survive prolonged phone deprivation (hereby known as ppd).</p> <p>here's an idea. forget all the sneaking around. just wait for some entrepreneur to natively enable the apple watch to steal signs. then the players can shrug their shoulders and say, "who knew it was wrong? there's an app for it."</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>inc.</strong></a></p> All categories Thu, 7 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 e-commerce marketing tips to promote your online business <p>having a website simply isn’t enough. while having a website that is beautifully designed and takes into account <a href='' target='_blank'>user experience</a> is essential, it’s important to realize that promoting your site is a necessity. regardless of what industry you’re in, there’s a lot of competition and you need to ensure your website is found online and keeps people on your site long enough for them to consider making a purchase.</p> <p>these 5 e-commerce marketing tips help to get people to your site.</p> <h4><strong>tip #1: offer a contest or giveaway</strong></h4> <p>this is a great e-commerce marketing tool because it plays into something everyone loves (winning) while generating buzz for your site and brand. make sure you’re offering a prize your ideal client/customer actually wants and once you’ve announced that the competition is life, keep the momentum going right up until it closes. promote the competition via every channel accessible to you.</p> <h4><strong>tip #2: use video effectively</strong></h4> <p>making how-to videos can help give the customers an idea of your products.</p> <p>how-to videos are simple but highly effective marketing tools. they show your customer what their experience will be like before they need to invest anything or even before they’ve made a connection with your brand. in a brief 2 to 3 minute timeframe, a video establishes if your product or service is ideal for the customer in question.</p> <h4><strong>tip #3: showcase your own original content</strong></h4> <p>when your site is rich with unique content, you’re displaying your expertise while building credibility for your site. of course, original content is also ideal and highly beneficial for search engine optimisation (seo) – be aware that it’s dangerous to copy/paste content from elsewhere on your website. this could land you in legal trouble and at the end of the day, you’re not achieving anything because you haven’t tailored the content to your audience.</p> <h4><strong>tip #4: ask customers for testimonials</strong></h4> <p>is there a more powerful tool in the online world? it can take quite a bit of time to establish trust with a potential customer. when people can easily see a number of testimonials from other satisfied customers, it helps to nurture the relationship. of course, it’s always more powerful to have customers spreading your message than to self-promote.</p> <p>you can ask satisfied customers for testimonials for your products to help you in promoting your business.</p> <h4><strong>tip #5: use personalization to your benefit</strong></h4> <p>there is so much noise in the online space. within your industry, you may be competing with hundreds or even thousands of competitors at any given time. personalisation is becoming more and more important, especially as consumers grow savvier. getting this right isn’t hard but it does take thought<strong>—</strong>audit all of your communication points and assess where you could be doing better. wherever possible, use your customer’s names, provide them with relevant links and ask for their feedback so that you can continue personalizing their experience. once you know enough about them and their habits, you can tailor your emails accordingly.</p> <p>using the above tips as part of a clear marketing strategy helps to ensure that people are visiting your website. you can’t expect your ideal customers to just stumble across your website. it’s important to be proactive with your marketing so that you’re driving people to your e-commerce site.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>born2invest</strong></a>.</p> All categories Thu, 7 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Brand building through irresistible packaging design <p>food entrepreneur jason cohen, a driving force behind skinny pop, veggie straws and other fast-growth brands, divulges advice for effective packaging design for small companies with big plans.</p> <p>what do brands like skinny pops, veggie straws and core hydration have in common? one of the principals behind the amazing success of these brands is “better-for-you” food entrepreneur jason cohen, co-founder and ceo of halen brands, fairfield, nj, which is focused on helping small food and beverage businesses get distribution and grow market share. cohen has an exceptional track record, having helped bring to market seven food brands over the past 15 years including chef’s cut jerky, which has reached $65 million in sales and skinny pop popcorn, which was taken public by goldman sachs for $1.3 billion.</p> <p><em>packaging digest</em>  tapped cohen’s advice on how brands can design packaging that’s irresistible.</p> <h3>what’s the importance of on-trend food packaging?</h3> <p>cohen: today packaging is a critical element of any food product as consumers see it as an extension of who they are. in the better-for-you category, product design is shifting away from medicinal look to a more stylized packaging and the goal should be to make consumers feel confident when they pull the package out of their bag—it’s like it’s just another accessory.</p> <h3>what are key market drivers in foods? </h3> <p>cohen: on the nutrition front, there are three significant shifts in consumer behavior that has caused a fundamental impact on the food and beverage industry. the focus on clean eating is because food allergies are hitting home. it is likely that a family member or acquaintance has one or more allergies even if a consumer is not directly impacted. today, one out of every four kids has a food allergy of some form, so this is definitely a key concern of parents.</p> <p>protein is also a highly sought-after macronutrient. we’ve seen a rise in protein-packed snack options, including jerky and cheese chips that provide nutrients to keep consumers satisfied and fueled throughout the day. consumers need on-the-go snacks that provide essential nutrients in between meals not to feel full, but to know that they are fueling their bodies properly.</p> <p>consumers’ taste buds are highly sophisticated and they are seeking more advanced flavor profiles whether that is a multi-flavored product or a global influence on flavors. we are going to see this space evolve tremendously over the next year with more complex flavor combinations.</p> <h3>what’s an emerging trend that brands should pay attention to?</h3> <p>cohen: snacking continues to grow and we expect that this will keep at a steady pace over the course of the next couple of years, especially in the better-for-you food category as people look for healthier options and ways to eat decadent foods. we are going to see a continued push on cleaner labels, but with consumers expecting that they won’t have to sacrifice flavor for healthier ingredients.</p> <h3>what are examples of effective packaging—and why?</h3> <p>cohen: skinny pop packaging is a great example. our packaging conveys that the consumer can feel comfortable eating the whole bag, because it’s “skinny.”</p> <p>additionally, we’re transparent with our labeling, highlighting notable product qualities such as non-gmo, no artificial ingredients and more. with core water, the bottle’s uniqueness provides a sense of empowerment for consumers when they are carrying it. (see <a href='' target='_blank'>core hydration goes big and small with bottled water</a>, published february 2017)</p> <p>for veggie straws packaging, the word <em>veggie</em> conveys the functional benefit of eating something that is better for you than a traditional snack.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:422px; width:750px' /></p> <p> </p> <h3>how do you know a design is ready for market?</h3> <p>cohen: part of this intuitiveness is having a firm understanding of what is motivating consumers to purchase products. our team is constantly looking at what packaging designs are on-trend through color palettes that deliver the right messages to consumers and engage with retailers.  when designing the product packaging, we like to get feedback from retailers before finalizing the design because they can provide valuable insights and perspectives that help move the product from the shelf to the cart.</p> <h3>how much attention do you give millennials? </h3> <p>cohen: millennials are currently spending more money on snacks than any other generation, so halen brands definitely takes their viewpoint into consideration when developing packaging designs. especially important for this demographic is ensuring that products are designed in a way that millennials can easily make the product a part of their lives which they are actively sharing on social media.</p> <h3>what’s a lesson learned you can share? </h3> <p>cohen: over the past few years, a key learning has been that packaging, the quality of the product and overall taste are all significant purchasing factors for millennials. these three points must have an equal mission. packaging is an extension of brand identity and ultimately, a reflection of the consumer’s personal identity, but at the end of the day, the balance of taste, packaging and overall quality of the product is the true recipe for success.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>packaging digest</strong></a>.</p> All categories Wed, 6 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Study: 57% of Google search traffic is mobile <ul> <li> <p>mobile searches on google <a href='' target='_blank'>now represent about 57% of all search traffic</a>, as mobile web site traffic is now clearly outpacing traditional desktop traffic, according to a new study from content performance marketing company brightedge.</p> </li> <li> <p>the study also found that 79% of all searches were different across mobile and desktop, suggesting a significant shift to the mobile-first search index google announced last year. brightedge said its research confirmed the emergence of two separate search indexes –– one for desktop and one for mobile –– with 47% of keywords in positions 1–20 ranked differently on mobile and desktop search engine results pages.</p> </li> <li> <p>additionally, the study found that the first page that ranks for a domain on a search query is different on mobile and desktop search engine results pages on about 35% of searches.</p> </li> </ul> <p>through 4500+ hd screens in 300+ of america's favorite malls, adspace delivers high-impact video impressions to 71mm unique shoppers steps from your storefront & is proven to increase retail store traffic by 1.5x.</p> <p><a href='' target='_blank'>see the study</a><img src='' style='height:0px; width:0px' /></p> <h3>insight:</h3> <p>the ultimate takeaway from this study goes a little something like this: mobile is happening, people. get with the program.</p> <p>we have been hearing about <a href='' target='_blank'>the impact of mobile search </a>for a while now, so this study should not come as a complete surprise to retailers. there is more detail, of course, to the lessons that can be learned from this study, but a big part of it is that brightedge is presenting some evidence that mobile search traffic represents the majority of search traffic by a margin — 14% — that is only going to grow. well, that and the notion that a mobile-first search index has some unique value.</p> <p>the frequency with which search results come out differently for mobile and desktop-initiated google searches means that retailers need to have search engine optimization, content and marketing strategies that reflect those differences.</p> <p>some retailers and brands may already understand this. in the study, brightedge notes that carlos spallarossa, director of seo at l'orÉal, is pushing for a mobile-first perspective. "we are developing content with a mobile-first perspective to connect with our users with info, use advice, and reviews — especially when they are near a store where they can easily purchase,” he said, according to the study. </p> <p>others may not be so far along in understanding it, and brightedge has a few suggestions about how to change up their approaches. designing and optimizing websites for speed and mobile-friendliness is a start, but among other suggestions listed in the study, retailers and brands need to understand different online consumer intent signals across desktop and mobile devices. also, producing separate mobile and desktop content that resonates on multiple device types is a good idea. brightedge also advises tracking, comparing and reporting mobile and desktop share of traffic continuously, as well as tracking organic search rank for mobile and desktop separately. </p> <p>mobile commerce may have once seemed to be nothing more than a sub-set of the broader e-commerce universe, but now it's becoming clear that mobile is charting its own unique territory.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>retail dive</strong></a>.</p> All categories Wed, 6 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Apple Inc.'s Big iPhone Secret Revealed <p>there has been a lot of speculation on how apple will name its upcoming trio of iphones. in the press, the two lcd models were referred to as the iphone 7s and iphone 7s plus, while the all-new oled model was often called the iphone 8 or iphone x.</p> <p>however, while those names were certainly helpful during pre-release discussions, they probably wouldn't have been great from a marketing perspective.</p> <p><img alt='three apple iphones showing various aspects of the apple app store.' src='' /></p> <p>image source: apple.</p> <p>thanks to a new report from <a href='' target='_blank'>9to5mac</a>, which cites information from case makers who claim to have seen the final packaging for the next-generation iphones, we now know -- or, at the very least, have a <em>really </em>good idea of -- what apple is planning to call all three new models.</p> <h2>sensible naming </h2> <p>the 4.7-inch lcd model, which will succeed last year's iphone 7, is said to be called the iphone 8. the successor to the current 5.5-inch lcd iphone 7 plus will reportedly be called the iphone 8 plus.</p> <p>and the "premium" iphone -- the one that everyone is seemingly looking forward to -- will be known as the iphone edition.</p> <p>this naming scheme seems rather sensible. even though the iphone 8 and iphone 8 plus are rumored to sport the same form factors as the current iphone 7 and iphone 7 plus, except that they'll have glass backs rather than aluminum ones, apple is reportedly bringing a whole host of improvements to the devices, including a new <a href='' target='_blank'>a11 fusion chip</a>, <a href='' target='_blank'>true-tone display tech</a>, <a href='' target='_blank'>wireless charging</a>, and possibly much more.</p> <p>those improvements, in my view, justify a new number. after all, apple would be downright silly to cram in all these wonderful enhancements and innovations only to name the devices in a way that implies that they are merely incremental improvements to the current models.</p> <p>further, given that apple currently uses the name "edition" to distinguish its premium apple watch models from the more mainstream models, and given that the name <em>sounds </em>premium -- an argument i've <a href='' target='_blank'>made before</a> -- this seems like smart naming to me.</p> <h2>future names</h2> <p>what seems a little bit unclear now is how apple will name its devices going forward. apple had previously been <a href='' target='_blank'>rumored to launch three new iphone models next year</a>, which would've made it easy to have an iphone 9, 9 plus, and yet another iphone edition.</p> <p>however, a recent report from <em><a href='' target='_blank'>the korea herald</a> </em>claims that apple canned its plans to introduce a next-generation iphone with a 5.28-inch display and instead plans to launch its 2018 iphone models in just two screen sizes: 5.85 inches and 6.46 inches.</p> <p>in that case, it's harder to predict how apple will market its next-generation line of phones. my best guess now is that the company would call the 5.85-inch model simply "iphone" and then call the 6.46-inch model the "iphone edition."</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>the motley fool</strong></a>.</p> All categories Tue, 5 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 Web Marketing Strategies for Your Business <p>today, most people are operating an online business. digital marketing is essential to help businesses to increase their brands influence and outreach.</p> <p>going online will open new financial opportunities for your business. once you have joined the digital revolution, marketing will become an important factor for success.</p> <p>when it comes to web marketing,there are several ways to advertise your goods and service online. a business owner has different resources to win potential customers. if you advertise and market your brand, products, and services accordingly, there will be an immediate benefit for you, and your clients.</p> <h3><strong>utilize email marketing:</strong></h3> <p>commonly, with the help of advertisements, you reach out to potential customers and solicit new products to already customers. email marketing is a more targeted method to get the message out, it also increases brand recognition and brand loyalty. when you start a business and market a product via email, it gives you better growth chances for the new product. this is an efficient way to stay connected with your customers or clients and promoting your business.</p> <h3><strong>efficient use of seo:</strong></h3> <p>everyone knows that search engine optimization is one of the more important factors of digital marketing. this allows your company name and website to be more visible on search engines. a strong seo strategy helps you rank higher in search engine results, increasing the chance of being noticed by potential customers searching the web for products, or services, similar to yours.</p> <h3><strong>make use of social media marketing:</strong></h3> <p>social media is one of the most popular marketing platforms for small and large businesses. with the help of social marketing, you can get extraordinary approach to web marketing . it is cost effective and simple to access. lots of tools are available to increase internet marketing strategies and offer more productivity to your business.</p> <h3><strong>use content marketing to measure your strategy:</strong></h3> <p>for this you should use content to inform readers, maybe some troubleshooting or comparison reviews. this helps increase the visibility and authority of your brand, creating an audience of potential customers. you can post content on blogs to help attract more traffic to your website, achieving different goals, good traffic and leads.</p> <h3><strong>advertise via ppc:</strong></h3> <p>ppc (pay per click) is for businesses to advertise their product on targeted websites. this helps boost your business website and send more targeted messages to viewers. through adwords, you can launch a pay per click campaign and follow the impact in real time. this helps you get a feel for the market and react fast.</p> <p>original article posted on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>tg daily</strong></a>.</p> All categories Thu, 31 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 The New iPhone Will Look Completely Different <p><a href='' rel='' target='_blank'>apple</a> plans to transform the way people use its next high-end iphone by eliminating the concept of a home button and making other adjustments to a flagship device that’s becoming almost all screen, according to images of the new device viewed by <em>bloomberg news</em> and people familiar with the gadget.</p> <p>the home button is the key to the iphone and the design hasn’t changed much since it launched in 2007. currently, users click it to return to the starting app grid that greets them multiple times a day. they hold it down to talk to the siri digital assistant. double-click it and you get multitasking where different apps screens can be swiped through like a carousel.</p> <p>apple is preparing three new iphones for debut next month. one of the models, a new high-end device, packs in enough changes to make it one of the biggest iphone updates in the product’s decade-long history. with a crisper screen that takes up nearly the entire front, apple has tested the complete removal of the home button—even a digital one—in favor of new gesture controls for tasks like going to the main app grid and opening multitasking.</p> <p>in the new, high-end iphone, apple also plans a taller screen with rounded corners, a cutout at the top of the display for the camera and sensors, and new antenna locations, the images show. apple often tests different designs and the details may differ from what the company ultimately releases. an apple spokeswoman declined to comment.</p> <p>across the bottom of the screen there’s a thin, software bar in lieu of the home button. a user can drag it up to the middle of the screen to open the phone. when inside an app, a similar gesture starts multitasking. from here, users can continue to flick upwards to close the app and go back to the home screen. an animation in testing sucks the app back into its icon. the multitasking interface has been redesigned to appear like a series of standalone cards that can be swiped through, versus the stack of cards on current iphones, the images show.</p> <p>the new model’s overall size will be similar to that of the iphone 7, but it will include an oled screen that is slightly larger than the one on the iphone 7 plus (5.5-inches), people familiar with the product have told bloomberg news. the phone will have symmetrical, slim bezels around the entirety of the screen, meaning the area below the screen that used to house the home button and the area above the screen for the earpiece have been removed. the earpiece, facial recognition sensor, and selfie camera are instead present in a cutout, or “notch,” at the top of the screen, the images show.</p> <p>the new screen is rounded on the corners, while current iphone screens have square corners. the power button on the right side of phone is longer so it is easier to press while holding the device in one hand, according to the images and the people.</p> <p>the screen is also noticeably taller than the iphone 7 plus’s screen, meaning it could show more of a web page or additional text messages, the people said. the phone will still have six vertical rows of apps, showing 24 icons on each page, excluding the dock, a grey bar at the bottom that houses commonly used apps. the dock is redesigned with a new interface similar to the one on the ipad version of ios 11, the images show.</p> <p>apple has opted to not hide the notch area at the top of the screen, showing a definitive cutout at the top of apps with non-black backgrounds. the cutout is noticeable during app usage in the middle of the very top of the screen, where the status bar (the area that shows cellular reception, the time, and battery life) would normally be placed, according to the images. instead, the status bar will be split into left and right sides, which some apple employees call “ears” internally. in images of recent test devices, the left side shows the time while the area on the right side of the notch displays cellular and wi-fi connectivity and remaining battery life. because of limited space, the status bar could change based on the task at hand, according to a person familiar with the testing.</p> <p>the color reproduction of the oled screen means that when the display shows black, it blends in nearly perfectly with the phone’s notch and thin black edges on the front, presenting a seamless look, according to the people familiar with the product. the screen itself, however, is flat like current and past iphones and lacks the fully curved displays of the latest samsung phones.</p> <p>apple also plans to include a stainless steel band around the phone which the glass curves into. the steel band has small antenna cuts on the corners like past iphones to improve reception, the images show. apple previously used steel sides and a glass casing for the iphone 4 and 4s before moving to a mostly metal back and sides with the iphone 5. the iphone 6 line and newer have had completely metal backs.</p> <p>apple also is planning two additional new iphone models that use faster processors, but include the same screens as the iphone 7 and iphone 7 plus. the new devices will debut at apple’s september launch event alongside upgraded apple tv and apple watch models.</p> <p>original article posted on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>fortune</strong></a>.</p> All categories Thu, 31 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 4 Vehicle Wrap Design Tips and How They Impact Your Bottom Line <p>these graphics are like mobile billboards that can geographically target the audience, while also delivering call to action messages. however, design can impact just how effective a brand's vehicle wrap can be. here are four vehicle wrap design tips and how they impact your bottom line.</p> <ul> <li><strong>tip #1: negative space matters</strong> important messaging gets lost in the jumble of cluttered design. use white space to make important elements such as value propositions, ctas, and striking brand-relevant visuals, stand out. ample white space serves to highlight priority messages which will drive traffic, conversion, and brand awareness.<br />  </li> <li><strong>tip #2: make it readable</strong> resist the urge to employ fancy font that won't be legible from a distance. utilize bold font that is easy-to-read, contrasting colors to make elements such as font pop, and vary font size by priority. make ctas, value propositions and contact information large so that the audience can read them when driving or from a distance. keeping vehicle wraps legible from a distance will increase audience impressions and make information easy to retain, prompting audience action such as lead generation and conversion.<br />  </li> <li><strong>tip #3: design to represent your brand image</strong> utilize relevant industry imagery, custom images, color schemes, and verbiage style that reflects the brand's target audience and aspirational consumer to command the attention of and drive traffic from a qualified audience. qualified traffic leads to higher conversion and repeat business.<br />  </li> <li><strong>tip #4: consider the angles</strong> vehicle wraps are not the same as banners or other one-angle marketing formats. vehicles have four sides to market on and neglecting any of that space can mean that people on that side of the vehicle miss out. repeat images and text on both side views of the vehicle, include branding graphics on the front hood, and include important cta, value proposition, and contact information on the back of the vehicle to ensure audience visibility from all sides. utilizing all sides of a vehicle will greatly increase audience impression potential to drive traffic.</li> </ul> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business insider</strong></a>.</p> All categories Wed, 30 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How Brands Can Win The Battle Against Time: The Essentials Of Logo Design (And Redesign) <p>if you’re a business owner, you know how valuable good branding can be, and logo design is an integral part of branding. if you’re thinking about changing the image of your company, you should answer a few questions first:</p> <ul> <li>did you put little effort on your brand during your start-up years?</li> <li>do people get surprised when they compare your brand vs. your business services?</li> <li>have you ever heard people say they expected something different from your business after seeing your logo?</li> <li>has the meaning of your company’s brand changed over time?</li> </ul> <p>if you answered any of these questions with a ‘yes’, then it’s time to redesign.</p> <h2>how do i know the logo design is outdated?</h2> <p>theoretically, this is a question only you can answer. trust your gut. look at your competitor’s brands and then look at your own. ask yourself: does it impress people? will your customers find it interesting and engaging?</p> <p>here are some tips on what you should consider in order to reevaluate your logo and determine whether you need a redesign:</p> <p>1. let’s say you’re a pioneer tech company.</p> <p>if you started 20 years ago, you know that cell phone designs have changed quite a bit. if your logo is still depicting outdated and nostalgic cell phones, then that’s how people are going to see your company. your brand must suit your company’s mission in order to stay relevant, especially if your business deals continuously with evolving trends and markets.</p> <p>2. keep up with your company’s services.</p> <p>did your company initially offer a broader scope of services than it does now? companies usually evolve over time and decide to focus on services that are more specialized. if the only thing that’s stayed the same is your logo, then it’s time to redesign.</p> <p>3. mergers or acquisitions are crucial moments.</p> <p>vigorously operating companies often acquire small independent ones, which can be mutually beneficial to all those involved. maybe you should consider that it’s worth your while to mark this transformation in a new logo as well. you can even make small changes without altering your business’ identity but at the same time you’ll also show a fresh face to customers.</p> <p>4. stay attuned to the latest trends.</p> <p>trends are constantly changing, and not every idea turns out to be timeless. if your logo looks like a relic of the past, it’s time to give it a new pair of shoes. even though retro is very trendy right now, it’s not the same as never changing your old design.</p> <p>5. expanding means reaching new customers.</p> <p>if your company is planning to branch out, now is the perfect time for a redesign. new and fresh things will always tempt people, so changing your old logo while also opening new branches might be the perfect way to reach new customers.</p> <h2>keep up with current trends: top logo design of 2017</h2> <p>once you’ve decided that your logo needs some changes, your first move is to get an idea of the current trends in logo design. before going to a graphic designer, you should already know which current trends you do like and which ones you don’t. make sure to <a href='' target='_blank'>choose the right designer</a> for your logo – one that understands your goals and what you are trying to achieve.</p> <h3>here are some of the top and most popular logo designs of 2017</h3> <p>1. broken letters</p> <p>the best logo designs are those that capture people’s attention. broken letters are powerful tools if you want to do just that. recipients will be slightly confused or intrigued at the first glance, forcing them to keep thinking about your business. the message gets delivered even harder if the way the letter breaks corresponds with your company’s mission.</p> <p><img alt='scala logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>this combination of a diagonal line in the “a” that’s in the middle of the word, with the elevation of the second half, conveys several messages such as development, overtaking competition, and ambition. a great idea for a consulting company.</p> <p><img alt='openly logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>“openly” means being open. breaking the first letter of this logo already highlights the very definition of this at a visual level. blue is generally associated with lightness, which further underlines the company’s name and logo.</p> <p><img alt='snap logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>“snap” is the sound cameras make when they take a picture. you can almost hear the sound the moment you lay eyes on this graphic design.</p> <p>2. formal minimalism</p> <p>contemporary logos should be simple on many levels in order to draw customer attention and leave a mark in the cerebral cortex. less is definitely more. we live in a world bombarded by intense visual clues, so simplifying your logo can make it easier to remember.</p> <p><img alt='folder logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>the relationship between the word <em>folder</em> and its visual representation is crystal-clear here, so it doesn’t need to be explained. this type of graphic fits right into a trend called <em>negative space</em>.</p> <p><img alt='bird logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>offering a semantic connection between the meaning of the company name and its letters will always be a classy idea.</p> <p><img alt='cosby consulting group logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>this is an example of a design borrowed from line art trends. sometimes it’s just enough to draw intelligent and creative lines that go directly into peoples’ heads with just a glimpse of your logo.</p> <p>3. simplifying the color scheme</p> <p>this is a perfect example of how trends are constantly evolving. until recently, using a multitude of colors was very fashionable, mostly because colors are supposed to attract attention. however, the everyday strident colors that are presented to us have forced graphic designers to change their ways; the trend right now is to be cautious with color handling.</p> <p>it’s best to avoid using more than three colors in your logo design. it will make your logo look simple enough to stand out from the rest of the competition.</p> <p><img alt='the blue bar logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>the subtle blue color of this logo makes a clear reference to the company’s name while also adding a feeling of peace and melancholy to the whole design. at first glance, this bar certainly seems to have a comforting and calming power, making you think it might be the best place to be on a blue monday.</p> <p><img alt='simple energy logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>the symbolism of colors is very important. warm, bright green is associated with pro-ecological activities. consumers who care about the planet will almost automatically choose products with green elements placed on their packaging material, even when <em>eco</em> or <em>bio</em> words are not in the product name.</p> <p><img alt='felicity photography logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>looking for something feminine, ethereal, and delicate? think of pastel colors (especially blues and reds).</p> <p>4. geometry</p> <p>in graphic design, geometry works in two dimensions. on the one hand, it’s about using simplified, sharp straight edges. on the other, it’s about saying goodbye to oblique fonts.</p> <p><img alt='trivalent logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>this use of a triangle corresponds perfectly with the name of the company. this design manages to present a triangle both in the form of the logo and as an interpretation of the letters themselves.</p> <p><img alt='grupo impulsa logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>spatial use of geometry is one of the most modern and well-received trends right now. it also looks great when combined with <em>negative space</em> styles.</p> <p><img alt='geometric wolves logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>the combination of simplified line art with spatial geometry is also a very popular trend in artistic circles right now.</p> <p>5. handwriting</p> <p>calligraphy has always been associated with sophisticated, high-quality products. this idea comes from the time when aristocrats were the only ones who knew how to write, so handwriting became a symbol for exclusive products. if your company works in this line of business, handwriting can be a great choice for you.</p> <p><img alt='kelli france logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>this logo immediately creates certain expectations such as stylishness, quality and originality. careless strokes of letters also delicately suggest the courage and creativity of the business owner.</p> <p><img alt='rachel m post logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>this logo, on the other hand, can be associated with independence, abandonment of conventional standards, and willingness to take risks. warm colors also give a sense of familiarity and accessibility for everyone.</p> <p><img alt='the good dudes club logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>a minimalistic color usage coupled with this “childish” font makes us believe that there is something innocent yet classy in this company.</p> <p>what can you gain from redesigning?</p> <p>perhaps a better question would be: what can you lose by redesigning? the answer is <em>nothing</em>.</p> <p>an appropriately guided facelift of your brand allows you to not only keep your existing customers but also proves that your company is doing well and has a lot of strength to develop. above all – it entices potential new customers to join you on your journey.</p> <p>don’t think of it as a revolution to your business (although in some cases you may perceive it as such), but as a form of evolution. it is development, the symbol of your brand’s strength.</p> <p>the messages you send to the world are:</p> <ul> <li>i’m keeping up with the world’s dynamic changes and my company is developing accordingly.</li> <li>i’m ready to take some risks and appreciate the potential of risky situations.</li> <li>i clearly care about the timely identification of my company’s activities with its visual identity.</li> <li>i don’t take anything for granted. i’m well aware of my competitors’ presence on the market.</li> <li>i realize that putting energy into my brand will motivate potential clients.</li> </ul> <h3>who else has redone a logo design?</h3> <p>a logo redesign can be so subtle that it’s hard to notice.  big corporations have always tried to follow trends for years – perhaps their secret lies in doing exactly this. let’s take a look at some giants who don’t rest when it comes to innovation.</p> <p>1. subway</p> <p><img alt='subway logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>there was really a lot going on in the old logo of this gigantic sandwich network. it even seems to be made in wordart, an overused 1990s computer program. the current logo is definitely more up-to-date.</p> <p>2. fiat</p> <p><img alt='fiat logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>this famous car manufacturing company has been fluctuating between red and blue for years. the last change definitely rejuvenated their brand, giving it a more energetic and stylish image.</p> <p>3. dunkin donuts</p> <p><img alt='dunkin donuts logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>this powerhouse donut enterprise sure knows a lot about logo redesign. while developing, this company offered only subtle changes. as of today, their logo fits right into the current trends, but also perfectly reflects the sweet mission of the company.</p> <p>4. mozilla</p> <p><img alt='mozilla firefox logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>sometimes, less is more. mozilla follows this rule perfectly. this company makes sporadic and subtle changes now and then, introducing small patches that keep them following the current trends.</p> <p>5. heineken</p> <p><img alt='heineken logo' src='' style='width:35%' /></p> <p>another perfect example of simplification. the old ribbon disappeared and the logo itself changed in terms of color scheme. now the logo’s colors are more closely associated with the overall aesthetics of the company.</p> <p>when a facelift is not enough</p> <p>subtle changes can be enough for most companies when it comes to redesigning their logos. but in some cases they require a complete change of image, such as:</p> <ul> <li>when someone inexperienced created the first logo and it doesn’t reflect the company’s mission, or is a straight-up duplicate of other designs.</li> <li>when the company’s profile has changed radically since its start.</li> <li>when there was a scandal involving a company with a similar visual identity.</li> </ul> <p>in each of these cases, it’s best to call a respected and accomplished graphic designer to take on the job. you don’t want to be sparing any expenses with this type of investment, as it may ultimately cost you much more. in extreme cases you might even find yourself involved in plagiarism, which can only lead to a world of trouble.</p> <p>in addition, someone with relevant experience will not only help you with selecting and creating an ideal logo but may also propose an entire marketing campaign to revitalize your brand’s image. an entire marketing campaign can involve a <a href='' target='_blank'>social media strategy</a>, ppc, seo or even television advertising ­– whatever it may be, always bear in mind the brand you are trying to project.</p> <p>keep in mind these basic principles of modern <a href=''>business branding</a>: be visible, and fine feathers make fine birds.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>rocks digital</strong></a>.</p> All categories Wed, 30 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Apple set to unveil its new iPhone lineup on September 12th <p><em>dow jones</em> is <a href='' target='_blank'>reporting</a> that apple will unveil its 2017 iphone lineup at a special event scheduled for tuesday, september 12. while apple has yet to issue official invites for the event, the september 12th date does align with previous rumors that recently emerged over the past few days. assuming that the september 12 date is in fact accurate, apple in just about two weeks will introduce a brand new iphone 7s and an iphone 7s plus. of course, it goes without saying that the main attraction at apple's upcoming event will be the highly anticipated iphone 8, a device which may very well usher in the largest iphone refresh apple has ever seen.</p> <p>at this point, it's no secret what the iphone 8 will bring to the table. according to a number of credible sources, the iphone 8 will feature a edgeless oled display and will incorporate advanced facial recognition technology. what's interesting, though, is that the inclusion of facial recognition technology might see apple remove touch id altogether. from what we can gather so far, apple initially wanted to embed the touch id sensor underneath the oled display itself, only to abandon this approach after encountering a yield issues during initial production runs.</p> <p>as for other iphone 8 features we can expect to see, apple's next-gen device will likely incorporate a new wireless charging feature. though android smartphones have had wireless charging for quite some time, it's nice to see apple finally deciding to join the party. on a related note, a recent iphone 8 rumor claims that wireless charging on apple's next-gen device will not be up to par with what some android smartphone owners already enjoy. as we <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>covered earlier</a>, rumor has it that the iphone 8 -- along with apple's iphone 7s lineup -- will only support qi's slower wireless charging standard.</p> <p>as for some other iphone 8 tidbits worth mentioning, it's believed that the entry-level iphone 8 will sport 64gb of storage, with more premium models offering users 256gb and 512gb of storage. price wise, <em>the new york times</em> recently published a report indicating that the entry-level iphone 8 will start at $999, easily making it the most expensive iphone model ever released.</p> <h2>more from bgr</h2> <ul> <li> <h3><a href='' target='_blank'>i'm worried that the iphone 8 might be the wrong iphone to buy this year</a></h3> </li> <li> <h3><a href='' target='_blank'>the iphone 8 will have wireless charging, but it still won't be as good as android</a></h3> </li> <li> <h3><a href='' target='_blank'>6 free iphone games that just launched on the app store this week</a></h3> </li> </ul> <p>lastly, we've also seen rumors claiming that pre-orders for the iphone 8 will open up on friday, september 15 ahead of a worldwide launch on friday, september 22, two dates which fit in nicely with the aforementioned september 12th unveiling.</p> <p>new iphones aside, apple on september 12 will also unveil a revamped version of the apple watch along with a brand new 4k capable apple tv.</p> <p>update: <em>the wall street journal</em> also has a report corroborating the september 12th date, adding that the event will be held in the 1,000-seat steve jobs theater located at the company's new spaceship campus.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>fox news</strong></a>.</p> All categories Wed, 30 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Top Web Design Trends To Look Forward To In Q4 2017 <p><strong>in today’s fiercely competitive market, presenting and marketing the business idea successfully in front of customers plays an important role. one of the tools for doing this is the strategic ‘web design’ process. web design is a field that requires varied skills, disciplines, and essential tools for the production and maintenance of websites. considering the ever-evolving nature of the digital world, it’s imperative to keep a pulse on the ongoing web design trends. here are the latest web design trends that are going to define q4 in 2017…</strong></p> <h2>excellent layout features</h2> <p>one of the important web design trends to look out for in 2017 is the layout features of the web designing process including the web graphic design, user experience design, user interface, website strategy etc. since the well-designed web design services help the business owners in establishing a strong online presence, it is essential to build a resource pool of web design tips, free graphic ideas, website templates etc that every website and web designer should follow. </p> <p>here are some of the basic principles to make good web design using the resource pool that will continue to define the web design space of 2017: </p> <ul> <li>clarity in terms of colour, images and grid system: to make a crisp and sharp web design, it is important to consider the web templates, alignment, relevant images, and colouring etc.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>safe web fonts: it is imperative to consider the fact that there are few fonts which are supported by most browsers which makes font selection a key factor while making the good web design.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>web graphics and usability: one of the important principles of web design is the intelligent use of web graphics and its usability. the web page should be made in a way that is easy to use without unnecessary cluttering.</li> </ul> <h2>grid layout & card design</h2> <p>this is another definite web design trends to watch out for in the last quarter of 2017. one of the golden rules in any good web design is how crisp and sharp the design is. have you taken into consideration alignment, relevant images, and colouring, manually clean up of extra line, shape, and boxes, appropriate grids to make the content looks simpler and easy to read & understand? it is all about the experience you are giving the users and it all comes down to these basics.</p> <p>grid layouts in the web design are particularly suitable for pages with an abundance of data, as they help in making the information more accessible, and aesthetically pleasing. the card design layouts will be a big part of the web design trends this year with a focus on a lot more dynamic grid style in 201. a good web design agency will always adhere to standards, keeps basics in place and understand the business thoroughly. they work towards the purpose of building a brand and delivering information in a technically sound and visually coherent way but also make the website designing a fun process. </p> <h2>conversational interfaces & ai powered bots</h2> <p>when it comes to of visuals, bots are unlikely to have a big impact on web design; however, they will significantly influence how designers think about creating websites. the conversational interfaces and ai powered bots are going to dominate the web design services, empowering businesses to automate communication and sales in the long run. the online businesses will be able to leverage various tools such as letsclap, pixlr etc to connect with their customers via messaging apps like whatsapp, facebook messenger or wechat, providing customised customer support and commerce solutions.</p> <h2>the use of cinemagraphs</h2> <p>cinemagraphs are yet another interesting trend of 2017 to watch out for. the cinemagraphs are the high-quality videos or gifs that run on a smooth, continuous loop to provide an all immersive web design experience. they have become a pretty popular way to add movement and visual interest to otherwise static and mundane web pages.</p> <h2>illustrations</h2> <p>more and more brands are experimenting with the illustrations to add liveliness to their web pages. the illustrators and graphic artists have the expertise to create bespoke illustrations for the websites, which is an interesting trend of this year to look for. to break the monotony of the flat design and minimalism in the websites, adding illustrated touches is an excellent way to achieve a sophisticated web page.</p> <h2>experimenting with horizontal & vertical text</h2> <p>to achieve a great web design, the qualified web design agencies are exploring the idea of mixing horizontal and vertical text. this concept of freeing text from its usual horizontal alignment and placing it vertically on a page adds a certain uniqueness and a refreshing dimension to the web page.</p> <p>web design services involves a complex process of achieving a design that is relevant, user-friendly and pleasing. there are different areas of web design including web graphic design, user experience design, ai powered bots etc that will continue to be the top trends of 2017 in web design space. to achieve better outcomes with this entire process, it is essential to keep a tab on the market and hire a web design agency with the deep understanding of the market and creativity in the working style.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business computing world</strong></a>.</p> All categories Wed, 30 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 This is how much coffee you need to drink a day to live longer <p>four cups of joe a day will keep the doctor away, or so a recent study says. </p> <p>almost 20,000 people participated in a seguimiento universidad de navarra in pamplona, spain, study analyzing coffee consumption and its effect on mortality. the <a href='' target='_blank'>study</a> followed the spanish participants — who were an average of 38 years old when they started the project — for 10 years. in that time, 337 participants died but people who drank four cups of coffee a day had a 64% lower risk of dying than those who never or almost never drank coffee, the study found. </p> <p>the link between coffee consumption and a decreased risk of mortality was not as prevalent in younger participants, but those who were at least 45 years old and drank two additional cups of coffee per day had a 30% lower risk of mortality. researchers took into consideration the participants’ sex, age and adherence to the mediterranean diet, and collected information about their food intake, lifestyle, health conditions and family history. </p> <p>this isn’t the first study to link coffee to <a href='' target='_blank'>longevity</a>. another u.s.-based study found that four or more cups of coffee a day led to an 18% lower risk of death, and a european study that followed half a million adults 35 years and older for 16.5 years found the more coffee a person drank, the less likely they were to have died by the end of the study. participants in the european study took a blood test at the beginning of the study, and researchers found people who drank coffee had lower levels of inflammatory factors and sugar. other <a href='' target='_blank'>studies</a> suggest coffee consumption reduces the risk of dying from a stroke or heart disease.</p> <p>the researchers of the latter two studies noted that other factors could skew their findings, such as the fact that coffee consumption habits could change over a decade. </p> <p>of course, other studies have found that coffee consumption has its downfalls. one study published in the journal the lancet said people who drank seven cups of coffee a day were up to 50 times more likely than those who drank two cups or fewer to develop <a href='' target='_blank'>type 2 diabetes</a>.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>market watch</strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 28 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 Graphic Design Tips for Small Businesses <p>how do your marketing materials look? do they grab and hold the attention of your customers and bring them closer to a purchasing decision? do they convey a unified brand message? or do they look unprofessional and downright tacky?</p> <p>brand image and customer perception are important factors that contribute to the success or failure of your business. if your graphic design and advertisements need an upgrade, the five following tips can help.</p> <h2>1. hire a professional graphic designer</h2> <p>one of the biggest mistakes made by small business owners is that they take a "good enough" approach to their company's graphic design needs. in order to save a few bucks, they design their own logo, website, t-shirts, brochures, business cards, flyers, print ads and signage. they aren't experienced graphic artists themselves, but they play around with photoshop for a bit until everything looks "good enough".</p> <p>as a result, their marketing materials come out looking like a jumble of fonts, colors, clip art and text with no real sense of style or cohesiveness. don't do that. hire a <a href=''>professional graphic designer</a> who will create powerful, branded marketing materials.</p> <h2>2. don't hire a designer on craigslist or fiverr</h2> <p>but hiring a pro often seems like it's just too expensive, especially for a small startup on a shoestring budget. if that describes your situation, then you're probably looking online to find the cheapest graphic designer you can find. this is usually a mistake. so-called "designers" on websites like craigslist and fiverr make offers that seem too good to be true. you plop down your money, and you often get something that is no better than your amateur photoshop efforts mentioned above.</p> <p>or, you receive something that looks amazing – and six months later you're slapped with a lawsuit because your "graphic designer" from fiverr stole a design from another company and sold it to you as their own.</p> <h2>3. keep things simple</h2> <p>by now you've hopefully become convinced that hiring a real design pro is the right move. but maybe you just don't have the money to invest and are still wondering how you can do things yourself. if you're determined to do it yourself, at least focus on the two main elements of design: simplicity and unity. when creating a flyer, digital or print ad, don't stuff it full of text and clip art. start with a single image and color scheme. always try to reduce the number of words on the page. keep it simple.</p> <h2>4. be consistent with fonts and colors</h2> <p>take a look at advertisements by well-known brands, and lay them side by side with your own ads and marketing materials. see any differences? good designs are consistent. they use a single font. they use the same color schemes on all their design work. if you saw their ads from across the room, you could often tell what company the ad is promoting without even seeing the company name, simply based on the color scheme and layouts. that's the target you're shooting for.</p> <h2>5. use large, attractive banners in-store</h2> <p>for your in-store signage, the same principle apply, but with signs and banner ads you want to go big and bold. take your designs to a local print shop to get your banners printed. you could save a little by doing it all online, but if there are any issues, it's much easier to get them fixed locally. <a href=''>banner stands for graphic ads</a> are pretty standard, so you can shop around online to get those. just make sure that the sizes all match up with the banners, as there are many different sizes and style to choose from.</p> <p>graphic design is important for your small business. the advertisements you distribute will make an impression on your customers and potential customers, but to make that a good impression, your designs need to look very professional. if you can't hire a pro, then make sure to follow the main rules of design and focus on simplicity and consistency.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>promotion world</strong></a>.</p> All categories Sat, 26 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Are You Misreading Your SEO Data? 7 Common Mistakes <p>search engine optimization (seo) relies on many factors to be successful, but one of the most important is the marketer’s ability to measure and interpret seo data. there are a few qualities of seo that make it depend on this period of analysis to be successful:</p> <ul> <li><strong>long-term development. </strong>seo is a strategy that takes months, if not years, to fully develop. it’s hard to see the changes unless you look for them on a consistent basis.</li> <li><strong>lack of precision. </strong>google doesn’t publish its ranking algorithm; we only have case studies and general information to guide us. we know that certain tactics are effective, but we don’t have an objective measure of how they all interact with one another.</li> <li><strong>unique circumstances. </strong>every brand is unique, facing different levels of competition, with different target audiences and thousands of unique ranking factors. data is the only way to filter out the noise.</li> </ul> <p>looking at your data, including your inbound traffic, search rankings, and user behavior, is the only way you can know if your campaign is working, how it’s working, and most importantly, how it can be improved. if you aren’t reading that data properly, however, you could end up changing your campaign in the wrong direction.</p> <p>but isn’t data supposed to be objective? how can you possibly misread it?</p> <p><strong>common misreading errors</strong></p> <p>these are some of the most common data interpretation errors i’ve seen:</p> <p><strong>1. focusing too closely on one metric.</strong></p> <p>it’s tempting to tie your progress back to one key metric, such as keyword ranking or inbound traffic, but this is a common mistake. seo depends on dozens of interacting factors, and you could see value from any combination of them. moreover, just because your rankings are high doesn’t mean your traffic is high and vice versa; only by examining the full picture will you come to a clear understanding of your performance.</p> <p><strong>2. falling victim to confirmation bias.</strong></p> <p>confirmation bias is a natural human tendency to disproportionately favor information that already aligns with our intrinsic beliefs and assumptions, and disfavor information that disagrees with those beliefs and assumptions. in the realm of seo, that means if you already believe your campaign is successful, you might unwittingly cherry-pick statistics that imply that your campaign is doing well, and ignore bits of information that imply your campaign needs work. if you want to avoid confirmation bias, refrain from making assumptions until you see the numbers, and review as much data as possible before coming to a conclusion.</p> <p><strong>3. neglecting to segment traffic streams.</strong></p> <p>the main traffic path you’ll target in seo is your “organic traffic,” or the people finding your content from search engines. however, there are other modes of traffic your seo tactics can influence, including your traffic from social media and traffic generated by links you built in your offsite content. segmenting these different traffic streams helps you understand and measure the differences in their onsite behavior, and helps you rebalance your strategy accordingly. treating them all as one lump will prevent you from gaining these insights.</p> <p><strong>4. only looking at target keywords.</strong></p> <p>at the start of your campaign, you probably outlined a few dozen target keywords and phrases to serve as ranking goals for your campaign. this is common practice, and a good one at that. however, these aren’t the only keywords you should be examining. google search is semantically complex, and will rank search results based on context, rather than specific keyword inclusion. therefore, if you want a true measure of how your site’s visibility is improving, you’ll need to look at semantically related keywords and phrases you may not have originally considered.</p> <p><strong>5. confusing similar terms.</strong></p> <p>google analytics and other analytics platforms usually have hundreds to thousands of different variables you can examine to evaluate your performance. some of these terms are easy to understand intuitively because they measure exactly what they sound like they measure. some terms, however, are more difficult to discern. for example, do you know the difference between a bounce rate and an exit rate? for the record, bounce rates only apply when the page in question is the first one a user has visited, while an exist rate could apply to any user. make sure you understand the definition of each metric you’re measuring.</p> <p><strong>6. failing to tie results to roi.</strong></p> <p>the whole point of seo is to earn your company more revenue—enough to cover the expenses of the campaign, at the very least. your results should be about more than just how many visitors you received or how many ranks you climbed—you need to calculate and understand how those numbers translate into value for your company. whether you’re reporting to a supervisor or a client, money speaks louder than any other metric you can conjure.</p> <p><strong>7. using results for the past, not the future.</strong></p> <p>it’s tempting to use all your new insights as a measure of what worked in the past, evaluating how your performance has been and seeing the data as a kind of “grade” for your tactics. this can be helpful, but it shouldn’t be your main focus. instead, you should be using your data to decide what you need to do in the future. is a tactic working? good—keep it. are you missing something in a particular area? brainstorm strategies that could potentially address it.</p> <p>if you’ve made these mistakes, don’t worry. even experienced search optimizers fall victim to them on an occasional basis. as a beginner, learn to recognize them proactively, and work to avoid them wherever possible.</p> <p>data analysis is meant to be objective, but as human beings, we’re prone to mistakes; all we can do is compensate the best we can and keep moving forward.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes entrepreneurs</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 25 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 15 Emerging Logo Design Trends <p>logos have to walk the tricky walk of being simple, yet comprehensive at the same time—i.e., instantly recognizable and communicating the brand’s essence. some logos do this very well, but many don’t. after poring through thousands and thousands of logos, we asked gardner and the logolounge judges what graphic devices were trending this year and if they felt they were eff ective for their intended audiences. here’s a glimpse at the 15 logo trends gardner noticed in five categories, including surface, form, object, dimension and line. check out the full trend report at <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'></a>.</p> <p><strong>1. shadow breaks</strong> are these instances in which designers use a shadow to create a dimensional break, rather than a hard-line break. “because they have built this device in, you get this greater sense of one line crossing over the other,” gardner says. “it’s more realistic.”</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>botanika by almosh82</em></p> <p><strong>2. fades</strong> have become quite popular this year, where parts of the logo interlace with paper or the surface they’re on. “i think it’s this idea of freshness or the idea of something coming from nowhere,” he explains.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>simply analytics by brandforma</em></p> <p><strong>3. rising color</strong> is really about the intensity of color when it is placed over itself. “you’ll notice that they all start with the same basic color point that takes different shifts in gradation, where they get darker as they cross over each other.”</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>minneapolis downtown council by capsule</em></p> <p><strong>4. simplicity</strong> in form is a return to basics. “the little movie camera comprised of the heart and the rectangle and the two circles on top says this is about somebody who loves movies or filmmaking,” gardner explains. “if i were just to take those same shapes and cast them out on the table like a cup full of dice, you’d never make that connection. it’s kind of brilliant how simple it is.”</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>love cinema by maskon brands</em></p> <p><strong>5. simple overlay</strong> is an old trick that has come back in a big way to really communicate transparency. he notes, “i think in particular, the designers of the mastercard and metlife identities went into the ‘wayback machine’ and said, ‘we’re going to express the aesthetic of these organizations in the most simple of fashions.’ transparent overlays are shorthand for designers to convey financial transparency.”</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>metlife by prophet</em></p> <p><strong>6. multicentric</strong> logos were in abundance this year. the concentric stripes and circles seem to evoke that idea of broadcasting—where something starts at a central point and communicates outward. these marks also tend to have monoweight lines.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>eocen by ortega graphics</em></p> <p><strong>7. ellipsis</strong> in speech bubbles are having their moment in the sun, and gardner says there’s some psychology behind that. “it’s this whole idea that the dots represent this active communication that’s going on. it’s kind of a placeholder and it’s saying, ‘i’m still holding the floor here for a minute. don’t say anything.’”</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>united states of stevenson forum by stevenson university school of design</em></p> <p><strong>8. text boxes</strong> are another way to call out words in a diff erent way. instead of placing words in a solid form like a crest, designers are creating new meanings by incorporating a block of color or reversing the text and background to create a logo. “this is moving beyond just setting a word inside a box or circle. it harks back to graphic programs that used that language, where words would be highlighted. it’s a simulation of that.”</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>mozilla by typotheque</em></p> <p><strong>9. yin and yang</strong> have symbolic references dating back centuries. “it’s this idea of a company being able to bring things together that may be divergent, and fi nding a way for them to have synergy. it’s the company and the customer living together. it’s bringing things together from different ends of the spectrum,” gardner says.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:401px; width:401px' /><br /> <em>the mane intent by hatch creative</em></p> <p><strong>10. pasta bends</strong> are a newish category in which designers are trying to create a new, perhaps more realistic rendering by adding three-dimensional characteristics using highlights, gradients, and shadows. “each of these are more defi ned by the actual shapes that are coming together than the fact that they have substance,” notes gardner, “but i think the substance aspect may be indicative of, ‘we create actual products.’”</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>borlyte by ortega graphics</em></p> <p><strong>11. wrapped</strong> logos are really like hidden figures that reveal themselves underneath something else. it’s this idea of an integral component lying underneath that becomes part of the greater whole.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>klarwin by brandient</em></p> <p><strong>12. microlines</strong> work together to complete a form that almost appears as a light four-color process. “it could be a way of defining that a company is spacial. it communicates a technical quality because of the incredible precision that’s required of them,” gardner explains, adding, “frankly, it creates some challenges with logos because it might not be highly scalable.”</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>aurora cooperative by arma graphico</em></p> <p><strong>13. doubles</strong> is the idea of drafting two components in a single line that are interlinked with each other. “they recreate very easily, and they’re easily crafted,” he says. “they’re kind of fun to look at because you almost want to put your fi nger on the line and trace it yourself. it’s kind of like a puzzle.”</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>the bright house by studio ink</em></p> <p><strong>14. wings</strong> give the impression of something being uplifted, giving the logo an ethereal quality. these multiline logos have an aspirational sense and create a sense of flight.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>federation of american women’s clubs overseas by accent brand consultants ag</em></p> <p><strong>15. color split</strong> is part of a new evolution, expanding on the monoline approach and using color to create a new dimension or twist. “google may have started this trend a couple of years ago with its favicon divided into quarters using primary colors,” gardner explains. “it’s this idea of being able to indicate that even though it’s a single line, it can take on this kind of polychrome eff ect from a color perspective.”</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:400px; width:400px' /><br /> <em>podegiki by pavel saksin</em></p> <p> </p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>how</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 25 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Letterpress artist to bring ideas on art, design to UAFS, Fort Smith <p>using a printing press rather than a computer and printer can be both fun and inventive, according to several professors.</p> <p>combining mind and hands in activity through letterpress will completely take one’s mind off any troubles, said ting wang-hedges, assistant professor of graphic design at the university of arkansas at fort smith. the activity was so relaxing, she said she did not even give thought to what color or type she would use in the design.</p> <p>“letterpress is a printing process that has been in existence since the 1450s, when johann gutenberg developed moveable type and revolutionized the printing industry,” said katie harper, associate director of graphic design, letterpress and book arts at uafs.</p> <p>wang-hedges said she does a lot on the computer, but the possibilities with letterpress are so many. you cannot get the texture on a computer that you can get with the letterpress, she said.</p> <p>mervi pakaste, letterpress artist and associate professor of graphic design at kansas state university, agreed, saying letterpress forces a person to “let go of the control ... and make more loose, fun things.”</p> <p>it is great to get off the computer and do something with your hands, she said. letterpress provides the tactile opportunity to play with things you cannot control 100 percent, she said. the type might move, or the color might be altered, she said.</p> <p>“it is more experimental,” pakaste explained.</p> <p>a graphic designer by trade, pakaste said she is interested in book arts and letterpress, and she described letterpress as “a fusion of art and design” unlike regular design. it is a “different way of thinking about design,” she said.</p> <p>pakaste will share her ideas about letterpress with students and the community in early september, wang-hedges said. pakaste will work with uafs graphic design students during classes sept. 7, and she will give a free public lecture at 5:30 p.m. sept. 7 in the windgate art and design building theater on the uafs campus. a reception will follow at 6:30 p.m.</p> <p>pakaste also will conduct a free public workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. sept. 8, with a one-hour break for lunch, wang-hedges said. the workshop will be entitled “what’s so punny about it?” the free event is open to the community, wang-hedges said. workshop participants do not need to know how to do letterpress to participate in the class, and they do not need to provide any materials, she said. they just need to be prepared to come and “have fun.” anyone interested in attending the workshop should contact wang-hedges at <a href=''></a> by today.</p> <p>the workshop will provide a great opportunity for high school art teachers to “bring great inspiration” into their classrooms, wang-hedges said.</p> <p>underground ink, the university’s letterpress and book arts studio, was formerly located in the basement of the gardner building, hence the name, according to harper.</p> <p>the current letterpress room is populated with “three vandercook presses, two imposing tables, 13 cabinets of metal and wood type, an andersen-vreeland platemaker and a jacques board shear,” harper said.</p> <p>also available — and usable! — is the nearly 100-year-old chandler and price 8-by-12 letterpress, which was built in 1923, wang-hedges said.</p> <p>pakaste was wang-hedges’ graduate school professor at kansas state university. wang-hedges said she thought pakaste might be interested in the letterpress room and contacted her.</p> <p>pakaste said she does not consider herself an expert on letterpress by any means. she said she is “just getting her toes wet.”</p> <p>pakaste learned a lot and was especially impacted by hatch show print in nashville, which she described as a working museum with a “huge fantastic collection,” and hamilton wood type in two rivers, wis., which she said was formerly a factory that made wood type and now showcases a historical collection.</p> <p>examples of pakaste’s letterpress work, “mapping meaning: works by mervi pakaste,” are currently on display in the second floor gallery of the windgate art and design building, located at the corner of kinkead avenue and waldron road. her work will be on display through sept. 16. it is open to the public, and admission is free. the collection on display includes some new and some old letterpress works, pakaste said.</p> <p>“her sense of fun with puns and sly connotations permeate through her work,” according to an exhibit flyer, and stems from her finnish background. many of the idioms in the english language, which is not her native language, made no sense to her, pakaste said.</p> <p>she is very “precise ... with her use of innuendo often found” in the english idioms, the flyer states. “she cuts through the many layers of meaning with a very humorous razor” and plays “with the subtleties of meaning in language.”</p> <p>pakaste is “so funny and clever,” wang-hedges added.</p> <p>original article on the <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>times record</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 25 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Tips to Improve Your Business’ Online Reputation <p>the online environment can be an unforgiving place. you can make one mistake with your social media, post something insensitive or offensive, and the internet won’t let you forget about it. you could end up in one of those lists of “top social media fails of 2017”, or get ongoing negative comments on your facebook or twitter account. but it’s not just the social media risk, either it is your entire online reputation.</p> <p>your online reputation isn’t simply about whether you tread carefully and say the right things, it’s about creating a strong enough presence for people to notice you and actively engage with you. online reputation can also include the reviews that people leave on various platforms about your product, service, location and more.</p> <p>so how do you improve your online reputation? here are three tips that will help you boost yours.</p> <p><strong>1. pay attention to reviews</strong></p> <p>most of your potential customers will read an online review about you before choosing whether to use your product or service. however, only a tiny percentage will write reviews and, unfortunately, unless they are completely in awe of how amazing you are, or, on the other side, utterly disgusted with you, they’re even less likely to leave a review. if someone is simply satisfied, having received what they expected, the chances are they won’t say a word.</p> <p>focus on encouraging people who are happy with your service to leave positive reviews for you. make it as easy as possible for them to do so, and don’t be shy to just ask them to leave a review if they are happy. at the same time, if they are unhappy, actively work on changing them into a happy customer, then ask them to write a review for you.</p> <p><u>make it work:</u> consider looking for an industry-specific review platform, such as dentacoin’s <a href='' rel='nofollow'>trusted review platform</a>, and ask customers to spend just a few short minutes completing a few questions, or writing a few words about you.</p> <p><strong>2. get your seo and content working for you</strong></p> <p>search engine optimization isn’t just about stuffing all kinds of keywords into your website – it’s a lot more complex than that. seo is based on a sophisticated algorithm that google and other search engines use to determine whether you are active online, engaged with users and contributing positively  to your industry.</p> <p>seo and content marketing go hand-in-hand, so to make sure your website is popping up in search results, spend the time and effort to write articles – both for your website and for industry-relevant syndicates. you can also build relationships with other experts in the field, working on a reciprocal link-sharing agreement, where they treat you like an authority, and you do likewise.</p> <p><u>make it work:</u> seo and content marketing can be very time-consuming, so we absolutely recommend either employing a specialist or hiring a freelance individual or agency to handle it for you. they will focus exclusively on making sure your online reputation is up to scratch.</p> <p><strong>3. be socially active</strong></p> <p>social media is no longer a nice to have for business, it’s a necessity. you can’t hope to engage with customers simply by having a website, and hoping for the nest. even a super-seo optimized website isn’t enough on its own. content marketing and seo rely on you having a robust online presence, and that includes a solid social media presence.</p> <p>build a good social media presence, where you are not only active, but are providing customers with insightful, entertaining, useful content via your various accounts. this is not only going to help improve your seo, but it is also going to help improve your reputation with people. positive feedback via social media can easily be turned into a positive review, for example, and a positive review can form part of your social media.</p> <p><u>make it work:</u> much like with seo and content, it’s usually a good idea to have someone handling your social media for you. that said, social media is intensely personal, so make sure you are in constant communication with your social media person or agency to make sure they are getting the voice and emotion of your company right.</p> <p>online reputation has the power to make or break your company – isn’t it time you started working on it?</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>valuewalk</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 25 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Six Steps to Designing Packaging that Connects with Customers <p>a recent study of eye tracking on product packaging indicates that customers are spending fractions of seconds reading labels and making buying decisions. in many cases, as little as 1/20 of a second is spent on eyeing packaging.</p> <p>we have also learned from recent studies that nutrition labels have little impact. many of your most compelling nutrition facts, such as low sugar or vitamin content, is presented near the bottom of a nutrition table and therefore overlooked by customers. given that busy customers are not reading nutrition and packaging narratives, getting packing design right is mission critical.</p> <p>as an outsourced chief marketing officer working with food and beverage clients, i am often called on to help design packaging and plan the go-to-market strategy for new and/or struggling products. i recently had the pleasure to work on the design for a line of kombucha beverages. kombucha is a fermented tea sold in most grocery stores as a ready-to-drink product. it is praised for its health and digestive benefits.</p> <p>in this product category, one dominant brand has 80 percent of market share, and the category is growing quickly with many new customers trying the product every day. my challenge was to help my client design packaging that would appeal to new customers while also enticing the leading brand's regular customers to try something different. we started where all packaging projects should start, with research.</p> <p>i set out to build a customer profile of a typical kombucha drinker. we asked for vital lifestyle data as well as factors that drove the brand decision process. these included things such as age, income, gender and education levels as well as health behaviors and lifestyle. i had a theory that if we could capture the health benefits of kombucha in the packaging they would sell like crazy. i was dead wrong.</p> <p>in fact this assumption could have ruined the packaging if i had acted on it without soliciting customer input. in our discussions with customers, what i learned was that taste, not perceived health benefits, were the deciding factor when selecting a brand. it turns out, kombucha drinkers have already accepted the many health benefits. they don’t need to be sold. what they want to know most is what this particular bottle is going to taste like.</p> <p>my client’s product was saved by the research. my team and i avoided a costly mistake.  starting the packaging design with a strong assumption is common error, made most often when a company designs product packaging without an outside perspective. without this due diligence we might have put the wrong facts on the packaging.</p> <p>our well designed survey helped. a poorly design survey could have simply confirmed my bias and led us down the wrong path. an outside team will have fewer biases and more experience eliciting valid and useful customer feedback. if you are not sure if you are asking the right questions in your research, look for outside advice.</p> <h3>6 steps you can follow when designing new product packaging:</h3> <ol> <li>determine where your product is in the category’s evolution. this will help determine the strategy and impact how much time the customers will spend learning about your product.</li> <li>build a customer profile by gathering voluntary information from your customers and engaging in customers in active feedback. there is some basic information that you need such as, age, gender, ethnicity, income ranges, education levels and geographic location.  other questions will need to be customized based on what the product is.</li> <li>determine what motivates buying preferences. if this is a new food category, many customers will read the labels and nutrition information, but only for fractions of seconds. if this is a mature category, expect customers to spend even less time reading packaging or nutrition information.</li> <li>determine your top three buyer motivating factors and use them front-and-center on your packaging. remember, you have fractions of a second to make an impression.</li> <li>work with the best design firm you can find. once you sort through the first four steps, you are way ahead of most companies trying to bring a product to market, especially if you have avoided your own biases. now you need an amazing designer to translate those facts into a design that connects with customers and conveys the critical information in less than a second. your designer speaks the language of the subconscious. trust her. she is translating knowledge into a language you don’t speak.</li> <li>if you are a small to mid-sized company with a more limited product launch budget, work with a design firm to develop the most compelling packaging you can. plan your go-to-market strategy and launch it. if done well, new packaging should give you a sales lift out of the gate.</li> </ol> <p><em>optional:</em> if you have the budget, i suggest testing the new packaging with consumers using the latest eye tracking technology and comparing this to tests of your competitors' packaging. in doing this, you will have some certainty that your product will gain market share.</p> <hr /> <p><img alt='' src='' style='float:right; margin-left:20px' /></p> <p>bemis earned a silver award in the 2017 dupont awards for packaging innovation for its work on kellogg’s nutri-grain bakery delights packaging. the product uses textured film to represent a bakery treat that looks like it's wrapped in kraft paper and twine. to uniquely capture the attention of millennial shoppers, the package is designed to look like paper, feel like paper, and even crinkle and crunch like paper.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>food processing</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 25 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Art of Tomorrow: 14 Beautiful Graphic Design Trends <p>as much as human beings love to be told stories to help understand the world around them, we’re still inherently visual creatures by nature. thus, the best way for us to understand something, relate to it, learn from it, and have it speak to us is to give it a beautiful appearance. this is also the best way to get us to buy a product, subscribe to a service, or choose a partner. however you slice it, packaging counts, right down to the logo.</p> <p>though we’re constantly bombarded with images, more and more of which are rendered digitally rather than in the real world, we rarely think of these things as art. as andy warhol showed, sometimes the only difference between a work of corporate branding and artistry is perspective. some of the most famous art installations in the world were propaganda done for hire, including the ceiling of the sistine chapel and da vinci’s <em>last supper</em>. just as today’s newest fad is tomorrow’s vintage collection, so too is the graphic work being done now the classic masterpieces of the future.</p> <p>so, to see where the art world is headed, here’s 14 gorgeous graphic design trends that will be helping change how you see life, the universe, and everything.</p> <h2>minimalism</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>as our culture becomes ever more convoluted, our minds seek a respite from the entropy in simple order that helps calm and soothe our tired minds. beautiful minimalism has already begun to infuse <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>our gear</a>, and we can expect ever more of it in the artistic realm as we look to technology to create meaning in chaos.</p> <h2>hand drawings</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>closing the loop, graphic arts will tend away from anything that looks to automated and digitized, favoring the slower, simpler look of words and images that seem done by hand. adding the failings and human characteristics aids us in feeling connected to works that are as flawed as we are.</p> <h2>authentic photography</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>our lives are becoming more an act of living online than in the real world, though part of us still longs for nature. to that end, graphics and art with natural and extremely real feelings cooked right in will appeal to us as a counterpoint to our black box lives lived through endless screens.</p> <h2>vibrant colors</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>millions of people suffer from some form of depression or another, which tends to mute the world. even those who lack symptoms of major depression are still suffering from extended work hours, strain from information overload, and are somewhat numbed to any stimulus that isn’t over-hyped. expect to see colors that are deeper, richer, and more natural to replace the pop and sizzle fare that’s been weighing on our collective consciousness.</p> <h2>bold words, big claims</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>as our attention span wanes to the point that flash fiction seems like too much, we can expect to see a growing number of brash words thrown up in massive fonts to try to draw our eyes without complicating our consciousness. already we’ve seen more and more books and movies with streamlined names. it’s only a matter of time before we’re down to single letters and rudimentary icons to go with our acronyms and instant gratification.</p> <h2>more movement</h2> <p><a href=''><img src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>gifs have gained popularity because they provide us with a whole tale in the span of a few seconds. the same way hemingway changed literature with his stripped-down prose, so too will we begin to see gifs creep into the world of graphic arts as a more useful and less frivolous way to elucidate a point.</p> <h2>contrasting coloration</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>along with more lifelike colors, we’re also seeing a trend of mixed bag color mixes that draw us in with flaring, grating colors which then have more intricate elements interwoven into the fabric. these mash-ups provide both the irritant and the balm, which entices us to look in, look away, and finally look deeper.</p> <h2>superimposition</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>as gifs tell a tale in a few frames, and images twisted together give you both sides of the sense spectrum, so too will the use of multiple images in a compact rendering be ever more prevalent in our graphic arts. though these will sometimes compare and contrast, more often they will be stacked reinforcement of a single theme to help drive home points quickly, allowing us to move onto the next thing.</p> <h2>negative space</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>peace and calm are part of what draw us toward the minimalist ideal, and few things help us experience those things more than tranquility among turmoil. we’ll be seeing enhancements in not only what is put into a single image, but also what is taken out of it. this forces our minds to work, thus finding deeper roots in our consciousness.</p> <h2>broken pieces</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>using a combination of negative space and superimposition, we’ll be finding ourselves presented with oddly shattered images that require our own consciousness to put the pieces together. think of it like a modern take on impressionism, in which we’re being asked to fill in the blanks. stylistically, this is quite cunning as it forces our mind to focus, put forth effort, and provides us with a sense of accomplishment – to say nothing of cognitive superiority – that we often don’t receive in our daily lives.</p> <h2>representative realism</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>reality is unimaginably deep, with profound layers woven right into the fabric. while that makes existence interesting, it doesn’t do much for our monkey-level minds that still want to fight, breed, eat, sleep, and little else. even as we look for increased realism in our photography – because we want reality contained into a manageable form – we’ll want the less enticing aspects dropped down to clickable icons that don’t have all the arduous depth.</p> <h2>real and fake</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>meshing the human-made with the natural is a ploy we’ll see much more of in graphic arts as our own reality becomes one that is as much synthetic projection as naturally constructed.</p> <h2>epic hierarchy</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>via</p> <p>when the term 1% seeped into our consciousness, even those who weren’t class warriors found themselves torn between being part of the either the masses or the financial elite. as the broken system of capitalism arouses ever more violent class warfare, how high or low something is will play an enhanced role in all of our artwork, since where we stand on the cosmic ladder is ever more on our minds.</p> <h2>true transformation</h2> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></a></p> <p>we’ve never existed in a time where technology is outpacing us to such an astounding degree. this has made us all notice how fast life moves and how quickly things degrade, fade, and change. expect to see an increasing amount of graphic arts focus less on celebrating what something is and more on what it can help us become.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>the coolist</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 25 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Universal Usability Crucial in New Website Design <p>building a new website for an organization means designing a virtual space that is available to individuals of all ability levels. considering that more than 50 million americans are living with a disability, it is essential that websites allow for universal usability. </p> <p>a website's success is ultimately dependent on its accessibility, an aspect that must be carefully considered and conveyed through every step of the web design process. it begins at the microcosmic level of building universal usability into the framework of the website and continues beyond the design stage, becoming an ongoing point of concern and maintenance. </p> <p>it can sound complex and overwhelming, but there are easy steps that companies can take to ensure their sites work for everyone. the first step in that path is making accessibility a central and consistent concern. </p> <p>for more helpful tips and support in implementing accessibility strategies, please visit the <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'></a>.</p> <p>about the bureau of internet accessibility:</p> <p>mobile and website compliance is a requirement, but trying to understand the wcag 2.0 guidelines and how they relate to ada, acaa, ocr, aoda, section 508 and other compliance requirements, can be confusing. the bureau of internet accessibility (boia) has been helping eliminate the accessibility digital divide since 2001. the organization's reports, tools, and services have assisted businesses in improving, maintaining, and proving the accessibility of their websites. with services that include self-help tools, audits, training, remediation and implementation support, boia has the experience and expertise to ensure that accessibility efforts are worthwhile and successful. for more information, visit <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'></a>.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>sys-con media</strong></a>.</p> All categories Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 User Interface Tweaks That Will Double Your ROI <div class='wpb_wrapper'> <p>a good user interface is beyond just appealing graphics and trendy fonts. it’s all about adding up a professional tone and compelling brand presence. it’s a matter of developing websites that users actually love to browse and use. but what type of user interface changes marketers can make to improve their website conversion rate. here i’ve listed a few user interface tweaks that can help you improve user experience while doubling your roi.</p> <h2>call to action</h2> <p>with the arrival of mobile apps, having a dedicated clickable area on your call to action buttons is vital to so that users click on them. since many buttons are totally based on graphics, there are still some buttons that insert small link text as opposed to a more responsive and intuitive option. small links may look sleek and sophisticated on a desktop website, but are a painful eye exercise on a smartphone.</p> <p>in addition, creating captivating taglines is the key, perhaps you have only 2-3 seconds to grab the attention of users, especially when they first visit your website. and in such short amount of time, your value proposition has to quickly resonate with your prospective clients. if your visitors clearly understand the main usp, then more likely you will be getting more leads and conversions. therefore, it is always a worthwhile idea to use persuasive taglines for better results.</p> <h2>white space matters most</h2> <p>white space plays a key role in user interface design that many designers overlook often, because to them, white space is just screen real state that needs to be filled. and when you limit screen space, such as designing for mobile or smart watches, it can be tempting to fit as much as possible into that small space.</p> <p>the proper use of white space not only increases focus, but also leads the eye to key visual graphical elements, ctas and other important areas of your website that you want visitors to focus on. it basically presents your site as a more welcoming, pleasing, open and accessible place.</p> <h2>focus on providing results</h2> <p>when it comes to providing a seamless user experience, it is important to ask yourself, what does the user need, whether your website fulfill users’ demands? and then make website tweaks to fulfill their needs and wants. users want to get their desired product with as little frustration as possible, they probably don’t focus on web design.</p> <p>so, the easier you make the process, the more comfortable the user experience will be and the more likely they will become your returning customers. moreover, chances are they will tell their friends about their seamless user experience.</p> <h2>use icons wisely</h2> <p>believe it or not, symbols help users a point of reference, especially when it comes to navigate a site or when scrolling over a website. using small, identifiable icons are meant to inform the reader at a glance, in fact it might be the best choice, especially when you are targeting global audience where more creative or abstract icons might not be instantly recognizable.</p> <p>if you want to use abstract icons, make sure to label them clearly to facilitate users to understand where clicking on those icons will take you. it should be kept in mind, icons must be used to support your navigation, they are not meant to replace it.</p> <h2>using sliders is a good choice</h2> <p>sliders are commonly used in many modern websites for several reasons. because they are trendy and have a real power to attract the audience with visuals. they inform readers above the fold and allow you to focus on the special areas such as sale offer, special products, new arrivals, stock clearance etc.</p> <p>but it is important to carefully consider the speed of sliders, because sometimes they scroll so fast, or contain a lot of things in it, resulting in defeating their main purpose of sharing information that is tailor-made to get users’ attention. sometimes readers find it difficult to read them at once, getting less information, or unable to click on them. therefore, make it as simple as possible, so that it will become easier for readers to navigate. reduce the number of images and use the text concisely to clearly communicate the ideas with clear meaning.</p> <p>moreover, carefully think whether your website actually needs sliders or a static appealing banner serves it purpose of communicating the message to the audience. running a split test between both options is the best idea to figure out which option works best for your website performance.</p> <h2>craft a brand story</h2> <p>keep in mind that you are promoting your website, improving ux, and creating engaging content for real people, so give your audience a real reason to stay on your website, tell them your brand story. most websites are unwelcoming, corporate places with little time for real emotion. people connect with feelings, emotions, humor and empathy. breathe new life into your content, images, videos, infographics, and then stand back and watch your online conversion spike.</p> <h2>create valuable, engaging content</h2> <p>the main purpose of your website is to connect and resonate with the target audience for your products/services. creating your website content that is jargon-free and to-the-point while enabling you to present the main purpose of your website. just forget about the long, boring complicated words, stick to the engaging, interesting information, and you will be able to grab your prospects.</p> <h2>final words</h2> <p>making these user interface tweaks will certainly improve your website traffic, conversion rate and ultimately sales.</p> </div> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong></strong></a>.</p> All categories Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How to speed up a Mac in 11 tips <p>enterprise, creative or home user — everyone with a mac should learn a few simple steps they can take to tweak a little more performance from their apple machine. this short collection provides an essential guide.</p> <h3>1. update the mac</h3> <p>it’s possible you haven’t updated your mac for some time. each os update brings a bunch of useful under-the-hood improvements, some of which may boost performance. to access them, you need to upgrade the system on your mac. open the app store, tap updates and install.</p> <h3>2. activity monitor</h3> <p>take a look at <a href=''>activity monitor</a> (fastest way to open the app? <em>command-space>type activity monito</em>r, tap <em>return</em>). this illustrates how your mac is running. look at the cpu and memory columns to see if you can recognize an application that seems to be demanding a lot from your system. if there is, just quit that app until next time you need it.</p> <h3>3. start up</h3> <p>do you have any apps that launch themselves when you start up your mac? take a look in system preferences> users&groups > check for your user name. enter your password, and you can look at your login items. select any you don’t need to have start up automatically and tap the minus – button to remove them from the start up items list.</p> <h3>4. limit the visuals</h3> <p>macs are great for visuals. all the same, to tweak a little more performance from your computer, you may want to switch some of those effects off.</p> <p>in <em>system preferences>dock</em> uncheck the following sections:</p> <ul> <li>magnification</li> <li>animate opening applications</li> <li>automatically hide and show the dock</li> <li>and set minimize windows using to scale effect.</li> </ul> <p>you may also want to reduce transparency effects. this you can do in <em>settings> accessibility > display</em>, check <em>reduce transparency</em>.</p> <h3>5. about this mac</h3> <p>macos has some really helpful built-in tools to help you boost mac performance by getting rid of items you no longer need.</p> <p>open <em>about this mac</em> in the <em>menu</em> and tap <em>storage</em> to access these. wait a few moments, and you should see a visual representation that shows what is taking up space on your system.</p> <p>that’s interesting, but to get to the tools tap <em>manage</em>.</p> <p>here you’ll see a selection of different items (mail, itunes, icloud drive, among others). tap these to get more information and to find app-specific recommendations. you’ll also see a <em>recommendations</em> item. tap this, and you’ll find a series of ideas to help you eliminate space wasting items from your mac, likely to include:</p> <ul> <li>store in icloud: stores all your photos images and videos in icloud and lets you reduce the size of the collection kept on your mac.</li> <li>optimize storage: enable this and in the future, itunes movies and tv shows you’ve watched already won’t be kept on your mac. only recent mail attachments will be stored on your mac when storage is low.</li> <li>empty trash automatically: anything in your trash will be deleted after 30-days.</li> <li>reduce clutter: this tool lets you explore and delete large files, downloads and other items from your mac.</li> </ul> <h3>6. itunes collections</h3> <p>itunes likes to collect apps you install on your ios device. you can use the reduce clutter tool to delete apps you no longer use from itunes. however, it makes much more sense to do this within itunes because you can better tell which apps you are deleting. it’s a little time-consuming, but therapeutic — it’s also a bit like an app history lesson as you explore those early efforts you installed way back in 2007.</p> <h3>7. finder tips</h3> <p>do you see all your files in the finder each time you open a new finder window? you may see a very tiny performance boost if you change this. in finder open finder preferences and in new finder windows show choose an appropriate folder, such as desktop, or make an in progress folder into which you save work in progress. in the future, rather than having to figure and display information about all your files, the mac will just open the folder you have defined.</p> <h3>8. web browser tips</h3> <p>web browsers and mail applications can become system hogs. when you have web pages open in safari you can get a sense of this by opening activity monitor and looking at which of your processes are taking up the most cpu performance. you’ll often find these are the pages you have open on your mac, which are running annoying scripts that consumer your processor when it should be doing something else. the best thing you can do is quit your browser when you are not using it, and keep tight control of the number of websites/tabs you have open in the browser at any time. you should also reduce the number of active browser extensions you are using.</p> <h3>9. mail tips</h3> <p>after a while, apple’s mail can become a little unwieldy. that’s not true for everyone, but is certainly true if you get a lot of email and have been using the same accounts for years (like me). when mail hangs it can slow your entire system. three things you can try if you want to tame mail app include:</p> <ul> <li>delete: delete spam, empty your deleted items box, delete any items you don’t need.</li> <li>rebuild: mailbox>rebuild. this operation can take some time to complete.</li> <li>reindex: take a look at this <a href=''>process in this report</a>.</li> </ul> <p>there are a few other suggestions you might want to try <a href=''>here</a>.</p> <h3>10. add more memory</h3> <p>maximizing the amount of ram you have installed in your mac is a surefire way to get better performance from your machine. that’s why it’s deeply sad apple doesn’t make it easier for us to install more ourselves. you can find out what sort of memory your mac requires and how to install it <a href=''>among these pages on the apple website</a>.</p> <h3>11. reinstall os x</h3> <p>when all else fails, try reinstalling your os — just make sure you’ve backed everything up first (for bootable backups, try <a href=''>superduper</a>, <a href=''>macbackup guru</a> or <a href=''>carbon copy cloner</a>). once you back up your files, follow these instructions to <a href=''>reinstall os x</a>. be sure to take a note of your wi-fi password before you begin.</p> <p>i do hope these quick tips help you tweak a little more performance from your mac.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>computer world</strong></a>.</p> All categories Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Killer Web Design Hacks That Will Actually Work for You <p>is your website getting a large number of visitors but not giving you the quality results you want? efficiently directing your visitors and persuading them to convert is not an easy feat and there is no shortcut to achieve overnight success.</p> <p>ecommerce is the fastest growing industry, and it is expected that ecommerce sales will increase up to $523 billion <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>by 2020</a>. this would open a number of opportunities for online shoppers. for online business owners, optimizing their business websites needs to be a top priority, if they really want to reach their milestones. this is the reason, competition is getting tougher day by day.</p> <p>there are a number of online shopping platforms presents all around the globe, and users have no problem bouncing from one website to another in order to find their desired products. with the limitless number of options available literally at their fingertips, it is important for web marketers to go beyond to meet consumers’ needs and desires in the best way possible.</p> <p>in many cases, a business website just needs a few user interface tweaks to boost conversion rates, as opposed to a full website redesign. no matter what tweaks and adjustments need to be made, it is always wise to think carefully before you do it. it is highly advised to work with careful planning and a/b testing in order to track results, and opt for strategies that lead to better results and determine which ones should be ignored or improved upon. in short, optimizing your website is a task that needs to be constantly updating.</p> <p>here, i’ve listed amazing website hacks that marketers can use to improve website design in order to increase the conversion rates.</p> <h3>speed up your website</h3> <p>do you know the normal human attention span is as low as 8 seconds? keeping this factor in mind, everything related to the web, no matter if it is a website or a mobile app, needs to function smoothly, and above all, fast. website loading time is also an important factor, especially when it comes to search engine rankings. and if you want to sell your business online, prospective customers will don’t think for a second to abandon your website if the speed is too slow.</p> <p>if truth be told, a fast website is the key to get your customers glued to your website. there are so many factors that can greatly contribute to decreasing webpage speed. and if you have tried all the tweaks such as improving your web design, compressing the size of images and codes, reducing your forms fields, eliminating unnecessary plugins, then more likely, you will need to double check your web host.</p> <p>if a host is the real reason behind your slow website speed, don’t waste your time on quitting your provider, as there are countless better options available. just make sure that you use a well-suited hosting provider based on your cms. if you use wordpress to develop your website, it is advised to opt for some fastest wordpress hosting services for better results.</p> <p>a seamless, intuitive user experience is the foundation of any online business, ecommerce platform, media publication or community forum. a website that loads faster leads and has a <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>good user interface</a> can lead to a positive ux, and a positive ux leads to fastest conversions.</p> <h3>make your ctas persuasive</h3> <p>many professional web design agencies, saas startups, entrepreneurs, and ecommerce business owners understand the power of ctas and consider them as the most integral element of web design. regardless of the users’ demographic and what type of content they are presented with, in the end, their focus needs to be on the cta button. therefore, it must be obviously placed in a way the user can identify it with a single glance.</p> <p>moreover, there are a lot of factors that can greatly affect <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>cta </a>button. in fact, these buttons are the most split-tested feature of any online business. colors are most probably the most important psychological factor that results in more clicks. while there is no perfect rule to coloring your cta buttons, it must stand out in contrast to the background layout. preferably, it is a color that is not used anywhere throughout your web design.</p> <p>use cta button as a separate object without the context of the rest of the website. it should be sharp and simple with a clearly conveyed message. by adding a more personal touch to your ctas will increase your website conversion rate.</p> <p>moreover, positioning plays a key role in this regard. it is also advised to try different placement areas on your web design including header, sidebars, center and more. social media and visual content consumption are indeed a bit challenging, so are users. testing and optimizing your ctas will likely be continuously changing project.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business 2 community</strong></a>.</p> All categories Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 SEO Techniques For Businesses Working With Limited Budgets <p>one of the biggest attractions of search engine optimization is the opportunity to build a business without paying for ads. paid advertising offers instant traffic and plenty of testing opportunities, but the risk of blowing your budget on a losing campaign understandably puts many marketers off. </p> <p>seo can have its own hidden costs, though, with quality content and software coming at a premium. while your time should also be considered a cost, if you are willing to spend some of it on an seo campaign, it is possible to get results on a limited budget. let's take a look at some of the best seo techniques that won't break the bank.</p> <p><strong>step one: on-page seo</strong></p> <p>on-page seo offers many opportunities for quick improvements. when working with a low budget, focusing on the factors within your direct control is the easiest way to optimize for search engines. you can easily optimize your website with a low budget. if you put real effort into implementing these suggestions, you will notice a boost in your overall traffic and rankings.</p> <ul> <li><strong>site optimization. </strong>site optimization covers many areas, but there are some specific elements you must get right. your title and description tags should be built to target specific keywords and also to increase click-through rate. above the fold content must be relevant and helpful, avoiding obtrusive advertising or large headers that distract searchers. the site hierarchy should make sense, grouping articles into relevant categories. any other issues can usually be found inside the <a href='' target='_blank'>google search console</a>.</li> <li><strong>mobile and site speed. </strong>run your site through <a href='' target='_blank'>pagespeed insights</a> and <a href='' target='_blank'>mobile-friendly test</a>, looking for issues that are damaging the speed and compatibility score. slow servers can be a problem, but you don't necessarily need to invest in an expensive server solution immediately. <a href='' target='_blank'>cloudflare</a> offers a free version of its content-delivery network, while various cache plug-ins can optimize your site for fast loading.</li> <li><strong>keyword research. </strong>when operating with a small budget, targeting high-volume search terms might be best suited as a long-term goal. you can get far quicker results by focusing on long-tail keywords, reducing the competition levels and increasing the relevance. there are various premium seo tools that make keyword research and analysis far simpler, with <a href='' target='_blank'>semrush</a>,<a href='' target='_blank'> moz</a> and <a href='' target='_blank'>ahrefs</a> among the best. however, you can also take the free approach by building a large keyword list using the <a href='' target='_blank'>google keyword planner</a> and installing the <a href='' target='_blank'>seoquake plugin</a> in your browser.</li> <li><strong>content development. </strong>when targeting a specific keyword, the main goal should be to provide the searcher with the exact content they wanted. if a large enough group of people think your content doesn't offer a precise answer, your search results will suffer. aim to create content that meets the searchers’ needs, while also being superior to the other pages on the first result page. look at the top-ranking pages for your target keyword, analyze the common themes in the type of content ranking, and think of ways you can offer something better.</li> </ul> <p><strong>step two: off-page seo</strong></p> <p>off-page seo is usually the area where you spend the bulk of your budget. there are, however, various ways to optimize at a reasonable cost.</p> <ul> <li><strong>backlinks. </strong>there is often a temptation to gain as many backlinks as possible. low-quality backlinks will provide little seo benefit, though, and could even harm your rankings. instead, focus your time on authority backlinks that will give the biggest boost. backlink research can again be simplified with seo tools, but the free services like seoquake provide plenty of information. the best type of backlinks will be relevant to your niche, have a high domain authority, and preferably a high page authority too.</li> <li><strong>outreach. </strong>a number of strategic relationships can make all the difference to your seo efforts. bloggers, business owners and influencers all have the potential to offer backlinks, traffic and a higher status among a niche audience. while relationship building can take time, the results will last long into the future. look to be as helpful as possible, writing thoughtful blog comments, communicating over social media and offering quality guest posts for their site.</li> <li><strong>local seo.</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>google maps marketing</a> falls under the local seo umbrella which (for some reason) not many people are aware of. when you are a local business owner with a low budget, google maps gives a serious boost to your immediate traffic, and it's also free!</li> <li><strong>social media. </strong>social media can be time-intensive, but it is possible to build backlinks, traffic and relationships for a low cost. ideally, you will maintain profiles across the popular platforms, using a tool like hootsuite as your dashboard. you could, however, focus on the social sites that will resonate most with your audience, creating content that suits the platform. for example, pinterest is designed primarily for images, so a niche with a strong visual element could build the most interest on a site like this. as content starts to get shared regularly, you should benefit from the increase in backlinks and promotion.</li> <li><strong>infographics. </strong>a well-researched infographic, in combination with email outreach, can produce high-powered links. creating infographics used to be fairly expensive, but there are now many services offering an affordable solution. canva, piktochart, and fiverr can all be used to create stylish graphics that get shared widely.</li> </ul> <p>in most cases, the lower your seo budget, the more time you will need to invest. while this can be acceptable initially, you will probably want to reinvest some income as your work comes to fruition. consider investing in high-quality seo tools and paying for content. a larger budget doesn't guarantee better results, but it does present opportunities to scale your business. it is worth considering that among the various marketing strategies available to online businesses, seo is still one of the most affordable, targeted and effective. a top ranking for a valuable keyword can transform the fortunes of a business, so start implementing these seo techniques today.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong></strong></a>.</p> All categories Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How to Develop and Design a Successful Website <p>building a website for your business will take more than registering a domain name and throwing up some sales information on a standard-issue template. if you want to compete with modern, web-friendly brands, you'll need to follow these steps to create a high-impact website for the 21st century.</p> <h2>integrate your social media accounts</h2> <p>according to the pew research center, 69 percent of adults use some form of social media. the greatest concentration of users is on facebook, but instagram, twitter, pinterest and linkedin also boast millions of visitors. a successful business website will integrate these platforms to increase customer engagement with their brand. for example, you might create an icon tray of social media buttons that encourage users to "like this" or "pin this." you might also include pop-ups that ask users if they'd like to "share this with friends" whenever they purchase a product or sign up for a loyalty program. the more that you encourage word-of-mouth on social media networks, the more customers that you'll potentially reach.</p> <h2>create an engaging site design</h2> <p>web design is about more than having an attractive layout. it also needs to be smart, intuitive, and user-friendly so that customers want to click around and spend time on your site. if you're running an e-commerce site, this means site navigation that clearly divides different product categories. if you're running something like a medical or legal website, you'll want the most relevant and up-to-date information at the top of the page and not the bottom. think about issues like sidebars versus drop-down menus, and consider both the advantages and disadvantages of having a splash page. if needed, you might invest some time researching enterprise web development companies for some ideas to implement on your own site. you should also pay attention to things like color psychology and text readability. these small design elements can make a big difference in the overall success of your website.</p> <h2>optimize your site for search engines</h2> <p>search engine optimization (seo) is a marketing technique that can help you gain visibility on search engines like google. instead of being a useless result on page 30, you can use certain tips and tricks to become one of the first websites that customers see when they input specific search criteria. keywords are the bread and butter of seo, but there are also things that you can do with links, graphics, alt-text and that your content can be indexed to make your site friendlier to search engine algorithms. another thing to consider is relevance or "authority." if a search engine considers you to be a reputable source, you'll climb in their results faster than unofficial or unfounded sources.</p> <h2>use analytics to increase web traffic</h2> <p>the nitty-gritty details of your web traffic can be very important when building an advertising strategy. if you don't know who your customers are or where they're coming from, it's much harder to establish things like targeted marketing techniques for specific individuals and groups. do yourself a favor and monitor the analytics of your website from the moment that it launches. look for trends in user demographics that can help you nail down the ages, genders, locations and income levels of your biggest customers, and figure out where you're getting the most clicks and pingbacks to boost your ad revenue from those particular websites. knowledge is power when it comes to web traffic, especially knowledge that's gained and analyzed over a long time period.</p> <p>creating a website for your business is different than running a blog for your personal amusement. not only can your sales and profits depend on your web presence, but it can also make or break you in terms of brand awareness in the digital age. use these tips to ensure that your website is well-crafted and well-worth the visit from potential customers.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>promotion world</strong></a>.</p> All categories Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Slow apps and websites can ruin your reputation <p>app and web users are growing more demanding and less forgiving, according to the results of a consumer survey from apica. in a clear call to action for organizations around the world, apica's survey found that three quarters of respondents expect websites and apps to perform faster than they did three years ago. <br /> <br /> apica conducted the survey among internet users in the uk, us and sweden, to investigate changing attitudes towards a brand's digital performance. the survey of 2,250 consumers reveals that nearly 40% of us won't wait more than ten seconds for a website to respond before navigating away. one in nine users (11%) won't even give a site <strong><em>five seconds</em></strong> before moving onto another website. </p> <h2>performance affects your digital brand</h2> <p>the survey also found that digital disappointment <a href='' target='_blank'>affects brand loyalty</a>, with 60% of consumers likely to be less loyal towards a brand if they experience poor website or app performance. 10% of participants said they would never return to an offending brand for goods or services. swedes are least loyal towards a brand that lets them down online, with 73% likely to turn to competitors.<br /> <br /> some noteworthy findings include:</p> <ul> <li>over 80% would consider telling friends about a poor website/app experience</li> <li>more than 1 in 3 respondents say long loading times cause them to lose patience</li> <li>three quarters of users expect sites and apps to perform faster than 3 years ago</li> </ul> <p>carmen carey, ceo, apica, said, "these results demonstrate that digital consumers have limited patience for slow performance or delays. there is clearly a general expectation that sites and apps will perform faster and better, particularly with the advent of born digital organizations. the onus is now on businesses, whether they're a leading financial company or an online retailer, to ensure peak performance at all times."<br /> <br /> the survey also revealed that users also have limited patience for organizations that schedule maintenance on websites and apps. less than half (46%) of users said that several hours of downtime was acceptable, and even then, reasons for the downtime had to be properly communicated. 54% respondents had an 'upper limit' of one hour, and more than 1/10 (13%) actually expect 100% up-time.</p> <h2>your app brand reputation at stake</h2> <p>negative digital experiences are also likely to impact brand reputation with 83% of global respondents reporting they would consider telling colleagues about a poor website or app experience, and almost 4 in 10 would definitely share this. </p> <p>"if companies wish to retain both customers and revenue, they must focus on proactive performance testing and monitoring of their digital services to ensure that, even at peak times, downtime does not occur," added carmen. </p> <p>apica monitors ecommerce websites and publishes an annual black friday web performance index. last year, it revealed that whist the top ten ecommerce websites are healthy, the rest are lagging expectations. the 2017 index is due to be published late november after black friday and cyber monday.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>app development magazine</strong></a>.</p> All categories Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 10 tips for choosing the perfect domain <h2>when it comes to choosing a domain name for your business, you've got more choices than ever.</h2> <p>your domain name and url play a big role when it comes to search. not only is this the destination where your visitors will find you and your content, but the domain you choose also can and does impact your search visibility. while there are more domain options than ever before, there are still some best practices you should adhere to if you want to see optimal results.</p> <p>as of our publishing date in august 2017, <a href='' target='_blank'>icann recognizes</a> 1,547 top-level domains (tlds). while this means you have more choices than ever before, it doesn’t make choosing a domain any easier. to ensure you get the right domain for your business, consider these 10 tips.</p> <h2>1. start with keywords</h2> <p>before logging into to your favorite domain registrar, take some time to brainstorm a few ideas. it can be helpful to have three to five keywords in mind when doing this exercise. these words and phrases should clearly define what you do (or want to do). mix and mash them together and see what looks right and makes sense. don’t force the process — just let it flow.</p> <p>for example, let’s say you are starting a local bakery. some terms you want to include would be your city, fresh bread, baked goods, bakery and so on.</p> <p><strong>here’s a pro tip:</strong> use <a href='' target='_blank'>prefixes and suffixes</a> to help you create a good domain that grabs attention. for this example, you may end up with a domain like</p> <h2>2. make it unique</h2> <p>your domain is part of your brand. making sure it stands out is extremely important for you and your users. having a domain that closely resembles another popular brand is never a good idea, as it can lead to confusion.</p> <p>be careful that you’re not trying to be too unique, however. forcing an alternative spelling of a common word can lead to big trouble. an example cited in the book, “<a href='' target='_blank'>the art of seo: mastering search engine optimization</a>,” is that of the popular image site flickr.</p> <p>when the site founders established their domain, they did not use the standard spelling,, and they may have lost traffic as a result. they ended up having to purchase the correctly spelled domain and have the additional domain redirect to</p> <h2>3. go for a .com</h2> <p>if you are serious about building a long-term brand online, there is nothing better than a .com. using a 301-redirect to drive traffic to a .net or .org is totally fine, but owning the .com or the equivalent tld for your target market country is critical.</p> <p>there are a number of reasons why this matters, but the most crucial one is for your users. while there are thousands of tlds to choose from, .com still carries the most trust with it.</p> <p>many internet users are still unaware that the other tlds exist and may hesitate to click when they see one. make it easy for your users and choose a .com. you’ll thank me in the long run.</p> <p>(<strong>note for transparency:</strong> i am currently working on getting ownership of the .com for my site’s domain. when i rebranded a few years ago, i was unable to claim it and now have to bid to own it.)</p> <h2>4. make it easy to type</h2> <p>if your url is hard to type, people won’t. difficult words to spell and long url strings can be extremely frustrating to your end users.</p> <p>sure, you may be able to add a nice keyword with a long url, but if the user experience is negatively impacted, you’ll ultimately suffer.</p> <h2>5. make it memorable</h2> <p>word-of-mouth marketing is still the best of all. if you want to help your brand spread faster, make your domain easy to remember. having a great website won’t matter if no one can remember your domain name.</p> <h2>6. keep it short</h2> <p>shorter urls are easier to type and remember. they also allow more of the url to show up in the serps, they fit on business cards better and they look better in other offline media.</p> <h2>7. create and meet expectations</h2> <p>what is the expectation you want to set when someone hears your url for the first time? if they can’t instantly grasp what you do or who you are, you have a problem.</p> <p>while sites like amazon, trulia, google and trivago sound cool, it takes a lot more marketing and branding to make them work. domains like,, and all let you know what to expect up front.</p> <h2>8. build your brand</h2> <p>if you can’t find a good domain that meets the previous rule, use branding to distinguish yourself.</p> <p>using a unique moniker is a great way to build additional value. take note that, because of this need for brand-building, you’ll likely be slower to gain traction than if you used a more simple and straightforward domain. but, if done correctly, the effort can pay off in the long run.</p> <h2>9. don’t fall for trends</h2> <p>just because something is trending now, it doesn’t mean it always will. copying what someone else is doing can lead you down the wrong path. stay away from odd spellings and lots of hyphens or numbers. keep it simple, focused and easy to remember.</p> <h2>10. try a domain selection tool</h2> <p>if you are having a hard time brainstorming for an idea, no worries, the internet has your back.</p> <p>try using a domain selection tool to help you find the perfect domain. tools like <a href='' target='_blank'>domainsbot</a> or <a href='' target='_blank'>namemesh</a> can help you find that perfect domain. but remember to adhere to the advice above when using these tools.</p> <h2>conclusion</h2> <p>your domain is where you do business online. just as in real estate, location matters. having a domain that clearly tells your user and the search engines who you are and what you do can help you establish your brand online. don’t just pick a domain; take some time and choose the right domain for your business.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine land</strong></a>.</p> All categories Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How to improve your SEO with user-friendly interlinking <h2>sure, backlinks are important, however a case be made that internal linking is also a critical component of improving your website's search engine optimization and user experience.</h2> <p>at my startup, lseo, we recently ran an internal link audit to help inform and refine our growth marketing strategy. with multiple freelancers and staff writers constantly contributing content, our site has more than tripled in size in the past two years.</p> <p>unfortunately, running a massive content marketing initiative with no central internal linking strategy in place had limited the spread of link authority throughout our website.</p> <p>i highly recommend auditing your own internal linking structure to make sure you aren’t inhibiting a blog post from being crawled or receiving “link juice.” this is not only bad from an seo perspective, but also from a business standpoint. content that is not properly interlinked may not live up to its full organic ranking potential — or be found easily by users.</p> <p>let’s review some of the best practices of internal linking and show you why interlinking should still be a central concern of your seo development.</p> <h2>the function and benefits of internal links</h2> <h3>function</h3> <p>a sophisticated internal linking structure provides seo and user experience (ux) value for your website. here are some highlights of internal link functionality:</p> <ul> <li>opens pathways to web pages previously less accessible to search engine spiders.</li> <li>helps organize web pages categorically based on the keyword used in the link’s url and anchor text.</li> <li>improves user navigation by providing further ways to interact with your site.</li> <li>uses anchor text keywords to aid user intent.</li> <li>passes “link juice” between web pages (a purported ranking factor).</li> <li>organizes site architecture and communicates to search engines your most important web pages.</li> <li>helps promotional campaigns by visibly highlighting or featuring links on a home page or next to content.</li> </ul> <p>of course, there are instances of links that search engines can’t parse. it’s important to mention them so you don’t mistakenly use them:</p> <ul> <li>links in web pages that are disallowed in your robots.txt file.</li> <li>links in search bars or submission fields.</li> <li>links in embedded plugins, such as java or flash.</li> <li>links on web pages with more than 150 links.</li> </ul> <h3>user experience (ux)</h3> <p>setting aside all of the seo value of internal links, interlinking is valuable to your ux. a savvy interlinking structure should feature a functional drop-down menu and navigation bar with links to relevant topical content to satisfy user intent.</p> <p>providing clear labels for each link encourages further website interaction, which also has lots of seo value. not only does this increase user dwell time and session length, but the longer a user stays on your website, the more likely he/she is to complete a desired conversion.</p> <p>imagine landing on an awesome web page from a referral traffic source and a day later trying to find it. unfortunately, without optimized anchor text in the url or deep links to index the page properly, it may be impossible to find it through direct traffic methods, which is frustrating.</p> <h3>link authority</h3> <p>unlike backlinks, internal links have no direct impact on google’s algorithm. but they do increase the flow of backlink authority that circulates from one page to another.</p> <p>new blog articles are born with virtually no authority or recognition. with a deep link from the home page or a cornerstone page, you instantly transfer previously earned authority to that web page. that piece will be indexed faster and rank higher as a result.</p> <h2>interlinking structure best practices</h2> <h3>site architecture</h3> <p>your internal linking structure should follow a pyramid formation. your home page rests at the top. directly beneath lie cornerstone pages or category pages that deep-link to relevant blog or product pages. all pages directly within one link of the home page will be perceived as the most important to search engines.</p> <p>the goal is to reduce the total number of links that occur between a web page and the home page. your home page is your most authoritative, in part because it is the page that will receive the most backlinks. leverage your home page’s authority to spread link juice evenly throughout your site, and position each web page to rank highly.</p> <p>this leads us to the importance of navigation bars and menu functionality. as your website grows with blog posts, content and resource pages, these sophisticated navigation features will ensure that all web pages are still within two to three links of the home page.</p> <p>let’s explore the anatomy of link placements and which ones serve our ux and seo campaign more.</p> <h3>content links</h3> <p>content is not simply a clever place to insert internal links for indexation, but they also aid our site’s ux. placing a link in a piece of content serves as a source material and communicates to readers that you can stop reading to gather more information “here.”</p> <p>bolding content links makes them visually stand out from the rest of the content and beckons users to click on them. ideally, you’ll want to place links in blog posts to other relevant blog posts. relevancy is key because irrelevant links will disrupt your ux and result in bounces.</p> <p>you should ensure that your web page contains no broken links. if so, redirect those links to relevant web pages. it’s also important that your web pages load fast to ensure a positive user experience and to stave off bounces. additionally, make sure that any linked web page is not more than one click away from a conversion page and always contains a call to action in reach.</p> <p>some experts speculate that content links are more valuable than other navigational links, which brings up an interesting topic with interlinking: do links in different page spots affect my seo, and what are the best practices?</p> <h3>hyperlink page positions</h3> <p>according to <a href=''>john mueller of google</a>, “position on a page for internal links is pretty much irrelevant from our point of view.”</p> <p>this doesn’t mean the position of important internal links is irrelevant from a <em>ux</em> standpoint. ideally, you’ll place your most important internal links on your home page, in the navigation bar, or on a drop-down menu.</p> <p>within lower authority pages, it’s unnecessary to link back to your home page or contact page within content. it does not pass “link juice,” nor does it promote a positive ux. it is best to link only to other relevant posts here.</p> <p>footer links and sidebar links should link to relevant content or product pages. while a link to a cornerstone page in your footer will not be less valuable than placing it in a navigation bar, it’s generally a bad practice from a ux standpoint to have an expansive footer bar.</p> <p>placing links at the end of articles or on a sidebar to relevant web pages will encourage users to keep interacting with your website. this provides positive user signals to google, which may indirectly affect website and page rank.</p> <p>a great way to help index your content is to place link tags or keyword tags on content that will communicate to search engines the topic of that landing page.</p> <p>breadcrumb links and an xml sitemap also contribute greatly toward user and site crawler navigation.</p> <h3>link relevancy</h3> <p>the essential component of link-building 101 and internal linking 101 is <strong>relevancy</strong>. optimize all anchor text to reflect the title or topic of the landing page being linked to. placing irrelevant anchor text on a link will qualify your website as spam.</p> <p>be sure to create keyword variations for your anchor text structure. constantly using the same anchor text for each link could qualify as spam and, if used for different landing pages, will result in keyword cannibalization.</p> <p>leverage your keyword research, and conduct a link audit to identify areas of content where relevant internal links can be placed. ideally, you’ll want around three internal links for a piece of content, at least — perhaps more, depending on the word count.</p> <h3>call-to-action links</h3> <p>i can’t fail to mention the importance of optimizing your call to action (cta) to maximize your conversion rate. a cta button should be big and bold and should be optimized for each device. make sure your cta is distinguishable from the background.</p> <p>cta positioning is important, and i recommend placing a cta above the fold. quicksprout often uses a slide-in cta that gathers massive conversions.</p> <p>ultimately, you want your cta to be present on each web page so that users are always one or two clicks away from creating a conversion.</p> <h3>nofollow links</h3> <p>if you don’t want a search engine to count the link juice flowing through a specific web page, then you can place a rel=”nofollow” attribute on your link tag. these are often used in links found in comments and user-generated content to protect against spam penalties.</p> <p>unfortunately, this tag can sometimes cause a ripple effect and limit the authority flowing through other pages directly linked to that page. google specifically advises against what it refers to as “<a href=''>pagerank sculpting</a>,” and the nofollow attribute <em>generally</em> shouldn’t be attached to internal links.</p> <h2>conclusion</h2> <p>when we think of link building, we often ignore the ux and seo value of building out our own internal link structure. while backlinks remain the crown jewels of seo, their effects can be amplified through a sophisticated internal link structure that spreads the wealth evenly throughout your site.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine land</strong></a>.</p> All categories Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Optimized store landing pages: An important part of local search strategy <h2>how can brick-and-mortar stores improve the online experience for both users and search engines?</h2> <p>if you’re a business which has brick-and-mortar store locations, you may know that having a local search strategy is crucial to your business. most business owners are aware that building a local search presence requires having profiles on google my business, yelp, bing places, yellow pages, etc., so that you may show up for local search queries and build local search relevance. having a presence on these local directory/profile sites is definitely a core part of local search marketing.</p> <p>just as important is listing each of your business locations on your website. however, i’ve noticed that many businesses do not have landing pages for each of their store locations, which is a missed opportunity to further build local search relevance and rankings.</p> <p>each brick-and-mortar location presents an opportunity to highlight information that is specific to the store and its surrounding area. it also gives you the potential to outrank other local directory/profile sites such as yelp, which as business owners you don’t have full control over.</p> <p>here are two examples. both party city and dick’s sporting goods are doing an excellent job of building and optimizing store location pages — and as you can see below, those local landing pages outrank yelp results. the yelp profiles have low ratings, which is not something you want appearing in a top position.</p> <p><img alt='party city store landing page outranking yelp result' src='' style='width:80%' /><img alt='dicks store landing pages outranking yelp' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <p>notice that they both have a location knowledge graph panel appearing in search results, along with multiple location landing pages. this is, in my opinion, the ideal user experience you want for your store locations. it increases the chances of your website getting the search traffic rather than a third-party site like yelp.</p> <h2>examples of optimized store landing pages</h2> <p>let’s take a look at how party city and dick’s sporting goods optimized their store landing pages.</p> <h3>party city</h3> <p>party city has a plethora of content on their store location pages. they not only make it easy for users to navigate and find their store locations, but also include relevant content that is benefiting them in organic search.</p> <p>these location landing pages have optimized page titles, meta descriptions and headers, as well as keyword targeted content. they have great social integration, highlighting their instagram and facebook profiles via widgets. these pages also exist within a logical hierarchy of pages, as evidenced by their url structure:</p> <p><img alt='party city store landing page' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <p>party city also leverages <a href=''>structured data markup from</a> to provide search engines with local content in a structured format.</p> <p><img alt='party city schema store markup' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <h3>dick’s sporting goods</h3> <p>dick’s local landing pages are also very seo- and user-friendly. in addition to optimized copy and prominently displayed store information, these pages also highlight specific services that are offered at each store location. weekly ads that feature sales, offers and events are included, too.</p> <p><img alt='dick's sporting goods store landing page' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <p>similar to party city, dick’s leverages structured data markup on their local landing pages. in this case, they have employed the <a href=''>sportinggoodsstore schema</a>.</p> <p><img alt='dick's sporting goods store markup' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <h2>recommendations for optimizing store landing pages</h2> <p>if you’re ready to take the next step in your local search optimization and build store landing pages, here are some best practices to follow:</p> <ol> <li>ensure store landing pages maintain the same user experience, layout and design as the rest of your site. the navigation in the header and footer should be the same so users can easily navigate to other sections of the site.</li> <li>pages should be mobile friendly at minimum and fully mobile optimized at best.</li> <li>ensure keyword targeting is done for page titles, meta descriptions, body content, headers and images.</li> <li>avoid keyword stuffing and fluffed content. <strong>write for users.</strong> avoid boilerplate content and instead write unique content about each location.</li> <li>include a map embed, nearby store locations, store hours, address and contact information, etc.</li> <li>include helpful features like “text to mobile” and “get directions.”</li> <li>incorporate structured data markup from such as <a href=''>localbusiness</a>, <a href=''>store</a>, <a href=''>departmentstore</a>, etc.</li> <li>ensure store pages live within a logical site hierarchy. example: store finder > state > city/town > store location page</li> <li>include content that is helpful to users such as: <ul> <li>events (be sure to leverage <a href=''>event</a> schema markup).</li> <li>coupons and sales.</li> <li>names and photos of managers and employees — for example, <a href=''>ethan allen highlights its design team</a> at each location on their store landing pages.</li> <li>videos of the store location.</li> <li>photos of the outside and inside of the store.</li> <li>testimonials or reviews of the store.</li> </ul> </li> <li>include social media profile widgets or buttons as well as social sharing buttons.</li> <li>ensure store landing pages are included in your xml sitemap (or, create a specific xml sitemap for only store pages), and submit the sitemap to both google search console and bing webmaster tools.</li> </ol> <p>article originally on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine land</strong></a>.</p> All categories Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 From Michelangelo to Dadaism: designers’ favourite creative eras <h3>suki heather, creative director, akqa</h3> <p>“pushing the boundaries of creativity, dada was an influential, early 20th century avant-garde art movement conveying ideas beyond aesthetic. a collective of like-minded individuals used diverse mediums to express and call into question war, society, gender and identity. hannah hÖch, the queen of subversion, pioneered techniques like photomontage to recut narratives, creating visual statements that were both comedic and shocking at the same time. dada rejected traditional norms, building a raw, risk-taking and unapologetic style, inspiring generations of artists, from music to fashion and literacy to graphics. this was a way of thinking that’s never seemed more relevant today.”</p> <hr /> <h3>ellen munro, creative director, brandopus</h3> <p>“it’s hard not to say the present. every day we’re able to look back and take inspiration from all the fascinating times that have come before, curating and creating something entirely new using old influences. if pushed though, i’d love to have been designing in the late 1950s to early 1960s. it was the era of alan fletcher, paul rand and bob gill, who fused clever, witty design alongside expressive illustration. it would have been amazing to have been a part of the heyday of simple and clever design thinking. their designs and ideas are still held in high regard, with many still in use today over 60 years later.”</p> <hr /> <h3>dan kraemer, founder and chief design officer, ia collaborative</h3> <p>“in woody allen’s film midnight in paris, the character paul describes nostalgia as “denial of the painful present”. while now may be a justifiable time to indulge in such ‘golden age thinking’, i actually believe that today is the best time to be a designer. never before has design had so much ability to positively impact people’s lives. leading corporations are appointing chief design officers, nine of last year’s 25 top venture-backed start-ups had designers at the helm, and crowdfunding communities are backing designer-entrepreneurs to bring passion-driven projects to the world. maybe i’d like to be a designer 100 years from now, to be a part of what will no doubt be an even more positive impact on the world.”</p> <hr /> <h3>jon vallance, associate creative director for brand and graphics, pearlfisher london</h3> <p>“us-based graphic designer aaron james draplin talks about how, historically, the real heroes of design have always been completely inconspicuous. they are the guys working a regular job, or the artists punching in their hours and creating timeless design without really meaning to. when i look through design annuals i do find myself agreeing with this. page after page, the work that strikes me as truly revolutionary never really comes from anyone ‘famous’. that said, i recently found out that the image of ‘man and god’ in the vatican city’s sistine chapel is an anatomically perfect representation of the human brain, and the ceiling itself represents the human nervous system. this was a big ‘bear in the toblerone’ moment for me, so perhaps michelangelo’s era in the 15th and 16th centuries is my answer.”</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>design week</strong></a>.</p> All categories Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Three Easy SEO Tips Every Business Owner Can Use Right <h3>try some simple tweaks to boost company search ratings. </h3> <p><a href=''>search engine optimization</a>. it puts fear into the hearts of business owners and executives who believe that getting their websites to place high on google search rankings is akin to answering an obscure riddle of an evil troll guarding the secrets of successful digital marketing.</p> <p>it’s true that advanced seo strategies can be complex and a specialty unto itself but, that said, there are a few easy steps any executive can take to help speak directly to their targeted online audience and raise search rankings at the same time.</p> <p><strong>create an online newsroom and keep it updated with relevant content.</strong> <br /> not too long ago, the pr mantra was to distribute news releases only when you had actual news to announce, so as not to cry wolf too often, resulting in editors and reporters ignoring your “real news” announcements when you needed the coverage. that thinking is outdated. now, not only do reporters visit your website’s online newsroom looking for news, but customers also will check out the newsroom to decide, or confirm, if buying what you have to offer is a good idea.</p> <p>and here’s the seo payoff for newsrooms: search engines, such as google, are always looking for fresh content to determine whether a website is relevant. thus, posting news releases consistently on your site—with links relating back to similar content on the site—is a great way to demonstrate that your site is active. make sure your online newsroom has a downloadable press kit for journalists and bloggers writing company profiles, as well as consumer-slanted product and services announcements to interest your customers.</p> <p><strong>write and publish a blog with relevant content and internal and external links.</strong><br /> become a publisher and push content out for the search engines to find you, which means writing blogs. avoid writing general-information posts; you want to create targeted content aimed at a group of readers who will find your posts relevant and useful.</p> <p>long content, at least 2,500 words with at least two or three links to authoritative sites, works best to help create back links to your site. as for topics, think back on what your customers and clients ask you in meetings or what their pain points are and what problems they need to solve. you also can write about your solution for a common industry challenge.</p> <p>here is where quality outweighs quantity. write fewer, but longer, blog posts. everyone knows about franklin roosevelt’s famous fireside chats, but in 12 years as president he made only 30 radio addresses, which made the broadcasts special. it’s not how often you post, but rather making sure each post is packed with useful, relevant content for a successful seo strategy.</p> <p>your job is not over once you publish your blog. remember to cross-promote your post on all your social media networks to drive followers to your website. be sure to customize each caption to fit the audience on each network.</p> <p><strong>encourage customers to post reviews online.</strong> <br /> google loves seeing positive testimonials because that indicates your business is active and, as mentioned before, fresh content is king for search engines. customer feedback, ratings and reviews provide the insider information google needs to rank your business as trustworthy, and will help you generate more business, which will lead to even more customer testimonials.</p> <p>to get the ball rolling, ask loyal, long-time customers and trusted colleagues to post positive reviews and ratings, and be sure to reply to comments to encourage others to share the benefits of doing business with you. remember, people like to be heard, and put simply, google “rewards” businesses that have strong reviews and ratings with high rankings. posting and reviews on facebook, yelp and other social media sites where reviews appear will also increase your search results.</p> <p>finally, to keep abreast of what people are looking for, in a google search field type your keywords, and scroll to the bottom of all the search results and check out searches related to... often you’ll find new keywords to include organically in your website text describing your company.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>columbus ceo</strong></a>.</p> All categories Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Refreshed label graphics conjure Mediterranean warmth <h3>a new design that communicates your roots can have a profound effect. the peloponnese brand of greek and mediterranean food specialties gets a new visual identity that puts its namesake—the greek village of peloponnese—front and center.</h3> <p>picture yourself in the sun-drenched village of peloponnese in southern greece, with the blue mediterranean ocean and rustic hillsides surrounding you. that is the feeling international brand and packaging design agency bulletproof worked to evoke with the redesigned packaging graphics for source atlantique’s mediterranean food products. source atlantique is a new jersey-based specialty importer and distributor of international food brands. its peloponnese line of greek and mediterranean products includes olives, spreads, grape leaves, roasted sweet peppers, and sesame tahini, among other items.</p> <p>while products in the peloponnese line have earned a reputation as being among the finest, most authentic mediterranean cuisine in the world, the brand’s former packaging was not reflective of the passion and skill that goes into the production of the artisanal range.</p> <p>“the previous peloponnese packaging was a product of a bygone—and less-effective—era of graphic design. it was an amalgamation of overly complex design elements that failed to print properly and as a result, gain the necessary distinction on shelf,” says bulletproof. “on a basic brand level, the vibrant soul of peloponnese lay hidden beneath layers of artifice. the branding lacked pop at shelf, and a poorly crafted watercolor illustration was based on outdated visual codes of foodiness and premiumness.”</p> <p>source atlantique’s goal with new package design for its 14 product varieties was to establish the brand as a leader in its category, appeal to a new generation of consumers looking for culinary adventure, and create a system that would make product navigation easier for consumers.</p> <p>working from a platform of “heartfelt foods,” bulletproof created a new brand identity designed to strengthen the core equities of the brand, including the village of peloponnese, redrawn in a more contemporary style. “we reimagined the distinctive brand asset of the hillside peloponnese village by simplifying and amplifying its inviting charm,” explains the agency. “the sun-washed stone walls, the terracotta roofs, and the faint silhouette of the rustic hillside all hint at the allure and history of the region.”</p> <p>to make it easier for shoppers to navigate the portfolio, each product variety is clearly identified within its own brightly colored “plaque,” just below the peloponnese logo, both of which are set against a dark blue background. bulletproof notes that the colorways of the design were chosen to give the brand maximum standout at shelf, with the contrasting use of bright blue and dark blue on-pack to create an impactful brand block. says bulletproof, “the findability and shoppability metrics are off the charts, ensuring the peloponnese line is future-proofed for new products.” </p> <p>the products’ pressure-sensitive labels are offset-printed in five colors plus a matte or gloss varnish.</p> <p>the redesigned packaging was introduced in retail stores in february 2017. the peloponnese brand is sold in supermarkets and specialty foods stores such as publix, stop & shop, shoprite, harris teeter, and others.</p> <p>concludes bulletproof, “the new design aesthetic speaks to a more colloquial and authentic tone of voice. a simple, handcrafted logo and bright mediterranean colors offer a uniquely warm smile at the shelf…inviting everyone to share in the warmth of the peloponnese table.”</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>packaging</strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Brochure Design: 25 Tips to Create Marketing Materials That Sell <h3><em>we’ve all received brochures from various businesses and most of the time they all have one thing in common — they’re boring.</em></h3> <p>whether they’re packed with so much information you feel like you’re about to read a full length novel, or so plain you feel like you’re sitting in the dentist’s office, brochures tend to get a bad rap. they may be chock full of important stuff, but unless you can get someone to pick it up and read it, it doesn’t matter how great the content inside is.</p> <p>here are 25 ways to step up your brochure design game and ensure your information will be shared.</p> <h2>01. think simple.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>simple design can be incredibly effective and doesn’t have to be boring. in this brochure, the title is embossed in a simple, clean typeface on a white background. the effect is very clean and modern, and though there isn’t much contrast it still translates well. the embossing also adds an interesting texture to the brochure, and can be carried throughout the interior.</p> <h2>02. consider functionality.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>at first glance this brochure looks simple enough. a thick book full of information. once it’s opened though, the cover is folded out and reveals a beautiful floral pattern that complements the bright red of the introductory page. small surprises for your viewers can make a big impact, even if it’s as simple as hiding away pretty flowers.</p> <h2>03. create impact with simple shapes.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>geographic shapes made to look like callouts have a fun effect on these brochures. the pop of color against the background helps to bring the message forward, as if it really is calling out. the cuts also create a cool three-dimensional look, adding yet another element of interest.</p> <h2>04. keep it linear.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>brochures don’t have to be folded booklets bound at the center. they can stretch out in a variety of different ways. here an accordion shape is used which allows you to view the entire brochure as a whole if you choose, rather than flipping through each page.</p> <h2>05. reflect graphics physically.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>in this ‘epic’ brochure, the graphic elements are reflected in the folds of the paper. the brightly colors triangles become the pages containing the information. this makes the brochure very cohesive as a whole, each element working together to create a solid piece.</p> <h2>06. be creative with your inserts.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>if you plan on including physical items inside your brochure (whether it be a cd, dvd, or something of the like), display it in an interesting way. you’re not limited to a simple sleeve in the back. here the cd pops out to you, inviting you to take it. the shape of the pop out gives dimension to the interior, which would otherwise be very flat.</p> <h2>07. think outside the ‘pamphlet’.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>this is an excellent example of being incredibly creative with your brochure design. stepping away from the flat, pamphlet like structure and into something interactive and three-dimensional. it engages the viewer (in this case user) and creates a lasting impression. this design can spark a number of other ‘three-dimensional’ ideas for a brochure.</p> <h2>08. incorporate shapes.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>your pages don’t need to be rectangular. they don’t even have to be square. they can be circles, triangles, hearts, whatever suits your business best. in this example, the circles all fold in over each other, which creates an interesting action when you move each page to reveal what’s underneath.</p> <h2>09. make subtle adjustments.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>the format here is relatively standard, but shaving down the corners to a rounded edge helps add a softness to the look. it appears friendlier and more comfortable. the warm imagery and soft brown color really drives the friendly appearance home.</p> <h2>10. consider your materials.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>depending on what the brochure is for, the material used can relate very well. recyclable materials make your business look more environmentally friendly and ‘green’, while something more industrial gives an entirely different, blue collar feel. here the recycled paper paired with the bright green gives this brochure a very earthy feeling.</p> <h2>11. use texture as a graphic element.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>sometimes photography just isn’t the right fit for the message you’re trying to deliver. in this brochure, a color company chose to use a textural pattern to show their colors rather than photographs of swatches or paint. the contrast between the dark pages and the bright color helps to add an interesting dimension to a potentially stagnant subject matter.</p> <h2>12. make it fun.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>this is a great example of taking the viewer into consideration. this brochure has a very unique illustrative style, the bright colors and line work create a young and hip effect. at first glance you may think the glasses are just part of the drawing, but they can actually be removed and worn by the reader — which doubles as great advertising.</p> <h2>13. keep it small.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>bigger isn’t always better. if you can boil down your information into a concise enough size, why not make your brochure small enough to match? the smaller the brochure, the more likely someone will be to actually hold onto it. it can easily fit into a purse or a back pocket and the interesting shape leaves nothing lacking.</p> <h2>14. break conventions.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>typically a brochure is read left to right and down the page before moving onto the next page. why not make it a single page? here a single page format is used, though the foldable ends create another ‘page’, allowing you to use the interior for all of the information, and the flaps for any branding.</p> <h2>15. use perspective to your advantage.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>typography doesn’t have to be completely straight across the page. use interesting angles to add visual interest and create visual elements in their own right. here the checkered pattern is used to draw the viewer into the center of the page, the type follows along, creating an interesting harmony.</p> <h2>16. take advantage of die cuts.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>die cuts can create interesting windows to reveal bits of information. here, a checkerboard die cut shows part of the photograph underneath. it doesn’t show enough to fully understand the image, but shows just enough to create an interest to open and investigate.</p> <h2>17. consider display.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>how will your brochures be displayed? strewn across a counter or table? stacked up on desks? consider having a designated area for your brochures. this example uses a box to store and display them. the box is designed to relate to the brochure, which makes the two as a whole look very professional and put together.</p> <h2>18. don’t be afraid of change.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>not all of your brochures must be identical. a variety of brochures with the same information helps give the reader a choice in the one they want to pick up. here, three different photographs are used along with three different color washes to give each one its own personality. the color wash can also be folded away to view the black and white photograph underneath.</p> <h2>19. be clever.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>if there is a way you can make your message literal, try it. here the message is about change, or ‘folding’ the future. it’s taken literally because the paper is folded in half right in front of you. try to rethink your message, a simple change in wording can open up a variety of possibilities to how you can show it.</p> <h2>20. use accent pages.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>this is the interior of the previous brochure. they utilize die cut accent pages in a way that acts as a design element. the pages don’t contain any information, yet they still serve a function. they act to break up what the viewer is seeing, that way you can process each image individually.</p> <h2>21. think over the top.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>if your subject matter is extreme (like snowboarding, for example), reflect that in your brochure. this one is loud and interesting to look at. the folds reflect the shape of a mountain (design with a purpose), and give a distinct energy to the piece.</p> <h2>22. break boundaries.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>this example is unique in two different ways. not only is it a bound book, but it has a case that form fits over the top, sealing it in like a little package. having a spiral bound book can make keeping the brochure open easier as well as add a design element. sleeves are a great addition to make your brochure feel a little more upscale and personal, since you have to remove it to gain access.</p> <h2>23. get angular.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>the overall shape of this brochure is 100% standard, long and slender and folded into sections. unique cuts help to create a more interesting piece, giving it sharp angles and an envelope like effect when it’s closed.</p> <h2>24. be creative with typography.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>creating typography with graphics or photographs is a great way to make sure you’re implementing both. here type is reversed out through the photograph. enough of the photo can be seen to relate to the message, and the difference in colors and shapes within the letters gives each one a unique look.</p> <h2>25. have a purpose.</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='text-align:center; width:80%' /></p> <p>brochures can be functional. here a brochure turns into a map, giving a purpose to the design. try to think of things your brochure can become rather than just being a source of information. functional design is a big trend right now, and probably will be for years to come.</p> <p><strong>inspired? start designing! </strong></p> <p>now that you’ve learned all of the ways to create an awesome brochure, there’s no excuse not to. they can fulfill any need you have and look a variety of different ways. make sure they’re able to draw interest and not simply lots of text on a page. always consider the reader and what they’d like to see.</p> <p>keep all of these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to create a great brochure!</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong></strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 An Intro to Minimalist Web Design <p>minimalist design is everywhere, and it’s especially popular among web designers. it’s easy to see the appeal: many of minimalism’s core tenets mesh very well with the constraints of modern ui and ux design, especially on mobile devices.</p> <h3>a (very brief) history of minimalist design</h3> <p>minimalism traces its origins back to the early twentieth century. though we tend to associate it with media and design now, its origins lie in fields as diverse as architecture and painting. here are a few early influences on the minimalist style:</p> <ol> <li>de stijl. dutch for “the style,” de stijl was an artistic movement that celebrated simple, abstract shapes, bold primary colors, and straight lines. piet mondrian’s city grid-inspired paintings are a perfect encapsulation of de stijl.</li> <li>constructivism. the constructivist style came out of early soviet revolutionary art. its goal was to create a new style of art that could create social change, rejecting the idea of “art for art’s sake.” the result was an aesthetic that communicated using a combination of strong, dramatic shapes, black-and-white photography, and bold typography.</li> <li>bauhaus. the bauhaus movement emerged from germany in the 1920s and early 30s. it jettisoned styles associated with earlier eras in favor of practical, functional aesthetics. “form follows function” is a maxim often associated with the bauhaus, one that inspired the designs of visionaries like mies van der rohe and le corbusier.</li> <li>zen simplicity. a final source of inspiration for minimalist design is in traditional japanese aesthetics. based on the tenets of zen buddhism, this style emphasizes clean forms stripped of flourishes and an emphasis on harmony, order, and balance. the stylized arrangements and attention to detail found in zen rock gardens captures the essence of zen minimalism that countless designers have worked to emulate.</li> </ol> <p>you can find traces of these different styles all over the modern web. as you’ve probably noticed, what ties all these styles together is a desire to remove extraneous elements, stripping everything down to its essential elements. if there’s an aphorism that best summarizes minimalism, it’s “less is more,” from the architect mies van der rohe.</p> <h3>the essential elements</h3> <p>there’s no single definition of minimalist web design. it’s less a meticulously defined set of guidelines than a set of general principles that can be applied to any situation. that said, there are a number of features that are frequently (though not always) found across minimalist designs.</p> <ol> <li>the use of typography as a central element. while minimalism is often associated with iconic sans serif typefaces like helvetica, futura, and univers, plenty of apps and sites also use more traditional serif typefaces to great effect. the key is that the type itself is as central to the look of a composition as shape and color.</li> <li>deliberate use of white space. rather than think of white (or negative) space as the lack of something, minimalism treats it as an element unto itself.</li> <li>imagery reduced to geometric shapes. strong iconography is a hallmark of minimalism, reducing a concept (like using a pictogram of a house for “home screen” or a trash can for “delete”) to the simplest and most evocative form possible. while modern design makes more allowances for representational graphics, it still often relies on geometric shapes for guidance, as in twitter’s logo redesign.</li> <li>relying on high-contrast color palettes. inspired by de stijl’s primary colors, minimalism often favors clear, solid blocks of color rather than shadows and gradients.</li> <li>using photography for contrast. large, often full-color photographs are often a key element in minimalist design, providing a pleasant contrast to the simplicity of type, shape, and bold color.</li> <li>an emphasis on cleverness and playfulness. breaking down a composition to its barest elements also gives minimalist designers the chance to take liberties they might not with a more maximalist or traditional style. this especially comes through in logos and wordmarks.</li> <li>the use of symmetry and grid layouts. here you can most clearly see the influence of traditional japanese design, which emphasizes the harmonious relationship between different elements.</li> </ol> <h3>the hamburger nav: a cautionary tale</h3> <p>many minimalist designers are inspired by the words of the author and pilot antoine de saint exupery, who said: “perfection is achieved not when there’s nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” that said, judging what is safe to take away isn’t always obvious. take the case of the hamburger nav, for example.</p> <p>a common design challenge on both web and mobile is how and where to put navigation elements. the hamburger nav emerged in the early 2010s as a way to save space on mobile devices. the idea was to create a recognizable icon where common menu items could be kept so that they’re not constantly taking up precious real estate. after it was adopted by apple and facebook, the hamburger nav became a ubiquitous (and frequently frustrating) feature of modern app and web design.</p> <p>there was only one problem: what apps gained in simplicity they often lost in functionality. multiple studies found that hamburger navs caused user engagement to plummet. fortunately, most apps and websites have found other ways to keep navigational elements, including tabs, collapsible menus, and scrolling menus. but the case of the hamburger nav serves as a good illustration of what can happen when designers favor aesthetics over functionality.</p> <h3>trends in minimalist app and web design</h3> <p>we’ve gone over some of the basics of minimalist web design, and you can find countless examples of this style all over the web. now we’re going to look at a few distinct but related trends in minimalist design you may see on the web and in apps.</p> <h3>“complexion reduction”</h3> <p>over the last few years, you may have noticed a distinct trend among certain apps. from instagram to airbnb to apple music, major apps are stripping away color and ornamentation to create stark, simple, visually neutral uis that put the focus squarely on their content.</p> <p>in addition to draining interfaces of color, complexion reduction relies on large, bold typography to direct and orient users. think of complexion reduction as the white gallery wall on which the app’s photos, music, videos, and copy can be arranged. it lends itself naturally to the idea of a scrolling feed that lets users explore at their own pace.</p> <p>complexion reduction lends itself most to apps with lots of visual content and relatively simple feature sets. that may make it great for certain apps, but wholly unsuitable for others that require a more active hand in guiding users. additionally, the starkness and simplicity of complexion reduction can make it hard to stand out visually. without colors or illustrations, it can be hard to establish a strong visual identity, leaving you to either rely on your typeface choices or embrace the neutral look.</p> <h3>flat design</h3> <p>originally developed by microsoft in the early 2000s, flat design isn’t a new trend, though its use has exploded in recent years. in contrast to what’s often called “rich design,” flat design is known for its simple geometric shapes, open space, solid colors, and conspicuous lack of shadows, highlights, textures, and other features meant to suggest 3d space. using a combination of typography, icons, and colors, it creates a clean, efficient, modern-looking interface.</p> <p>flat design shares many of its characteristics with the bauhaus style, especially its desire to create a design style that feels native to digital displays, rather than relying on imagery ported over from the physical world. removing design embellishments can translate into quicker load times and better performance, especially when developing responsive websites or mobile apps that will need to work on a wide range of devices.</p> <p>that said, flat design comes with its own risks. while designers may celebrate the lack of clutter and sleekness of flat design, many users find it unintuitive and confusing. for example, the lack of drop shadows and highlights can make it hard for some users to distinguish a clickable button from a simple label against a block of color. some studies have shown that flat design can impair usability.</p> <h3>material design</h3> <p>related to flat design, material design is a design language and set of guidelines developed by google. like flat design, material design avoids trying to imitate physical objects. that said, material design doesn’t completely do away with depth. instead, it relies on subtle use of drop shadows to create the impression of many flat panels layered over top one another. in essence, it adds just a little bit of real-life back into digital design for the sake of usability.</p> <p>also unlike classic minimalism, material design uses much less white space and photography. with its solid colors and rectangular panes, material design compositions often look like pieces of colored construction paper layered atop one another.</p> <p>the advantage of material design is that it can address some of the usability concerns that plague flat design. because it comes with a detailed set of guidelines, it can also speed up the design process, since it leaves very little to the individual designer’s discretion. the other side of that coin, of course, is that material design runs the risk of looking pretty generic and distinctly google-esque. so if your visual identity is meant to stand out, material design may not be for you.</p> <h3>looking for a ui or ux designer?</h3> <p>applying minimalist design principles is about more than the appearance of your website or app. it’s about solving design challenges by identifying and emphasizing critical information and functionality. when looking for a ui or ux designer, make sure to pay attention to their portfolio, and ask them about their design process to make sure they have a good sense of how they approach the kinds of problems you’ll be asking them to solve.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business 2 community</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Understanding The Basics Of Responsive Website Design <p><strong>it is no longer enough to design a website solely for the desktop screen. the growing market of mobile phones and tablets is compelling web designers to reconsider how their work would be displayed on various devices. people are using their smartphones more often than accessing their desktops today. this necessitates a responsive web design.</strong></p> <h3>what is responsive design?</h3> <p>rwd or responsive web design is a design approach that would be allowing the code and the design to respond intuitively to the size of any device’s screen. this implies that you would be getting optimal viewing experience irrespective of the device you are using.</p> <h3>why is responsive design so important?</h3> <p>if designers came up with infinite versions of any particular website that would be working effectively for every possible device available to us, the process would be impractical from the point of view of the time and it would prove to be exorbitant. these sites would not be responsive to any technological changes in the future and so site maintenance would prove to be pretty challenging. use responsive design as it is the best solution for future-proofing your website.</p> <h3>know your audience preferences well</h3> <p>the vital factor responsible for the success of a responsive web design is identifying and understanding the preferences of your audience. find out what device they actually use while viewing your website. you need to have a clear idea about the components of your current traffic. how many of them are tablet users, desktop users, or even the mobile users? it is essential to come up with a <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>website design</a> that is responsive to varying devices. however, it is quite a complicated and challenging affair to design across diverse web browsers. moreover, there are numerous versions of browsers which require being catered to.</p> <h3>plan for both big & small screen devices</h3> <p>one of the significant factors that are responsible for the success of an intuitive or responsive web design is the capacity to give a better experience to the users accessing the website via mobile devices. responsive web design should not be restricted to or treated as just a small screen resolution. in fact, responsive web design is advantageous to practically all screen sizes including excessively large displays as well. while designing any web experience, you should not only consider mobile first as your ultimate goal, you must also keep in mind larger screen sizes.</p> <h3>arrange content differently</h3> <p>shifting from the typical multiple columns meant for a larger screen to just one column layout meant for a really small screen is the chief characteristic of any responsive site. however, keep in mind that only changes in columns are not enough. different contents present on your site necessitate different layout approaches.</p> <h3>scalable navigation is a must</h3> <h3>navigation plays a pivotal role in the development of a responsive website design. scalable navigation is a must for creating a responsive website. you must understand that what is working exceptionally well for any large device may not perform smoothly on other smaller devices. you cannot just have a constant and a uniform navigation experience across diverse screen sizes. you must concentrate on creating a truly user-friendly navigation all the way.</h3> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business computing world</strong></a>.</p> All categories Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Read Apple CEO’s email denouncing white supremacism in Charlottesville <p>much like politicians, tech company ceos are nowadays expected to take a position on the big social issues facing their country, and apple boss tim cook has been the latest to join the fray with an email sent to all global employees of the company on wednesday night, which was obtained by <em>recode</em>. in the email, cook provides a strong response to the violence on display in charlottesville over the weekend, and he goes on to make an unequivocal call about who was in the wrong.</p> <p>“i disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights,” writes cook. <a href='' target='_blank'>like microsoft ceo satya nadella</a>, cook doesn’t explicitly address another issue that arose before charlottesville — namely the memo that was circulated inside google suggesting biological differences explain why there are more men than women in tech — but he seems to be talking about it in the same breath as he denounced the nazis of charlottesville. he underscores equal treatment of all people as fundamental to his own morality and that of apple, which is expressed through its products and actions.</p> <p>apple will make $2 million of donations to civil rights groups working to fight white supremacism such as that on display in charlottesville, and it will furthermore match employee donations to similar causes on a two-for-one basis. there will soon also be an option added to itunes for apple users to contribute to supporting one of apple’s chosen organizations, the southern poverty law center. in an apparently related move, apple pay has ceased accepting payments on websites selling white supremacist and nazi gear.</p> <p>the email in full:</p> <blockquote> <p>team,</p> <p>like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. the events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and i’ve heard from many people at apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.</p> <p>what occurred in charlottesville has no place in our country. hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. its scars last generations. history has taught us this time and time again, both in the united states and countries around the world.</p> <p>we must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. this is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. it is about human decency and morality. i disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. equating the two runs counter to our ideals as americans.</p> <p>regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal. as a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.</p> <p>i believe apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. we have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that apple is inclusive of everyone. we empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.</p> <p>in the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organizations who work to rid our country of hate. apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the southern poverty law center and the anti-defamation league. we will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and september 30.</p> <p>in the coming days, itunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the splc.</p> <p>dr. martin luther king said, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” so, we will continue to speak up. these have been dark days, but i remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.</p> <p>best,</p> <p>tim</p> </blockquote> <p>originally posted on the <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>the verge</strong></a>.</p> All categories Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 From Rags To Riches: It Started With A Website <p>one of the first things to remember before you attempt to create a successful website for your <em>small business</em> is that it won’t be easy. it takes a lot of time and effort to achieve the perfect balance, along with how it actually functions and how appealing it is to the eye.</p> <p>there’s plenty of help out there with companies like <em>jps design group</em> that work with you and discuss design ideas. a study done not too long ago shown that customers are more likely to love or hate a site based off of the design, than the actual content that’s given.</p> <p>here’s how to make potential consumer like, then love, then buy.</p> <p><strong>the power of the headlines</strong></p> <p>research shows that headlines are the most viewed piece on a website, they even out trump the images. so as you can see they are very imported and should be worded correctly, as well as have the appropriate text and colour that will draw people in. the main goal is to make them big and bold so they stand out. </p> <p>they aren’t only used as a marketing tool though, they actually save a lot of time and confusion for your customers, making your website a clear and efficient one, as well as being aesthetically pleasing.</p> <p><strong>if it’s important, make it obvious</strong></p> <p>you should <em>categorise your website</em> in order of priority so that customers are getting the appropriate information when and where you want them to.</p> <p>think back to when you were searching a restaurant’s website to try and find the contact number or opening hours, and they would hide all of the important information at the very bottom of the page in barely readable writing. – this is how <em>not </em>to do it. you want the key information somewhere visible for customers to find with ease. so when designing your website’s format, try and put yourself in the customer’s perspective.</p> <p><strong>make sure it loads </strong><strong><em>quickly!</em></strong></p> <p>it’s the year 2017, so no site should be a slow runner anymore, there’s absolutely no excuse. speed has a big impact on your customer’s experience, along with your overall sales, because unless your website offers something no one else’s does – customers will just leave and find someone else.</p> <p>a report has said that if your website takes a mere 2 seconds longer to load, you can expect to lose 4.3 percent of <em>your customers</em><em>.</em> so speed really does make a big difference.</p> <p><strong>give customers closure</strong></p> <p>it’s human nature to seek closer when doing something. that is how we move on without feeling like we’ve left or forgotten something behind. the same goes for your website – when a customer purchases an item or product from your site, make sure you end the purchase properly. so for example, once the customer has paid for the item, make sure a page follows that with a phrase like ”thank you for your purchase. it has now been completed, and you should receive a confirmation email shortly.” this just lets the customer know that they can go now and everything worked how it should.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong></strong></a>.</p> All categories Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 Quick and Helpful Tips to Small Business SEO <p>search engine optimization (seo) may sound like rocket science for those who are not familiar with it. it may be complicated at some level, but it really doesn’t have to be that way, especially when it comes to the basic steps. there are seo techniques that anyone can easily do, even for those who are not highly technically savvy. you can also find a small business seo company that can help you improve your online presence and help you develop an effective seo strategy for a successful online campaign. </p> <p>among the many steps and strategies used in seo, there are some that you can easily do to start your online presence campaigns, here are some of them: </p> <ol> <li><strong>setup a google my business account</strong></li> </ol> <p>by creating a google my business account, your register your presence to the biggest search engine in the online world.  this is the first step to be recognized by google and have bots crawl on your site, make sure to provide complete and accurate information. this is how people will reach and find you. so ensure that you provide full information on your business operating hours, exact location, and other relevant information that will help people find you easily. </p> <ol start='2'> <li><strong>ensure your site works for mobile</strong></li> </ol> <p>the number of people using their smartphones is increasing over time so there are higher chances that people will search for you through mobile. additionally, google favors sites that are easily accessible and works well on different devices; so make sure that your site is also fit for mobile use. use website development templates that are also fit for mobile, as there are already a lot of them available. </p> <ol start='3'> <li><strong>create a social media presence</strong></li> </ol> <p>social media is a great way to reach different people, as the number of social media users is already reaching billions, especially on big platforms like facebook and twitter. social media is already a proven effective channel to drive traffic towards your site. they are also great platforms to make announcements, announce events, and interact with you customers. </p> <ol start='4'> <li><strong>create good content</strong></li> </ol> <p>content is king. it has always been and will always be for quite some time, especially now that search engines favor good content. by doing content that adds value for your readers, you can easily make it on top of search engines. as well, the use of keywords is very important and you need to incorporate them into your content so they become searchable. </p> <ol start='5'> <li><strong>optimize your content</strong></li> </ol> <p>optimizing content means using the right titles, headers, and meta descriptions on your content. these make it easy for search engines to index your site and feature its contents on search results. this must be consistent across your pages for better ranking. </p> <p>there are much more seo techniques that you need to learn and apply for your business to flourish in the online world. to save time and effort, hire an seo company that will deliver good results for you and you will enjoy a lot of benefits from it.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>techniblogic</strong></a>.</p> All categories Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Google Mobile-Friendliness Test Shortcut in Search Results <p>google has made it easier than ever to test your site’s mobile-friendliness with a shortcut built right into its search results.</p> <p>now it’s as easy as typing the command “mobile friendly” into the search bar to bring up a testing tool built by google to gauge how mobile-friendly your site is.</p> <p>here’s what it looks like after typing in the command:</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='width:90%' />after entering in a url, it brings you to google’s mobile-friendly site testing tool where you can see the results for the url you have entered.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='width:90%' /></p> <h3>why does this matter?</h3> <p>it can only be assumed that google is making it incredibly simple to test your site’s mobile-friendliness for the following reasons.</p> <p>first, it is better for users if they’re able to access your site on a mobile browser. it is now known that over half of all searches are conducted on a mobile device.</p> <p>that means a substantial amount of users could be trying to access your site from their phone or tablet.</p> <p>with that said, sites that are mobile-friendly have an edge in search results due to the fact more people are searching from mobile devices versus desktop devices.</p> <p>a further advantage can be expected in the near-future as google is expected to roll out its mobile-first index next year.</p> <p>a mobile-first index means search results will be delivered as if everyone was searching on mobile devices.</p> <p>you may have guessed it by now, but that means priority in google’s mobile-first index will be given to sites that are already 100% mobile-friendly.</p> <p>it is for all these reasons that google is making its mobile-friendly testing tool extremely accessible. the search giant would rather you have a mobile-friendly site than be left behind.</p> <p>so go ahead and test your site now with google’s tool, if you haven’t already. don’t worry, if your site is not considered mobile friendly, the tool will lay out some simple steps for you to make it so.</p> <p>original article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> All categories Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Web Design: Native, Hybrid or Responsive, What Format Is Made For Your Mobile Application <p>native, hybrid or responsive: what format to choose to make your mobile users live a successful experience. we take stock!</p> <p>at some point, when designing your mobile application, you will have to decide on how you will develop the application. your choices include native applications, hybrid applications and responsive websites and the decision you make will affect the end product. learning to make the right decision requires understanding how each type of development works and how it affects the end product.</p> <p>there are three main options for creating a mobile app. you can create a native application, a hybrid application, or create a responsive mobile website that offers similar functionality to an application. each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to understand them in detail before embarking on a particular development path.</p> <h3>what is a native app?</h3> <p>a native application is designed to run on a particular mobile operating system. it will not work on other mobile operating systems. so, for example, if you were developing a native application for ios, you would do it on swift.</p> <p>the biggest benefits for native applications are that they can typically easily access all the features of the selected device and are more likely, if properly developed, to run without error on the device.</p> <p>however, this involves a compromise. a native application cannot be run on a device that does not use the same operating system. this means that if you want your application to run on windows, ios 7 and android, you will need to develop the application three times, once for each operating system. this can make the development process slower and more costly.</p> <p>many companies will develop their application for a single operating system when choosing the native route. if the application succeeds in this environment, it will go back and recreate it for other operating systems. it should be noted that at present, ios 7 applications are more cost effective than applications running in other environments.</p> <h3>what is a hybrid app?</h3> <p>a hybrid application is designed to work on multiple platforms. it is written using only one standard code language (such as c # or a combination of html5 and javascript) and compiled to run on each platform. device-specific interactions will usually be handled through the use of plugins for that operating system.</p> <p>the biggest advantage of hybrid applications is that they allow the support of several operating systems at a more economical price than the development of several native applications. users, as long as the development runs smoothly, will not normally be able to distinguish whether an application is native or hybrid. in fact, users, in general, do not care about how your application is developed, they just care about whether it works on their device and does what they expect to do.</p> <p>there are disadvantages for the development of hybrid applications. it can present serious challenges if the application requires a complex interaction of the device. effectively, there is a limit to what plugins can achieve on this aspect. the support costs of a hybrid application may be higher than the support costs of a native application.</p> <h3>what is a responsive website?</h3> <p>a responsive web site can provide functionality similar to an application. in fact, with a little creativity, you can minimize the differences and make sure that the home page is displayed directly in full-screen mode.<br /> responsive websites will be developed using html 5 and javascript. as a general rule, developers will adopt a “mobile first” approach to developing the mobile version offering a simpler and less expensive experience compared to the desktop version of the same site.</p> <p>the main disadvantages of using responsive websites are that the application cannot be distributed via an application store; this can be bad for your business if you are looking to monetize your app downloads. second, there is the problem that the user will need constant connectivity to use the site. this may not be a problem in highly developed markets where mobile broadband is roughly ubiquitous, but this can be problematic in developing markets.</p> <p>it is interesting to note that, at the moment, applications seem to be the driving force behind the mobile site. the average user already uses up to 30 applications per month, and more than 250,000 applications are broadcast per year … there may be an overload point from the user’s point of view. at this point, it is possible to imagine that if there are well-designed mobile websites, users will move away from apps and return to browsing and individual sites to experience their online experience. subsequently, applications could become “launchers” of mobile websites.</p> <h3>in conclusion</h3> <p>the mobile site offers an important opportunity for entrepreneurs. mobile applications are relatively inexpensive and easy to produce. choosing the right approach to development is essential to the good experience. by understanding the differences between hybrid, native and responsive, you can make the right decision for your mobile marketing project.</p> <p>original article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business2community</strong></a>.</p> All categories Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 SEO Tips to Increase your Google Ranking <p>if customers can’t find your business then you’ve got a problem. invariably, that means reaching out to them online. after all, the vast majority of people conduct research online before making a purchase decision, even if they go on to make their eventual purchase offline.</p> <p>when customers look for products and services online, they’ll type a query into google and, mostly, plump for one of the first couple of results thrown up by the search engine. it’s a simple fact and it proves just why google has become so important. if you don’t rank well, you’ll lose a lot of business.</p> <p>search engine optimisation (seo) is the way in which people use ‘best practice’ to perform better on google and get themselves in the lucrative ranking spots for the products and services they sell. it might be tempting, from the outside, to think this is a complicated and confusing ‘dark art’ that is beyond the knowledge of people without technical expertise. but, while there is much that you can do with seo if you have this knowledge – there’s also plenty of tips that any business can harness and use to get themselves recognised.</p> <h3>use keywords</h3> <p>keyword research sits right at the heart of the seo work needed for any business. essentially this involves looking at the words people type into google to find you – and the ones they use to find people who shop for your products and services elsewhere. this <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>excellent post from neil patel shows</a> how to get these words from google keyword planner. once you have these words, you know what terms you need to be using in your content. it pays to be focused with this. trying to target every possible keyword – and ones that are hotly contested – won’t be a plausible strategy. pick a handful of main keywords and build your content with these front and centre in your thoughts.</p> <h3>assess the market</h3> <p>what do others do well? there’s a lot to learn from content that is performing well for your competitors. <a href=''>use buzzsumo</a>to see what’s getting clicks and shares in your field. clearly you shouldn’t outright copy what others are doing, but you can bottle a successful formula and apply it to the words on your website to get a better ranking.</p> <h3>mobile friendly</h3> <p>your customers might well be looking for a product or service online but chances are that they are doing this on a mobile device. smartphones are wielded by a huge chunk of the population and google has reflected this by factoring in whether or not a site is mobile friendly when deciding on its rankings. not only that, but a site that isn’t responsive also delivers a poor user experience.</p> <h3>quality matters</h3> <p>here’s the good news – quality does matter. endless pages of poorly written spammy text that serves no value to the reader will not work. people who try to ‘game’ the system and stuff every sentence they write full of keywords will stand out like a sore thumb and suffer as a result. well-written, natural copy that builds in appropriate keywords (this’ll come if you’ve identified the right ones anyway) is the way forward. unique data, well designed infographics and engaging video are also a factor in building a well-performing website that ranks well.</p> <h3>call on the experts</h3> <p>there’s no shame in calling on expert support if you’re struggling. get the basics sorted and then either hire an expert or look for a product such as <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>westhost’s seo guru</a> to help to take you onto the next level. they’ll certainly be able to help ensure that your site is structured well and that you are monitoring the right metrics to measure your performance, two more things to watch out for.</p> <p>originally article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>your financial news feed</strong></a>.</p> All categories Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 Practical Tips to Help Increase Your Visibility Online <p>gaining visibility online is all about capturing the attention of your target consumers. before consumers can be affected by your advertising messages or brand promise, they need to first be paying attention. and honestly, that attention doesn’t come cheap because your competitors are also craving for the same chunk of attention you seek. so you see, increasing visibility online can be a bit complicated as the strategy that works for organization ‘a’, may not succeed with organization ‘b’. </p> <p>annually, billions of dollars are spent by large organizations to make their brands visible to their online consumers. the sad story, however, is that only few have succeeded. a classic example of brands that have failed in their online campaign is the coca-cola company. </p> <p>in 2011, coca-cola launched a new marketing campaign called liquid and linked. the goal was to increase their online presence. about the campaign, coke’s jonathan mildenhall was quoted as saying, ‘’coke would continue produce the world’s most compelling content which would capture a disproportionate share of popular culture, doubling sales by 2020’’. </p> <p>the following year the company launched its digital magazine called coca-cola journey to attract online consumers. with all the money invested, over 3 years of its launch, it barely registers views. and it is not even in the top 10, 000 sites in us or the top 20,000 in the world. </p> <p>the question is, how do we develop a strategy that will increase brands visibility online? there are two broad ways to do this, you can either ‘buy it’ or ‘earn it’. buying it could cost a fortune and there is no guarantee for return on investment. earning it however, requires strategic planning. </p> <p>here are five practical tips to help you increase your visibility online.</p> <h3><strong>1.</strong> <strong>post relevant content </strong></h3> <p>create content that offers value to your consumers. your business is all about your consumers. there are two classes of advert that can create value to your consumers: information and entertainment. information is all there is to know about your brand: the price, availability and so on. entertainment provides content that is playful, lively, inspiring, amusing, and imaginative so as to make the ad interesting to consumers. </p> <p>your message must be clear and should be so engaging that your consumers will want to share with their followers. directing people to nuggets of content such as social media posts or email newsletters will do you good, keeping you visible and being seen as an authority in your field. one way to achieve this is by giving them a sense of ownership and involvement.</p> <p>the morning email</p> <p>wake up to the day's most important news.</p> <h3><strong>2.</strong> <strong>make ‘freemium’ work</strong></h3> <p>ever heard of the word ‘freemium’? well, it is a combination of ‘free’ plus ‘premium. it is becoming a very popular business model especially among internet start-ups and smartphone app developers. consumers or users get basic features free and can access richer functionality for a subscription fee. even popular sites like mailchimp, zapier, dropbox and so on have employed this model. it is a good trick to gain visibility online and convert prospect to consumers.</p> <h3><strong>3.</strong> <strong>blog </strong></h3> <p>blogging is an essential inbound marketing strategy. your blog is where you showcase your knowledge of the industry you are in, and where you can establish yourself as an authority in your field. the more content you add to your blog, the more pages on your domain will become indexed in search engines. this will of course increase your visibility and it will drive traffic to your blog. the more content you post on your blog, the more your chances of being ranked for various words and the easier it becomes to find you. </p> <h3><strong>4.</strong> <strong>seo marketing</strong></h3> <p>google algorithms are programmed with a focus on consumers. seo is an acronym for search engine optimization. if you want to know the benefit of seo to a business, check this statistics from hubspot; 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases..</p> <p>google uses keywords from users and interprets them, leading to ranking of different websites. a good seo marketing strategy considers more than just keywords. you need to know which search engines your target consumers are using the most, and what exactly they are searching for. ensure that your blogpost contain seo key terms that you know your clients would like to see while searching online. it is not something you do once and stop, the rules are not always the same, search engines are constantly changing the way they work and the rule that apply to rankings.</p> <h3><strong>5.</strong> <strong>collect leads</strong></h3> <p>before you start building your online presence, it is best you start collecting leads<u>. </u>lead generation is all the process it takes to introduce your brands to your prospective consumers and the steps necessary to convert the prospect to consumers. people won’t trust your brand immediately so you will need to take practical steps to build that trust. </p> <p>there you have it! gaining visibility online is a continuous and conscientious effort. and you have to stay abreast of new changes in the information technology world. while it is true that there are other tips available, the eight tips shared here are proven and are the secret weapons of successful online brands. </p> <p>original article in <a href='' target='_blank'>huffpost</a>.</p> All categories Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Apple's Accidental Leak 'Confirms' iPhone 8 Design <p>apple’s homepod accident delivered a mother lode of iphone 8 information. the company’s own code verified two exclusives (<a href='' target='_self'>1</a>, <a href='' target='_self'>2</a>) i published last month and now in conjunction with this i can <em>confirm</em> the iphone 8’s production-ready final design...</p> <p>following on from my renders last month, i have been able to obtain a prototype of apple’s finalised iphone 8 design. unlike a number of dummy units which have surfaced in recent months, this is not a crude slab but a highly detailed model constructed with premium materials and operational power, volume and mute buttons. </p> <p><em>this is the iphone design apple is currently putting into mass production.</em></p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 prototype (left) beside iphone 7 (right)</p> <p>so what do we learn from my prototype? in short: the leaked <a href='' target='_self'>schematics</a>were spot on. the iphone 8 is indeed slightly larger than the iphone 7, but noticeably smaller than the iphone 7 plus and it feels great in hand. it is similar to the galaxy s8 in look and feel (which is a good thing) and it should be relatively easy for most owners to use one handed.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8's cut-out 'notch' can clearly be seen in the top bezel</p> <p>the massive 5.8-inch edge-to-edge is also going to look stunning in the final release, though how the ‘cut-out’ notch in the top bezel - housing the front facing camera and sensors - will be designed around in software is open to dispute. i have <a href='' target='_self'>some tip-offs</a> here, but nothing rock solid. that said i do believe the notch will ‘square off’ (be blacked out) when viewing video to create a straight vertical image along the top bezel.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 vertical dual camera will protrude significantly</p> <p>and speaking of vertical, yes the rear dual cameras are vertically aligned as widely tipped. this is partially to aid augmented reality (which it is frequently viewed in landscape mode) and partially as i believe the circuitry of the iphone 8 left apple with little choice, though expect it to be marketed as the former.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 (top) has a much larger power button than the iphone 7 (bottom), but why remains a mystery</p> <p>in february i also <a href='' target='_self'>exclusively revealed</a> fast charging is coming to the iphone 8. that remains correct and it will be joined by wireless charging (though the wireless charger will be an - expensive - optional extra) and the headphone jack will not be returning - something i <a href='' target='_self'>saw coming in 2014</a>.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 (left) switches to a glass back for wireless charging</p> <p>for the record i also understand almost every point of the bloomberg/kuo <a href='' target='_self'>iphone 8 25 feature leak</a> is indeed correct. these two sources have been on fire. </p> <p>adding to my confidence are my good contacts at <a href='' target='_blank'>mobilefun</a> which have supplied me with <a href='' target='_blank'>olixar</a>’s commercially ready iphone 8 cases. these are the real deal. i tried its crystal clear, wallet and flexishield cases and each fits perfectly around my prototype unit. i’ve taken several images to demonstrate the precision of these finishes above and below - apple’s partners are all on the same page.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 prototype inside an olixar wallet production case</p> <p>as for <a href='' target='_self'>my iphone 8 concerns</a>, these are less to do with the hardware and more to do with the supply chain itself. the same leaky supply chain which has provided me with so much information throughout the year is also consistently reporting <a href='' target='_self'>drastic stock shortages at launch</a> and a <a href='' target='_self'>major price increase</a>.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly </small></p> <p>iphone 8 prototype in an olixar flexishield case - it's a perfect fit</p> <p>i am also told apple will take the risky move of <a href='' target='_self'>killing off touch id</a> in the iphone 8 to go solely with ’face id’ facial recognition security (passcodes are still available obviously), though i haven’t been able to verify this through more than one source.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 (top) is longer than the iphone 7 (bottom)</p> <p>that said given how significant the overhaul of the iphone 8 is, i don’t see any smartphone generating more interest over the next year and i expect whatever follows the iphone 8 will be iterative for at least one maybe two generations. the iphone 8 is apple’s big move and it looks set to be a home run.</p> <p> </p> <p>original article published by <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 3 Reasons SEO Is Incredibly Valuable to Your Company <p>need to explain the value of seo to potential clients, business partners, or stakeholders?</p> <p>this post focuses on just three key ways that seo offers immense value to any organization.</p> <p>seo:</p> <ul> <li>makes the user experience better.</li> <li>helps build a stronger brand.</li> <li>contributes to the bottom line over a long period of time.</li> </ul> <h3>1. seo improves user experience</h3> <h3>being a successful seo professional requires knowing more than ever before.</h3> <p>people who choose to work in the search industry are constantly adjusting their strategies to changes google makes on a daily basis.</p> <p>we don’t always know or completely understand every change google makes to its algorithm. but we use the information google shares with us to better position our websites to perform in organic search.</p> <p>we understand that google’s algorithm has many <a href=''>r</a>anking signals. they have made noticeable efforts the past few years to emphasize the signals related to engagement.</p> <p>metrics like dwell time, time on site, pages viewed per session, and page load speed all been emphasized as having greater importance for google to rank websites.</p> <p>seo is more than just looking for high volume keywords and link building. seo professionals must understand and dive deeper into internal discussions about how to improve the overall user experience using new technologies that google wants webmasters to adapt.</p> <p>what are some of these new technologies?</p> <ul> <li>the push toward mobile responsive design, with the impending mobile-first index.</li> <li>the creation and introduction of accelerated mobile pages (amp).</li> <li>the introduction of progressive web apps (pwa).</li> <li>the creation of schema and rich snippet enhancements.</li> </ul> <p>google is constantly evolving to align better with user behavior. as google changes their approach, it forces those of us who work in this space to also change and adapt.</p> <p>this is where seo offers immense value to any organization. seo professionals are always aware of the latest technologies and trends.</p> <p>seos offer insights and ideas on how to take advantage and implement these new technologies to rank better in search results. having an seo means you have a person who is always thinking about how to improve the user experience of the site to meet the expectations of today’s consumers.</p> <p>technical seo also helps support your ux, development, and engineering teams.</p> <p>seos understand that in order to have sustainable success in organic search they must work with developers, designers, and engineers to create a solid foundation for the website before they can even think about creating content. this means putting more emphasis on site performance in page speed, advocating for a mobile responsive experience, and figuring out how to structure all the data on their web pages.</p> <h3>2. seo helps build a stronger brand</h3> <p>in addition to helping with the technical side, seo is also a marketing channel. most of our efforts are focused on building authority for our domains.</p> <p>having success in the organic search channel requires a strong understanding of how google’s algorithms work to understand the content on a website.</p> <p>seos must both understand their target audience and create content that helps distinguish them from every other brand. this is actually a tall order considering that every website right now produces content, and only a handful of websites will get traffic for any query.</p> <p>having someone on your team who knows how to pull in visitors from the most visited site in the world – google – is a valuable asset. seo professionals understand what content is being searched for and – with the right tools – knows exactly where to focus their effort based on keyword research.</p> <p>creating a content strategy based on keywords focused on a businesses’ specific vertical allows the business to appear as an industry expert. when a business appears enough times in person’s search results it will be seen as a trustworthy source of information and that enhances the brand image creating loyal customers.</p> <p>searchers are looking for answers to their queries, and many of these searchers will be people who are getting introduced to a new vertical (new users). the importance of being the first point of exposure, getting the first opportunity to answer a potential customer’s questions is incredibly valuable.</p> <p>if the searcher enjoyed the experience of your website and enjoyed the content you were able to deliver from the first interaction, it is more likely they will look to your website again to consume more content. the repeat visits will also affect the user’s personalized search results.</p> <h3>3. seo offers long-term success</h3> <h3>seos understand the difficulty and the joy of ranking number 1 for any query.</h3> <p>ranking high for any keyword with known search volume will generate consistent traffic for as long as it can retain that position.</p> <p>actually ranking for these keywords is hard, however. it requires a lot of work.</p> <p>that’s why it’s important to focus on long-tail keywords. you can find opportunities others have missed to deliver a steady stream of traffic to your clients for a longer period of time while dealing with less competition.</p> <p>targeting long-tail keywords require a solid understanding of how to create engaging content.</p> <p>organic search is an interesting channel because the search results are based on an algorithm’s interpretation of the most relevant results.</p> <p>you can’t pay google to rank your page higher in organic search, so success isn’t based on the amount of money you put in. also, people tend to trust the organic results more than paid ad results.</p> <p>so, being able to have success requires a person who possesses a lot of skill and understanding on how to communicate with google’s algorithm. there is a big learning curve for seo and as google changes it seems that whoever is first to adapt will also be the person who will help their business gain new customers before anyone else.</p> <h3>closing thoughts</h3> <p>seo offers every organization immense value because it requires a complete understanding of that organization’s business vertical, their customers, and the organization’s internal teams. seo professionals can attach roi to new technology initiatives proposed by development teams.</p> <p>organic search can be the first point of contact for a customer and a brand. this first point of contact can ignite further engagement for other channels such as following a social media channel or signing up for an email newsletter.</p> <p>a channel that is constantly changing means a channel that is also constantly offering new opportunities to succeed before anyone else. this constant influx of change requires constant attention and a knowledgeable person to retain and to grow the existing organic search channel.</p> <p>original article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> All categories Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Designing Resistance in Poland: How A Simple Poster Became A Viral Symbol of Protest <p>luka rayski is a polish artist, illustrator, and designer. in 2016 he was asked to contribute a piece of work on the subject of democracy to a project called demokracja ilustrowana (democracy illustrated). the poster he designed has rapidly become the ubiquitous symbol of the resistance against the expanding influence of the far right in polish politics. rayski’s design brilliantly deconstructs the word konstytucja (constitution) highlighting, in the colors of the polish flag, the words for “you” and “me” hidden within it. this simple, universal message of unity has proved to have broad appeal across a huge cross section of the polish population.</p> <p>read the complete interview at: <strong><a href='' target='_blank'>artslant</a>. </strong>it is interesting reading about how graphic design can carry a strong political message.</p> All categories Wed, 9 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 10 Awesome Evergreen Content Ideas for E-Commerce Websites <p>e-commerce websites depend on conversions (lead and revenue generation) to survive. that’s why pushing out evergreen content is crucial for staying relevant today.</p> <h2><strong>what is evergreen content?</strong></h2> <p>evergreen content is basically a piece of content that doesn’t rely on current trends to be helpful or be of interest to its intended audience. simply put, evergreen content is informational or reference material that remains useful and relevant long after it’s been published on a site.</p> <p>this kind of content is vital, especially for e-commerce websites that rely heavily on business sales to stay on top.</p> <p>take, for example, a site selling clothing and accessories. shirt styles and dress designs may come and go, but product size charts and care instructions remain standard.</p> <p>investing in creating a pool of evergreen digital assets for any e-commerce website almost always result in a virtuous cycle of robust traffic generation. given that these assets cover topic areas that are not time-sensitive, making it easier to scale visibility through organic search and continuously earned social sharing (and linking).</p> <p>ultimately, an evergreen content approach can put you in a position wherein your social followers, email subscribers, brand advocates, and sales can grow in number – almost automatically.</p> <h2>how to create evergreen content for e-commerce websites</h2> <p>start by creating content based on keywords your target customers generally look for – such as “best bluetooth speakers” or “makeup tutorials.”</p> <p>do keyword research using google’s keyword planner and google trends to identify topics that your target market constantly wants to learn about.</p> <p>avoid presenting viewers with big blocks of pure text. enrich your content with visualizations, such as infographics, visually appealing product images, and in-use photographs to generate more interest and keep readers scrolling to the end.</p> <p>present content in other formats (e.g. slide presentations and videos). people love these because they won’t have to read as much to get the information they need.</p> <p>know what your competitors are creating. offer a better user experience and make your content a better reference for the same information (10x content). add bonus tips, resourceful links, and other relevant information that will appeal to your audience.</p> <p>make sure your content is unique and comprehensive. be as extensive and in-depth as necessary when providing product or industry knowledge. make it your professional goal to have the best evergreen content about that topic to genuinely become an authority in your space.</p> <p>update your content if necessary, especially if you’re building lists and compiling tips.</p> <p>to paint a better picture of what you can do to beef up your e-commerce website with evergreen content, here are some great evergreen content ideas and inspiring examples.</p> <h2>1. useful guides related to your products & categories</h2> <p>instructional materials benefit not only users looking for information but also your seo efforts. guides provide a venue for you to insert keywords you want to rank for naturally.</p> <h2>2. well-designed product videos & manuals</h2> <p>product descriptions are good, but consumers also want to see how things work and look like, and how to use and care for them properly.</p> <p>you would do well to include shareable product videos and user manuals in your e-commerce site, such as this video on the feature-filled baubax travel jacket and this neat manual on the same product.</p> <h2>3. product size charts</h2> <p>size charts aren’t only useful for shoes, bags, and clothing; they also come highly recommended for sites selling tools, furniture, and other items where dimensions are relevant.</p> <h2>4. actionable success stories & case studies</h2> <p>“that’s nice, but does it really work?” this is one of the questions consumers usually ask before they get convinced to click that “buy” or “add to cart” button.</p> <p>to make it easier to convince potential customers, you can include success stories and case studies to your site.</p> <p>you may have customers who have reviewed your product or shared how your product addressed their need – contact them and ask for details, and ask them for permission to share their story.</p> <p>when sharing case studies and success stories such as this one from, make sure to highlight how your product(s) helped in meeting your customers’ needs.</p> <p>when people with the same needs read about how others were able to find satisfaction or overcome challenges using your product, there’s a bigger chance that they, too, will purchase and use your product.</p> <h2>5. industry-specific glossary</h2> <p>niche markets would often have its own jargon or set of concepts, so it’s a big help to interested consumers if you have an industry-specific glossary on your site.</p> <h2>6. data-driven resources</h2> <p>users like not having to switch from one website to another to get the information they need, so it’s up to you to research the info and collate it for them so they won’t have to leave your site.</p> <p>there’s plenty of publicly available data (such as those from government websites) you can use to create content that will resonate well with your target market.</p> <p><strong>visual content</strong> – like infographics and other forms of visual guides – is another content format that e-commerce site owners and marketers can explore in sharing timeless stories/tips (take one bid4papers’ extensive visual guide to the most common spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes).</p> <h2>7. user tips & hacks for products</h2> <p>product hacks present interesting ways to maximize the use of an item, even something as simple as a binder clip.</p> <p>even those people who do not have the item shown in the hack would be enticed to buy one, and recommend the tips and tricks to friends.</p> <p>it’s always an amusing and amazing experience to know about the many uses of a certain product, especially if the content comes with images and/or videos. take a look at this article on coffee maker <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>hacks</a> to see what we mean.</p> <h2>8. comprehensive checklists</h2> <p>traveling, cooking, diying? there’s a checklist for that – or there should be one – on your site.</p> <p>if you sell outdoor gear, create a checklist on what every responsible camper should have.</p> <p>if you’re offering auto repair services, make an extensive list of what car owners need to check or what should be in every car’s emergency kit.</p> <h2>9. curated lists of products, services & resources</h2> <p>another way to add valuable content to your site and share some link love in the process is to curate lists of products, services, and web resources that complement your own offerings.</p> <p>for example, if you’re selling art materials, make a list of online drawing tutorials, watercolor demos, and other resources.</p> <h2>10. be effective</h2> <p>be more than just creative, be effective!</p> <p>even simpler additions to your product pages can turn them into evergreen content assets. just see how livingspaces make each of their product pages helpful by including a product q&a section on these transactional pages.</p> <h2>summary</h2> <p>these are some of the best evergreen content ideas you can use on your e-commerce website.</p> <p>you can also answer reader faqs and provide industry advice via how-to articles and lists of tips.</p> <p>making evergreen content allows you to essentially automate your sales and marketing efforts months or even years after your content first went live. so create and use it to maximum advantage!</p> <p>original article by <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a></p> All categories Wed, 9 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Forget Everything You Know About Passwords, Says Man Who Made Password Rules <p>was it m@nk3yp@$$w01rd or m0nk3yp@ssw0!rd? </p> <p>**#@$%!! </p> <p>for 20 years, the standard advice for creating a "strong" password that is hard to crack has been to use a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. </p> <p>it's so ingrained that when you go to create a new email account you'll frequently get praising or finger-wagging feedback from the computer on how well your secret code adheres to these guidelines. </p> <p>and you're supposed to change it every 90 days. </p> <p>now, the man who laid down these widely followed rules says he got it all wrong. </p> <p>“much of what i did i now regret," bill burr, a 72-year-old retired former manager at the national institute of standards and technology told the wall street journal. </p> <p>in 2003, the then-mid-level nist manager was tasked with the job of setting rules for effective passwords. without much to go on he sourced a whitepaper written in the 1980s. the rules his agency published ended up becoming the go-to guides for major institutions and large companies. </p> <p>the result is that people create odd-looking passwords and then have to write them down, which is of course less secure than something you can memorize. users also lean on common substitutions, like "zeroes" for the letter o, which a smart hacker could program their password cracker to look for. or they pick one "base" password that they can memorize and only change a single number. that's also not as safe. </p> <p>“it just drives people bananas and they don’t pick good passwords no matter what you do,” burr said. </p> <p>the new password guidelines are both easier to remember, and harder to guess. the nist's revised tips say users should pick a string of simple english words — and only be forced to change them if there's been evidence of a security break-in. </p> <p>not only did the old password format frustrate users, it wasn't even the best way to keep hackers at bay. </p> <p>for instance, "tr0ub4dor&3" could take just three days to crack, according to <a href=''>one viral comic</a> whose assertions have been verified by security researchers, while "correcthorsebatterystaple" could take 550 years.</p> <p>articled orginally by <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>nbc news</strong></a>.</p> All categories Wed, 9 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Apple has an official Instagram account showcasing photos shot on iPhone <p>gizmo maker apple just launched its official instagram account, <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>@apple</a>. but this isn’t your average corporate account as the company doesn’t want to showcase its own product <em>ad nauseam</em>. instead, apple is going to share photos shot with an iphone.</p> <p>in many ways, this instagram account feels like the natural extension of the “shot on iphone” billboard ad campaign. without showing the iphone, apple is promoting the iphone camera as the perfect tool if you want to up your game on instagram.</p> <p>every year, there are more than a trillion photos taken on various iphones. chances are that there are people in every corner of the world currently using an iphone to shoot a unique photo or video. so apple wants to leverage that and showcase the creativity and diversity of iphone users.</p> <p>based on the first posts, curators working for @apple find some photos captured with an iphone, ask the creator if they can share them and repost them on the company’s account. apple isn’t taking any photo itself.</p> <p>there are a few interesting things with the account. first, apple relies heavily on the recently introduced gallery format to showcase five creators at a time. you can find them on instagram by reading the captions.</p> <p>second, the company is using videos to share a few photos at a time, add sound effects and interview the creators — those sound bites remind me of <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>humans of new york</a>. apple is also sharing instagram stories with the same format.</p> <p>third, apple uses the #shotoniphone hashtag in the account description and below each post. it’s clear that the company wants to encourage people to use the hashtag so that it becomes a pop culture symbol. many popular instagram accounts use this method to resurface popular posts as well, such as <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>@ihavethisthingwithfloors</a>.</p> <p>this isn’t apple’s first instagram account — <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>@applemusic</a> currently has 2.2 million followers. i’ve also seen apple ads for apple music and the apple watch on instagram. but it’s interesting to see apple creating an “instagram-native” account.</p> <p>original article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>tech crunch</strong></a></p> All categories Tue, 8 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How to Respond When Clients Say You're Too Expensive <p>it really doesn't matter what kind of photography you do if you get paid for your services i guarantee that at some point you will be faced with price objections from a client. if you haven't already you definitely should arm yourself with a few tactics for when the inevitable happens.</p> <p>the guys over at <a href='' target='_blank'>the futur</a> are back once again with some more role playing exercises to help creative people while out in the field. this week they discuss the typical reactions you are likely to face from a client during price negotiations. the video features <a href='' target='_blank'>chris do</a> who is an emmy award winning designer, founder of brand strategy design consultancy <a href='' target='_blank'>blind, inc.</a>, and passionate advocate for freelancers getting paid fairly.</p> <p>even though the video uses graphic design as an example, these tips are more than transferable to all imaginable areas of the creative world. do has some great answers to the typical responses you will likely face when talking figures to a client. ever had someone ask you to work for half the going rate with a possible offer of more work later down the line? this video will show you how best to combat such ridiculous offers and get the rates you deserve each and every time.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>fstoppers</a></p> All categories Tue, 8 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Data Shows Interactive Credit Union Website Designs Get Better Results <p>the data is compelling: interactive websites get more engagement and conversions. that’s why interactive features are becoming more and more prominent in credit union website design. </p> <p> published a series of studies from organizations that put interactive features to the test. inspired by goodui’s evidence, we helped spirit of alaska fcu launch an interactive website experience in may 2017. a few months later, we now have some interesting data to share.</p> <p>this article is specifically aimed at credit unions but can easily show interaction with your visitors increases site usage and engagement.</p> <p><a href='' target='_blank'><strong>read the entire article is interest reading about the importance of interaction.</strong></a></p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>cu insight</a></p> All categories Mon, 7 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 3 Ways a Cohesive Social Media Strategy Can Help Your SEO Efforts <p>there has been a ton of back and forth about how social media marketing impacts seo and whether social profiles and posts can positively affect organic search rankings and visibility.</p> <p>despite <a href='' target='_blank'>matt cutt’s famous 2014 video</a>, in which google’s former distinguished engineer refuted the idea that social signals were part of the ranking algorithm, the debate regarding the importance of social media to seo has only continued in our industry. google, more than bing, denies that facebook and twitter posts and popularity are direct search ranking factors.</p> <p>while we’ll respect what these top search engines have to say on this subject, it’s still undeniable that a proper social media strategy – both paid and organic – is critical to help increase your rankings and overall search visibility over time.</p> <p>let’s look at three ways you can include social media into your seo campaigns to drive better results.</p> <h3>1. social media marketing = brand building</h3> <p>the buying process is often a lengthy one, especially when buyers are making decisions on service-based offerings or high-ticket item products like luxury goods.</p> <p>these types of consumers and business customers do their research online and do it well. in fact, many times they might start searching right in a social network, whether it’s facebook, twitter, youtube, pinterest, instagram, or linkedin.</p> <p>the brand equity and strength behind what the company is selling is what ultimately converts consumers. after all, people buy for two simple reasons: <em>trust</em> and <em>likeness</em> of a person or a brand.</p> <p>making your social brand stand out involves several factors in a social media campaign. enhancing your strategy will likely support your seo efforts.</p> <p>here are a few things you can improve:</p> <ul> <li>design of the identity and the brand that supports the brand intent.</li> <li>messaging around the brand to support the brand promise and target language.</li> <li>making an ongoing commitment of original brand content creation and delivery.</li> <li>creating a community of advocates by engaging them with branded content and contests.</li> </ul> <p>social media marketing, when developed and managed correctly, can create such brand trust. this means that companies must consider the creation and nurturing of their social brands as something critical to how their target finds them and buys from them.</p> <p>when a target customer engages with a brand well in social they will inevitably either go to the company site multiple times, refer other people to the company social profiles and pages, or both.</p> <p>because people know you from social, they will also search for your brand from search engines – essentially that means you’re generating demand. the more demand you generate, the more important your brand will appear to search engines and the better you will rank over time.</p> <p>the brand building in social is an important piece of a long term of seo strategy.</p> <h3>2. social profiles show up in organic search results</h3> <p>there are instances when people look up other people’s names instead of companies on google.</p> <p>this is how we know to do business with someone. this can be anyone from a salesperson to a ceo.</p> <p>does your linkedin profile pop up first? if so, most searchers will click on your profile.</p> <p>if the user sees that your profile is unused with no information, they might go back to google or even stay on linkedin and find your competitor to give their business.</p> <p>this is also the case, of course, for businesses. meaning that your company social pages, both corporate as well as those for local stores, are that important.</p> <p>this is where having a solid social strategy, along with active and appropriate management of those profiles and pages, come in.</p> <p>what can you do?</p> <ul> <li>have a full, completed, current profile for each social channel where your brand lives. this means updated imagery, photos, videos, contact information, calls to action, and ongoing varied content.</li> <li>understand that the reputation of you and your company in social media can be traced back to search queries (or not). meaning if you do a great job managing comments and positively interacting with your (or your company’s ) fans and followers, you get to build a good reputation in social. this can then help grow the shares of your content, gain new followers, and generate click backs to your site, consequently benefitting seo. never mind that facebook posts and twitter profiles aren’t direct google ranking factors. the sites themselves <em>are</em> ranked – and that traffic to a well-designed site for user experience can boost site stickiness and repeat visits.</li> <li>have your social profile settings set for success and understand how each channel works.</li> <li>you want to make sure if you allow others to write on your timeline, for example, that the message will be monitored and managed.</li> <li>if you’re a retailer with many locations, make sure that you are using the location function on facebook or on youtube. on pinterest, make sure you have the appropriate boards or playlists that complement your seo strategy.</li> </ul> <h3>3. social networks have search engines, too</h3> <p>people search within the social networks.</p> <p>since many of you are business professionals, let’s talk linkedin. have you reviewed your stats to see how linkedin members discovered your profile? over 50 percent of views, on average, come in from linkedin’s search tool.</p> <p>how well have you optimized your linkedin profile?  did you know that your skills, and those related keywords, drive the visibility of your profile in linkedin search?</p> <p>here’s one simple thing you can do this week: go review your linkedin profile. assess your skills and related keywords across each section – your headline, summary, experience, and so forth.</p> <p>optimize your profile for targeted linkedin searches. when people view your social profile or your company profile time and again, inevitably they will visit your website.</p> <p>of course, if you have done a great job with on-site seo they will return or share your site pages, helping your overall seo rank.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>search engine journal</a> by jasmine sandler</p> All categories Mon, 7 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Five Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Consider SEO As An Investment <p>entrepreneurs who are new to online marketing strategies may have read somewhere that search engine optimization is dead. while most people may believe that the era of the seo is long gone, trond lyngbo of search engine land wrote a list of reasons a few years ago about why entrepreneurs should be optimistic with their investment in seo.</p> <p>contrary to popular belief, the so-called "death" of seo is just a rumor. according to lyngbo, "the digital marketing strategy is not a cost but an investment." rumors become irrelevant if entrepreneurs look at what top google placement can do for business growth over the coming years.</p> <p>with over a decade of experience and knowledge in the online marketing field, i agree with his reasoning on the importance of investing in seo as an entrepreneur and how impactful the results can be. therefore, i have five reasons for entrepreneurs to consider search engine optimization as a long-term investment instead of a cost:</p> <h3>it's cost-effective. </h3> <p>the no. 1 reason why i find seo to be a smart investment for entrepreneurs is the cost effectiveness. almost any business can hire a specialist to help grow their business by shifting around unnecessary expenses or cutting advertising mediums that aren't producing. with proper optimization, businesses can expect long-term results and benefits. unfortunately, we should also consider how much we spend for the service. <em>forbes</em> contributor jayson demers recently wrote about the dangers of "cheap" seo services. you can expect low-quality content, black hat techniques, and inexperienced optimizers usinga cheap seo. look for a reliable professional with a track record and a knowledge that surpasses textbook answers. overall, your investment in a sound digital marketing strategy is crucial to your business growth and success.</p> <h3>it levels the competition.</h3> <p>i often encourage my clients to dream big because i know we can dominate their competition online. with the help of proper optimization, you can reach your target audience with efficiency. rebecca stickler, a content marketing specialist, wrote, "with a strong seo strategy, your small business can compete with even the biggest business organizations.</p> <p>the biggest advantage of online marketing is that it levels the playing field for small businesses. the highest rank doesn't go to the company with the most money, but instead goes to the business that understands and deploys effective seo techniques.</p> <h3>it can yield attractive long-term results.</h3> <p>rhea drysdale, ceo of outspoken media, told a search engine land writer that "website owners should invest in long-term goals rather than the short-term goals." she also pointed out that short-term goals will do more harm than good to the business. although instant reward from a pay-per-click campaign might be enticing, it is better to invest in slow yet effective long-term seo results that can yield a much higher roi over time. google pays attention to how fast links are built to a site. because of this, entrepreneurs should focus on building their business toward the top with a slow-yet-consistent pace.</p> <p>in an interview, lane ginsberg of freedom retirement advisors told me that, "investing in your business is a lot like investing in stocks: the short-term stuff can be exciting and can bring some results, however, the long-term investment is where you really see the payoff, but it requires patience and confidence."</p> <h3>it helps people find your business.</h3> <p>in our modern, digital world, information is just a few clicks away for anyone at any moment. "times have changed," jason hennessey wrote a few years ago in a business insider article: "seo marketing campaigns ensure businesses make a unique impression to connect with customers."</p> <p>with the accessibility of the internet, most people turn to search engines for anything and everything. a well-optimized website can reach new audiences across the globe. with quality content, proper keyword research, the right use of social media platforms and other marketing techniques, your business will be visible to potential consumers across the internet.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>forbes</a></p> All categories Mon, 7 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 The Apple Inc. iPhone 8 <p style='text-align:start'>known leaker ice universe leaked what appear to be some tidbits about the a11 fusion processor that is slated to power <strong>apple</strong>'s iphone models this fall.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>per his post, here are some tidbits about the upcoming chip:</p> <ul> <li>3 ghz cpu operating frequency.</li> <li>heterogeneous multi-processing capability.</li> <li>single-core geekbench 4 score of between 4300 and 4600; multi-core geekbench 4 score of between 7000 and 8500.</li> </ul> <p style='text-align:start'>although this information doesn't seem like a lot, it tells us quite a lot about the innovations that apple plans to bring to the new chip.</p> <h3 style='font-style: normal; text-align: start;'><strong>higher frequencies driving better performance</strong></h3> <p style='text-align:start'>the apple a10 fusion chip runs its "high-performance cores" at a frequency of 2.34ghz. at that speed, the a10 fusion achieves a single-core geekbench 4 score of roughly 3500 -- making it best in class among smartphones today, and even putting it in direct competition with modern notebook and desktop personal computers.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>if the a11 fusion chip runs its high-performance cores at 3ghz, then this would imply a frequency uplift of about 28%. the single-core geekbench 4 score that ice universe claims the a11 fusion can achieve in the best case is 4600, or about 31% better than what the a10 fusion could achieve.</p> <p>such a dramatic increase in frequency likely comes partly from the transition to a new, higher performance manufacturing technology, and partly from circuit-level enhancements.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>in other words, apple's chip team has been working hard.</p> <h3 style='font-style: normal; text-align: start;'><strong>heterogeneous multi-processing? </strong></h3> <p style='text-align:start'>the leaker also claims that the a11 fusion chip will support a feature known as "heterogeneous multi-processing."</p> <p style='text-align:start'>at first, i was inclined to think the leaker was merely referring to apple's "fusion" scheme whereby it uses two "high-performance" cores to run processor-intensive tasks (e.g., games) while using two "high-efficiency" cores to handle less intensive/mundane tasks (e.g., email).</p> <p style='text-align:start'>however, heterogeneous multi-processing is a term that's used to refer to a processor setup whereby both the "high-performance" cores as well as the "high-efficiency" cores can be used in tandem to increase performance (albeit at the cost of additional power consumption).</p> <p style='text-align:start'>if apple is indeed implementing such a scheme, that could help boost the peak multi-core performance of the a11 fusion chip relative to what it'd be able to do under the prior scheme used by the a10 fusion and a10x fusion.</p> <h3 style='font-style: normal; text-align: start;'><strong>the multi-core geekbench 4 score implies...</strong></h3> <p style='text-align:start'>and, finally, while i talked about the single-core geekbench 4 score, the multi-core scores that ice universe posted seems to imply that there will only be two high-performance cores present on the chip.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>apple's a10x fusion, which showed up in the company's recently launched ipad pro 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch tablets, includes three high-performance cores and three high-efficiency cores. however, by the larger device surface area and battery capacity of the ipad pro tablets relative to the upcoming iphone models, the a10x fusion can consume more power and dissipate more heat than the a11 fusion will be allowed to.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>therefore, it only makes sense that apple would stick with two high-performance cores and try to wring more performance out of them for the a11 fusion rather than try to stuff three of each in there, only to have the device overheat or battery life severely shortened.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>motley fool</a></p> All categories Fri, 4 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 6 tips to supercharge your packaging design process <p style='text-align:start'>so much information is being delivered to consumers nowadays that you only have seconds to get their attention. and with the rise of packaging design blogs, unboxing videos and social sharing, designers are facing even greater challenges in creating valuable packaging that gets the attention of the masses.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>studies show that <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(102, 0, 0); text-decoration: none; background-position: 0px 0px; background-repeat: initial initial;' target='_blank'>74% of young adults</a> are more likely to share a photo of their product packaging online and <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(102, 0, 0); text-decoration: none; background-position: 0px 0px; background-repeat: initial initial;' target='_blank'>almost 40% of overall consumers</a> share packaging on social media that has an interesting gift-like design. in this case, durability of the packaging and generic print no longer cuts it as effective brand marketing. what is the solution?</p> <p style='text-align:start'>one of the main success factors of a packaging design is the process <em>before</em> the actual design is created. this process is what will determine the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of the end result.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>here are six tips to implement in your process to improve the execution of your packaging design. inspired by the concepts of <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(102, 0, 0); text-decoration: none; background-position: 0px 0px; background-repeat: initial initial;' target='_blank'>“business model generation”</a> by alex osterwalder and yves pigneur, and modified by <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(102, 0, 0); text-decoration: none; background-position: 0px 0px; background-repeat: initial initial;' target='_blank'>pakfactory</a>, this design process will open new avenues of creativity and help foster your vision in a more structured and efficient way.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong> </strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong><img alt='' class='image-featured_image_750x422' src='' style='border:0px; box-sizing:border-box; height:422px; vertical-align:middle; width:750px' /></strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>1. customer insight</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>preparing for packaging design can be intimidating, especially if you’re working from scratch. fortunately, this strategy makes it much less daunting. understanding your customer is crucial. by getting to know your customer’s personality and behaviors, you are able to create a framework and reference point for your packaging design.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>as a packaging designer, you should consider asking your client (internal or external) not only about the objective and brief of the project but discuss deeper into how their customers interact with the brand and products.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>you and the client should discuss the behaviors, thought process, emotions and actions of the consumer target. investigating these details will provide a wealth of information with which to craft an outstanding design.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>2. idea creation </strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>generating ideas efficiently is an essential component of the design process. this part of the process consists of using notes, sketches, diagrams, pictures and so on. to work efficiently, idea generation should be geared towards filtering for the best ideas possible.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>to get the most out of your concepts, consider:</p> <p style='text-align:start'><em>the composition of the team:</em> nothing is more effective than sharing ideas from different areas of expertise. the team should ideally be comprised of a diverse mix of members who can bring unique contributions and opinions to the table. design is a collaborative effort, and by maximizing diversity, it increases the chances for inspiration and the ability to develop an even more effective packaging design.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><em>encouraging lots of ideas:</em> to make this process work to your benefit, allow ideas and concepts to flow freely. initially, approach more on the <em>quantity</em> of ideas as supposed to the quality. why? critiquing too early in the process can smother ideas that deserve further development or consideration, and focusing on quality too early in the process will potentially increase time delays on the project.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><em>filtering ideas based on certain criteria:</em> so, by the end of the idea creation phase, how do you choose the best ideas? this is where a list of criteria or set of guidelines for the design comes in handy. having set criteria on the design that relates to the customer target closely is what will narrow down which ideas are most appropriate for the project.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><em>howan idea can evolve: </em>even if an idea doesn’t initially make the cut, don’t permanently get rid of it! you never know when it could be useful in the future. the right time for it might be down the road.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>3. visual thinking on paper</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>at this stage, you’ll want to piece together information and start visualizing the design on post-it notes or sketchbooks. visual thinking is the process of turning ideas into visuals, and this helps to facilitate clearer discussions on the design and allows for changes to be made more easily. visual thinking offers several benefits, including increased understanding, communication, dialogue and exploration.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>an example of this step is <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(102, 0, 0); text-decoration: none; background-position: 0px 0px; background-repeat: initial initial;' target='_blank'>mind mapping</a>, which is a form of brainstorming that allows you to structure information graphically. this practice is fun and simple and will allow you to explore your ideas both artistically and analytically. capturing the big picture without visualizing is difficult. by using this step, you will gain a powerful grasp of the concepts you’re considering and be that much closer to accomplishing your design goals.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>4. storytelling</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>facts tell, stories sell. this point is self-explanatory, but it cannot be stressed enough how important storytelling is. connecting with customers through storytelling is a powerful act, and the more you can facilitate it, the better. so why not incorporate this into your packaging design process? the objective is to find a clear story or meaningful message to the design. this is how you will relate to your audience.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>whatever you choose, make sure it effectively communicates what the product is and what it represents. this can be incorporated with the use of images or texts. create emotions into your design and include imagery that impart a vivid statement without necessarily using words. you can be as imaginative or grounded as you want just as long as it can effectively capture the intended audience’s attention.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>5. prototyping</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>so, you’ve gathered customer insight and incorporated idea creation, visual thinking and storytelling—now what? it’s time to build a prototype.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>by creating the exact proof of the design, it allows for hands-on exploration of form and function, demonstration and further discussions. the prototype is not a draft of the design but part of the process of exploring more directions to enhance design value.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>again, ask questions. will adding certain elements add more value? what other options can be added to the design? what happens if we remove an element? use this as an opportunity to examine multiple perspectives and evaluate underdeveloped ideas.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>remember, as a designer, you want to be able to provide insights to your client and over-deliver results.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>6. having a design attitude</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>the last tip to incorporate in all of the steps of your packaging design process is cultivating a design attitude. this mindset is one that embraces creative inquiry by exploring new concepts (and the ability to let go of them when needed), perusing myriad possibilities and accepting uncertainty while going through this phase.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>as opposed to micromanaging and always having the need to control all decisions, instead, think of several options from outside perspectives to choose from to meet the design objective. this includes a workflow surrounded by autonomy, open-mindedness, diversity and teamwork.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>one last note: the difference between good packaging and great packaging lies in the ability to design it for customers and not the product. always keep this in mind when working through this process.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>well, there you have it. you should now have a better understanding of how to effectively prepare for and implement a winning packaging design. follow these steps methodically and stay focused. this will help to ensure that your vision comes to fruition in the form of a first-rate design.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'></a></p> All categories Fri, 4 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How Long Will Links Be The Gold Standard For SEO? <p style='text-align:start'>after search engines became a thing, there came search engine optimization (seo), and for the entirety of its history, the “gold standard”—the most reliable strategy—for seo success has been link building.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>link building has changed significantly<a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'> </a>since its original inception as an seo tactic, but the fundamental need for links still remains; any seo strategy without some way to, directly or indirectly, attract links to your domain simply won’t be successful.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>over the years, google has gone through numerous updates, overhauling the way it evaluates things like relevance and authority, and it’s poised to make even more significant updates in the future. so will links one day become obsolete? and if so, what could replace them?</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>how pagerank works</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>first, we need a quick primer on pagerank. to understand why links are so important, you need to understand <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'>how pagerank works</a>. pagerank is the first, and continues to be the most important algorithm for determining a website’s authority.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>it’s gone through many changes, but the concept is still the same. when determining which website to rank for a given query, google considers the relevance of a given entry (i.e., how appropriately it serves the query) and its subjective authority.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>google measures authority by determining the quantity and quality of links pointing to a given page and domain. for example, let’s say we’re comparing site a and site b. site a has 50 links from high-quality sources, and site b has 30 links from mixed-quality sources. site a is determined to be more authoritative, and will rank higher, because all those links served as third-party indicators or “votes” of its authoritativeness.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>that’s an oversimplification, of course, but it’s the system that makes link building so valuable.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>why penguin didn't stop link building</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>when it was first released back in 2012, <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'>the google penguin algorithm update</a> was briefly thought to have the potential to stop link building as a viable tactic for improving rank. the goal was to weed out “bad” links that were built for the sole purpose of improving a site’s rank, and reward “good” links that were built naturally. over time, penguin’s gotten even more sophisticated, but link building, as an industry and an seo tactic, is alive and well.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>why? because search optimizers have updated their tactics. rather than making it a game of quantity, spamming links wherever they could get them, optimizers turned it into a game of quality, investing time in building and nurturing relationships with offsite publishers and producing audience-focused content that truly adds value.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>these links aren’t flagged as spam; they pass authority, and add value to the web. accordingly, links remain one of the most important factors for a successful seo campaign—but the way they need to be built to provide value without risk from penguin has changed.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>potential threats</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>if penguin couldn’t stop link building, what could? there are a handful of potential threats here, each coming from a different angle, and how they connect with each other could gradually chip away at link building’s strategic value.</p> <ul> <li><strong>iot and voice search. </strong>first up is the rise of the iot, and with it, voice search. home consoles like google home (not to mention voice-based assistants on mobile devices) are transforming the average user’s web experience. users are increasingly relying on conversational queries, and expecting immediate answers. rather than browsing through websites, users may soon expect these search engines to conjure one singular answer; and at that point, relevance may become more important than authority, reducing the value of links.</li> <li><strong>apps.</strong> it’s also possible that apps may replace traditional websites someday soon. google and other search engines have begun <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: objects; text-decoration: none; cursor: auto; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'>incorporating more app-friendly features</a>, and users find it more convenient to rely on app functionality, rather than relying on typical web browsers. this, too, could transform the online user experience, and might diminish the power of link building—and the power of traditional websites alongside it.</li> <li><strong>social feedback. </strong>search engines, including those found on app stores, are also doing more to incorporate social feedback into their rankings. rather than looking at what other sites have linked to a product (a kind of quantitative score), they’re looking at the number and quality of reviews submitted by users (a kind of qualitative score). ultimately, ratings and reviews could eventually eclipse links in importance.</li> <li><strong>yet-undiscovered tech. </strong>we’re still in the early stages of search engine development, so there are countless possibilities that could emerge, changing the growth of technology from here.</li> </ul> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>the gradual evolution</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>if any of these technologies have the power to individually or collectively replace link building as the gold standard for seo success, they won’t be able to do it for a long time. as fast as it seems to move at times, people rely on search engines on a daily basis, and would be significantly disrupted if everything was overhauled overnight.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>in my opinion, it’s more likely that we’ll see a very gradual evolution roll out over the course of, perhaps, 5-10 years.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>a practical view</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>right now, link building – as an seo tactic and as an industry – seems to be stronger than ever. links are still consistently shown to be among the top 2 or 3 ranking factors in correlation studies, and the benefits they bring beyond simply seo rankings elevates their value even further.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>new technologies like iot and apps aren’t revolutionizing search—they’re just introducing new elements to consider and are gradually shaping our standards (no faster than they’ve been shaped before). if links ever significantly drop in importance, it won’t be for several years—and by that time, we’ll all be adapted to whatever’s come to replace them.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>forbes</a></p> All categories Fri, 4 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 What is an online application and why you should consider it … <p>one of the most powerful and useful tools that can be brought to a business via a web designer/developer is online applications (apps). these are not standalone native applications like you have for desktop computer, tablet or smart phone. instead these are web based applications that live on and work on a web server in some far distant corner of the world and are operated on any platform through any standard web browser.</p> <h3>native apps vs. web apps</h3> <p>a <strong>native app</strong> is an app developed essentially for one mobile or desktop device and is installed directly onto the device itself. users of native apps usually download them via app stores online or the app marketplace. an example of a native app is the camera+ app for apple’s ios devices.</p> <p>a <strong>web app</strong>, on the other hand, are basically internet built apps that are accessible via the mobile device’s web browser. this makes them available to anybody that has a web browser regardless of their platform or device. they need not be downloaded onto the user’s device to be accessed. </p> <p>for this article, we are going to use ohio archer’s association (oaa,,) a state chapter of the national field archery association, as an example of what can be done with an online app and the benefits you can get from using one.</p> <h3>a little history.</h3> <p>the oaa is a state chapter of the national field archers association. they manage state membership to the national organization and sponsor several archery events throughout the year in the state of ohio. the events are either held at a single location or at various archery shops, statewide, during a specific weekend. these statewide competitions are known as mail-in events.</p> <p>for several decades, the oaa used excel spreadsheets to manage membership, registration and scoring. all of the membership and registration fees were collected in cash at the events. the association managed the events manually and had a very basic website that was created with a content management system called <em>joomla!</em> which is very similar to wordpress.</p> <p>their method of administering events, registration, membership, scores, etc. was time consuming but manageable when their membership was 150 people or less. it to a great deal of time and effort calculate the scores, notify the winners and distribute the awards. in addition, more time and effort was invested into managing the membership, the historic data and calculating points for the shooter-of-the-year award.</p> <p>the driving forces behind developing a complete online application for the oaa was it’s growing membership and a desire to do things in a better and more efficient way. the oaa online website/app was developed from scratch (without the use of any templates) in an active server page (asp/ environment) for server-side programming with javascript to handle browser-side programming. all of their databases were developed in microsoft access and sql (standard query language.) the current website/app is built using a responsive design for the framework.</p> <p>with the current online app, the oaa can handle the following activities and data through any web browser. multiple people can be working in the app at the same time which proved to be very productive for them during an event for registration and check-ins.</p> <p>listed below are the basic areas that are now managed with the oaa online app:</p> <ul> <li><strong>master registration list</strong></li> <li><strong>register for events</strong> including paypal for registration fees and membership dues</li> <li><strong>event scoring</strong></li> <li><strong>shooter-of-the-year (soy) points</strong></li> <li><strong>event medal labels</strong></li> <li><strong>historic shooting records</strong></li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>events</strong></li> <li><strong>tournament/district breakdowns</strong></li> <li><strong>shooting classes/divisions</strong></li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>protests</strong></li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>election info/results</strong></li> <li><strong>photo galleries</strong></li> <li><strong>video galleries</strong></li> <li><strong>club info</strong></li> </ul> <h3>the benefits of an online app.</h3> <p>using the above example of the oaa, let’s look at some of these specific tasks - how they have changed and the benefits that were achieved with an online app.</p> <h4>event registration/check-in</h4> <p><strong><em>before the app:</em></strong><br /> <br /> in the past, event registration was done through handwritten forms that were mailed-in with the events fees either in cash or with a check. then the information was transferred to a spreadsheet. at the actual event, during check-in, all the information that was previously mailed-in had to be confirmed. event fees had to be collected for those who did not send in their money. if somebody was a walk-in, who hadn’t registered yet, their information had to be entere manually in the spreadsheet and event fees had to be collected.</p> <p>the main problems with this system were:</p> <ol> <li>it was time consuming.</li> <li>all of the information was recorded manually leaving a lot of room for typos and errors.</li> <li>collecting the fees and handling a lot of cash at the events.</li> <li>only one person could do check-in at an event.</li> </ol> <p><strong><em>after implementing the app:</em></strong></p> <p>after the development of the web-based app, the workflow changed dramatically which resulted in a considerable change in the effort and time it took to check-in competitors at the event.</p> <p>the new system requires people to register online. during the registration process several items are completed simultaneously. as they were creating their registration for that event, the person registering was also creating a master profile of themselves and their shooting style, age and class. this was done to make it more convenient for the competitors when they returned to register for future events which in turn promoted the use of the online registration system. returning competitors simply had to enter an email address or nickname to retrieve their information which automatically completed their registration form. because the end user was entering the data such as name, address, contact info, etc. there was less chance for an error.</p> <p>for more complex information and data, like shooting classes, javascript was used to control these entries where the competitors would enter their sex and age. then acceptable shooting styles given to them to choose from, which, in turn, would result in the appropriate shooting class and cost for the event. checking for errors was done extensively on all the entries for completeness and proper format (for example email addresses and phone numbers).</p> <p>once the competitor was finished registering, they were redirected to paypal to complete the registration with a payment. a paypal payment “success” and the transaction number were added to the registrant’s record in the database. the competitor would then receive a verification email that they were registered and payment was complete.</p> <p>during event check-in, the oaa could use several computers and tournament officials simultaneously to do check-in. the officials were able to quickly search for registrants, in a table format, that would show their name, class and payment status. for those who paid online, the officials only had to confirm the registrant’s shooting class and click a check-in box to confirm they were there.</p> <p>using this system, the amount of cash that was handled at an event dropped by 95% and amount of time it took check-in a registrant decreased from a 5-minutes to mere seconds.</p> <p>to summarize, these are the main benefits the oaa gained from using an online app:</p> <ol> <li>it greatly accelerated check-ins.</li> <li>there was a significant increase in the accuracy of information. duplication of information was eliminated.</li> <li>cash flow was increased because registration fees came in throughout the registration time frame and not at the event.</li> <li>there was less handling of cash.</li> <li>there was overall streamlining of the entire registration process for both the registrant and the oaa.</li> <li>there was a reduced amount of paper to handle.</li> <li>check-in could be done by several people simultaneously.</li> </ol> <h4>event scoring, historic scores and soy points</h4> <p><strong><em>before the app:</em></strong></p> <p>when an event was finished, the score cards were collected. the scores were then entered into a spreadsheet. once that was completed, the spreadsheet was sorted by shooting class and scores. a list was made of the winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd) for each class and the scores were reviewed to determine if there were any tie scores that required shoot-offs. the winners’ information was then copied to a microsoft word template to generate the labels for the awards.</p> <p>for the historic records, the process was completely manual requiring a comparison of scores from the current event to those of past events in separate spreadsheet. these records were often completed days after the event.</p> <p>shooter-of-the-year (soy) points were managed in another spreadsheet requiring a time-consuming process of transferring data and making calculations. this was process that wasn’t completed for several days to a week after an event.</p> <p>when there were only 100+ shooters at seven events in a year, this entire process was time consuming requiring a lot of manpower. now, with nearly 400 shooters and a growing enrollment of about 20% per year, the manual method of handling scoring is impossible.</p> <p>the main problems with this system were:</p> <ol> <li>a very time-consuming process. with just 100 shooters, after an event was finished, it would take up to 30 mins. or more to manually tally the scores. then, it would take at least 30 mins more to generate the award labels to be presented to the winners.</li> <li>there wasn’t any simple mechanism to generate historic records – all of it was done manually.</li> <li>calculating soy points required more manual work in another spreadsheet.</li> </ol> <p><strong><em>after the app:</em></strong></p> <p>after the development of the web-based app, the workflow for scoring decreased which resulted in a significant change in the completion of the events.</p> <p>the new workflow starts with collecting the score cards as before but the new online app has a special screen that allows scores to be tallied rapidly and efficiently with no manual, handwritten work involved. the screen is customized based on the type of event making the score tallying as simple and quick as possible. with this revised method, 150 shooters’ scores can be entered in under 10 minutes.</p> <p>once the scores are entered, the tournament officials can see, instantly, who placed where and if any shoot-offs are required. with another click all the historic information is updated. with a third click, the labels are for the awards including new high score award. with the final click, soy points are calculated in seconds. all of this information is immediately available on the website for viewing.</p> <p>in summary, main benefits of the online app:</p> <ol> <li>a huge time benefit. completion time changed from a 2+ hour process (and several calendar days) to just 10 minutes.</li> <li>there is no manual management of the data and no spreadsheets.</li> <li>the historic information for past events is available indefinitely.</li> <li>the knowledge and skill required to complete event scoring is now minimal.</li> <li>the website data is updated immediately.</li> </ol> <h3>consolidating and dispersing activities all at once.</h3> <p>as we have shown in the two detailed examples above, switching to a web based app increases efficiency and consolidates all the data in one place for immediate updating and viewing. another added benefit is that it disperses the tasks involved in scoring, membership and sponsoring events to multiple people working simultaneously from a single or multiple locations at once. whether you need to perform your tasks at your desk or on the road at an event location, all the data is housed, managed and available from a single location without any priority network.</p> <p>these few examples should provide you some ideas of how you can change your workflow through the use of an online app. a web designer/developer is the ideal individual to review and develop a streamlined workflow that will make your business perform more efficiently and effectively.</p> All categories Sat, 15 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Custom Web Design vs Content Management Systems <p>there are two different camps in the world of web design. the first is having a web designer/developer build a custom website from scratch. the second is to use a content management systems (cms) with their included templates. each has benefits and short comings.</p> <p>before we start looking at the pros and cons of each design methodology, i think you must honestly assess what your goals and hopes for your website will be by answering some simple business and marketing questions.</p> <h3>who are you and why do you want a website?</h3> <p><strong>why do you want a website?</strong> do you want just a couple of pages to show the world who you are, what you do and where you’re located (like a placeholder on the worldwide web)? or do you want a website that is expandable and adaptable as your business grows adding new products, services and/or new information?</p> <p><strong>are you looking to build a website that is an online application?</strong> in other words, do you want your website to perform specific functions? these functions might include processing event registrations, selling and shipping products, managing different types of events or activities (i.e. tracking scores from competitions), managing a photo or literature library, publishing quarterly reports - you get the picture.</p> <p><strong>will interaction with your customers online be important aspect of your website?</strong> do you plan on providing quotes for your services, having feedback or reviews of your services or products, providing a comments section for customers, etc.?</p> <p><strong>do you have difficult, complex or extensive data to manage online?</strong> is your website going to be a hub of information such as reports, minutes, action items or service letters that are constantly being added, updated or edited frequently?</p> <p><strong>does your company have a fully integrated branding program for your image?</strong> do you have a logo design, typography/font requirements, spacing requirements, a specific color scheme, etc.?</p> <p><strong>do you do everything yourself or do you have a staff will specific responsibilities?</strong> do you do everything yourself or do have a staff that does procurement, filing, development, etc.?</p> <p><strong>from a marketing standpoint are image and design important to you or just a thing?</strong> do you want to follow the trends or are you more interested in having your own unique image different from those you have seen online?</p> <p><strong>is your website going to be my primary means of getting your message out to the public?</strong> is your website going to be just a small piece of your marketing program? do you have a have a limited budget?</p> <p>based on your answers to these questions, you should begin to understand what kind of website your business needs and if you should hire a web designer/developer</p> <p>to sum it up, if you plan on designing a website yourself with a cms, the following bullet points should apply.</p> <ul> <li>your website is just a placeholder.</li> <li>not looking to build an online application.</li> <li>customer interaction is not important.</li> <li>you have minimal data to manage online.</li> <li>you manage everything yourself.</li> <li>marketing image is not important.</li> <li>your website is not your primary means of getting your message out to the public.</li> </ul> <p>if you answered no to all or most of the above bullet questions, a cms design is not the solution and you should consider hiring a web designer/developer.</p> <p>there are big differences between designing a website with a cms and having a web designer create one for you. let’s look at the differences.</p> <h3>custom-built websites.</h3> <p>custom design websites are built and coded by a web designer and developer. the design of the website is more artistic than what you will get with a cms. a website designer is a professional that will be able to visualize the layout and ergonomics of a site. a developer is a programmer who focuses on the way a website performs – the functionality of the site on different desktop computers and mobile devices, the interaction of your visitors with the site and the mechanics behind the databases and administrative functions of the site. you will want to find someone who does both design and development competently but also offers reasonable fees. with a custom website, these are the things that you can expect:</p> <ul> <li><strong>expense: </strong>web designers vary in price according to geographic region and level of education/experience. depending on these factors, you may pay anywhere from $50 to $120 an hour.</li> <li><strong>design:</strong> a basic, custom designed website will cost you between $800 and $1500, and upwards of a few thousand depending on your needs. the designer can give you a fairly accurate time/cost quote.</li> <li><strong>user interface: </strong>since you are working with a design/developer you can customize the user interface (user experience) of the website to meet your specific needs and wants.</li> <li><strong>access:</strong> because you are working directly with designer/developer, you will be able to call them whenever you need changes or have technical problems with the website. having direct access to the designer/developer is especially important when there are technical problems. they know the code and its uses intimately so if there is a problem they can usually isolated and fixed.</li> <li><strong>extendability and scalability: </strong>having your website built by a designer/ developer, depending on the development platform they use, results in a website that is much more extendable and scalable than a cms site. a good web designer/developer will consider your future plans for the website as they select the technologies they use to build it.</li> <li><strong>looking down the road: </strong>the future of your website needs to be secure. some cmss have gone “bad” and simply stopped working.</li> <li><strong>adaptability: </strong>if you have specific list of features you eventually want on your website, the designer will be able to prioritize these features to accommodate your current budget with your future one.</li> </ul> <p>it is important to note that none of these points involve online applications, large databases of information or interaction with visitors. all of these scenarios require a custom built website by a designer/developer who knows both html code and programming. no cms can handle these issues in a manageable way.</p> <h3>cms/template built websites.</h3> <p>there is a misconception of how beneficial and economical cmss can be. so, let’s take a closer look at them.</p> <p><strong><em>advantages:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li>lack of funds/low budget. if a budget is what is keeping you from having any online presence at all, then a cms might be your solution.</li> <li>you need to have a website immediately – not in a few weeks or more. using a cms should require less development time but don’t be fooled, this is not always the case. these days, cmss are just as complex as indesign or any other high level design program.</li> <li>looking at cms templates is a great way to find inspiration on colors schemes, layouts and features. a web designer can’t copy these for you, but they do give them an idea of the visual design you would like.</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>downfalls:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li>your design is not going to be original unless you pay the “exclusive” price for a custom template. though, even if you pay the “exclusive” price, there are others who have bought the same template and still have the right to use it.</li> <li>as cms systems try to become a “one-size fits all” application, they actually become more complicated to use. often, the cms comes with a steep learning curve. cms systems are software-based just like microsoft word or adobe indesign and update on a regular basis. and, every time there is an update, the program you are used to using is going to change.</li> <li>you will be limited on the customization of the website template. without web page coding skills, you are still going to have to either spend the time and money to learn how to code a web page or hire someone to help you. some templates are laid out in a very specific way. so, if you incorporate your own graphics or have extensive content, the template could “break.” as well, massive site-wide changes are going to be difficult and you will have to make the changes manually to every page. an experienced web developer will have designed your site with components for common items that are on each page making site-wide changes a lot more manageable.</li> <li>some website templates are not designed to be search engine friendly. as explained above, it is important how the background coding of your website is done. if not done correctly, it could hurt your marketing efforts on the internet.</li> <li>if the website template uses antiquated coding, it might not work with all browsers. some templates incorporate browser specific features that might work in one browser but not the other.</li> <li>customizing javascript is often difficult or next to impossible.</li> </ul> <h3>custom web design or cms website?</h3> <p>when deciding if a custom web design is the way to go or if a cms is a better match, always keep in mind that you want your business to stand out from the crowd and be memorable to the visitor for the right reasons.</p> <p>in either case, you are still going to have to do some homework to increase your standing with search engine results. having a website that is really appealing is only one small part of the internet marketing package. you will have to research the phrases that your target audience will use to find your website and then incorporate those phrases into the content of each of your website pages.</p> <p>to maintain or build a website yourself you are going to have to invest some time (and possibly some money) into learning as much as you can about website design and development. it is a changing technology that has new rules and requirements all the time. you will have to keep up with these changes in order to keep your website active and current.</p> <p>much of the decision comes down to cost and time. you might want to compare the two forms of web design by considering not only the costs but also the amount of time you will invest in designing a website yourself, the skills you have as a designer, how large and complicated your site is going to be and the impact you want your business to make on the world stage.</p> All categories Thu, 1 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Why should you only consider a professional web designer instead of that kid next door? <p><strong>your website is your online image</strong></p> <p>if you need a heart replacement would you go to the guy next door that hunts deer? or, would you seek out a professional who has done this before? remember your website is viewed by more people than any brochure, article, display ad, billboard, etc. that you have ever done. a professional designer can properly design your website to target the audience that you are seeking with the proper image and branding message that your company utilizes. remember, first impressions are everything. you have to make the right one.</p> <p><strong>professional designers know ...</strong></p> <p>a professional designer not only knows how to create a beautiful image, but also how to give your image effectiveness to meet your business and industry needs. professional web designers also know the importance of marketing. a successful website will be unique, project the right branding, have clear and easy navigation, load quickly, and work correctly with all of the major internet browsers/os.</p> <p><strong>using your resources efficiently</strong></p> <p>instead of building a website yourself and trying to learn all the in's and out's of the internet and browsers, you would save a lot of valuable time and frustration by hiring a professional designer. there is a large skill set that is necessary to make effective websites. many aspects to web development go far beyond the basics such as html. a professional web designer is not only skilled in design but also remains in-the-loop in several important areas including marketing, communication, html, css, page optimization, loading optimization, search engine optimization (seo), javascript, and several internet/server languages like coldfusion, asp,, php, and others.</p> <p><strong>keeping ahead of the competition</strong></p> <p>in every industry and business, competition on gaining an edge on the internet is increasing every day. if your business rival has a presence on the web before you than you are already behind. however, if you launch an effective website, you gain that edge back.</p> <p><strong>a website with a unique appearance that is customizable</strong></p> <p>like your marketing plan, you want your website to stand out. how can that happen with the billions of websites on the internet? buying a template site might seem like an easy solution but you run the risk looking like everybody else. in addition most templates don't have much latitude for change which means your branding/marketing image has to fit the template designer's idea instead of it fitting to your message. many templates don't come with any customizable features such as contact forms, galleries, forums, calendars, etc. finally, most templates can not be easily modified to meet your future growth. remember a freezer box is a freezer box and will never be anything more no matter how you fill it.</p> <p><strong>your company message</strong></p> <p>your company message is important and effectively communicating this is a priority. marketing your message clearly with colors, fonts, shapes, layouts, and more is the job of a professional web designer.</p> <p><strong>search engine optimization (seo), a golden bullet to the internet</strong></p> <p>the most important mechanical factor of your website is it's placement and presence in search engines. it is pretty useless to have a great website that nobody can find. the higher ranking of your website has with search engines, the more customers you will have visiting your website. a professional designer knows how to develop your website in a way that search engines can easily read and rank your page. a properly designed site is the best way to get top ranking than resorting to tricks and expensive ranking marketers.</p> <p><strong>compatible with all the web browsers, not just ie</strong></p> <p>personally, browser incompatibility occurs way too much these days and leaves a lot of websites broken to a lot of visitors. only a professional designer is going to know how to leverage your websites "playability" for every browser that is currently available for both desktop and mobile. what looks perfect in one browser must look exactly the same in all the other ones, otherwise your website is not projecting the same message. a skilled professional will know what works and what won't work to keep that same brand/image properly projected no matter what device is being used to view your website. an great web designer will test your website across many different browsers/os, insuring that everybody on different browsers can view your website the way it should be displayed.</p> <p><strong>marketing a smart investment</strong></p> <p>your website will be something that thousands of people around the world may view everyday. having a professional website will give your business an edge that no template website will ever be able to give you. make sure your website represents what your company wants the world to see. a template website may seem inexpensive and easy, but in the long run, it's not going to serve your business. hire a professional designer.</p> All categories Sat, 20 May 2017 00:00:00 -0800 What makes a good color combination for a website? <p>in the early days of the internet most websites were flashing at you in neon colors with everything in bigger and bolder text. thankfully those days are long gone!</p> <p>today's websites are much more color coordinated to fit the company image and branding with color palettes that enhance the user's experience. for this reason, it is important to pick a web designer that understands branding and knows how to enhance and promote the company image while providing clear and concise navigation. this can often be accomplished by developing the proper color palette at the beginning of the design phase and sticking with it throughout the website design process.</p> <p>to better understand this process, this article gets into analogous, complementary, neutral and muted color palettes; backgrounds; and some general rules about color combinations. the importance of the color palette is even more essential with the smaller screens that smart phones utilize.</p> <p>though this article tries to keep things simple, it might be too technical for some. jps design group understands the importance of company branding, color palettes and usability.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'></a></p> All categories Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:00 -0800 When should you redesign your website? <p>we often fall in love with a particular web design that we currently have online. however, it is very possible that "love affair" might have gone on for too long. it is very difficult to step back and to take an honest look at ourselves. if it was easy then we would all do the right thing...always.</p> <p>here are several reasons to consider a new design for your online presence:</p> <ul> <li>your site is not mobile friendly</li> <li>your site has grown outdated with the current design trends</li> <li>you have no seo program or your website places badly with the search engines</li> </ul> <p>this article gets in deeper to these points. take a read, it makes a number of valid points to consider if you're thinking it is time for a new website.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'></a></p> All categories Mon, 1 May 2017 00:00:00 -0800