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Manchester, NH (May 31, 2017) - Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications is proud to announce they have won the 2017 Award of Distinction for Website Design, for their work on the new Phaneuf Funeral Homes & Crematorium Website. The winners of the 23rd Annual Communicator Awards were officially announced by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts on May 9, 2017.

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  • Page Heading Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications Wins 2017 Award of Distinction for Phaneuf Funeral Home Website Redesign
Published in News and Events

First impressions count. Cliché? Maybe. But the truth is, they really do. 

Imagine this: you’re sitting in your immaculate, modern conference room waiting for the principal of what you think is reputable a marketing agency to arrive and to pitch you on a new strategy for your company in the coming quarter. You’ve never met but you have heard some good things about the agency and the services it delivers. The door opens and there she is, in her bathrobe, slippers and appearing to have just rolled out of bed. Turns out, she doesn’t think she needs to impress you by how she looks or to make a good first impression; her presentation is SURE to “wow” you.

Now consider this: it can be difficult (though not impossible) to overcome a bad first impression no matter what you do in in the future or how well you do it. In fact, according to Fast Company, when someone forms a negative opinion, despite subsequent positive actions, he  will purposefully avoid changing opinion. This is  because of an inability to resolve the dissonance the contradiction creates. 

Let’s apply this scenario to your website 

Buyers aren’t waiting for your phone call and your sales pitch. They are researching online, trying to find the best product or service provider to solve a problem. That means your website has to act as your first impression - like the receptionist at the front desk, it sets the tone for what people think about interacting with your company. You want that first impression to be positive if you have any hope of turning website visitors into leads and then being able to nurture leads through to sales.

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  • Page Heading First Impressions Count: How your website conveys trust and credibility
Published in Websites

We’ve been talking a lot about the importance of designing for mobile users lately (including this, this and this), but you don’t have to take our word for it. Take Google’s word: According to 2016 data of all websites using Google Analytics, more than 50 percent of all web traffic is now coming from smartphones and tablets.

More than 50 percent!

Let’s stop for a moment and do a little role-play, shall we? Consider this scenario: you’re looking for something and you get to a website and it’s a crappy website to look at on the phone - the entire page doesn’t fit on the screen, so you have to scroll around; the places to click are too tiny to manage with fingers; the text is too small to read, and it breaks up funny, making it tough to follow.

What do you do? Do you stick it out and scroll and pinch and squint until you find what you need? Or do you eject immediately because it’s going to be too much work to even bother and certainly there’s got to be another site with similar enough information that’s easier to view?

TRICK QUESTION! You didn’t even see that website because Google won’t show it to you in the search results because it’s not a good mobile experience and Google doesn’t want you to be mad at IT for showing you a crappy website.

So, beyond possibly not showing up at all in the search results (no matter how good your SEO may be), that crappy mobile site is alienating people just like you.

Device Usage in a Typical Day

How People Use Their Devices Image 1
Image Source: How People Use Their Devices

Lest that not be enough of a wake-up call for you, Google also reports that, in an average day, more than 25 percent of all users use only a smartphone - more than twice as many as those who only use a computer.

And if you still don’t believe that having a mobile-friendly website should be #1 on your priority list, here are 5 more reasons that you should start that project RIGHT NOW.

1. Some Searchers Don’t Use Desktop Computers – EVER.

Google reports that, nearly 4 in 10 users search only on their smartphones in an average day. So, if your site isn’t serving them, you may be missing out on reaching almost half of your target audience. That’s a lot to leave on the table. No matter what you sell, or how you slice it, mobile users represent a significant piece of the pie.  

2. Many Searchers Use Multiple Devices.

Life today is much more fluid than it was a decade ago. We have access to the resources we need to do our jobs in more than one place, and on more than one device. We used to be chained to our desks to be productive. No longer.

Google has found that more than a quarter of users search for information or answers on multiple devices, depending on what is most convenient at the time. So, one person may be searching for information using a computer at their office; a tablet at the client meeting; a phone in the car or at lunch; and a laptop at home. If your website doesn’t serve them seamlessly on every device, you’re seriously hampering your business growth prospects.

3. Mobile Search Solves Immediate Needs.

When people are on the go and suddenly remember something they need to buy, or have an issue that needs to be taken care of immediately, they often turn to their phones for a solution. Whether your customers are having “I want to go” moments, “I want to buy” moments or “I want to do” moments, they’re looking on their phone for answers. Google says that almost 70 percent of users turn to mobile first in a time of need.

If your business provides the right solution to meet a consumer’s need, and can grab their attention at the right time, you can effectively increase the possibility of making a sale in these moments. According to a recent Google article, “76% of people who search on their smartphone for something nearby visit a related business within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.”

4. Millennials.

Stop scoffing. Millennials may not always be making final decisions, but they are influencing B2B decisions of all types. In fact, millennials represent almost half of all B2B researchers, an increase of 70 percent in the two years since the previous study.

On the B2C side, keep this in mind: millennials are digital natives. They have been interacting with digital devices since birth and they expect the experiences on those devices to be excellent. If yours isn’t, they’ll have no problem moving right along to one that is.

5. Users Want a Fast Mobile Experience.

Too many websites take too long to load. If your site isn’t responsive, it may load slower on mobile devices than on a desktop, which isn’t good news for anyone.

Google says that 53 percent of people will leave a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. On the other hand, it says that - on average - it takes 22 seconds for a mobile landing page to fully load. Now, I’m not good at math but even I can see the problem with these stats.

To see how your site stacks up for page load time, enter your url into this Google Developer Tool. When it comes to user expectations, here’s what happens when your site speed doesn’t meet benchmark standards.

 

Mobile Page Speed New Industry Benchmarks 01 21
Source: Google/SOASTA Research, 2017

 

While I could go on, I’m going to stop at only five reasons why you should have a mobile optimized website - if only because that’s how many I promised in the post title. If none of these reasons inspire you to make your site usable on mobile devices then there’s really not more to be said. The rest of us are living in an increasingly mobile-first world. Are you prepared to serve us?

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  • Page Heading It’s Not Optional: 5 Reasons Why Your Website Must Be Responsive
Published in Websites

Though they may seem like simple questions, the answers should be something businesses are paying much closer attention to than they are. Why? Because the answers are an indication of the critical importance our society places on the Internet and the websites that live there.

How often have you thought about Internet usage with regards to who’s using it and why? Has the thought ever crossed your mind? Probably. However, we (businesses and marketers) spend so much time thinking about what we use the Internet for, that we don’t always consider how it’s being used by everyone else.

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  • Page Heading Internet Use Over Time: Who’s Using the Internet and Why?
Published in Digital Marketing

Desktop is so last year. With the Oscars and New York Fashion Week fresh in our minds, we’ve got a little high fashion on the brain. And, while comparing the fashion industry to the marketing industry is not entirely like comparing apples to apples, there are a few aspects that do intersect.

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  • Page Heading Mobile First is the New Black
Published in Websites

For almost every business operating today, your website is your place on the map. Without it, you simply don’t exist for most people. If you aren’t willing to invest in a website or some other online presence to showcase the details and capabilities of your business, you aren’t likely to succeed in today’s business market/ 

Most successful business owners already know this. However, if your business has been around for a while, it’s possible (and extremely likely) that your website may be outdated. Even if your business is only a few years old, your website may not be fully optimized for today’s users - or for what Google wants to see. In just the last five years, there have been many important changes in web design and development, making it nearly impossible for an old site to stay current with the most important requirements for success online as well as maintaining a website that looks good and works for you.

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  • Page Heading Redesigning a Website for an Improved User Experience
Published in Websites
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 20:33

Solving E-commerce Challenges

Every e-commerce website comes with its own set of unique challenges and requirements. Read about some that we faced - and solved - on a recent project.

Published in E-commerce
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 20:16

The Trouble with “Free” Websites

You get what you pay for. Nothing is ever really “free”.

Published in Websites
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 19:44

Increase Your Body Text

Many websites and other online applications are making a mistake by using body text that is simply too small.

Published in Websites

Planning & Discovery

  1. What are your business goals?

  2. How does the website fit into those goals?

  3. What is the purpose of your website?

  4. Who is/are the audience(s) for the website?

  5. Can you identify demographics of your website visitors?

  6. Do you have marketing personas developed?

  7. What do you want website visitors to do/accomplish on your site?

  8. How do you define a lead from the website?

  9. How do you follow-up with leads from the website?

  10. How will they find your website?

  11. Why would they come back to your site more than once?

  12. Who are your competitors?  

  13. What makes you different?

  14. Do you intend to update content/site pages yourself after launch?

  15. How are you planning for mobile use?

 

Project Timing/Timeline

  1. What is the time frame for completion of this project?

  2. Are there particular dates, seasons or events for which the site needs to be completed?

  3. Do you have the time and/or resources to ensure the project is completed on time?

  4. Who will be the internal project manager, responsible for managing the project schedule and ensuring internal contributions are made on time?

  5. Can you think of anything that would prevent us from completing this project on time?

 

Technical Details

  1. Do you already have a domain (url) or do you need to register one?

  2. Where is your domain registered?

  3. Where is your current site hosted?

  4. Do you have Control Panel access with that hosting?

  5. Will you utilize a content management system on the new site?

  6. If no, will it need to utilize databases?

  7. If it doesn’t use a CMS, do you want FTP access to make edits?

  8. How much Bandwidth and Disk space do you need?

  9. What is the Speed and Reliability of your host?

  10. Does the host offer technical support?

  11. Does the host offer email accounts and webmail access?

  12. Will you need multiple domains and/or subdomains?

  13. Do you need e-commerce support (SSL, Dedicated IP)?

  14. Does the host provide regular site backups?

  15. Where is your email hosted?

 

Analytics

  1. Do you have Google Analytics installed on your current site?

  2. Do you utilize Google Search Console for site health tracking and reporting?

  3. Based on historical analytics reports, what is the demographic of your website visitors?

  4. What devices do they use to access your site?

  5. What percentage of your traffic is coming from mobile?

  6. Is your traffic mostly domestic or do you have international traffic?

  7. What pages do they spend the most time on?

  8. What pages to they bounce from?

  9. What are your top 10 landing pages/entrance pages?

  10. What are your top 10 exit pages?

  11. Do you currently track any goals in analytics?

  12. Do you currently track any events in analytics?

  13. Do you have e-commerce tracking set up? (if applicable)

 

SEO

  1. Have you done any SEO planning?

  2. Have you done any keyword research?

  3. Do you know what keywords are driving traffic in your industry?

  4. Do you know who your competitors are online?

  5. Do you know which terms you want to rank for?

  6. Do you know which terms convert visitors on your website?

  7. Do you have onsite search and is it tracked in analytics?

  8. Do you know which terms you currently rank for?

  9. Do you use Google My Business?

  10. Is local/geo-targeted SEO important for your business?

 

Design

  1. If you currently have a website, what do you like/dislike about it?

  2. Is there anyone in your industry (local, regional or national) who’s doing a great job online?

  3. Are there other websites (in or outside of your industry) you like the design of?

  4. Do you have logos (and other branding elements) for your site?

  5. Do you have corporate brand guidelines we need to adhere to?

  6. Do you have corporate colors or fonts that must be used?

  7. Do you have any photos you can provide?

  8. Do you have a stock photo site(s) you prefer to use?

 

Features

  1. Will you need an open-source, custom or enterprise CMS?

  2. Will you need a blog?

  3. Are there any specific site features or functionality that you will need?

  4. Do you intend to provide user-restricted content that would require users to log into the site?

  5. Do you need integration with social media?

  6. What social media channels do you use?

  7. What plugins do you need for security, social media, SEO and analytics?

  8. Do you require online chat features?

  9. Do you need a forum or membership system?

  10. Do you need to integrate with an event calendar?

  11. Do you have any compliance needs (HIPAA or 508 compliance)?

  12. Do you need multi-language support?

  13. Are there integrations you need with video hosting providers or CRMs?

  14. What 3rd party systems does your website currently integrate with? (if applicable)

 

Content & Marketing

  1. Do you have staff in-house that is familiar with writing for the web?

  2. If yes, will that person develop and write content, or only edit and provide feedback?

  3. Will you provide gated content on your site for lead generation?

  4. How often do you plan to add new lead-generation content?

  5. Are you considering integrating marketing automation with your website?

  6. Are you planning to market and promote your website after launch?

  7. Have you developed a marketing plan for post launch?

  8. Do you need content writing support from our team, either for the site development or after launch?

  9. Do you have an email marketing service provider?

  10. Do you have email templates built for lead nurturing?

 

Management & Maintenance

  1. Do you need maintenance support after launch?

  2. Do you have any experience updating your website?

  3. Do you have the appropriate staff in-house to manage and maintain your website after launch?

 

Working Together

  1. Who is the internal point person for this project?

  2. Are they empowered to make decisions about the project?

  3. What question(s) have we not asked you?

  4. What concerns do you have?

  5. Where do you think this project has the most risk of going off track?

  6. How do you prefer to be managed and communicated with?

  7. What questions do you have for us?

Download your guide to website planning and maintenance

Additional Info

  • Page Heading 100 Questions your website/digital marketing partner should ask you
Published in Websites
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 00:00

My website looks funny

We recently launched a new site for a client and, while they are happy with it, they asked some pretty pointed questions about why it looked different in different browsers. As I put together my response, I realized that they’re probably not the only ones wondering why their site shows some minor differences in different browsers.

First off, while you may test your site in multiple browsers, the average user of the site is not going to look at the site in three different browsers at the same time so the inconsistencies you may see are not going to be apparent to your visitors. By and large, people have one favorite browser they use. Even if they were to use another browser to look at the site, they likely wouldn’t do that at the same time.

Why the site displays differently in different browsers is a more important consideration.

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  • Page Heading My website looks funny
Published in Steph Speak
Friday, 07 January 2011 13:15

New Year, New Ideas

I’m not really a New Year’s Resolution kind of gal. If I make them at all, they don’t usually last that long and then I just feel bad. Instead I try to work on personal growth all year long, trying the things that sound intriguing and making those that work well for me a part of my life.

That being said, I do tend towards reflection at this time of year and I’ve been thinking a lot about Savoir Faire recently and what its next iteration looks like.

During a conversation with a very good friend recently, she pulled something from our conversation that stopped me in my tracks:

Always learning.
Always inspired.
Always empowered.
Always accountable.

These are things she said about Stephanie McLaughlin, the person but, upon hearing them, these are things that I would like to bring to Savoir Faire, the business, to use as guiding principles. (Hopefully you'll even see them in some updated Web copy soon!)

The reason I liked this so much is that it becomes a two-way promise; it’s how the business operates and it’s a bargain I would like to make with my clients as well.

Always learning
It’s true, I’m always interested in what’s new. In relation to Savoir Faire, I’m constantly on the lookout for what’s next, what’s going on, what new developments are taking place in the marketing, public relations and social media worlds.

Always inspired
I’m always on the lookout for inspiration and actively in search of it. I believe it can come from anywhere so it's good to keep your eyes open and your mind tuned. Something you learn in one area can inspire you in a completely different area. According to my good friend, it’s also something I impart in many of my personal interactions through the enthusiasm I have for what I've learned and how it can be applied.

Always empowered
I’m not typically an ‘ask permission’ kind of gal.

Always accountable
For me, this is the other side of the ‘always empowered’ coin. Whether my decisions are right or wrong, I am accountable for their outcomes.

Now that you know a little more about me, let’s talk about how these ideas can apply to clients who are working with Savoir Faire.

When you work with Savoir Faire, I want you to be learning. You don’t need to learn about inbound marketing or search engine optimization or website design but you should learn about how what we’re doing is going to impact and affect your business and what you can do to leverage the work we’re doing for you.

Working together, I hope we inspire each other to keep reaching new heights and doing better and better work. When you learn about what I’m doing and how it can boost your business, I hope it inspires you to think of additional ways we can work together to drive results. That, in turn, will energize me and my team to keep stretching on your behalf.

I may not be an ‘ask permission’ girl in my personal life, but I will need your permission to do great work for your business. That may mean letting go of some of the details or trusting my team to do good work for you without understanding exactly how it all works. In turn, I will do my part to give you what you need to run and grow your business, whether that’s information, explanation, reports or coaching.

Likewise, I will need you to hold up your end of the bargain. If that means writing a post for your business blog once a week or getting on the phone with me regularly, then that’s what you need to do. You see, I’m going to need you to do your part so that I can do mine effectively. In my experience, I have found that careful plans and marketing strategies don’t fail; people fail implementing them. If we are both accountable for our pieces of the puzzle, then our strategies will succeed and your business will benefit.

My approach is based on delivery and, in order to deliver for you, I’m going to need for both of us to be learning, inspired, empowered and accountable. Together, we’ll get great results. I look forward to working with you!

Best,
Stephanie.

Additional Info

  • Page Heading New Year, New Ideas
Published in Steph Speak

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