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Optimize Your Twitter Page to Keep Your Audience Growing

Optimize Your Twitter Page to Keep Your Audience Growing

 

optimize twitter page web design REM social media

 

Twitter is an easy platform for advertising your posts and reaching out to a wider market, but it's also easy for your market to overlook your content. Keep your posts notable, relevant, and interesting with these modifications.

 

Keep in mind that if you are looking to optimize your social media presence, it does take a significant amount of time and attention to detail. Many companies will actually employ a "Social Media Manager" to maintain, post to, and analyze the company's social media pages.

 

Get Twitter Cards that match your website's design 

 

Social media is all about catching someone's eye, and text doesn't do that anymore. The best way to stand out in your followers' Twitter feeds is to add in a graphic that shows what you have to offer. Through a bit of code added to your content, any retweets or links to your site on Twitter will also include a description and eye-catching image. Picture how visually stimulating a site like Pinterest is for generating interests, and imagine doing the same to your Twitter posts.


Create lists for segmented marketing 

 

If you offer a wide range of services within your niche, not every follower will want every bit of news you have to offer. Instead of running the risk of overloading your customers with updates and losing them, you should manage your followers and contacts into different lists that receive the tweets that are relevant.


Have your web designer build in UTM tracking

 

Analyzing where your traffic comes from and what your visitors are doing is one of the best sources of information you have for knowing what your customers and leads really want. Having specific data about which types of tweets are the most effective is just as useful because it helps you spend your time on the marketing that works. Have your web designer customize your URLs so you can keep track. Using a service such as Hootsuite will accomplish this, as the URLs created when posting actually have built-in analytics tracking.

 

Using your social media pages effectively is just as much about analyzing data on the back end as it is about creating good local posts to generate interest in Kitchener, Cambridge Guelph, and Waterloo. Make sure you have the tools in place to promote your business effectively. If you have any additional questions about this, let us know and we will get back to you!

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Effective Ways to use Social Media to Promote your Website

Effective Ways to use Social Media to Promote your Website

 

 

A social media presence is one of the best ways to promote your website. It takes knowledge, time, and effort to build this presence. Below are several ideas to get you started.

 

Make your posts stand out

 

A promotional post has several tasks. It must attract attention and appear interesting enough to click and share. To make a post look stellar, customize it for the social media platform you are using. Make sure that the post has an interesting, eye-catching image and an effective title. You can use a different title for your social media post than you used on your website. Titles that inspire or intrigue often attract attention.

 

Timing is the key

 

People on social media platforms are more active at different times. Posting during more active times is a good idea. Your audience may have activity patterns, too. As you get to know your audience, you develop a better idea of when they will best respond to a post. Do not be afraid to re-post often. You can post many times a day and on different days. Be sure to make use of multiple social media platforms.

 

 

Network

 

Part of building a social media presence is attracting attention and building an audience. Another part is networking. An easy way to begin is by interacting with your followers. Ask questions and engage them early on and keep them motivated to come back to your page. Reach out to fellow users who share your interests and build a network of people who are enthusiastic about your site.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

 

You should optimize your social media page for search engines to attract more followers. Make sure you have enough text on your page and that the quality is high. Do keyword research to make sure you are using commonly searched for phrases. Include an eye-catching call-to-action that links to your site or business.

 

Summary

 

By optimizing the content and timing of your posts, you generate more traffic from them. You will start to build a social media presence as you make SEO optimized posts and network with others. To keep this presence, post often, expand your networking efforts, and continue producing quality content. Let us know if you need any tips on using social media to promote your site.

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How Often Should You Redesign Your Website?

How Often Should You Redesign Your Website

 

modern responsive web design on computer by REM Web Solutions

 

Most of us know of people who never say anything new and always wear the same clothes. They come across as unengaging and seem almost invisible at social events. Likewise, websites that never update their content basically have nothing new to say. Websites that haven't had a design makeover in years are essentially wearing the same old, tired-looking "clothes." Just as dull people generally fare poorly in sales positions, so too do dull websites perform badly at turning visitors into customers. As a business owner, this should raise some red flags.

 

Engagement

 

Visitor engagement is the key to converting your traffic into customers. This means that visitors are actually engaging and utilizing your site, rather than simply skimming over it. Engagement causes some people to make quick purchasing decisions. Others require repeated exposure to your website before converting. A large percentage of your traffic fall into this second category. If your site fails to engage and doesn't change, these people simply have no reason to make a return visit.

 

What kind of change is necessary for this? First, you should update your website's content on a regular basis. Things probably change often within your business such as new products and services, price changes, and special offers. Update your website content to reflect this. If you have an active marketing team, their campaigns should be a source of a lot of your content updates. Make useful information available to your visitors so that they have a reason to be there and to come back again.

 

planning out content for web design REM Web Solutions

 

Content

 

Finding things to write about amounts to paying attention to what's going on in your business. You can even take your content production one step further by blogging about industry news or about your customer's concerns. If your content updates are keeping pace with the changes in your business or market, then there's no danger of your website content becoming stale. Search engines also pay attention to how often you are updating your content, and looking at the wording of the content to determine where your website falls within the search engine rankings. For more info on this, read up on the basics of SEO here.

 

Your website's design should also change. Of course, it won't have to change with the same frequency as your content, but you should be aware of what a good, effective website looks like at any point in time and try to judge your own site based off of your expectations of other sites. How often you should redesign your website will depend on your business and market, with tech related businesses needing to stay at the cutting edge of design. A website design that hasn't changed in two or three years is "pushing it" for most businesses. A website is more than its content however, and it should have visual appeal. Even websites with appealing designs must eventually change them however, because they lose their impact after repeated visitor exposure.

 

If your website's content or design isn't current, it's doing little for your business and may even cause harm. If you don't have the time, inclination, or skills to keep your website relevant and engaging, we at REM Web Solutions can help. Contact us to learn more.

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The Exciting Advantages of Custom Domain Names

Understanding Custom Domains

 

opening photo for blog about custom domain names from REM

Custom domains, in short, are precisely what they sound like. They are domain names that are 100 percent customized. If you look at a website and you see the words "WordPress" or "BlogSpot" in its name, then it doesn't have a custom domain name yet. People often turn to WordPress and BlogSpot when they're just beginning their blogging experiences. That's because the use of these platforms is free. People don't have to spend any money to rely on them for blog creation, blog maintenance duties, and beyond.

 

Businesses these days are becoming more and more active online. It is critical for businesses of all types to have a strong online presence. If you're just beginning setting up a digital presence for your new business, you may be tempted to make use of a platform such as WordPress or BlogSpot. Who wants to spend unnecessary money, anyway? Although it may initially seem easy and hassle-free to make use of WordPress or BlogSpot, it's simply not a good idea. If you want your business' blog to shine, you need to consider self-hosting as soon as possible. You also need to consider getting a customized domain name.

 

Customized domain names are paramount for businesses that want to do well on the Internet. It doesn't matter if you're launching a new ice cream shop. It doesn't matter if you're in the process of setting up a brand new public relations agency. You need a custom domain name, plain and simple. When exactly was the last time you saw a serious and successful business that had the name "WordPress" in its address? There are many advantages associated with custom domain names. If you want your business' online presence to truly soar, these advantages can do you a lot of good, to say the least.

 

Custom Domain Names Are Simple for Others to Find

 

Assuming you are not using a template based website (which you shouldn't be!), websites are all distinctive and one-of-a-kind. If you want others to know what makes your business website distinctive, however, they must be able to easily find it in the first place. Online searchers rely on popular search engines to find out about brand new businesses and groups. If you want your business' website to stand out and get attention, it can help significantly to have a custom domain name.

 

People tend to gravitate to custom domain names because they're simple to identify. If you don't want other people to immediately dismiss and forget about your website, it's important to create a custom domain name that accurately reflects the nature of your business and all that it offers. That bit of effort can go a long way.

 

man using a computer to browse a modern website in REM custom domain name blog

 

Custom Domain Names Are Hard to Overlook

 

Custom domain names are difficult to overlook. There are seemingly countless WordPress and BlogSpot websites on the Internet these days. They, because of that, can seem like a dime a dozen. If you give your business' site a custom domain name however, you give it the gift of an edge. You should make a point to create a custom domain name that's particularly catchy and snappy, too. Short domain names tend to work extremely well.

 

Domain names that are overly long can be confusing. It's also important to create a domain name that connects directly to your business and all its offerings. Don't invest in a custom domain name that seems to have nothing to do with your business operations. That can be a waste of precious time and can also be highly misleading.

 

Search Engines Generally Respond Well to Custom Domain Names

 

Search engines are king in the competitive digital realm. That's the reason websites should do anything and everything they can to accommodate search engine preferences. If you want search engines to respond well to your business site, investing in a custom domain name can do the trick. A custom domain name can also help your site get better search engine rankings. Custom domain names give businesses more professional and polished looks. Search engines respond well to websites that are more professional and serious in feel.

 

Custom Domain Names Give Businesses Access to Better Email Address Options

 

Professionalism is vital in the digital marketing realm. If you want your business to stand a chance in modern society, you need to give off a vibe of professionalism no matter what. A good email address can make your business look professional and credible. It's generally never a great idea to use a Gmail or Yahoo! address for professional purposes.

 

If you have a custom domain name for your business, it will communicate to others that you care. It will communicate to others that you take things seriously. Your goal should be to communicate to the world that your business is ready to be a major player. If you take the time to set up a custom domain name, that can be a wonderful starting point.

 

Custom Domain Names Can Open Your Business Site Up to Invaluable Advertising Opportunities

 

Custom domain names can make it a lot easier for businesses to spread the word about their available services and products. If you want to be able to advertise your business on the Internet, it can be wise to buy a custom domain name as soon as possible. Most contemporary advertising firms out there are not willing to take in subdomains. If you want to save yourself from the dangers of revenue drops, creating a custom domain name is the way to go.

 

Custom Domain Names Enable You to Make Subdomains

 

Website owners cannot set up subdomains using subdomains. They can, however, set up subdomains with the assistance of their own customized domains. If you want members of your target audience to be able to easily and swiftly access your site's subpages, establishing subdomains can be a great and dependable option. Custom domain names can do so much for all kinds of businesses. They can increase search engine exposure substantially. They can make businesses look considerably more credible as well. The advantages are varied.

 

If you are looking for more information on custom domain names, please reach out to our support team here at REM. We are always happy to help!

 

This blog post is credited to Helen Cartwright.

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How to Use SEO to Improve Your Domain Authority and Website Traffic

How to use SEO to improve your website traffic

 

SEO web design REM letters on a table

 

Do you continually wonder why your website is not being found, despite your best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy? You may feel you've built a beautiful site with a great domain name, content, and all the right keywords, yet it is still not being found by search engines. This could be due to your site's domain authority.

 

What is domain authority?

 

Simply stated, domain authority is a metric developed by Moz, a leading authority on website SEO, which gives your website a score on a scale of 1 to 100 to determine your site's ranking on search engines. Obviously, the higher the ranking, the better chances you have of someone seeing your site. When someone searches for a certain topic, if you have a higher domain authority or ranking, your site will be higher in the list. When searching, most people never make it to the second or third pages of their search results. Instead, they look at the first page that appears on their screen, then they are off and running to read more on those initial topic results - decreasing your website's chances of being seen by that person if it does not fall on page 1.

 

There are many factors that determine a site's domain authority; however, here are three SEO tips to increase your site's domain authority:

 

1. Link Building

 

Link building is when you actively try to increase the number of backlinks to your website. The idea is the more links you have from other websites, then the more it looks like people are trusting your site's content - therefore, the search engines will naturally rank you higher in the list, believing you are a trustworthy authority on the search topic. 

 

One way to get other sites to link back to your website is to simply ask them.

Another way to get links back to your website is to build relationships with the more popular websites through social media. You can go to their Facebook or Twitter page and leave helpful or informative comments or tweets. Eventually, they might link to your site, without you having to ask.

 

Of course, the most obvious way to get other sites to link back to your website is to provide, current, relevant and good content that will make them want to link to your site.

 

2. Removing Toxic Backlinks

 

Having good backlinks can certainly improve your site's domain authority but, unfortunately, the opposite is true for toxic backlinks. Toxic backlinks are unnatural links to your site that impact your domain authority in a negative way. This is why you should remove them on a regular basis. In an article entitled, "What are Toxic Backlinks and How to Remove Them"PageTraffic lists four types of sites with backlinks to your site that are usually seen as toxic backlinks:

 

  •                 Spam sites and sites that are created only for link building
  •                 Sites which were not indexed by Google
  •                 Sites with a virus or malware
  •                 Link networks                                                                                                                                                        

3. Regular Maintenance of Your Website

 

Often, after completion of the website development, businesses think they can just sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Sure, they might post a blog article here and there, but other than that, they never give it a second thought. The truth is, having a website requires lots of work and diligence. Websites should be checked monthly, if not bi-monthly, for any broken links, grammar errors or outdated content. For example, if you post content about a Mother's Day sale, a visitor should not see Mother's Day sale information long after the 4th of July. If a site is poorly maintained, search engines will view the site as outdated or irrelevant. You should also read any comments left by visitors on a regular basis and, if applicable, reply promptly. Remember, it is all about building and maintaining relationships with your visitors. 

 

analytics animated cartoon web design SEO

 

Summary

 

In conclusion, you should make increasing your domain's authority a priority, if you want people to find your website. There are many ways you can do this; however, by focusing your SEO efforts on link building, removing toxic backlinks, and maintaining your website on a regular basis, you will increase your chances of having your site show up near or at the top of a search engine's results list.

 

If you have questions about your website's domain authority or you are ready to maximize your SEO efforts, contact us. Our experienced staff is always ready to answer any questions you may have, or assist you with your business' Internet marketing.

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Why Use a Content Management System Like WebWiz@rd?

Why a Content Management System is Your Best Friend in Web Design

 

cms WebWiz@rd content management system custom design web

 

There are plenty of different types of websites out there, all of them with pros and cons. At REM Web Solutions, we like to think that we offer the best aspects of each rolled into one system when it comes to building, hosting, supporting, and changing your website. I am going to list off some of the most common types of sites from worst to best, and then tell you a little bit about how our content management system will make your life easy when it comes to your website.

 

DIY-From-Scratch Sites

 

As a business owner or an employee, you would expect that your day would consist of doing your job, growing your business, and making useful connections in the world. The last thing you want to spend your days and nights doing is building a website from scratch. Not only do DIY (Do-It-Yourself) sites generally look extremely low quality (since the average person was likely never trained in modern web design and programming), but they are often riddled with bugs, hard to maintain or make changes to, and give a terrible impression to any potential visitors looking into your business. For these reasons, DIY sites rank worst on our list.

 

DIY website ugly terrible clutter clashing low quality worst

Example of a poorly designed beginner DIY site

 

With a DIY site there is no access to support if anything goes wrong. The domain management, hosting, DNS management, and content management all fall to the person building the site, and if this is you, this is the last thing you want on your plate next to everything else you need to do on a daily basis. You also don't want to put that kind of excess pressure on your employees either, who probably already have enough of their own work to do.

 

While the actual cost of a DIY site is generally very low (usually just the cost of the domain name and hosting service, as well as your own time spent building the site - which might be worth quite a bit of money anyways), the result is almost always exceptionally poor. You can usually pick these sites out a mile away by their poor choice of colour and text layout, lack of up-to-date information, serious formatting issues, browser compatibility issues, and just about every other issue you could think of.

 

Template-Based Sites

 

Next, there is the cookie-cutter template website, which takes a matter of a few days to put together from start to finish. It uses a template, which means that in all likelihood there are hundreds if not thousands of sites out there which look exactly the same besides the words and links contained within. It is initially cheap to build, but does not have a means for the user to make changes to the site without phoning or emailing the company that built the site. At that point, it could be several hundreds of dollars and several weeks to months in order for them to make the change for you (and even then, it might not be exactly what you want!). The site may not follow the design or colour scheme of your company, and may even look like a competitors site!

 

template design quick fast website easy cheap no support

Example of a template-based website

 

You can usually pick these sites out by the numerous obvious errors in spelling and formatting, pictures that have nothing to do with the company who the website represents, and extremely outdated information. You can't really expect more than that for paying a company which will likely only spend a few hours looking over your information, hastily pasting it into the template, and pushing it out the door as fast as humanly possible. Utilizing a site like this, you might have no access to emergency support, possibly no help with domain or DNS management, and might not even have a direct means of contact outside of an email which lands in a general support box.

 

All in all, you will get exactly what you paid for - a rushed half-baked site that is not unique or convenient for users and owners alike. It will likely only cost you business and damage your reputation.

 

Custom Sites - HTML5 - In-House Management

 

Next, there is the custom designed site with in-house management of content. This generally means that there is a designer and a programmer involved in carving out and building your site from scratch, and you are receiving a site which is unique to your business. Since it is built using code from the ground up, it is likely a lengthy process and may take several weeks to several months to design and build. It also comes with a higher price tag, especially if your site has advanced features such as user login areas, E-Commerce systems, secured areas, events modules, or a blog. This is because it takes time to build all this from scratch, and can be a lengthy and expensive process of testing and debugging issues. You generally will come out with a high-quality site and a high-flying price tag to match, which may be a downside for a small business.

 

custom design website from scratch designer programmer web

Example of a custom built website with no CMS

 

The other downside comes from the in-house content management. This means that any changes that you want to make to the site post-launch will need to be run through the company who built the site (are you starting to see a trend?). This can come with a fee and can often take several weeks before they are able to fit the change into the schedule of the designers/programmers (especially in a small business).

 

There is the benefit of likely having access to support with a company like this, so if you did have questions or concerns you would be able to have those addressed. You would also likely have access to domain management, DNS management, and hosting services, although this varies from company to company.

 

Overall this option is middle-of-the-road, as you get a great website that is very difficult to make changes to in the future.

 

WordPress Sites

 

WordPress has been gaining traction lately among the more tech-savvy business owners, as it is a cheap DIY method of building a modern looking website. There are also companies out there which utilize the WordPress platform and will build sites for their clients using the tools available in WordPress.

 

While these sites often look very modern and cutting edge, they come with a terrible drawback. They are built using a combination of plug-ins which are all designed by different programmers. When building a WordPress site, the user must choose from the several thousand available plug-ins based on what features they want for their site. These plug-ins often cause compatibility issues when grouped together, and support for them can be fleeting, as once the programmer moves on from the plug-in it will no longer receive updates or compatibility fixes. Furthermore, updates to certain plug-ins may all of a sudden cause your site to longer be compatible with several other plug-ins you are using, essentially rendering your website (or a portion of it) useless until a solution can be worked out. These issues will exist regardless if you have a company look after it for you or not, as they have no control over these plug-ins besides choosing which ones to utilize.

 

wordpress DIY website example modern cheap advanced plugin corporation

Example of a Wordpress site

 

While it is often possible to login to the content management system for WordPress and make changes to your site at any point, it is quite often not laid out in an easy-to-follow format, and someone without a programming background may find themselves struggling to make simple changes, never mind large complex additions.

 

The support from WordPress is typical of your average large corporation. You submit a support request, take a number, and when your time comes your query is sent to a customer support agent who looks into your request and gets back to you. If you are lucky, this can happen within a matter of hours, and if not it could be 2 days before you hear anything. The next time you have an issue, you can be nearly certain that you will be talking to someone different and they will have no idea who you are. You lose that sense of recognition that you have with a smaller company who may know the ins-and-outs of your site before you even submit your request.

 

It is also not always cheap to use WordPress as many users believe. Some companies will charge tens of thousands of dollars to their clients for a complex WordPress site, especially if they are expected to provide ongoing maintenance or support for the client. The final drawback is the fact that if something replaces WordPress as a better option for DIY sites in the future, you can bet your bottom dollar that the programmers and supporters of WordPress will move on to the next best thing and your site will be left with no updates and no support. Essentially, left in the dust with a potentially massive bill for services rendered for a now unsupported site.

 

REM - WebWiz@rd Content Management System

 

With REM, your business and website gets the attention it deserves from day 1. Initially you will speak with one of our Business Development Managers who will take a few hours to learn what your business is all about, and will show you a little bit about how WebWiz@rd - our content management system - works. This is essential as it allows us to get to know you, what you want out of a website, and how best our system can benefit you. We go over the different modules available in WebWiz@rd and choose which ones we should implement into your site to make life easy for you when making changes.

 

REM web design kitchener cambridge waterloo ecommerce content management system

 

From there you will go through several rounds of design with our custom in-house design team to get your website looking exactly how you want it to look. When you are happy with the design, the finished concept is sent to our programmers who work on carving and building the website to look and function exactly as you want it looking and functioning. Once this is done, content can be implemented (exactly how much content is decided in the initial discussion and pricing of the project).

 

Once the site is built, our Account Manager will sit down with you and give you a tutorial of navigating your site, showing you all the pages with the pre-populated content that has been decided upon, and getting your final "OK" of the site build.

 

Once the site is built and you are happy with it, the Customer Success Manager will book a time for you to come in and take a training course on how to use WebWiz@rd, our proprietary content management system software which allows you to edit and add virtually anything you want to your new site. You then have access to support at any point in time if you have any questions or concerns about how to make a change or perform a task in WebWiz@rd.

 

WebWiz@rd content management system menu website custom design waterloo kitchener cambridge guelph

WebWiz@rd main menu of the CMS

 

Aside from the various modules in WebWiz@rd, the system also offers easy access to manipulation of Meta data required to influence SEO and drive more traffic to your website. During training we share details on the importance of SEO and offer some helpful advice on how best to choose and manage your focus points regarding SEO. 

 

We offer DNS management, web hosting, domain management, business email service, enterprise level spam filtering, and technical support of our content management system.

 

At REM Web Solutions, we like to know that at any point in time if you want to make a change to the content of your website, you can do it within a few minutes. This is why we designed WebWiz@rd to be easy to use for people of any technological skill level. There are advanced features available for tech savvy individuals, but they are not necessary for maintaining a top quality website. You can manage a blog, events for your business, an E-commerce system, secured password protected areas, banners, and numerous other custom aspects through this system. We even have an easy-to-use tool which will pull your content from the standard version of the page and reflow it for the mobile version of your webpage.

 

blog manager web design content management system REM WebWiz@rd

WebWiz@rd blog manager module in action

 

We believe that having this ability to make changes yourself to your site is an integral aspect of owning a website, and that it saves you vast amounts of time and money versus any of these other methods of website described in this blog. If you would like any more information on this or any of our services, feel free to reach out to us and we can answer any questions you may have.

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How Current is Your Website

How Current is Your Website

 

Old broken down car in a run down garage

 

If you owned a store, you would probably do regular maintenance on its interior and exterior. Failing to do this would reflect poorly on your business. The same goes for a vehicle or even your own home. Maintenance is an ongoing expense because things wear down. This is why most people don't question the need for it. On the other hand, a website doesn't have a physical existence. It is software that's rendered on the browsers of viewing devices. This means it isn't subject to wear and tear and is why so many business owners see web design as a one-off expense.

 

If the world never changed, then you could treat web design as a set and forget process. Of course, that isn't true. The Internet and the people using it are constantly changing. These changes include:

 

Search Engine Changes

 

Google changes its algorithm every day. Sometimes these changes are related to website design. If your website doesn't render well in the viewing devices of Google's users, Google will send little if any traffic your way. If you have any broken links or images on your site, this is a major red flag for most search engines, and they will basically mark your site as not being maintained/up-to-date.

 

Search engines now take many things into consideration when showing potential viewers your site. These things include everything from the location of your business, the reviews you have on social media, and your SEO keywords/description, right down to the descriptions and titles that you give your images and links on your site. It is important to keep these things up to date, and contantly be aware of the analytics of your site.


Viewing Device Changes 

 

iPads and iPhones don't support flash, and neither does Google Chrome. If your site uses flash, then a good percentage of Internet users can't use your website. Many viewing devices today have small screens. People using these devices have no desire to deal with websites that aren't mobile friendly. If you want to utilize video, it is best to embed these files directly from YouTube. This not only will help with the compatibility of viewing these files for your users, but will help your video get more coverage/views by being posted in various locations (i.e. your website, directly on YouTube, perhaps shared via other social media sites/forums).

 

sleek modern curvy building


Web Design Trends 

 

Not staying current with design trends and modern layouts will date your website and affects the viewer's perception of your business. As a customer, if you went to a website looking for a product or service and were greeted by a website that looked like it was made in the 90's, you would most likely get the impression that this company couldn't be bothered to update its site, so you may be suspicious that the products/services on the site were also out of date. Keeping your site looking slick and cutting-edge will give the impression that you put work into keeping things updated, and by that logic that your products and services are also updated.

 

As a good rule, you should at least consider revamping your website design from the ground up once every 5 years or so. This can be stretched if your site caters to an older clientelle, but may need to be done even more often if you have a strong focus on young users or have a national/global presence.

 

Market Trends

 

In addition to the Internet and its users, the businesses that use websites also change. Products and services can change. Market changes and the need to stay competitive force businesses to change their marketing and sales processes, which in turn should be reflected in their web design. For example, making your products and services available for purchase online at this point in web history is almost mandatory, and expands your customer base immensly. The only way this may not be the case is if you offered a product/service for which the price was highly subjective, but even in this scenario you would want to provide a way for your potential customers to aquire a quote or speak with a sales representative.

 

What the above arguments point to is that you can't treat your website as a one-time expense. Although it doesn't suffer from wear and tear, the world around it doesn't stand still, and your website shouldn't either. If you feel like it is time for your site to have some new life breathed into it, let us know and we would be happy to make it happen.

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7 Ways Design Templates Destroy Your Time, Resources and Business Reputation

"In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest." Henry Miller

 

There are lots of website templates available for businesses to use, and programmers craft many of them with style rather than functionality in mind.

 

Website templates offer an affordable, simple solution for organizations with limited funding and time to invest. Modern businesses must have online representation. To meet these needs, most start-ups will turn to website templates.

 

However, Template Limitations Spoil the Final Product

 

How does this happen?

 

  1. Templates aren't flexible. Site owners aren't able to get creative without programming experience.
  2. Templates often hide clunky programming issues below the surface that cause slow loading and other problems.
  3. In order to meet basic business needs (like removing ads, having more freedom to customize, using SEO analytics and other marketing tools and securing a domain name and hosting), you have to pay more or get by without these things.
  4. Even the most beautiful template can look cheap after you've edited it. This is especially true if you choose to change several graphics or fonts. Most non-designers lack the talent to combine and create tastefully on web platforms. Colours look different. Sites display differently on various devices.
  5. Sometimes people recognize your template from other websites. It's hard to create a unique brand identity, (especially crucial for modern businesses) if users recognize your template from another site.
  6. Mobile devices are the most popular tool for browsing online today. Some companies advertise templates as responsive. However, many finished websites still don't look right on every device because they are not mobile friendly.
  7. Lastly, SEO is an important business marketing strategy. There are levels of tailoring that an SEO expert can do below the surface to enhance your online positioning. However, just like templates offer limited customization in visual areas, many won't offer your SEO expert the freedom he or she needs to customize your site for marketing.

Make the right choice now, so you're not forced to later.

 

Contact us today at REM Web Solutions. A custom website is worth the investment. Trust is essential for success in online sales and marketing, and at REM you can trust us to create a stunning, professional, custom designed website that will enhance your online presence. 

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Business Website Advice: How Often Should I Redesign My Website?

The Internet changes rapidly. There are many forces driving this such as the never-ending updates of the major search engines, the rising expectations that consumers have of online businesses, and major changes in how people access the Internet.

 

Styles evolve as well. It's very easy to discern websites that are decades out of date. Even the code used for building websites changes. Much of the old HTML code (HTML tags) commonplace in the 1990s is either deprecated or superseded by more useful forms. Keeping up with this change is important if you want your website to remain relevant and profitable.

 

Exactly how often you should redesign your website will depend on the market you serve. However, few competitive businesses allow more than a few years to go by without some kind of redesign. Here are three indicators that your website needs a redesign:

 

It Isn't Mobile Friendly

 

Most consumers today use their mobile devices for online purchasing and for locating nearby brick and mortar businesses. If they need to buy something, conduct business, or do research, they're not going to wait until they get home to their desktop computers (if they even have one). They also won't put in the effort and time of scrolling through a website meant solely for desktop computers when so many mobile friendly websites are just a few clicks away.

 

The Design Looks Out-Of-Date

 

An antiquated design sends the wrong impression to visitors. It projects obsolescence or amateurism. Visitors may assume the business lacks resources if it can't maintain a current looking website. People also get used to and even expect websites to reflect current design styles. For example, why would someone spend money at a site that's filled with the HTML tables of a 1990s website or the gradients and big glossy purchase buttons of the 2000s?

 

The Design Doesn't Reflect Your Current Success

 

If you still have the same website you first used as a Startup, you are leaving money on the table. Increase your leads and sales by reinvesting some of your profits into a more optimized and professional looking website. There is always room for improvement.

Get more out of your website by giving it a much-needed redesign. For more information or assistance, contact us today.

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3 Common DIY Website Mistakes

Tempted to save money by doing your web design yourself? Although skipping the services of a professional web designer may seem like an easy way to cut costs, the truth is that it will probably hurt you in the long run by producing a website that isn’t optimized for the highest possible conversion rate. Here are some common mistakes of DIY websites.

 

Bad Menu Structure

 

Menus are one of the most important parts of your website because they are what allow visitors to navigate your site and land on your important pages. However, a menu has to be optimized in order to work. It needs to be in just the right place, the menu option titles have to be unique, the pages need to be in the right order, the secondary menu needs to be visible but not in-your-face, etc. Your menu also needs to be optimized for mobile devices, where drop-down menus don’t work very well.

 

UX Mistakes

 

You want your visitors to have a pleasant user experience (UX). Common UX mistakes include lists that are split into many pages, a FAQs section where each question opens up on a new page, pop-ups and pop-unders that get in the way of the reader, too many ads, self-playing videos, too many sliders, etc. These are all things that get in the way of being able to navigate your site seamlessly.

 

Slow Load Times

 

There are many things that will slow down your website, including images and videos that aren’t optimized, ads that are served over a third-party server, and heavy page elements and scripts. Slow load times lead to higher bounce rates and fewer conversions. A professional web designer will be able to optimize your website so that it loads quickly.

 

If you would like to update your existing website, or are looking to create a new site, contact us. Our professional staff can help you create a site that is optimised, engaging and most of all give you the highest possible return on your investment.

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