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What is SEO?

Without SEO, your audience will never be able to find your website. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is what determines if your page will be on the first or 10th page in Google search results. By perfecting your website and effective advertising, more traffic will come to you. The more your website sees interaction, the better your SEO will be. There are several factors that contribute to optimal search results.

How Does Search Engine Optimization Work?

There are four different types of search: local, image, video, and voice. Search engines send out little bots to go through websites and categorize them into indexes. Then, the search engines will list the sites in each index according to ratings, website quality and configuration, and traffic. Search algorithms will tie what is put into the search engine and retrieve articles with most keywords. In return, the websites with best loading times and link slugs will pop up first. Search engines also consider the device being used, and will bring sites that are mobile-friendly up on mobile browsers.

How To Be a SEO Guru

The most important thing to get your site to the top is effective wording in your headline/title. Use common keyphrases. Authentication is important too. Such as, making sure your website is updated with relevant content and contact information. Also, the image types you use matter. Compressing and using image alt tags will help format images to fit on small phone screens. Lastly, readability is a factor as well.

 

 

Most know what SEO is, but not everyone knows how it works and how to use it to their advantage. By mastering search engine optimization, you can optimize your business. You can consult marketing professionals, such as Redwood Creative, to find all the possibilities of using search engines to your advantage.  Read more about SEO here.

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

 

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What is UI/UX Design, and Why Is It Important?

What is UI/UX design, and what’s the difference in between them? It can be easy to use the terms interchangeably. While they are closely related, they mean two different things. User interface design (UI) is a graphic design term for the front and back end development. Specifically, what their users expect out of their devices and simplifying use. You can find user interface in machines from smartphones to refrigerators. Therefore, UI falls underneath the UX umbrella term. UX refers to user experience. This is what consumers gain out of their product thanks to UI software design. Here’s how UI and UX work together, but could stand alone.

Understanding UX

UX is a general term regarding user’s experience with the product. It can refer to any category of product, not just technology. It can apply to hardware/physical design as well. Let’s use a car for example. Do customers like the size, the look, and find it smooth? Does it function desirably? Could you see yourself using this every day? How does the car make you feel? Whether you are satisfied with the product or not is essentially user experience.

Understanding UI Design

User Interface design is the inner works that makes a product function. Since UX refers to overall design, that means that UI is a part of UX. UI is what gives the product its unique brand look. Also, UI is for electronics only: computers, toasters, and such. UI is concerned with software design and layout, like buttons. The main goal is to simplify design for easiest  Matters such as security, battery life, and speed all have to do with UI. Website designers, engineers, and technology developers heavily rely on UI design for their daily work. UI design evolves as technology improves.

 

 

UI/UX design is crucial for modern technology. We rely on our smartphones and computers to have the best user interface design so we can get the best user experience out of it. Since UI is strictly electronics, UX design could exist without UI. There’s a relatively high demand for UI/UX designers as technology continues to develop and evolve. Click here to read about what a computer whizz has to say about UI and UX design.

 

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

 

2021 Economics

Economy 2021 Outlook

After this disaster year, we are all hoping for 2021 to give us some relief, economically and personally. Some economists are pointing to a brighter future, but it all depends on the virus and the presidential results. But so far, it wouldn’t hurt to at least hope for a better year next year. Here’s what 2021 will likely look like, and how to help the economy.

 

 Employment

First, jobs are making a slow but sure comeback. Many of them are blue-collar jobs, such as construction. As restaurants re-opened, the service industry boomed. Food and retail are one of the biggest contributors to the rising job market. This will counter the Federal Emergency Management Agency running out of funds to help support those still unemployed. Not surprisingly, medical workers surged. The consumerism of medical supplies and products has been a great contributor to our economy. Industry jobs are returning as well. It looks like all job types are rising, while hotel & hospitality stagnates.

 

Small Businesses

Pandemic or not, it’s tough running your own business. But, as people become more aware of big corporations’ greed, small businesses are getting more recognition. Dallas-Fort Worth and other cities are starting to see little mom and pop shops open back up. This is great for stimulating local economies, and better for middle and lower-class income. These are typically small cafes and barbers/hairdressers. Small businesses got hit the hardest, but they are determined to survive!

 

 The Economy

A recession hit when COVID-19 hit. Housing and gas prices went down, and general consumerism slowed. Thankfully, we will swing back upwards and not go into a depression. Economists mention that with jobs back on the market now, businesses and consumers alike could further pull the US out of the recession and keep us out. After months of cancelled vacations and tight budgeting, the nation is ready to get out and spend money again. Once travelling is back to normal rates, we could see international relations improve monetary conditions.  Most of next year will be spent on financially recovery. The unemployment agency and other agencies will work hard to regain what was lost in COVID-19 expenses.

 

So, how can you help with getting our economy back on track for a better fiscal year next year? You can shop at local businesses, or even online. The more money consumers pitch in, the more jobs can be created. Earn money any way you can and pay your taxes. While taxation may seem daunting, it only benefits us by giving us better schools and roads. And finally, stay in great spirits! The only way to have a brighter future for all is for more positive mindsets. Here’s an link further detailing what happened this year, and how it will affect next year’s economic state.

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

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How To Be Professional When Online

As a follow-up to our online marketing blog, we now offer online professionalism tips. Even after the corona virus passes through, online business functions may stay as a norm. That being said, it’s important to maintain the same amount of professional respect that you would show to your colleagues in the office. Being professional online is still a relatively new concept, society hasn’t quite yet decided what the standards should be. We can establish good, healthy standards. Your business presence is important and a part of your team. So, we encourage you to still step it up even if it’s from your couch.

Look good, feel good

When you don’t have to be seen in person, it can be easy to “let go”. Such as, not having a routine or not getting ready before you start work. Some of us were guilty of this when the pandemic first started: just stay in my PJs and whatnot. But, it may be coming off as a little disrespectful to your boss and co-workers. Dress accordingly to what people should expect of you. If you look like you didn’t put in much effort, it’s hard for others to take you seriously. If you know you’re going to be on camera, make yourself look somewhat put together. Besides, psychologically you will work better when you’re dressed for the day.

Being prepared

“So, any questions over the document I sent out yesterday?” “Uhhh…. What document?”

Don’t be that guy. Just as you arrive to school and to the office prepared for the day, the same goes from working virtually. Time management is the most important element of your job/career. Give yourself an adequate amount of time to review material beforehand, like studying for a test. Speaking of mornings, establish a morning routine. This way, you won’t be trying to cram making your morning coffee and taking care of kids/pets into the last minute. And, being mentally alert by the time you clock in will aid you into getting right to work as soon as you clock in.

 Online professional profile

Your employer and co-workers most likely look at your social media pages. Now that we can’t be in person to share details of our lives, colleagues will go to Facebook to wonder why you took the day off. Employers can’t monitor us in person, so they go to our social media to make sure we’re behaving. Your boss may be wondering why that green “online” dot is on your picture when you’re supposed to be finishing a report! While your social media is your business and you can do what you want with it, just keep in mind that anyone can and will see what you’re up to.

At the very least, make sure your LinkedIn profile is top-notch. Have a professional headshot as your profile picture, and keep your profile updated and professionally positive.

Being professional online may not seem like a big deal when you’re not having to interact in person, but you do leave an impression. You don’t have to suit up just to be on Zoom for 10 minutes. Besides, being comfortable is the most important thing so your clothes don’t distract you. Just make sure you look presentable, and you match the respect that you would want to receive.

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

Online Marketing Tips

Online Marketing Tips

The industry world is transitioning from door-to-door business practices to a hybrid of in-person and online marketing. There are advantages and disadvantages to promoting your business online. On one hand, it’s easier to manage your clientele and schedule. On the other hand, you tend to lose the trust foundation that is normally built on meeting face-to-face. However, being able to research a company is a marketing game changer. Now that it’s easier to compare businesses side-by-side, it’s harder to convince a potential customer to choose you. Online marketing comes in many different forms. Check out these tips on how to refine your online business tactics to sharpen your professional image.

Top notch website

First impressions matter. Creative advertising will attract customers to your page. A good website will keep your audience. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and look at. Such as, a menu with appropriate categories and your page being free of clutter. Keep it running quickly and efficiently: no one wants to wait more than 5 seconds for a page to load. As we mentioned earlier, trust between the business and the client tends to not be as strong when you can’t meet in person. Thankfully, you can counter that by providing a history of your business and a brief biography about yourself and your team. This will help build a professional relationship with your customers when they know the names and faces behind the works. Blogs and photos will also help you individualize your image and add a more personal feel to your page.

Advertising

Ah yes, ads. As much as people find them to be annoying, it’s because they don’t want to admit that advertisements can be helpful. If someone sees an ad with something they need, they will click on the ad. Advertising has really ramped up ever since social media platforms Instagram and Facebook started displaying advertisements. Use that to your advantage! Sharing your page on social media is the new word of mouth. A great marketing strategy is to offer a discount or a sweet deal for signing up for the e-mail newsletter. Now with cookies, it’s easier for the general public to control the ads they see. Read more about advertising tips here.

Market according to your goals and audience

The most professional businesses are consistent. They have sturdy, specific goals that attract their audience, and stick to it. Or, as the cool kids call it- staying in your lane. Some businesses lose quality as they get comfortable. Don’t let this happen to you. Interact with your audience too. Send out biweekly or monthly newsletters to let them know what’s going on. Allow them to reach out to you and listen to their suggestions. You can’t market to your audience if you don’t know what they expect!

Interested in further marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative today!

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Internet Safety Tips

There is no denying that the Internet is an essential part of our lives. We rely on it for work/business, education, and recreation. But, sometimes we get too comfortable with our Internet usage. Therefore, it is important to make sure you’re practicing internet safety. Here’s some tips to help you protect yourself and your family from unwelcome eyes and cyber dangers, such as hacking.

Internet safety: Your physical self and your information

This might seem like the most obvious statement, but be careful about posting photos and location, especially with little ones. Posting your vacation is (usually) fine. We’re talking about try not to post where you are in your residential area. For example, if you post about going to your local coffee shop frequently, then stalkers will know to look for you there. This is especially important if you have children- do NOT post where they go to school! There are apps, such as Viiddo, that allow you to post about your children safely from dangerous eyes. Post location and photos in moderation, and/or wait until you are somewhere else to throw stalkers off your track.

Your name, credit card number, address, and other important information is stored in your computer and/or smart device. To protect yourself from hackers stealing your information, or worse, identity, make sure you have a strong firewall that’s up-to-date.

This may sound lame, but you should at least skim over privacy policies. You’d be surprised at how much of your information is sold off. Recently, popular social media app Tik-Tok has been on the brink of exile. This is due to the Chinese government breaching into individual user’s phones and collecting private information. US government employees and their families were required to sign contracts agreeing not to download Tik-Tok to prevent the Chinese from infiltrating into our own government’s system. Other apps, such as Facebook, monitors your personal activity and sells the information to relevant parties. That’s why when you vocalize or type in an item that interests you, you’ll see ads about it immediately. You can control this by disabling cookies. But, we advise that you be aware of how much of your personal information is on the Internet, and who has access to it.

Protecting your devices from the dark side of the Internet

Although hackers and viruses don’t plague individual’s computers as much anymore, it still happens. Now, hackers will try to infiltrate through your online accounts, such as Facebook. Or, will try to sneak a link to a virus by covering it up with a seemingly innocent link. One of our previous articles mentions how to spot a scam site, along with pop-up windows that are likely ready to destroy your computer. Here’s how to set up a firewall.

We’re not trying to scare you off the Internet for good. We encourage keeping up with Internet trends and staying connected! Now, you can surf the web with more of a peace of mind knowing that you’re mindful of internet safety.

 

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Working From Home Tips

Working from home is great for saving time and gas. You can be just as productive, if not even more so productive when you’re in your own space. Especially if you have a designated work space. It is nice to be flexible with your work area(s), but it does help to have your work in an established office at home. This will help you stay more organized, and help separate work from home easier. And, you can decorate your own office any way you want to!

Routine

Having a routine helps with productivity. Thankfully you get to have a little bit more time to sleep since you don’t have to be on the road, but we suggest waking up at least an hour before you clock in. This will give you time to make your coffee/tea, eat some breakfast, and take care of your pets and family. Use the extra time in the morning to respond back to messages and take care of any business that may distract you. Being mentally alert when you start the work day will help you and everyone else stay on track! However, it’s okay to take little breaks once about every hour to refresh yourself. Restrict them to just a few minutes to avoid getting carried away.

Leave home life away from the desk

Being at home can make it more tempting to go do other things or multitask. That’s why we mention eating before starting work and waking up early enough to give yourself time. Pets are always an exception though- in fact, it can be stress relieving to have your furry one nearby. To help you stay focused, keep a vision board at your desk/office space. Use this to remember your big goals, or little things that you want to save up money for. It also helps to have a clean workspace. Clutter can be distracting and take up work time trying to find room for your coffee.

Additional tips

Sometimes it helps to put yourself more into the productive mindstate with little things such as professional gear or even getting dressed just to help you feel more ready for the day. Some feel as if they are not stimulated enough. Curb this by having something you can absentmindedly fiddle with. When you’re working from home, remember that work is only a part of your day, and you can resume right back to home life after you’re done for the day. It will be more rewarding for yourself and your co-workers when you’ve gotten a lot done at work.

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

 

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Indicators of a Spam vs. Legitimate Website

The Internet is a helpful resource for many things in our daily lives. We research, online shop, job hunt, and more. Due to our growing dependency on the Internet, it is important to be able to tell when a site looks fishy or if it’s safe to go ahead. If you venture into a spam site, you could accidentally download a virus and/or invite hackers into your system. It’s rare for smartphones to contract a virus, but it is possible. Also, hackers could steal your identity and personal information. To protect yourself, your family, and your computer/smart device, inform yourself on how to not fall into a spam site’s trap.

A bad website looks… bad.

An example of a spam website

If it looks suspicious, trust your feelings. The number one indicator of a bad website is if it’s littered with ads. A few ads on a page is fine, but if you fall into a sea of ads, X out immediately. Most likely, all of the “ads” are fake and actually contain a virus that will activate if you click on it. This also applies to pop-up ads claiming that you’ve won a free iPhone. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Spam ads are often flashy and exaggerated, such as shaking around. It is important that you close out the website, not just the ad. Even trying to close just the ad can result in damage.

Spam sites will also contain links leading to nowhere, will look outdated, and overall, looks inconsistent. Even little mistakes such as typos could be a red flag. They can pose as any type of website: movie/ TV streaming site, online clothing store, articles, ect. The page will look somewhat barren (aside from all the ads) and disorganized. If there’s no credibility, such as lack of contact info and incorrect facts, indicates an unreliable site.

A good site provides service and information, not viruses.

A legitimate company wants to form a trustful relationship with their website visitors, especially if there’s money involved. A good company will want to continuously receive your support, so they won’t scam you. You can be reassured that it’s a safe site if it looks clean and organized, and provides credibility. The most sure sign is the padlock HTTPS accompanying the URL. If there’s a link for you to report anything wrong, that’s a great sign that the site only has the best intentions.

 

There’s a grey area of poorly designed sites that are still safe and spam sites that appear to be good enough. Use your best judgement and be safe than sorry. When in doubt, try searching for reviews and ratings with Google Safe Browsing Transparency Report.

 

Interested in finding out more? Contact Redwood Creative today!

Ecommerce Web Design

Important Elements of E-commerce Websites

E-Commerce websites, such as Amazon and RedBubble, are all the rage. Especially during times like now when people are browsing/shopping online for any items they may need. So, make it easier for your client to browse your site and make a purchase with these tips in mind. First, there are different types of e-commerce websites: business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and vice versa. Format your website according to the demographic that you are appealing to. Have a domain name that’s easy to pronounce and remember!

Clearly indicated prices

The biggest advantage to e-commerce websites is easy product research and price comparison. When displaying a product, provide a layout that will aid the customer in comparing prices.  If applicable, have a page on the website dedicated to products/packages and a chart of price variations.

A detailed description of the product

Some feel uneasy about online purchases, concerned that the product is not the quality that it appears to be online. Reassure them with a clear, technical description and how the product works. Provide a picture for every item and color. Also, guarantee returns for online purchases. Thus, the same applies for services, policies, and contact information as well. If a product has multiple colors/designs, feature a photo of every design that the consumer can click on and enlarge. Include any other handy information, like size charts. Also, offer suggestions for similar products.

Consistent theme and organization

Having a unified look all throughout the page will look more appealing and enticing. In order to stand out against competitors, the website should be uniquely designed. Stick with the same colors and text font. Make sure your website is updated. Have a consistent theme on both website and social media sites.

Other important notes

Fast connection! If it takes more than 2 or 3 seconds to load, then visitors lose interest. Have a clean-looking page, free of ads and clutter. Most websites have entire-page pop-up ads that interfere with scrolling. Instead, have a small pop-up ad inviting readers to join the mailing list for a sweet deal. Keep mobile device formatting in mind. Also, have optimal SEO (search engine optimization).  To learn how Redwood Creative can help you get more of your products online, found, and sold contact us today!

Interested in marketing tips? Redwood Creative is here to help!

 

Creating a Website Post

Things To Be Aware Of When Creating a Website

So you’re thinking of creating a website and you want it to look great right? Building a website can be fun but also quite challenging. You want it to look good, easy to use, and individualizes you and your business. It’s your website and you can do what you want with it. Just keep these in mind as you go along with your website.

Website creation process

In order to create a website, you must first plan your design. This includes theme, layout, graphic design, title/logo, and more. First you should design your logo. This will set the premise for the rest of your website. Stick with the same color scheme you use for your logo. Next, pick a name that’s unique and easy to remember. Try sticking with something that’s easy to pronounce as well.

Create your website with your audience in mind. Make sure it’s easy for them to find answers to questions they might have, such as service rates. Have your contact information readily available as well. Have a text format that’s easy to read, and space out your text boxes accordingly. Organization will give your website more credibility. If you include ads, make sure they are not distracting or make your site look like a spam page. Read more on website development here.

What you will need

To best develop and build your page, we recommend hiring a web designer and a web developer. Creating a website involves many interconnected process, and having more than one person on the project will ensure smoother development.

Consumers turn to the Internet to look for a product/service they need. Because of this, make sure your website offers a perfect display of all your products and services with a clear explanation. Having the history of your company on your page will help you gain more of your consumers’ trust. Be sure to provide visual representations of your business.

For best results, get creative with Redwood Creative! We will provide guidance and tools you need to build your dream website today.