2 Ways to Get Customer Calls from Your Site

get-more-calls-from-website-marketing

Does your business growth depend on getting calls from new customers, yet your phone has been silent lately? It can be discouraging to not receive those calls from your website that you’ve been waiting for, so we’re here to help you solve that problem. Maybe you are getting calls, but they’re not the calls you want and don’t turn into business leads. These two marketing tips will help with that, as well.


Getting customer calls from your website has everything to do with your website design and content.
Here are two ways to drive traffic to your website and increase business calls!

  1. Make your phone number visible and put it on every page.

If you want customers to call you, make it is as easy for people to contact you. In our experience, when our clients come to us they often put their phone number and contact info just on the Contact page. This can hurt your business because people don’t want to have to search through your site to find what they are looking for, so make it easy for them.

Place your phone number on every page of your site, and make it stand out visually. Also, think about users who are using mobile phones. When users are looking for a service or product through their smartphones, the business with the best mobile-friendly website will get bring that user in.

Already have your number on your site? Awesome, you’re ready to take your website a step further and turn your website traffic to leads. Download our 25 Website Must-Haves to see other ways that you can ensure your website leads to new customer calls.

  1. Know your customer base and what they want.

Businesses are switching to inbound marketing tactics because they are effective compared to old school marketing, such as cold calling. The key to creating a great business site is by understanding your customers and clients, knowing what they are looking for, and catering your website to them. Get inside their heads and understand the words they are using to search for your services.

Once you have this point down, it will impact everything that you do in terms of marketing. So how do you go about that? Start by brainstorming and jotting down clients that you want to bring into your business. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team:

What customers have we had in the past that remained loyal?
What type of customers have the resources to help our business meet our goals?
Who do we enjoy working with?

When working on our marketing, we used Mindmeister to create a visual word map of industries and clients that we want to reach to increase our customer base. From this word map, we then narrowed down our industries to specific buyer personas (a.k.a. customer persona or customer profile).
As defined by Hubspot, “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”

Developing a detailed persona to market takes time initially, but is worth the investment and will save you time in the future. You’d be amazed at how your business grows when you are saying exactly the right words to appeal to your clients. If you’re not sure where to start, contact us today to get help developing a buyer persona that will suit your business. Once you have it established, you can then focus your web design, blog posts, and social media marketing to target this persona.
When your website is designed well, it will work for you and bring in those calls you are waiting for! It will help you to establish trust with website visitors from the start and turn them into business.

website design bay area ca

How To Use Your Website to Convert Yelp Traffic Into Customers

“We have awesome Yelp reviews from your customers, yet our website is not converting. If I’m getting so much traffic from Yelp, why are we not getting calls from new clients?”

Where’s the disconnect?

We come across these situations often at Designflair, so don’t worry – we’re here to show you how you can convert your Yelp traffic into potential leads and grow your business. Great Yelp reviews are a fantastic way to bring people to your business, and that traffic often clicks through to your website. We’ll explain the process to turn that website visitor into a loyal and satisfied customer.

Visual Appeal of Your Website

When you’re thinking about Yelp reviews, your business’ website probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but the two very much work together. The design, visual appeal, and functionality of your website is absolutely crucial to gaining leads for your business.

To see this connection, it helps to get in the mind of your potential clients… Say you’re online searching for a specific business and you come across one on Yelp. You click on their business and see they have good reviews, so then you click on the website to reach them. It doesn’t load right away, and you get some sort of spinning icon. You decide to stick out and wait, but when the website loads, it’s hard to read the font. The design is clunky and you have to resize the page just to find any information out about the business. How frustrating! You give up and go back to Yelp to find another site.

The above example is a site that is not mobile friendly and it’s likely you have unfortunately had these negative experiences with poor web design. This is actually a common issue with restaurant websites. I search through Yelp and find one that has 4 star reviews, yet when I go to their website I can’t find what I’m looking for. Maybe their menu isn’t available at all, or is hard to read. If I can’t find the menu, I definitely won’t show up there. Their contact information may be hard to locate or have outdated information about their business.

Web design is the bridge between your Yelp reviews and growing your business. An example of a business that makes this connection easier, is one of our clients Birk’s Restaurant in Santa Clara.

What do people want on a restaurant website?

  1. Look at the menu.
  2. Find the location.
  3. Reserve a table

In order to bring in business, it’s vital for people to be able to see their menu and make reservations right from their phone, tablet, or desktop. We ensured that Birk’s menus were easily viewable from any device; here’s what their menu page looks like from a mobile phone.

mobile website birks restaurant

The navigation is clear and user-friendly. You can easily find their phone number and make a reservation right from these web pages, as well. You’ll see that their website is just as appealing and easy navigate from a desktop. The reservation tab is available on every page of the website.

web design bay area

An appealing website isn’t only important for restaurants. No matter what industry you are in, you want your business to be easily found and stand out amongst competition. We’ll share a few ways you can make this happen.

Provide Valuable Content

Once people are redirected from Yelp to your site, the information must be valuable to them and intrigue them.

One way to do this is by showing your work. Do you provide services where you can show a transformation? Including before and after photos of your work on your website is a great way to delight people who are visiting your site. Not only are good quality photos visually appealing, but they also allow people to trust your business by seeing your work.
California Dent Works relies on their website to to showcase the quality of their work and help clients understand what is truly involved with paintless dent removal. This meant that their new website design needed to focus on having an easy way to bring attention to their portfolio of before & after images.

photo gallery web design pleasanton

When designing their website, we made sure to place a gallery of their photos right on the home page. This adds visual intrigue, increases their credibility, and clearly displays their services. Before and after photos can be beneficial for many industries including trade businesses, beauty services, and designers. Whether you’re in the automotive industry or creative industry, including photographs of your work online will grow your business!

Another way to turn website visitors into business is by providing an easy call-to-action. In the inbound marketing methodology, this is part of the convert stage where you turn visitors into leads.

inbound marketing methodology

photo: Hubspot
A call-to-action (CTA) can be done in many ways, but it must draw in the person visiting your site. A great way to entice a visitor is by providing an offer in your CTA, such as a white paper or a free e-book. Quicksprout’s blog is filled with great CTA’s – they are visible, concise, and valuable to the reader.

call to action web design bay area

photo: Quicksprout blog

Having a call-to-action makes your website to the work of generating leads for you by getting that valuable contact information from your visitor. Ready to incorporate one into your site? We can help you decide where on your site to place a call-to-action a create an effective, appealing design.
Yelp should be utilized as a way to showcase your business and generate leads. Are you doing your part to draw in customers from the large number of people that are searching through Yelp?

website design bay area ca

 

3 Ways to Reboot Your Brand: Branding Inspiration for 2016

We all know that the start of a new year in our calendars is the time for new things. While you’re thinking of new workouts to try and new clothes to buy, the new year is also a time to give your business a fresh look.


Here are practical ways you can give your brand identity a boost in 2016. These brand reboots will help you start the year with a bang and give you momentum for the next twelve months.

Logo Redesign

A great logo is the centerpiece for great branding. A logo redesign can mean a totally new, or a slight tweak that makes your logo even better than before.

Take some time to evaluate your business’ logo. Is it effective? Do your customers recognize it? Does your logo speak to your company’s values? Let the answers to these questions guide the changes that you make to your brand.

Here are some great examples of effective rebrands from the past year.
Spotify got a new brand look in 2015 that finally matches how “loud” it is as a company. The NY design firm, Collins, created a new look for Spotify that allows them to publish an array of content with a cohesive look.

spotify_branding_livermore

The redesign works so that Spotify release new music with a streamlined look, using dual-toned photographs of artists with geometric shapes. The logo is now presented in vibrant colors that allow it to stand out when placed over any image or graphic. This consistent look is also noticeable in their playlists.

Another major logo change came from Google. Their update included a simplified look of their logo and a change to certain actions, like Google talk. Great branding utilizes responsive design. This rebrand creates a unified user experience whether it’s from a laptop, smartphone, or desktop.
A lesson to be learned from this example is to explain why your business made changes to your logo. Google announced the changes they made in a detailed blog post, which adds credibility to their brand and demonstrates authenticity. Seize the opportunity to engage with your audience by sharing your motives behind a logo redesign.

New Social Media Platform

Branch out and expand your business’ online avenues.
According to B2C, “Facebook video is now king” for the new year. If you’re planning on spending time and money on marketing efforts in 2016, Facebook can be a great platform when using a targeted strategy. If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your business, make one now. The new year is a perfect time for launching a new social media platform for your business.

If you already have a Facebook page, familiarize yourself with ways to show your brand online. A way to make social media marketing practical is to schedule time in your week to create posts in advance. You can future date posts by utilizing the Publishing tools. Want more tips for using Facebook for business? Social Media Examiner offers tips for Facebook visibility that will help you make sure your posts don’t get lost in the endless Facebook feed but instead get engagement from your audience.

What other social media platforms will be popular in 2016? Social Media Week forecasts that businesses will branch out to Instagram and Snapchat, utilizing them as branding tools. At Designflair, we recommend using the platforms best suit your business. It’s also smart to take a look at your competitors and see how they are reaching out to clients and customers. You want to stay ahead of the game, so branch out in your digital engagement in 2016.

Website Layout

A major player in your brand identity is your website. It’s such an important piece because it utilizes your logo, employs your tone, and features your brand colors. Your website is often the first impression people get of your business and is an ongoing reference point.

This past year contained many web design trends that we are now familiar with. One popular web design trend included the long scroll layout. An article from Awwards on web design trends mentions, “The technique works especially well for sites that want to lure users through storytelling, and you can still mimic a multi-page site by breaking the scroll into clear sections.” Some of the web design trends from 2015 are likely to stay because they are effective for users. While web designs come and go, it’s important to ensure that your web design looks great and is functional.

Just as with your brand’s logo, you can evaluate your website in preparation for the new year. The key is to choose a layout that suits your business and the content you create. Do you have a trade business? Make sure your contact information is very clear and easy to find. Are you a photographer? Showcase your best work in a photo gallery. Is your navigation user-friendly? Consumers and users are very critical of websites today and want them to work for them, which is why businesses must invest in a well-designed site. The new year is a great time to roll out a new website design for your business.

Design, branding and marketing go hand-in-hand. So as you’re thinking about your business goals in the new year, consider what design changes will benefit your business. Branding is very exciting and we hope you feel inspired. How can we strengthen your branding? Take a look at the services we provide, and set up a meeting with us today!

 

3 Common Website Mistakes You Could Be Making


In our last blog, we discussed how to develop your brand voice as a business to speak to your customers. Your business’ website is one major platform to utilize and establish your brand voice; your site is the main way people learn about your business.

In our experience with designing websites, we’ve come across some common mistakes. We’re here to help you avoid these and make sure your site is functional, friendly, and engaging. There are few worse things than a bad website… well, maybe a bad cup of coffee.

Lacking Content

Many of us have encountered websites that were lacking content. Either the information is hard to find or it may not be there at all. If you don’t have content on a web page, wait to publish it until you do. It makes your website appear unfinished if your missing information or if the information you do have isn’t what people are looking for.

In order to prevent this, create content before you begin creating your website or certain pages. You want to make sure that you have content for every page on your site and that it’s clear what each page is about.
Quick tip: Struggling with where to start? Content Marketing Institute offers some content templates and checklists that can help you get the ball rolling.

Outdated Information

Speaking of creating content, making content for your website is an ongoing process. Make sure that all the information on your website is up-to-date. Go through your site monthly and make sure your links are working. Are you offering new products or services? Make sure to include those on your website.

Some common pages that people often neglect are the About Us page, Contact page, and Blog page. One way to prevent outdated information is to have one person who has a weekly task of checking your site’s content.

Quick Tip: Do you have a website page about your team and employees? Make sure everyone is on there. Get creative with your About page. One way to do this is tell your business’ story. How did you start? What drives you as a business?
We recently updated our About page to include Pinterest boards about each of us here at the Designflair team. It’s a way for our clients and future clients to learn more about us as individuals and it adds a visual element to a page that already had text content. It leads people to our Pinterest account, which we keep updated with pins on branding, marketing, and design.

Web Design Livermore

Harmful, Quick Tactics

Don’t do something just to do it – it will hurt your branding and your business. One example is writing unhelpful blog posts just to get content on your site. This is where people tend to use shady keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing may increase traffic to your site, but once people arrive they are likely to realize that your blog isn’t actually informative. Marketing experts over at Hubspot wrote a brilliant and hilarious post, How to Write a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Blog Post. Reading through this article will help you know what to avoid when writing for your blog.

Another example is putting information on your page just to get it out there. There may be times when you have an urgent message that needs to go out to your clients and customers, however quickly posting it on your site without considering the layout and design is dangerous. Putting word content on your website, blog, or social media accounts without being fine-tuned will look unprofessional and unfinished.

Quick Tip: Before you publish any content, get an extra pair of eyes to look over the work. It’s worth the extra time of proofreading to catch any mistakes before your content goes live. Take time to ensure the content you are creating is consistent with your branding, helps your clients, and is informative.

Don’t lose credibility for your business by making these common web mistakes. What types of errors have you encountered when surfing the web? Let us know if there are any common mistakes out there that we missed.

Limited Marketing Special

For the next 2 weeks (until 12/18/15), we are offering end of year marketing packages. We’re eager to help our clients succeed through effective marketing! Commit to investing in your business now with our holiday packages and choose to:

  • – Schedule your strategy session immediately
  • – Schedule to start a plan to start in the new year

Contact us by December 18th to receive this marketing package deal!

Template Websites v.s. Custom Websites: How to Choose the Best Web Design

Websites are such an integral part of our daily lives now that we don’t even realize how often we visit them. Consumers use websites for socializing, finding out information, researching products, and finding out about businesses. A recent statistic reports that “The average internet user spends around 4 hours and 25 minutes using the net each day (Wearesocial.Net).” When visiting a site, we expect it to work for us and deliver the information we are looking for. (And it’s very frustrating when it doesn’t do that.) Therefore, a great website must be functional and attractive.

Businesses are dependent on websites to grow and use them as a means to keep current clients updated and to also reach potential ones. It is vitally important to have a website that works properly and has engaging information; you want people to be able to easily find your website and stay on it once they do. A great website is an effective way to generate leads for business and establish your brand identity through online avenues. More and more platforms are becoming available to the business owner to make it easier to create their own website. The real question is… should they?

There are now so many options available to the business owner looking to create a website that it can be confusing. What is the best way to build it? What elements should be on the page? What technology or platform should it use? How will you know that it is built to best practices? We are here to help you navigate through the options of websites and help you determine what would be best for you or your business.

Custom Web Design

A custom website is one that is built entirely from the ground up using a custom design that is then turned into a website through custom programming. This can be as small as a freelancer who does it all themselves, to a company with a combined design and programming team, through to an agency that has teams of people on the whole process. It all depends on the size of the site and your website needs.

Here are the benefits of custom website design:
> Custom web designs are the way to go if you want more freedom for customization. Since custom designs are completely built from scratch, there is complete flexibility in terms of the design and layout of your website. Marketing elements can be positioned on the website to fit exactly where they can have the most positive impact.
>If you want a website that is completely unique, a custom site is the way to go! This goes hand-in-hand with the point above. A custom website will allow you to have a design that stands apart from your competitors and is built uniquely to suit your brand and your website needs. It also offers greater flexibility to change and alter your website as your business grows (with proper planning).
>A custom website is also great if you already know exactly what you want. If you already have a plan for your website, a custom design will ensure you get just that and be able to implement the features you want. It’s like making cookies from scratch; you get to decide exactly what ingredients go into a custom site.

Some downfalls of custom websites:
> Since custom sites require more work in terms of development, they cost more up-front. However, if you take into considerations the benefits of custom web design, then it is usually worth it in the long run.

Custom Website Case Study

A website that we created for one of our on-going clients speaks to the flexibility that custom web design allows. Birk’s Restaurant needed a site that people could visit to find out who they are, see their menu, and make a reservation. They came to us wanting a website that was very image-focused. They had an idea in mind of the design style that they wanted and shared this with us to provide inspiration for their own unique site.

photo 

By creating a completely custom website, we were able to integrate images that showcase their restaurant and their renowned dishes of steak, seafood, and other cuisine. In the layout of the website, we also ensured that valuable information was easy to locate. The menu and the Open Table booking system are available on every page. They specifically wanted the food images to appear uncovered by website text so we cust coded the site to ensure the images are front and center with content just a click away.
So custom design results in a unique site that is tailor-made for you. However, it may not be what you’re looking for and a template site is the better option for some.

Template Web Design

Some benefits for going with a template web design are:

> Template websites tend to be on the cheaper end. Many people go this route because they are more affordable when first starting out or putting their toe in the water to test a business idea.

> They are easier to launch in a shorter amount of time because the framework for the website is already there and usually it just requires the entry of content and images.

> Template sites are easier to update for people who are unfamiliar with web development. For example, WordPress is a common route for businesses because they are then able to update the content manually and easily and have a flexible platform that can grow with future use.

On other hand, here are some things to consider when going with a template design:

Templates are limited in terms of functionality; you need to be okay with working within those limitations.

Templates may sound simple but no matter how simply they are laid out there are always unforeseen issues that appear in the implementation process and actually require quite a bit of extra development time.

Some platforms offer limited SEO capabilities or require additional fees for SEO capabilities.

The main point is to be sure to know your needs before you choose a website.

Template Website Case Studies

Template Horror Story

We had one client purchase e-commerce template site and asked us to then set it up. Since the system was not intuitive, we spent hours of extra time customizing the layout. Upon completion, we discovered that the template purchase process was so extremely clunky that it actually repelled clients and no orders were made online. It would have been more successful to build an e-commerce template, instead of working with the one they had purchased. An initial consultation allows us to discuss what website  options there are and prevent possible obstacles such as this.

 

Template Success Story

A client came to us with a limited budget but needed to get a website up and running so that he would have a web presence to be found online and to direct customers to so that they can learn more about the products he offers. With a limited budget, we were able to get basic information and product information on his website so that people can now find him and he has a basis for future marketing activities.
If you’re unsure of whether or not you should get a custom website or a template website, you are not alone. Most of our clients don’t know what type of site they want when they come to us, and that’s okay! Let us help you figure out what type of website would best suit your business and it’s needs.

Choosing the Best Font for Your Website

We’ve mentioned much of the importance of having a website for your business, and a well-designed site at that.

  • Websites are the first place people go to find out more information about your business.
  • A crucial part of your branding, a website is an ambassador for your business. It’s an opportunity to make a lasting impression on your clientele and target market.
  • They are also the main way to establish online presence, also allowing you to employ marketing strategies in this highly digital age. Your digital marketing will be more effective if you have a solid website for your business to direct traffic to.

A well-designed website is going to be a major element of your brand identity (your business’s identity demonstrated through designed material). So what goes into a well-designed website? Picking the right font for a web design is fundamental, for one thing. After reading this post, we hope you’ll be as hyped about type as we are at Designflair.

Quickly, let’s clear the air about the words “font” and “type” or “typography.” Fast Co.DESIGN wrote a clever article about distinguishing fonts and typefaces. Giving us a quick definition, they summed it up; “In brief: A font is what you use, a typeface is what you see.”

So, for example, Helvetica could be called a font or a typeface. The font refers to a specific weight and size, whereas typeface refers to the design of Helvetica that is employed. Tech Terms defines typeface as “a set of characters of the same design.”

“For example, while Helvetica is a typeface, Helvetica 12 point is a font; while Caslon Openface is a typeface, Caslon Openface Bold 14 point is a font.” Center for Book Arts

Fonts For Web Design Pleasanton

image from Center for Book Arts

A font family is the entire collection of typefaces – each including a full set of characters. Helvetica is a font family which includes Helvetica Regular, Helvetica Light and so forth.

So you’re a typography aficionado, “type” and “font” are really used interchangeably these days. So in order prevent getting caught up in semantics, we’ll do the same.

Here are a few things to consider when determining what font to use for a web design.

Types of Fonts

Serif Font

A serif is defined as, “one of the short lines near the top and bottom of the long parts of some printed letters.” (Merriam-Webster) So a serif font is one that contains these characteristics.
When to use: Serif fonts are more ornate and tend to be used for titles and headings. Some commonly used serif fonts are Georgia, Times New Roman and Clarendon. Serif fonts are more fitting for printed work. A classic serif font Bodoni, originated in the 18th century and is well-known. It’s often associated with fashion and femininity, as it has been used for fashion labels and magazines in the past.

Bodoni Fonts Web Design Pleasantonimage from WordPress Blog Post on Bodoni

Sans-serif

Sans-serif fonts, like Helvetica, do not contain serifs in the characters. There are no decorative embellishments at the end of the letters, numbers, or symbols. They are simple, but not simplistic.

Sans Serif Fonts Web Design Pleasantonimage from Fonts.com

When to use: Sans-serif fonts are used for a clean and modern look. Common sans-serif fonts are Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana. Our personal favorite sans-serif font is Helvetica Neue Light; it’s a clean and elegant font! Using a smaller font size? Go with a sans-serif, as it will be much more readable than a serif font. Sans-serif fonts are typically used for body text on website and blog designs.

Script

Remember the last wedding invite you received? Chances are that it was in a script font. Script fonts have become really popular in the past few years.

Script Fonts For Web Design Pleasantonimage from Fonts.com

When to use: Script fonts scream delicacy and elegance. When creating a logo, script fonts can be fun to use. Since the characters often have long tails or flourish, there is much to work with if you are manipulating a font for a logo – resulting in a creative, fresh look. Script fonts are also great for digital signatures, as they resemble handwriting. Since script fonts are made of pretty complex characters, you don’t want to use script for large sections of text. They should be limited to headings and subheadings for web design.

Readable

It’s a no-brainer that you want people to be able to read your website content. To ensure that a font is readable, a designer must consider the type of font, the size, and the color of the text and background. Light gray on a dark gray background, for example, is very readable whereas yellow on a bright blue is not.

Consistent with your brand style

When selecting a font for web design, it should be consisting with the branding for that company or business. Is the business a photographer that focuses on family portraits? The font for the website should be warm and inviting! One way to approach picking a font can be thinking about your tagline or slogan. What is the message you are trying to convey to your audience and which font is consistent with that?

Website Design Pleasanton

 

 

Our new Designflair website will be launching soon! Determining fonts was a crucial part of designing our new site. We chose two fonts, Quicksand and Corradine Handwriting.

Quicksand is round, with much open space in the characters. It’s a san-serif font that is great for body text! The light weight of the lines and amount of space makes it easy on the eyes. Corradine Handwriting is a nice contrast to Quicksand, resulting in a creative balance and allowing us to accent particular words or phrases.

Selecting a font is part of what we do when working with clients to create a brand identity. Every time we design a website, we also consider the font. Will it be readable? Does it match the rest of the branding for that business? We also make sure that fonts are suitable for mobile-friendly sites. Contact us today to hear more about our web design services and how we pick fonts for web design!

 

The Value of Mobile-Friendly Web Design

The stats are in; smartphones have been taking the lead for internet usage, leaving the number of desktop searches behind. According to studies done last year, mobile device internet use has surpassed desktop use. If you are a business owner, your website must be mobile-friendly to ensure the success and online visibility of your website. As more and more people search the web from their phone, it’s important to develop a mobile online presence for your business.

Google recently rolled out new search engine updates, dubbed ‘MobileGeddon.’ Starting on April 21st of this year, Google began considering “mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal” for search engine results page (SERP). You can read more about Google’s MobileGeddon update here, but basically it increased the necessity for mobile websites.

Has your business been affected by MobileGeddon? Does your website look awkward from your phone or a decrease in your website’s traffic?

Many of us are aware of technological advances and that a mobile site is necessary, yet some delay investing in one. Whether you have a small, local business or are a larger retail store, a mobile website is a necessity. Investing in a mobile-friendly site is worth the time and money because it will increase traffic to your website (by being found) and improve your business’s reputation (by showing your business invests in itself as well).

What are the characteristics of mobile-friendly web design?

  • Readable Text. Text on a mobile site must be comfortable for reading without zooming in or resizing the page.
  • Mobile Friendly Software. Mobile sites are free from software that is not compatible with mobile devices, like Adobe Flash.
  • Vertical Scroll. Scrolling horizontally is unnatural on a smartphone and Google will consider it not mobile-friendly.

How do I get a mobile-friendly website?

There are a few options for creating a compatible site for mobile devices. You can utilize a:

  • Mobile Responsive Site. This means that your existing website is designed to fit mobile screens. It fits the characteristics above and resizes correctly.
  • Adaptive/Dynamic Serving. Dynamic Serving is a mobile configuration that creates a different HTML depending on what device the user is viewing the site from. This is similar to having a separate mobile site, yet without a separate URL. You can check out this Google article for more information on how dynamic serving works. Or compare Responsive vs Dynamic Serving.
  • Separate Mobile Site. A separate mobile site would be an entirely different domain name that people are redirected to when using a mobile phone.

This flowchart from Distilled can help you choose which route to go.

Mobile-Friendly Site Flowchart

Flowchart from Distilled

It’s important to think about which type of site will fit your business’s needs. Need more help deciding? We can help you determine which route is best for your business, considering your existing website and your target market. We  usually create mobile-responsive websites, as they are less costly than purchasing a separate domain name.

For example, Artificial Turf Express is a client we continually work with. We created a website for them that is mobile responsive, allowing their clients to view their products straight from their phone. As an ecommerce business, it is crucial for their clients to be able to view their products and business information from a mobile phone.

Consistent with the qualities of mobile-friendly sites, ATE’s website only scrolls up and down. All information is clearly displayed, from their logo to product information to the contact information.

ATEmobilesite01 ATEmobilestie02

We arranged the graphic elements of their website using a content stacking strategy, so that the site is visually appealing from a mobile phone. Taking their customers (and future customers) into consideration, we placed their phone number right at the top of the page! The navigation bar is compact, yet the pages are readable and concise. This is one example of an effective mobile-responsive site for business.

There is much that goes into designing a mobile website. We consider things such as what font to use that we be readable at a smaller size.

We can help you:

  • Choose a type of mobile site for your business
  • Determine content for your mobile site
  • Create a web design layout that is both clear, concise and creative
  • Update websites to make sure they function properly from desktops and mobile devices

Contact us today to hear more about our mobile-friendly web design services!

Print & Digital Branding: Spreading the Word About Your Business Effectively

Ok, so you have your brand identity established. You are ready to show off your logo to the world. How and when do you use these branding materials? There are a variety of ways to target your niche market and showcase your business.

Print Materials

Business Cards

Business cards are essential to connecting with others. We specialize in making business cards that are unique, allowing you to stand out and be memorable. Enhance your networking with something tangible people can take away, containing all the information they need to stay connected with you. Business cards may be a no-brainer, yet it is easy to mess them up. Plain cards will suffice for the bare minimum but creatively designed cards will make your brand memorable.

Brochures & Pamphlets

A great way to put your business on display is through brochures. Here is where your logo, brand color schemes and brand fonts are employed. They can be used as take-away materials at conferences and seminars. They can supplement your meetings with clients by detailing what your business provides when the messaging is properly focused. Direct-mail is another way to reach existing clients or new ones. Mailing brochures, pamphlets, or postcard-style materials is a way to reinforce your brand identity and illicit a response.

Calendars

Calendars are an effective way to keep your business name at the front of people’s minds throughout the year. Businesses can use calendars as promotional pieces. This is even more effective when it is used to showcase your own materials or   photography and express your business’ personality.

 

Digital Branding

Social Media

Maintaining your brand identity online is extremely important (depending on your target market). You may not need to use all platforms to effectively reach your audience, however, the platforms that you do utilize need to represent your business correctly. We understand that social media can seem daunting, especially when you are focused on other areas of business. Picking a platform that suites your business will help you to brand reach your target audience more effectively.

Website

Your website plays a huge part in branding your business but also for creating credibility. It’s a cornerstone of branding, as all of your branding material will refer your audience to your website for more information. Is all of your information clearly displayed? Are viewers able to easily navigate through your site? Cohesive and creative web design is a must for your success. Web design is a main service we provide for our clients, understanding that it will enhance their business.


Blogging

Alongside other social media and your website, blogging is an effective way to share updated information. Do you own a small business? Maintaining a blog is a means to consistently display your brand identity. Our last post discussed the importance of authenticity in design. Blogging can be used to your advantage, showing the sincerity of your company or business and giving people further insight into you and your business. Blogs are also great platforms for photography and videos. Use a blog to showcase your work and update people on what you are doing. Blogs can either be a standalone item but they are most effective when they are built into your website as well.

We enjoy creating unique branding material for our clients. Recently we made USB hard drives tailored for Birk’s Restaurant and their 25th anniversary celebration. This is an example of how branding can be employed beyond the typical ways.

Do you have business cards that clearly display your contact information in a creative way? Are you in need of brochures to enhance your business meetings?

Get in touch with us today and we’ll tell you more about our brand services! We will make your brand material visually appealing, allowing you to communicate your company’s identity more effectively.

 

What is ‘Design’ to Designflair?

We do design. What does that mean? When we say the word “design” a million things may come to mind, and it likely varies for each person. One person may think of web design, and another industrial design. The discipline of design is expansive. As people who design daily, here is what design is to us. Our clientele is often surprised of the number of things we do as designers. We do everything from brochures to web design. Despite the varying platforms and mediums, here are some core ways we define design.

Design is Communicative

We understand that businesses need to communicate a certain message, mood, or tone to their audience. Through the use of design elements, we are able to successfully convey that message. Color, composition, movement, typefaces, and other design elements are all a means of communication. Graphic design is utilized to reach your target market through the use of visuals. This means understanding who your audience is, what your message is, and how to best express that message. Graphic design can communicate without words, or supplement existing text to make it more effective.

Design is Creative

Creativity is a trait often undervalued in the business world. The stereotype is that creativity is only for the artsy people, the entertainers and musicians. However, implementing creativity in the business world is crucial and beneficial for success. Branding is largely where creativity comes into play. At Designflair, we strive to create unique identities for our clients that allow them to stand out from competitors. Having a strong brand identity that is specific to your company or business is paramount, and allows you to communicate to your audience. Creativity is the way we build a brand identity or freshen up an existing one. It allows us to be innovative, never ceasing to be stagnant in our work. Creative design sets us apart.

Design is Trustworthy

How can you trust a design, or should you trust a design? We believe that ideally, design should be honest and true to what it’s representing. Within our collaborative work at Designflair, we uphold the value of trust. Therefore, we maintain trust in our design projects.

In an internet-based world, this also applies to the “behind the scenes” aspect of web design. Unfortunately, people often use coding for dishonest advantages. Deceptive link-building techniques is one example of this. The design of a site or print materials can give false information or give the appearance of something that is not true.

On the other hand, honest design builds trust between the communicator and receiver. In terms of business, this means a stronger reputation for your brand. Trustworthy design is achieved by portraying an authentic picture of what it’s representing. The “About Us” section of your website or blog is one great way to create trust and show your audience who you are. An article from the website usability institute, Baymard,“16 Ways to Make Your Website Seem More Trustworthy” details more examples of how website design can build trust.

Design is Collaborative

Design is by people for people. Working collaboratively leads to designs that are functional and serve their purpose. Collaboration serves as a filter, making sure no detail goes unnoticed. With multiple people working on a project, the clarity of a message through design can be achieved. Are we all seeing the same thing? Does this work effectively convey the message we desire? It also allows for diverse perspectives, creating a more complete design. We communicate continually with our clients to ensure the design is effective in the end result.

“Design” can be such an elusive term, yet its ambiguity doesn’t mean it should be neglected. As modern designers, we have the opportunity to shape design. These are a few fundamental aspects of design. We hope it clarifies design as a discipline and the major role it plays in our lives. Design allows us to speak to others through coherent visuals. It allows ideas to become reality through the creative process.

What is design to you? Are you in need of design for your business? Contact us now to hear more about the design services we provide.

3 Crucial Characteristics of Stunning Web Design

As we spend more and more time on the web, the importance of great website design becomes apparent. Website design is particularly crucial for businesses and companies who need a site to communicate to their customers. We’re going to discuss what elements make for beautiful and functional website design and look to modern and innovative sites for some examples.

Seamless Colors

Color usage is an aspect that can make or break a website design. One should be very selective when picking colors and the ones that you do choose should be cohesive. Consistent colors throughout your site allow you to maintain your brand identity. One way to take the colors above and beyond is by choosing ones that break the mold, or draw attention to themselves. Going with colors that have high contrast can be one way to achieve this. On the other end, some sites effectively use only two colors (or even one color in different shades or tints) with only various tones and shades to create a simple and clean look.

The website for the snack delivery company NatureBox uses a seamless color scheme that matches their brand identity. Notice the consistent colors in the icons below. The color tones also nicely compliment the photographs they use to feature their product.

NatureBox Web Design

The Parallax Effect

Movement in general has become popular on sites across the board, and a very popular current trend is to use moving graphic elements, called Parallax. The Parallax Effect is one particular example of website design that prevents the site from being static and boring. This effect is when elements in the foreground move faster the background. It creates depth and movement.

Charity:water’s website is superb because it is so engaging for the user. (Note: They have temporarily put up a new homepage for the Nepal relief fund.) The immediate homepage contains a video behind text explaining how to support the company through various campaigns. As you scroll down the site, certain elements move or change colors. These design elements are visually appealing and prompt the viewer to take action and navigate through the site.

CharityWater Web Design

About half-way down the page, you get to “Step 3” – how to support. The balloons shift back and forth, leading you down the page. Once you get to “Step 3” the map slides slightly left as if coming into focus with the blue marker directly on place. They also have a call-to-action right there on the page; “Ready? Get your campaign started!” It’s a brilliant use of design that makes navigating through the site easier.

Large Images

Using impressive photographs has been a trend for a while now in the online world. It’s worth mentioning though because it’s a trend that should continue. Images are so effective in web design because they communicate a message quickly and elicit a strong response. They can be used to show what your business does, for example, and supported by descriptive text for those who have longer attention spans. The sites above utilize photographs throughout their site.

Photos are an effective way to give the viewer’s eyes a break from sections of text. 

J.Hornig Photo Web Design

Here we have a website for an Austrian fair trade coffee company called J.Hornig (or JOHO). Their use of photographs is seamless, contributing to a clean look. The images with text serves as links to other pages of their site, where one can learn more about their business and “direct trade” coffee they offer. The fact that they don’t use stock photos also conveys their unique brand message. Photos serve as a means to demonstrate the authenticity of a business.

Great design allows your website to work for you. It satisfies your customers when they can easily find information. It will make people want to frequently come back and visit your site. This is a compilation of great design tactics for websites, however these design elements are only truly effective if they are implemented properly.

At Designflair, we have an impeccable eye for web design. There is a lot of work that goes into creating a beautiful site, that is functional and mobile friendly. Ask us for more information about our web design services today!