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Serious web tips for playful businesses…

Serious web tips for playful businesses…

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzky

Here are some website tips and inspirations that have come across our desk this year.

i skate to where the puck is going, not where it's been - gretskyBlogging Tips:

  • Be dynamic: No one likes a static site, and a quick and easy way to make sure you don’t have a static site is to add a blog to it. A blog is a superb way to keep your site content fresh. You can use it as a News column, Events column, Tips, and  much more!
  • Before writing a new blog post, write down the main thing you want your blog to accomplish. Think about this each time you write a post.
  • Add a photo to your blog post – It’s more likely to be read.
  • Add Share buttons – Give folks a chance to share your blog post with one easy click to their facebook, twitter or preferred social network.
  • Break up big chunks of text. Blog readers skim. Make sure your posts and pages are easy to digest.
  • Comment on your favorite 5 blogs. This brings traffic back to your blog when folks click on your name to see who you are. It also develops your blogging community.

Website Tips:

  1. Understand your viewers: Make sure you have Google Analytics built into your site and get to know your stats. If you aren’t sure how to read your site analytics, ask Dayzign to help you. Google Analytics shows you where your web traffic is coming from – be it search engines, referral sites or direct traffic. AND it shows you which pages folks are going to, how long they stay, where on the globe they’re from and more. Put your marketing money in a researched direction by getting to know your site analytics.

Social Networking Tips:

Branding has reached social networking. Now you can customize a Facebook Welcome page. You can also setup your own backgrounds on your Youtube Channel. Barack Obama did it. Chipotle did it. It’s cool and here’s how:

  1. How to customize your business Facebook page with a Welcome page: http://thesocialskinny.com/how-to-create-a-facebook-welcome-page-and-get-more-fans/
  2. How to customize your Youtube Channel: http://www.squidoo.com/how_to_customize_your_YouTube_channel#module11166617

And Finally, Some Inspiration from Steve Jobs:

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on … – Steve Jobs, 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech

Here’s to you finding great inspiration in your work this fall and winter … don’t settle.

To discover how to implement any of these tips into your site, contact Dayzign Graphics.

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Web Design Trends for 2011

Web Design Trends for 2011

2011 web trends

Want to keep up with the latest design trends on your business’ website? Below are just a few of the predicted web design trends for 2011 …

  • Clean, simple, web design with high attention to detail  – distinctive icons, big beautiful typography, and elegant design
  • Simple, clean color schemes
  • Flash-only sites are on their way out. Although integration of some flash graphics into your regular site can be lovely. (see San Juan Mountain Guide’s new compass navigation)
  • Increasing depth perception in graphics. (You may have this now with shadows and photoshop effects)
  • Large photo backgrounds that are content-appropriate. These should not overshadow your content, but be in harmony with it.
  • More emphasis will be placed on nice fonts as the possibilities increase for font use on the web – although not all browser versions support it, their time is coming
  • In the very near future, think: designing for touch screens, and liquid layouts that can go from horizontal to vertical layout. Sound like fun? I’m excited!
  • Increased focus on the constant connection through “life stream” social media, where users are more visible and website are no longer so sterile
  • More of a need to have a mobile version of your website for smart phones. Many companies need to be doing this now, depending on their audience
  • Stronger interaction for a richer viewer experience
  • More design dollars being spent on having a bigger web presence for your brand – branding is still of the utmost importance for a business, however many of the former print dollars will be spent on carrying the business brand through website design and social media design over print

If you have any questions on these trends or would like to integrate some of them into your website, give us a call. OR if your website is standing still and needs a boost with an easier-to-update format, better stream of information and better graphics, we can help. Our custom WordPress Websites make it easy for you to have all this and more. (970)626-4437 or email Kellie.

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2011 Tips for a Great Website Redesign

2011 Tips for a Great Website Redesign

website redesign imageGood design conveys that your product is good. And I’m a firm believer in that. If you are heading into the new year thinking about a website redesign, or even if you’re not, here are a few tips.

1)   Know your goals –

Know your site goals and design the site’s functionality around that. Don’t complicate the site, distract viewers and increase the budget by adding functionality that doesn’t lead to your end goal.

2)   Communicate, communicate, communicate –

Your designer doesn’t undertand the ins and outs of your product or service, and you may not understand the effect layout or color palette has on a website viewer. Keep the lines of communication open with all parties all the time. The better the designer and client understand eachother, the better the results of the project will be.

3)   Research and Conquer –

I like to tell clients that the best way to obtain their ideal website is to research their favorite elements of other websites, such as slide show, navigation, layout, etc, and combine them all into their ideal site. This takes research, so if you know your redesign is coming up, keep your eyes peeled, and bookmark your favorites so you can show your designer when the time comes.

4)   Happiness is a formula –

Want to be happy with the end website result? Discuss your expectations up front. Including design, timeline, budget, and your business goals.

5)   Think about the future of your business –

Don’t forget to share your longer term growth plans with your designer as well, so the site can be designed for expansion. No one ever took over the world without a plan.

Interested in discussing your website redesign with Dayzign Graphics?

We offer a complementary consultation. Call or email today to discuss your upcoming design project. The first 30 minute consultation is on us! (970) 626-4437.

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Today’s Website Experience: Make it Sticky

Today’s Website Experience: Make it Sticky

Websites today are far more interactive than they were two years ago. Get your viewers to stick around your site by adding a few “sticky” features.

No longer is it enough to put up a wonderful website, park it on the internet and wait for viewers. Today’s viewers are looking for dynamic content, new information and interactive features. In fact, more viewers are turning to blogs and social media for information than websites.

Yes, a website is a prerequisite for professionalism in business. However to be truly effective with your website, consider these features for developing your online community:

  • Blog. Set a regular schedule to create a blog post once a week, or even once a month to bring regular news or events to your viewers. Your posts can be automatically fed into your home page or even categorized and fed to relevant pages.
  • Multi-media. Include multi-media such as videos, podcasts, and photos. You can upload your own videos on a youtube.com type site and embed them in your site with some simply instruction.
  • E-Newsletters. Reach out to your viewers from time to time and provide them with information that is valuable to them in a brief format. Be sure not to overdue it, with all the spam out there you’re sure to get overlooked. However, create a valuable resource in your newsletter and viewers will look forward to your quick bit of information that’s going to enhance their world.
  • Grow your Market. Be sure to capture email addresses with a Join Our Mailing list box on your site.
  • Social Media. Create a fan page for your business on Facebook and link it to your website. Having social media is today’s sophisticated Chamber of Commerce. It can enhance your website and increase your referral base. The accepted ratio for social media interaction, including twitter, is to provide valuable information to your viewers 80% of the time and promote yourself 20%. No time for social media? Check out The Gossip Genie, she’s ready to handle all your blogging and tweeting for you!
  • RSS Feeds. These are syndicated news feeds of any topic that can be found on the web. You can subscribe to them and feed them many of them into your website. Find a news feed that’s relevant to your business, and you’re now enriching your viewers’ experience by providing them with more information they want. For example, a tourist area might feed the local weather in.

Give your viewers a reason to stick around and develop a deeper relationship with your business. All of these features and MANY more will add interest and interactivity to your site, enriching your customer’s experience. It can take a while to build a sale, particularly for larger items, and building the relationship makes the difference in their choice.

Want to add some stickiness to your site?

With a Worpress website and custom design by Dayzign, all of these features can be  integrated into one, easy to update website. Your visual brand will shine and your user experience will be worth their while. Contact us to discuss ways to improve your website: [email protected] or [970] 626-4437.

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Tips for Planning your Website Design

Tips for Planning a Successful Website:

No matter how great your website looks, if it doesn’t provide visitors with the information they want, in an organized manner, then it will fail. To ensure that form follows function, sit down and think about the following things before meeting with your designer to discuss your website:

Know the components of a successful website:

PROPER PLANNING
Planning is the most crucial phase of creating a successful website. By designing a well-organized site, you can move visitors through your pages to where you want them to go, and eventually lead them to a sale.

Some things to think about before you start:

  • What is the purpose of the website? To make a sale? To educate?
  • How will you reach this goal?
  • What valuable information will you provide them with to ultimately gain their interest? You must provide visitors with information that they want, in an easy-to-follow manner, in order for them to take a step closer to becoming your customer.
  • What is the message of the site? To show them you’re an expert and worth hiring? To show off a product or service?
  • Who are you trying to reach? The look and feel of the site will play a large role in who you attract.

What is your site content comprised of?

All of your site content should be organized in a fashion that leads visitors to your ultimate goal, such as a sale. Some of your site content will lead directly to a sale, such as an order form. Other parts of your site will be designed to lead up to a sale, by convincing them that your product or service will meet their needs. And still other parts may be information that you would like to share because it adds value to your site and attracts visitors.

Some things to think about when deciding upon your content:

  • Think about the categories you wish to cover within your website. What do you want to tell your market? This information is crucial in structuring your site. For example: Information about your Products/Services, Customer Service, Educational Aspects of your business, Location if you are trying to attract visitors to your area, Ordering Information, your Expertise, your Company History, etc.
  • Who does your site need to serve or appeal to? Will there be a section for different types of buyers or clientele? Will there be employees using the site?
  • What information will be of interest to your market and keep them coming back to your site?

Get the Most from your Designer

Follow these steps to a successful designer/client website meeting:

  • Spend some time before meeting with your designer reviewing websites on the internet.
  • Write down a list of sites that you like and don’t like, and why, so that your designer can have a more accurate idea of your taste.
  • Create a rough flow chart of information that you wish to convey through your website. Your designer can help you refine this and make it web-friendly.
  • Have an idea of what your budget allows: do you want to have a large, comprehensive site with a full search engine package and professional illustration, or will a smaller, efficient website be effective to start with?
  • Let your designer know your plans: knowing how the website needs to grow is an important aspect of planning the initial website design.

Promoting your Site

Now that your website is LIVE you need to attract visitors to your site. The completion of a new website is a great reason to touch base with old clients, and outreach to new ones. This can be done with an effective website marketing plan, including the following:

  • effective search engine programming
  • email marketing campaign
  • social networking, such as blogs, facebook, etc
  • direct mail or advertising campaigns
  • and more, just ask Dayzign!

“A good marketer uses every newsworthy opportunity to outreach to their market.”

Dayzign can help you plan your website promotions, and ensure that all of your company materials are in sync for the most professional presentation possible.

For proper planning, have a good idea of what your budget will allow. You may consider sitting down with Dayzign to plan a year-long campaign. Or, for a more thorough analysis of your company’s marketing needs, Dayzign can refer you to a marketing firm.

Contact Dayzign for more ideas on creating the perfect website for your business, or for a complementary estimate today.

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A Little Heart and Soul for Your Website

A Little Heart and Soul for Your Website

Kahtoola has a cutting edge winter adventurer product with patented technology. They need their market to know.

Kahtoola is a warm company with a lot of heart and enthusiasm for making high performance snowshoe and crampon systems. Much like Danny Giovale, who founded the company on his own adventures and need for better equipment, many of Kahtoola’s employees are outdoor enthusiasts and equipment connoisseurs.

Giovale and staff work hard to develop great products with patented technology and they wanted their website to reflect just that. Dayzign Graphics, and its group of talented partners, collaborated with Giovale and staff to program and design a website that conveys Kahtoola’s commitment and vision.

Lots of great features now enhance the company’s site. Today, Kahtoola.com browsers can engage with interactive flash slide shows. The flash graphics allow viewers to rollover each product’s photos and read more about the company’s superior technology.

Additionally, video pop up windows show product how-to’s, and sophisticated shopping capabilities make it easy to purchase products.

Dayzign’s team effort ensures that specialists in web building and graphic design are on-hand with the expertise needed to create the ideal website. The result is a site that speaks to the market and lets the heart of the product shine.

“We’re loving the new site!” Says Danny.

Kahtoola is definitely the company you can trust. Learn more about their winter travel systems here.

Thanks to Jen Saunders, Paul Berg, Jesse Waitz and Jason Nelson for their incredible talent on this project.

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