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Is Blogging Right For Me?

Blog may sound like a funny word, but these posts which appear on websites can really help build your business. Blogs help bring in potential clients, educate your current clients, and improve the overall odds of your website being easily found by someone searching for what you have to offer. Many companies use their blogs as a platform to talk about industry news, new products, and other business updates. Here at IWD, we use our blog to educate our visitors about web design, graphic design, social media, marketing, search engine optimization, and in this case, blogs! Unlike some social media platforms, blogs can be longer articles instead of space restricted shout-outs. Blogs also add a strong SEO element (what is SEO?). Search engines favor websites that have blogs because they show the site is active and up-to-date with fresh content being added. Want proof? Check out http://marketing.grader.com/.

Keep in mind blogs are not for everyone. Before jumping in, examine your company to ensure you can commit the resources necessary to maintain a successful blog. We recommend blogging once a week. If you offer a professional service you may want a blog where you position yourself as an industry Guru educating your visitors. If you have a trade service you may want to post an update about a recent job you completed. For retailers, a blog can be a great place to take a more in-depth look of each of your products or launch a new one.

If you are considering starting a blog, a good exercise is to create a list of blog topics. If you can easily come up with about 10 different blog ideas, you probably have enough content to to launch a successful blog.

If it’s time for you to start blogging, IWD can help. From making sure your website has a space for blog posts, to fine-tuning your topics, our consultants can get you off to a smooth start. And don’t forget to monitor your blog and all social media for reader comments. We can help you with that, too. Give us a call or send an email.

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Fairfield Public Library Website Redesign – A Fresh Approach For A Valued Community Resource

June 5th was a HUGE day for us at IWD as we launched our first large-scale municipal project. The Board of Library Trustees of the Fairfield Public Library generously funded a new website for their library system and we had the privilege of helping make their vision come alive! It took 15 months to complete the project and we couldn’t possibly be more proud and excited.

Fairfield Public Library located in Fairfield, CT is comprised of a Main Library and a Branch known as Fairfield Woods. Their website averages over 2 million hits a year and their physical libraries serve an average of over 2,000 patrons a day. In a town with a population of 59,000 it’s clearly a hot spot.

Analysis conducted by IWD alongside FPL staff showed some key elements of the previous FPL website were under accessed by the public; that data gave us a great starting point. Because the FPL staff work with the public every day, they came into planning sessions with impressive insight regarding what the new site needed to best serve the public.Of course the design needed to be visually attractive but at the core of everything was navigation, navigation, navigation! This meant organizing content in a manner that was intuitive, making it easy to access for all ages. Because the library offers such a wide range of services and programs, there was a lot of information to incorporate into the architecture.

Some of the major design elements incorporated into the new website:

  • Automatic updated feeds for new library materials and programs on the home page
  • Hours and contact information highly visible and easy to locate
  • Easy to find list of services and digital resources such as databases
  • Events calendars are automatically updated on the homepages (Main, Branch, Teens & Childrens)
  • Vibrant background imagery on the Children’s and Teen pages of the site

It was a great feeling for us to work with a library we love in our own backyard! If you look up team effort, this project really fits the bill. That patrons are telling us about their positive experiences accessing information about their library and its wonderful services on the new website makes it especially fulfilling.

You don’t need to live in Fairfield to explore the new website, so we invite you to check it out. Get it? “Check it out”…that’s a library expression *wink wink.* www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org

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Effect of Immigration Reform On Property Sales?

According to a recent article in Mortgage Professional America “The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals released a report today detailing that the reform, which could see the 10 million undocumented

Infographics: Visual, Memorable, Dynamic! POW!!!

When you have information to share about your company, you need to do it in a way that pops! Infographics aren’t new, but they have evolved into an increasingly popular way to hold a viewer’s attention and make a positive impact. Back in the day, you might use Powerpoint to create a presentation or create a ho-hum flow chart featuring circles and arrows. Today’s customers have a higher standard. With Infographics, you can harness a dynamic communication tool that translates well in Social Media and other visual formats. People don’t have a lot of time to spend slogging through articles and digging up statistics; infographics provide the information a potential client needs in one easy-to-read and memorable visual package.

Why are infographics such a powerful marketing tool?

  • Quick and convenient. Because infographics present information graphically, people can “read” them in seconds and get the same essential information a multi-page report would contain.
  • Interesting to view. Infographics are great for presenting numerical data that would be tedious to digest if not presented graphically. The visual nature of infographics makes that same information more interesting to look at and easier to retain.
  • Present content in a new way. You can recycle written content into infographic form, reaching new people in a new way without actually duplicating the content.
  • Effective. A well-designed infographic tells a story and makes points clearly supported by facts while conveying your corporate identity and personality.

Below is an infographic that we recently made for one of our clients.

Final Expense Insurance Infographic

Here are some interesting facts about infographics:

  • Publishers who use infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those that don’t use visual tools.
  • In just over 2 years, infographic search volumes increased over 800% on Google.
  • 99% of all sensory information is filtered out by the brain almost immediately
  • Visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text.
  • 65% of the population are visual learners.

Is it time for you to jump into the visual marketing world of infographics?

Let IWD help you create a memorable visual message to spread the word about your business. Contact us today!  203.307.5107

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LinkedIn Q & A

Following our successful LinkedIn workshops we received some additional questions about LinkedIn accounts for both personal and company pages. Here are a few we’d like to share with you.

Q: Do I need a personal profile to have a company page?

A: Yes , along with anyone who will serve as an administrator on your company page.

Q: Do I need to create a company page?

A:  No, you are not required to create a company page, but there are a lot of benefits for doing so.  A company page allows you to advertise individual products or services, post job openings, and promote your company as a whole.  A company page may help generate word-of-mouth marketing as well as strengthen your branding and reputation.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 1.20.27 PM

Q:  What’s the difference between connections and following?

A: On your personal profile you make “connections” (friends), but on your company page, people may only  “follow. ” It is very similar to how Facebook profiles and business pages are designed. Not everyone will be a follower and a connection. Many will be just one or the other depending on their relationship with you and your company.

Q:  May I give someone admin rights to my personal profile?

A:  No, but you may give other people admin rights on your company page.

Q:  If I give someone admin rights to my company page, does that mean they have admin rights on my personal profile?

A: No, they are completely separate. Only company pages may have more than one administrator.

Q: If I have a status update on my personal profile will it go on my company page?

A:  No, your personal profile and company pages are completely separate from each other. However, you may add your blog feed to both your profile and your company page. This means anytime you post a blog, it will automatically show up on both your profile and company page.

Q:  Does a company page help with SEO?

A: Yes! Creating a company page provides a valuable opportunity to get listed high up on search engine results and to advertise your business, create more link connections and establish your company’s keywords.

Q:  How do I determine the best way for me to use my LinkedIn account for my business?

A:  Every  business has a different strategy. When creating your LinkedIn strategy, be sure to focus on your target audience..

-If your business is built around one person who acts as the company brand,  focus on their personal profile , establishing relationships, and getting personal references.

-If you sell a product, focus your time on the product and services page of the company page. Get people to write product recommendations and bulk-up your content.

-If your target market does not include business professionals, perhaps LinkIn is not the best solution for you. Create a LinkedIn presence, but allocate   more time for other social media sites that are a better fit for your business.

 

Still have questions? Leave a comment below with your LinkedIn question, and our social media guru will be in touch.  Need help getting your LinkedIn account up and running? Give us a call or send an email.  IWD will have you networking in no time!

 

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IWD is celebrating their 12 years in business!

You are cordially invited to join us as we celebrate Infinite Web Designs 12th year in business!

Yes, April is our birthday and we plan to celebrate it the way a birthday should be celebrated – for the entire month!!!

To help mark our transition from tween to teen, we are breaking a cyber bottle of fine champagne over the bow of our newly redesigned website. The new design highlights our dynamic, results-driven style and accurately reflects the IWD brand. And we do indeed practice what we preach! We’re always talking about the importance of ensuring a website is designed with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind, so when designing our new site we made sure we didn’t compromise our SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking. This alphabet soup of web design acronyms is what gets results for our clients so we spend a lot of time keeping up with search trends and analytics. It is just as exciting as it sounds! As you tour around our site you’ll experience the intuitive navigation and personality that have come to exemplify our work. We had a great time putting it together, and hope you enjoy our newly energized website.

Need a current site re-energized or a new site that needs to communicate your identity? We’d be happy to take time out from our Big Birthday Celebration to discuss how we can help. Give us a call today! 203.307.5701

 

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Refinancing’s still high on newer U.S. mortgages

While the Housing Market May Be Solidifying, Refinancing is Still Higher on Newer Mortgages According to Reuters, Prime mortgage borrowers that have refinanced newer mortgages since the start of 2010 are continuing

How to Be Successful in Social Media Marketing

When operating any type of Facebook page or social-based advertising campaign in order to build your brand and to attract new customers, there are always going to be dozens of positive tweaks you can make in order to boost your business. On the other edge of that sword, however, equally sharp, there are a slew of bad moves you can make which could cripple your branding.

For every “do” you can find in social media advertising, there’s a “don’t” waiting right behind it. More often than not, this “don’t” will be an innocuous step taken, which, over time, will have an accumulative effect on your campaign. And sometimes you’ll find that a simple lack of attention to detail can cost you in the long run.

To ensure success in your social media campaigns, read over this list of social advertising dos and don’ts to ensure you’re on the right path.

The Top 7 Dos and Don’ts of Social Advertising

What you Should Do:

Do: Always be consistent with what your brand stands for. Stick with what represents you as a brand instead of simply following trends or attempting to appeal to more of an audience.
Do: Make sure you’re updating very frequently. When marketing on sites like Facebook, you can’t rely on people checking your Timeline for your material; you have to post it out there so that it lands in their News Feeds.
Do: Focus on high-quality content. If you’re going to post, that post needs to be something worthy of sharing or engaging with in another way. It’s important to emphasize quality here.
Do: Attempt to be more engaging with every passing day. Sharing, commenting, tagging, and other possible actions – this is what social media advertising is all about. If your audience isn’t engaging with you, you won’t be successful.
Do: Try out a variety of media in your material. Entertaining video clips and funny memes can stand out as more attractive to a social-media user than just a simple text-based post. However, you may have a brad that you don’t want to associate with “funny clips”, then that’s obviously not the way forward, but perhaps you can produce infographics, instructional videos or other brands of media
Do: Interact with people when they engage with you. Not only does this allow you to weed out the serious intent from the no intent, but it also boosts your brand’s image in the public eye.

What you Shouldn’t Do:

Don’t: Avoiding people is a big no-no. Engagement works both ways. If you’re expecting people to engage with your brand, your brand has to engage right back.
Don’t: Never, ever mislead people about your brand, about a product, about the business, etc. This type of thing will come back to bite you in a big way. And while you might think that some exaggeration here and there is harmless, it will compound and bring you down.
Don’t: Be careful when attempting to tell too much of a story. Your Timeline as a whole can speak volumes about your brand. You don’t have to write up a business history in a post. Give people a reason to engage to find out about you.
Don’t: You need to avoid being negative here. Even if you’re trolled and someone delivers a crushing blow of negativity, you can simply delete it if it’s that bad. Responding in kind puts you on that level – the level of unprofessionalism.
Don’t: Never share something that’s too personal. Your real name might be okay in some instances, especially if you have a personal FB account that you wish to tie in to show people a personal side. But there’s a thin line here you should be cognizant of.
Don’t: Stay out of politics, religion, sports rivalries, etc. Some brands have thought it funny to create memes, apps and other materials dealing with politics or sporting franchises. While it seems “cool” on the surface, an anti-Republican ad shuts out Republicans, while a pro-Arsenal ad shuts out everyone but Arsenal. Understand?
Don’t: Never ignore programs like Word. Proper spelling and grammar are your best friends. Just because it’s social-speak to confuse “you’re” and “your,” “there” and “they’re,” and to have horrific grammar, throwing commas, periods and the semicolon under the bus completely, your brand has to rise above that.

Search long enough and you can probably find over 70 dos and don’ts pertaining to social media. It’s an encompassing subject with a lot that can go right or wrong within it. The article above focused on the top 7 dos and don’ts out there, but, please, keep studying social media advertising to learn more about what you should and shouldn’t be doing.


Post written by : Craig Robinson. He’s an editor for a facebook ad management tool – Qwaya. He writes about different topics for social media and loves to engage in some social media communities, forums and most of all he’s a social media fanatic.

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An Affinity For Facebook

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

Understanding how Facebook operates is becoming increasingly important as their engineers constantly tweak their search and ranking algorithm which determine if the strength of a Facebook “friend” relationship make it worth displaying your post on a news feed. That’s right, Facebook searches wall content and makes determinations as to what will be displayed on a news feed. This Facebook algorithm is called EdgeRank and has a direct impact on what your followers may see. Typically, when you hear about a search engine being changed, the result is improved functionality and findability. However, where EdgeRank is concerned many Facebook users report this new ranking method has actually driven down the views their content is receiving.

Why you may ask, would Facebook reduce views? There is some speculation that companies have gotten so effective at creating no-cost search engine optimized (SEO) organic Facebook campaigns they needed a mechanism to push these companies towards paid advertising plans. Whatever the reason, there’s no need to be discouraged. Despite recent changes, Facebook remains a valuable marketing outlet for your company. Below is one way to increase the odds your Facebook content will be seen by your target audience.

EdgeRank utilizes something they call Affinity to look at the strength of relationships on Facebook. Strength of relationship translates into “hmm, does the follower really want to see this or are they just superficially interested so we will keep the post off their wall. The way to work with Affinity is to make communication on Facebook as mutual as possible, with as much detail as possible. Here’s an example: your company Acme Superjuice has a Facebook business page. One of your Facebook friends is Joe’s Blenders. When Joe’s Blenders posts something about an exciting new product they are rolling out, don’t just hit the ‘Like” button. By all means hit Like, but the best way to get Affinity to assign weight to the relationship you have with Joe’s Blenders is for you to post a comment on their wall. When Joe’s Blender’s posts a comment to your wall in response, Affinity will see that as a high quality contact and make it more likely your wall posts will appear on a news feed. Comments between page owners create high-value bridges which translate into views, so get a dialogue going. Make posts as interactive as possible and invite others to join in comment streams. As part of your business networking plan be sure to communicate with other business owners and customers that posting comments adds value, and when they post to your wall you’ll be sure to write back creating that important bridge. Both sides benefit. As with all social media, when someone posts to your wall or account, whether good or bad, be sure to reply.

While it may seem tricky, Facebook remains an important tool for brand building and there is room for plenty of creativity. We recently assisted a client in creating a contest on Facebook that surpassed expectations! Stay tuned for more on that…

Looking for more Facebooks tips?: keep content up-to-date, add photos and videos of interest, and contact IWD for more information on growing your brand through social media. The online world is constantly evolving and IWD will help you stay current. You’ll “Like” (and hopefully comment on) what we can do for your company!.

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Case Studies – a great tool for sharing success!

On occasion we’ll be posting case studies of projects we’re excited to share. Case studies are a great way to illustrate measurable results from our marketing efforts. The studies we post are selected to reflect the wide-range of services we offer for web design, online marketing, and print materials. After you’ve seen what we’ve done for our clients, find out how we can help your business!

View Case Study [PDF]

Here’s one more thing for you to think about. We’re very happy with the dynamic format we developed for our case studies. Do your visual presentations need some pizzaz so you can really strut your stuff? Our visual specialists can help you create a presentation people will remember.

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