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7 Web Trends to Watch for in 2015

7 Web Trends to Watch for in 2015

Beautiful, effective website design – where’s it headed? Read on for trends to keep in mind as you move forward with your website in 2015…

1. Get Responsive or Go Home.

This is the standard for web design now. A large percentage of your market is most likely viewing your site at least occasionally, on a mobile device. Fortunately the wordpress based sites we design make this simple by offering this feature as part of the package. We incorporate your design into a responsive format. Period.

 

Mobile-style web design

Mobile-style web design 

2. Mobile-style Design

Web design is beginning to move in the direction of a more enjoyable mobile experience. As a result, design is reflecting mobile elements such as: vertical design – long, scrolling pages (but better than before), simplicity, and well …

You'll find big type and better use of fonts in 2015 web design

You’ll find big type and better use of fonts in 2015 web design

3. Big Type. Nice Type.

Web font kits have become plentiful and affordable. (Amost) gone are the days of sticking with Helvetica and whatever whoever had on their computer. Now all of our sites incorporate great headline fonts. More and more we’re able to use nice looking type as part of your site design. Look forward to a more lovely readability experience in the future ­– we love pretty things!

 

Card design on the web delivers information in tasty bites

Card design on the web delivers information in tasty bites

4. Card Design

Been on pinterest? More and more websites are incorporating “card design” for photo images, blog posts, news feeds and more. The cards re-sort and restack nicely. These tasty bites provide a clean way to browse stories or items you’re selling, and are a LOT more fun to peruse than columns of type. We love a fun web experience!

 

Gorgeous background images make dull pages a happy boy

Gorgeous background images make dull pages a happy boy

5. Gorgeous background images

Show off your great content by displaying it prominently. If you’re in the outdoor industry, backdrop the glorious mountains or bike terrain. Turn a less interesting part of your site into a show-stopping display case.

 

Google’s use of flat-toned vector illustrations and icons echoes the company’s dedication to clean and modern design

Google’s use of flat-toned vector illustrations and icons echoes the company’s dedication to clean and modern design

6. Flat Design

Google has revealed its love of “flat design” for websites. Flat design means simplifying the website by keeping the essentials and removing unimportant elements such as gloss, bevels and textures. Overall we’ve seen a trend towards more simplistic design with popular operating systems. There is beauty in simplicity, just be careful not to lose your personal/emotional connection with your customer.

 

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7. Compelling Storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful approach that can convert people to your brand. I’m a big fan of telling your story with logo design. In the web world, it’s time to take that to the next level and relate to your clientele personally, to build loyalty. Be sure to transfer your logo elements into your web design for a more integrated story in your online appearance. Talk with viewers in a conversational tone, and let your personality show through in a way that your customers want to hear.

Here’s to evolving your site into a more effective sales tool for your business in 2015!

Call or email us if you’re ready for a more modern website

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Coming up with Content – Get a Jumpstart on your Website Redesign

Coming up with Content – Get a Jumpstart on your Website Redesign

So you’ve done it. You’ve made the decision to redesign your website, to bring it up to date with the latest technology and features.

You even have design ideas and have hired your favorite designer to create the “look”. Maybe you’ve even seen the first draft. Then comes the big realization: you’ve got to come up with content for your site.

Coming up with web content does not have to be like waiting in line at Walmart, pulling teeth or watching a bad chick flick. Here are some thoughts to give you a head start, so that when your designer calls for that content, you can shock them by handing it over…

1. Figure out the Goal

What’s the goal of your website? Are you booking trips? Are you educating? Are you selling cars? Every place you take a viewer should be leading them to your goal in a user-friendly manner. Figure out the goal, and keep that in mind every step of the way. There should be a “Call to Action” on every page leading them to your goal.

2. Start with the Content, Start Small

Unless you’ve booked a week away from the family in a winter cabin all by yourself, don’t try to write the whole site content at once. It can be overwhelming enough to freeze up the best of us. Make a goal to do one page at a time. Maybe one a week. Get your content together, and make it quality. Keep it simple, keep it clear. It doesn’t have to be Ernest Hemingway. Just pleasant and organized.

3. Think Like a Client

Organize what you want to say due to your client needs, not your company structure. What do they want to hear about your business that will convince them to choose you? Don’t focus on telling them all about yourself. Get them excited about what you are offering by answering their questions before they ask. Let your history, years in business and technical details be subsidiary information.

When you write each page, think about what they will be looking for first. Then second. Lead them to your goal, and make it a pleasant experience for them. Break up big paragraphs with captivating headings. Use videos, photos, podcasts and graphics in key places that make sense, to make the experience palatable.

Don’t waste their time by creating unnecessary pages. Keep your site clean and efficient and provide valuable information. Your viewers will appreciate it, and your search engine rankings will show the results.

4. Extra credit

If you have the budget, we’ll hire out search engine gurus to sprinkle key words for search engines throughout your text. However, as you’re writing, keep in mind terms viewers may be searching for to find businesses such as yours. For example, if you sell health care services, include terms specific to your industry such as “teeth whitening”  or “crown repair”. Not just general terms like “dental health”. Speak specifically to what folks will search for, and what you are selling. Just remember not to let search engine language drive your content. Good, human content comes first.

5. Use Savvy Nav

Once your content is written, coming up with your site navigation will make more sense.  There are lots of ways to determine the navigation of your site…

  • Notecards – use 3” x 5” note cards and write a page on each of these . Then sort them into stacks of what topic goes with what. Now put the most important one on top to determine the main navigational link. You might also have a few “test” people go through your notecards and give their feedback on what navigation makes sense to them as well.
  • Spreadsheet – If you have a larger site with more pages, you may want to create a content inventory in a Microsoft spreadsheet. This should include links to each page and a sentence about what will be on each page.
  • Creative Brainstorming – Drawing with markers is fun. Tacking papers/sticky notes up to a bulletin board and moving these around can be a more creative, fun way to play with your site structure. This is a great way to get the ideas flowing, and is often a great way to start the process, allowing for creative brainstorming with your group. Once you begin to nail down the site structure, you can move to the spread sheet.

5. Give links clear names.

Don’t be cute on your main links. Clients need to know exactly where they are going. Be respectful of their time, and don’t lose them. For example, “News” is better than “Tidbits”. They might not know what Tibits means.

Relax, You’re Done

If you give yourself enough time and a little head start, the process of coming up with your web content can be a breeze. Coupled with the stunning website design your designer is working on, you’ll have a fantastic site that will keep users coming back for more.

Be sure to ask Dayzign if you need help with any of your site content – we have great resources for writing and editing! (970)275-5186

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Boost your Site with a Custom Google Map

Boost your Site with a Custom Google Map


View TOWN OF RIDGWAY, COLORADO, Art District and Creative Industries in a larger map

Google maps are far more than a HOW TO for finding your favorite restaurant.

Custom Google maps increase your website user’s experience by adding richer, more interactive content. Vineyards can plot wineries, towns can plot walking tours, guiding services can plot adventure locations – all with photos, text, links and all of googles’ zooming and interactive capabilities.

Recently, Dayzign Graphics was contracted to build a Creative District Brochure, to serve as a marketing piece for the Town of Ridgway’s newly designated Colorado status. As a centerpiece for the brochure and it’s future website, we built a custom google map plotting all of the galleries, studios and creative venues.

Beyond walking around town with a brochure in hand, tourists can now conjur up the map on their phones and mobile devices, and find out where the Art Galleries and restaurants are in town, read descriptions, and even see photos.

The map has the added benefit of search engine boosting for the town, as the town strives to increase its tourist and creative based economy.

Custom Google maps are great for adding to any organization or corporate website, to further enhance your site’s interactivity and illustrate all you have to offer. Rich content is what keeps your viewers coming back.

Keep your eye out for the Town of Ridgway Creative District Website – coming later this year!

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Three Ingredients to Outranking your Competition in Search Engines

Three Ingredients to Outranking your Competition in Search Engines

SEO is a Marathon and not a Sprint

Search Engine Optimization is a marathon, not a sprint

Search Engine Optimization is a marathon, not a sprint

Today’s post is a guest blog by Chris Sharpe of SharpNET Solutions. Chris works with many Dayzign clients to improve their search engine ranks – and they rave about him! Read on to get his advice on how to improve your search engine rankings …

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of interacting with a website to improve search engine rankings for relevant search phrases. While this can be a wildly complicated process, there are some simple steps to take that can make a big impact on your search engine visibility.

There are three main components to search engine ranking, and why one website may outrank another.

1)     Content Optimization: The content on your website and how it communicates to people and the search engines. The primary components are the readable content, and META tags (Title and Description).

2)     PageRank: The popularity of your website, and how many other websites link to it. This also includes any “social media buzz” about your website.

3)     Quality: User interaction with your website in response to the generally quality or likability. The “quality” of your website includes things like the quality of the content or if there is duplicate content. The “likability” includes the ease of use for your visitors, how long they stay on the site and if they continue searching after visiting your website.

The best ranked websites out-rank competitor websites through a combination of the three primary factors listed above.  So… how can a business owner easily improve these key SEO factors?

Improving Content Optimization –

Of the three primary factors impacting SEO, content optimization is the easiest to implement and a few key concepts can help you on your way.  The primary thing to understand is that the search engines cannot easily rank a website for keywords that do not exist on the website. For example, a company offering Home Loans cannot capture “home loan” rankings on Google if their website doesn’t talk about “Home Loans.”  Think about the phrases that you would like to be found under when prospects are searching on a search engine. Incorporate those search phrases within the content of your website in a natural and tactful manner, so that it reads well. Then support that keyword further by incorporating it within the page META TITLE and Description tags.  (We can help with this part). Keep a narrow focus on only a few closely related keywords, so that the search engines understand which keywords are most important to you.

*Content Optimization Tip:

All content on the internet can be optimized, not just your website. The practical application of content optimization and keyword targeting applies to your blog posts, press releases, articles, social media posts, business profiles and anything else accessible to the search engines.

Improving PageRank:

Google assigns a PageRank value to every web page in the world… billions. PageRank is a scoring factor between 0 and 10, which works much like the Richter scale of an earthquake.  Only 3 websites are PageRank 3, being Google, Twitter and Facebook, whereas most websites are PageRank 1.  PageRank is on a logarithmic scale (factors of 10) so moving from a PageRank of 3 to 4 requires 10 times more PageRank. PageRank is best improved by having quality websites link to your website, which is hard to accomplish. A good place to start is by finding business directories, which can be national directories, or directories that represent your community or your industry. Be sure that these business listings allow a link pointing back to your website. Engaging in social media, blogs/forums that represent your industry, and other digital engagements will also be very helpful, but only if you have a link pointing back to your website.

Improving Website Quality:

Face it, the quality of your website matters. Just like you would feel uncomfortable shopping at a filthy grocery store, people will be turned off by a low quality website. What is surprising to people is that Google has a very good understanding of what is and is not a quality website.  In this competitive marketplace, it is not enough just to say “pick me!”  Your website must offer value to the customer, provide a professional image, contain unique and useful content, and offer something that your competitors cannot. Whatever time you invest into your website, your website will give back, providing that you take care of the PageRank and Content Optimization tasks outlined above.

By simply understanding what is important to a search engine, you can begin to improve in those areas. Try to pay attention to your website and slowly but surely tackle these key areas for SEO improvement. A slow-paced but methodical, long-winded approach works best. SEO is a marathon, and not a sprint.

Three Ingredients to Outranking your Competition in Search Engines” was crafted by Chris W. Sharp, President of SharpNET Solutions, an SEO marketing firm based in Colorado.

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Key Web Design Trends for 2013

Key Web Design Trends for 2013

dayzign graphics responsive web design

Responsive Web Design adapts to varying screen sizes

2013 is all about usability, content and modern style. There are many trends for where web design is headed this year, here are our top picks:

Responsive Web Design

With more and more tablets and smart phones on the market, an increased share of your viewers are seeing your website on a mobile device. To build a website for each screen size would be costly.

Responsive web design solves this problem by adapting to various screen sizes with one fluid design. These designs neatly distribute content across a wide variety of mobile devices.  To see an example visit www.kelliedayart.com

If you’re making the investment this year to update your site, make it worthwhile by building a Responsive site. WordPress websites have excellent mobile themes that Dayzign Graphics can customize with your company’s visual brand.

Translating Branding through the Website

People should be able to recognize your brand in seconds. In 2013 designers will focus more on selecting design elements that will translate your business and brand through your website. This includes incorporating your company colors, typography and logo throughout more and more aspects of your site.

As web templates increase in popularity, you can leverage this trend by strengthening your visual brand throughout your website, to stand out in your market.

Typography – A Website Foundation

Which fonts to use for your site is no longer a small decision. Designers now have many web fonts to choose from, and the fonts you use will play a large part in how your site looks, and the hierarchy of how you lead viewers through your content. In other words: type creates a map for your message.

Quality Content – Get higher Search Engine Rankings

Google has changed its algorhythm to place more emphasis on quality content. This means it’s no longer enough to simply optimize your web pages for search engines. In order to build rank with google and build trust with your customers, web owners must create valuable, share-worthy content that shows off your expertise. This can include blogging, pod-casting, newsletters, and video.

Share worthwhile information with your viewers and improve the lives of the people you reach.

Contact Dayzign Graphics to discuss incorporating these trends into your website: kellie@dayzigngraphics.com

 

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