The following is an article Moz, an SEO online SEO service put out that discusses what car dealerships should do when it comes to local SEO tips.
In the following article, they discuss several suggestions for that include optimizing Google My Business, getting on online car directories and optimizing your keywords.
Google My Business
For car dealerships looking to use Google My Business, the suggestions this article mentions includes optimizing your contact information (Name, phone and address info) and making sure it is accurate. It is also suggested to optimize your categories within Google My Business as well. Other features within Google My business that can be important include optimizing and adding images and videos to your Google My Business page. With your Google My Business page, you can also have other staff members contribute to it as well. The overall key is to make sure you are always looking at your Google My Business dashboard.
Another option is to make sure your Dealership is on as many online directories as possible. Here is a list from BrightLocal of the sites you can look to get your dealership added onto: www.brightlocal.com/2018/04/06/top-local-citations-by-business-category/#dealers
Another important factor that maybe key to car dealerships is getting good reviews. You want to make sure you have good reviews and make sure you can optimize how ever you can. One way is to use software that makes it easier to add reviews to your online propereties. An example of a company that does this includes Broadly out of Oakland, CA.
The other area to look at is on-page optimization. This means optimizing your keywords and other concepts like marking up your page with SCHEMA Markup. The article provide exact recommendations for this.
There are other items you can look at including optimizing images on your website as well.
To read more, please see the following link: https://moz.com/blog/car-dealership-seo
To learn more about our Web Design, Online Marketing and Graphic Design services we can help you, please contact us.
Photo by Marc Kleen on Unsplash
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
Over the years when working as a marketer for my San Francisco Bay Area-based business clients, a driving factor in getting leads from our website has been the use of blogs.
In a recent article from one of our partner BKA Content, they mentioned that if you blog 16 times more a month, that you could on average get 3.5 times leads from your website. Now it is easy to claim these numbers, but I do not disagree since in our experience we have seen a rise in leads on our website when we do write blogs.
Now it is not just enough to spew a bunch of words and hope that will help you get your next big lead from your website. You also need to make sure you write about something that is of quality. Google emphasizes an importance of creating quality content since it is there job to get searchers to the right place and a destination that the will remind them to use Google for there searches again. Google has an excellent guide for this on their SEO guide:
When we started writing blogs, it was said all you need to do was make sure you have 50 words or more. Well, now it may be more. Neil Patel, an online marketing expert, has an article that outlines suggested word length for different industries. To view it, please go to the following section.
In a nutshell, the critical thing to do is make sure you are writing a blog on a regular basis. It does take time (Why we do not always write as much as we should), but you will benefit, whether it is an increase in leads to your website, you learning something from your research or because you offer more insight to your end users.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
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.
Many San Francisco Bay area and nationwide non-profits, government agencies, and healthcare firms have a ton of paper forms that can consume a lot of there staff's time. These firms may not realize it, but many of these paper forms can be converted to online electronic forms. Many times it can take a staff member or a team a considerable amount of time to process these forms. Also, if these forms need to be filled out by clients or other stakeholders, then relying on paper forms to be mailed in or faxed in, can delay the delivery of services. In a recent survey by our partner Formstack, they said that "67% of healthcare managers are spending at least one full workday per week on manual, repetitive tasks." Some of the Health Care managers spend half of the there week on these tasks. 44% have identified three or more efficiencies in their processes. Luckily, there are solutions out there that can help and here are some ideas for forms and workflow ideas to help businesses save time and become more efficient.
The article below outlines three areas in the Healthcare industry where online forms can help. Those include:
Eliminating Paper Forms
Convert many of your onboarding forms to electronic forms eliminating the delays, scanning, faxing, printing and shredding needed to managed those forms.
Automate Data Routing
With online forms, you can automate data routing and approvals.
Create Accessible Records
Make it easier for your staff to find the data they need to recover quickly.
To learn more about what is possible with online forms, please review the following articles or contact us to set up a consultation.
Forms for Health Care: www.formstack.com/blog/2018/healthcare-manual-data-tasks/?utm_source=formstack+blog+homepage
Higher Ed Form Examples:
IT Forms Examples: www.formstack.com/blog/2018/5-ways-formstack-it/
Government Form Examples: www.formstack.com/blog/2018/5-ways-formstack-government/
Photo by Christa Dodoo on Unsplash
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/
The following is how EnlightWorks is helping and can help our clients and other businesses with complying with this law.
Data Delete Requests
If any of your EU clients request access, correct, port or erase their data, all you would have to do is contact us, and we will work with your website platform vendor to process the request.
For our Weebly users, an automatic cookie notification display banner will be displayed for visitors accessing your site from a European IP address. For users of other website platforms, we can work with you to get one posted on your site.
Opt-In Option for Contact Forms
As mentioned before, EU users need to be informed about when their personal information is being collected. A new opt-in field has been added to our contact forms.
We have installed an SSL Certification (HTTPS). This certification ensures a site visitors connection to your site is secure and cannot be intercepted.
The following is a quick checklist.
Please contact us if you have any questions or would like schedule a call to discuss this or deploy it on your website.
To learn more about this, please see the following articles.
GDPR Portal: https://www.eugdpr.org/eugdpr.org.html
About the GDPR from MailChimp: https://kb.mailchimp.com/accounts/management/about-the-general-data-protection-regulation
Weebly GDPR FAQ: https://hc.weebly.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000488108-GDPR-FAQ
Duda GDPR Faq: https://help.duda.co/hc/en-us/articles/360000739348-General-Data-Protection-Regulation-GDPR-Compliance-Information-Resources
Please contact us if you have any questions.
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:
For our Online Marketing clients that are utilizing Google My Business, a while back Google added a feature that allowed food and beverage businesses to add there menu's right on there Google My Business listing. As of this week, they have now expanded the service menu option to non-food and beverage clients. To access this feature, all you have to do is access your Google My Business listing, go to "Info" then select the "Services" icon in the middle of the page.
Then when you select the Services option, then fill out the information they request and this will appear on your Google My Business listing whenever someone finds your listing.
Please contact us if you want to learn more.
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.
Moz has released an article discussing what to look for when migrating to a new website. Google also provides these guidelines as well, but this Moz article discusses it from an SEO perspective. This is a guide that EnlightWorks builds within its process for website redesigns for clients who are invested in SEO. To read more, please see the following link:
Image provided by Unsplash, see artist details below.
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.
Many Public Housing Authority's (PHA) nationwide take part in the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program which is a voluntary program that assists residents within Housing Authority programs to become financially independent of welfare programs.
For Housing Authorities that take part in this program, the process to manage it includes the following:
As mentioned in previous articles, a majority of Public Housing residents are accessing the internet via mobile devices, and there is a real opportunity to leverage technology to manage FSS programs efficiently. Here are some suggestions and online technologies that can help.
Initial Candidate Assessments
Every PHA seems to be different when it comes to doing an initial evaluation, but a majority start with a fillable PDF on their website of just a Microsoft Word application that the candidate has to fax or email in. One alternative is to create a form on your website that captures this information and emails it to designated individuals or teams. With most website Content Management Systems (CMS) and online form generation services, you can create forms where entries are accessible via the CMS or Form service management dashboard.
If you are adventurous, you can also look at App building services like Knack that can build forms for you that hook into a custom application you develop that manages FSS cases. Now, most housing management applications do some FSS management, but it does not include access to residents who can keep track of their progress as well.
Individual Training and Services Plan (ITSP)
Once resident signs on for the FSS program, then the PHA will develop an ITSP for the resident. Usually, this is a paper document that the FSS representative with the PHA writes up a plan and reviews it with the resident on a regular basis via an in-person meeting. I would not advocate replacing the in-person meetings as this is still very critical even in the golden age of technology, but you can use technology to allow the resident to get regular notifications of their progress and be able to in real-time access what they need to do next. An online application the resident can access via a computer or their mobile device would be critical. As mentioned, you can use a technology like Knack to develop an application or use an online collaboration tool like Asana to managed the ITSP plan. With Asana, you can create a project that includes the resident, and they can access the online application via a phone and get notifications via email from it as well.
The applications mentioned above will help you manage the ongoing relationship with the FSS participant. You would be able to upload documents that the member can view anytime; you can notify the participant of any updates as well. You can also use one of these applications to notify the PHA resident of the balance of the Escrow account. Maybe this could be another way to motivate the participant to keep up with the program as the member can look up what their balance is at any given time. Notifications via these applications can be accomplished without providing any critical personal information.
With the recent changes in administration, there could be significant changes to PHA budgets. With that, it could be even more important to try and make the process of managing the FSS programs more efficient, and I believe the use of more online technologies could make FSS Administrators jobs a lot easier.
Here are links to the online applications that we mentioned above. Full disclosure, EnlightWorks a partner of Knack and Weebly, but this is because we have tried various other App building programs, and this one is the easiest and most reliable for our clients.
Asana (Online collaboration tool): https://app.asana.com/
Knack: https://www.knack.com/signup/?ref=EnlightWorks Apps
Forms (Type Form): https://www.typeform.com/
Forms (Wufoo): https://www.wufoo.com/
WebsiteCMS: Weebly Sign Up
Contact us or learn more about our web design services for Housing Authorities
This is the time of the year where we explore the web design trends for 2017. The following is an article with recommendations for your website and a very informative infograph developed by a web designer/podcaster out of Chicago (The Deep End) that we respect greatly on what the web design trends could look like for 2017.
A lot of the recommendations we make are based of the need to accomedate the way a majority of people visit websites. With over half of all internet users accessing websites via mobile devices, it is even more important to make sure your website can be viewed on multiple platforms.
The following are suggestions that are possible with our platform (Weebly).
For more details, please see the following Weebly article: www.weebly.com/blog/refresh-your-site-for-2017
For larger trends to expect for 2017, here is an inforgraph from The Deep End with what to expect for 2017.
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
The following are the "reads" of the week we have read and helped with our ongoing education in the world of Web Design and Graphic Design. We hope that some of these articles will be helpful to our San Francisco Bay Area clients and clients nationwide.
How Can Small Businesses Compete with Large Businesses in SEO
The following is a video from Moz's (SEO Experts) Whiteboard Friday series from Moz founder Rand Fishkin. I encourage you to check it out on a weekly basis if you are interested in SEO. This session, Rand discusses how a small business can compete against larger businesses within the world of SEO. Essentially he states small businesses can take advantages of there size and ability to be more flexible to compete against the big boys. See the video here:
Google Begins Mobile First Indexing
From searchengineland.com, they came out with an article that talks about how Google has started using (Testing) mobile content first in ranking and indexing websites. This article is further proof that the way most people access the internet is shifting from the desktop to the mobile device. If you have a "Responsive" website that can be seen on any device, you would not have to make any changes. Even if you have a desktop only view-able website, this new feature will still be able to index you. This is again in a testing phase that Google will try out over the next few months, but this could be a sign of things to come. To learn more about this, please see the following article:
Changes To Local Search Results After Latest Google Search Update
Again from searchengineland.com, they came out with an article that discusses Google's latest algorithm update (Possum). They say that 64% of local listings changed after the update. They are not 100% sure, since Google's algorithms have gotten more complex over the past couple of years. To learn more, please go the following article:
4 LinkedIn Tips for Better Prospecting
Here is an article from the Social Media Examiner that discusses the 4 best ways to prospect using LinkedIn. This artiles discussed how to use LinkedIn's ProFinder service, use third party tools, nurture relationships and how to use LinkedIn data in your own CRM.
Adobe Reveals New Features for Photoshop CC 2017
Here at EnlightWorks, we were not able to attend Adobe Max's conference held this week in San Diego, but there was plenty of available online content available with highlights from the convention. Here is an article from Creative Bloq that discusses the new changes to Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 (Which we use a lot of here at EnlightWorks):
Breaking Down Boundaries with Art
From Adobe's Create Magazine, Artist Janet Echelman discusses how she uses her public art in city settings to breakdown barriers between people.
All The Best Stuff Released At Adobe Max For Web Designers
As mentioned before, Adobe Max happened this week in San Diego. From Web Designer Depot, here are the hightlights for Web Designers from Adobe Max.
For a local Housing Authority, their website had not been updated for over 10+ years. When approached by this Housing Authority, we did an exhaustive discovery to figure out what was needed for the new website redesign. The previous website was hosted by AT&T and the Content Management System (CMS) being used was Dreamweaver.
Along with not looking visually pleasing, the previous website had several issues that included the following.
After assessing the old Housing Authority website, EnlightWorks started to do a discovery and interview with key Housing Authority staff that would be responsible for updating and managing the website. The staff outlined what they wanted to improve the new website which was essentially all of the issues mentioned above. It was decided that EnlightWorks would go with Weebly as the platform we would build the new website on. The reason we went with Weebly was for the following reasons.
The Housing Authority staff provided a list of other Housing Authority websites they liked and EnlightWorks provided theme examples from Weebly for them to choose from. From there we started building the Preview.
During the discovery phase, we also did an extensive review of the website to get a baseline to work from. This review looked at the performance of the current website, how usable it is, the security of the website, technical aspects of the website and the website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rating was.
Working with the Housing Authority's staff, we built out a preview for them to review. The Housing Authority put together a review team with the key stakeholders to go over the website preview and approve and suggest any changes needed. There was several back in forth sessions during this process, but the real advantage was the Housing Authority was able to review the previews and see the changes with a live preview. With Weebly, we are able to setup previews that are live so the Housing Authority is able to see any changes as they happen. This helped fine tune the website pretty quickly and accurately so when the website was ready to go live, it would be 100% ready. The key to this process was making sure all of the Housing Authority staff was available and made timely suggestions so the project was not delayed. During this phase, we made sure there were certain elements implemented that made it easier for visitors (especially mobile users) to find what they needed. We also made sure to customize the theme based off the Housing Authorities branding. We also designed custom graphics and selected and provided stock photography that was consistent with the Housing Authority’s brand.
Implementation and Testing
After the preview website was approved by the Housing Authority, it was time to make the website go live. During the process, we worked with the domain host provider (Network Solutions) and DNS provider (GoDaddy) to make sure the Housing Authority’s domain now points to the new website. All the while, even during the Discovery and Preview phase, we were using a Project Plan to guide the whole process. The client also had visibility to the progress of this project plan as well.
Some of the key features not previously mentioned we are now able to implement include:
After the implementation of the new site, further testing was needed. During this phase, we made sure the website met accessibility requirements for people with disabilities and we made sure the website could be viewed on any mobile and tablet devices. This was extremely important since now almost half of internet users access the internet using some sort of mobile device or tablet device. We also made sure all links worked as well. Using Weebly’s built in SEO capabilities, we were able to setup basic SEO settings so the Housing Authority’s website could be found on major search engines.
After the website went live, EnlightWorks setup accounts for Google Analytics and Google Search console so we can measure ongoing performance of the site and understand where users are going when on the new Housing Authority website. For this particular website, we do see that most visits to the website were to the Housing Choice Voucher/Section 8 page and home ownership pages. With this, we are able to optimize those pages so that visitors could easily navigate to them and find what they needed. Also, we are being able to see with Analytics that just under half of the visitors were from mobile phones and tablet devices. We again made sure the mobile views were optimized. With the ongoing optimization, EnlightWorks has been able to assist with implementing other needed features like an event management system, upgraded form system for online applications and ongoing design support.
This project with the Housing Authority was an exciting project for EnlightWorks. We believe based on this project and our overall experience working with Government agencies, we can bring similar success to other Housing Agencies and other government websites.
Please contact us to learn more about this project in more detail.