Strategy

The Art of the Splash Page

When you aren't ready to build a full website, but your company or organization needs to start to have an internet presence,  it can make a lot of sense to post a single page website that can go up quickly and without hassle. There is no sitemap, no navigation, and very little content required. The benefit is that you have somewhere to point people, and you start to get on the radar of search engines before building your full site.

Other people in the industry may refer to this as a splash site, a one-pager or a micro-site, although to us a micro-site will have up to ten pages of navigable content.

When creating a splash page, we think it is important to still take a professional and thoughtful approach, so that the effort does not degrade your company or organization in the eyes of visitors. This counts out the animated gif with the shoveling construction worker and "website coming soon." Please don't go there.

Website Timeline: A Plan for Success

The two most common questions that we are asked when it comes to producing a new website revolve around price and time. “How much does a new website cost?” “How long does it take to build a new website?” The answers to these questions vary dramatically depending on the size and scope of the project. Our team has designed, developed and launched websites within a month when absolutely required, while others can take a phased approach for more than a year.

Regardless of this variance, we have found that it always make sense to follow a well-defined process for designing and developing a new website. We establish phases and milestones for every web project and ensure that we hit the goals at each stage as we move into the next. This phased approach easily turns into a plan and a clear website timeline. Having designed and built hundreds of enterprise-level website, we know that this process works and builds a platform for success.

Creating a Website Design Brief

The start of any major project can be intimidating and daunting. All of a sudden we get impulses to clean our office space, sort out business cards alphabetically, clean the top ledge of the cabinet that has been collecting dust for two years, load that app on your phone that you haven’t played for a year because all of a sudden you remember how much you loved that game (I recommend stick tennis), the list goes on. Website Design Brief

For a lot of people, the thought of creating a new website will definitely create this feeling that can be overwhelming. The answer to calming the nerves and providing a great starting point for the creation of a new website is in creating a website design brief.

What is a Design Brief?

A website design brief or creative direction brief is an overview of the look and feel of a new website. It gives a website designer what they need in order to come up with designs that are on target and on strategy.

Pay Per Click Online Advertising Versus Traditional Trade Shows

Traditional trade shows have long been an established and effective way for companies to reach their target audiences. This is true for business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer companies, and is even an established marketing method for companies looking for investors. When participating in trade shows, it makes sense for companies to track their associated expenses and time to determine how much each lead costs.

So, in comparing traditional trade shows to pay per click campaigns, imagine that your website is a trade show booth and your ad campaign is the event. Impressions, which don't cost a thing in pay per click campaigns, are those people that walk by your booth and probably don't even notice you. The people that click on your ad are the same as those people who step into your booth, and the people that contact you or sign up for something are equivalent to those who gave you their business card at the event. This trade show is open 24/7 all year long and on a global scale.

What Does Your Website Say About Your Business?

Wikipedia defines perception as, “the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to fabricate a mental representation.” We may all perceive things differently, however, we all create a mental representation of a business based on what we see after viewing a website.

I recently searched for a local accountant and this demonstrated to me the way I perceived accountants based on their websites. After conducting a search I immediately eliminated those that did not appeal to me based on their website. In all reality, I may have overlooked the best local accountant, however, the website of my chosen accountant assisted a great deal in my perception of the quality of the service I would be offered.

Is website anxiety holding you back?

Anxiety, fear and stress can dramatically interfere with problem-solving abilities. These feelings can trigger a "fight or flight" response, shutting down the part of your brain than is responsible for flexible thinking. Nobody likes those feelings and most of us do our best to avoid such situations. 

For example, have you ever said or heard someone exclaim, "I'm not cut out for math.” Does that sound familiar? The truth is we all have the same capability to do math, but some of us have Math Anxiety that we’ve held since our days in school. At some point during the childhood or young adult development, there is an event related to math that reinforces and triggers anxiety and stress when asked to do math later in life, making it harder at that moment for that person to think clearly and excel.

Embrace Online Change

“We don’t want to be too flashy and over-the-top.” There seems to be a common concern shared amongst companies that updating or rebuilding online communications will result in a narcissistic and in-your-face approach.

When a company or organization has the same understated, and sometimes severely lacking, web presence for a period of time it establishes a comfort zone internally and that works for a lot of people. They don’t seem to mind appearing cheap, and they like people to think they are too busy to care. They think that “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?”

The reality is that IT IS broken. If a restaurant with great food has a damaged entryway and sign and a menu that is hard to look at, it will still get customers, even if it is less than they would otherwise. However, over time, their reputation will suffer and there will be less trust that they stand for quality and have their act together. So, even though business is continuing, it is broken – and it does need to be fixed.

Don't get lost in tactics. Make a digital marketing strategy.

Focusing too much on the tactical elements of digital communications can be detrimental to showing real results.

While a head down approach gets things done, there is a good chance it doesn't get the right things done. In effect, it could be like walking down a path with your head buried in your smartphone, and not noticing that you are walking in a direction that is perpendicular to where you really should be headed.

It's certainly easy to make oneself busy executing online communications, but we've found that the best approach is a focused approach that has an eye on the prize. It is well worth it for organizations to take the time and engage the right people to create a digital marketing strategy that clarifies in writing:

Why Too Much SEO Will Hurt Your Page Rank

Not only are websites with excessive keyword repetition in the copy annoying to read, but after a certain number of instances they can sometimes do more harm than good. In the past Google has denied allegations that they will lower a website's page rank based on over-optimized SEO.

This practice has been benign until now but things are about to change. During a panel on SEO at the Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW) in mid-March, Google’s Matt Cutts let slip that “over-optimized” or “overly SEOed” websites will be penalized in the future.

“We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”

Why strictly focus on digital?

Why focus on digital marketing and communications? The answer seems obvious to me, but the question keeps coming up in its various forms. Why don't we create print campaigns? Why don't we provide traditional advertising? I've got a few answers for you, but first let me explain what falls into the category of digital.

What is Digital?

To us, digital means anything you will view and interact with on a screen. This includes websites, apps, video, social media, e-commerce, SEO, digital identity and presentations. For the most part, our services are summed up on the offerings page on our website, but of course every project is unique and there's a good chance we're working on a digital project right now that doesn't fit into that list. By choosing to be a full-service integrated digital agency, we are committing to have various digital media work together seamlessly with one another.

Now for the reasons behind a strict digital focus...

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