Tips To Develop An Effective Website Design

designOwners of both small and large businesses should develop a website that is both attractive and effective in order to keep website visitors engaged. The website should inspire visitors to respond to the website and increase business revenues.

The website should prompt visitors to interact with the website by filling out customer information forms, submitting comments on a forum, making purchases or sharing content on social network sites. A leading Houston Texas firm which offers web development and design services shares some handy tips to develop an effective website.

Improve The Navigation And Functioning Of The Website

It is important for designers to improve the navigation and functioning of a website to meet the objectives of the website. All the links and elements present in a website should function smoothly. Users should be able to achieve the tasks on a website without getting stuck in between.

Website visitors should be able to navigate between the various pages of a website and find the desired information in a matter of a few clicks. This is why it is so important to improve the navigation in a website. Visitors should be able to discern their present location on a website and be able to retrace the links they followed back to the home page.

Look & Feel

Website designers should maintain consistency in the look and feel of a website. The keyword here is simplicity. Having too many elements and features will confuse website visitors and distract them from the content on the web page. They should choose a layout and design after considering the expectations of the target audience. Avoid including unwanted elements like animation videos, fancy graphics or bright colors.

Include Relevant Content

While the appearance of a website matters, it is the content posted that plays an important role in deciding the success of any website. Only useful and relevant content that will help visitors on the website needs to be included. Understanding the needs and expectations of website visitors and developing suitable content will inspire the visitors to take action on the website.

Place Call To Action Buttons In A Prominent Place

Website designers should place call to action buttons in prominent places on various pages of a website. An effective website encourages website visitors to perform a certain action by including call to action buttons in places where visitors will be likely to notice them and perform the desired action.

Include links to encourage visitors to subscribe to  newsletters, sign up for free trials, download papers or reports, register for a webinars or fill out contact forms. This will help business owners to experience improved conversions and better business revenues.

There are many factors that influence the effectiveness of a website. This article shares some useful tips for website designers to develop an effective website design.

Latest SEO Trends For The Year 2013

seoInternet marketing professionals need to stay updated with the latest developments in the field of SEO. They can include the latest SEO techniques to develop better SEO strategies for clients. Business owners look for an improved rate of conversion by researching and implementing a strong SEO strategy.

The field of SEO continues to see many developments which influence the SEO strategy of businesses and established companies. SEO professionals need to analyze the impact of the updates released by search engines and develop effective methods to remain successful. A leading Houston SEO consultant throws light on the latest SEO trends for the year 2013.

Authorship

Authorship of content will play a significant factor in improving the value of content posted on blogs and count as relevant and authoritative content. Content shared by an authoritative person who is easily recognizable will improve the search engine rankings of the post. The aim of the search engines is to provide relevant content from a reliable source such as an expert or author on the subject. Search engines will also give weightage to authors who continue to share engaging content on a regular basis. Businesses and companies should avoid using pen names and specify the name of the author, along with an image of the person, if possible.

Focus On Building Credible Links

A leading Houston SEO firm points out the importance of building credible links from reliable sources, rather than engaging in black hat SEO tactics to secure links. SEO professionals should try to secure organic links from verifiable sources, like customers, instead of buying links from other websites. Leading search engines like Google will penalize those business owners who engage in link exchange, link pharming or link networks. SEO professionals should aim to create a good user experience for visitors on the website to encourage them to link to the website.

Focus On Optimizing A Keyword Theme

Gone were the days when keyword research was conducted to identify particular keywords based on their search volume. Today, this strategy will not be as effective due to the sheer number of competing websites. SEO professionals are advised to optimize pages around a chosen keyword theme. They also need to generate relevant, useful content for the particular keyword theme and build authorship for that content through links. The content should be posted at frequent intervals and have call to action buttons to encourage visitors to share the content.

Engage With Audiences Through Social Media

SEO professionals should be aware of the relevance of social media in improving the ranking of websites. The engagement on social media websites should be guided by specific trending keywords. The idea is to share useful information with social media users and to inspire them to share content with their circle of contacts.

SEO professionals need to be aware of the latest developments in the field of SEO to employ these in their strategies for their clients. This article throws light on the latest SEO trends for the year 2013.

Tips To Develop Awesome Catalogue Designs

catalogdesignDeveloping a catalogue design for a client can be a challenging task for many design specialists. Many factors can play an important role in coming up with a suitable catalogue design. These include the target audience, the objective, the product range, and the type of industry. This article shares some tips to develop awesome catalogue designs.

Tip#1: Promote A Lifestyle As A Want

Designers need to include elements in the design that will appeal to the target audience and encourage them to make a purchase. A particular lifestyle needs to be sold to audiences creating a want.

People purchase goods to satisfy their wants rather than their needs. The idea is to promote a certain lifestyle and the products that suit that lifestyle. Catalogue designers need to consider these aspects and perpetuate the lifestyle when developing suitable designs.  Selling the lifestyle will help in achieving more product sales.

Tip#2: Develop A Design To Suit The Taste Of The Target Audience

The taste of the target audience should be considered when designing a catalogue. If the catalogue is intended for young mothers and features baby products, soft, pastel colors for the catalog pages can be chosen. Bright and cheerful colors are best for a catalogue designed to appeal to the youth. This will increase the appeal of the catalogue among the target audiences and increase the prospects of sale.

Tip#3: Keep The Product As The Centerpiece

It is important to keep the product as the centerpiece of the catalogue. Include large images of the products and smaller sizes of other product specifications and pricing information. Designers should ideally increase the size of the photo for those products with a higher profit value. The photograph of the product should be supported by compelling copy.

The catalog should either feature photographs of individual products or should be displayed in small, related groups. The design for a catalogue should also pay attention to the choice of colors for the background of the product images. The project images should have a light colored background.

Tip#4: Be Consistent In The Font Type And Size

The use of fonts for the product pages in the catalogue needs to be consistent. A rule of thumb is to limit the number of fonts and/or weights to 2 – 3 in a catalogue.

Close attention should be made to the placement of text and spacing between the text. Designers should also make it a point to use the same font style for common text elements like product title, copy, and description throughout the catalogue.

Care should be taken when choosing the font for the catalog copy. The text should be easy to read and appeal to the target audience.

Tip#5: Reinforce Brand Image By Using The Same Font Style In Successive Catalog Issues

Just as in video editing, where too many transitions or different types of shots will create confusion in the minds of the audience, so also in catalogue design, it is necessary to maintain the same font style and size in successive catalogue issues. This will help in creating a better brand recall as customers will easily recognize the company simply by looking at the catalogue. Repetition of the font style helps in increasing brand acceptance, which in turn leads to increase in sales for the company.

There are many factors that influence the design of a catalogue including the target audience, the objective, the product range, and the type of industry. This article shares some tips to develop awesome catalog designs.

5 Points To Consider When Choosing A Mobile Platform For A Business App

developmentofsoftwareAn increasing number of customers are accessing the internet over their mobile phone devices rather than on their personal computers. Today, a majority of people depend on their mobile phones to perform calculations, maintain expense accounts and keep track of their daily tasks. Hence, it makes sense for business owners to establish their presence on mobile devices through apps or a mobile website. A mobile app could be used to engage existing customers and attract potential customers by sharing useful information on the latest deals and offers.

It is also necessary for mobile app developers to choose the right mobile platform when investing in a mobile app. Frank Barnes, a leading expert in software development at Houston, Tx, throws light on some points that need to be considered by business owners when deciding the mobile platform for a business app.

1. Pay Attention To User experience

A mobile app needs to provide an engaging user experience to its customers in order to be successful. This will motivate users to spend more time in exploring the app and take advantage of the various features present in the app. Mobile users should find it convenient to navigate through the various elements of the app and find the data they are looking for. It can be a challenging task to achieve this in a scenario where customers make use of different mobile platforms. When selecting a mobile app platform, make sure that it is flexible enough to adapt to the changing business or customer needs.

2. Check The Level Of Performance

The mobile platform should support the reuse of the same code for various elements within a mobile app. This will allow for easy maintenance over a period of time. It will become less expensive to develop a mobile application that uses the same code for various elements within an app.

3. Make Sure That The Mobile Platform Supports Collaboration

It is also necessary for a mobile platform to support collaboration between different team members working on developing a single mobile app. Today, mobile apps are built by many developers who are specialized in certain aspects of the work. Moreover, these developers may be working out of different countries across the globe. The mobile platform should be able to support the various code languages, libraries and frameworks used by developers in various areas, while maintaining quality in the software developed.

4. Security Concerns Need To Be Addressed

Since businesses make use of mobile apps to share information, it is crucial that security concerns are addressed by making use of a secure mobile platform. Better authentication systems and security protocol have become important elements for mobile apps as well. When working with a new mobile technology, it is important to ensure that it offers a robust security and authentication framework.

5. The Growing Prominence Of HTML5

Many mobile app developers are taking advantage of HTML5 to create cross-platform apps. Make sure that the mobile platform that you decide to work with supports HTML5. There are many standardization efforts in developing apps using HTML5.
Developing a mobile app for a business takes considerable time and effort. This article points out useful points to consider when deciding a mobile platform for a business app.

How To Produce Better Quality Videos

video productionVideos can be great tools to create awareness about a particular service or to promote a company. Many companies commission the production of videos as marketing material to explain about the business, its values and goals or to explain the functioning or benefits of key products. These videos are used as key promotional tools to reach out to audiences including both internal and external stakeholders. Amateurs in video production need to be aware of the best techniques and tips to produce videos of high quality. Bruce Sullivan, an expert in video production in Houston, throws light on some simple tips to produce better quality videos.

Tip #1: Shoot Close-ups

A common mistake made by amateurs in video production is making the subject look small when composing the video. This is particularly true of videos in which a single person remains the focus of attention for an extended time period. It causes audiences to get distracted by other elements in the snap.  The audience needs  to stay focused on the person in order to read the facial expressions of the subject.

The body language of a person can convey some non-verbal clues that are essential in understanding details of a particular product or concept. The reliability of a person conveying information through a video can also be gauged through the body language. iIt is necessary to shoot the video at a close range or do a close-up shoot of the subject.

Tip #2: Shoot Film Sequences Using Multiple Shots

Taking multiple shots of the same video sequence from a different angle can be a great way to film a particular scene. Just be careful not to overdo this as it may distract from the main focus of the video. Identify sequences where using multiple shots will be helpful and those where a single, lengthy sequence will be more appropriate. This technique can also be used in 3D animated videos.

Tip #3: Include Suitable Cut-aways In Videos

A leading Houston video production company suggests making the video interesting by including suitable ‘cut-aways’ in videos. These cut-aways refer to a particular object or scene used as a welcome distraction in between regular, individual shots to make the video interesting to audiences. It also allows video producers to get rid of any unwanted objects that are part of the scene. Make sure that the cut-aways focus on a related theme and don’t end up becoming stand-alone scenes that are confusing to audiences.

Tip #4: Shoot At The Same Height Of The Subject

Position the camera at the same height as the subject to make the video look more authentic. Shooting the video at the same eye level induces trust in the subject who is providing information in the video.

Filming at a higher angle will create the impression that the subject in the video is unreliable. On the other hand, shooting a video from a lower angle will give the impression that the subject is trustworthy and reliable.

Tip #5: Use An External Microphone

In wide-angled shots, it makes sense to use an external microphone to capture the sounds of a particular scene. In such video sequences,  the microphone present in the camera captures the sounds in the immediate vicinity rather than the actual sounds of the scene. The microphone will come in handy especially in noisy environment settings whereit will easily record the voices of subjects/characters.

Videos can be effective promotional tools to create awareness about certain products and services. This article offers useful tips to produce better quality videos.

Top 4 Mistakes To Avoid When Designing Brochures

brochureWhen planning a brochure for the stakeholders of the company highlight the achievements and important events of the company. Brochures are an excellent marketing tool to provide easily digestible information to targeted audiences. The design of the brochure plays an important role in deciding the success of this tool in reaching out to the audiences. Therefore, having an attractive brochure design is essential to capturing the attention of the audience and inspiring them to read the content of the brochure. Similar to catalog design where you need to make it attractive enough to get the attention of audiences, brochure design has to be innovative enough to engage their attention.

In the desire to create a compelling brochure design, it is easy to get carried away and make some blunders in design. A company which specializes in brochure design services in Houston has put together a handy list of mistakes to avoid when designing brochures.

Mistake #1: Creating A Clutter

A mistake that is very common among business owners and beginners in brochure design is stuffing too much information and creating a clutter in a brochure. Nobody wants to read a brochure that is packed with information, i.e. the company’s history, the life of the founders or the growth story of the company. This information does not inspire them to opt for the products/services provided by the company. Focus on the objective of the brochure and answer the key questions of how working with the company and using the products/services will benefit the customers.

Mistake #2: Not Maintaining Sufficient White Space

Just as clutter affects the readability of a brochure, not maintaining sufficient white space is a significant mistake committed by brochure designers. Leaving room for whitespace on the pages of the brochure helps to in achieve a pleasing visual experience for the target audiences as they flip the pages of the brochure. White space also provides room for the eyes to relax as they look at the different elements of the brochure. Sufficient white space should be maintained around images as well as a considerable space between the border and the text.

Mistake #3: Using Multiple Fonts And Font Sizes

Another design mistake made by brochure designers is the use of multiple fonts and font sizes for the brochure content. Although the use of different font sizes for headlines is used to segregate content or to create a visually pleasing layout, it can also be misused. Having text in different fonts makes it difficult to read. Maintain consistency in the use of fonts for different elements in the brochure with a maximum of 2-3 fonts for the brochure content.

Mistake #4: Compromising On Quality

Never compromise on the quality of the brochure. Keep in mind that a brochure is a reflection of the values of one’s company and creates an impression in the minds of the audience. Make use of quality images and review the content included in the brochure. Choose an innovative brochure design, which meets the company’s quality expectations. Just as in 3D animation, never use clipart, even if on a tight budget.

Having an innovative brochure design can inspire the target audiences to remain loyal to the company or brand. A brochure can prove to be an effective marketing tool for any business as long as it captivates an audience with its unique design and content. This article offers a list of common mistakes that should be avoided by people when designing brochures.

Top Trends Observed In Software Development

software_developmentThe field of software development is dynamic and keeps changing at a rapid pace. As technology keeps evolving to meet the diverse needs of customers and users, software developers must respond to these demands. For this reason, software developers cannot afford to remain complacent about learning new technologies. They need to keep themselves updated on the latest programming languages in the field.

One of the leading software companies in Houston, Tx. points out some of the top trends observed in software development in 2013.

Agile Methodologies

Many factors like changes in requirements, delays in testing and/or release of the software makes the process of software development unpredictable. In order to address these problems, many software companies have adopted agile methodologies to better manage the process of software development. This method divides the entire work cycle into sprints or iterations which are repeated at regular intervals. The reason for the success of agile methodologies is it helps to make things flexible for software developers. This method allows teams to make necessary changes and improve the outcome of the software development project.

Use Of Multiple Programming Languages

Many software development teams are making use of multiple programming languages to increase user access. With the explosion of web technologies and popularity of new platforms, it has become necessary for software developers to build software that functions well across multiple platforms. The use of multiple programming languages for developing software is a good idea. A software developer also needs to be aware of modern scripting languages like Ruby or Python.

Cloud Computing

Many software firms that provide web design services are adopting cloud computing services and software for the sake of convenience and flexibility. Businesses are adopting cloud computing services to collaborate with greater efficiency and enjoy access to work related documents at any time and place with the help of an Internet connection. The many benefits of cloud computing has prompted the development of new software that uses cloud technology.

Mobile Technology

Software development for mobile platforms is another currently growing trend. The increasing number of people who make use of mobile internet has propelled the development of mobile apps. Consumers today are making use of their mobile phones as computing devices to help them complete their day to day tasks and save data. There is an increasing demand for software that runs on popular mobile operating systems like Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry OS.

As technology keeps evolving over time to meet the needs of consumers and users; software developers will continually face the challenge of building software that responds to these ever-changing needs. This article throws light on the top trends observed in the field of software development.

Firms like Softway Solutions provide companies of all sizes with complete solutions including internet marketing techniques, mobile app development and web design services. These companies are the key to experiencing growth and success in the industry.

Top Five Reasons Why You Need A SEO Company

seo-companyYou know that you need a marketing plan in place and that your marketing plan will have to include SEO. However, you may not know exactly what SEO is or how to use is effectively. That’s why hiring a SEO company is beneficial for your business. Without SEO and a good understanding of how to use it, your website isn’t going to get very much attention. However, with positive SEO practices, your website and web pages will do a ton of work for you and your business.

Explore these five reasons why you need a SEO company instead of trying to go it alone.

1. Keyword Research:  By hiring a Houston SEO company, you won’t have to deal with doing your own keyword research. Knowing how to search for keywords and keyword phrases is a big job and it takes an experienced SEO professional to know what to look for. Not only do you have to choose keywords related to your topic, but you also have to look for keywords that have high search rates and low competition. Plus, you have to be familiar with keyword research software.

2. Keyword Percentage:  There’s a fine line between not using a keyword enough and using keywords too much. Too low a percentage of keywords mean that web users won’t be able to find your pages when searching online. Too high of a percentage means that web surfers won’t trust your content because it appears to simply be stuffed with keywords. Overuse of keywords could also get you into trouble with Google and other search engines, which could do serious damage to your rankings and earning potential.

3. Keyword Placement:  Once you know what keywords you want to use, where to place them is another consideration. There are certain paragraphs and parts of web pages that do particularly well with keywords. On the other hand, there are certain parts of text that really don’t benefit from keywords at all. Knowing where to place SEO means that you’ll maximize your percentage instead of wasting words.

4. Quality Writing:  SEO specialists know how to do much more than simply string together keywords. They also know how to cleverly integrate keywords – even those that may not flow so smoothly – into text. If your website doesn’t have quality writing, you’re going to lose the attention of consumers. It’s extremely important to your business to not just gain readers but to keep them. If your web pages are interesting and well-written, visitors will come back over and over again.

5. Organic Traffic:  Overall, using SEO keywords and SEO keyword phrases is the best way to gain organic followers, which is what you ideally want. This means that you can attract new customers and readers without having to subject yourself or your business to cheap marketing ploys or black hat SEO strategies. People will find your web pages simply by searching for keywords online.

For more information about SEO and to contact your local Houston SEO company, visit SoftwaySolutions.com. Don’t wait – your business depends on it!

Why Does Everyone Have a Blog?

web-designIt seems like almost every website right now has a blog. Gone are the days of blogs being for computer obsessed people sharing their lives in excessive detail. Blogs, a combination of the words web and log, now adorn most corporate websites. Some are useful for sharing information on updates to products on their websites, others offer helpful information on areas the company deals with, and others just seem to be full of useless drivel. So why do so many websites have a blog?

Understanding Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the answer. Blogs help a website’s search engine ranking, meaning the website appears higher in results for a specific search term, resulting in more traffic to that particular website.

Search engines rely on hundreds of factors to determine which website will rank first for a particular search term. Although no one knows exactly how they decide, several known factors play an essential role in that process. Keywords tell a search engine what a particular website is about. Search engines analyze websites for frequently used words, which plays a role in ranking. Although they penalize website which have a word too many times to avoid spamming, having a lot of words related to your topic is important. Blogs contain large amounts of text content, and automated search engine robots can’t analyze photos, so having lots of keyword filled text is essential. Individual posts about specific topics will contain important keywords, as well as related words, to boost a website’s rating by search engines.

The All Important Link

More important that keywords are links. Inbound links from other websites are how search engines find a website in the first place, and also how they judge its popularity. A website with numerous inbound links is likely to be more popular and easier to find, so search engines rank it well.

Blog articles are great items to link to. A website with just a few pages focused on selling a product might not have many inbound links, but one with interesting blog articles will have lots of links pointing to the articles, and links on the blog can direct traffic to the main website.

Involving Social Media

Social media enhances this effect. When people find something they find interesting, they are likely to post links to it. Blog content frequently gets posted and shared on social networking sites, making these a great source of inbound links. People are less likely to want to be promotional of a specific company, and so they don’t normally link to sites with corporate material only.

Getting a Blog

If your website doesn’t have a blog, or if you don’t have a website at all, consider getting one. Softway Solutions is a reliable website design Houston Company, and provides a full range of website solutions, including installing blog software. You’ll see your website become popular as you blog interesting content.

5 Effective Marketing Tips For Your Business

Customers are constantly changing the way they seek information and interact with electronic devices. Business owners and marketing experts need to constantly improvise and develop new ways to reach out to customers and effectively market their businesses. The rise of social networks and the exponential growth of the mobile market have prompted businesses to take advantage of these new platforms. The popular marketing strategies adopted by businesses employ many social media and mobile marketing techniques. Here are five new-age marketing tips to effectively advertise your business.

Develop A Mobile Version Of Your Site

A practical way of increasing the reach of your business is by creating a mobile version of your website. The number of people who own mobile phones has surpassed the number of people who own computers. This provides businesses with the opportunity to tap a vast audience base with mobile phones. If you have a website that is not efficiently optimized for mobile phones, your target audience will leave your website and log onto your competitors’ websites instead.

Establish Your Presence On Social Media

People are interacting on social networks more now than ever before.Strategic marketing consultants suggest establishing company or business profiles and interacting with online audiences. You can employ some of the most effective social media tools to market your business by encouraging online visitors and prospective customers to share your articles and blog posts on social media sites. This is done by including widgets and plugins in those pages. Register on Foursquare and Facebook Places to allow visitors to “check in” to your business online and draw attention of people in their network of friends to your business.

Make Sure Of Your Presence Customer Review Sites

Encourage your customers to post reviews after using your product or service on popular customer review websites. Some popular customer review websites include Yelp, Bing Local, Google Places, Insider Pages, Citysearch, Yahoo Local and Merchant Circle. A large number of informed customers today rely on online reviews to choose a particular service or product. Keep an eye on the discussions and reviews posted by customers about the products or services provided by your company. Resolve any negative customer reviews or issues and take appropriate action as soon as possible. This will give the image of a proactive company or business.

Email Marketing Still Works

Continue your email marketing efforts to reach out to the net-savvy customers. Houston Marketing consulting services should include ways to increase your subscriber list. Update your customers on the latest products or services offered by your company through e-mail marketing. This will help in earning loyalty from your existing customers. This method of marketing is a convenient and effective way of engaging customers.

Mobile Marketing Reigns

Another effective way of marketing your business is by using mobile marketing techniques. Some of the basic ways of reaching your mobile market is by text messaging and issuing mobile coupons. Mobile marketing has proved to be more effective in engaging customers rather than traditional marketing methods.

In today’s market the focus is on utilizing new technologies in marketing your business or company to respond to the changing trends in the industry.

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