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Responsive website design has fast become a standard in web development.  You may have heard this term before or heard from someone that your website has to be responsive in today’s market.  But you might be asking, what is a responsive website and why does it matter me?

Let’s put it like this, if a potential customer comes to your store, restaurant, or office, your team is going to respond to their needs as best as they can.  It’s good business to understand a customer’s desires and address how your business provides the best solution.  When you are responsive to them, your chances of getting the sale are increased because the customer feels taken care of and understood.

Now think about your website.  It’s a safe bet that your website gets more traffic than your physical location.  Our virtual brick & mortar has become more important to sales and company perception than the physical location because our websites get hundreds or thousands of visitors each day.

So what do we do about this?  We need to optimize our websites for the customer.  We need to build responsive websites that respond to the goals we have for our customers.  Responsive websites are sites that actually respond to the size of the users screen and can do so dynamically.  You can test whether a site is built to be responsive in a couple of ways.  You can visit the site from different devices (desktop, tablet, phone) or you can watch it scale by dragging your browser width from as wide as it goes to as small as it goes.  If you see it changing on the fly, it’s a responsive website.  If a horizontal scroll bar pops up at the bottom, the website is built for desktop purposes only.  You can try it now with the Anchor website which is built in a responsive framework.

Not only do responsive websites respond to screen sizes, you can actually adapt the information you want to display based on which device is being used.  For example, when someone is browsing on a mobile phone, they probably don’t have the time commitment to read through your whole website, so you might want to condense or re-prioritize the information on your site.  Some of our clients are restaurants and retail stores and we know that often, when customers are visiting the site on their website, they are looking for directions to the store.  For that reason, we can put a map or a link to directions on the home page to show users that we understand one of the main reasons they are visiting the website from their mobile phone.

People are on the go these days and have an “on demand” mentality.  If they can’t find the information they need right away, you’ve lost a customer.  Our agency monitors the website traffic and user activity of hundreds of sites and when we run our analyses, we are able to see the number of people visiting from mobile vs. tablet vs. desktop.  A little insight for the readers of this post is that people average about 55% viewership from desktops and tablets and mobile phone split the remaining 45%.  However, forecasts predict that mobile phones will take over internet usage at more than 50% in the next 1-2 years.

If you have a responsive business and want your online presence to reflect that, it’s time for a responsive website.

– BJ Caldwell
@fortbeeje

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As a kid, I can recall times when I told my mom that she  “didn’t understand me” or “didn’t understand what I was going through”.   Although we hadn’t gone through the exact same situation, she had insight as to what was going on and was able to offer her wisdom.  What I didn’t know back then, was that she was guiding me through obstacles and trials she had already experienced in order to make my life better.  Mom’s are good like that. They want you to flourish.

When I think about it, it’s similar to how our agency operates.  We care for, and invest in, the brands we represent because we want to see them be successful.  Drawing from the same type of wisdom my mom imparted on me (albeit not nearly as wise), I do my part to learn from experiences in order to help drive our team and brands to their goals.

By approaching situations this way, our team is able to help guide companies and optimize their success because of the obstacles and trials we’ve run into.  It saves our clients time, money and resources.  It’s called experience and it’s invaluable!  Of course other factors contribute too, like trust, seeing eye-to-eye, and respect – but we first get there through our extensive experience.

I was inspired by my mom and the recent Mother’s Day festivities to write my post, because just like my my mom wanted for me, I want the best for the brands we help create.  Thank you, Mom, for your guidance and perspective to help me make the best decisions possible.  Happy belated Mother’s Day to you and all of the mothers out there!

P.S. Mom, I’ll pick up the leaves one day.

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History has taught me that the more you plan for a video the better the video will be.

Because, fun fact: A 5 minute video does not take 5 minutes to produce.

When I am approached with a video project before I say, LET’S DO THIS THING, I have to think about everything I need to prepare for the project. EVERY. THING. Because in my lifetime I’ve created well over 200 videos, experience allows me to know what questions to ask. Here are just a few of the many components of a production that need to be taken into consideration.

-How long is it going to take to record the whole project? (better to have more time, than less)
-How long will it take to set up all of the equipment? (it takes longer than you may think)
-Will your actors have their lines memorized? (If not, you may want to wait for recording)
-What is the turn around for the whole project? (Know when you will have the project done)

In addition to some of those it is vital that you always prepare for mistakes to be made. Your actors will make mistakes, you will make mistakes, and your environment will make mistakes. Plan for these mistakes to happen, otherwise you will run behind schedule instead of ahead.

I promise that if you plan really well for your production you will have a significantly better video.

– Ricky Anderson II
@ricky_ii

 

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Websites are essential to business.
Many consumers judge whether or not they want your product or service based on your website. It’s important to keep it up-to-date and relevant. Here are some key steps to help you knock the dust off of your site:

Current Content
Is the information on your site correct? Very important information could be missing from your site, simply because it’s been overlooked:
• Have your hours changed?
• Do you have new seasonal items?
• Are new terms and policies in place?
• Is your contact information correct?

Functional Functionality
Updates take place almost daily on search engines and other sites. It’s important that your Spring Cleaning checklist includes all of your website functionality:
• Are links on your site still active?
• Does your site still work properly with all browsers?
• Does your contact form work?

Design Duty
Make sure that your site represents what you look like today:
• Do you have a new logo or color scheme that is still not on your site?
• Do you have new photographs to give your site a facelift?
• Do you have irrelevant pages that are cluttering your navigation?

Don’t miss out on site conversions because of these easily preventable maintenance issues. Give your site a thorough Spring Cleaning so that you remain relevant!

– Team Anchor
@anchormd

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Anchor Team at Brewed

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One reason that people have artist’s block is that they do not respect the law of dormancy in nature.  Trees don’t produce fruit all year long, constantly.  They have a point where they go dormant.  And when you are in a dormant period creatively, you can arrange your life to do the technical tasks that don’t take creativity, you are essentially preparing for the spring when it will all blossom again.
– Marshall Vandruff

If you don’t feel creative 100% of the time, don’t fret, you’re just like the majority of us.  At Anchor, we know that we can’t crank out our best creative work if we’re not taking breaks and resting our brains.  It helps us focus.  We know we need to harness the best of our creative energy so that we are getting the most output for our input.  How do we do that?  Through so many different ways, including sleeping, meditating, changing scenery, getting away from electronics, and much, much more.  Here’s a short breakdown of how you can regularly recalibrate your creativity.

Meditate

Take some quiet time to sit and listen.  It’s beneficial to turn off all distractions, close your eyes, and breathe deeply.  Use this as a time of reflection, prayer, or deep thought.  Meditating can last several hours if you let it, but we recommend this exercise for at least 10 minutes.  When you open your eyes, you should be relaxed, refreshed, and reenergized.

Sleep

Growing up, you may have noticed (or been told by) your hard working father or mother didn’t “need” as much sleep as you did.  They were awake when you went to bed and out the door before you woke up.  Seemingly, if you have more hours in the day to work, you can accomplish more.  That’s not always the case.  In fact, the Huffington Post just published an article about what successful people have to say about the importance of sleep.  A few quotes from the article:

Ellen DeGeneres – “I’m usually asleep by 11pm and up around 7:30am, it’s a lot!”

The Dalai Lama – “Sleep is the best meditation.”

Bill Gates – “I like to get seven hours of sleep a night because that’s what I need to stay sharp and creative and upbeat.”

And a very funny one from Arianna Huffington (she’s that last interview of the article).  You can read the article in full by clicking here.

Change environments

Our office is known for needing a change of scenery.  Sometimes just getting out of your normal workspace can really help promote creativity.  Sometimes it’s something as simple as taking a walk that will trigger your brain to get out of a funk.  Other times it will take more.  We try to take a day outside of the office one day per week.  We visit local establishments like Brewed, Avoca Coffee, Bird Cafe, Flying Saucer, Little Red Wasp, Brewsters, Rodeo Goat, Sweet Sammies, and more.  We’ve also gone out to play basketball or football, walk through the park or down the street, or just find a place outdoors to sit and chat.  Some of our best concepts have derived from these out-of-the-office “meetings”.

Shut it down

One of the most difficult things to do in today’s On Demand society is to turn your phone off and to not check e-mail for a while.  Clients and customers are always going to need something, but it doesn’t always have to be addressed as soon as you hear that e-mail hit your inbox, especially if it is in the evening or on the weekend when your brain is in need of some R&R.

Get the most out of your creative brain and give it a rest.

– Team Anchor
@anchormd

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