Plugins We Like: WP Job Manager

In the past we have made a post on reasons why your company should consider posting job opportunities on your website. We have mentioned benefits like saving money, easy sharing, grabbing web surfers’ attention, and more (visit the blog here). Well, today we are highlighting our favorite job listing plugin, WP Job Manager. Not only does this allow you to post job opportunities directly onto your site, but it also allows you to manage those job listings. This job manager has many features that make the plugin one of our favorites.  

An important thing to point out about the WP Job Manager plugin is that it is very simple to set up and works well with many themes. One of the plugin’s best features is that it allows fully managing, categorizing, and adding as many job listing as available. When submitting the listing, it allows you to preview it first. You are also able to link each listing to either an email or website address to allow job seekers to easily apply. Job seekers can also be alerted whenever a new job matching is available through RSS links.

We asked two of our designers, Phil and Jose, for some insight on the WP Job Manager plugin and how they felt about it. Even though this is a great job management plugin, they both agreed on one flaw: it is difficult to customize. According to Phil and Jose, once the plugin has been added, it easily grasps the theme of most templates but it can be difficult to adjust it to customized websites. However, they both agree that once it is implemented, it handles data well and does a great job at managing an unlimited amount of job listing and applications.  

Unconventional Tips for Content Creation

When creating content, whether it’s for a blog, social media, or anything in relation, we may get stumped or get writer’s block more often than we’d like. Many times, when it happens, we tend to just write down anything we can come up with and end up creating content of  lower quality than we’d like. Because of this we have searched and come up with some tips to help free our minds and make space for more creative ideas. If interested in these unconventional tips, continue reading.

Tip 1: Recite what you want to write before writing it.

Many times, when we recite the next sentence we want to write down in our heads we end up forgetting or “losing our spot” in between. By vocally narrating before writing we can keep track of what we are writing and get our complete thoughts down. Using a recording device or app can help with this tip.

Tip 2: Notice what sparks ideas throughout the day.

When doing regular day activities there are times when certain ideas strike us at random. Paying attention to what actions or things trigger those ideas can be helpful; it may help spark future ideas.

Tip 3: Save the editing for the very end.

When you’re on a writing streak, stopping in the middle of it to go back and edit something can make you lose focus on what you are writing and take too much time switching back and forth from editing mode to writing mode. Writing down everything that comes to mind first and saving the editing for the very end is a more efficient way of getting the job done.

Tip 4: Get on a writing schedule.

Focusing on your daily rhythm and the point of the day where you are more energized and focused can help you create a writing schedule that is more efficient for you. This can also help you create quality content!

Tip 5: Take short breaks while working.

When working for long periods of time we can get bored and lose focus or concentration on what we’re working on. This is why taking few minute breaks throughout the day can help improving your productivity and help you creating quality content.

Tip 6: Create an outline.

Create an outline and work backwards on it. Start with the point of your post and develop an outline from that point. This way the content you come up with can connect to the overall purpose of your post.

A/B Testing

 

A/B Testing, also known as Split Testing and Bucket Testing, is a way of comparing two different versions of anything from websites to an app. According to Mike Sperling, the way it works is by showing versions A and B to a percentage of your consumers and test the outcome or response rate of each one. With that, the one that has the best response rate would be the one you send out to the rest of your consumers.

 

To get into more details on how to perform an A/B testing is by taking it as a scientific experiment:

  1. Start with a question, or the purpose for doing the experiment.
  2. Research consumers’ behaviors through analytics or past experiments.
  3. Make a hypothesis, or statement on the outcome of the experiment.
  4. Figure out the percentage of people you would like to perform the testing on and the length of the experiment.
  5. Perform the A/B Test where A would be the controlled substance and B is the variation.
  6. Analyze the study and conclude which form would be best to go with.

A/B testing is a perfect experiment to perform especially when making changes that could significantly increase leads, sales and revenue. These experiments are great overall because they help construct hypothesis and help get a better understanding of what experiences impact your consumers. If done consistently, it can even help gradually improve your site or marketing items.

 

This kind of testing can be done on anything, really:

-Headlines

-Sub headlines

-Paragraph Text

-Social Proof

-Testimonials

-Call to action

-Links

-Media Mentions

-Images

– Awards and badges

-Content near a fold

Current Web Design Trends

As time goes on and changes are being made in the world, so are there changes being made in web designing trends. There are many trends that have been developed in the past years, and today we are going to tell you about those trends you should consider when redesigning or creating a new website.

New UI patterns:

Obvious trends among websites are the new user interface (UI) patterns that include:

Hamburger Menu

This menu is recognizable to the majority of users, which makes navigating through the site much more simple and easier.
Example: National Geographic Channel National Geographic

 

 

 

Long Scrolls

The days of carrying all your content on the top of the page are no longer here. Thanks to smart phones, people have been accustomed to the long scrolls in websites. This trend usually includes clear breaks through the sections to create a “multipage” feel.
Example: Our Home Page

Card Sections

This trend has been developed from the Pinterest website where there are many “cards” with different content information. This helps users get the company’s information in small chunks while also giving them the possibility of clicking on them to get more information if needed.
Example: Topsfieldfair.org

Hero Images

There is no question about it; humans are easily attracted to visuals. By having a hero image as the home setting for your website can help grab users’ attention.
Example: Prada Website

 

Interactive Animation:

Another noticeable trend are small animations being incorporated throughout websites along with a large focus on interactive content.

Animation

Large and small scale animations are incorporated to create a more personal touch to the sites as well as making them more interactive thought hover tools, loading bars, pop-up notifications and more.
Example: AGildedNest.com

Interactions

Other ways websites can be more interactive is when slides are incorporated into the site. This creates a more physical interaction especially when it is full screen slide.
Example: ChelseaJewish.org

 

Responsive Design:

This design allows websites to be accessed from various devices without having to zoom in/out because the site is being shown just as it is.
Example:

responsive design

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flat Design:

Although this is an old trend that’s existed for many years, when new trends are incorporated into this design, it can create a fresh and engaging look.

Shadows

Adding long shadows onto certain materials can create movement and depth onto flat designs.

Bold & Bright Colors

A great color scheme can keep this design more interesting and pleasing to the human eye.

Typography

Using bold typefaces can make a flat design more even more pleasing to the eye, especially with a great color scheme.

Importance of Wireframing

Wireframing is essentially a blue print that represents the framework of a website in black and white. It shows the layout of what a website will look like and how the web user will navigate through the site. As time goes on, many believe that wireframing is not of importance in the web designing steps anymore but today we’re here to tell you all the reasons why wireframing should still be practiced.

Focus on the important:
By wireframing a website before jumping into creating/redesigning one can help keep the focus on the important elements of the website first, like determining how users would navigate though the site and how to simplify the navigation process for them.

Allows changes before designing:
Wireframing allows you to explore different options for your site ahead of time before jumping into creating the site and having to go through major changes later. You would be able to determine the features you would like to add to the site and where.

Prevents future conflicts:
When working with clients, creating a wireframe can help you and the client stay on the same page when it comes to the website’s design. By doing this, you could save a lot of time and conflicting issues in the long run.

Plan out best way to deliver service:
Going back to the navigation part of the website’s design, by planning out an effective navigation strategy ahead of time, users would be able to fully utilize the website the way you wish them to. You could share with them everything you think is important and relevant.

Wireframing may seem like a long and tedious process, but if done correctly, it could save you a lot of time in the long run when creating the website you, or your clients desire.

Benefits of Custom Photography

We have all heard the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but did you know that when it comes to your website, custom pictures can be worth a whole lot more than just words? Custom photography for websites, print material, and your social media can be advantageous for your company in many ways.  Yes, stock photography is easy and cheap but custom photography is a much better solution for your image needs and is often less expensive than one might think.  Let’s look at the many benefits of choosing custom photography.

  1. Branding – Custom photography really embraces your brand.  Custom means any pictures can include your people, your location, your product, your logo and ultimately reflect your brand’s culture instead of trying to find something that is “kinda” close on stock sites.  Your company’s uniqueness and the brand that you represent can be captured in custom photos exceptionally well.
  2. A Glimpse Inside your Company – When a consumer is researching your product or service wouldn’t it be better if they found photos on the website of people that actually work at your office or better yet a staff photo that shows off the company’s personality? Maybe even a location that they recognize might be a plus as well. Custom Photography allows you to feature genuine faces, spaces and products. This allows your company to be one-of-a-kind and original.  What you really don’t want is a stock photo that ends up on some competitors website or print design.
  3. Consistency – By having custom photography, you are ensuring that the images best represent who you are as a company.  Feelings, personality and trustworthiness does show through even in photos. Consistently showing off who you are a company will show through.  Businesses which present themselves in a professional, polished manner immediately appear more reputable in the eyes of customers.
  4. An Investment – Once photos are taken they are yours and can be used for a wide number of purposes from print media, email newsletters, websites, blog posts, brochures, ads, webinars, presentations, social media and during trade shows or networking.  Custom photography should be able to be used over and over again thus making the most of the investment you have made in this powerful marketing tool. Custom photography is a well worthwhile investment in the marketing needs and brand awareness of your company.

 

Techniques to Increase Traffic to your Site

One of the most frequently asked questions from businesses is,  “How do we get more people to visit our website?”  At Sperling Interactive this is one of the things we successfully help our clients with regularly.  As marketers, we understand that what every business wants is more customers.  One of the best ways to get that is by having more people visit your website and convert into customers!  Here are some of our top tips of simple things that you can do to increase traffic to your website.

  1. Advertise Your Site – This may seem fairly simple but many companies forget that there are a multitude of channels through which to advertise.  Free business listings is the first place to start.  Be sure to have all pertinent information about your company in the listings including an easy link to your site, your phone number and google address. Paid search, social media advertising and display advertising are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand and getting your site in front of people. Adjust your paid strategies to suit your goals – do you just want more traffic, or are you looking to increase conversions, too? Each paid channel has its pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you decide.  We can help you find the right channel for your desired audience.
  2. Social Media – Do you have great content on your site that you would like to promote?  One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote that content. Create links on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram pages.  Give tidbits of content on these sites and encourage viewers to visit your main site to get more information.
  3. Keywords – Specifically Long Tailed Keywords are optimal for attracting customers to your site.  Drive target searches to your site by using very specific and focused keywords.  Long-tail keywords account for a majority of web searches, meaning that if you’re not targeting them as part of your paid search or SEO efforts, you’re missing out. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to find long-tail keywords that match up with your content or, even better, write content unique to your brand.
  4. Blogging – They say that content is king, so be sure your website has valuable content that viewers will want to access.  Blogging about your business field will draw customers to your products or services and give them a sense of your company’s voice through your blog.  In addition, search engines reward companies who are getting high-quality, consistent content coming from them.
  5. SEO – Optimizing your content for search engines is still a valuable and worthwhile practice. If customers are not able to find your company then the game is over.  Sperling Interactive has many techniques that will help your company be found.  Contact us today to start planning your SEO and Marketing strategy to increase traffic to your website.

Driving Traffic to your Website

As small business owners we are always looking to drive traffic to our website and introduce new customers to our brand.  There are many actionable ways to attract traffic to your website.  What are the most effective and cost effective? Forbes Magazine put out a list of the best ways to drive traffic to your company’s website. Here are a few of their suggestions.

  1. Focus on long-tail keywords– Make sure your posts include all the relevant terms and phrases related to your topic.
  2. Begin a Forum on your Site – An active forum can quickly begin ranking for long-tail keywords. They’re also great for decreasing your site’s bounce rate, increasing time-on-site, as well as building a community.
  3. Promote a Blog on your site – Give valuable information about your company, sales, products and sales on your blog so others will look forward to reading your posts.
  4. Social Media – Link your Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms back to your main page. This will draw in new readers who search for you through social media.
  5. Become a member of industry Facebook and LinkedIn groups – Offer valuable advice and info to build relationships and drive traffic to your site.
  6. Respond – Answer posts, comments and critiques that come in on all platforms whether it is online reviews, social media or in email form.
  7. Key words – Be sure you have a chance of being found through all relevant key words for your field.

To see the complete list of suggestion from Forbes read more.

Benefits of YouTube for Business

YouTube is not just for music videos and kids gaming tutorials.  Small businesses have begun to see the benefits of using YouTube for marketing and communicating with customers.  YouTube is now being used by businesses to demonstrate products, show off a company’s expertise, give training to customers, create a community of followers, solve customer problems and for promoting special events or sales.  Using YouTube for your business can be a cost-effective way to grow it, if used regularly as part of your marketing strategy. Let’s look at the benefits of the growing YouTube audience.

According to Grow Online, YouTube has some amazing statistics that just may win you over to their site.

  1. Online video is growing exponentially, with over 4 billion videos viewed daily. If you use YouTube for your business, you can easily reach your audience, both by creating videos and advertising on other people’s videos.
  2. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine and the 3rd most visited website worldwide, behind only Google and Facebook respectively.
  3. 1 billion people visit YouTube each month globally
  4. 100 hours of video are uploaded every 60 seconds to YouTube
  5. According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults aged 18-34 than any cable network.
  6. Posting on YouTube can help you get found on Google
  7. Grow a worldwide audience and make you a leader in your field.
  8. Build an email list

Elements of A Great Website

Your company’s website is the foundation of your marketing efforts.  Like the foundation of your home, it must have key elements that build up and support your business.  Websites can show how robust and dynamic your company truly is. What components are necessary to publicize your brand and promote your products and services in an easy to navigate format?  Here are some elements that are needed for a great website.

  • A simple and eye-pleasing design – Overly busy graphics and loud colors can detract from the content and message of your website. The viewers eye should go directly to the most important parts of your site including the: header, footer, menu and data collection form.  Choose interesting and easily readable typography.  Stick to colors and logos that are cohesive with your branding on other items such as your print media.
  • Integrate Social Media into the design – Assimilating your social media site on your main website is a critical part of your ultimate design.  Your website should have links to all your social media site including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.  Likewise your social media sites should also have links to your main website.
  • Internal Links – Links to other sections of your website are another important piece of design.  This will make navigating your website easier and will help your company keep track of where visitors have been.
  • Well-chosen images – Images can really help people visualize your products or services and their benefits. Be sure to include photos of every product you sell. Attractive product shots can really boost your sales.
  • Personalize it – Include an “About Us” section. People are often hesitant to buy things online because they miss the personal interaction of doing business face to face. The best way to overcome their reluctance is to include an “About Us” page that provides information about you, your staff and your business. Also include testimonials that will help people see how reliable and strong you are wlth customer service.