Sharp Innovations Blog
2018 was a big year for the Sharp Innovations team! We look back at some of the highlights of the last year and thank you all for being a part of our exciting trajectory toward the future.
Perhaps the most exciting news of 2018 for us was finally obtaining a certification we’ve been working toward for quite some time. Rewarded for an effort that stretched over three years, we completed the process to become GSA certified. This allows us to work with all government agencies, whether at the state or federal level, for all their web development and digital marketing needs. We’re one of the select few firms in PA who can do so, and we look forward to this new set of challenges.
There are a wide variety of factors to consider when designing a new website; imagery, color scheme, call-to-action button style, and overall layout are all essential to your website’s success and lead generation. These are all heavily scrutinized by designers and clients alike. A vital decision that is often overlooked, however, involves font choice.
Fonts can truly tie a website together and even influence a user’s behavior, making them a crucial part of the design process. Certain fonts should make key phrases jump out by being bold or unique, while others need to be comfortable to read in paragraphs. Typographical hierarchy is essential as well, leading the user along a designated path through the page’s content and drawing attention to specific pieces without distracting from the main text of the page. The science behind effective typography goes deep, but here we’ll focus on just 4 ways that font choice alone can affect the performance of your website.
In this day and age, social media is the top dog. Everybody who’s anybody is sharing, occasionally on the verge of “over-sharing”, everything happening in their lives. How do you keep up and, more importantly, stand out in the ever-growing flood of constant communication? Here are five ways to show off your business in the digital world today.
When you have a website, and potential customers are searching for a business that offers the products and services that you do, a well designed SEO program will help to bring those potential clients to your site. You can think of SEO as a match game for you and prospective customers, and without a good SEO program, many potentially profitable matches may not happen for you.
By definition, SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results, which are results that occur naturally, not as a result of an advertisement that you’ve bought.
To keep your site working effectively, it’s absolutely necessary to refresh your SEO strategy on a regular basis to match the methods people are using to find you, because those methods aren’t the same as they were 5 or 10 years ago.
If you’ve been using the Internet for more than 10 years, you can remember those cool little movie clips or interactive portions of websites that used Flash. Well, since that time, the Internet has come a long way, and due to modern programming languages, Flash is no longer necessary. Not only is it no longer necessary, it is being killed off by all modern browsers with Google leading the way with their Chrome Browser.
Adobe (the company that owns Flash) – has announced that even they are going to stop supporting it in 2020. What does this mean for you as a person or a business who has a website? Well, as time goes on between now and then, you will see that Flash elements on a website are not working anymore. Does this mean no more fancy movie clips and no more interaction between clients and your website? No, it’s actually quite the contrary.
We all hear about cyber-security attacks in the news with major companies getting hacked, data breaches, etc. Attackers will continue to attack the major companies in various ways that are out of our control, but there are several security practices that we can do to prevent attackers from getting to our personal information for their personal gain. A few things we can do are to protect ourselves from phishing attacks (scammers using false identity to get personal information or money), protect sensitive information, and to secure our passwords.
You get a call from someone claiming they are from your electric company and state that you have not paid your bill for the last 3 months. If you do not pay over the phone RIGHT NOW, THIS MINUTE with your credit card, your electric will be shut off immediately. You know you have paid your bill in a timely manner, but the caller creates an uncertainty and you provide the card information as requested. Later you find out this was a call from a scammer.
When you’re getting ready to make a new website, you can take some important steps to ensure that you’re happy with the design that your developer creates for you. Here at Sharp, our designers will always try to incorporate your vision as we see it while still implementing general rules of good practice in the world of the web so that you get a website that matches your vision and works efficiently for your customers.
Things like button placement, color palette, fonts, iconography, photos, and so much more are all important decisions that go into an initial website design. Merging these deliberate decisions with what you have in mind is a careful balance that can sometimes result in something unexpected without a lot of detail. Some people like to be surprised and allow our designers as much creative freedom as they want, but if you have a particular vision of how you want your new site to look, here are 4 ways to get the design you want.
1. Provide as much detail as possible. If you have a very specific vision, be sure to communicate it as clearly as you can. The more detail you give us, the closer we can get to your vision. To you, that vision can seem obvious, but we may have a very different picture in mind if you don’t provide us with copious descriptions of what you’re looking for. So tell us every little thing. For a web designer, there is no such thing as too much detail!
“The only constant is change.” That’s how web development is defined, and in 2018 nothing will be different.
Users are continuously expecting more from their online experiences. Content should be engaging, intuitive, and accessible everywhere in real-time, especially on mobile devices.
Here are some online trends to watch in 2018.
Browser extensions are key add-ons for the major browsers and have been for years. Extensions improve a browser’s user interface and make browsing easier for the user.
If you’re planning your marketing strategy for the New Year and haven’t thought about your digital presence, now is the time!
2017 saw a number of important changes as search engines such as Google and Bing have continued to evolve in an attempt to deliver the best results for web users. By keeping up with and adapting to these changes, you can help ensure that your website is making the biggest impact and delivering the best returns from search engines for your business.
Here are a few different ways to improve your SEO results in 2018:
- Fully Optimize Your Local Listings – For any business who sells their products or services at their location, at a minimum you should have a verified Google Maps and Bing Places business listing set up and maintained by you or on your behalf. This will let your local customers know where you are and when you’re open.
And there are proven ways to get even more out of these listings, especially as “near me” searches are as prevalent as ever. An interesting shift, however, is the exclusion of “near me” in the search query, but the expectation that local results are still delivered.
With that expression and an outlandish personality, Ric Flair created a brand for himself that people around the world recognize and celebrate. Flair was a wrestler who branded himself The Nature Boy, and he used his brand to become famous and to distinguish himself from hundreds of other, less memorable wrestlers.
The main components of Flair’s brand, in addition to Wooo!, were his flashy hair and clothing, his habit of surrounding himself with beautiful women, his ability to give a great interview, and, finally, his willingness to put on a great show inside the squared circle every night. Put all of those factors together, and you have a memorable brand that put people in the seats and money in Flair’s pocket.
Ric Flair is unusual because he’s a one-man brand. Most other successful brands belong to companies with more than one employee. However, whether your business has 1 employee or 1000, you can certainly benefit from developing your brand. Conversely, you’ll suffer from not having a brand.