Mobile-First or Responsive Web Design: Which is Right For You?

What is the difference between mobile-first website design and responsive website design? Which is right for your business? To find answers to these questions, you need to know who your audience is, how they interact with your website. Are they predominantly viewed using mobile devices or desktop? How fast is their internet connection? How do you want the user experience on your website to reflect your Branding strategy? Once you have answers to these questions, you will be a step closer to making an informed decision on which design is best for your new website

Mobile-First Vs. Responsive

These two concepts have been getting tossed around by many people mistakenly believing they are one and the same. Well...They are not. While both concepts have mobile in-mind, they conceptually are the opposite. 

Mobile-first design is similar to designing a mobile app. All of the layout and functionality is designed 100% for mobile and then scaled up to be viewed nicely on tablets and desktop devices without much change. The key focuses include excellent mobile-user experience, fast loading times, touch screen centric interactions, and so on. 

Responsive design, on the other hand, starts on the desktop and then scales down to the smallest screen; mobile. While some websites are responsive and able to scale down the content to fit on smartphones, their core content and mobile speeds are geared more for desktop. However, with smarter design and optimization, responsive design can also be built to perform well on mobile devices in 2020. 

Why Mobile-First Website Design

Traditionally, Mobile-First designs make perfect sense when more than 75% of your website visitors are viewing through mobile devices. The mobile-first design makes their user-experience optimized and flawless to interact with on their smartphones. As more and more smartphone features get integrated into mobile browsers, you can elevate their experience by using smartphone features like camera, haptic feedback, voice detection, and so on. 

Mobile First Website Design

Why Responsive Website Design

Traditionally, responsive design is more common among B2B companies where their website design provided a lot of content. Furthermore, B2B audiences tend to visit more using desktop devices, and being able to use full features the desktop design offers makes more sense. Also, it proves to be great for SEO due to more content. 

Responsive Website Design

Mobile-First or Responsive: Which to choose? 

This decision is easy yet a complicated one when thinking about the bigger picture. Yes, if 90% of your target audience is on mobile devices, then Mobile-First website design with a strong SEO strategy is the right choice. 

The reality is that in most cases, at least more than 75% of target audiences will be from mobile devices in 2020. But with smarter responsive designs being able to provide a great user experience on mobile devices as well as desktop devices, a responsive design may be the better route to take due to better SEO and its effectiveness on both devices.

However, be cautious that the responsive design is mobile-focused with mobile optimizations. There are many WordPress themes and developers out there who claim to provide responsive design, but all they do is scale the site down to fit on smartphones and does not offer great mobile user-experience. 

In conclusion, take into consideration what device your target audience is viewing your website on, your branding strategy, what goals you want to achieve through your website, and future trends. I bring up future trends, because with rising home-offices due to the pandemic, desktop viewership may increase again. 

Branding 101: Definitive Branding Guide For Small Businesses

Okay, so you have a great business idea. Now what? Branding. Great branding will rocket your great business idea into a big success. This is where the real work starts. Great branding is at the core of every successful business. It tells your customers who you are, what you’re about, and what to expect from your business. All in all, branding can make or break your business. Whether you are starting fresh or restructuring your small business, branding is particularly important in the digital age. This is because the first point of engagement a potential customer has with your business is done online. At Hydensiq Digital, we help make sure businesses get it right at its core. To help you get started, we have put together a few tips to help you rocket your business for explosive growth. Let’s get started!

What is Branding?

Before you move forward and start thinking about your brand, you would first need to know what branding is first right? So let’s define branding. Branding is the marketing practise of creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates you from other businesses. It sounds simple and you may be eager to hop on and get started right away to create a business name and a logo. Hold on! Not just yet. Successful brands did a bit more planning than that. Let’s take a look at how you can plan for success in your branding.
brand

Crafting Your Brand Strategy

Before you go off and just wing it with your branding, or simply tell your designers, “Just like Apple”, you need to clearly define your brand strategy. Brand strategy is like a blueprint for your brand; it creates a clear fundamental direction for your branding goals. If you have a well-thought-out business plan, you may have already touched on some of these points. When you’re crafting your brand strategy, you must:
Branding 101: Definitive Branding Guide For Small Businesses - Hydensiq Digital
Define your identity. Who are you as a company? Defining the company identity helps you avoid having an identity crisis, leading to a disorganized branding message. This is one quick way to have ineffective branding and get lost in the sea of underperforming brands. Understand your key value proposition. What makes you unique? Why should your customers choose you over the millions of others out there? Clearly defining your value not only helps you with your branding but also makes your future marketing strategies more intelligible and effective. Create your brand mission statement. Your mission statement is a concise declaration of what you’re about. If you are stuck, try answering these few questions: Who do I serve? Why do I care? What do I provide? What is my differentiator? What value do I bring? Define your ideal customer. You want to appeal to your target customers and build a brand that resonates with them. Branding is no longer about creating a product and marketing it to them; it’s about creating experiences WITH them.

Building Your Brand Identity

What’s next? Building your brand identity. Brand identity is defining the key elements and principles that will drive your brand. These key elements and principles include brand voice, typography, colour palette, and form (shapes and imagery).

Brand Voice

Brand voice refers to the personality and emotion infused into a company's communications. It encompasses everything from the words and language you use, to the personality and images your marketing assets aim to invoke. It is important to define your brand voice before getting far in the process. This is because your brand voice will dictate your stylistic and design choices. For example, if your brand voice is luxurious and elegant, you will likely want to use a clean sophisticated font. If your brand voice is loud and hip, you’d want to use a bold and colourful palette in your designs. So what’s your voice? Are you trendy and edgy? Professional and sophisticated? Rugged and outdoorsy? Figure out the voice you want your target audience to perceive you as.

Typography

Now that you got your brand voice figured out, let’s focus on your typography. Typography is the fonts you use and the way you lay those fonts out in your designs. Different fonts are perceived by different associations. For example, a clean sans serif font associate with being modern and would be more aligned with a tech company. In comparison, a more whimsical font, like script fonts, would associate with creativity and would be better suited for a salon brand.
Branding 101: Definitive Branding Guide For Small Businesses - Hydensiq Digital
Our brain creates associations with everything we see, and you can leverage this to build your brand identity. See our article: Why Simple Is Better For Your Brand Design for detailed concepts on how our brains process visuals. Now that you know how fonts play an integral role in your branding and brand voice, it’s time for you to choose your font. You can choose to use a font that already exists or create custom font designs that would be 100% in sync with your brand and message.

Colour Palette

Going back to how our brain creates associations, you can guess that colour is one of the most common and powerful associations we make. Your brand colour shouldn’t be based on just your favourite colours. Colour is such a powerful thing that based on the concepts of visual associations, there is a whole study just dedicated to colour. Colour psychology is the study of hues as a determinant of human behaviour. Colour influences perceptions that are not obvious, such as the taste of food. Colours have qualities that can cause certain emotions in people. Colours can also enhance the effectiveness of placebos. For example, if you want to build trust with your customers, consider using navy in your brand designs, as it is associated with responsibility and trust. If you want voice creativity, you may want to consider purple, which is associated with fantasy and creativity. You can learn more about colour psychology in choosing your colour palette and creating a unique colour palette that conveys your identity while standing out from the crowd. Use these colours as a guideline in creating your brand, not a rule book.
Branding 101: Definitive Branding Guide For Small Businesses - Hydensiq Digital

Bring the Brand to Life.

Once you figure out how you want to build your brand with a clear identity, you want to portray, it’s time to bring those ideas to life. Start by laying out everything about your branding on a brand style guide. This should include: If you already have a logo that is aligned with your guideline include it there as well. If not, get a designer to create one and show them your brand guidelines, so the logo aligns with your brand identity.
Digital Marketing Agency in Toronto
Once, you have your logo, start designing your website, packaging, social media, and business cards with consistency. Congratulations! Your core branding is set and good to go. Just remember, building a brand doesn’t end here. You have to keep engaging with your customers, adapt to changes, and consistently bring value to grow with them. If you find your branding is becoming outdated or isn’t landing well with your target audience; rebrand. We wish you the best of luck in your journey and keep up the #hustle! If you have any questions or need some guidance, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

How to leverage Social Media influencers for your Brand

With today's social media platforms, the voices of consumers are louder than ever. This effectively shifted the balance of power between brands and consumers. In fact, with the growing popularity of online shopping, customer reviews and peer recommendations have greater influence in purchasing decisions than ever before.

So how can you leverage social media platforms to build your brand? The short answer - Influencer Marketing. Influencer identifies and targets individuals with a strong voice amongst certain target demographics. The CEO of GuruPeeps Inc., Natasha Nicole stated, “In a way, digital influencers are the new celebrity endorsement, but perhaps with even more pull among their followers. In building strong, authentic relationships with influencers, your brand earns their stamp of approval and this translates to their large following.”

Social Media Influencer

In depth: What is a Social Media Influencer?

An influencer is any user on a social media platform who has a substantial number of followers and a clear position as an expert in a given field. “Influencers not only hold a lot of authority amongst their followers through their trusted opinions and advice; but they also embody the lifestyle itself that resonates with them,” Camila Kostco, COO of GuruPeeps explained.

Which Social Media Influencer is right for Your Brand?

Not every influencer is the right fit for your brand. You will need to identify influencers that have a clear position in your niche market while possessing the right voice for your brand image. Furthermore, with influencers across multiple social media, you will need to identify the right social media platforms that will effectively maximize your digital marketing initiative.

These new social media platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat, are able to generate huge followings with more direct niche subjects. While Facebook remains popular for some demographics if your key market includes millennials, it’s imperative you utilize mobile apps.

Why Influencer Marketing?

With influencer marketing, you are able to create a cost-effective campaign that is highly flexible to your needs. Through the influencers, you can target your demographic more efficiently compared to traditional advertising. Furthermore, if you’re a small business, you can significantly leverage influencer marketing to quickly build your brand loyalty through the influencers.

Where to Begin?

Trying to strategize a new digital media marketing campaign can be daunting and time-consuming. You may be wondering what steps to take in finding the right influencers and how to approach them. Don't worry; there is a lot of great content to help you on the web.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Use social media searches and #hashtags to find the influencers in your industry.

2. Identify if the influencers have the right voice for the brand.

3. Don't just call up the influencers and ask them to promote your product. Build a genuine relationship.

4. With a wide array of metrics available to your business, track your ROI and the success of your campaign.

Whether you are a start-up or a well-established brand, influencer marketing is effective in building brands and customer loyalty. If you haven’t thought about utilizing it in your next marketing initiative, we can promise it is worth your while to look into. Have some more questions? Reach out to us at HYDENSIQ Digital and we'd be happy to chat more about it!

K.I.S.S: Why simple is better for your Brand design

Let's find out the science behind "Keep it simple stupid" and how it can help in creating effective brand designs for all your digital marketing efforts.

According to research conducted by Google in 2012, users consistently rated websites with simple visuals as more aesthetically pleasing, than the more complex counterparts.

Additionally, highly prototypical sites (those with more visual associations with sites of its category) with simple designs were rated to be most aesthetically pleasing. You may be wondering, what does Google’s research on website designs have to do with brand designs? Well, it provides us with an understanding of aesthetic judgments and how we process visual information and gives credibility to the phrase “Keep It Simple Stupid”.

Visual Information Processing: Simple Designs

We all know different people have different preferences and tastes. However, the concept of simplicity is more aesthetically pleasing over visual complexity has been found to be universal. The reason behind this is because simplicity is scientifically easier to process.

We process visual information by converting the images seen through our eyes (retina) into electrical impulses, which is then sent to our brain. So, the more complex the image is, whether it’s colors or objects, the more information your eyes and brain will have to process.

Combine this with the fact that most people consume their content on their mobile phones making the visual plane very small. Complex designs become difficult to process quickly and are therefore passed over by viewers. On the contrary, being boring and simple will also yield a result of your brand being not memorable. It comes down to designing that simple, elegant, and yet eye-catching design that proves to be a challenging task for many brands and marketers.

Prototypicality: Relatable Designs

If you were to see a picture of a pink room, most of you would think “a girls room.” If I showed you a picture of a person with heavy black makeup, black lipstick, with piercings and ask you, “what kind of music?” Most of you would answer, rock or heavy metal.

Prototypicality is essentially a mental image your brain categorizes and associates with the things you interact with. These associations can be created through a person's experience and social norms. Our brain does this to lessen the cognitive processes of daily interactions.

So when your target demographic come across your brand's marketing ad or any brand asset that is in contrast with their mental associations, they will reject the information on conscious and subconscious levels. That being said, you will have to be careful not to be too generic and lack originality. The main point is to keep the content aligned with the user's mental image while being creative, and not triggering heavy brain process.

Keep It Simple brand Designs

Cognitive Fluency: Memorable Designs

The two concepts discussed above relate to cognitive fluency. A simple explanation of cognitive fluency is that the brain prefers to focus on things that are easy to think about. That is why the brain creates these prototypes to make things easier to process. Therefore, the more the brain is exposed to something, the more you prefer it. This is because the more you are exposed to something; the less the brain needs to process it.

If your brand design assets are simple and/or have ‘prototypical factors’, the more effective your branding will be due to the low cognitive process, resulting in a ‘memorable’ brand. In contrast, if the designs are too complex and go against prototypical factors, it is likely the viewers will reject the information.

Although there will be anomalies where a complex image with abnormal prototypes will go viral on the web, the majority of likable Brand designs will fall under these concepts. It’s fair to assume that less is more and it’s best to keep it simple. Ready to get creative on your Brand Designs? Create beautiful Logos, Packaging, and websites with Hydensiq Digital.

5 Tips to Grow a Long-Lasting Online Brand

Some brands are instantly recognizable. You can probably think of a few that really stand out. But, many companies struggle to build something that’s timeless, and it can be challenging.

This becomes even more difficult with online brands. There’s so much competition out there and it’s hard to get customers to be loyal. With this in mind, here are some top tips on creating a web brand that stands the test of time.  

1. Know your core values 

If you think about the biggest brands around, they have one thing in common: they stand for something and they know what their core values are as a business. 

Start by thinking about what your brand represents. Taking time to do this before launching any marketing campaigns or starting any design work can give you more direction. It can also ensure that your business is really clear and distinguishable for your customer base.

2. Get to know your audience  

This step is essential, especially for smaller or new businesses - if you want to attract more customers, you need to know who your target customer is and what they are looking for. 

Your audience should have specific needs, interests, and pain points. By focusing on these in your branding strategy, you are better equipped to build a brand that stands out to them. 

In addition to this, it’s important to research your competitors. Then, you can start to think about how you can differentiate your business from theirs and provide a unique selling point that will drive sales, boost loyalty, and develop a brand that’s truly timeless! 

3. Focus on delivering value 

Next, when building a web brand, you need to make sure you’re providing value. Rather than focusing on selling products, always take the time to get to know your audience and give them a meaningful experience. This is something that will stick in their minds for years to come. 

Whatever aspect of the business you’re focusing on - whether it’s customer service, social media marketing, your products, or something else - always aim for the highest possible standards and build a strong rapport with your customers. 

Brand Visual

4. Use unique visual branding 

This one is a must. Your branding must be unique - otherwise, you risk blending in and your online business won’t be memorable. And, you will struggle to succeed if this is the case. 

To start, you need to create a unique logo. You can do this using a tool like Canva or hiring a professional. Additionally, you will need to create a website incorporating a complementary colour scheme. 

Once you’ve done this, you can start to create visual branding for all your online platforms, including your social media accounts, landing pages, and online store. These should all tie into your original branding for a more streamlined customer experience. 

This also applies to offline types of branding, like letters, business cards, or posters. You can get started on basic designs using an app like Adobe Spark or hiring a professional for a truly unique design. 

5. Always be consistent 

Finally, if you want your audience to be able to recall your brand easily, you need to make sure your branding is extremely consistent. This applies to all your online channels and communication methods, and it needs to be done without fail! 

You need to make sure your logo and other visual design work can be used across all the platforms you use. Otherwise, your audience won’t connect it to your brand. 

This also means adapting your brand voice in blog posts, web content, and emails so that you maintain consistency in every part of your business. This will make your brand easy to recognize, which is such an important quality in a long-lasting brand.

WooCommerce Setup: Easy 5 Step Starter Guide

  1. Install and Activate WooCommerce 
  2. Follow Setup Wizard
  3. Add Products
  4. Setup Shipping and Tax
  5. Setup Payments

Now that you have your domain and WordPress website setup, it’s time to get started on your e-commerce platform: WooCommerce. If you haven’t started on getting your domain and setting up your WordPress website yet, check out our article: How To Get Started Your WordPress Website.

STEP 1: Install and Activate WooCommerce

Search for the WooCommerce plugin from within your website

Install and Activate WooCommerce

STEP 2: Following the WooCommerce Setup Wizard

This part is fairly straightforward. Just fill out the following steps and you're golden. 

WooCommerce Setup Wizard: Where is your store based? 

In this step, you provide the location details of your store. If you don’t have a physical store, the address where you are shipping from will be fine.

WooCommerce Setup Wizard: Where is your store based?

WooCommerce Setup Wizard: In which industry does your store operate? 

Here, you can select in which industry or industries your store operates. If you select “Other” you’re able to identify a different industry.

WooCommerce Setup Wizard: In which industry does your store operate?

WooCommerce Setup Wizard: What type of products will be listed?

Here, you select the type of products you plan to sell in your store. Tip* If you are selling a service, you can select “Downloads” as that would make the product virtual. 

WooCommerce Setup Wizard: What type of products will be listed?

WooCommerce Setup Wizard: Tell us about your business

In this section, you can provide more information about your business, which will help us tailor the WooCommerce experience according to your needs. At the bottom, it will give you options to easily install some popular marketing plug-ins. I recommend unselecting all of them and installing them as needed later. 

WooCommerce Setup Wizard: Tell us about your business

WooCommerce Setup Wizard: Choose a Theme

This is the last step and simply select “continue with my current theme”. 

STEP 3: Adding Products

Before jumping into adding your products, think about how you want to organize your products into categories. For example, if you are selling clothing, this is how you might layout your category: 

  • Men’s Wear
    • Shirts
    • Pants
    • Shorts
  • Women’s Wear
    • Shoes
    • Dresses
    • Jeans

Categories are managed from the Products > Categories screen. On the left side of the screen shows you the fields to create a new category and to the right are the categories you created. To create a category: 

Now let's get your products created. 

Adding a Simple Product

  1. Go to Woocommerce > Products > Add Product. 
  2. Enter a product Title and Description. 
  3. Add an excerpt. This typically appears next to product imagery on the listing page, and the long description appears in the Product Description tab.
  4. Go to the Product Data panel, and select downloadable (digital) or virtual (service) if applicable.

Product Data

The Product Data box is where you will input most of the important information about your product. 

WooCommerce Product Data

General Section

Inventory section

The inventory section allows you to set SKU and manage stock for the product individually and define whether to allow backorders and more. 

Shipping section

Linked Products section

Using up-sells and cross-sells, you can cross-promote your products. When you are starting off, you can skip this section and come back to it. 

Attributes section

On the Attributes tab, you can assign details to a product. 

WooCommerce Product Image Setting

Taxonomies

On the right-hand side of the Add New Product panel, there are product categories in which you can select to place your product.

Product Images

There are two areas where you can upload your product images too. 

One section is called Product Images. This is where you add the main image for your product. 

The other section is called the Product Gallery. This is where you add additional photos for your products to be shown on the product page. You can drag and drop the images to show in the order you prefer. 

Now click publish and your product will be live. 

STEP 4: Setup Shipping and Tax

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping.
  2. Click add shipping zone
  3. Enter Shipping Zone Name
  4. Select Zone Regions
  5. Add Shipping Method
Shipping Zone WooCommerce
WooCommerce Shipping Method

Shipping Method

You will have a flat rate, free shipping, and local pickup as your shipping options. You can choose to add all 3 methods to your zone. 

Flat rate: A set shipping fee. You can create multiple flat rates to reflect different shipping providers you offer. 

Free Shipping: You can set rules to offer free shipping on orders over X amount of value or triggered by a coupon code. 

Local Pickup: Have the customer pickup locally. 

WooCommerce Shipping Setting

Once you have created the shipping methods, you click on the edit button to set the costs associated with each option. 

STEP 5: Setup Payments

The last and crucial step. You want to get paid right? We are almost done getting your store up and running. 

You will have Direct Bank Transfer, Check Payments, and Cash on delivery available by default. To accept credit card payments you will need to install a plugin for the payment processor you are going to use and set it up. Update: Woocommerce now has an easy install for Stripe and PayPal with the initial setup of the store. 

If you haven’t found a payment processor yet, we recommend using Stripe due to its security and ease of use. To start using Stripe. 

For a detailed setup and configuration guide see the Woocommerce Stripe Documentation. 

And that’s it! Now your Woocommerce store is all set up and ready to sell! If you run into trouble or have any questions feel free to contact us and we can help you! 

Hydensiq Digital Agency Among Top B2B Service Providers on UpCity!

Hydensiq Digital Agency is thrilled to officially announce that we are a part of the UpCity community of top B2B service providers!

At Hydensiq Digital Agency, we specialize in generating leads and creating measurable results for our clients. We give each and every client the time required to fully understand their business and create a fully personalized digital marketing strategy that will achieve their goals.  

Hydensiq Digital Agency Among Top B2B Service Providers on UpCity! - Hydensiq Digital

UpCity is a resource that helps connect businesses to service providers they can trust. With more than 70,000 listed providers—from marketing agencies to accounting firms to HR consultants to IT specialists, and many more—2 million businesses (and counting) have visited UpCity to research and identify the best partner for their needs. 

UpCity’s proprietary algorithm utilizes a variety of digital signals to measure the credibility, trustworthiness, and recommendability of B2B service providers across the U.S. and Canada. These digital data points like reviews (both on UpCity and other third-party review sites), presence in relevant search results, domain authority, website speed, and experience help UpCity connect businesses with outstanding service providers like Hydensiq Digital Agency. 


We are proud to be listed in this vibrant and growing community and want to thank our clients for all of the love and support you have shown our business.

How To Get Started On Your WordPress Website

WordPress is known as the most popular website builder in the world, powering 33% of websites on the internet. But before you install WordPress, you’ll need a domain name and a good web hosting company. 

There are a lot of options available when it comes to web hosting companies for you to choose from. Most of them will boast 99.99% uptime and offer you some sort of guarantee if they don’t hold up. One thing that is important when choosing your hosting company is speed and customer support. 

Speed Matters

Site speed affects your website’s SEO and user experience, ultimately affecting your website conversions. So, it’s a good idea to start with a hosting company that can deliver the fastest speeds. 

7 Fastest Web Hosting Services

SiteGround – global avg. 136.9 ms
Hostinger – global avg. 143 ms
A2 Hosting – global avg. 150 ms
GreenGeeks – global avg. 118.6 ms
Kinsta – global avg. 179.5 ms
ScalaHosting – global avg. 159 ms
Bluehost – global avg. 153 ms

Once you decide on your hosting company, you can get your domain name with them if you don’t already have one. While you can get your domain name from anywhere else, we generally recommend having your domain name under the same hosting company as it is easier to manage. 

Next, we will cover how to get your WordPress installed and set up on your hosting company. Most of the hosting companies make it very easy to install WordPress with their guided installation process. Today we will use SiteGround as an example. SiteGround is WordPress endorsed, offers excellent speeds, and superb customer service. Yes, we absolutely love SiteGround and use them to host our website with them. 

Installing WordPress

Once you have signed up for SiteGround, you will gain access to your hosting dashboard. From there, you can add your website. 

The first step is choosing a domain. Here you get 3 options: 

Siteground WordPress Installation Step One

Next, select WordPress or WooCommerce if you are creating an eCommerce site. 

Wordpress and WooCommerce Selection on Siteground

Finally, enter your email address and password you want to use to access your website’s admin panel. 

How To Get Started On Your WordPress Website - Hydensiq Digital

And that’s it! It’s that simple. Now you have your WordPress installed on your domain and you are ready to build your website. You can choose to run the WordPress starter and install a theme but this step isn’t necessary if you are using a custom theme from elsewhere. 

Additional Things to Consider

Choosing The Right WordPress Theme For Your Website

There are hundreds of themes available for WordPress. Are they all good? No. In fact, most of them are outdated and well... simply shit. So how do we avoid the bad ones and decide on a good one that fits your business? Here are some tips on choosing the right theme.

Essential WordPress Plugins

In general, it is always best to keep plugin use down to a minimum. This helps prevent unnecessary slow-downs of your new website. Whenever possible, try to have simple functions (i.e Google Tag Manager) hard-coded into your website. And when you are installing a plugin only use what is absolutely necessary and make sure it is lightweight as possible. Here are our 3 must-have WordPress plugins.

  1. RankMath SEO

Rank Math is a Search Engine Optimization plugin for WordPress that makes it easy for anyone to optimize their content with built-in suggestions based on widely-accepted best practices. Easily customize important SEO settings, control which pages are indexable, and how you want your website to appear in search with Structured data.

  1. WPForms Lite

WPForms lite comes with a very easy to use form builder that can set you up with a contact form within minutes.

  1. SG Optimizer

This is a caching plugin specifically designed for SiteGround and WordPress. If you are not using SiteGround as your hosting company, we recommend WP rocket or Autoptimize as an alternative.

3 Key Points to Help Your Business Stay Visible and Relevant Online

The world of digital media is fast-paced. So being relevant and visible means you have to stay involved with it. Knowing which platforms work best for your business, and how to approach them, makes a big difference.

But this isn’t about responding to fads or trying to juggle all the digital media options at once. When you focus on a few of the key places to be and get your approach right, you are doing enough.

As many more businesses are moving online now, the key really is visibility. Use these tips to keep yourself showing up where your next customers are looking. 

1. Show up on social

Staying relevant these days means providing a social media presence for your business. Even if it’s not your main route to market, and most of your customers come from elsewhere, it is still important. Having a regular presence on at least a couple of social platforms provides ‘social proof’ that your business is relevant and active.

If you are using social media as your main form of promotion, then this will matter even more to you. It is important to keep your brand clear and consistent when you post on the platforms that you use.

Staying present online is about being seen. In part, this is about the frequency and regularity of posting. But more than that, it’s about having a consistent brand look when you post.

The idea is that you want your content to be instantly recognisable by your followers. Creating your own custom graphics, such as those square Instagram quote cards, is an excellent way to do this.

You can make your own customized social graphics using a free tool such as Canva. Add your brand colours, fonts, your own images, and your logo. Given the importance of branding, you might also want to consider going the custom design route. For a unique design, carefully crafted by professional designers visit this page

2. Subtitle your videos

This is a mistake I see all the time – people don’t subtitle their videos.

In the world of digital media, video has been king for a while. But what we need to understand about this is how people consume video content.

Many people are scrolling through their social media feeds while sitting on their sofa next to their family. They often have the TV on at the same time. So when a video starts auto-playing on their feed, they don’t tap to turn the sound on.

If there aren’t subtitles to help them watch silently, then they are going to keep scrolling.

It’s also true that a lot of social media scrolling happens covertly in the workplace, when the viewer is supposed to be actually working. So the sound would give them away.

Stay relevant and visible by making sure you subtitle all your social media video content.

If you are uploading a video directly into Facebook, there is a subtitle tool built in. It auto generates your captions, and is fairly accurate. You can also edit them before you hit publish. There is a similar tool within YouTube.

If you want to get more creative and add titles for other platforms such as Instagram, try an online tool like Zubtitle.

3. Content publishing platforms

If you haven’t yet tried publishing your blog posts and articles anywhere other than your website, then you are missing a trick.

Creating a Medium account for your brand is an excellent way to help your content reach further and stay relevant for longer. Medium has more than 60 million users, so it’s a great place to be.

You can import your posts from your website to your Medium account, which gives your original post an attribution. This avoids the worry of Google seeing it as ‘duplicate content’. It also gives people a quick link to your website if they are interested.

Medium also works like social media in the sense that readers can choose to ‘follow’ you. This means that when you publish something new, you are more likely to show up in their feed. This is great for staying visible too.

Another trick people miss is to share their blog posts as LinkedIn Articles. Sure, you can post a link to your website or Medium posts on LinkedIn, that’s fine too. But when you share your content as a LinkedIn Article using their built-in editor, the platform’s algorithm favours it.

You then find your content is shown to more people, and you may even get a few comments. Getting engagement like this is great for staying relevant and visible too.

Using it all together

So to recap, here are the key points:

Remember that this isn’t about jumping into fads. The real, sustainable trends of digital media that will last are the things that make the users’ experience better. This is why subtitling videos makes a lot of sense. You are making it easier for your fans to view your content.

Keep showing up online in a way that suits your fans, and you will stay relevant to them.

Guest Post by Aviana Guzman

5 Must-Have Digital Marketing Strategies in 2020

The rate of how fast technologies are changing each day is daunting, yet liberating with new opportunities. It’s more important now than ever to stay up-to-date with the technological changes and keep your digital marketing strategies current. Here are the top 5 Digital Marketing trends of 2020.

1. Mobile is Crucial in your Digital Marketing Strategies

You probably noticed the importance of mobile phones and the time consumers spend on their mobile devices every day. On a daily basis, we’re taking in a vast amount of information the digital age provides. And yet, some businesses aren’t implementing this valuable knowledge in their digital marketing strategies. It is crucial to strategize your marketing efforts with mobile in focus. From mobile-optimized website designs to mobile marketing elements, mobile strategies will be a top priority for marketers going forward.

Before testing ‘new’ mobile strategies, such as utilizing text to send reminders to customers, make sure your existing digital assets are mobile optimized. I mention ‘mobile-optimized’ and not ‘mobile-friendly’ because, if it is not optimized to achieve your specific goals, your digital marketing efforts are being wasted and not reaching the maximum potential.

2. Quality Content is Now a Must

Whether you get your world news from the Internet, TV, or daily papers, these news media companies essentially control the conversation of the day, week, and month. In communication studies, they call this media framing. Media framing can simply be described as the angle or perspective from which a news story is told. While the news is often thought to be objective and value-free this is rarely if ever the case.

So what is the best way to control the conversation in front of your prospects and customers? The answer is quality content. Take control of your industry topics and create helpful, authentic, and interesting content. Depending on your target demographic, the type of content can vary from a well-written blog post to Instagram story videos to podcasts.

We know “Content is King” and there is a reason why. Creating quality content provides diverse benefits to your digital marketing efforts, which include: steering conversations, managing brand images, and boost SEO rankings. Every business should be focused on creating quality content and think like a media company.

3. Chatbots Will Dominate Customer Service

Chatbots. What are chatbots? Think of it as an A.I customer service representative that responds to your customers’ questions and comments. Chatbots are a great way to engage, answer questions, and even close sales. This can help manage time and resources, allowing your business to focus on other tasks while the chatbot does most of the common grunt work.

When the chatbots are set up correctly, it’s hard to tell if you’re speaking to a computer or a real person. It’s quite amazing actually. However, I want to stress the importance of making sure these chatbots are set up correctly. If it isn’t, it can create a negative experience for the customer. In addition, implement an option to connect to a live agent in case any unforeseen technical difficulties arise.

To start, you can launch a Facebook chatbot to engage with your customers. Create an engaging and fun way to start the conversation. This helps to get the conversation started as the customers need to initiate the chat. With an average open rate of about 80%, chatbots are far more effective than email, making it a unique channel for businesses not to ignore.

Digital Marketing

4. Reviews Can Make or Break Your Conversions

Organic traffic from search engines still proves to be one of the top sources of web traffic for many businesses. This means great search ranking and search result presence is crucial. While there are various factors that go into your organic search ranking, the number of reviews you have (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.) is a key factor.

Furthermore, 50% of adults under the age of 50 regularly check online reviews before making a purchase. So, not only are reviews important for your search ranking, it can also be the deciding factor for a sale.

5. Videos are Now an Essential

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that video content is a valuable medium. In fact, 1 in 4 consumers loses interest in a company if it doesn’t have any video. Great video content is effective in keeping the consumers engaged, getting the message across more efficiently, and achieving better conversion as a result.

You don’t need an expensive camera or a film crew to start creating great video content. Get started with engaging Instagram/Facebook story videos and posts. If you’re in the business of selling physical items, you can also entice your customers to create unboxing videos. But always remember to create quality over quantity.

As you get more familiar with the process, commit to creating at least 3 videos a month focusing on 3 different objectives and goals you want to achieve with the video content.

Now that we covered these 5 digital marketing trends, go assess your digital marketing goals, pick a trend and start executing today.

Need some more guidance? We can help!