Build Trust

Build trust with your website

The priorities of small businesses  are usually centered around profit making and customer acquisition activities such as sales, marketing and customer service. All of these areas are important to business success and can directly affect revenue generation. It is therefore no surprise that they command a lot of attention. There is also a more subtle method of attracting customers to your business that can have a huge impact on how your business is perceived. It all begins with using your website to build trust.

Your website is an ideal tool for getting your brand message out. It is under your control and can be utilized in a manner that fits with your business objectives. You can use it to maintain the type of image that you desire. A good reputation is a very powerful marketing tool that encourages referrals. There are many ways that you can use your website to build trust in your business and we will explore a few of them.

Build trust with official channels of communication

Chat buttonYour website is one of your most important tools for creating and maintaining a trustworthy line of communication. It is a channel that any stranger looking for your business online can find. It is also very easy to refer people to it.  When information comes from your official website it is regarded as more credible than other external sources. Think about it. If you want to know the opening hours of a local store would you trust the store’s website or a third party website more? To maintain this level of trust it is imperative that your website is current and regularly updated.

Blogs, news and press releases

You can keep the public abreast of what is going on with your business in many ways on your website. You can run a blog to share stories and information and foster discussions. You can also have a news section of your site where you make announcements and publish press releases.

Email Forms

Forms on your website allow customers to send an email directly to your company with as little hassle as necessary. There is no need to log in to a separate email account or worry about sending the message to the right email address. The form can also be customized to guide customers to submit only the specific information that your business will need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Providing a list of frequency asked questions and official responses to these questions can help customers find answers to questions on their own. This may reduce the amount of time you need to spend answering these questions and provides a consistent answer that anyone in your company can refer to.

Testimonials

Testimonials are a great way to share what your actual customers think about your business with the public. Since it is written in the voice of the customer and not the business it may be regarded as less biased. Customers in doubt may also find the opinions and experiences of other customers helpful in making a purchasing decision.

Build trust with signs of security

Shield PadlockBefore customers consider making a purchase from your website they want to be reassured that the website is genuine. They also want to know that their financial and other data is transmitted securely. With the proliferation of online scams and unscrupulous business practices customers are more concerned about privacy and data security. Fortunately there are many methods that you can use to reassure your customers and potential customers that your website is secure.

Security Certificates

One of the best ways to reassure customers that your website is secure is to secure the data they transmit via your website. This can be done by using an SSL Certificate to validate that your business is authentic and that the data transmitted between your website and the customer is encrypted. This provides a visual cue that customers can identify in their web browsers.

Policies and Terms of Service

Honesty also pays a huge part in gaining the trust of your target audience. Users of your website may want to know how their data is being used and who has access to it.  It is important to address these concerns in a privacy policy. If you are providing a commercial service with rules and restrictions that customers should know about it is wise to also have a Terms of Service page on your website.

Easily Accessible Contact Information

Although a website is a powerful tool, it may not be enough to gain everyone’s trust. It is not unusual for people to seek out more information about the company or people involved with the company. They may want to have an actual voice conversation or even visit the business in person. Visitors may become skeptical if the company’s contact information seems obscured or difficult to find.

Conclusion

Building trust in your business is not about using clever tactics to appear a certain way to the general public. It is about transparency and allowing the core values of your business to be expressed in your brand’s own voice. Visitors to your website can then make their own assessment based on the information you have provided. Your business processes should always aim to build trust  and your website is a wonderful tool to start with. Trust is also a precursor to customer loyalty which is also good for business.

 

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Google Analytics Featured

Tech Tip: Opt-out of Google Analytics tracking

Google Analytics Opt-OutWebsites use various methods to gather statistics about visitors in a process known as web analytics. This allows website owners to monitor the performance of their  website over time. While this is a useful feature which helps  website owners tailor content to better suit the specific needs of visitors there may be some visitors who do not want their  visits to be tracked or more specifically not want their visits to be tracked by companies with large stores of data such as Google.

Google Analytics is one of the most popular web analytics tools out there and we use it to analyze our website traffic and discover what is working and what needs to be improved on our own websites. While we do not share visitors’ personal information, not everyone wants to be tracked by Google Analytics due to privacy concerns or just personal preference. Fortunately there is a way to opt-out of  tracking from Google Analytics on all websites with a browser add-on.

If you do not want your visits to be recorded on websites that contain the Google Analytics tracking code you can download the official Google Analytics opt-out add-on. The add-on is available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Apple Safari and Opera. This solution works not only for our websites but also for any other website that uses the javascript Google tracking code.

While we utilize web analytics to gain information about or website visitors and learn how to better serve them we also believe that their privacy is of utmost importance. If you do not want to be tracked by websites using the Google Analytics tracking code this solution may be ideal for you.

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Buffer

Tech Tip: Use Buffer to curate and share content on social media

Buffer ScreenshotSocial media marketing can be overwhelming for anyone pressed for time or anyone that is not able to post to social media sites at the ideal times. Buffer is a great app for finding and sharing content on social media sites that can simplify your social media marketing.

Queues

Using Buffer you can  utilize predefined times to post to social media websites or create your own. Then you can add both original and curated content to a queue to be posted automatically at the relevant time. You can also manually rearrange the order of items in the queue.

Suggestions

Another great thing about Buffer is that it offers suggestions of curated content that you may be interested in sharing. You can easily add desired content to your queue to be posted at a later time.

Getting Started

You can sign up for Buffer by creating an account using your email address or by associating it to a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account. The free version of Buffer restricts you to only one account per network while you can connect up to 10 in the paid version. The free version also limits you to 10 posts in your queue while the paid version raises this limit to 100.

Buffer is available on the web from the Buffer website or as an app for Android and iOS. You can also download the buffer extension for Firefox or Chrome to be able to add content from any site you are visiting to your buffer queue via a Buffer button in the browser.

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Design Variety

A variety of designs for a variety of needs

Clients

It is sometimes difficult to classify the kind of services that SeizerStyle Designs offers. While we specialize in graphic designs, web design and digital marketing each of these are broad categories. Many clients come to us with specific needs that may span one, two or even all of these categories. Sometimes we are asked to design something we have never designed before. Other times we are asked to put a new spin on an old idea. Each job is a test of creativity and applied knowledge as well as a learning experience.

It is very likely that a newly established brand will need a website, some promotional graphics and some form of marketing to raise awareness of the brand’s existence. There are also very specific jobs such as a wedding program that has to be “perfect” to fully capture that special moment. The specifics of a job may change but t is ultimately a process of using design to solve a client’s problem.

You know what you want

We believe that our clients have an idea of what they want even if they may not know exactly how they want it designed. Some clients have stricter requirements than others but it is the job of the designer to take these requirements and provide a service that all parties can be satisfied with. In designing we do not only do what the clients thinks is best but we apply our experience and research to advise clients on what works and what doesn’t. Through this process time and effort is saved on concepts that do not fit the client’s needs or that do not follow good design principles.

We deliver variety

Since each job is different we have to be flexible and constantly improving. Different brands, moods and company images demand different approaches. Small businesses usually use a more personalized approached while large businesses usually use a more standard approach. Despite this we must be cautious of hasty generalizations  and adapt to each client’s needs. Designing according to the job requires an understanding of both the company requesting the job and the specifics of the job.

We know our limits

Although we strive at performing various jobs  we are not best suited for all jobs. Knowing our limits allows us to avoid jobs that are beyond our scope. If we are not confident that we can pull off a job we will respectfully decline to take it and save everyone’s time. We are however constantly pushing the limits of what kind of jobs we are comfortable designing.

Are we right for you?

The best way to find out if our services meet your needs is to request a quotation. You can also explore our portfolio for samples of jobs we have already completed.

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Reserve Windows 10

Reserve your free copy of Windows 10

Windows 10 IconWindows 10 will be released on  July 29,  2015 and qualifying owners of Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 can reserve a free copy of Microsoft’s new operating system. If you own an eligible device you may have already noticed a Get Windows 10 app prompting you to reserve your free copy of Windows 10. The offer is valid until July 29, 2016. When Windows 10 is available it will be automatically downloaded and you will be prompted to install the upgrade.

Features of Windows 10

  • The Start Menu is back
  • New Microsoft Edge browser
  • Snap up to 4 apps on the desktop
  • Cortana personal assistant

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Antivirus Solutions

Tech Tip: Compare antivirus solutions

ANtivirus SolutionsYou may know that your computer needs antivirus software but choosing from the large number of options may be daunting. To help make the decision easier you can check out how some of the most popular antivirus software fare in comparative independent tests. If you are looking for a free antivirus solution you can compare the results of only the free programs. Some sites that offer comparative analysis of antivirus software are:

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Mac

Tech Tip: Stop “Local Items” keychain prompts on Mac

Mac ScreenOne of the most annoying things that can happen when you start up you Mac is to be prompted repeatedly for a keychain password for various  applications. This sometimes happens after you have changed your login password. To make matters worse the password that these applications request is the previous one and not the most recent password.

The solution to this problem can be found on Apple’s support website. It requires you to delete a folder in the location ~/Library/Keychains/ which has a long alphanumeric name. After you have deleted this folder you should restart your Mac immediately. This should prevent the problem from reoccuring on subsequent logins.

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Outluke Rules

Tech Tip: Tame an unwieldy Outlook Inbox with Rules

Email is one of the most popular and widely used forms of communication for both internal and external communication within businesses. If you get only a few emails in a day this may not be a huge task to manage but if you get hundreds of email messages a day it becomes a lot more daunting. Organization can play a great role in minimizing the amount of time you spend sorting through emails. If you use Outlook for business emails you can set specific rules to organize your email by specific criteria. (more…)

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Your website and social media strategy

Complementing your website with a social media strategy

Website LaptopYour website is the go to authority for information about your business or organization for the inquiring public. The website does not only spread your message but also acts as an easily recognizable credible source of information. Another source of information is social media and if you manage your social media and website to work together this is a powerful combination.

Two voices or one?

Brand voiceSocial media excels at driving conversations and interactions and allows you to meet your audience where they hang out. As a result of this social media can usually be a lot more casual than an official website. Even in this relaxed setting it is important to remember and use your brand voice though. By remembering your vision and core values on social media you can bring your message to a more casual setting while still remaining professional and consistent.

Wing it or be prepared?

WingWhile content for your website is usually well prepared and edited, on social media sites posts may be a lot more spontaneous. This is not a bad thing but you must be prepared to answer questions and respond to comments that may not always be flattering. This is where having a social media strategy helps with dealing with awkward situations. Having some policy for dealing with disgruntled customers or curious fans and followers allow you to know what is an acceptable response to avoid public embarrassment that may tarnish your brand.

How do I build my social media strategy?

The first thing you need to do when building your social media strategy is to outline your goals for your brand, business or organization on social media sites. Are you there to entertain, inform, interact or simply provide support for a product or service? This helps you to identify who your target audience is and allows you to tailor your messages to suit that specific group.

Once you know why you want to use social media sites and who you intend to address you need to figure out which social media sites you will use and who will have access to your social accounts. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media websites all have features that cater best to specific niches. You should also ensure that only designated individuals have access to post on your behalf on social media sites and that these designated persons are aware of your goals as well as your brand message and voice.

After you have sorted out who will handle your social media accounts you need to decide on what you want to share and how frequently you want to post content on social media websites. Your schedule can be as specific down to the exact times of day to post or as general as a minimum number of posts in a week. When your content is relevant and your frequency of posting is what your audience expects you have a better chance of reaching more people.

The final part of building a social media strategy is to be flexible and adapt to changing environments. Unlike your website where you have total control of the content and structure of your message, social media websites are more unpredictable. You never know when the rules for using the site will change or exactly who will engage with you on these sites. It is important to keep abreast of developments and changes in best practices and new features of whichever social media sites you are using to get the most out of it. Using insights and studying statistics provided by these sites will help you to improve your social media strategy.

Conclusion

It is very common for a website and social media to work together to achieve a common business goal. Social media is a great way of raising brand awareness and drawing attention to the content of your website. When creating your social media strategy remember that it should complement your website and not compete against it.The message from either channel can affect how the other is perceived by your audience.

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