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We've written some insightful, entertaining articles that span topics from support to design to content management and beyond!




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Illustration depicting people collecting assets and promoting a website

 

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 Optimization

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.

 

Update Your Website’s Technology and Tools

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).

 

Update Your Website’s Design

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.

 

Revamp Based on Necessity and Market

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 clientele, but may need to be done even more often if you have a strong focus on young users or have a national/global presence.

 

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 immensely. 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 acquire 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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Illustration depicting a concept of people updating a website

 

Your website is your calling card in today's day and age, so it should reflect who you are as a company. It should also be up-to-date, as consumers have become pretty savvy nowadays. They've learned to distinguish between old-fashioned websites which looked a little more like magazine pages, with alternate arrangements of images and text and contemporary websites which play a little more with form, using eye-catching images and content that has been specifically written for a web-based audience.

 

Given that people are going to judge your business based on how your website looks, it's a good idea to keep updating it regularly, in terms of content as well as design.

 

Content

In terms of content, it's easy to see why a website would need to be updated. Things are constantly going on within your company, so your website and blog should reflect that. If you have new products, new colors, new features, new services, new people on your payroll etc., you should put that on your website by altering the content.

 

Design

What about the design itself? In what circumstances should you alter the design of your website? As web design progresses, it becomes more and more visually appealing - so you need to look back at your website and think about how visually appealing it is. You can judge it based on the other websites that you're currently exposed to. Or you can compare it with the websites of your competitors. If you feel that it's not up to par, then it is time to redesign it.

 

And More

Another thing that you need to keep in mind is that your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Earlier websites weren't necessarily mobile-friendly but as time goes on, smartphones and mobile devices are becoming more and more technologically advanced and people are using them to look up all types of things on the go. If your website isn't mobile-friendly, then it's definitely time for a redesign.

 

Contact us for more great tips on redesigning your website!

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Businesses often focus on ways to grow their business, promote their brand and increase profits, but providing excellent customer service can help accomplish all these goals with little to no extra cost or training.

 

Build loyalty with great experience for your customers.

 

People don't pick businesses based on product or price alone. The experience they have at your company can be the difference between loyal repeat fans and ambivalent customers. Ambivalent customers are quick to jump onto promotions and discounts offered by competitors. But loyal customers stick with your brand because they know they can expect high-quality service.

 

Building your reputation is key to your business's long-term sustainability. Done very effectively, customers will spread the word about your company and bring in new customers without any additional marketing from your end.

 

Customer service pays off

 

Building loyal customers who continue to patronize your business and bring in new customers only helps your company grow. Businesses rely on repeat customers to stay competitive. Customer service is one of the best ways to engage customers in your brand and encourage them to come back.

 

  a woman shaking a man's hand

 

Exceptional customer service is a simple but highly effective way to help your business stand out. While competitors might rely on flashier products or dramatic promotions, your company can steadily build a business with consistent customer service.

 

Customer service is especially important for small businesses.

 

Large corporations or big box stores can afford to offer the lowest prices with their high-profit margins and cheap manufacturing practices, but friendly customer service can eliminate customer reservations about slightly higher prices. Many consumers are willing to pay a little extra for products or services from a local business, especially when they provide a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.

 

While researchers haven't quite proved that excellent customer service boosts employee morale, the two are related. Positive feedback from customers results in better morale, which leads to more - or even better - customer service. Psychologists name motivation and performance (including customer service) as a sort of chicken and egg conundrum. We may not be sure which came first, but the presence of one usually draws in the other.

 

For more information on how to keep your business competitive, including customer support, web design, and marketing strategies, contact us at REM Web Solutions.

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WRFN's website on in a computer monitor

 

About

For families of children with special needs in Waterloo Region, Waterloo Region Family Network is the most broadly resourceful organization because: we are built by families, for families; we don’t require a diagnosis or criteria for eligibility; we provide resources and facilitate meaningful connections for families of all life stages. Our overarching purpose is to serve the family to support the child.

 

WRFN's Main Contact Person: Sue Simpson, Executive Director

 

No. of Employees: 7

Established: 2009

Location: Kitchener, ON

 

Visit WRFN's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

We liked REM’s personable approach. When we reached out for a quote they asked to meet in person so they could fully understand what we needed from a new website. REM clearly explained what could be done and at what cost. We also appreciated that they provided a Not for Profit Discount.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

It was a pleasure working with REM! The team we worked with was extremely professional, supportive and always quick to reply. They were patient with us and took the time to understand how we needed our new website to function. They also provided training for our team that was geared to our level of understanding! Not only was REM great to work with while they developed our website, they have continued the same level of customer service with any ongoing support we’ve needed.

 

 

It was a pleasure working with REM! The team we worked with was extremely professional, supportive and always quick to reply. 

 

-- Sue Simpson, Executive Director

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

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Support: support@remwebsolutions.com

 

This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Person using a laptop and looking at photos

 

Picking which images you want to go on your website can be an extremely daunting task, but these days it does not have to be. Whether you are looking for custom images taken just for you, stock photography which you select and purchase as you desire, or even free and open source imagery readily available at the click of a button, it has never been so easy to find the images that will be perfect for your site.

 

Hiring a Photographer

A major factor in what type of images you will want is going to be your budget. Having a photographer come and take photos for your website can be extremely expensive, however generally yields the best results. You will have images which speak perfectly of your company, will often include images of your building and staff, and can have exactly the look you desire as you can ask specifically.

 

Royalty Free Stock Assets

If you are on a bit of a smaller budget, but still want something special, there are many websites which sell “stock” photographs for a set price. These photos are not unique as anyone can buy them; however, they are very unlikely to crop up often as they are copyright protected and cannot be freely taken. They are also often as high quality as if you had hired a professional, they just won’t be specific shots of your company. This works well for home businesses or businesses with no physical location, as they generally get better results this way and do not need to show their locations through photograph.

 

Open Source Imagery

If you are on an extremely tight budget and absolutely cannot spend money on images, there are free and open source photographs available to anyone online. While many of these are still quite high quality, be aware that they will be extremely pervasive throughout the internet for the pure fact that they are free. This may cause many users to recognize your images from elsewhere and this may put a negative reflection on your website or business.

 

Thanks for reading about how to pick images for your website! If you need a hand with anything website related, reach out to us.

 

Contact Us

 

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Man standing in front of whiteboard

 

So, you have just launched your new website and have had some time to digest things. Now what? The thing about your website is that it should never stop evolving and getting better as time goes on. If you can make an improvement to the site that will benefit your user in some way, this should always be done and can only help your brand or product.

 

Make Your Website User-Friendly

A common first place to start is where you can link within your own website so that users can navigate a little bit easier. It is all well and good to have links in your navigation, but you are going to want to place convenient links and buttons throughout your content as well. A good place to make sure you are sending people frequently is your contact or your products/services pages.

 

Remove the Clutter

Another thing to do is make your website more detailed gradually. This can be tricky as you will want to “hide” your more comprehensive information that can bog a new reader down beneath or behind lighter and more to-the-point content.

 

Improve Usability with Up-to-Date Designs

Layout can be another big source of improvement for a new site. You will have designed the website according to your or your own company’s tastes, and while this can be great, fresh sets of eyes always reveal new improvements or bugs that may have previously been unseen. Over time, listening to feedback and making changes based upon that feedback for user friendliness. Looking to competitor websites to see what they are doing better than your site can also be a good source of insight.

 

Features can be added or improved on your website as time progresses. Maybe you have expanded to 2 locations and now wish to have both locations on the site, with a user interactive map. Maybe you want to start blogging but want a certain interface and setup for it that is a little different from a basic page on your website. Perhaps you want to start allowing people to apply to jobs directly through your website. These are all common improvements you can make to your website over time.

 

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Group of people sitting and shaking hands

 

Once you launch your website, and especially if it is a brand-new site, you are going to need some legwork to do to get your name out there. This can be as involved as advanced marketing and SEO campaigns, or as simple as word-of-mouth advertising to your friends, it all depends on the size of your business, your budget, and your desired outcome.

 

Digital Strategies

Chances are, if you are a big business, you have had a website for many years. This does not mean you do not need to advertise your website! People are going to want to know if you add a new feature, revamp the visual aspects of the website, or make a massive change to some important information. If it is a large website, you will want to rely on your lists of contacts, clients, and subscribers to your newsletters/blogs. A smaller website may have no choice here but to rely on Google AdWords or even word of mouth.

 

Adding the Personal Touch

Word of mouth works great, even in medium to larger sized companies, when it comes to targeting specific big-ticket clients. The word of mouth interaction is much more personal and will result in a higher chance of conversion or purchase. AdWords will often fall on deaf ears, or even worse, become the target of competitor clicks. It’s no secret that it’s easy to VPN in and click those paid advertisements to charge the companies hundreds or thousands in ad dollars for no results. This means there is no protection against malicious attack from competitors, although this is a reality for larger businesses.

 

Usually when it comes to your advertising, your gut feeling is probably where you should go. Branding is very personal, and your style of advertising should reflect that. While it is not our specialty, we may be able to offer insight in this department. Contact us if you need a hand with anything website related!

 

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When building a website, figuring out exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it can be one of the biggest challenges. How do you get your point across, while still being visually appealing and getting your points across to your visitor?

 

 

Business man writing on desk

 

Make a List of Pages

A great starting point can simply be making a high-level list of the main subjects you want to talk about on your site, besides the obvious Contact and About pages which tend to have somewhat self-explanatory content. This will give you a list of topics to begin writing about if you do not have existing material to place on the site. If you have an existing website and you are just revamping, this is essentially already done for you in the form of your existing navigation, and you can simply add and trim topics as you see fit.

 

Set the Tone

From here, you will need to gauge the level of professionalism you wish to portray through the writing on your website. Many companies these days have a much more casual way of communicating with clients than more traditional or old school companies, and the language you use on your website should reflect the language you plan on using with your clients at every stage of your interactions. If you have a younger target market, consider utilizing social media such as Instagram or Twitter, and platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn if you are going for an older audience.

 

Once you have the tone and your subjects, simply begin writing organically about the subjects which you know well. It can be hard to get that first sentence down, but once the words start flowing it will be a lot easier than it seems at first. Move on to the subjects you need a little research on later, as your confidence will have been built up by writing about your mastered subjects.

 

Review and Refine Your Content

The final step is to edit your content. Beyond the basic spellchecking and grammar checking, you will want to make sure that key words you wish to target with search engines are mentioned a variety of times within. You don’t want it to sound unnatural, but just make sure you mention words you think someone may type into a search engine when they look for you.

 

That’s it! Look out for more tips on maintaining your website in the future, and if you need a hand with anything to do with your website reach out to us.

 

Cotact us today

 

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Business woman looking at a laptop

 

Nowadays, it's very easy to set up your own website. You can do this with WordPress which gives you a number of different website templates. You just have to insert your own images and content and voilà—you have your own website. At times, you may not even have to pay for maintaining this website, if you don't mind having a clunky web address.

 

This is great for someone who is just starting their own website or blog as a hobby. But if you're setting up a website for a business and your aim is to increase the number of visitors to your site in order to get more customers, then a DIY website may not be right for you.

 

Here are the 5 mistakes people make on DIY websites:

 

1.

Choosing the Most Popular Template

The fact that the template is popular shows that it is good. But it also shows that your website is going to end up looking like everyone else's.

 

 

2. 

Using the Images That the Template Comes With

You need to use your own distinct images. You can take the photos yourself or get them from a free website. Just make sure they won't look the same as everyone else's.

 

 

3. 

Not Providing Enough Information

Sometimes, people just write a few sentences describing their business and post them on their website. You need to provide more well-written information if you want customers to come to your site.

 

 

4.

Not Setting up a Blog

If you want people to keep coming to your website, you have to keep adding more information. You have to keep it relevant and fresh.

 

 

5.

Not Using Keywords

When people go to search engines, they type in keywords that are relevant to them. So if you want them to find you, you have to use the same keywords. Do some research about the keywords popular in your field and make sure they are used generously on your website (without keyword-stuffing).

 

 

Contact us to understand more about the mistakes people make on DIY websites.

 

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Every time a person hears about an interesting product or service, they're not likely to have a computer at hand. After all, when do you usually hear about something interesting? It's generally when you're hanging out with friends, having a beer or a coffee. Sure, there might be times when you get a good recommendation at work but, in general, people are too busy working to look up the website immediately.

 

So it's important to make sure that people are able to follow up on the recommendations they receive when they're not near a computer. And this means having a mobile-friendly website which will give them all the information they need immediately.

 

Hand holding a smartphone with REM's mobile website on it

 

Mobile-Friendly Images and Text

Any website can be made mobile-friendly as long as you use the right images and text. Yes, it may be difficult to fit a panoramic image into a phone. But it's always possible to avoid panoramic images and use close ups instead. Plus, it's a good idea to keep your content brief and to-the-point so that people will be able to read it on a phone as well. As long as you follow these two rules, you should be able to come up with a mobile-friendly website which serves you well.

 

The Uses of Mobile-Friendly Websites

Think about it from your own point of view. Haven't you often been tempted to look something up when you were with a friend—maybe the exact definition of a word or some information about a book or a movie that you want to recommend to someone? Maybe they told you about a dating site and you wanted to look it up. Or maybe you were trying to get some health information that would be pertinent to you or your friend. Maybe you were just looking for a good place to go to dinner.

 

Either way, the fact is that a lot of your internet searching nowadays is now done on a mobile phone. There are even people who don't own computers, only mobile phones. So it's a good idea to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Contact us for more information.

 

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