• Designing mobile-friendly websites for usability & SEO

    TouchOne of the keys to modern web design is allowing websites to be viewed on multiple devices at different screen sizes with content and layout adjusting naturally to the size of the screen it is displayed on. This seamless adaptation can be achieved by responsive web design. The layout of the website can be manipulated depending on the size of the viewport on which it is displayed. This makes the website easier to use but also has many benefits for search engine optimization (SEO).

    Imagine the websites that you use most often displaying in the same way on your computer and your phone. While the website may be well designed for larger displays if the layout is not optimized for the smaller screen size it may become cumbersome to use. Having to scroll a lot or zoom in to view website elements greatly degrade the user experience of visiting a website on a mobile device. These factors have been noted by major search engines.

    Google uses how mobile-friendly a website is as a signal in ranking websites in search results on mobile devices. Considering the popularity of mobile devices and the popularity of the Google search engine having a responsive website is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. Not only should websites fit on smaller screens but they should be optimized for use by touch enabled  devices. This means navigation elements should be large enough for fingers to  touch without activating neighbouring navigation elements.

    Responsive web design is not just a fad but a best practice for designing modern websites. If your website is not yet responsive now is as good a time as any to upgrade. Although there are obvious benefits for search engine optimization the improvements in usability are the main reasons why your website should be mobile-friendly.

    Links

    Google rolling out mobile-friendly update

     

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  • Tech Tip: Convert audio files to different formats using media.io

    media.ioThere are numerous different formats in which digital audio files are stored. These different formats have their individual advantages and disadvantages, but they also create a compatibility issue. Not all software can handle all audio file formats. One option for overcoming this challenge of incompatibility is to use an online audio converter. Media.io is a useful tool for converting audio files to different formats.

    If you have an audio file that you need changed to a different format you can use media.io to convert the file without downloading or installing additional software. You will have to upload the file to the website though then download the converted file. Once you are comfortable with uploading the audio file to a third party site this can be a convenient option for converting an audio file into a more convenient format.

     

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  • 4 Strategies for Selling Services

    One of the challenges of running a business that sells services is that you do not have the physical products that can be examined and compared with those of competitors. This affects both your marketing efforts and the experience a potential customer has in making a purchasing decision. It is more difficult to assure customers of the quality of services they have never tried before and a simple purchasing decision becomes a huge risk in the eyes of the  consumer. All is not lost though, there are many ways of reassuring a potential customer with the proper marketing strategy.

    Customer ServiceFocus on customer service

    Every contact with  a customer is an opportunity to make an impression. In the service industry there is no great product to distract potential customers from the quality of service provided. Customer service can usually be analyzed on par with the quality of the service that is on sale. As a result of this it is important that emphasis is placed on customer service as well as providing support to customers. The experience of the customer could determine whether or not the service is recommended to others or not.

    Limited Time OfferOffer a limited time trial

    The problem of the potential customer not being able to inspect a service like a physical product can be mitigated by allowing customers to try the service for free for a limited time before making a purchasing decision. This is a popular method which helps reassure the customer that the service will satisfy and allows the service provider a chance to make a good first impression. The trial period has to be long enough to allow the customer to get accustomed to using the service and get “hooked” into making the purchase while short enough to encourage the customer to make a timely decision on whether or not to purchase. While providing the service for free, even for a limited time, incurs costs these costs can be offset if conversions to long term customers increase.

    MultimediaUse multimedia to engage your customers

    When things are difficult to explain or put in words graphics and videos can tell a wonderful story. Pictures of the service you provide in use or pictures of satisfied customers can go a long way in convincing others to use the service. Photos  or videos of your service being used in-house also helps your business look professional and unashamed to stand behind its services. Videos showing how to use the service also help eliminate some of the apprehension potential customers may have to making the final purchase.

    Testimonials IconShare customer testimonials

    Referrals  are a very powerful tool since we value the opinions of others who have tried a service in deciding whether we should try it. This is especially true for services that cost money. Testimonials are a way of having current or former customers share their experience with others. This adds credibility to your business and helps potential customers know what to expect. It may address some of the concerns customers have about making the purchase without requiring any reassurance from customer service.

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  • Improve communication and workflow with effective email addresses

    Most businesses realize that they need an email address in order for people to be able to reach them online. Small businesses usually have one generic email address to manage all email communication. While this may be suitable for some businesses for others it may be quite restrictive. The problem becomes apparent when the business experiences growth or a great increase in communications. Someone then has to sort through various emails addressing various topics in a single inbox and determine appropriate follow-up actions. This can lead to more administrative work that diverts attention from core business functions to managing emails.

    When one size does not fit all

    One Size Fit All

    As much as a business may desire the simplicity of a single email address, whether this is the right solution is a question that needs to be asked. Who will have access to this single email address? Are any of the emails received of a confidential nature? Are emails overwhelming people who they do not directly pertain to? Businesses tend to departmentalize work in order to be more efficient and utilize resources effectively. Email addresses can be departmentalized in the same way regardless of whether a business has 1 employee or 20.

    Generic plus personalized

    Generic & Personalized Emails

    Many enterprises allow all employees to have a personalized business address to conduct business activities. The benefit of this approach is that it allows for personalized communication and the generic company email address can be avoided if the customer already knows who the information needs to be addressed to. This encourages the building of relationships between customers and the business which seems more natural than an email to a random company representative. Those who know who they want to communicate with can email them directly while a generic business email is still available for general inquiries. The business can publicly advertise the generic email address and selectively distribute individual personalized email addresses if they so desire.

    Group Email Addresses

    Group email addresses

    Another alternative to using a single email address is to use group addresses which departmentalize emails. The sales team can have a single email address while customer support can also have a different email address. This helps customers in deciding which department that they should address and speeds up the processing of emails. It also allows the customer to specify the functional group of the business they intend to respond to the communication. Allowing the customer to do this sorting for you allows you to focus on other tasks such as following-up on the emails.

    Where your website comes in

    Website At Sign

    One of the great things about creating a website is that it comes with the option of creating business email addresses that use your business domain name. SeizerStyle Designs can therefore create email addresses using @seizerstyle.com. This allows us to add our branding to our email addresses and also serves to help people remember our website address. If you already have a website or are thinking of creating one remember that an additional benefit of your website is that it allows you to departmentalize your email addresses. This can help reduce the stress of email overload and allows you to prioritize certain email addresses more than others.

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  • SeizerStyle Designs March 2015 Newsletter

    Designing websites and graphics usually produces beautiful and useful end products that help solve a problem. These solutions may often be obvious in the design but are sometimes more subtle and difficult to identify. Running a successful website or designing effective graphics both require an understanding of the people who these solutions are intended for.

    Research and Analytics

    To serve your target audience well you have to first know who they are then identify what they want. This requires market research  and the result of this research can be both what is expected or something unpredicted. In any case acquiring this knowledge helps you to target a particular group specifically in your marketing endeavors.

    Website analytics work hand in hand with market research to determine how well your business or organization is performing online. We have been experimenting with different ways of presenting the results of collecting statistics about website visitors to our clients. From April we will be offering detailed reports to our website design customers which will help them better understand their website’s performance.

    March 2015 on SeierStyle Designs Blog

    Invest In You Special Offer (March 2015)

    Invest In You Special Offer (March 2015)

    In March some of our clients benefited from as much as 25% off on website design and graphic design jobs. This initiative was meant to encourage  businesses and organizations skeptical about purchasing these services to experience what it is about for a fraction of the cost.

    Technology Tips

    Tech Tip: Make video calls through Firefox – Use Firefox Hello to start video conversations right from your browser

    Tech Tip: Try Google Inbox – A new less obtrusive user interface for Gmail.

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  • Tech Tip: Make video calls through Firefox

    Firefox HelloUpdate: Firefox Hello has been discontinued as of Firefox 49

    There is an interesting new feature in the latest versions of Firefox that allows you to make video calls without installing any additional software. With Firefox Hello you can invite others to a video call right from the Firefox browser. You do not need to sign up for the service and the person being invited does not even have to be using Firefox either.

    Simply click on the smiling conversation icon in the Firefox toolbar to start a conversation. You can then email the person that you want to talk to the link to the conversation. You could also copy the link and share it via an instant message.

    This is a quick and easy way to get a video conversation started directly from the browser. Simply download and install Mozilla Firefox or update your Firefox browser to the latest version to try this feature out.

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  • Invest In You Special Offer (March 2015)

    Special OffersSeizerStyle Designs is running a special promotion throughout March 2015 to provide new and repeat customers with discounts on all the services we provide. In line with our Invest In You initiative we hope to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses to get online and take advantage of the opportunities to promote their business and build an effective branding strategy.

    Invest In You Branding

    With a website developed by SeizerStyle Designs and hosted on Isle Cloud you get a quick and effective online presence suitable for customers on the go. We know that price is usually a barrier to entry for those who know they need a website but keep putting it off. Take advantage of this opportunity to get your  professional website designed for a fraction of the cost.

    To promote your business and website you will also need to focus on branding and promotion. We provide graphic design services that help you send a uniform message through all your visual promotional material. Our digital marketing solutions help you to decide the most appropriate medium of getting your message to your intended audience.

    Find out more about the Invest In You special offer.

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  • Tech Tip: Try Google Inbox

    Google Inbox IconIf you use Gmail but are not satisfied with the user interface Google Inbox may be the right alternative for you. It is a different interface for Gmail that is supposed to organize your email better and reduce the clutter in your mailbox. It is also more in line with Google’s new Material Design philosophy. Trying it does not affect your access to the traditional Gmail and you can easily use either service to access your email.

    You can request an invite to use Google Inbox but you will have to download the Google Inbox app on your phone before you can get access to the web interface.

    Google Inbox

    Material Design

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  • SeizerStyle Designs February 2015 Newsletter

    Carnival is over, the shortest month of the year has passed and it is time to get back to work. As you strive to end the first quarter of the year on a positive note let SeizerStyle Designs help. Whether you have had a breakthrough year or a terrible beginning to 2015 make March the month that you get things done.

    Design of the month (February 2015)

    Invest In You 2015 Poster

    Invest In You 2015 Poster

    For our first special offer for 2015 we are acknowledging the entrepreneurial spirit of the small businesses trying to establish an online presence. With a website designed by SeizerStyle Designs and website hosting provided by Isle Cloud getting your business online is fast and easy. Visit www.seizerstyle.com/specials/investinyou to find out more about this limited time special offer.

    February 2015 on SeizerStyle Designs Blog

    Use content to attract repeat visitors to your website

    Good content attracts return visitors

    Getting someone to visit your website is hard enough, but getting that person to visit again is an even more difficult task. This is where trhe content of your website has to shine. It has to give visitors a reason to want to come back and leave them feeling like they have not wasted their time.

    Read more…

    Updated graphic design portfolio (February 2015)

    Portfolio Update February 2015

    If you are interested in finding out what kind of work we produce our portfolio is the ideal place to visit. We recently updated our portfolio to include more samples of our work so feel free to check it out.

    Read more…

    Technology Tips

    Simulate an Android tablet with BlueStacks – Don’t have a tablet but want to try one out? Need to see whether you should update your old tablet? Try out an Android tablet from your computer with BlueStacks.

    Use different profiles in Google Chrome – It’s now easier than ever for different people to use the same Google Chrome browser while keeping settings separate.

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  • Use content to attract repeat visitors to your website

    Content is one of the most important aspects of a website but too often it can be overlooked with attention instead being diverted to design and layout decisions. Some balance has to be  reached in order for your website to be effective and make an impact on your target audience. During the design phase the appearance and layout of the website are critical to achieving the ideal user interface and creating a comfortable user experience. Once this is finalized however,  your content is responsible for captivating your target audience and making them want to come back. Good content is what the most popular websites on the internet have in common so it pays to invest some time and efforts on your website content.

    Content Quality

    Quality IconWriting about your expertise or backing your content with strong research is a great way to ensure that whatever you publish on your website is of high quality. Quality can also be influenced by how error free your writing is or the resolution of the imagery you include in the content. Good content for a sports website would include fixture lists, match results and sports news. Information that is exclusive to the business or organization that would be released as a press release is also ideal content for a website.

    Quality content attracts visitors to return because it proves that you are knowledgeable and a credible source of information. It makes your website more believable and more reliable.

    Content Quantity

    Die IconWhen you are gaining an audience the quantity of content you create also becomes an important issue. People expect different types of content to be published with different frequencies. For instance news stories are expected to be published several times a day while business articles may be expected less frequently. Whether you are creating or curating your content will also affect how often updates are expected. Websites that curate content are expected to be updated more than those that create original material.

    The quantity of content you create helps your website visitors figure out when to revisit your website if they are interested in your content. Websites that are frequently updated encourage visitors to revisit more often in search of new information. Quantity works together with quality because if the content is not of good quality the quantity may have little impact on repeat visitors.

    Content Relevance

    Puzzle IconThe content that you publish on your website should be relevant to your target audience. If you are targeting mothers and fathers video games and  sports cars may not be the ideal content for that demographic. Your content must also be published in a timely fashion in order to be relevant to your visitors. Information about a sale your company is having published on the final day of the sale does not give your visitors much opportunity to take advantage of the sale.

    Relevant content helps you to develop a niche that your content specially caters to. This niche can be identified by interests, age, geographic location or any other demographic. This makes it easier to market your content to new groups that share the characteristics of your niche.

    To ensure that your content is effective you should try to gain the right balance of quality, quantity and relevance. This may differ from industry to industry or business to business. It is important to know your target audience and let your content cater to their needs and expectations.

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