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Responsive Web Design for Optimal Web Marketing

author image Written by: Content Team           Categories - Digital Marketing

Responsive Web Design for Optimal Web Marketing Many of us do our online browsing via smart phones and tablets, along with or in place of using desktop computers. In fact, according to Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015, 25% of Internet users only go online via their mobile devices. Interestingly enough, a Google Mobile Path report indicates that 48% of this group is using search engines as the most common starting point, followed by searches for branded websites at 33%, and branded apps at 26%. These numbers confirm that having a responsive designed website–an approach that focuses on providing an optimal viewing experience–is crucial for your web marketing strategy. It’s important to have a site that offers easy reading and navigation, with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling, across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). When planning your web marketing strategy, we recommend that you reflect on these points: 1. Providing optimal viewing = Increased traffic By and large companies who have mobile friendly websites experience more traffic to their pages, maintain a larger competitive advantage, and have a larger ROI.  By neglecting to use responsive design tactics you are limiting the number of people that will browse and engage in your site. 2. Responsive gets the Google stamp of approval When it comes to search, Google is the all-seeing all-knowing entity that you want to impress with your website and therefore, it’s important to take note of what Google recommends for web marketing best practices. Not only does Google recommend responsive web design as the optimal way to target users on multiple platforms, but it also favors mobile-optimized sites when listing search results on multi-platform devices. There is still debate on whether or not a separate mobile website or single responsive site is the best option from a web marketing prospective, however, from an SEO standpoint the latter is often the better option. Separate mobile devices require their own URL and a different HTML for their desktop counterpart, however, responsive web design requires a single URL, making it easier for Google to index your pages and content accordingly. 3. Responsive will help improve high bounce rate Even if your current website is doing well on desktop search results, if it isn’t optimized for multi-platform viewing, then before too long you’ll notice a decrease in mobile traffic and a high bounce rate. So, what does this mean for your web marketing strategy? It means that if your website isn’t optimized on all platforms there’s a higher chance your potential customers will search elsewhere for their products and services. Making the switch to responsive web design is the best way to ensure optimal user experience. Since all stats point to a growing increase in mobile traffic, if your site’s not yet responsive, then you know what you have to do!  

Content Team

Designing Compelling Market Messages

01/15/2018

How SEO TWIST Maintained Strong Brand Identity and Design Messaging with the International Pilot Academy

There’s something inspiring about flight. People have always been fascinated and enamored with flying, as evidenced by the number of hobby pilots and those who make a living flying as commercial pilots. Becoming a pilot and flying a plane is a dream that many want to make a reality. Enter the International Pilot Academy. The International Pilot Academy (IPA) is a Gatineau-based flight school that wants to make these dreams come true. Owned and operated by Jules Selwan, IPA established a reputation as a leading Canadian pilot training school, all in a remarkably short time since opening its doors in 2011. In October of 2017, IPA approached SEO TWIST and gave us a mandate to update and revamp their website with a new SEO setup and architecture to promote classes and a new college-recognized course offered in conjunction with Cégep Heritage College. While we were excited by IPA’s enthusiasm and availability, we realized early on the challenge would be delivering an exceptional finished product that was more than just a website for a business. While we had to appeal to the broader market of budding pilots, the site needed to appeal equally to hobbyists and professionals-in-training, all while reflecting IPA’s core identity and highlighting their partnership with the College. We set about creating a compelling design alongside uniquely informative messaging to appeal to these key demographics. At SEO TWIST, we immerse ourselves in a market’s culture to understand how customers think, what they need, and how your brand makes them feel. It’s part of a data-informed approach to demographics and market research, ensuring key strategies are backed by pertinent data. And while that data is vital for determining keywords and SEO on a detailed level, it’s still just one piece of the puzzle.

Design that Reflects and Inspires Passion

Before work begins on any aspect of a project, we sit down and speak with the client to get a better sense of their organization’s identity. Who the organization is just as important as what they do and who their audience is, after all.

IPA icon details with SEO TWIST.
A closer look at the icon design for IPA.
Our design lead for IPA, Tina, already had some keen insight into the world of flight and aviation: her boyfriend is a pilot and flight instructor, and she’s spent plenty of time in the air as a result. Right away, Tina had an idea of what would work and what wouldn’t. IPA’s approach stood out in her eyes: become a pilot on your own terms. There are countless flight schools across Canada and the globe, so why would international students from Cégep Heritage College choose that program and IPA in particular? The answer: the agency and empowerment they felt taking their education into their own hands. This message had to be communicated throughout the site. Icons and imagery are important. Tina had an idea that icons and layouts on the site had to be primarily visual. After all, pilots rely on their eyes and clear indicators to assess information at a glance. The site’s refined and straightforward style used these images to grab the eye on the page. Simultaneously, any visual identity had to retain relevance for hobby pilots and professionals-in-training alike. Instead of grand images of massive Boeing airliners, we opted for something a bit more familiar. In-cockpit views and the human element gave users a quick reference point for something they themselves had done or would be doing. That familiarity breeds trust and promotes a positive user experience. And, of course, we had to get a few airliners in there for the wow factor.

Words on a Wing

The majority of the website redesign and creation projects SEO TWIST handles include a research-informed SEO set up. This means fresh, original content to ensure optimization; content is a package to deliver SEO, after all. A brand must speak to its target market. There’s a fine balance between a client’s needs and the needs of their customers. At the end of the day, the client wants results and a site that reflects their needs. However, the true purpose of design and content is to communicate with the user and provide a meaningful user experience. The content team approached the redesign of IPA with an almost blank slate. The project warranted considerable research and detail, but the challenge came in presenting it effectively. Essentially, all users visiting the site are students. They’re here to learn, whether they’re just starting out or they’re coming back for their final lessons. We presented the information cleanly and clearly, avoiding overly long stretches of content in favor of quick, evocative images and ideas that left an impression: “Have you dreamt of a career as a commercial pilot? Earning your Commercial License lets you make a living doing what you love.” Content thus strove to match the clean, evocative images and graphics created by the design team.

Dual Audiences

Cégep Heritage College's branding is present as an IPA partner.
Highlighting IPA’s partnership with Cégep Heritage College meant appealing to two similar yet distinct audiences.
The inclusion of Cégep Heritage College’s partner program for Private and Commercial Flight Training meant we had to ensure that the site’s visual identity reflected the College’s branding considerations. We included their logo, and also worked to ensure that their identity remained consistent without compromising IPA’s approach and focus. While IPA’s focus was very much about taking charge of your education and piloting your career with your passions, the College was promoting a program that gave students the foundation they needed to make their career ambitions a reality. While not exactly alike, the two approaches are congruent and complimentary. Both give students a tremendous sense of control and capability, providing them the means to make their dreams come true. Design and user experience reflect this key message.

Closing Thoughts

Website design affects a user’s feelings, emotions, and attitude. Seen any websites with Commodore 64-level quality design? Hopefully, the answer is a resounding “no” but if you have, then ask yourself, how did it make you feel? You probably felt uninspired, skeptical, or flat-out bored. Ultimately, design is a significant factor in visitors deciding whether they stay on your site and act or leave. Design should be clean, professional, and up-to-date on best practices; it should promote branding and brand equity, maintain a consistent style and theme, and finally, remain congruent with your message. Don’t clutter pages with unnecessary designs, text, or imagery. It can overwhelm users. Our design experts know how to reach your target demographic through the look and feel of your website. It’s their passion to know what looks good all the while understanding your target market, their needs, and how to reach them through design. From the top of the hill down to the finish line, the entire design process is exhilarating for our team.

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Long Distance Web Design – True Stories from Team SEO TWIST

06/24/2015

When Choosing a Web Design Agency, Don’t Let Distance Be an Obstacle

long-distance web designBeing effective at what we do – search engine optimization and ranking on Google for the keywords that represent our services, means that many clients – both near and far, find us when they’re searching Google for the services that we offer. For this reason, in the past couple of years our clientele has expanded from Newfoundland all the way to British Colombia. While there is a lot of talk these days about “buying local”, choosing a web design company isn’t the same as buying strawberries at your local farmer’s market. Choosing a company that’s remote means that the pool of professionals that you select from is much larger, and you can truly go with the best! Since SEO TWIST has some experience building and nurturing successful long distance relationships with our clients, we thought that we would share some tips and tricks that prove distance is no obstacle when you find a great web design agency. Whether our clients are local or international, the fundamental principles of the relationships we build remain the same. We work hard to create trust and maintain an open line of communication at all times in order to keep the project running smoothly. So how does SEO TWIST make this happen without the option of face-to-face meetings? Houston, We Have Kick-Off Before the team at SEO TWIST begins tackling a web design project, we like to have a kick-off meeting to establish expectations, better understand the project goals, and to get to know the client we’ll be working with. If the client is local, this meeting will normally take place face-to-face, but if the client is remote, we use the resources that we have available to us. When designing the website for Marble Zip Tours, an outdoor adventure operator in Steady Brook, Newfoundland, we held a video-conference kick-off meeting using Skype. Skype is free, and web-based, which means that anyone with an internet connection can use it at no cost to them. A video call allowed us to establish a personal connection with the client, and increase the effectiveness of our communication. There are many other programs that allow face-to-face meetings over the web, including FaceTime and even Facebook Video Calling. Body language, tone, and facial expressions don’t come across in an e-mail, and there is always the added risk of being misinterpreted or misunderstood, so for us, a video or even simply a voice call is a necessary solution. Change is Good As with any web design project, we require our client’s revision and approval at every stage along the way. When working with Goose Maintenance, a full-service automotive repair shop located in Bonnyville, Alberta, this was no different. For some parts of this project, we used Join.Me. This tool enables free audio conferencing, which ensured that all parties involved could take part in the call. We were also able to use the tool to share screens to facilitate the review of design mock-ups and eventually, for a training session with the client. If there were text-based edits to be made, it was possible to use collaborative editing tools like Google Docs. The staff at Goose Maintenance was extremely happy with the relationship we built despite the distance between us. In fact, they even had the following to say: “We needed a digital marketing company for our business and decided on SEO TWIST. We are TWO provinces away and I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it was so easy with everything via internet. I couldn’t be happier, I highly recommend SEO TWIST. You won’t be disappointed.” The Show Must Go On Although these web designs have been launched, SEO TWIST is still providing SEO and content marketing services to these clients, which means we’re still consistently in touch with them. Depending on the task at hand, we have an arsenal of tools that help us ensure that we continue to meet milestones in the project timeline. It bears mentioning that we are also in constant contact with these web design clients via e-mail and telephone. These more traditional methods can be extremely effective for regular check-ins and for maintaining relationships; if our clients prefer, we may even send them a text message! Long distance relationships require work and commitment, and your relationship with your web design agency is no different. If you haven’t yet found what you’re looking for at home, contact SEO TWIST to discuss how we can make this work!

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