Monday, March 25, 2013

The Three Letters Every Business Owner Should Know

Initialisms, acronyms, and abbreviations abound in this business-  SEO, ROI, PPC, CPC, SEM, SERP and RSS just to name a few.

Once you become familiar with the terms, they're not so daunting, especially CMS- the Content Management System.

Simply put, a CMS is web-based software that allows you to control the content on your website.

It not only provides the tools to create content, but manages the data from creation and publishing to archiving. The CMS allows the user to create and update text, images, videos, calendars, etc, and provides the ability to manage the site structure, its appearance, and even the site's navigation.

For the business owner, there are many benefits of implementing a CMS, as being able to manage your website and control your brand online is paramount. With a CMS...

You have complete flexibility

This may sound familiar

Your business website has been up and running for some time. When it was first built you wanted to feature a special promotion on the home page, maybe pictures of your latest product, or perhaps the latest corporate press release on your News page.

But as always, things change.

You have decided to run a special sale of 50% off, you have a new product line in, or you want to showcase your new hire in the News. You need the change immediately.

If you rely on an offsite administrator to make changes, it may take some time. Your designer or developer will make the changes, but on his time and at a price.

With a CMS, you can login and make the changes immediately. There is faster turnaround time for new content and changes. You are not waiting on someone else offsite to make the change, you are taking control. And, at the last minute, you decide you want to promote a sale at 40% off instead. You can change your mind, any time and any where you can log in to your website, with CMS.

It's Easy

You don't have to be a member of The Geek Squad to understand and use it.

The CMS was created with the average user in mind. There is no code to use and no technical training needed.

If you have any basic experience with Microsoft Word, you can create and manage your own content using a CMS. There is no need for you to be experienced in programming or HTML either. You can login to your account, change text, upload images and videos, all while managing your site from any computer or mobile device.

It's Cost Effective

Depending on your industry, content may need to be updated frequently. With a CMS you can make as many adjustments as often as you like without having to pay someone to do it.

It Maintains Site Consistency

With a CMS you have increased security, authorizing who is allowed to make changes and how much control they have. With that, you can assure consistency of your brand and message throughout the site. You are also less likely to publish redundant information.

Control, Consistency and Cost Effectiveness- is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many benefits of utilizing a CMS system. Ultimately though, your success with CMS depends on how much you use it.

Next blog we will delve further in the CMS and which system is right for you.

In the meantime, we're here to answer any questions you may have. We'd love to hear from you.

-The Brockett Creative Team

Friday, March 8, 2013

5 Important Steps to Take When Developing Your New Website

Is your website really working for you?

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It’s not just a movie title, but a way to look at websites. There are many out there; some exceptional, some good looking but not functional or effective; and then there are those that are just plain... well, bad.

Whether you are considering your first website, looking to redesign your current site, or just evaluating the status quo, we offer up these 5 important steps to keep in mind. It could mean the difference between just existing ...or exceeding online.

Because at the end of the day, how would you like to have your business represented?

  1. Choose the right company
    Choose a solid company that understands the web and that will work closely with you throughout the entire process. You want to treat your website as an investment/another location, if you will. Locate an experienced company that:
    1. Understands the Web and Marketing Online
    2. Has a wide range of skillsets and services that touch on all aspects of developing and maintaining a website.
    3. Current with Techniques, Platform/Language, and Design
    4. Utilizes a Content Management System (CMS)
  2. Plan out your site
    1. Establish your Target Market
    2. Create Site Map/Site Navigation
    3. Organize your page layout
  3. Professional Design
    1. Wireframe or sketch out the Structure of the Page Layout
    2. Aspire for Design that is Simple, Clean, Clear, and Concise
    3. Grabs Attention
    4. Easy to Navigate
    5. Conveys your product and or service at a glance
    6. Captures the essence of your company/organization
    7. mobile-friendly/Responsive Website Design
  4. Develop your content
    1. Keep consistent with your corporation/organization’s message/brand
    2. Easy to read
    3. Captivate, keep it relatively Short and make sure it's Clear, Concise and to the Point
    4. Include Keywords and Phrases that are only natural to your site's page content
    5. Use proper headings and consider Bullet Lists and font styles such as bold and italic
    6. Proper Grammar usage and Spell Check
  5. Test your site
    1. Review your site's content to insure it is all in place and formatted correctly
    2. Test all links, forms, and applications on your site
    3. Make sure your site analytics are installed for tracking such as Google Analytics
    4. Make sure that your Sitemap.xml and Robot.txt files are in place
    5. It might be worth also investing in Website Usability Research to see what users think of your site its content and navigation.
If you would like to learn more about highly effective websites, we recommend these books on the topic: Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug and 100 Things Every Designer Need to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk.

And as always, Brockett Creative Group is here to answer any questions you may have and position you and your website at the digital forefront.

Thanks for reading,
The Brockett Creative Team