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




This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Person using a laptop and notebook

 

Something I often see from websites as they go through the process of creation and then maintenance is that content often ends up stagnant or untouched for a long time after initial release.

 

Often there isn’t a reason seen by the owner to go back and make updates to certain pages as maybe the information never changes or the content is buried fairly deep in the website. Even for constant or more hidden pages such as these, not only do individuals notice when nothing changes after a while but so do the search engines such as Google.

 

Check Your Content Regularly

It can instead be a good idea to regularly go through your pages and make updates, even just for the sake of bringing an update to the page visually. People will take notice, and arguably more importantly, so will the search engines. It sends an indicator to them that your business is active, and this gives you a sort of priority over businesses deemed to be inactive due to either lack of updates or poor availability of information.

 

Update Some Visuals

There are easy ways to look at this – for example if you decide to make a striking visual change to a webpage, it will be considerably easier and less time consuming for you it mimic these updates on the rest of your pages, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel on a page by page basis. Consistency between your pages in terms of content design also helps give the website a much more professional appearance.

 

You can get creative with this too!

Make many different versions of a page and see what you might like best. You can even have special versions you put up for holidays or special sales to draw a little more attention and to really give the appearance of having an active web presence.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Illustration that depicts a bull's eye target and digital business strategy

 

When you have a lot to say, it can be a challenge how to portray that information on your website sometimes in a way that is both informative and not overwhelming. The last thing you want is to have the information that the user is looking for available on your website, however not have them able to access/find the information.

 

There are a few key factors when it comes to targeting your readers to their purposes, and I am going to talk about those here.

 

Categorize and Organize

If you sell any product at all on your website, there are many ways you can target your readers. You can sort your products by category to allow users to browse at their leisure, or you can attach specific attributes to items and allow users to find them based on these. This is especially handy when paired with a search function – and don’t be shy when it comes to adding keywords and attributes! It takes time, but it really pays off in how much more flexible and usable the online store becomes with the correct connections made.

 

Make Information Easy to Access

Speaking of searchability, it is very important for your regular informational content to be easily accessible as well. This usually comes down to naming your pages in an informative way without going overboard with the description, as well as making sure your regular pages also come up in a search for information on the subject.

 

Be Short and Sweet

Lastly of course, making sure you are concise is important. Readers do not want to have to sift down through several layers of links to find something they are looking for, it needs to be as “Shallow” in the link tree as possible in order to maintain visibility to the average reader. It might be a different story if you were running a Wiki page, but for the average website you need to keep it concise.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Clipboards with check list with the words "Importance of Testing Your Work" on top

 

It is probably said fairly often, but especially in a world where your work is going to be visible to the public and probably instantly – it is very important to check your work!

 

Always Back Up Your Work

In my role here at REM, I often see projects at many different stages of iteration including the ones that have long since left our nest here and with clients whom are maintaining their websites 100% themselves. With changes that are typically made within any CMS, there is almost always a “sandbox” type environment where a version or copy of the page can be created and moved there to be worked on, completely safe from the eyes of the public until it is ready to go. Within WebWiz@rd, this is called “cloning”. Always utilize this when possible, as it saves a mistake being released right away to clients of the website.

 

Preview the Page Before Going Live

Of course, once you have changes made to a page in the cloning environment, you are always going to want to preview the page to see how it will actually end up looking to the user. Remember, when testing the preview of the page it is important to test it in multiple screen sizes to ensure good user experience for all. You can always drag the corners of your browser window to replicate the effect of the responsiveness of the content.

 

Ask for Help and a Second Eye

Lastly, it is always a good idea to have someone else look over your work in a serious fashion for quality control. This is beyond asking a co-worker or friend for a quick once-over as you will most likely be greeted with “it’s just fine!” or “seems good to me!” Instead, if you have access to a professional editor or copywriter of some kind this can be a much more effective option.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Person's hands holding a roll of photo film over a laptop

 

A question I am often asked by our clients is how best to select images to use on their website. This comes up both in design and during site maintenance, so I thought it would be best if I put together a blog post on the subject!

 

Open Source Photography

Depending on your business, it may or may not be easy for you to find available imagery to use online. For those lucky enough, you will find everything you need on the free stock photo websites. These sites do not charge anything for the use of their images as they are public domain, and you can often nab some quality images here. Some examples of these websites include Shutterstock and Pexels. You can also find video footage for stock banners on sites such as Coverr.

 

Royalty Free Stock Photos

If you are a more specialized business or images are harder to come by, you may need to go so far as paying for your stock images. The sites above may offer some paid options, but you can also use Adobe Stock and other paid options to locate rare and less used photos which are available for purchase.

 

Professional Custom Photography

If it comes down to needing a very specific image or brand specific images, there is no choice but to hire a photographer to get what you need. The nice thing about the modern age though, is that every smartphone has a camera capable of taking some high-quality photos in a pinch, and this can be especially handy for products and the like. Consider hiring a photographer or at least collecting your own images if you need to show something unique or special about your business.

 

If you have any other questions on how to choose your images, let us know and we would be happy to help out!

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

man using a professional video equipment

 

Today, it is becoming more and more common to see video of some type on pretty much every variety of website. If you aren’t using video as a form of media for your business and displaying it on your website, you may be feeling left out, but is video something that you need?

 

When we think of using video on our site to help promote our message or our product, it is important to keep in mind a few big factors. Your customer base size is going to have a tremendous impact on whether video media will be an effective use of your time and budget or not. Your client age group will be another large factor, as will the specific type of product you are selling.

 

Budget Considerations

There is something to be said about the propagation of video online, but this is something that needs a bit of a viewer base to take place under regular circumstances. If you are a very small business or just starting out, unless you need to demonstrate a specific product or way something works, video may be a waste of resources and not be seen by a large number of people. As your business grows, your customer base helps spread your media, so this becomes more important.

 

Target Audience Considerations

Your client age group may have an impact as well. Younger audiences tend to have a shorter attention towards longer video content; however, they do tend to appreciate video media in general – just try and keep it to 3 minutes or less in this case. For older audiences, they tend to like a lengthier video for explanation purposes, and have a bit of a longer attention span, so you can get away with 10-minute informational videos here.

 

Make It Eye-Catching, Informative and Fun!

Depending on your product, you may have a real need to showcase its use via video – in this case, try and have fun with it! You will want your video to be memorable and eye catching rather than just informational, so build this into the video content with some scripting.

 

If you have questions on whether video would be appropriate for your website, let us know and we can chat!

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Man browsing a website using a tablet

 

Unless you have been living under several rocks or perhaps a boulder, you are no doubt aware that the world is rapidly changing and we are all adapting to keeping a little more distance socially from each other. While this will no doubt cause massive lifestyle changes for many, it foreshadows the importance of web-driven business and shows that if you can adapt your business to exist in an online environment, it can weather storms such as COVID-19.

 

Sell Products and Offer Services Online

With storefronts closing, depending on your business you may be looking for a way to sell your product or service without needing individuals to visit the store. An eCommerce platform is an option for you if this is the case, and you can use this for both product and service. With a product, it tends to be fairly simple, while with a service you will also need to consider online scheduling services.

 

If you are selling a product, you can take all your products and pricing get them online and set up with a shipping provider to start selling things right away. The real beauty of the online storefront is that it offers no geographical restrictions. Where you may have previously been restricted to your city or surrounding area, the world is now your oyster.

 

If you are offering a service, you can list your prices and services out, and offer online booking through the website. This can take the burden of keeping your own schedule off your shoulders, as now your clients will book themselves into your available timeslots and you can always check what is on the agenda at any time. This can be a freedom that many do not think about before making the jump to eCommerce.

 

Here at REM, we can absolutely assist you with your eCommerce needs. Reach out to us today and we can help get you going!

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Anton Growth Management website on a computer monitor

 

About

Since 2005, AntonGM has been helping companies CONNECT, TRANSFORM, and GROW. Drawing on our 25+ years of cross-industry experience, we specialize in providing dedicated recruitment services and contingent project/program management support to our clients.

 

Our Recruitment Services division is led by Rick Van Looyen and features our unique Dedicated Recruitment Services offering, which provides both turnkey recruitment as well as direct support for your internal recruitment team on an ongoing basis. The recruitment team has experience in the consulting engineering, financial services and insurance, mining, oil and gas, construction, IT, and manufacturing sectors.

 

The Professional Services team, led by Dale Van Looyen, provides advisory and delivery support to ensure successful strategy execution across the IT, telecommunications, government, financial services and insurance verticals. Having partnered with industry leading consultants and niche services firms, we provide extended capabilities including, designing and implementing successful hardware and software asset management strategies; developing project portfolio management frameworks; business policy, process design, and enhancement; enterprise level service management programs; and governance, risk, and compliance strategies.

 

If you are interested in finding out how AntonGM can help your organization CONNECT, TRANSFORM and GROW, please give Dale, our managing Partner of Professional Services, a call at 519-208-9635.

 

Proudly located in Kitchener’s Innovation District, we have demonstrated success providing services to our clients across Canada and around the world.

 

AntonGM's Main Contact Person: Dale Van Looyen, Managing Partner, Professional Services

 

Established: 2005

Location: Kitchener, ON

 

Visit ANTON Growth Management website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

We chose to partner with REM Web Solutions for several key reasons including their depth of experience, client focus, and their robust self-serve management platform. The team at REM have been a pleasure to work with since the very beginning.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

Based on their commitment to get to know AntonGM as a company, we have a fresh, creative, and visually appealing website, which we are leveraging as part of our broader marketing and communications strategy.

 

 

We chose to partner with REM Web Solutions for several key reasons including their depth of experience, client focus, and their robust self-serve management platform.

 

-- Dale Van Looyen, Managing Partner, Professional Services

 


 

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

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: sales@remwebsolutions.com

Support: support@remwebsolutions.com

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Illustration of person organizing and updating a photo gallery in a website

 

One of the major aspects of keeping your website traffic high is keeping it up-to-date. Depending on the nature of your business, it may be either very easy or very difficult to come up with things to add or edit on your website on a constant basis.

 

For example, a store would have no issues updating their website often with new products or promotions as long as the time was available to make the changes. On the other hand, a website which is more for informational purposes, or perhaps one which only really goes through seasonal/yearly changes would have far less reason to update on a daily or weekly basis. For these businesses, it is actually very important that they come up with things to add and change on their site on a regular basis.

 

Updating your website gives people a reason to want to come visit it again after the first time they see it. This is the obvious factor, but beyond this, you are actually impacting your search engine ranking every time that you make significant edits or additions. Your changes and additions are picked up by search engine crawl bots and indexed to search engines such as Google on a regular basis, and telling these bots that new content is consistently being added and updated has a significant and positive effect on your rankings.

 

Updating your website can be fun and can give you a deeper sense of connection with your business and your customer base as well. It is one more medium for you to reach them, and for them to reach you. If you don’t already, try making even a minor change to your website at least once a week to keep things fresh. You will find over time you will begin adding more, editing more, and using the website more as a tool to reach your clients.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Illustration of an online storefront

 

I talked briefly in my last article about how an important factor when adding your images to your website can be in having something that is personal to the business, or that will essentially identify the content of the photo as belonging uniquely to your business. This extends to other areas of your website as well, and I am going to get into some of these factors below.

 

As your website is essentially the online storefront or client-facing side of your business (potentially your only one), having the client experience on your website be uniquely “you” is extremely important. If you are Best Buy, how do you make your user experience different from let’s say Amazon, while still keeping the quality of the user experience as high? This is a bit of a rhetorical question, but the answer comes in tweaking UI and layouts without sacrificing any actual functionality versus their competitors. This could be something as simple from a UI perspective as increasing the size on a slider button for price range, or allowing the user to type in a physical number in addition to the slider. Generally speaking, colour and “branding” are the first things to be applied for personalization, but you may find other aspects of your business personality that you can apply to your website.

 

Language is another huge aspect of personalization that should be mentioned. The language and tone you set on your website needs to be not only consistent throughout the pages, but consistent with the tone of your business as a whole. If you are a business with a target customer base of senior citizens, you may want to avoid using harsh or slang language for example. On the other hand, being too stuffy with a target customer base of young people, you may lose them. Keeping the tone in mind is very important for keeping the attention of your reader.

 

Advertising your website through the proper and appropriate channels is another aspect of personalization. You need to put yourself out there, but only in the circles that will care to look at your site in the first place. Advertising on Facebook tends to be more successful for local business versus Twitter, for example.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Illustration of web page elements floating around in a digital concept background

 

When designing and editing your pages, it can be difficult to keep the page looking aesthetically pleasing while constantly making changes and additions over time.

 

Here are some ideas which can help you keep things looking good, while still being able to add and update the information you need to.

 

Group Content by Action Items

 

When you are laying out your content on your page, it is important to keep the purpose of what you are adding in mind. If you take a look at the Home page of most modern websites, they are going to be organized in such a way that as you scroll down the page, you will be presented with pathways to access other, more specific information through panels or subject matter clusters. As long as you are adding related content to the same “band” or “panel” as you edit, there may not be any additional design required as you can likely find a way to integrate the new information into the existing area seamlessly.

 

If the area is brand new, try taking a look at the other areas of your website and keep in mind things like how certain fonts are being used in certain places, or which colours are showing up where. It will help you to know which fonts and colours to use for your new section. Keep the new content to a “band” or “panel” sized area, and this will make it easier to deal with in the future as well as keeping the new information nicely separated.

 

Find Images that Speak

 

There is nothing quite like a stunning image or video to capture your audience attention. Regardless of the level of professionalism or size of your business, your website is still a combination of art and information. It needs to have the visual appeal in order for your reader to be interested in remaining on the page, with the exception of purely information-based sites such as Wikipedia (though even these take UI design heavily into consideration regardless of image use).

 

As such, try to get the highest possible quality images for your content. I cannot stress enough the difference in quality of a website with crisp, high-res imagery compared to something low-res or appearing pixelated in any way. Beyond this, trying to get images specific to your business, and not just your industry is always a very nice-to-have thing. It sets you apart very distinctly from competitor websites where they may purely rely on stock photography.

 

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