Quick Tidbit for ANY business.

April 12, 2012

Be small. Look BIG. Your website, marketing materials, photos, and advertising do not have to operate on big budgets, but nowadays, the digital marketplace makes business equal in face-size. You can be any size business you'd like to be...Look BIG, think BIG. But you can still be small. Don't be afraid!

My case in point? The Bronze Finch recently created a website for a small tax and cpa firm in Utah. The owner was impressed when we made his website make his business look big. A client of theirs said 'wow, thought you guys were a big company' and was pleasantly suprised that it was a private cpa with affordable prices.

 

Is it time for a new website?

February 23, 2012

1. if your website is over 2 years old the odds are it needs a refresh at a minimum and it may be less expensive to build a new website depending on the platform it was designed on.  

2. If your website is done completely or largely in Flash and your homepage and key pages have all Flash you probably need a new website.  In a nutshell a Flash website is invisible to Google, Bing, and other search engines and will not rank well.

3. If the information architecture and website design practices are out of date it absolutely affects your search rankings and it is often easier to do a new design than to fix an poor one.

4.  Let’s face it, it looks dated.  This is much like deciding to remodel a house, there is no absolute need for it, it’s just time for a new look or an update.

 

No More Mistakes!

January 28, 2012

My biggest pet peeve in web design?

1. I hate looking at title bars that have no title. It's just a bunch of jibberish, keywords, and massive amounts of stuffing that some web designers use because they think it will actually gain them SEO and google ranking. It doesn't. In fact, Google, Yahoo, and most major search engines DOCK YOU POINTS for doing this. And besides, it's just ugly. Can't you keep it simple? Just a nice, great title, so when I bookmark your page I remember WHY I bookmarked your page.

2. I don't mind the occasional attachment when I'm looking for extra information. For example, I am looking for prices, you give me the gist, and I need MORE. So, I download your PDF file. But too many PDF files get in the way. I can't remember where I downloaded them onto my computer, and besides, it's bad for search engines anyway. And, NO INSERTING a pdf read file onto the page via a frame. Besides, frame pages went out of style ten years ago.

3. I like knowing where links are on the page. Can you change their color away from the text color? If your text is black, use a DIFFERENT LINK COLOR. If your text is red, use blue. I like to know what is available for when I'm browsing, and where it could possibly go.

4. Seriously, I hate it when all of your text is an image. First, it's bad manners for search engines, but sometimes, I like to copy and paste your text for comparison, and if I need to make your page bigger or smaller for purposes of my bad eyesight, if your website is all images, I'm a little irked. And seriously, it's ok if it's plain text. I LIKE plain text. Stay away from the scrawly fonts, it gives me a headache.

5. Ads. Or anything that looks like an ad. If it looks like an ad, I'm not going to look. I'm not here to buy.

6. Inconsistency. If your website has 10 pages, they should all be somewhat similar. If your web pages don't connect visibly, I may mistake it for leaving your site. Or I may mistake you for being a company that doesn't appreciate the investment or a company that isn't very professional.

7. Going to a website that didn't even answer the question I was looking for. Example: I google 'things to do in Estes Park, CO' and the only thing I got was a bunch more affiliate links to OTHER websites that may or may not answer my initial question. Save me the ten minutes next time.

 

What Your Website Says about YOU

January 21, 2012
Your website opens doors to contacts you'd never imagine you'd meet.

Now more than ever, millions of people have access to your online presence, and whether you like it or not, they'll immediately judge you upon your site design.

What does your website design say about the person or business you are?

All too often the impression you think you're giving is very different to the one you actually are.
Think of just three words or traits you want to exude when people see your website design (words such as 'organized', 'friendly', 'accomplished' etc.). With those traits in mind, now take a good look at your website homepage. Is it an adequate reflection?

Getting a website right does take work and commitment. If you want it to succeed you must spend time to get it right and present the right impression to your potential customers.

Your priorities are clearly visible to every potential customer that visits your site and can therefore reveal a great deal about you like:

• your business priorities • how your organization is structured and run • whether you focus on your customers • if you are easy to deal with • your attitudes • whether you pay attention to detail • if you are trustworthy

stop outspending. start outsmarting.

Are you sending out a 'message' to your potential customers or practically posting a great big sign that says something far less desirable.

Weak text copy - text that lacks direction and order. If you decide to buy our products, fine. If you dont buy our products, fine.

No/wrong website focus - website either not focused on the customers needs or focused on the wrong things. The potential customer doesnt receive a positive and clear message about who you are, how you do business, etc.

Poor layout - poorly organised webpage/website. No clear sense of order. Lack of clear prioritizing and decision making, probably a reflection of the organisation.

Not easy to use - difficult to use website and website functions. Often these technical functions have the most sophisticated software known to man to do a particular function like buying a train ticket. Unfortunately they didnt consider how real people actually want to use the website or website functions.

Too much animation/other - extra stuff that doesn't serve any real purpose apart from distraction. We absolutely love flashing things and lots of bling...the more the better. More an experiment than a business. Big sign would read: "Our web designer is better than yours, but we really don't pay attention to user friendliness. Vegas anyone?

Difficult to contact anyone - the online equivalent to an electric fence. Typically employed by big corporations. Theyve gone to great lengths to make sure its very, very difficult to actually email anyone within the organisation. Big sign would read: "We are far too big and rich to speak to 'the little people' who actually buy and use our products. Go away!"

Did you recognise any of these from your virtual travels on the Internet? Does your site have any of them? If so, it will have a harmful affect and direct influence on your image and reputation. Make your site the best it can be.

 

New Year, Fresh Starts

January 6, 2012
We all know the New Year's Resolution to lose weight, quit smoking, spend less, etc. But have you set your business goals? Setting goals in business could have a strong reflection in your personal life and may lead to a more reflective, effective day!

Some goals to set?

1. Plan your daily posts, tweets, content creations, etc.
This means no more last-minute just thought of this kinda statements. While something tragic, nostalgic, or exciting could come up, stop with the craziness and plan to sit down and commit to this. For example: during the last 15 minutes of the workday, assign a blog post, tweet, and facebook post.

2. Garden in your website
If your web designer and developer think that stuffing meta something or another into your website will increase your ranking: well they're wrong. Your website is a garden, and you should constantly be weeding, moving, and cultivating its content. You should really read Why Content Marketing is King.

4. Nail Down Professionalism
Formatting, design, and color of your blog, newsletter, emails, website, and marketing materials must be GREAT. Take it seriously...because the majority of your web users do.

5. Create 2 projects to analyze
One of the biggest complaints for business owners is that there is very few ways (that they claim) to measure performance. What are 2 things your business can do to measure how well a project worked? For example: if you just sent direct mail pieces out, give yourself a way to measure response. Ask your web developer to anaylze the web statistics on your site to see where users are dropping off.

 

Does Web Design Count?

December 20, 2011
We DO judge a book by its cover. And yet...many businesses stop caring about what their site LOOKS like. They get 'stuck' with a designer that is able to use the program code but has no idea how to design. OR, they get scared that the new design will not be worth the money they spent.

Within milliseconds, (which is litteraly the blink of an eye) judgment has been made about YOUR business simply through its visual standard. (yes, its appeal).

This is both scientific and well...preference.
"...the strong impact of the visual appeal of the site seemed to draw attention away from usability problems. This suggests that aesthetics, or visual appeal, factors may be detected first and that these could influence how users judge subsequent experience.... Hence, even if a website is highly usable and provides very useful information presented in a logical arrangement, this may fail to impress a user whose first impression of the site was negative." - (Lindgaard 2006)

How your website is arranged, where the links are, and the color scheme matter JUST as much as how well it scrolls, whether or not it contains enough information, and how fast it works.

Sometimes, LESS IS MORE.
Fogg, B.J., Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility
Persuasive Technology Lab. Stanford University, 2002 (revised November 2003). In two surveys of over 2600 people Fogg found that a "clean, professional look" was cited by 46.1% of participants when evaluating sites for web credibility. Information Design/Structure was cited 28.5% of the time, while Information Focus was cited 25.1% of the time. While the factors varied for different types of sites, disguised advertising and popup ads, stale content, broken or uncredible links, difficult navigation, typographic errors, popup ads, and slow or unavailable sites were found to harm credibility the most.

The things you need to ask yourself?

Do you have a web designer or someone who KNOWS the web? While we would all like to save our dollars and use interns and students, the truth is, if you would like to increase your business, use a pro. There is a REASON they charge more. Designers are trained to understand how the human brain interacts with a design. GREAT DESIGNERS understand and can help you research your target market and design with AIM. Then, LISTEN to your designer. If they make a face when you mention music, that means it's not a good idea.

 

Web Marketing: Why It's Essential to Create Great Copy

December 1, 2011
Start your new year off right by giving your website a makeover. Sometimes, a little can go a long way by hiring a pro or by seriously sitting down and reviewing what your website is saying to clients. Are you saying what you want to say...the way you want to say it?

Start by looking at your competitors (the ones that you aim to be like). You should always maintain your own identity, but what are they saying about their services and products? How are they saying it? Tone and attitude go a long way with your customers.

Make sure your copy has LINKS as well. For example, a great author and resource is Glenn Murray's site www.divinewrite.com who talks about writing a website intending for superb SEO. The other thing is to keep paragraphs SHORT, get to the point FAST, and keep only 1 topic per web page.

It isn't a keyword competition, so stop worrying about whether or not you've hit the thesaurus, but make sure there are a few key worded elements so your copy is consistent with your product or service. If you're writing about construction, you won't have to hit every construction term you think of, but make sure you hit two or three key items: if you are commercial or residential, large or small, etc. Your customer or future client should walk away understand your services and products!

Your copy should anticipate questions that your reader has, and then answer them. If your copy just talks about your business, then you haven't done your job. Clients go to websites to solve their problems, not to learn about you. Learning about your company and WHY you are the right solution is the difference between a customer calling or a customer closing out your webpage.

And finally: call your client or customer to action. What do you want them to do? Define what it is, list out the benefits you are offering, and then tell them to take action. Take the day or hire a pro to turn your web copy around, and this will be a great, fresh way to start off the year for your business.

don't let bad design be your best move.

What We Do

 
Web :: Free Consultation
Xhtml/CSS, WordPress, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, SEO, Development. No flash. It's outdated. We DO offer custom web design and development.
Graphic

A creative process—involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form (i.e., printers, signmakers, etc.)—undertaken in order to convey a specific message (or messages) to a targeted audience. The term "graphic design" can also refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines that focus on visual communication and presentation. The field as a whole is also often referred to as Visual Communication or Communication Design.

Common uses of graphic design include identity (logos and branding), publications (magazines, newspapers, and books), advertisements and product packaging. For example, a product package might include a logo or other artwork, organized text and pure design elements such as shapes and color which unify the piece. Composition is one of the most important features of graphic design, especially when using pre-existing materials or diverse elements.

Branding :: Packages Available

A branding agency is a type of a marketing agency which specializes in creating and launching brands as well as rebranding. Branding agencies create, plan and manage branding strategies. Branding agencies may also handle advertising and other forms of promotion.

As with advertising agencies, typical branding agency clients come from all sectors including businesses and corporations, non-profit organisations and government agencies. Branding agencies may be hired to produce a brand strategy or, more commonly, a brand identity, which can then be output via a branding campaign, which is a type of marketing campaign.

Branding agencies create branding materials that define who a company is to their customers, differentiate the company from competitors, and communicate the unique value the company provides.

Marketing & Advertising

The process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships, in order to capture value from customers in return". For business to business marketing, it can be defined as creating value, solutions, and relationships either short term or long term with a company or brand.

Consultation

A consultant (from Latin: consultare "to discuss") is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area such as management, marketing, public affairs, communication,design, graphic design, or advertising.