Use content to attract repeat visitors to your website

By Nathan Vidal,

Good content attracts return visitors

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.

Tech Tip: Simulate an Android tablet with BlueStacks

By Nathan Vidal,

BlueStacks Android Emulator

BlueStacks Android EmulatorAndroid is Google’s popular mobile operating system used in millions of phones and tablets. There are many Android specific apps that you may be interested in using even if you don’t own an Android device. If you are a developer you may also want to test out your app in a virtual environment. This can be done using an Android emulator such as BlueStacks.

BlueStacks allows you to run a version of Android on your computer which functions in a similar fashion to Android on an actual tablet. You can then download apps from Google Play or other sources.

Your computer does not have to be touch screen to utilize BlueStacks since you can use your mouse to simulate swiping and pressing. This may not feel natural for some apps or games that are touch intensive, but can otherwise be a reasonable alternative. Please note that BlueStacks may also utilize quite a bit of memory as do all virtualization software, so you may notice slower performance if you use it with many other programs  simultaneously.

Tech Tip: Use different profiles in Google Chrome

By Nathan Vidal,

Chrome differentt profiles

A limitation of modern browsers in recent times has been that you can only log into a website under one identity at a time. That means if you are logged in to GMail your friend would have to log you out in order to check his email in GMail. The two Google Accounts could not be accessed simultaneously unless you used an  incognito window or  used different browsers. Thanks to changes made in Google Chrome this is no longer the case.

The latest version of Google Chrome allows  you to manage multiple identities directly from the browser window. The advantage of this method is that different users can use the same browser without interfering with each other’s settings or tabs. History and preferences are remembered rather than being lost at the end of each session like incognito windows. This is also a great feature for those of us who have separate identities for work and personal use.

How to switch profiles in Google Chrome

To switch profiles click on your name on the button a the top right of the browser window.

Google Chrome Profiles 1

This will open a menu where you can choose to either switch user or go incognito

Google Chrome Priofiles

If you choose to Switch person the Chrome profile manager window will open where you can add another user profile, remove existing ones or browse as a guest.

google_chrome_multiple_profiles_3

Each profile uses its own separate window and once the user is done with the profile the window can simply be closed. This is an ideal feature for those who share computers or work with multiple email or social accounts.

References

Manage multiple Chrome profiles

SeizerStyle Designs January 2015 Newsletter

By Nathan Vidal,

January 2015 Newsletter

Getting social, getting online

More and more businesses are embracing the idea that they need to have some sort of presence online. Some look to social media for the answer due to the popularity of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Others have more precise needs that require a more personalized approach. Either way, businesses want to leverage the large online audience that may be interested in their products and services. SeizerStyle Designs helps businesses get their online identities to match their offline presence with effective social media strategies as well as efficient website and web application development.

Design of the month (January 2015)

SeizerStyle Designs 2015 T-Shirt Concept A

SeizerStyle Designs 2015 T-Shirts

It’s been a while since we updated our T-Shirt design and quite a few things have changed. This new design includes the new condensed version of the SeizerStyle Designs logo on the front along with our motto of Always Improving. The back features the full version of our logo above our website address and mobile phone number. The design is simple and to the point while easily recognizable due to the use of iconic branding elements.

January 2015 on SeizerStyle Designs Blog

5 signs that you need to update your business logo

5 Signs You Need To Update Your Logo

Your business logo is one of the most important visual queues that indicates a strong and active brand. If you do not have a logo or your logo has been neglected for years it may be time to make some improvements. These can range from simple tweaks to a complete redesign.

Read more…

Don’t be afraid of your social media audience

Don't Fear Social Media Audience

Social media can be intimidating, especially if you are just getting into it. The two way nature of conversations means that responses are unpredictable and content can be shared quite easily. This does not mean that social media is something to fear though. Knowing your audience and what they expect means that you can cater to them and take advantage of the features of different social media networks.

Read more…

 Technology Tips

SeizerStyle Designs 2015 T-Shirt Concept A

By Nathan Vidal,

Jan 2015 DOTM

Design of the month: January 2015

SeizerStyle Designs 2015 T-Shirts

Carnival costumes are not the only kind of branding catching our attention at the moment. We thought this time of year was the ideal time to redesign our company t-shirts and this first concept demonstrates the direction in which SeizerStyle Designs branding is heading. A compact design shows that you do not have to be wordy in order to get a message across. The front of the shirt focuses on brand recognition by highlighting our new compact logo and slogan. The back of the shirt highlights the traditional full SeizerStyle Designs logo along with contact information.

Tech Tip: Manage multiple Twitter accounts with TweetDeck

By Nathan Vidal,

Tech Tip: Manage Multiple Twitter Accounts with TweetDeck

TweetDeckAnyone who uses Twitter for business may have a separate account for work and personal use. If you do social media marketing you may even be in charge of several Twitter accounts. TweetDeck is a useful tool for managing  multiple Twitter accounts on the web via a single intuitive user interface.

TweetDeck allows you to configure the appearance of your various Twitter feeds using a column layout. You can add or remove various views including Home, Notifications, Mentions and Activity to name a few. TweetDeck also allows you to schedule tweets to ensure that the right content is tweeted at the right time.

If you were not previously a TweetDeck user all you need to use TweetDeck are your Twitter credentials. You should sign in with your personal account then add your other accounts. You can then choose which account that you want to be your default. This is a great way to manage tweets for different accounts in one location as well as view the activity of these accounts.

5 signs that you need to update your business logo

By Nathan Vidal,

5 Signs You Need To Update Your Logo

Logo IconYour business logo is one of the most important graphics that your company will use. It is a visual representation of the company that should send the desired message to the general public. A good logo embodies the spirit and vision of the business and associates it to the core values of the company. Many businesses ignore the logo design process and select a quick and easy solution instead. Is your business logo up to par? Here are 5 tell-tale signs that you need a new business logo.

1. You have no business logo

Not having a business logo may seem like an obvious sign that you need one but many businesses can operate for years without one. Some simply use their business name in whatever font suits the occasion. Others may simply promote their products and services without a logo. While this may work it negatively affects brand recognition and also makes brand imitation that much easier.

2. Your logo is made with clip art

Clip art is great for adding visuals to documents or presentations but do not do so well as a logo for a business. Due to the fun and comedic nature of clip art the image it potrays does not suit every business. Furthermore clip art does not look professional and can be easily recognized as unoriginal by anyone who uses clip art regularly.

3. Your logo is complicated and does not scale well

Cramming too much information or details into a logo can make it impossible to decipher at smaller sizes. This is even more egregious in an age where mobile devices are so popular.  Can your logo be used in your letterhead or be printed on the pocket of a shirt and still be immediately recognizable? Complex logos also take longer for the brain to process and are more difficult to remember.

4. Your logo is not unique enough

A logo does not have to be extravagant or an art masterpiece. It has to be a well thought out representation of your brand. As such, it should differentiate your brand from the competition and identify your business. If your logo is too similar to that of another company it can cause confusion and may also land you in legal trouble for infringing on someone else’s trademark.

5. Your logo is constantly misinterpreted

Some logos may be designed with one concept in mind but may actually look a lot like something else. The business owner may not recognize the depth of the similarity but the public most likely will. This can lead to embarrassing comparisons if the logo resembles something offensive. If your logo is constantly mistaken for something totally unrelated to your business it may be time for a change.

Tech Tip: Read news & blog posts with Feedly

By Nathan Vidal,

Feedly

Feedly LogoFor those of us who read a lot online it can be cumbersome and time consuming to navigate to all our favourite websites searching for updated news and articles. It is much more convenient to get these updates all in one place. Feedly is an RSS aggregator that allows you to subscribe to feeds from most blogs and news sites online.

Using Feedly you can subscribe to feeds that provide the headline and a summary of  articles  which are automatically updated as new content is published. You can organize your feeds into categories, called collections, to keep related content together. This is a good way to ensure that you keep up with content that would otherwise go unnoticed because you were not on the source’s website when it was published.

Feedly provides a similar function to that of Google Reader which was discontinued on July 1, 2013. Feedly is also available as an app for Android, iOS and Kindle.

Don’t be afraid of your social media audience

By Nathan Vidal,

Don't Fear Social Media Audience

ScreamingSocial media has exploded in popularity over the past several years and many businesses want to take advantage of this medium of communication. As more and more people interact on various social networks it is an ideal opportunity for companies to reach their target market where they actually hang out. Many businesses approach the foray into the social media landscape timidly and with caution to avoid making any mistakes. Unfortunately this can result in a muted presence or misrepresentation of the brand. To avoid making this mistake it is important to know your target audience, what they like and interact with them from the start.

A social network is a community not just a marketplace

CommunityWhile there are many opportunities for marketing your products and services on social networks, the platforms are communities with there own norms and expectations. Interaction is key and people are always looking for interesting content to enjoy and share. This offers businesses a chance to show their personality in a less formal setting than traditional business communication. The more engagement you can have with your fans and followers the more opportunities you get to understand them better. it also creates more exposure for your business which could result in inquiries about your offerings.

Post meaningful content regularly

PenThere is always a lot of activity going on in the social media space which means it is easy for your message to get lost in this sea of activity. This means that if you only post content once in a while it is unlikely that the majority of your audience will see it. Lack of activity on social networks may also be misinterpreted as stagnation or lack of activity at your business. Posting content related to your industry or expertise lets the public know that you not only exist but that you are on the ball. It is also a way showing your authority on a topic of interest or support for a worthy cause.

Use the networks that are right for you

Social NetworksEach social network has its strengths and weaknesses and may cater to a slightly different audience. Some are highly visual (Pinterest, Instagram) while others combine visuals with text (Facebook, Twitter). Some are also more casual and appeal more to younger age groups than others. You should choose the platforms that are most appropriate for your business and where you can have the greatest impact in spreading your brand message. This is where market research becomes important to help you select exactly the right network to reach your target audience.

You cannot control the comments or opinions of others on social media sites but that should not deter you from using them. On the contrary, social media is a platform to not only receive favourable reviews but also to address common concerns. Let your brand voice speak freely and reap the benefits of this alternative means of communication.