Aug 11 - Are you thinking about implementing a new web design? Then think about this—web designs have expiration dates. The typical life span is no more than two to three years tops for organizations that want to maintain a current look and feel. Given this fact, many organizations are moving away from the long, drawn out and often expensive agency redesigns of yesteryear in favor of a more nimble approach to web design...
Jul 28 - Behind every organization’s website is a marketer that struggles every day with content chaos. Much of the chaos is rooted in the idea that you have to have deliver a smorgasbord of fresh and relevant information that satisfies the needs of all site visitors—whether prospects, customers, partners, employees, etc. It’s a huge amount of work that places a burden on the marketers tasked with creating the content, and the site visitors who must sift through it all to find exactly what they’re looking for.
May 15 - Marketers often know instinctively what improvements need to be made to a website in order to get better results. Knowing these things and using them as arguments to secure budget from a CEO or CFO for website improvements, however, will never fly. Financially-minded executives don’t think like that.
Other Recent Blog Posts
Marketers often know instinctively what improvements need to be made to a website in order to get better results. Knowing these things and using them as arguments to secure budget from a CEO or CFO for website improvements, however, will never fly. Financially-minded executives don’t think like that.
If you are considering a website redesign, this probably isn’t your first rodeo. In fact, this is more likely your firm’s third or fourth website redesign if you’ve been keeping up with the times. You know that website redesigns can be expensive, not even taking into account the amount of time and effort involved. But, if you’ve started to investigate web design firms, you’ve no doubt realized that prices have gone up.
I’ve thought a lot about why responsive design is so crucial today. There are plenty of opinions out there. Folks, it’s not about the mobile devices. It’s about the user plain and simple.
When was the last time you saw someone—anyone—without a mobile device in their hand or next to their ear? Perhaps that's a bit extreme, but do you know anyone who does not own a cell phone or tablet? The answer to that question is the heart of why responsive design is such a big deal. If your website isn’t already responsive, here are a few compelling reasons why it must be—and soon.
Faceted Taxonomy: Creating a Better User Experience through Information Discovery
While the concept of providing quality online content to your end user has not changed over the years, the way end users consume your online content has. You do need to start evolving your online content communication from a traditional one way, top down approach to an engaging, two-way conversation while still maintaining the quality. For companies and brands – consumers have the last say and can - in an instant - create the biggest rain cloud over your parade.
Last week I was on vacation. And by vacation, I mean an off the grid, no-work-contact-whatsoever kind of vacation. Nada. But just because I was gone doesn’t mean that nothing was happening on the digital marketing front while I was away.
SEO is one of those topics that intimidate most marketers for the simple fact that the equation changes so frequently. One minute you think you have cracked the code and poof! Google comes out with a new algorithm and you must re-learn and adjust accordingly.
This morning, I was sitting on my sofa sipping coffee and listening to a dove coo. It got me thinking about the importance of experiences. Little things like the sound of a dove made my morning especially nice. But what if I was hearing impaired?
I am my own customer. Here at PaperThin, we’re in the midst of rolling out a new site. No, not a new PaperThin.com. This will be the fourth generation of a website that has never, and will never, be pressed into production...yet all customers and prospects will want to use it, making it of critical importance. It’s our Demo site. We’re pouring as much energy into this as we would for a customer implementation.
How do you make a website great? Ask a different person and you will get a different answer. Interactivity is huge. Design, branding, personalization, navigation, and so on—all are of equal importance. But a well designed and easy to navigate website alone won't drive new business, optimize your site for search engines, help you communicate with customers across multiple channels, or drive leads. It's not the glass…it's what's in it that counts. A pretty glass with nothing exciting in it is meh. Fill the pretty glass with Gin, tonic, ice, a clove, a few halved kumquats, and a basil leaf and now it's getting interesting.
You know the saying, "if I had a nickel every time I heard that, I'd be rich"…… well working in Sales here at PaperThin, it's not uncommon to hear "I already have a web content management system" when reaching out to new prospects. Yeah I know, some of these people are probably just trying to get me off the phone—no worries, it's all good.
Time after time, I speak with prospects and customers trying to work out the fundamental details of how to best get their content on the Web. For most, it's solved by using a solid content and experience management system. But even with the best system in place, some organizations can't get out of their own way. That is because the management of the user experience is a complex science. It takes the creative and strategic mind of the marketer, combined with the cutting edge technical skills of developers and IT departments. And that is where most power struggles begin.
"If I have to cook the dinner, why can't Ishop for the groceries?" - Bill Parcels
Even non-football fans can relate to that quote. Take control of your own destiny. Don't get sidelined by someone else's agenda, to do list, preferences, or priorities. Giving up control can cost you the win. Doesn't it go to follow then that marketers—ultimately responsible for digital marketing results—own the website and the tools that manage it?
Earlier this month, I wrote a post on getting started with responsive design, including basic design factors and aspects, current examples, and questions to consider. Responsive design is the process of developing your website so that the site can re-format and re-size itself according to the user's screen resolution.
When it comes to the future of website design, smart devices (phones and tablets) are quickly becoming top factors in determining design approach. In order to be mobile or tablet optimized, you have a few options at your disposal.
All eyes are on the storm clouds as the Northeast prepares for a blizzard today. Dubbed Nemo, this one is going to hit hard, according to all accounts. But web managers can only relax this morning if they know their web site is safe and sound. And for many, that means a different kind of cloud.
OK, this may give away my age, but I can remember a time when a snow day like the one we are having today meant your company was closed for business. Not so today. Most of us can now work from home, which is exactly what I am doing. As I sit here on my sofa snuggled under my down comforter waiting for "Stormageddon" to strike, I'm actually being pretty productive. I'm chatting with co-workers using Skype, accessing my work via Google Docs, reading emails, writing this blog post, and I'm working on CommonSpot to make edits to my website. I can pretty much do anything that I can do at work—from home.
Don’t let your CMS get in the way of your SEO strategy. When choosing a CMS, you need to consider, instead, how it’s going to help. It doesn’t matter how good your site is, a majority of your traffic will come from organic searches on search engines, so SEO has to be the first and last thing you think about when managing your online content. It should also be among the top considerations when selecting a CMS. Here are some of the most important things to look for.
Sorry, I couldn’t avoid the cliche title. It seems nobody can. It’s safe to say that no recent technology term has infiltrated our vocabulary so quickly and abundantly. Everywhere you look, companies are offering products and services in “the cloud”. How deep into the clouds are you?
Like many, every New Year inevitably arrives with a few extra holiday pounds. And like many, each year one of my resolutions is to rid myself of any evidence of the holiday feasts upon my waistline. A lot of the time, it's wishful thinking. As humans, we dream big and often fail to commit to living up to the dream. So this year, no resolutions. My mantra instead will be "Just for today" which takes the pressure off of the hard-to-reach end goal, and makes me instead focus on what I can do each day to achieve my goals. There is, however, real value in taking stock of where you are today in both your personal and professional lives. As a digital marketer, this means reviewing all of your digital assets and looking at them with a critical eye.
The difference between a static website and a site that uses personalization is dramatic. Static websites present the same content to every site visitor, and visitors find what they want to view using search and navigation. For more complex sites, unearthing or 'pulling' the right information can be very time-consuming. Personalized websites, however, anticipate a site visitor's needs and 'push' personally-relevant content to them at the right moment based on their interests or the context of their visit, expediting their way through your site.
If you have a web site, then you have a mobile web site. Whether you intend it or not, people are viewing your site with mobile devices. Your CMS can handle it, but can your design? Mobile design techniques are evolving at a rapid rate, and people are doing things today that weren’t even imagined two years ago.
If social media is not done correctly, the consequences could be ugly. As marketers, we go to huge efforts to get consumer's attention. That consumer can be your biggest fan or your worst critic depending on how well you execute. And it only takes one angry customer with a blog to do real damage to your brand's reputation. So how do you avoid the angry-customer-screaming-at-the-top-of-their-lungs-via-every-digital-channel scenario?
If you are not empowering your raving fans in social media then you are failing. Brand awareness in all digital channels is how you reach the next phases of consumers. Communities build brand awareness and help spread your story and overall message to the masses. The question you’re asking now is...
How to effectively communicate your brand and organize incredible brand marketing are not easy tasks. Branding correctly is critical. Consumers can become easily overwhelmed and confused by the simplest change in font, color or logo. Building brand loyalty starts with creating an interesting and noticeable brand as well as rich, organized, and dynamic content. Not overwhelming a user is something that Abercrombie & Kent prides themselves on.