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Q: What is a micro-moment and how do I use it for my business?
A: According to Google, a micro-moment is when you—the consumer—have access to the Internet through your smartphone or other device and intend to take immediate action of some sort. Most likely, you want to complete a task correctly, find information, make a purchase, or navigate to somewhere else.

The business that can take advantage of these moments of readiness—also termed “moments that matter” (as opposed to a graduation, a wedding, finding a fulfilling job, the birth of a child, a dream vacation, getting a promotion, making a difference in someone else’s life…)—is going to attract more customers, build a loyal following, and close more sales. It all begins with an understanding of Internet usage.

As a society, we spend a considerable amount of time online. Many check their smartphones the moment they wake up and then continue this behavior throughout the day. According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2017 report for Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, adults (18+ years) in the United States spend 3.1 hours per day on their smartphones and tablets, 2.2 hours per day on their desktop and laptop computers, and .4 hours per day on other connected devices including gaming consoles. (This data includes both work and home usage.)

You, as a business owner, will need to look at your desired demographic and choose how to be part of their online time. Ads, apps, e-mails, social media, and a mobile-friendly website can all engage customers and keep your products or services in front of them. While this technique may not work for everyone, Ms. Meeker sited SoFi CEO Mike Cagney’s invitation to members to “tell him about your experience, what we’re doing well, and what we can improve” as an example of helping customers understand how things work.

According to Meeker, brands that generated a special offer (an ad) based on location, destination, route, and/or time of day did especially well in capturing moments where people were seeking information, were already en route, and were willing to buy something. Ads targeted to “nearby” searches also performed well. User-generated content on social media also provides brands with micro-moments, often requiring accountability and better customer service in return. Ads and e-mails combine to produce a new kind of storefront where you, the business owner, select specific products/services to showcase and then make it easy for your customers to purchase at that moment with a simple click of a button or a voice command. Future searches are going to be more about pictures and less about keywords according to Ben Silbermann, Founder/CEO of Pinterest.

To take advantage of these micro-moments, you need to quickly show up on your prospect’s device with useful information. At Tate Design, we can help you achieve that goal. Start with a mobile-friendly websiteInternet marketing, and social media marketing to make the most of those micro-moments. Give us a call at Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net.

Q: What should I include on my website form?
A: It depends on what you hope to accomplish. Be sure to structure your form and frame text to encourage responders to both complete the process and give you the information you want.

effective take action button for web formMajor reasons for form abandonment include
• Asking for too much information before revealing your privacy policy, your shipping and handling costs, or even your “what’s in it for me?” statement
• Forcing buyers to register in order to make a purchase
• No clear call to action
• No obvious benefit to the responder; too much work with no reward
• Something doesn’t work or breaks during the process

The form itself discourages users by being
• Hard to navigate, unresponsive, or difficult to fill out on a mobile phone
• Too long (the form, the questions, the expected answers, or the answer choices)
• Too hard or too confusing and cluttered
• Too time-consuming
• Redundant

Here at Tate Design, we build a website form framework and recommend components based on your purpose and goals for collecting information. We are also mindful that a short, friendly, clear form will have a better response rate.

Consider these bare bones for opting-in to a newsletter list, commenting on a blog, or requesting more information by e-mail

1. A clear call to action that includes the benefit to the responder
Choose something like “Get weekly marketing tips that will save you time and money” instead of “Sign up for my newsletter”

2. Text announcing a link to your privacy and security policy
“View our privacy and security policies here”

3. A request for an e-mail address
Use a pop-up box to explain that this address will only be used to send the weekly newsletter, customer discounts, e-receipts after a purchase, etc. If you don’t really need this information, consider omitting it or making it optional

4. A “Submit” or other “Take action” button
Make this button big and obvious, especially for those using smartphones, and include a more personalized call to action for a better response

5. An optional field for a name* and/or comments*
Star your optional fields instead of your required fields to boost your completion rate and use a pop-up box to explain how you will use this information (for instance: “we personalize our e-mails with your name so you know it’s genuine e-mail from us”)

If you are operating an online store, your sales form should also include

6. An SSL certificate
Encryption builds trust that you will keep the buyer’s personal information safe (as explained in our post “What is SSL and why do I need a certificate now?”)

7. A shipping and handling calculator and tax information
Many purchase forms are abandoned because shipping and handling and/or taxes make the item too expensive

8. A request for credit card information including its number, the first and last name that appears on the card, its expiration date, its 3-digit security code, and the billing address of the credit card
Make this big enough to read easily on any device

9. The desired shipping address if different from the credit card billing address

Additional information

If you have a reason for requesting additional personal information—like gender, date of birth, or telephone number—be sure to specify exactly why sharing this information will benefit the responder. Perhaps you will include gender-specific product offers in mailings or send out a birthday gift or text discounts.

Contact Tate Design for mobile-friendly, responsive website forms that are designed to get more answers and responses. Call us at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net.

don't let your website become a dinosaur like theseQ: How often should I redesign my website?
A: A site that is 5 or more years old is ancient. As a general rule, small businesses should plan to redesign their websites every 2-3 years to keep them looking fresh. The following are sure signs your site needs work:

• Animation is still in Flash format
• Bounce rate is high
• Branding is not consistent in print, on social media, and on your website
• Call to action is lacking
• Colors are unfashionable
• Error messages appear at log in and/or when loading certain pages
• Fonts are difficult to read or too generic to speak well for your brand
• Graphic design or template is tired and dated
• Images are generic and low quality
• Images are lacking and there is too much text
• Loading takes too long in your visitors’ opinion
• Malware security warnings pop up
• Navigation is confusing or there are too many options
• New products and services aren’t represented on your website
• Plug-ins don’t work
• Search engine results are not what you desire
• Site is unresponsive and not yet mobile-friendly
• Site looks unattractive (or downright ugly) on a mobile device
• Secure encryption—HTTPS in your URLS—is missing
• The layout lacks white space
• Updating the site has become very difficult
• You aren’t happy with the way it looks or works

If you see a number of these signs now, don’t wait two or more years to make changes. Update your website now in order to give your customers a better experience. An easy-to-use mobile-friendly website makes your customers happy and can result in more sales for you.

At Tate Design, we build each new website on a premium framework and we offer regular website maintenance, both of which allow you to get a lot more life out of a website before it’s time to rebuild. If you are looking to update, we apply the latest in Web design and development in order to redesign your outdated website. We

• Build in search engine optimization
• Check that licenses are in order
• Debug for malware
• Double-check metrics like bounce rate, error messages, and loading time
• Make sure your branding and your messaging are consistent
• Modernize your colors, fonts, graphics, layout, and navigation
• Redesign with mobile friendliness, responsiveness, and security as necessities for your success
• Update your web host installation (including WordPress), passwords, and plug-ins
• Use high-quality images and animation

Call Tate Design at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net if you need a new mobile-friendly responsive website or if you are seeing signs your website is outdated and you want help with a website update now.

online security image

In a society where more than 68% of adults now own smartphones and 45% have tablets according to the Pew Research Center, the demand for mobile applications is on the rise. As we do more and more banking, navigating, posting on social media, and purchasing using mobile apps, privacy concerns are increasing, too.

Pew research confirms that Americans are concerned about

  • How much personal information is required to access and/or use mobile apps
  • The lack of clarity about how that personal information will be used
  • Giving carte blanche to app developers to access their device’s hard drive even for stated actions like controlling the camera flash, determining geo-location, keeping the device awake, or viewing contacts
  • Letting apps have “full network access” and the ability to “view network connections” especially when that seems superfluous

How can you protect your privacy and improve your security?

  • Take the time to read Privacy policies and Permission For Use statements before you agree to terms
  • Check reviews by other users before you download an app
  • Consult “best apps” lists from your favorite bloggers
  • Compare the privacy you are required to give up for a free app versus that for a paid app and make your decision accordingly
  • Use strong passwords
  • Add a second layer of authentication whenever possible
  • Encrypt information that will be stored in the cloud using apps like Dropbox and Evernote
  • Do your online banking at home on your own Internet connection instead of in a public hot spot
  • Delete cookies and history
  • Periodically check your Privacy and Security settings on social media sites and update them to your desired level of privacy
  • Delete any app that makes you uncomfortable with its invasiveness and then disable its connections to your networks and remove its location tracking

Here at Tate Design, we know prospective customers are overcoming their concerns about privacy issues and using mobile apps and their mobile devices to search for what they need, especially nearby. Contact us at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net to begin optimizing your website, making it user-friendly for mobile devices and search engines, giving you a strong online presence.

local search engine results abstract

Make it quick and easy for prospective customers to find you and the information they seek with local SEO for your business. Here’s why.

When on the go, smartphone-dependent consumers increasingly search for what is nearby. They will use search terms like “near me” or “nearby” and apps like Around Me and Find Near Me. According to a survey commissioned by Neustar and 15miles and conducted by comScore, 80% then make a purchase within a couple of hours. Here’s how you can cash in on this behavior.

• Make your Web site mobile-friendly AND responsive
– Not only do you want your Web pages to show up on smartphones and tablets but you also want them to load quickly and look their best on whatever device the customer happens to use
– Make sure all information is correct and up-to-date especially your NAP (name, address, and phone number)

• Prominently display often-searched-for information
– Location—both an address and a map
– Driving directions
– Hours
– Parking options nearby
– Contact information
– Special offers
– A list of products or services
– Reviews
– Quality photos of your premises and products
– Menus if your business is a restaurant

• Encourage visitors to leave reviews
– Reviews boost rankings—find out how easy it is to add a “Leave a review” button to your Web site

• Blog
– Provide interesting and/or valuable information in your blog
– Naturally include your keywords and the name of your city and nearby places

• Be social
– Mention what is happening in your town
– Post today’s local specials
– Encourage conversation

• Get listed in local online directories
– Start with your local Chamber of Commerce
– If you went to college nearby, get an alumni society listing
– Add listings in the regional directories that are most relevant to your industry

• Claim your Google My Business page
Tate Design will set this up for you with the information, graphics, and add-ons that will make you stand out from the crowd

• Use Google AdWords location extensions
– By paying for this, you will come up in “nearby businesses” result
– Your company address, phone number, a map location, your ad text, and an Internet link with directions are included

These are just a few of the steps you can take to improve your local search results. We at Tate Design can show you more. We also
• Know the ins and outs of SEO and use this knowledge to your advantage
• Build responsive, mobile-friendly Web sites
• Add plug-ins that make your site even more attractive for mobile search
• Create optimized content for you and your local area
• Help you get listed in a number of other directories
• Show you how to use the many Google’s tools that will give you a distinct advantage in the local marketplace

Start capturing the attention of nearby customers with improvements to your business’ local SEO. Give Tate Design a call today at 610.725.0702 or e-mail info@tatedesign.net.

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For a busy business owner, a website can be a bit like a relationship: rewarding yet time consuming. Even if you have done your part to learn what motivates your customers to come to your website, stay a while and respond to your call to actions, you can end with a website that is stale. Why? Because web design and technology trends can change rapidly, so what a customer wants today is different than what they settled on yesterday.

Tate Design suggests that you periodically review not only the content of your website, but also how the website is viewed on various technologies, especially mobile devices. We review trends in web design and layout, and study which approaches make the most sense for your products and business needs. Although no predictive approach can be 100% accurate, we analyze what top trends online are and check across business sectors to find the ones that have the most staying power.

One trend with immense staying power is the focus on mobile-friendly design, with views on mobile being over 60% of all online interactions. If you want your website to move your products and services, it has to be able to move with your customers. Do you need to know how mobile-friendly your website is today – check it with Google. If you want better results for your website, contact Tate Design and let our professionals boost your mobile-friendly status.

Two sibling trends are “single-page” design and “infinite scrolling.” Single-page design shows the viewer one page of your website at a time. Since research shows that the average adult has an 8 second attention span online – clutter kills and concise closes a deal. Hate to wait? When it comes to website loading time, apparently many of us do. User-friendly websites employ infinite scrolling, which load content as the user scrolls down a bit at a time so that there is no perceived wait time.

Your business website and your products can now be held in the palm of a hand, anywhere and at any time. One way to make a lasting impression, good or bad, is through the use of photos. The professional photography can help set the stage for a marketing message with staying power. Website design trends show us that simple, flat, clear and flowing is the way of the future. Consider the website design trends that dominated the scene in 2015 and likely 2016 too, and apply these trends to your business to give yourself the advantage of staying power in the distracted world where you customers live. Let Tate Design show you how to make your business stand out from among the noise and confusion, and keep your website as fresh as the day your first launched it.

Humans respond to colors and marketing experts know it. People’s tastes change over time too. Campaigns, promotions, giveaways almost always come tinted with the colors that are a signature for a specific brand.

Pantone LLC has spent over 50 years inspiring design professionals with products, services and leading technology for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity. The PANTONE® name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer. They also research and select a Color of the Year, which for 2015 is Marsala.

pantone-marsala 2015  cats_media_pantone2015_marsala1

Why should the Color of the Year matter to you and your marketing? There is a psychology to the use of colors for marketing. Using the right color is important in branding and can convey the right feeling for a potential customer. Branding color is very important for company recognition. Who can think of golden arches and not also imagine McDonalds?

Blending your recognized brand colors with the latest Color of the Year can inspire recognition as well as a sense of freshness and excitement. Think of using Marsala as a backdrop for your product images or position it as an accent color within an advertising campaign. When you are showing your promotional colors, consider splashing in some marsala to keep your campaigns trendy.


03A52954The internet is an extremely social place. Since blogs and social media sites allow comments from others and most marketing content encourages it, there is always a risk of getting few negative comments on your posts. Unfortunately criticism is not always constructive criticism. How you handle those comments shows the true character of your business and helps build your online reputation. Below are a few tips on how to handle those less than friendly commenters:

1. Think before you act
When you have worked hard on creating valuable content to benefit your audience, it is frustrating when when someone leaves a comment that is not valuable in the social conversation. It is natural to get defensive over a nasty comment, but instead of arguing with them, take a step back and think of a more effective way to handle the issue. Other potential commenters will see how you respond, and you could discourage others from posting if your response is just as grumpy as the original one.

2. Stay Positive
Stay in control of the conversation, and do not let one negative comment ruin all of the other positive ones. We have all heard the phrase “kill them with kindness.” You can stay in control by politely thanking the commenter for their time, and elaborate on you article to prove your point. Some people might keep commenting in a nasty way, but many times when you are optimistic and friendly, they will let it go. Remember you never know who is going to be on your blog or social media site, and you don’t want to be known as a grumpy commenter too.

3. Move forward
With so many diverse opinions online, not everyone is going to love what you post. Don’t let the potential of negative comments make you afraid to post content. You cannot please everyone, and overgeneralized content can be boring.

Keep creating great content and don’t let negativity bring you down!

Visibility of Blog Posts

Blogging is a social activity shared with your company’s audience. The blog that is hosted on your company’s site is one of the best places to share content, however it is only valuable if it’s being viewed. Below are a few tips on how to improve the visibility of your future blog posts.

1. Integrate keywords
A blog post should be handled just like other pages on your website, in that keywords should be included within the meta information and body content. It is important that this be done as naturally as possible so that your posts sound genuine. If keywords are forced into the post, it can ruin the reader’s experience.

2. Take advantage of an SEO plugin
Using a user friendly CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress is this simplest way to blog. It’s easy-to-use interface allows you to add new posts and make edits. Installing an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plugin gives you control over meta information such as the title, keywords, and the description.

3. Make your title a phrase that people search
When you have a topic and you are trying to determine how to title your next post, try using the auto fill feature on Google’s search box. Once you begin typing the general topic, some ideas that are frequently searched will be suggested.

4. Promote through social media
First, you need to have an active following that’s interested in your business. This does not happen overnight and you need to share content they find valuable to do so. Your blog posts should be submitted to social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ that can direct traffic to your site. Google+ is especially important, because it may help your the post get indexed quicker.

Here at Tate Design, we use these techniques to improve our blog. There are many efforts that can improve the visibility of blog posts. We welcome your input on what’s working for your company.

Writer's Block

The previous articles in this three-part series discussed using social media when searching for inspiration, and using major brands and your own experiences as case studies. We have one last post in our three-part series to inspire your writing. In this article we will discuss looking through your old posts and seeing what readers and clients were asking you.

Looking back at old blog posts can be a useful strategy when coming up with ideas to write about. Many times when you do not write on a topic for quite a while, there is new information and ideas on it. We see this happen often in rapidly changing areas such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Reflecting on past posts also allows you to look at comments people have left. This strategy lets you see what your readers are looking for and what they need help with. Every time you get a question, answering it can be a potential blog post. Reviewing these questions should also have you thinking about what kinds of questions clients ask you when meeting with them, emailing, or talking on the phone. Often when one client has a question about a topic, another one will too.

When going through old posts, you can see which were most popular and what readers wanted to know more about. You could even turn those articles into regular features. The idea behind regular features is to come up with a format that can be easily repeated and created on an ongoing basis. Regular features that are interesting and relevant help to create a loyal audience.

Since we have reached our final post in our series, we hope you now have several resources to pull from when writer’s block overcomes you. These are obviously not all the ways writer’s find inspiration. Please comment below with strategies you use to rid yourself of writer’s block!

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