Empowering Your Employees May Solve Your Content Problems

March 3, 2011

If you believe the directional flow of marketing has changed and you conclude you really do need to create branded media for your small to medium business, do you know where do you start? The task can seem pretty overwhelming. Is it a blog post, a video, a tweet, a Facebook post? The list seems endless, right?

Consensus is that you need a digital marketing strategy as you approach branded media, which is true. Expanding your digital footprint doesn’t happen without a plan and consistent action. But you also need to start to think differently about what your employees are doing each day.

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5 Website Features You Can Offload to Reduce Costs

February 21, 2011

The term “offload” or “offloading” in information technology and computer science refers to the transfer of something from your system to an external system. In the context of websites, your system is your website (and your Web servers/Web host), and the external system consists of third-party Web services.

Why You Should Or Shouldn’t Offload

There are advantages and disadvantages to having parts of your website catered to by third-party Web services. In order for you to decide what should and shouldn’t be on your system, let’s first talk about the pros and cons of website feature offloading.

Pros of Offloading

  • Reduced Cost: Whether it’s lower Web server costs or fewer employee hours to commit to maintenance and management, the Web solutions listed below will generally lead to cost reductions.
  • Generally Better: Third-party solutions are often built by innovative companies, which are highly regarded as experts in the products they offer. The research, talent and manpower they’re able to commit to solving problems are more than most companies can handle.
  • Faster/More Reliable Service: Companies such as Google and Yahoo have massive IT infrastructures and server farms to ensure that their services perform well and with little to no service interruption.
  • Data Security: If a site feature requires user data management (such as credit card information and phone numbers), the Web solutions mentioned below are known to have great security features

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Bringing Interactivity To Your Website With Web Standards

February 11, 2011

Adding interactivity and animations to a design ou  use canvas element and JavaScript. Some of these techniques you’ll know, others you may not have considered. Let’s start with the basics.

1. HTML and JavaScript
2. CSS3 Transitions
3. Animations With SVG
4. Animations With Canvas

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Simple Linking Strategies for Better SEO

August 2, 2010

For many small business sites, the homepage gets the most attention and is optimized the most. As such, the homepage is the one that search engines will most often link to. But by creating content-rich, properly formatted internal SEO links on other pages, you indicate to the spiders that these other pages are equally important.

This can mean that more of your pages will be indexed, that more of your key phrases show up in search engine results and that those pages will get ranked higher.

So, how do you create these valuable, internal links? Follow these easy steps …

Read full American Express OPEN FORUM article >

Top 8 Web Design Trends For 2009

July 15, 2009

Let’s first take a closer look at some of the trends we identified, discovered and observed over the last months. In this overview, you’ll find a review of each trend and more beautiful examples that can inspire you in your next project.

1. Out-of-the-box layouts
The overall creative approach is often more important and more memorable than the attention to details.

2. One-Page Layouts
Layouts that use one single page to present the content of the website.

3. Multi-Column Layouts
When designed properly, multi-column designs can be really helpful to visitors because they are given (hopefully) a better overview of the available navigation options and can more quickly find the information they are looking for.

4. Huge Illustrations And Vibrant Graphics
Illustrations have taken up much more space than before and usually supplement huge typography, and they are more attractive, more vivid and therefore more memorable to visitors.

5. More White Space Than Ever
White space dominates many designs and is used generously to improve the flow of articles and structure of websites.

6. “Social” Design Elements
Social icons are usually put all over the place, often in the top right of articles or at the bottom of the post.

7. “Speaking” Navigation
The most significant task a navigation menu has to accomplish is to unambiguously guide visitors through different sections of a website. So that visitors perceive content as being easy to navigate, the navigation is often structured with blocks of the same height and width.

8. Dynamic Tabs
One of the most popular trends in interactive design is having a tabbed area whose content can be changed dynamically.

Read full article and see examples >

80% of journalists say companies without a website are less credible.

July 1, 2009

Arketi Group, a high-tech business-to-business public relations and marketing firm, released its 2009 Arketi Web Watch Survey. The survey reveals 68 percent of journalists consider the impact of social media on BtoB reporting to be positive.

A free copy of the findings is available at www.arketi.com/surveys.

“While high-profile social media tools like blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are of interest to journalists, our findings indicate BtoB marketers should not discount tried-and-true Internet technology,” said Mike Neumeier, principal of Arketi. “Search engine optimization and building media-friendly websites site remain vital to reaching the business media.”

When asked how journalists use the Internet:

   --  95 percent say search
   --  92 percent say reading news
   --  92 percent say emailing
   --  89 percent say finding story ideas
   --  87 percent say finding news sources
   --  75 percent say reading blogs
   --  64 percent say watching webinars
   --  61 percent say watching YouTube
   --  59 percent say social networks

88% of journalists say they spend 20 or more hours a week on the Internet

85% have a LinkedIn account

55% are on Facebook

24 % tweet on Twitter.

92% of journalists say they get story ideas from news releases

85% turn to industry sources, and an equal number tap PR contacts.

12% have used Twitter to find a source or story idea.

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10 Words to Use in Your Website Copywriting

June 12, 2009

Copywriting. It’s the backbone of your website. If you don’t use the right words, you’ll never convert your visitors into paying customers. So, stop focusing on those keywords for a minute, and start focusing on using these 10 results-driven copywriting words.

1. You–This is the most important word in your website copywriting.

2. Free–People love feeling like they’re getting something for nothing. More importantly, people online are wary of losing something to a scam.

3. Guaranteed–Again, online shoppers are more cautious than traditional shoppers.

4. Easy– People love easy.

5. New–New has always been an effective buzzword.

6. Proven–Of course, new means nothing if it isn’t proven.

7. Results– Your potential customers want to know what results they can expect with your product.

8. Save– It’s not always about saving money, especially if you’re marketing yourself as a top-shelf brand.

9. Maximize– Back it up with facts that show how your reader will “maximize” the benefit.

10. Benefit–Tell your readers how they will benefit from using your product.

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