It’s that time of year – the most wonderful time of year, to be exact! The holidays are among us and with them a whole host of new activities to enjoy in Austin. Grab your coat, some hot chocolate, and the fam, and head out for some holiday cheer at one of these can’t-miss Austin events. It’s the perfect chance to enjoy Austin’s weirdness in all of its wintry magic.
Posted on Dec 24, 2012 by Daniel Alvarez
Web design has changed exponentially since the advent of web 2.0 in the early 2000’s. What used to be static-only websites have now been replaced with dynamic ones that incorporate many design features including widgets, social plugins and much more. Here are 12 tips to keep in mind when building or rebuilding your website.
1. Show value– give people a reason to visit your site and keep them there.
2. What does your website do? Are you informative, are you selling something? Include a call of action and let it be seen on the site!
3. Simplicity– Keep it simple while still getting your point across.
4. Myspace is out! That means no blinking text or magic cursors!
5. Popups– Do I really have to explain this?
6. Keep the home page accessible. I’ve been to many sites where once I click a link on the navigation bar, I cannot get back to the home page- so frustrating!
7. Follow in Apple’s shoes and drop Adobe Flash– it’s processor heavy and there’s no place to embed SEO.
8. I KNOW THIS MAY SOUND DUMB BUT DON’T CAPITALIZE ALL OF YOUR CONTENT.
9. Speaking of words and content, check your grammar and spelling please!
10. Use keywords and descriptive text that relates to your business. However, don’t over-embed keywords in your content- keep it natural.
11. Be accessible, yes add a Contact page and put an email, phone number, something!
12. Navigation is key! Keep a global navigation bar that allows accessibility to all of your pages.
I know the post reads “12 Tips” but I’m throwing in a BONUS, yay!
13. Social media integration- the key to the popularity and national/global success of your website and business.
Posted on Dec 23, 2012 by Jenn Buch
“Boring!” It’s the nemesis of all content writers and it threatens to creep into your newsletters. As soon as boring content shows its face, you can kiss the inbox goodbye and start staking out real estate in the recycle bin. What to do? Follow these eleven tips to keep your subscribers engaged from the headline all the way to the fine print.
1. Tantalize with a fabulous headline.
Ask a question, promise a list of tips, or offer free industry-related advice. If your headline is a lemon, your readers won’t take the time to read further.
2. Write about what you know.
Fill your newsletter content with the things you consider yourself to be an expert on rather than falling back on someone else’s content.
3. Choose current hot topics from your industry.
Follow blogs and stay up to date on new product releases, industry changes, and questions people are currently asking. Position yourself as an expert on current topics through your newsletter.
4. Let your personality shine through.
Be conversational, humorous, witty, and even sarcastic if it comes naturally to you, all with the goal of building a relationship with your readers.
5. Include lifestyle content that relates to what you do.
Show your subscribers how to apply your information to their daily lives. For instance, if you sell dog training videos, write a newsletter with tips on house training a new puppy.
6. Narrow your focus.
Choose a goal for your newsletter and stick with it. Are you promoting your blog, sending industry updates, or offering tips? Let your subscribers know what to expect up front.
7. Match your writing style to the personality of your company.
Is your company trendy and upbeat or do you present a more reserved, professional face to your audience? A law firm newsletter should sound different from a newsletter for a trendy salon and spa.
8. Encourage subscribers to respond.
Include a feedback form or email address in each newsletter and make a point of replying to any feedback you receive.
9. Include relevant images and graphics.
Well-chosen images and graphics can pique interest before the subscriber has started reading. Images should relate in a substantive way to your content rather than being generic stock photos.
10. Break content into manageable chunks.
Bullet points, subheadings, numbers, and space between paragraphs can all make your content look less intimidating by making it easier to skim. Lengthy paragraphs tend to turn people away.
11. Include customer feedback in your content.
Testimonials, customer Q&As, and stories are all great ways to bring your subscribers into the conversation.
By incorporating these 11 tips as you write newsletter content, you can banish droopy eyelids from your subscribers. Keep your content concise, informative, and interesting, and you’ll guarantee an engaged audience.
Posted on Dec 22, 2012 by John Wagner