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ICYMI: Websites DMI Studios Launched January 2017


Jan. 31, 2017 11:27 am

We are starting off the new year with three new websites for organizations around Northeast Wisconsin. This month, we launched two brand new websites, including one Runwaysite, and an annual update to a charity event site. Check out what we've been up to in January!


New Website Designs by DMI Studios:






Does your website need a fresh look for the new year? Let's chat.

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Give Your Website a Fresh Start


Jan. 11, 2016 1:23 pm

We've all heard the phrase "New year, new you," right? When you think of this sentiment, are you including all aspects of your life - personal and professional? While you diligently try to stick to health and financial resolutions in your personal life, don't forget the importance of a "new year, new you" mentality in your business, particularly for you website, which is likely the first impression people get of your brand. Your website deserves a fresh start this year too.


Is your website looking tired and dull? Consider giving it a redesign makeover. An updated look will catch your viewers' attention, which will result in more visits or longer sessions. The return to minimalism trend in web design makes sites visually appealing and easier to navigate. This trend often features clean, uncluttered pages with more white space and pops of bright color. Consider slimming down large chunks of content or moving them elsewhere on your site to free up space on the home page. A one sentence summary or bullet points with a hover-over section for additional content is a great option for clearing up space.

This is also the time to update your logo or color scheme if they have changed. If there has been any rebranding, you'll want to make sure all pieces of communication are consistent. Use this time to decide if you want to change the color, size, or shape of buttons or text segments.

To really refresh your website, don't stop after updating visuals. Now is the time to dig deep and give your content an overhaul. Is there any new information you want to share with your audience? Add in any new services or products you offer or any changes in them, including prices. Has your business itself gone through any major changes such as hours or locations? Have you won any awards or received some good press? Be proud of it and share it with the world! If you don't currently have a news or updates section, add one.

On that same note, remove any information that should no longer be shared. If there is anything outdated or no longer relevant still up on your site, be sure to take that down. This may be event information, staff bios, discontinued products or services, or information regarding previous years or seasons. Go ahead and remove outdated pictures at this time as well. Better yet, replace them with some that are more current.

Let's take these updates one step further. Don't stop at only updating irrelevant information. Work more keywords in your content (but don't over do it and get a spammy page) to rank higher in Search. If you run a local business, be sure to include some location-based terms to not only make it clear where you conduct business, but also for your services to show up specifically in local searches.

Ok, so all these suggestions are all important when you want to give a good website a great redesign. But what if you need to start completely fresh? Perhaps an entirely new website is in order.

We'd like to introduce Runwaysite websites! Runwaysites are the answer to getting your small business on the map - especially if you've never had a website before.


If you've ever questioned if you even need a website, the answer is yes. Trust us, the answer is yes. No matter the size of your company, it needs a website to be a 24/7 promotion tool. If you're not online, you're losing business from potential customers who can't find you. A Runwaysite is the perfect starting place and we'll make sure you aren't overwhelmed.

Runwaysite websites are affordable, yet quality, one-page sites that are completely customizable, and content is 100% client-controlled. They are a streamlined way to update an outdated version of a website or one that may not look as professional as you want to appear. As a one-page site, they are also a convenient option to use as a secondary website for promoting your business at events or trade shows. Add a link or QR code to your new website on banners or pamphlets so attendees can scroll through the most important details you want highlighted at events or shows, or to quickly and easily contact you for additional information.




Does your website need a new look or a completely fresh start for 2016? Contact us today - we'd love to chat.

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Does My Website Suck, Part 2


Dec. 17, 2012 3:12 pm

At DMI Studios, we love helping people take an honest look at their site to see what, if anything, needs to be improved upon.  And we've decided to share some of the aspects we look at with you, dear reader.  Consider it an early Christmas gift!

Throughout all of these tips you'll see one common theme--the key to a great website is one that builds KLT - Know, Like and Trust.  

Now, let's begin Part 2:

4.  Web Positioning Checkup

Being found online is key to your website's success.  What search terms are most important to you?  Armed with your list of important "keywords", take the the search engines and see exactly where you end up.  

Then, take to the search engines once more to see if any of your competitors are out-ranking you for your coveted list of keywords.  If so, be sure to add relevant content throughout your website that contains these search terms.

Finally, check out your web analytics (we'll discuss that shortly) and see how customers are actually finding you website.  The terms they are using to find you might be different than what you thought. We've discussed search engine marketing in the past.  Go ahead and get a refresher if you need to. We'll wait.

If your audience is using terms that are a bit different than you thought, it may be time to re-work some of your website's content to rank higher for those search terms.

One final note:  We mentioned Bing's "Bing It On" in the recently as well.  While the tool is used to test drive Bing vs. Google, it would also be a great place to do your keyword research.  Simply type in the term you're interested in and see where your website lands.


5.  Analytics


We mention Analytics in a bit more detail in today's post "Gift Your Website".  Simply digging into your analytics will give you a wealth of information about your current website.  Check out the Analytics blog post for more information.


6.  Local Directories

Potential customers are looking for you.  And, if you have a bricks-and-mortar business that you'd like them to find, claiming your location is essential.  Claiming a local address is easy to do and just takes a bit of your time.
For more detailed information on local directories, see our Local Search blog post.

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Stay tuned for more tips as we help you decide, "Does my website suck?"  or, view Part 1 in this series. 

- Comments

Branding Your Website


Dec. 3, 2012 10:55 am

Fatboy's Double Fatboy Hamburger - h3013 5
Image Source
If your website was a gourmet hamburger, branding would be all of the deliciousness that goes along with it:  pickles, tomato, onion, cheese, lettuce, bacon (!) and a toasty bun.  The elements are not too much and not too little, and memorable enough to keep customers coming back bite after bite.

A burger lacking these elements is like a bad memory.  The same with your website. The logo, color scheme, tone of voice, imagery and emotion of your brand need to be incorporated on your site.

The problem many clients run into is either, 1) they have very little offline branding and don't know the elements of their brand or, 2) the prior web designer neglected to incorporate these important elements and their site is underperforming.

Why are these branding elements important?  


They:
  • let your audience know they're on the right website.
  • create continuity between your offline, real life efforts and your web presence.
  • build trust in your brand.
Okay, these elements are important.  I can see you get that.  Though I must caution you from the brink of using too much branding on your site. Note that branding is the accompaniment but you can't forget the beef!  Customers are coming to your site to learn more about you, experience your brand and/or buy your product.  A great website helps to build KLT (know, like, trust).   Remember, branding is the too-good-to-pass-up deliciousness that makes your website unique--your audience appreciates all of those elements, but they came for the beef!

What about my logo?


You're proud of your logo.  It's the culmination of blood, sweat, tears and a few hundred (maybe thousand) bucks.  We get that.  Your customers value your logo as well.  But not in the center-of-the-page, no other information is provided kind of a way.  It's more of a  2.5" x 2.5" kind of way.

There are a number of best practices for your logo's placement on your website.  Typically, logos are in the upper-left corner of each page.  Web users know to look there for a logo, and the goal is to build trust in your website.  So, put it in the upper-left; no need to get fancy.

The logo should be click-able back to your homepage--another web standard. And, the logo should be big enough to be noticed within the first few seconds a user is on your website.  You only have a precious few seconds to grab their attention and allow them to trust your site.  Don't blow it!

Remember:  Your logo is like the secret sauce.  Important and tangy, but way-too-much and it's overbearing.  We've all been there.  Don't be that guy!

It's elemental


Pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, cheese, tomato...we could go on and on about a great gourmet burger (we're from Wisconsin after all).   Just like this delectable delight, your website should incorporate all of the elements of your brand--or you may have angry (or confused) customers.  Tone of voice, color scheme, imagery and feel are all important elements of your brand.  A great website will incorporate each of them in addition to a hearty helping of meat (read: important content).


All of life is like a great burger

Alright, that statement may have gone a bit too far.  But your website *is* like a great burger.  Your site should incorporate all of the tasty elements of your brand--logo, color scheme, tone of voice, imagery and emotion, without forgetting the meaty parts.  Customers are hungry to learn more about your brand.  Don't disappoint them!

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If you're lost on the way to a gourmet website, we have affectionados that would be happy to help.  Would you like a free website review?  We'd be happy to oblige you!


- Comments

Customized Websites are Better for Business


Oct. 17, 2012 2:55 pm

Throughout the course of doing business we meet folks who think a website template is a great fit for business.  Nothing gets us up on our soapbox quicker than misinformation about how great these templates are.  They're bad for the web, bad for business, and bad for you.  Excuse us while we jump up on our soapbox and settle the record.

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As innovators in the blending of art and technology, we truly believe in custom website creations for everyone.  And, we certainly understand that creating a website for your brand can be a daunting endeavor.  Standing at the fork in the road, you can go the custom route or the Template/Cookie Cutter/Build My Own/One-Size-Fits-All direction.  We think you'll agree that custom is better for business.  Allow us to illustrate.

The Sky is the Limit

Templated designs are a quick way to get "something" up on the web.  You can pop in your logo, maybe change the colors, and add content for your audience.  However, a major issue many owners experience with an "out of the box" website is the limited design capabilities.

A custom website  will certainly have your logo, but that's just the beginning.  Images, colors and content that truly reflect your brand are carefully chosen to engage your audience and let them experience your brand.  We love to pop in our Content Management Systems as a way to allow brands to enter into continual communication with their audience as well.

And, that daunting process?  It's not so scary with an industry expert walking the road along side of your business.  Our Account Executives have over 15 years of experience creating robust internet solutions for our clients.

Online Marketing

Cookie cutter templates may not be optimized to be easily found on search engines.  Typically, they have extraneous coding in them as well as references to the template creator.  A custom website is all about you--your brand, your business, your marketing.  What's not to love about you?  Amiright?

When creating custom sites, we also add specific keywords within your website to make it easier for Google to find and categorize you.  We can also ensure your Google map, location and info are correct on Google--an important feature for your customers and your bottom line.  The template guys are just happy they sold another cookie-cutter.

Our custom websites also easily integrate Facebook pages, Twitter updates, or any other social media platform you are current leveraging for business.  This helps to create a cohesive all-in-one marketing tool for your brand.

Scalability

Your business' future is limited by template websites.  Truly, a template is a box that is difficult, if not impossible, to bust out of.  And, when the time comes (and it surely will) for you to add on to your website, whose task-list does this item get added to?  Hint:  You'll find him in your mirror.

With a custom website, features,  pages and e-commerce can all easily be added when the time is right.  And, since we designed your website in the first place, there is no head-scratching or finger-pointing when it's time to add on.  We simply get to work.

Price

A web template is WAY cheaper than a custom solution, so why continue preaching about the benefits?

What if I told you the cost is less than you think?*

What if I said DMI Studios creates high-end custom solutions, every day, for business (and budgets) large and small?  I'm talking full, custom, interactive websites with custom design and our Content Management System fully integrated so you can manage your site.

That's a serious interactive marketing solution.

What about ecom.?  Yep.

The "templates are great" myth is busted!

What are you waiting for?  Creating custom websites is our specialty.  And, it's fun, too.

Want to see how your website stacks up?  We'll be brutally honest.

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*What do you mean the cost of a template and custom website are similar?  Well, templates may be a bit cheaper, but they may be holding you back with poor conversion, poor representation of your brand, and limited scalability.  The designer/programmer/marketing professional for your template is YOU.  You're choosing between working on your business or creating your website.  Our websites come with a team of designers, marketers, and industry experts helping you along every step of the way.  And, we don't build it and forget it. We're here to help launch-day, 10-days after launch, and 10 months after launch and beyond.

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DMI Studios works with clients from all over the United States including those from Wisconsin (Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Oconto, Marinette, Milwaukee, Madison, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Stevens Point, and beyond), Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Oregon.