The use of mobile gadgets has been increasing, and in 2014 mobile searches are expected to surpass desktop searches. Studies show that 67% of internet users are more likely to access the web and make purchases through their mobile devices. This is where responsive websites come in. A responsive web design is SEO and mobile friendly. A business’ target market, the purpose of the site, and SEO needs determine whether it should be responsive or not. Responsive web designs are currently trending and are here to stay. Here are the 3 reasons why this type of web design is the preferred choice for many. Responsive web designs are:

Google Friendly

Responsive web design is recommended by Google. Google considers this kind of web design the best practice in the industry. Websites that are responsive have a single URL and HTML code, making it easy for the search engine spiders to crawl and index the pages in the site for ranking in search queries. It is also easier for internet users to interact with responsive sites, share its content, and even link to the pages. This improves the users’ experience while browsing the specific site that is responsive.

Access from Different Platforms or Devices

Another reason for the trending of responsive websites is the fact they can be accessed from any platform or device irrespective of type or screen size. This enhances user experience because anyone trying to access the site from any device will do so successfully. Whether one is browsing from a PC or mobile device, the website is configured accordingly to fit onto their screen size.

Ease of Management

Responsive websites are two-in-one, making it easier to manage and run marketing campaigns because only one website with one URL is dealt with.

Making a website is not so difficult any more with all the tools you can learn and use online. But creating a functional and sustainable website is the goal. As mentioned, websites will become more personal and detailed to information. Therefore, the traffic to your website will prove if your websites are being helpful to your audience via your websites.

Designing a website that enhances user experience is extremely important. However, you need to understand your audience first. Demography, media time window, interest, and a lot more. How would you find out? Traffic tracking and analytical tools!

Google Analytics

It’s the most popular analytic tool at the moment. It’s also a plug-in application in some CMS like WordPress, which is very convenient. It gives most of the information you need to understand the visitors at your site, such as referer and their geographic location. It allows up to 50 site profiles, with each has less that 5 million page views monthly.

But Google Analytics’ tracking code sometimes is blocked, which means some users and traffic would not properly recorded. This could lead to false report of websites.

Crazyegg

This heat map indicates where and what gets the most clicks among visitors.

Crazyegg’s heat map indicates where and what gets the most clicks among visitors.

Well, this one is not free. But if you want to learn viewer behaviors on your websites, definitely try Crazyegg.

For example, the endless scrolling is one of the website design trends in the past years. However, not everyone will keep scrolling. There you want to learn where viewers actually pay attention to and where they lost interest. And with the heat map and click-tracking overlays, you can eliminate the least clicked buttons and content. Crazyegg will help you make better websites by studying their behaviors on your websites.

IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management (Formerly Coremetrics)

IBM bought Coremetrics, the highest rated web analytic tool by TopTenReviews.

Like Google Analytics, it also transforms collected data into different forms for better comprehension over the websites, featuring the continuous optimization dashboard. It also help companies monitor their online campaigns and programs by it’s solid web analysis.

Its outstanding costumer services also won trust from many corporations. According to TopTenReviews’ comparisons among analytic tools, it makes the most out of the collected data and shares insightful details.

Webtrends

Webtrends is more than a tool; it’s a package of services. It aims to enhance customer experience, increase conversion, and grow revenues.

Especially in the past decade, websites have grown to be a tool in online marketing. Webtrends is specifically designed and made for companies who targets online consumers and audience. It uses the collected data to analyze your consumers before it helps create campaigns targeting them. Hereby, it achieves its goals in increasing conversion rate and growing revenues for the companies.

It offers different services to best suit your needs for your business.

Adobe Marketing Cloud (formerly known as Omniture)

Omniture was acquired by Adobe for $1.8 billion in 2009. It’s a comprehensive set of marketing solutions, including analytics, campaign, experience management,media optimizer, social media monitoring and targeting.

 

 

 

 

Which web analytic tool do you use to understand your viewers and customers and design a better website?

A few weeks ago, a client jokingly asked us to comment on what websites are going be like in 10 years. At the time I told them, at the pace that digital marketing is going, no one knows!
This question has been following me for a few weeks, and I thought I would give it my best guess. So here are the 3 predictions I have for websites in the year of 2024, if websites still exist that is.

Authentic Content Trumps Award-Winning Screenplay

As more and more people have access to building their own websites, we will start seeing more and more websites built to express ideas, individual opinions and stories. We will value websites less and less if they are only built to sell and promote products.

The End of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Not too long ago, with keywords and tags, you can enhance your ranking on Google within weeks. With the latest Google algorithm update, Google is putting its weight on website structure, credibility, content originality and back-links. In the future, this algorithm will be much more integrated and take into account social media coverage, reviews, press links, store hours, and maybe even the amount of tax you paid last year.

The Beginning of Artificial Intelligence Websites

As software gets smarter and data gets more robust, the websites we can build become more personalized online platforms. Imagine an intelligent website that could configure and re-distribute content just to fit your profile and preference. We are not saying just responsive layout or Facebook integration. I think websites will respond to your device, weather, mood, location, network speed, time of the date and more. Literally, no one sees the same website twice.

 

Yes, it is the trend. I’m sure you notice that websites are  becoming  customized and personal. Websites used to be more informational. As reliance on the Internet grew, websites are now a marketplace for inspirations, promotions and branding. With HTML 5, C++ and JAVA, websites are completely changed and different from one another, making them more delightful.

The idiom says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But as it is now, you just have to show your capabilities and fine skills on your website because it is one of the only ways for others to learn about you and become interested in you and your works.

It has become the new form of portfolio. We are from different backgrounds and different professions. We have our own way of showing others who we are and what we do. With different programs and themes, we can explore and search for the best suitable style to build a strong and unique brand. Since everyone wants to stand out among billions of website, websites will only become more personalized and customized for different purposes.

Website Trending Styles

Flat UI example

Flat User Interface

Flat user interfaces are actually more popular than you think. Apple’s iOS 7 and Windows 8 both use a flat UI design on their devices. Yet, a lot of design firms and studios are redesigning their websites to follow this trend.

Responsive Sites

More and more people now own tablets and smart phones, which they use for browsing when they are away from computers. Websites that look good on a computer browser will not fit and function well on your six-inch, hand-held devices. Responsive websites automatically adjust for different devices for best appearance and functionality.

Website Trending Useful Tools

Bootstrap

Bootstrap is a new tool designed by Twitter that helps programers organize codes in designing pretty website pages, based on HTML and CSS. Bootstrap is used with WordPress to make websites delightful to view and responsive to use. It is also compatible with most browsers.

Bootstrap 3, the new update, focuses on mobile website development. Instead of switching from a website on computer browser to mobile ones, Bootstrap helps mobile websites expand the other way.

WordPress for Website Design

WordPress is still the most popular CMS, especially compared to Drupal and Joomla. WordPress is easier to manage and explore for those who don’t have much experience in coding. Themes and plugins are ready to download and be installed. You can utilize these applications to customize your own website.

Google Analytics and AdWords for Website Design

Google Analytics and AdWords are not the newest; however, they are very useful. Google Analytics will share data with you, where you can find the weakness in your websites. You will be able to learn more about your viewers’ behaviors, such as what page get the most clicks and what time of the day gets the most views.

Not to mention, more human interest and elements are added to websites, such as meet the staff, contact info and social media accounts. Getting more personal is a sincere way to share your stories and work. It will help you gain credibility and trust from viewers.

 

 

  • Using Craigslist

    # Using Craigslist, some solid leads can be generated. You just need to post listings on this platform which can be used for free and you will start getting results. If you are able to leverage this platform in the most effective way, you will be enjoying excellent success in your endeavor.

  • Use Facebook

    # Use Facebook for capturing potential customers is also a potential real estate marketing option that can help in generating solid leads. Today, this platform has turned out to be an effective breeding ground for generating substantial real estate leads.

  • efficient website

    # Make use of an effective and efficient website that helps you to generate target visitors and help in generating worthwhile real estate leads. Using online marketing tools, you need to vitalize your real estate website so that it starts working wonders for you.

  • Use SEO

    #  You should also focus on optimizing your real estate website so that it is able to attract more leads and search traffic. Using SEO services, search engine rankings can be given a firm boost.

  • Consider blogging

    # Consider blogging if you think you are not able to generate as much real estate leads as expected. Writing blogs on this niche can help you to keep your customers engaged which will help in driving more traffic to your website, ultimately resulting in more leads.

  • Arrogant or impersonal

    # When using Social Media Platform for real estate lead generation, care should be taken that you do not come across as arrogant or impersonal as it is the biggest turnoff for the potential customers.

  • Bluff

    # Never publish comments or updates that are inappropriate or misleading. People can easily make out your bluff and once it happens, it cannot be changed. Building your reputation again will take a lot more effort and time and by that time, you will lose your firm footing. Thus avoid indulging in poor judgement as it may have a drastic impact on your business.

  • Over promotion

    # In real estate advertising, promoting business is an important aspect, but the problem occurs when it becomes too much. Over promotion can in fact harm your chances. You can share updates, listings, etc. occasionally, but if you are blowing your trumpet all the time, it can be a put off for your target customers.

  • Going overboard

    # Many times, people indulge in over embellishing of features and sometimes to make it appealing, it is exaggerated. Going overboard with the same can create a problem when the customers realize that what they were expecting in a listing is actually not there.

  • Wrong people

    # Do not allow access to your social media account to wrong people as one negative comment or wrong information can kill your chances. Following the above mentioned do’s and don’ts can help you to plan your strategy for real estate lead generation.

The Disengaged UI/UX For Music Streaming Service

Tidal’s overall UI/UX can be described as modern, trendy, and dark-themed. Nothing is wrong with these attributes; in fact, they can be very effective. However, when you consider most everyday music listeners, there is a distinct difference between the brand and the everyday listeners.  The dark-themed interface is simply not as encouraging as other clean, light-themed interfaces.  I agree that the dark-theme worked well for the night time, but evening music is more of a social occasion. It usually happens in a bar, a lounge or a nightclub. We tend to listen to music on our own during the day time.  I really hope the next UI/UX upgrade will brighten things up; it could brighten up the future for Tidal in doing so.

Pandroa One on iPAD

Pandroa One on iPAD

The Out-dated Customer Acquisition Model

One of the major challenges for Tidal to attract new users is the lack of free services. There is certainly value in high quality and ad free music streaming; however, these listeners are probably the subscribers of Spotify Premium or Pandora One. The market for people willing to pay for two streaming services is very small. The market for converting free listeners to paying listeners is tough to crack.  Not to mention the fact that you cannot experience the Tidal service without a credit card. This is preventing other on-the-edge potential customers from experiencing the service. Tidal would be better off having a truly free trial or a free version.

Tidal services

Tidal services

 

The Wrong Brand Story

This is the most problematic issue for Tidal. The brand story is completely disengaging and off-putting to the general public. An engaging story needs 3 elements; a hero, a magical tool, and a villain. In Tidal’s case, they get two of them wrong: the hero and the villain.

Who is the hero? Tidal came out with the support of some of the most popular musicians. The story they tell to the public is that Tidal is different from the rest, because it gives the profit  back to artists instead of major corporations.  In this case, the heroes in the story are the musicians  and artists. While that sounds like a good idea on the surface, it does not engage nor mobilize the public opinion.  In fact, public perception is that the artists are already being overpaid. Is this perception true? It doesn’t matter. If the heroes of the story are Tidal’s customers and not the artists, it would be a much more convincing pitch.

Who is the villain? Every great story has a villain, the bad guy, the establishment, the dictator – whatever you want to name it. In this case, we can roughly guess that the villain is the record companies. The problem here is that the public doesn’t really look at record companies as the bad guys; at least this perception is not strong enough to influence any significant behavior change. Finding common enemies with the public perception is key in engaging with your target audience. If Tidal can clearly define its villain and the public can resonate with such a villain, then this platform can finally influence our behavior.

Tidal Music Streaming

Tidal Music Streaming

 

Of course, the above is my own opinion. I also think  Tidal has a fighting chance in this music distribution market; however, they need to rethink their own brand story and step up their game in 2015.

Since 2009, I have been recruiting college graduates and young professionals for Fresh Design. While I think most career centers and HR professionals do a very good job preparing candidates for general interviews, I see a lack of knowledge specific to people who want to break into digital marketing. That’s why I compiled an incomplete list of the top five things you can do to increase your chance of getting an entry-level job in a digital agency.

 

Know your division

digital agency interview

Commonly, digital agencies divide their teams into three different groups. They are client services, technology, and creative. It is important that you understand what each of these departments does, and how they work together. For example, if you are going for an account executive position, this will fall under the client service group. This is a foundation for you to understand how you can fit into the big picture.

Show and Show

A polished and well-written resume will, at most, be an admission ticket to your first interview. If you want to impress your potential employers, you need much more. Depending on your desired position, you should prepare for a study case, design portfolio, or an online demo. You should never go to an interview empty-handed; instead, you should bring a tablet or a folder to showcase your work. Also, you better do more than just showing the work; you should walk them through your thought process and tell them the challenges you had to overcome. In short, you should be selling it.

Research on culture

Color painters

Each agency has its own company culture. While most HR professionals will tell you it is good to fit in culturally, this is more than important in the agency world. You can read the agency’s blogs, pay attention to how to answer the phone, follow them on Facebook and Twitter, find out the company’s history, and find out what they wear to work. All these little things will add up to a company culture profile. This should shape how you interact with the potential employers.

Speak the language

digital agency interview

There are specific terminologies for each industry, and digital marketers love abbreviations. If you are going after an entry-level position, it is good to read up on all the popular industry terms. So you can talk about CTR on the next PPC campaign, while considering A/B testing to reduce the Bounce Rate.

.

Avoid the obvious answers

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Your potential employer, on average, interviews about 10 to 20 candidates per position. That means they get an average of 15 answers per question they ask. If you want to get noticed, your answers need to be different. I have heard way too many candidates talk about how Apple or Nike is a good brand. Yes, indeed, these two are the most recognizable brands in the world. However, candidates should avoid these obvious examples and go with something more exclusive or unique. One candidate educated and impressed us with her answer about Indian chocolate branding. It was about two years ago, and I still remember her interview.

Content has defined the web for the entirety of 2014. A presentation I designed in 2013 depicts how the organic growth of anything is tied to word of mouth and favored over any paid ad. What these contextual reads have allowed active internet users to do is simply click and stay connected. The simplicity of this act is unbearable to those who think and live in complex terms, so they have been calculated and algorithmically commodified to translate to a type of currency in an age where gold prices are as solid as air and oil has plummeted. We’ve all seen The Social Network, we know how this goes. Yet, as a constant user of these social networks, how have we identified with them each? As a whole? How have these platforms of communities defined you? These are serious questions to ask oneself if you truly wish to make the most of this currency which you now have a stake.

Recently, Snapchat has announced that they are adding former Credit Suisse banker Imran Khan to their list of impressive team members. Khan, along with executives from Google and Facebook, will be reporting to 24-year-old CEO, Evan Spiegel. Snapchat is “second only to the Facebook’s messenger.” Khan will be helping Spiegel oversee a $10 billion valuation and realize a successful IPO (initial public offering) in the same way he guided Alibaba to record-breaking gains.

When intelligence has become highly accessible and treasured, we’ve approached an era where limitations have shifted and what was once thought to be impossible is now just a Wi-Fi connection away.

 

Contributor: Camille Enriquez // @chamomilee

Inc. article: http://www.inc.com/business-insider/snapchat-hires-the-banker-behind-alibaba-IPO.html?cid=sf01001

You would imagine that everyone would now be aware that website design and a strong online presence is now an essential part of any business.

The reality is, though, that if you look at certain parts of the United States, and even break it down by city, you will see that there are some that are still lagging behind others in terms of website design and e-commerce. One area where this seems to be especially true is in the Midwest, with Chicago website design falling far behind the giants like New York and San Francisco. This is a situation that needs to change of businesses in that area are going to be able to compete in the online world with those in the cities that are more digitally aware.

It’s tough to really pinpoint why such a gap would exist, but whatever the reasons, business owners need to understand that the conscious act of not having a website can seriously affect their bottom line. This is even true for those businesses that do not sell online, many of whom probably feel that they are doing just fine with their brick and mortar office. The reality is that the lack of an online presence will eventually catch up to them in one way or another.

The question that needs to be asked at this point concerns why a website is so essential for a business that does not sell over the internet. The answer is actually very straightforward and is actually staring us all in the face every day. The number of people that access the internet via a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device is continually on the rise. That is important because it has now become the number one way in which people research and find out about products and services that they are interested in.

Search engines like Google have replaced the Yellow Pages and other traditional venues where businesses were usually found. If you have not adopted a Chicago Website Design and are relying on people finding your business using the old methods, you could potentially be lining the pockets of your competitors with gold. Even if they did find you that way, how would they find out all they need to know about your business outside of your office hours? Think of your website as the receptionist who is on call 24/7/365 and who knows all there is to know about what you provide.

If you do have a business that sells physical products, why would you not make them available online? Imagine being able to sell your goods around the clock without having to pay anything but the cost of your e-commerce website design and hosting in order to do so. Having a website opens up all kinds of different opportunities and also allows you to develop better relationships with your customers. If you are still behind the times and without a website for your business, you are actually doing a disservice to the customers that you serve.