14 Design Resources We are Thankful For

What is the design team thankful for?

The best thing about Thanksgiving dinner is the variety of food on the table. From sweet potato casserole, to cranberries to a deep fried turkey, everyone always has a favorite dish. It is no different here at Aztek. While each designer is different, all of us have resources that make our jobs a little easier or give us that extra boost of inspiration to help us produce websites that attract users and give them an experience that helps you accomplish your business objectives.

I asked the team here at Aztek to share some of their “go-to “ resources: More...

7.5 Content Marketing Resources We are Thankful For

A common Thanksgiving tradition in my house is for everyone to go around the table and have each person share one thing that they are most thankful for. While we didn’t go around the lunch table here at Aztek, all the teams agreed we have much to be thankful for professionally.More...

Content Management Systems: Which One is Just Right for Your Business?

 

When preparing for a redesign of your website, one must-have deserving of some special attention is your content management system. A content management system enables you to publish, edit and modify content on your website as frequently as needed. These changes could be posts to your blog, company news, product pages or any other areas of your site that need fresh, valuable content added. The ideal CMS lets you manage your website the way you want without including costly features you don’t need.

Selecting the best fitting solution for your CMS is vital to managing an effective website.  The CMS selection process may be reminiscent of Goldilocks taste-testing the right porridge to steal from three unsuspecting bears in that some will be too bland, some too much and a few will fit your needs just right. More...

Stop trying to get everything above the fold. Seriously.

This cat does not fit in this jar.

"You can't put 10 pounds of sugar in a 5 pound sack" as they say (only the way I learned it, it wasn't sugar in the sack). Yet, over and over we see organizations fruitlessly trying to get every single message from every conceivable‎ internal stakeholder crammed into their homepages. Once they're all smushed in like an electronic clown car and the site launches, the client is right back in the same boat of wondering why they have an ineffective website with lousy bounce and conversion rates.

In feedback meetings you'll hear things like: "If people have to scroll, they'll never see this," "I don't want people to miss this," "These business units ALL need to be very prominent," "make everything stand out more," and so on, and so on. This logic is inherently flawed. Just because something is "above the fold" and on the homepage doesn't mean it will be seen or understood by the user. And if everything is bold, nothing is bold.

That's called the "Signal to Noise Ratio". Consider this statement from Web Syle Guide, which pretty well sums up my point:

"...The restricted space of the screen. Even with today’s larger monitors, the web page is a small space, especially when you have a lot to pack in, as on home pages. Crowding inevitably increases visual noise because it increases accidental associations among page elements and reduces the white space so crucial to visual organization."

To demonstrate this, humor me by answering a few rhetorical questions. More...

6 Ways to Beat Zombie Content

If there is one thing I have learned from watching the Walking Dead is that zombies should be killed quickly and you can never have too many precautions in place to protect yourself. Once they invade, they infect others and pretty soon, the whole place is filled with lifeless, stumbling beings looking to make you their next meal.

This same process happens when you reuse old or self-serving content to reach out to new leads. Don't see the connection? Grab your machete and stay with me. More...

Decoding the Language of Web Developers

As web developers, there are many times we feel an interpreter is needed to help us more effectively communicate with clients. It is easy for us to forget not everyone speaks “technobabble” fluently and can understand when we use industry jargon like .NET, JavaScript or HTML and why they are important to their website project.

You shouldn't need a secret decoder ring to talk toa web developer

While all the terminology sounds confusing and could potentially be out of a Sci-Fi movie, their meanings and purpose for your website can be broken down into more digestible bites. More...

7 Easy Ways to Uncover Compelling Content

Easy Content can. Not affilated or endorsed by Kraft Foods

A successful content strategy is a process for your business, not just another project for your marketing team. With that being the case, content development can be a daunting challenge without knowing where to begin. You are already the expert when it comes to your product or service and have all the information you need to develop valuable pieces of content for your audiences, you just need to know where to look.

These seven ways can help you uncover compelling sources for content without breaking the bank or taxing your already stretched thin staff. More...

How Content Marketing Puts Your Customer into Your Marketing Mix

In every business, your marketing mix follows the four "p"s: product, price, promote and place. In 1948, Neil Borden coined the marketing mix phrase in his article, “The Concept of the Marketing Mix,"and described the role of the marketing manager as a "mixer of ingredients who sometimes follows recipes prepared by others, prepares his own, adapts a recipe and occasionally invents new ingredients no one else has tried.

Ingredients in mixing bowl

For years, companies have implemented the marketing mix into their business strategy, unaware they were missing a key ingredient, the person, the fifth "P" of the mix. The person is your audience, your leads, your customers-the people you want and need to connect with to be successful. Frequently, the person is consistently excluded from the marketing strategy, which creates a disconnect between what you are pushing out and what your audience finds relevant to their problems or needs. More...

Putting the Horse Before the Cart: How Content Pulls Your Website

cart before the horse

So many companies invest a lot of money and time on a new or redesigned website to only end up filling the site with the same, out-dated, old content right before it is launched.  What they have done, as the proverbial saying says, is "put the cart before the horse." While the creative can attract a flood of people, after the shiny "newness" wears off, your website has to offer something that keeps your visitors sticking around, and more importantly, coming back.

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Introducing Google Hummingbird

The winds of change continue to swirl at Google. Last week, they dropped two major announcements: The first was that they were blocking organic keyword data in Google Analytics. The second, which we’ll discuss below, was the confirmation that Google rolled out a new algorithm called Hummingbird.

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Who are these guys anyway?

Aztek is a web design, web application development, web marketing, and hosting firm in Cleveland Ohio. We’ve been around for more than 16 years, and we’ve worked with more than 600 clients. Aztek is not affiliated with the unfortunate car of the same name, nor are we descended from a fifteenth century Mesoamerican civilization. At least, not that we know of.