5 Reasons to Think Mobile-First | Header

5 Reasons to Think Mobile-First

It wasn’t too long ago that your website only required you to think about how it would display on desktop computers. In today’s world, if you aren’t thinking about mobile and tablet devices, as well, you are likely ignoring the majority of your visitors’ preferred method of interacting with your web content. That’s because as many as 60% of all internet searches now take place on mobile devices.

So, now is the time to start thinking about your website from a mobile-first view rather than the desktop-first mentality of yesterday. Simply put, thinking mobile-first means placing the emphasis on user experience on mobile devices, rather than having it be an afterthought to the desktop design.

Here are five reasons to think mobile-first. Continue reading

Speed and Performance Focused Websites | Header

Speed and Performance Focused Websites

With the ever-growing rate of mobile sites, it has become increasingly important to also improve the usability of the site. One of the large factors in this is that of page loading speed being as quick as possible, to not slow users down as they use your website. Along with this, Google and other search engines have realized the importance of this, and as such, they emphasize and prioritize sites that are well optimized for this in their search results. This is because they recognize the reality of how users interact with your site, and the experience they have if it loads slowly. In fact, Google has found that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.

Continue reading

the word APPS overlaid on an image of a woman holding a cellphone next to coffee on the left and a keyboard and monitor on the right

Creating an App for Your Every Need

From our computers to our phones, and even to custom computer devices, apps are used everywhere as a part of our daily lives. Whether it be for entertainment, convenience, or for a work-related need, these applications we use make what we do simpler and more efficient. If talk of apps and what all the thought-process that goes into them is too much stress and hard to understand, contact us now and we can help you to better understand your options, otherwise, read on…

Apps are most recognized today through their use on mobile devices, but that is truly just a name for something that has been used long before on desktop computers as well. Fast forward to today, and while mobile phones are taking off in the amount of usage and popularity, desktops still remain as a steady tool, especially among the working world. The desktop app is not dead, in fact, there have been, in recent years, new technologies intended at making applications made for the computer easier and more streamlined to create, which also allows for greater innovations and faster build times. What is this method? In conjunction with using Node.js and Electron, we can help to deliver a fully custom app, with all the features you could expect. This technology builds on top of a variation of chrome, so everything that you love and gain out of Chrome’s usage, can also then be applied to that app. This would include its speed, responsiveness, up-to-date HTML/CSS, and more. We can even help to set up automated updates to your application to ensure users are always on the newest version of your great application tools. Continue reading

Is Print Still Effective? | Header

Is Print Still Effective?

As a web design company, we obviously know the absolute necessity of having a hard-working website. We also know that if your website is your only marketing tool, you’ll be missing some excellent opportunities to keep your name in front of your customers. Even in our electronic world, there’s a place for many other forms of marketing, and one very effective way of communicating with potential and established customers is a print newsletter.

Yes, printing and mailing add costs that you won’t experience with an electronic newsletter, but those costs will give you benefits that an electronic newsletter just can’t match, and, you can still place your newsletter on your website and email it as well. Continue reading

History of HTML | Header

History of HTML

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the main computer programming language used for making websites. HTML is unique, and there are no other languages like it anywhere else in wide world of programming. HTML is only used for the web. So how did HTML come to be?

In 1989 a man by the name of Tim Berners-Lee, who was a British Scientist, invented the World Wide Web. He did this to help the scientific community from around the world collaborate better. His vision was relatively narrow, focusing only on scientists. He couldn’t have known at the time what he had set in motion, and he certainly couldn’t have envisioned that his creation would, in just a decade or so, completely change the way people around the world communicate. Continue reading

Make Your Website Attractive | Header

Make Your Website Attractive

Who remembers turning to the Yellow Pages in the phone book to find companies for a needed service? If you’re too young to have used the Yellow Pages, ask someone who grew up with them. In the years before the Internet, companies paid a lot of money to have the most attractive ads in the Yellow Pages and to attract business. Many of us looked at the ads to determine if a company’s service would meet our needs. Then, we made trusting choices based on pages in a book with limited space, and a major factor in our decisions was the attractiveness of the ads.

Today, the Yellow Pages do still exist, but no one is quite sure why. Instead of looking in the back of a phone book to find a restaurant or a plumber, modern consumers our mobile phones, tablets, and computers. We lead electronic lives, and we depend on the searching technologies, web page content, and reviews to determine if a company will supply the best service for our needs.

As a result, the importance of having the most attractive Yellow Page ad is a thing of the past. Now, a successful business must try to develop a web site that attracts their consumers and shows how the business behind the ad is the best one to meet the customers’ needs. Continue reading

a man holding a cellphone with an overlaid banner that reads google launches mobile site certification

Google Launches Mobile Sites Certification

A mobile-first mindset is a must when developing websites in today’s world. With the majority of mobile searches now taking place on mobile devices, it only benefits you to cater to your customers’ preferred way of accessing your website.

Search engines have already adapted to the change by promoting things like Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and Google is even offering a Mobile Sites certification for developers to earn recognition as an expert in mobile site optimization. Continue reading

a man holding a cellphone that has the text - effective and beautiful mobile navigations - overlaid on it

3 Effective and Beautiful Mobile Navigations

Sometimes the most subtle design decisions can vastly improve or hurt the overall user experience in the world of web design. In a field constantly subject to new visual design trends, user expectations, and form factor changes, it can be tough to keep up with the most effective solutions for seemingly simple pieces of functionality like a website’s navigation menu. Some tried and true methods tend to stick around, but that doesn’t mean that they’re always the best for your current users.

On mobile devices, especially, the requirements are constantly evolving. Navigations need to look great and work well on a 10” tablet, a 6” “phablet”, or a 4” phone. Let’s take a look at some reliable navigation options that focus on ease of use while still complementing your website design across a multitude of mobile devices.

Hamburger Menu

hamburger menu A very popular option right now is what’s known as the hamburger menu, referred to as such due to the icon with three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other. This icon has become synonymous with mobile navigations and is sometimes utilized on full desktop sites. It provides an easy way to access a site’s menu without obstructing the design in a largely universally recognized way. Hamburger menus have been in use for several years now but have exploded in popularity recently with the advent of responsive websites.

Bottom Navigation Continue reading

a warning graphic that reads hacked websites on the rise - what you can do to protect your website

Hacked Websites on the Rise – What You Can Do to Protect Your Website

Google recently reported on their Webmaster Central Blog that they saw a 32% increase in hacked websites in 2016, in comparison to 2015, and even more unfortunate for webmasters was that Google expects the upward trend to continue. If this worries you, it should, especially when your website can be penalized for hacked content and either be demoted or completely dropped from the search results pages.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

– Ben Franklin

The good news is, there are some steps you can take to help fight off hackers from compromising your site. While no method is full-proof, these tips can help protect your business’ brand, and save you the time, and cost to recover from an attack. Continue reading

Making SEM Work For Our Clients | A Tier 2 Case Study of the Chemical Concepts Campaign | Header

Making SEM Work For Our Clients – A Tier 2 Case Study of the Chemical Concepts Campaign

If you’ve ever sat down for one of our free website design or internet marketing consultations, you already know that we do things a bit differently here at Sharp Innovations. We want to understand your business inside and out, and we look to identify your goals, the target audience, potential hardships and more before we dive into your new website or internet marketing project.

In an effort to cater to the ever-changing digital landscape, we previously launched a three-tiered approach to our search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. While most clients fit into the Tier 1 program, some look for a more proactive approach that focuses on conversions, Return on Investment (ROI), Key Performance Indicators (KPI), accelerated content and more. This is why we launched our Tier 2 and Tier 3 SEO programs.

The team at Chemical Concepts put us to the test last February, and we’re pleased to share the results of their ongoing Tier 2 SEO campaign. Here are some of the key metrics measured over the duration of the campaign:

  • There were 19% more user sessions in 2016-2017 when compared to 2015-2016.
  • Organic referrals were a driving force in that growth, as Chemical Concepts saw 28% more organic referrals.
  • You may be thinking, ‘The extra traffic and referrals are great, but are they converting?’ The answer is a resounding yes – to the tune of a 45% increase in goal conversions (those visitors filling out the contact form or placing an order)! This increase in goal conversions also accounted for a 35% increase in online invoiced sales.

Additional useful metrics that have improved as a direct result of the campaign are: Continue reading