First Impressions are important! How does your website look?

First impressions matter. In today’s world, the first impression of your business is made by your website. Does your website present your business as professionally as you do when you are meeting someone for the first time? Before meeting or greeting prospective customers, most of us generally take a look in a mirror to make sure we don’t embarrass ourselves. We check our smile, our hair, and our clothes. We polish our shoes or in my case, boots. Sometimes we practice our greeting. Why? First impressions matter.

When was the last time you seriously looked at your website? How does it look? How does it read? How does it navigate?

First impressions matter.

Some Things We Do Just Before and Shortly After Launching Your Website

Here are some of the tasks that you may not realize we routinely perform before launching new or redesigned websites. Of course, they will have already been Search Engine Optimized.

  • Complete proofing of text provided for your website
  • Validate the code to ensure it is standards compliant
  • Cross-browser and cross-platform testing and tweaking.
  • Create a Google Analytics account, and add a Google Analytics code snippet to each page of your website.
  • Create and configure a Google Webmaster Tools account, and a Bing (and Yahoo) Webmaster Tools account as well.
  • Link the Google Analytics account with the Google Webmaster Tools account.
  • Create a sitemap.xml (a specially formatted list of all the pages in your website), upload it to your web server and submit it to the above mentioned webmaster tools accounts. The sitemap.xml file will get crawled by the major search engines, and your pages will be indexed for inclusion in the databases of those search engines. (The correct method to “Submit your URL.”)
  • Add a link to your website on the WebWise Design & Marketing Client’s page (which gets visited daily by Google bot).
  • Send a Tweet about your new website.

Yes. Those tasks do take time, but you deserve to have everything about your website done right. Ask your web developer (or yourself, if you do your own website) if they do these things for you.

Desktop Browser and Mobile, Tablet Market Share – September 2012

Here are the desktop and mobile/table browsers and versions of those browsers were using to view websites during September.

Desktop Browser Market Share

Desktop Browser Market Share graph

Mobile/Tablet Browser Market Share

Statistics Graphs are from www.netmarketshare.com where you may view the Desktop Browser versions and  Mobile/Tablet Browser vesrions. Please note: You may have to login as a “Guest” to view reports.

Do you know what your visitors are using? If not, we can help!

Mobile Website or Mobile-friendly Responsive Design Website: Which is Better for Your Business?

For most businesses, considering a mobile-friendly web presence is not really optional anymore. Very few businesses can afford to ignore the explosion in growth of smartphone and tablet users who are looking for businesses just like yours.

You are likely getting emails and phone calls or have seen on the web offers to create mobile websites, mobile-friendly websites  (some, using responsive design) or an app. Of course they are promoting the specific mobile solution they offer, whether it is the right solution for you or not. If they try to sell you an app to take the place of a mobile website or a mobile-friendly website, grab your billfold and run.

So, what do you do? Talk with someone you trust who will explain the differences in all of those mobile buzzwords and will help you decide which mobile solution is best for you. The type of business you have and how you interact with your customers and prospects are key factors in deciding your mobile web strategy.

Mobile websites, or mobile-optimized websites, are versions of a regular site optimized to look great on all mobile phones. Additionally, most mobile websites take advantage of advanced capabilities of mobile phones, such as a ‘Click-to-Call’ button that places the call when clicked. Or, a ‘Find Us’ button that goes to a map centered on your location.

Mobile Website - Before and After

Some Google recommended best practices are:

  • Keep it Quick
  • Simplify Navigation
  • Thumb-Friendly
  • Design for Visibility
  • Make it Accessible

Mobile-friendly websites created using ‘Responsive Design’ allow having only one website that will adapt to the device on which it is being viewed, whether it’s a laptop, smartphone or tablet. While that sounds ideal, there are technical challenges. A website built with responsive design will automatically resize for different devices. But when the site has to squeeze down to a much smaller screen, decisions have to be made and coding has to be done as to which content is displayed well, if at all. Depending on the size and complexity of the website, using responsive design can be costly in time, which of course, is money.

Which Mobile Solution?

So what does all of this mean for most businesses? Mobile websites, mobile-friendly websites and mobile advertising are disruptive. They are new concepts of doing business. They should not be dismissed or ignored. They are effective, and they become more effective with every smartphone and tablet sold.

Henry Ford said, “If you need a machine and don’t buy it, then you will ultimately find that you have paid for it and don’t have it.”

For many of you, not having a mobile web presence and strategy will ultimately cost you much more than having a mobile web presence.

Please email gomobile@webwisedesign.com or call us today at 1-800-281-9993 or 608-822-3750 to talk about which mobile presence will work best for you.

Congratulations Wisconsin Artisan Cheesemakers!

Congratulations to everyone in the Artisan Cheese industry for their outstanding 2012 American Cheese Society competition held last week in Raleigh NC! We are pleased to tell you how well some of our clients placed.

Carr Valley CheeseCarr Valley CheeseCarr Valley Cheese, LaValle, Wisconsin won a total of 14 ribbons including four 1st place awards for Billy Blue Goat Cheese, Canaria Sheep Cheese, Sharp Cheddar Spread and Horseradish Spread. Carr Valley also received seven 2nd place awards and three 3rd place awards.

Uplands CheeseUplands CheeseUplands Cheese won 2 ribbons including a 1st place award for their Pleasant Ridge Reserve and a 3rd place award for their Extra-Aged Pleasant Ridge Reserve.

Edeleweiss CreameryEdeleweiss CreameryEdelweiss Creamery, Monroe, brought home two 2nd place ribbons for their Muenster and for their Vegetable Havarti.

The 2012 competition was the largest ACS contest ever. The judges graded 1,711 different products from 254 companies. What a remarkable accomplishment for these master artisan cheesemakers!

We are privileged and proud to work with several of Wisconsin’s finest cheesemakers providing them an online presence that befits their status. Congratulations to Sid Cook and his team at Carr Valley Cheese, Mike Gingrich and Andy Hatch at Uplands Cheese, and Bruce Workman and his team at Edelweiss Creamery.