So your business recently redesigned or built a new website, what now? In our experience working with our Bay Area-based business clients and networking with other companies and business professionals, the expectation on what to expect next is all over the place. For some businesses, all they wanted was a visually pleasing website to improve upon there dated 90's website. Some wanted to get more sales leads from there site, and some organizations such as non-profits and government agencies want to leverage there website to make them more efficient and deliver better customer service to there clients. Some people we talk to are not quite sure what they want or wanted from there website.
Building a website has become more accessible to the average person with DIY sites like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. These sites are great for the person/business who is just starting and wants to put up a pretty brochure website that introduces there company, but what if you want more? What if you want your site to be a lead generation magnet? Have you already designed and developed a brand strategy for your new website and online presence? Are you 100% comfortable your website visitors can navigate your site and get to the areas you want them to in a timely fashion? Have you developed content that will help convert visitors to do what you want them to do on your new pretty website? Is there a business process you are currently doing that can move to your website? Are you willing to take the time on a regular basis to review the metrics on how well your site is performing and make the ongoing optimizations needed? Do you have the time to manage your website and not focus on your business?
Before building your website, and if you did not go through a proper discovery process to develop a strategy for your new website, then here are the steps you can take to make sure your site is doing more.
Search Engine Optimization
If you have not already, take the time to develop the goals you want to get out of your website over the next 6 to 12 months. If you would like to get more sales leads, then take the time to do an SEO audit of your site. You can try one of the following tools which will give you a report (And they may try and sell you there services as well) to provide you with a head start on what you can do to optimize your website for search engines.
SEO Audit Options:
If you discover that you want your website to be a valuable resource to your clients and constituents, then here is an article that can help you to start the review process of how usable your website is.
If you are a government website and need to make sure your website is accessible to visitors with disabilities, then you start with the following sites to check your status and plan how to optimize your site for accessibility.
If you are interested in getting leads from your website, you do want to make sure the adjustments you made from your initial SEO audit are working and that you are consistently optimizing your site. This optimization at a minimum can take a minimum of 5 hours a month. Some tools you can use (Besides hiring EnlightWorks to help you out with this) are from companies like Moz, SEMrush and MarketGoo. These tools will give you a plan and instructions on how to optimize your site so you can be found easier on Search Engines.
Also, very important is to sign up for Google Analytics, Bing Webmaster and Google Search Console. These tools will go beyond your CMS to give you more data on who and how people are visiting your website.
If you are interested in converting visitors to do what you need them to do, then you want to sign up for a service that can track what users do when they go on your website. There are several tools out there that can help you track what users have and will do on your sites such as Heatmaps, A/B Testing and user analytics. Below are some free tools you can try and deploy that will give you continuous data about your website visitors.
Other - Content
On a side note, if you are writing content for your website, you can also make sure your content is grammatically accurate and optimized for your site by using a service like Grammarly if you are not already doing so.
In summary, if you have built a new website, really take the time to figure out what you want out of it. Your site can be one of the most significant factors in helping you grow your business, making your staff more efficient and improving your relationship with your clients and constituents.
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The following are the top articles we are reading in the world of design, marketing, and technology that might give you a good idea that can apply to your business or Government agency. These include new website design ideas and why you should employ ethical SEO tactics to ensure your website rankings do not get dinged.
Bad SEO Habits That May Get Your Burned
In this article from Search Engine Land, the author Stephen Spencer provides several examples of black-hat and grey-hat SEO techniques that could hurt your websites rankings in the eyes of Google and Bing
Read the article here: searchengineland.com/flying-close-to-the-sun-seo-tactics-that-may-get-you-burned-304233
20 New Web Design Ideas for August 2018
If you are looking for good ideas for your website redesign, Web Design Depot has a great article from Paddi MacDonnell that provides 20 examples of new sites or website refreshes. These include a new game from MailChimp, a guide to plants for people who do not have a green thumb and some new designs that might make you motion sick. These examples include ideas with new animations bold colors and scrolling effects.
Read the article here: www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/08/20-freshest-web-designs-august-2018/
5 Brands Using Illustration in There Branding Efforts
Here is an article from Creative Bloq that gives five examples of how some brands are using Illustration to enhance their brand.
Read the article here: www.creativebloq.com/inspiration/5-mesmerising-uses-of-illustration-in-branding
43 Inspiring Street Art Examples
Another cool article from Creative Bloq that is more related to artistic inspiration is an article that provides 43 samples of street art from around the world.
Read the article here: www.creativebloq.com/street-art/examples-street-art-612334
New Google G Suite Update for Businesses
Read the latest article from Google with information on the latest updates to the G Suite service that includes better collaboration features and more secure email capabilities.
Read the article here: www.blog.google/products/g-suite/helping-enterprises-stay-competitive-with-new-updates-in-g-suite/
Please contact us if you need assistance with our design or online technology project.
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For a long time, we worked with many San Francisco Bay Area businesses and Government Agencies where the IT Department was always in charge of the organization's website. The reason for this was because it was technology and when the internet started taking off, it required the expertise of the IT department to build the server to host the website, and they needed to code or install any web applications. Government Web Design
There are still some Government agencies and companies out there that still believe the IT department should manage their website if they are still hosting their website or if the organization thinks the IT Department should handle it because they believe it is too hard to update the site that was built by the IT department.
IT Department's central role should be to ensure the organizations' infrastructure (Network, servers, workstations, email, printer, phones, etc...) works and that end-users have no issues accessing the IT infrastructure. There should be no reason now that an organization or agency hosts there own website in-house. There are many hosting options out there that allow organizations to host websites offsite and that do not require the complex software infrastructure needed to host sites.
A company's website is a marketing and business development tool for businesses, especially B2B business. For government agencies, it is a marketing and customer service tool for its constituents and other stakeholders. Because of the above requirements, this requires the individual or team member managing websites to have different skill sets than what the IT staff has. IT staff are trained in technical skill sets and are focused on achieving technical success. Sites these days should be focused on achieving business goals.
For businesses, the Marketing and Sales Teams should be in charge of managing the website and making sure it is delivering on the strategy your organizations requires. If they do not have the expertise in-house, they can outsource web development and design to an outside agency but direct the strategy they want from the website. The Marketing Team can manage it on an ongoing basis since most Content Management Systems (CMS) are easy to use.
For Government Agencies, the internal Public Relations Department, or the different Department Managers in charge service delivery should be in charge of the strategy of the website and what they require from it. Administrative staff can then manage updates on an ongoing basis since as mentioned before, CMS systems are straightforward to use these days.
With our society's reliance on the web, especially in the mobile space, web technology has become more accessible to more people and is no longer a technology that can just be left to the side. Your website can be a critical part of your business organizations success.
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As a web designer and online marketer for several San Francisco Bay Area small businesses, we are always scouring the world wide web for resources and training that will help us with maximizing our client's online marketing investments.
A big part of building a marketing strategy is performing a proper discovery to find out what is possible. In a recent veg out session on Google, I stumbled upon a site from Google called Consumer Barometer. Google Consumer Barometer essentially is a survey that Google performed with internet users, and this site shows how people around the world (45 countries) use the internet. The tool provides information using downloadable charts that show country-specific information, digital trends over time and what devices people are using to access the internet.
Here are some of the specific insights we found interesting.
Graph Builder Which devices do people use?
In the graph, it shows that 90% of people use a basic mobile phone + smartphone and 78% use a smartphone which is pretty close to the 89% of people who use a TV. Now I am not 100% sure if that is 89% of people who access the internet using a TV, but I am sure because this includes offline people, I am guessing not all of teh 89% users access the internet via there TV. However, it is telling that the Smart Phone will soon over take the TV for devices people use.
Within the Millennials Audience Stories, based upon there survey if you are trying to reach Millennials it will help to know that 90% go online daily, 75% of Millennials go online via a smartphone at least as often as a computer and 55% of Millennials use search engines to learn about products.
To play with tool yourself, go to the following link: www.consumerbarometer.com/en/
For those entrepreneurs/solopreneurs who want to break out and make it on there own and need assistance with building their online presence, we have announced a new service to help your business liftoff.
The Online Starter Kit is for Entrepreneurs just starting out that need assistance with building their online presence and implementing online technologies to help get their business get off the ground.
This service includes:
Contact us to schedule a discovery call and get a quote
When you are working with a Web Designer or Web Design Agency, the first thing they should be doing is a discovery and audit. During this phase, the Designer or Agency should be getting a good idea of your business, who your clients are, what your current sales process is, what you have been doing marketing wise thus far and auditing how your current website is performing if you have one.
The Designer should be spending a reasonable amount of time on discovery and Auditing so they can get the development and implementation of your new website right. You also want to make sure they help you implement the correct online marketing strategy and solutions, so an audit is a key to making this happen. Here is a high-level view of some of the what should be part of what a Web Designer should get out of the Discovery.
They Learn About Your Business
A Web Designer will utilize several business planning insight tools depending upon the stage your business is in, to get a full understanding of what your company does, is trying to achieve and how you would like to grow. This help with making sure the plans put in place are in line with your business goals and based on experience.
Learn About Your Clients
The Designer will dig deeper and find out who your specific clients and target audience is and what their purchasing or interaction journey is like with your company. Learning more about your clients helps the Designer build a strategy and implement a website that converts your visitors and clients to do what you want them to do on your site.
Technical Audit of Your Website
If you are upgrading an existing site, the Designer should do a deep dive on what your current website is built with and get an understanding of what is working and not working technically.
Learn About Your Online Marketing Goals
The Designer or Agency should learn more about the current results of your online marketing efforts and what your goals are moving forward. They should get a good feel for what you are trying to achieve visually, content-wise and more importantly, results wise.
A website does not just have to be a pretty face, it can be some much more, and with doing discovery and research, this will help ensure you get results from your website.
Photo by João Silas on Unsplash
The following article brief is about the website trends for the month of June. In an article from Web Designer Depot, an online website design publication, they point out three website design trends for the month of June. Each design has been done before, but they point out examples that have a little be of a spin.
Full Screen Photo
The first example is a Full Screen Photo on the home page and some of the more traditional elements in a home page are not present or not emphasized as they normally would be.
New Take on Split Screens
You may see some websites where they have split screens on the home page. This could be a good way to give users multiple options when they get to your home page. The article give examples of some sites that utilize split screen designs for the home page.
Color Overlays with Minimal Transparency
Another popular design that we have used in the past is having a color overlay of a large image. This can be useful if you want to focus on any headlines or other content and you just want you hero image to be in the background.
To get some ideas for your new website, please see the following article.
Google recently came out with a new article that provides three insights into how B2B marketers can better target B2B buyers and help make those buyers more valuable long-term clients.
Google surveyed more than three thousand B2B customers primarily focused on industrial manufacturing, agricultural and pack-and-ship supplier customers. This article provides survey results on how B2B businesses more than ever need to be prepared to meet their customers within the moments they need them the most. The critical result they found is 67% of purchases by the surveyed participants were influenced by digital.
The article discusses three insights to help B2B business best serve their buyers.
B2B Buyers Online Research
Digital Drives Faster Store Visits
The article mentions that most B2B buyers are Veruca Salt. "They want what they want right now."
"Retailer websites, third-party websites and online retailers are the last stop for many B2B shoppers."
People who shop offline, respond to online engagement
The article mentions only 50% of suppliers provide any online follow up to there clients who have purchased from them. The article suggests that Industrial Manufacturing buyers are 2 times more likely to buy additional products, Industrial supply buyers are eight times more likely to buy other products, and Pack & Ship buyers are two times more likely to purchase the same product.
The key take away I got from this article is, no matter what industry you are in, this can apply to any of our San Francisco Bay Area business clients and can help them build more valuable clients. It can do some much more than just being a brochure website and can help drive sales in so many ways businesses do not realize.
The article provides three things to get started, but I think the first step is each business that has a website really does need to do a deep dive to see how their website can help contribute more to sales. Look outside of the box and see what market leaders are doing in your industry. Are you able to capture the attention of your buyers on every step of there purchasing journey?
Please read the following article for more info: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/advertising-channels/b2b-buyers-online-and-offline/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=20180525-twg-US-A-Consumer-alert&utm_team=twg-us&utm_medium=email-d
EnlightWorks had the pleasure of providing Web Design Services for a new startup called LM Disability. LM Disability specializes in providing consulting services to businesses and government agencies to help ensure they are providing access to people with disabilities. Here are the services we provided for LM Disability:
We continue to provide Creative Services and Online Marketing Services to LM Disability to help with driving traffic to there website and getting more clients for them.
You can check out the website here: https://www.lmdisability.com/
This article from Local SEO Partner BrightLocal which we use as for one of our tools we use to deliver our online marketing services discusses a couple of surveys they ran asking if small businesses still need a website? This a good topic with all of the new features Google has come out with search including Google My Business. This survey mentioned that when they do a Google search, they do not necessarily need to client on a company's website because the information Google provides with a search result, gives the view all they need? With that said, there there is still and always will be the need for a website. As this article mentions, a website is vital for improving your local SEO, enhancing your brand, providing customer service and adding credibility to your business. To read more, please go the following article:
Over the past few years, Google and Mozilla have been alerting website visitors if the site they are visiting is secure or not? They have been doing this by making sure a visitors connection to the site is secure via an SSL certificate. Up until recently, Google on its Chrome browser has been indicating that some websites as "Insecure" and others with just an exclamation mark. Starting in July of this year, Chrome will indicate all websites without an SSL certificate as "Not Secure". To learn more about this upcoming change, please see the following article.
The following are the articles we have read that help us with providing the online web services we provide for our clients and our clients might find useful as well to helping them with building there businesses via online services.
Reading Between the Lines: A 3-Step Guide to Reviewing Web Page Content
Here is an article from Moz a leading SEO solution provider with a good guide to re-evaluating the content on your website to make sure it is opiimized for SEO purposes. This article is a reminder to figure out who your visitors are, what you should be saying to them and then providing a scorecard so you can grade your content. This should be done on a regular basis.
To read the article go here: https://moz.com/blog/guide-to-reviewing-web-page-content
Tracking the ROI of organic search for B2B
This article from SearchEngineLand.com discusses how to track the ROI of the leads businesses get from organic search. This includes setting up tracking in Google Analytics and then makeing sure an a CRM like Salesforce is in place where a businesses saleforce can track where leads come from. Often times in the SEO world, SEO consultants are fixated on rankings, but the true measure of how SEO is doing is the revenue it brings in. This article is a good reminder of how to track that.
How to create content to support local SEO and rock the rankings
The following article is from SearchEngineLand.com that discussed how you can optimize your content for local search. This article is another reminder about how to research the best content for the local area you are marketing to. Local marketing is more important than ever since 1/3 all mobile searches are location based.
3 Essential Design Trends, February 2018
Here is an article from Web Design Depot that discussed three design trends they see in 2018.
Got a few minutes? Do a 5-point email audit
Here is an article from MarketingLand.com with a 5 point audit for your email marketing campaigns. This article is good way to strategise your email program for 2018 expecially if you do not have any time to do so.
Webinars: How to Market and Sell Using Webinars
Here is a great article from the SocialMediaExaminer.com that discusses how you can market using webinars.
While watching TV, one of the commercials I saw featured a guy driving down the street in an older VW convertible pulling up to up to a man and woman building a tree sculpture and the man said he was the internet and said he knows a bunch of people who would love what they are doing. Then the narrator says, build your website within an hour, something like that.
There are quite a few Do-It-Yourself website builders out there including GoDaddy, Wix, Squarespace and our partner Weebly. If you are a business starting out looking to put something up quickly, that will look reasonably well and will be responsive (viewable on mobile devices), then one of these choices will do (We recommend Weebly if you do choose one). These solutions have done a lot of the hard work for you, like starting you off with designs that look good, put together the technology that powers there website, and they even host the site on there own servers and data centers. They also offer guidance on how to get more out of your website, but if you are a business who needs to get the most out of your site like more sales, leads and offer online services, then you may need more. Here are some of the things you should consider when choosing one of these solutions.
What do your clients like visually?
When building your website, have you done enough research to figure out what your customer or the visitors like and who they are? If you are a business looking to make more money off your website, you will want to be sure your site visually appeals to your target audience. These solutions do not provide much help with the needed research to make sure your site visually attacks your clients.
Have you written your content for your target audience?
If you are creating new content or redesigning a new website, have you made sure that your content is written for your target audience? These DIY sites may offer guidance on what to write but only can know what will work with your clients/prospects.
Are you trying to drive more traffic to your site?
If you a looking to drive more people to your website, then these solutions come with base SEO (Search Engine Optimization) features, suggestions, and guides, but driving people to your site is a pretty involved process. It requires in-depth research, upfront work, and ongoing optimization to get it right.
Are you ready to use metrics to optimize your website?
Once your website goes live, are you ready on a regular basis to read the data that tells you how your website is performing and what to fix? These solutions do come with built-in statistics about how many visitors have come to your site, but if you need more, you will need to sign up for a service like Google Analytics. Then you will want to review that on a regular basis and make the necessary changes to increase your website traffic and give your visitors what they want.
Do you have the time?
The last point I want to consider is, do you have the time to do the research needed and spend the time building your site and managing it on an ongoing basis? If you are a small business or solopreneur, do you have the time to devote to do what is needed to get the most out of your investment in your website or do you want to focus on your business and the clients you could receive from your site marketing efforts?
Our Web Design Top Five Reads for October
Here at EnlightWorks, we are continually reading and learning what is possible so we can bring the right solutions and advice to our clients, friends, and partners. The following are some articles we believe would be of interest to our visitors.
Choosing a Domain
The following is a blog article from our partner Weebly on what to consider when selecting a domain name for your new website. One of the most interesting points to this article was the mention that if you register your site longer, then this tells Google that your business will be around longer so they may improve your website's chances of getting found on Google.
Moving to HTTPS? Don’t miss this unique opportunity!
The following is an article from Search Engine Land that discusses the SEO benefits to adding an SSL Certificate to your website. As you may or may not know, if you do not have an SSL Certificate on your website, then when visitors go to your site using a Mozilla or Chrome Browser, that they will get a message stating your website is not secure.
Dropbox Website Redesign
Dropbox the cloud storage provider recently redesigned there website in a new bold direction. The following articles discuss some of the critical points to this web redesign as it is a stark difference to the original design for this leading cloud storage provider.
Logo Trends for 2017
Now we are a little late to the party in discussing this but better late than sorry. Bill Gardner with Logo Lounge, one of if not the leading expert on logos released his Logo Trends report for 2017. This article discusses what he sees are the latest trends this year in Logo Design.
5 Design Highlights From Around the Web
This article is from How Design, and it provides links and mentions to 5 design highlights they found around the web. In this article, they talk about a wide range of design topics including people drawing logos from memory, virtual brain surgery and smartwatches.
EnlightWorks, a Bay Area Web Design company, had the pleasure of working with Chickpea Pop-Up and helping them with redesigning their website. Chickpea Pop-Up is a Berkeley California based professional catering service that specializes in providing Tapas and Paella catering services for special events for businesses and individuals.
When Chickpea Pop-Up came to EnlightWorks, they had a shell of a website and wanted to upgrade their website, so they bolster their business development efforts and enhance their brand to prospective clients and other stakeholders.
Chickpea Pop-Up was founded by Erica Schaal, a Chef who recently was a contestant on the Food Networks Chopped. As mentioned, Chickpea Pop-Up is focused on providing Paella and Tapas catering services, but they are also focused on providing catering services to those events that are unique and in hard to get to places. Some of the places they have catered include Burning Man and private events that take place in remote areas throughout Northern California.
As with all clients, we try and make sure the website we build, is truly reflective of the unique and diverse businesses we work within the San Francisco Bay Area and Nationwide.
We first started with discovery to find out what the exact goals are for the new website and then from the discovery findings we built out a Project Plan for what is needed. Part of the results from the Discovery Phase was there was not enough content for some of the pages that were wanted for the new website. For this requirement, we worked with our Copywriting partners to develop the content needed for particular pages that needed more content. We then also provided any additional photos required for the pages that did not have any pictures that were provided by Chickpea Pop-Up. As with every Web Design Project, we first provided a Free-Preview of the proposed site and did not go live until both us, and the client agreed it was ready to go live.
We are very appreciative to have done this project for Chickpea Pop-Up and very glad to provide ongoing website hosting services via Weebly for them as well.
To learn more about what we can do for your business, please go here.
New Website for Danfoura Law P.C.
EnlightWorks had the pleasure of building a new website for Danfoura Law P.C. based out of San Francisco. Danfoura Law P.C. came to EnlightWorks because they were not happy with their current website and they had the following issues:
In working with Danfoura law P.C., EnlightWorks we utilized our extensive web design process and first did an extensive discovery and audit of the current site, and we learned about what Danfoura Law P.C.'s goals and objectives were for the new website. We then took those objectives which included fixing the issues mentioned above, and we then built out an extensive project plan to build the website.
In collaboration with them, we then built out several previews of the website with the desired visuals and content they wanted. This process included getting the right page structure and approved content for each page. Danfoura Law P.C. also was in need of new staff pictures for the website, so we called in on of our creative services partner Colin Pattison from Featherstone Studios. Colin and his team went on site and took pictures of the staff and EnlightWorks used those photos for the Staff page of the new site. EnlightWorks at this time also researched and found appropriate photos for the new website that reflected the clients geographic and industry targets.
After we made the final edits, we were then able to go live and then setup the base Search Engine Optimization (SEO) settings, so their website is searchable on Google and Bing's search engines.
After completion of the website, we received a great reference and more importantly a valuable long term partner where their website is an intricate part of the Firm's success.
For B2B websites, you only have so long to get the attention of your website visitors. It is estimated that visitors will only spend 4 to 6 seconds on your homepage before they make a decision to stay or not. With that, if you are a business that is focused on selling and providing services to other businesses, then your website should do its best to make sure your ideal visitor does what you want them to do on your site. Here are some ideas to think of in regards to your B2B website.
Is your website mobile friendly? In a recent survey by Google (Ok not too recent, 2015), they found that 42% of B2B researchers use mobile phones during the B2B purchasing process. Since 2015, according to the latest Internet Trends report, In 2016, US users spend about 3.1 hours accessing the internet via a mobile phone vs. 2.8 hours in 2015. The use of mobile devices is increasing. Also, more B2B decision makers are Millennials so the use of mobile phones or other mobile devices should only increase.
Focused on Your Visitors
Is your website focused on what you like or what your client or potential prospect visitors like? You should make sure your website is built to attract your ideal client, not just you. One method of doing this is to build Buyer Personas. Buyer Personas are profiles of your ideal client which help you market to and sell to them. You know your client better than anyone, so you can build these by profiling your current clients. B2B Buyer Personas include the following components in your profiles.
You typically get this info from your Sales Team, Executive Team and or other staff that is focused on managing and communicating with your clients.
Here is a good article from Referral Saasquatch that goes into more detail about this: https://www.referralsaasquatch.com/b2b-buyer-personas/
Once you have built the B2B Buyer Personas and started marketing to them, you will want to make sure your website is effective and meets their needs. You can do this by creating a survey on your website and then optimizing your site based off of the survey results.
Here is a link to getting started with Google Forms: https://gsuite.google.com/learning-center/products/forms/get-started/
Here is an article about other survey options: http://www.smartinsights.com/goal-setting-evaluation/customer-feedback/website-feedback-tools-review/
Making sure your website is credible and trustworthy. You can do this various ways including putting client testimonials, certifications you have attained on your website and making sure your website is secured based upon Google's new standard. Here is an article about how you can secure your website with an SSL certificate:
Other key questions for your website when redesigning it includes making sure you are answering the following questions for visitors when to go to it:
Ongoing Optimization w/Analytics
As you optimize you website with the suggestions above, you should make sure you are constantly looking at the data via Googles Analytics or Bings analytics tools. This will give you the needed information to help you with making sure any changes you make to your website are done based off of actual data. With Analytics you can look at reports regarding where your website visitors are coming from, there demographics and interests and what technology they are using. Below is an older article discussing the benefits of Google Analytics to B2B marketers.
More Housing Authority Website Visitors Are Mobile Users
If you speak with any housing authority web designer these days, you will likely hear of the virtues of mobile website design. An increasing number of people are looking up information on their smartphones (Estimated 40% to 50%) instead of a traditional desktop. Your Agency's website needs to be easily readable from mobile devices to take advantage of all the associated benefits.
Improve Customer Experience
Mobile friendly web design for housing authorities is crucial because individuals looking for a new place to buy or rent may look up information on the go from their smartphones. If your website is impossible to navigate effectively from these devices, then people are going to look elsewhere for the same service. Potential clients are not likely to wait until they get home to look up your business. A housing authority web designer only gets one chance to make a first impression, and you want to make sure it counts regardless of where your website is being accessed.
Achieve Higher Google Search Ranking
Responsive web design for housing authorities is also important so prospective clients can find your business in the first place. Google search engine rankings are based on how responsive websites are. Sites that take a long time to download onto a mobile device are going to appear lower on Google’s results page. Even if your website appears on the second page, that may not be good enough to acquire new business.
Enhance Efficiency on Your End
Creating a website for desktops and a separate site for smartphones is not the most efficient practice. The reason is that when you have to update your site, you have to update it twice for both devices. By creating responsive website design, you just need to update once, and your website will look great on anything.
As mobile devices become more accessible, more people are going to rely on them for finding housing. If you require assistance developing your mobile presence, then see what a housing authority web designer can do for you.
Go here to more about the Web Design Services we offer Housing Authorities
On my day to day travels here in the San Francisco Bay Area, everywhere I go, a majority of people are fixated on their smart phones. According to Google, 94% of internet users search for local information on their smart phones and 77% search for information on their smart phone even when they are at home.
Even with these statistics, there is still a big chunk of websites out there that are not considered mobile friendly. Because of this, these websites could be missing out on key opportunities to reach their target audience and improving their capabilities to deliver services to their key stakeholders.
According to Marketing Land article early last year, only 11.8% of the top 10,000 websites maybe mobile friendly or responsive. For those of you who are not familiar with the term Responsive, this means that a website is built to be seen with ease on any type of device (desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device).
If your site is not mobile friendly:
Talk to your web designer or other person who built your website.
If you are planning on upgrading your website, you need to make sure you build it so it is easy enough for your users to find what they need and setup up analytics to make sure you know how it is working for your mobile users.
Since Google is the primary and biggest search engine, for optimal SEO, it is in your best interest to make sure your website is responsive and that you do not use redirects that go to another separate website for your mobile users.
Here are several considerations that Google mentions if you have a website that is not built by EnlightWorks.
At EnlightWorks, all of our website we build are responsive websites.
If you want to check to see if your website is responsive, check here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
Please contact Contact UsEnlightWorks if you need any further assistance
When working with our Web Design clients, part of our job is to make sure that building a website is not about them. It is about their constituents and clients. Often times a business will get caught up in creating a beautiful website based upon their preferences without thinking about what their clients would like and what would drive their clients to do something.
A great tool to finding out what your clients might like, is building Buyer (Or also called Marketing and Customer) Personas. These are fictual individual profiles of your ideal clients that are based upon their demographics, interests, pain points, age, values, career status and more. With these Personas, we have the ability to deliver Web Design services that actually help our clients achieve traffic and conversion goals.
The following are a couple of resources to help you build out your personas.
For many years I have built websites using WordPress, and an estimated 23% of all websites use WordPress. WordPress in my career has served its purpose, but as of a few years ago, alternative platforms have become more available to web designers and non-designers. These new platforms include Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, and Weebly.
Here at EnlightWorks, I started out supporting multiple platforms including WordPress, Squarespace, and Shopify, but I have now decided to focus on just Weebly. Don’t get me wrong, WordPress is a very powerful and useful platform, but here are the reasons why EnlightWorks has chosen Weebly.
Content Management System (CMS): Updating your website should not be a difficult task. Quite simply, Weebly has an incredibly easy to use Content Management System (CMS) that allows our clients to easily update content and media (Images, video, and audio) to their site. Yes WordPress’s CMS can be easy to use as well, but Weebly’s CMS is even more accessible. Weebly’s CMS is a drag and drop editor that allows you to move elements (Text, images, video, etc.) to update your page. The simplicity of the platform allows me to focus on designing a visually pleasing website and making sure the site is extremely usable and meets my client's visitor traffic requirements.
Unlike WordPress which is an Open Source platform which means the code and backend are open for developers to build complementary WordPress products, Weebly is a closed platform. Weebly has built a very robust infrastructure that can handle a website with up to 500 pages with no issues. Weebly monitors, maintain's and supports its entire platform from hosting to the CMS and is less susceptible to the problems that third party WordPress plugins and WordPress updates can cause WordPress websites. WordPress sites need to be maintained on a constant basis because WordPress is always coming up with new updates and the third party plugins are not always reliable because of the constant updates needed. Because of these elements and more, WordPress is more vulnerable to having security issues which can cause all kinds of performance problems for websites built with WordPress. Over the past 1 1/2 years, I have been working with Weebly, I have only had one issue with them going down which lasted for just a few a minutes. With WordPress websites, I have had to deal with five times the amount of downtime because of various reasons due to hosting providers technical difficulties and WordPress updates and incompatibilities.
Now many well-versed WordPress developers will object to the claim Weebly is more flexible and will say wait; you're wrong because WordPress is way more flexible to edit than Weebly. Those naysayers are right to some degree, but you can have the ability to customize Weebly Themes pretty easily, and you do have the capacity to switch between Themes without any issues. WordPress is easy to edit as well, but it is finicky and can be more time consuming to figure out if you are updating another Web Designers work. Also, Weebly provides good documentation for developers as well that helps with customizing Weebly websites.
With the points made above and the infrastructure provided by Weebly, EnlightWorks can provide an overall more cost effective website solution to its clients. EnlightWorks is a Weebly Designer and Weebly Ambassador which gives added access to Weebly when we need it. Now I am not saying Weebly's better than WordPress for everyone. We are only saying it allows EnlightWorks to efficiently and successfully deliver on its goal to provide cost-effective, valuable, visually pleasing, user-friendly and business generating website solutions to small and medium sized business and government agencies nationwide.
If you are reading my blog and you are a San Francisco Bay Area small business or entrepreneur, you should be reading Entrepreneur.com to get tips on how to get more visitors and business from your website.
The latest article from Entrepreneur discusses how to build trust from your website. The article provides the following tips:
To read more detail about each of these options, please go to the following article from Entrepreneur.com:
To learn how we can help with optimizing your website, please learn more about our web design process.
Here is an article from Entrepreneur Magazine that discusses 8 different questions for assessing your website. This article from Kate Swoboda an Entrepreneur Magazine contributor explains the following questions are key to making sure your website works. They are:
1. Who am I really trying to reach?
2. Is it “me?"
3. Does my "about" page talk about me-me-me or about how I help?
4. Is my "services" page streamlined?
5. Am I speaking to client/customer needs?
6. Am I articulating the solutions that I provide?
7. Are there multiple ways for customers to engage?
8. What’s your ongoing approach for engaging people?
To read more details on each of these questions, please go to the following article from Entreprenur Magazine: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/275210
For any ecommerce websites, it is important to make sure your ecommerce website is secure as possible so you can help protect your clients critical and financial data.
For our ecommerce website clients, we take security seriously and so does our platform partner Weebly.
Here are some critical tips to help reduce the risk your ecommerce website does not get hacked and worse of all, your clients data does not get compromised.
For all of the passwords that are needed to access your ecommerce website, you should implement a complex password policy and change them on a regular basis (At least every 6 months). You also want to limit the amount of people who have access to your website and ecommerce CMS. You should also make your customers are aware that they should also adhere to a password policy if they are accessing your site. Here is a great article from SANs.org that provides a guidline for implementing a gernal password policy.
You could also use a solution like OneLogin that provides a single sign on to multiple cloud based services, including CMS applications. If you are a larger organization, you can use one of these OneLogin solutions that are made for various ecommerce websites:
Weebly & OneLogin: https://www.onelogin.com/connector/weebly-single-sign-on
Squarespace and OneLogin: https://www.onelogin.com/connector/squarespace-single-sign-on
Shopify and OneLogin: https://www.onelogin.com/connector/shopify-single-sign-on
Wordpress and OneLogin: https://www.onelogin.com/connector/wordpress-single-sign-on
SSL which stands for Secure Sockets Layer. This is an encryption technology that allows for a secure connection between your web server and your visitors web browser, allowing for the safe passage of sensitive data. The identification of an SSL certificate can seen with the padlock you can see when you go to certain websites. You can go the extra mile and get an Extended Validation (UV) SSL certificate which allows a third party to verify the overall security of your site and changes your URL to green.
For more info on a UV SSL Certificate, here you go: https://www.godaddy.com/help/what-is-a-premium-extended-validation-ev-ssl-certificate-2198
You can get an SSL and UV SSL Certificate from here: https://www.secureserver.net/ssl/ssl-certificate.aspx?ci=1790&prog_id=509319
Even if you have an SSL cert on your website and you are using a strong password policy, you still want to make sure you are complying with PCI Security Data Standards. This means such things as having a secure firewall, making sure you do not have malware on your website and you have proper protections in place to limit network access to your website. To learn more about PCI Compliance, see the following: https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/documents/PCI_DSS_v3.pdf
Most ecommerce platforms like Weebly, Squarespace, Shopify are PCI compliant, but double check and make sure.
You can also go the extra mile and makes sure your website is free from malware and other malicous security threats by implementing a vulnerability scanner that will also notify your clients that your website is secure. This will also help with any self assessments you may need to do for your PCI compliance.
Here is an option you could go with from SiteLock: https://www.secureserver.net/security/malware-scanner.aspx?ci=89298&prog_id=509319
EnlightWorks has the pleasure to announce we are working and partnering with Beth Holzman the owner of a new exciting modern vintage clothing store located in historic Downtown Vallejo called Boutique Classique.
Boutique Classique recently had its grand opening where we took some photos that were used for the new website we developed. We are most impressed with the creativity and attention to detail that Beth put into the grand opening and into the store. Boutique Classique is an extremely creative venture that is also helping with the rejuvenation of downtown Vallejo.
Please take a look at the website, some of the pictures we took from the Grand Opening and more importantly, stop by if you near Downtown Vallejo.