January 4th, 2022
Web design is an ever-evolving field, both from a technical standpoint and a design trend standpoint. When to update a website largely depends on two key factors, technical considerations and design trends. Technical considerations include programming language updates that occur as new devices enter the market. These devices bring new features, from varied screen sizes to operating systems, that make website updates necessary to ensure continued user-friendliness. Technical considerations also span SEO considerations that change with search engine algorithm updates. On the other hand, design trends cycle organically based on current popular culture trends, nostalgia for past trends, and even seasonal influences.
 

What Makes a Website Good?

At its heart, a good website is always designed with usability first, followed by technical and design considerations. Designing for usability means every element is there for a reason, and decisions are made with the user's experience in mind. In addition to this, elements like buttons, navigation menus, headings and subheadings, must be consistent throughout so users can easily find their way. A cohesive visual hierarchy with thoughtful typography that uses whitespace as a tool to direct the eye, color for emphasis, and texture and shadow that can imitate depth can similarly help improve user experience.
 

The New OffWhite Site

When it came time to design the new OffWhite website, we took all of this into consideration. Here are some of the top design trends that helped shape our new site.
 
  • Full-width responsive web framework accommodates both larger monitors and smaller screens, aids in legibility.
  • Cramming info above the fold is no longer necessary. Current data indicates that users are more used to scrolling/swiping to find what they want due to mobile browsing.
  • Mobile is just as important, if not more important, than desktop.
  • Less is more – content is concise and to the point but remains comprehensive and in-depth.
  • Contemporary, minimal trends have advanced because the internet has become saturated with information. The solution is to simplify what you need to say and put it in the correct order.
  • Our corporate identity is shifting to use bolder colors with less dated embellishment. In addition, we are widening our scope to speak to a wider audience.
 

When to Update Your Website?

There are numerous signs that it’s time to refresh or redesign your website. When functionality on certain devices becomes an issue or bugs from plugins or other updates make your content management system difficult to work with, it can be pretty clear that it’s time for a change. Yet, it's also important to consider whether your site looks dated and if SEO changes have begun to impact your organic traffic results or search engine ranking. It's also important to consider the marketing landscape to ensure you stand out amongst your competitors. If all of these items are good, but your company has made significant changes to your identity or branding, or you've added new products, services, or want to make the move to online sales, then you're also due for an update.
 
When the time comes, it's important to partner with someone who understands the key factors involved in website design, so you get the best return on your investment. They should make essential updates while ensuring your site isn't dated as soon as it's launched. They should also work to really understand your brand and what makes you unique in your industry.
 
OffWhite has more than 35 years of digital marketing experience. We bring strategy development and consultation services, website design, content creation, creative development and management, marketing automation and a suite of other digital marketing solutions to clients in a huge range of industries. Contact OffWhite today and let us help you improve your user experience with an updated or redesigned website.
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Published by Bill White, CEO , November 24th, 2021
Audio stories are compelling. And because some things are more difficult to explain than others, we've developed an audio podcast program that gives our clients – and their clients or customers – the space and time necessary to educate and inform. To tell a story.
 
My background in radio broadcasting set the stage for the OffWhite podcasting services we offer with great efficiency. The web-based platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Teams and others provide a global reach for both information uptake and audio "actualities," as well as worldwide distribution and archiving in all markets we serve.
 
For a podcast to have any credibility, however, we need to know our material. That's why we interview our subjects twice; once to chat about the subject and a second time to capture – in their own words – the essence of their product, service, or point of view.
 
Many of our podcasts have focused on life science, clinical, and medical research markets where tools and technologies proliferate daily. Others relate to education services, publishing complements to magazines and periodicals, and anywhere we can reach a subject matter expert and talk to them wherever they live.
 
The Internet has created a level playing field insofar as audio capture and editing. We've followed a basic format that includes a professionally produced audio signature, intro, outro, and transitions that give our minds a brief break between subjects. We also create information "networks" that offer regular podcasts on whatever subjects our clients want to cover, wherever they want to cover them.
 
Interviewing clients on the other side of the country or anywhere in the world is now a matter of routine. But first, we need to know our subject matter. So here is an example of a podcast we did for Drug Discovery News. Once we did our homework, the rest was straightforward. Notice the intro, audio signatures and transitions, and outro that gave this the feel of a network feature, which it was.
 
https://soundcloud.com/user-332722023/dr-george-karlin-neuman-presented-by-bio-rad
 
We can set up one-on-one or multi-person interviews that put the listener at the table to discuss best practices, new products, and more.
 
While video continues to grow in popularity based on YouTube and Vimeo platforms, the need for audio-only podcasts will not subside. Audio is here and now, easy to produce, easy to access and non-invasive. Plus, it’s fun to chat with your product managers, subject matter experts, your customers, and experts regardless of where they're located.
 
For more information on OffWhite audio podcast services, let us know. We can interview you for a demo, and you can learn for yourself why this marketing utility is so powerful.
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July 27th, 2021
You've created great content on your site that resonates with your target audience. New high-quality images accompany this content to emphasize the services you offer. But, here's the bad news, the link to this page is broken, and not a single user can get to it. Don't allow a potential sale to fall to the wayside all because you weren't actively auditing your website for potential issues.
 

Why Site Auditing is Important

Auditing your website is like a check-up at the doctor. Checking for broken web pages, links, headlines, etc., is critical to keeping a well-maintained website. Running weekly tests can help you spot errors and quickly correct them before your website traffic decreases, and you start to see negative consequences within your SEO search rankings.
 

Site Audit for SEO

Site auditing can also help you with your SEO optimization by alerting you to meta descriptions and titles that may be too long or short. If a meta tag is too long, it could be cut off within the search engine result. On the other hand, a short meta tag could give search engines extra space to plug in automated text that you have little control over. The audit can also allow you to add other important SEO elements where they might be lacking, like ALT tags for images.
 
Keyword cannibalization can also occur on your website without you realizing it. This happens when you use the same target keyword across multiple web pages. This can harm SEO because your web pages are battling to rank for the same keyword ? you?re basically competing with yourself. Site audits will show you exactly where cannibalization is occurring so you can make changes to the focus keywords on those pages. Close monitoring of changes within your site structure will maintain the search engine's view of your site as one of authority and allow you to have the opportunity to rank high for your target keywords.
 

Auditing Tools

There are many search auditing tools that will allow you to keep up with the search landscape as it is constantly evolving. Through auditing your site, you never have to worry you've missed something that could be costing you valuable leads and traffic. In addition, many of these tools allow you to set up reports that can be sent automatically on a weekly basis, so you never miss a beat.
 
OffWhite is equipped to help you develop an SEO strategy to fit your business needs. Get in touch with OffWhite to utilize digital marketing mediums to push your business towards success.
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June 14th, 2021
Advertising is a great way to get your business and your brand image out there for the world to see. However, if the whole world saw your ad would that be a good thing? The answer to this question would be yes, if the entire world is interested in what you are offering. But that's highly unlikely. Audience targeting can help you focus in on what category of people might be interested in your brand, increase your return on investment (ROI), and more.
 
Demographic and Behavioral Targeting
Each person, in some way, falls into a category. They might be, for example, age 20-35, live in the Midwest, and be interested in beauty and skincare. This combination of demographic and behavioral data can help narrow the scope of your targeting for advertising. If you own a skincare line the person described above is much more likely to be a potential customer than trying to target a whole region without including any demographic or behavioral data.
 
Tactics
Once you have an idea of who your target audience is, it's important to decide how you are going to engage with them. You can serve them ads that are relevant to them and their interests. The audience might also be perfect for delivering a targeted email based on the demographic and behavioral characteristics you've picked out.
 
Ad Segment Review
Analyze, analyze, analyze. It's not enough to simply serve an ad to your selected audience, you need to see if you are receiving your desired outcome. If your target audience had a low conversion rate it might be beneficial to go back to the drawing board and see if another audience might be a better fit for your business.
 
Where Companies Go Wrong
It takes time to get your audience targeting just right. The tendency is to lean too broad when creating a target audience. It's much more difficult to meet the needs of an audience that has an age range of 18-60 than it is one that is 18-35. While it might be exciting to see the increased traffic coming in, at the end of the day what matters to your bottom line is making the sale.
 
Frequency is another place that is easy to mess up when starting out with audience targeting. Customers get frustrated when they are served too many advertisements which could scare off someone that is ready to convert and buy your product. Finding that fine balance is crucial when serving ads to a specific audience.
 
Audience targeting is critical to any sustainable advertising campaign. Knowing who your target audience is and when they are likely to convert is the key to achieving success. Getting your brand not just in front of people, but the right people will prove to be a meaningful strategy that will breed financial success on the long term.
 

OffWhite can help you discover focused audience targeting that drives success. Our digital services are available to develop your brand using social media, email marketing, search engine optimization and more. Contact OffWhite today to begin your journey with digital marketing.

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May 19th, 2021
Bring Your Product or Service to Life
 
A product like a phone or bicycle starts off as an item. It is made of material extracted from resources found on this earth. There is really little meaning or worth that stems from these items that extends past them being matter that takes up space. It is only when the human connection occurs and nerve endings fire off in our brains about the potential uses and applications for these items that they gain value in our lives.
 
Need vs. Want
In today's hectic world with constant innovation and a plethora of choices of things to buy, it can be difficult to discern the difference between a true need and a want. A need is something that you can't live without. Food, water, shelter, and clean air would fall into the category of basic human needs.
 
When you get into wants, those are more of an expansion past your needs into things you aspire to have but don't need to survive like a new car or that purse you've been eyeing at the store. These are things that add to your life and oftentimes complement your personality.
 
As marketers, our job is to create a scenario of where a need and a want blur together.
 
Product Scarcity
Have you ever felt a major feeling of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? When a product has a limited quantity, or there is a sale on an item that is going away, customers feel like they need to take action. Keeping customers hooked to grab your limited time offer or service will keep them coming back for more.
 
Exclusivity
People want something unique and that has key differences to other competitors. Accentuate how your product differs from your competition by highlighting features that enhance the product and make it the premium choice in the eye of the customer.
 
Determine the Biggest Issues Facing Your Audience
Think about what issues or struggles the target audience of your product or service may be facing. For example, a laundry detergent brand's audience may be struggling to find detergent that doesn't irritate their skin. Use this information to prepare a marketing campaign that will be driven at providing a solution to the issues the consumer faces.
 
Your company may be holding on to the most innovative product or service anyone has ever seen. However, you have to dig deep into the benefits it will have to your target audience and use the appropriate marketing channels to push content out for them to interact with. There will come a time when your customers will be using your product and saying to themselves, "How did I ever live without this?".
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