Why your business needs a professional website designer
Nowadays, just about every business has a website. Not every website is created equal, however. The best businesses have the best websites, and the best websites are designed by professionals. There are lots of reasons why your business needs a professional website designer. Here are 5 quick reasons why:
Improves brand awareness and market presence. More and more these days, customers find businesses online. They’ll search for you on the Internet, which means your website is often the only chance you get to make a good first impression. For your market to think you’re a good professional business, you need a good professional website. A dated, ugly, poorly functioning website – or worse, no website at all – is an awful first impression to make.
Your website needs to look professional. You could try using a pre-designed amateur website template, but it’ll look just like that: amateur. If you want your business to appear professional, you need a website that has been designed by professionals. Speaking of…
Professional website designers design websites better. Professional web designers know web design inside and out. We do this stuff all the time! We can quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively design your website with every feature you might need: e-commerce, navigation features, social media integration, scrolling banners and photo albums…you name it! We at O2 can design mobile websites for your business as well, which will automatically display correctly on every sort of smart phone or tablet device. We can even provide website hosting too.
Saves you time and effort. Sure, you could try to design your own website. If you have no experience with web design or programming, however, the task is likely to be much more involved than you realize. Besides, if you’re a small business owner, your day-to-day operations are already enough to worry about. Let us design your website, so you can focus on operating your business.
Get search engine optimized. Your website won’t do much good if your customers can’t find it, which makes proper search engine optimization (SEO) critical to website design. Professional website designers can implement all the latest and greatest SEO tools and techniques right into your website, which will help Google, Yahoo, and other search engines find you. This helps more customers find you, which in turn creates more business.
These are just a few quick reasons why your business needs a professional website designer. The list really could go on and on. The guys at O2 are some of the most creative, most talented, and friendliest website designers around as well. We’re always happy to work with clients from both near and far, whether in Grand County, Colorado, or halfway across the world. To further discuss the benefits of professional website design for your business, contact us today!
To contact O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
O2 expanding to Summit County
Big news from O2!
As you know, our office is located in Grand County, as are many of our clients. In addition to Grand County, we’ve always been happy to provide our top-quality graphic design, web design, and marketing services to businesses near and far. That’s why we’re pleased to announce our plans to expand to Summit County, Colorado!
That’s right. We’d like to formally offer our services to Summit County businesses (though we’ll still be working hard for Grand County and all our other clients either way!)
With our years of experience in resort and tourism marketing and design, we’re already the perfect fit for many businesses in Summit County. We’re happy to come meet in Summit, or if you’re ever in our neck of the woods, you’re always welcome to stop by our Fraser office.
So if you know of any businesses looking for marketing or design work in Frisco, Dillon, Breckenridge, Keystone, Silverthorne, or anywhere else in Summit County, let us know! We’re happy to provide websites, mobile websites, graphic designs, marketing, advertising, promotional items, logos and branding, social media, and any of our other services to our Summit County neighbors.
So contact us at O2 for more info or for a free consultation. Your mountain business deserves to work with a mountain agency!
Give us a call at 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Click here for our last blog: small business marketing checklist
Credit Wikipedia for the map image
Small business marketing checklist
Starting or growing your small business can be a lot of work. In order to establish the market presence your business will need, there are a lot of bases you’ll need to cover. That’s where we at O2 can help. We’re an agency that works with new and growing businesses every day. Here are just a few things your business will need to be successful:
Your business will need a brand; a logo; an identity – something by which your market can recognize you. We can help develop your brand, and create a professional logo that’ll do more than just get your business recognized – it’ll make your business stand out.
Your business will also need marketing. Advertising campaigns, promotions, a marketing plan, signage, media, execution – all that stuff takes time and creativity. We can do all your marketing dirty work for you, from designing ads and media, to coordinating a campaign, to even researching and creating a marketing plan. We’ll help you figure out the most effective marketing strategies that will make your business really shine in your market.
Your business should also have a professional online presence. Customers these days expect businesses to have a website, and your business deserves a website that serves your needs: online booking systems, blogging features, e-commerce, photo galleries, and whatever other custom features your business can use to achieve success. Your online presence shouldn’t be limited just to desktop computers either – now that so many folks have smart phones, mobile websites are more important than ever.
And more and more, customers want businesses they can interact with online. They want to know what a business is up to; want to communicate; want timely updates and announcements. This can be achieved through blogging and social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other platforms allow you to showcase your business, interact with your markets. (Oh, and social media campaigns are a GREAT way to attract new customers as well!) We can help you set up blogging and social media pages, and even manage blogs and pages for you, so you can focus on the day-to-day operations of your business.
The point is, we at O2 can help with all the daunting details of marketing. We’ll help your business create the best campaigns, the best designs, and the best websites, and more. Contact us today to discuss all the ways our agency can help your business!
To contact O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Adding and managing media on WordPress
This week’s blog is yet another installment in our series of WordPress website tutorials. Our last blog discussed how to add and edit posts on your WordPress site. This week we’ll be discussing how to upload, insert, and manage media on WordPress.
To begin, you’ll need to login to your WordPress website and access your Dashboard. (WordPress has updated some of their designs lately, so your Dashboard may have a slightly new look to it, though it should still be functionally the same.) You should notice a “Media” tab on the left hand side of your Dashboard.
If you hover your mouse over the Media tab, you’ll prompt two options: “Library” and “Add New.”
If you click “Add New” then you’ll be directed to the Upload New Media screen, which should look something like this:
The Upload New Media screen makes it simple to add media files to your WordPress website. Just drag and drop the file you’d like to add, or click the Select Files button in the middle of the screen to choose a file from your computer.
Once you add files, you can then view and manage the files in your Media Library. The Library allows you to sort media by images, audio, video, and other files, and also sort media by the date it was uploaded.
If you hover your mouse over each file, you’ll prompt several management options that allow you to edit, permanently delete, or view each file.
The “Attached to” column on the Media Library lets you know which page or post on your website each particular media file is attached to. If a file has been uploaded to your library but not yet attached to a particular post or page, it is listed as “Unattached,” and gives you the option of attaching the file to a post or page.
You can also add media files to a page or post by selecting the “Add Media” button in the upper left corner of the Add New Page or Add New Post screen (to get to those screens, click on the Pages or Posts tab on the left hand side of your Dashboard. Click here to reference our blog on Pages, or here for our blog on Posts).
Clicking the Add Media button will direct you to your Media Library, from which you can add files onto the particular page you’re working on. The Add Media button again gives you the option to Upload Files directly from your computer, in case you haven’t uploaded a particular file to your library yet.
Once you insert a media file into a particular page, you can then resize or edit it within the content of the rest of the page. To do this, click on the image once it appears in the page- or post-editing screen. This will prompt two boxes to appear in the upper left corner of the image.
The square with the red circle allows you to delete the image. The square with the little blue image in it is your Edit Image button. If you click on this, you’ll be prompted with the Edit Image screen.
The Edit Image screen allows you to align, resize, title, and/or caption your media, as needed.
This is just a quick overview of how to add, edit, and manage media files on your WordPress website. If you have any other questions about WordPress, contact O2 today!
To contact O2 Creative, call us at 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
An introduction to WordPress
An Introduction to WordPress
At O2 Creative, we design many different websites using WordPress. Many of our clients and contacts often have questions regarding WordPress usage and features. That’s why we’d like to introduce a new series of posts on our blog. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of tutorials meant to help everyone better understand how to use their WordPress websites.
This initial post will be an introduction to the “dashboard” of your WordPress website. This dashboard is the administrative back end of your website; where you’ll go to update, add to, or edit content on your site.
First off, you’ll need to login to the back end of your WordPress website. Doing this is simple: just type your website’s domain into your browser and add “/wp-admin” to the address (e.g. www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin). This will prompt the login page for your website.
Once you get to the login page, enter your username and password for access to your website’s “dashboard.”
This dashboard gives you an overview of all the activity and content on your website, and is designed to allow you to easily navigate and make changes to your website. The dashboard will let you know how many posts, pages, comments, and other activities are displayed on your website.
You’ll see a list of tabs down the left side of your website’s dashboard. These tabs allow you to access specific areas of your website to change or add content.
For instance, the “pages” tab lets you add and add to each individual page on your website – the home page, contact page, about page, etc. The “posts” page allows you to quickly post blogs, articles, events, or other updates and announcements on your website. The “media” tab allows you to upload and publish photos, graphics, and other images onto your website’s posts and pages.
This is just a quick introduction to the back end of a WordPress website. We’ll be going into more detail about pages, posts, and other features in future blogs. Of course, if you have any questions about WordPress, or if you’d like to learn more about how a website can benefit your business in general, contact us today!
To contact O2 Creative, give us a call at 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
We won a Davey!
Award Winning Avertisng Agencies!
Big news for O2!
Lots of folks already know we’re O2 Creative, that cleverly creative marketing and design agency up in the mountains…but now we have something to add…
As of last week, now we’re O2 Creative, that AWARD WINNING cleverly creative marketing and design agency up in the mountains!
Yup, that’s right – we won a Davey!
Our design and marketing work has been recognized by the Davey Awards, an international creative award organization that honors small firms with big ideas – you know, just like “Davey” took out Goliath with a small rock and a big idea.
We submitted some of our favorite work we did for one of our favorite clients, The Foundry Cinema and Bowl. Our work has been awarded a Silver Award in Davey’s “Integrated Campaign” category, a category that features 2-5 pieces of work from at least two different mediums – print media, website and mobile web design, signage, etc.
To showcase the consistency in branding that we’ve worked so hard to achieve for The Foundry, we submitted 5 different pieces of work:
The Foundry’s exterior signage:
The Foundry’s website:
The mobile website:
Promotional posters for tournament bowling:
And finally, a wood-fired pizza box packaging:
We wanted our logo and branding direction to be an extension of The Foundry’s retro-industrial building design. For the outdoor sign, we created a large backlit neon-style sign mounted atop The Foundry with metal scaffolding, similar to the signage of some of the more classic industrial buildings of days past:
For the website and mobile site, we wanted a very clean, simple design that also retained the retro-industrial elements of other Foundry designs. We incorporated an “eroded” look for some of the web graphics, to give the website an old school, broken-in sort of feel.
The mobile site features simple icons so users can easily find movie times and other info. The website features a rotating photo banner, which is meant to visually showcase the unique guest experience at The Foundry. Up-to-the-minute movie times are also displayed on the website’s home page.
The promotional posters were intended to generate buzz locally for The Foundry’s tournament bowling league. We again kept the design simple. We used the tagline of “Where Local Legends Are Born” to further entice local bowlers into signing up. To help illustrate bowling and to further create attention, we included bowling pins dressed up as characters from one of our favorite bowling movies.
The pizza boxes were again kept clean and simple. We included The Foundry’s logo to consistently bolster brand awareness. We tastefully added The Foundry’s contact info, and also included stylized flames to bring attention to The Foundry’s unique wood-fired pizza.
Almost 4,000 firms from around the world entered their work in addition to ours, so we consider it a real honor to be recognized among so many other talented agencies. We don’t mean to completely toot our own horn about this, but we really are just that excited about being recognized!
With that said – we want this blog post to be a big THANK YOU – to the Davey Awards, to The Foundry, to all our clients, friends, family, and to anyone and everyone else who have helped us become an award-winning creative agency!
Thanks again, everyone!
Contact us at [email protected]
Read about print vs digital media here
Case Study: The Foundry
When The Foundry Cinema & Bowl came to Winter Park, they approached O2 Creative with an interesting task: build a brand from scratch. We welcomed the opportunity (we’re kind of dorks like that) and promptly began developing ideas for every detail of the brand development.
Fortunately, we were well aware of the work we had cut out for us. We knew we had to design a logo, signage, a website, rack cards, business cards, posters, advertisements, and lots of other media, not to mention all the other little efforts it takes to make a brand successful.
We knew we had to remain consistent in our branding efforts, so customers could consistently recognize The Foundry’s brand. We also knew everything we designed had to lend itself to the marketability of The Foundry as a whole. We had to express the market identity The Foundry sought to achieve.
We began by designing a logo. We worked closely with The Foundry to create exactly the logo they wanted. In this case, they hoped for a retro-industrial sort of style. We ultimately came up with a classic round logo and combined it with a more modern letter font, which yielded us a handsome logo that we think is bold, clean, and recognizable.
We took The Foundry’s new logo and began applying it to other branding efforts. We designed The Foundry’s outdoor sign that lights up big and bright along Highway 40. We think the retro-inspired logo looks especially sharp atop The Foundry’s old school factory-inspired building.
We then wanted some tangible marketing media; something that The Foundry could pass along to customers. With the goal of building brand awareness for The Foundry in mind, we created an integrated mix of branded marketing materials – everything from business cards…
…to pizza boxes.
After we designed The Foundry’s tangible media, we agreed it was time to get digital. We designed a website and mobile website, both of which make extensive use of The Foundry’s branding and logo. Now The Foundry has a robust online presence. Customers can look up movie times, menus, and bowling info from computers, tablets, and even smart phones.
We continue to work closely with The Foundry, creating new media to promote all the new events at the cinema and bowling alley. Whenever The Foundry has new movies, bowling events, food and drink specials, or live music shows, we’ll design some fresh promotional media. Each promotion consistently has The Foundry’s familiar round logo and design, which helps maintain and grow brand awareness.
Overall, this is just a few of our branding and marketing efforts for The Foundry. Each element has played a role in helping The Foundry become the successful brand it is today.
We’d also like to mention that we actually enjoy helping our clients with branding efforts. We like the creative challenge of helping a business express its identity to a market. We even kind of have fun with it! With that said, we’d be happy to help you build your brand. If you or your business has any questions with branding, marketing, or design, please contact us. Let’s get creative together!
To contact O2 Creative, call us at 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
When should your business redesign its website?
That can depend on several things. Does your current site look contemporary and professional? Is it intuitive and simple for visitors to navigate? Is your website search engine optimized? Does every page on your site still work? Does your business have the ability to update or change its own website?
There are plenty of do-it-yourself website templates. All too often, though, they are cheaply designed, and totally look that way too. Website templates are intended for amateur bloggers. If you want your business’s website to look professional, then it should be designed by professionals.
Website design and technology is changing constantly, so if you haven’t done much with your business’s website lately, it’s probably already dated. Graphics and images that looked good years ago probably just aren’t as sharp by today’s standards. A site that looks obsolete or cheap can make your customers think the same of your business.
Many websites – especially dated ones – become increasingly difficult to navigate. The behind-the-scenes coding and structure of a site designed years ago may not display correctly in modern browsers and on mobile devices. If your website isn’t optimized for today’s Internet, then customers may think your entire business is not up-to-date. Customers may even become frustrated while trying to navigate your page and simply go to someone else’s site instead.
Many older sites do nothing for modern search engine optimization (SEO). This means they don’t have the right content, or coding and site architecture, to make it easy for search engines to find and list your site among search results. A professionally designed website will keep you optimized for search engines. This means your website, and not someone else’s, will appear at the top of a Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other search page when your customers look for you.
Optimizing your website for social media can go a long way as well. Linking your website to and from your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media pages can increase traffic for your website and bolster your business’s overall online presence.
Perhaps your website is difficult to update or change. Old websites can be clunky and tough to work with. Maybe your business doesn’t even have control over its own website, instead having to contact your web designer about every little change. New website designs can be very user-friendly, giving your business the option to easily access its own site and update or revise without having to wait for someone else to do it.
What if your website has pages that don’t work? Those broken links to the “page not found?” Worse, what if your website has been hacked, and displays someone else’s unsavory content, or doesn’t even work right? Designing a new site can clean up those messes, and also prevent them from happening again.
(Some of O2 Creative’s web design for one of our favorite clients, The Foundry. Click HERE to see more!)
All things considered, there are plenty of reasons to consult a professional web designer about creating a new website, or overhauling your old one. At O2 Creative we can create the freshest websites that utilize the latest technology. Our websites are professional quality, secure, intuitive to use and navigate, search engine optimized, and easy for your business to control and update.
To get the most out of a new or improved website for your business, consult the friendly web design professionals at O2 Creative today.
Click here for additional reading. Also, Credit Gregory Kogan for the sweet cartoon!
The importance of mobile websites
How many folks access the Internet on mobile devices? Quite a few, actually, and the numbers continue to grow. Experts predict that by 2014, more people will surf the ‘net on mobile devices than on desktop computers. That means more and more people will be doing business on mobile devices as well. They’ll be using their smart phones and tablets from anywhere and everywhere to access the websites of businesses like…well, you.
Of course, just because customers can find your website on mobile devices doesn’t necessarily mean their mobile experience with your website will be a good one. If your website isn’t designed to be viewed on mobile devices, then it probably doesn’t have the right graphics, buttons, navigation screens, sizes, and other details to make it easy to view on a smart phone or tablet. It can make your website look disorderly and unprofessional, which is not the impression you want to be giving customers. You should make the effort to get your website mobile-friendly. It’ll make more and more of your customers happy, which will undoubtedly make you happy, too!
75% of customers prefer a mobile-friendly website when surfing the net on their mobile devices. That means if you indeed have a mobile-friendly website, then the majority of mobile device customers will favor you over…oh, say, your competitor who doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website.
Roughly half of customers say they are less likely to do business with someone if a mobile website experience was bad. They think it’s indicative of a business that just doesn’t care. But, of course you care! That’s why you should develop your mobile site – to please the customers. Before, you know, the customers just stop bothering with you and start doing business with somebody else.
Long story short, an optimized mobile website pleases your customers because it makes doing business with you that much easier, whenever, wherever. If you don’t have a good mobile website, then your customer’s experience with your website may not be good, either. It could frustrate your customers, which could cause them to simply do business elsewhere, and ultimately end up tarnishing your entire brand image. Don’t let that happen.
At O2 Creative, we’ve optimized websites for businesses large and small. We make sure a website is clean and easy to navigate from any smart phone or tablet, anywhere and at any time. So if you want to mobile-optimize your website, or create a dedicated mobile site, then come talk to us. Trust us – your customers, and everyone else involved in your business, will appreciate it.
Click here for more information about mobile websites in the original Yahoo article.