Web Design and SEO Blog

Aug201525

Using a 100% AJAX Framework

by Mira Brody in Design, Development, External Publications, UX

Using a 100% AJAX Framework

We’ve been working with various industry publications to share our technical expertise with our peers and thought some of you would enjoy these more technical articles as well. Most recently we worked with Web Designer Depot, a web designer and developer’s resource, to publish an article titled: Driving UX with AJAX.

Below is a synopsis of the article. You can enjoy it in its entirety here.

With mobile internet usage eclipsing desktop-based web browsing, it’s more important than ever for websites to be built with an emphasis on speedy page loads and fluid reactions to user input. One important technology we use to achieve this is AJAX, short for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. AJAX allows you to update parts of a single webpage without continually throwing out the document object model (DOM) — eliminating the need for entire page loads and creating a faster response to user input. Building custom websites on AJAX allows more freedom with aesthetic, with unique animation between page loads, smoother usability with the integration of infinite scrolling all with the ability to bookmark and negotiate with your browser’s navigation buttons unencumbered.

AJAX eliminates the use of excessive bandwidth and creates sites that function on a much higher caliber. We began building advanced sites on this basis nearly ten years ago and in this article we explore a number of the specific advantages, and some limitations, of AJAX.
Aug201518

Estes Park Medical Center Site Additions

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Design

Estes Park Medical Foundation.

JTech has finished a substantial update to Estes Park Medical Center’s custom website that will more comprehensively fulfill the goals of their charitable organization, the Estes Park Medical Foundation. The medical center provides services to the Estes Park, Colorado community to support their well-being through excellent service and patient-centered care.

The EPMC Foundation was formerly represented by a single page; our web development efforts focused on expanding this into a dedicated section of the website reflecting its importance. To address the community’s participation in the Estes Park Medical Center Foundation, one of the new pages we designed is dedicated to providing information for prospective volunteers — describing opportunities for giving their time as well as providing applications for open positions.

The newly completed EPMC Foundation section now allows for one-time and reoccurring donations as well as detailed information on capital campaigns so donors are confident about where their contributions go. On the Kudos for Care page, site visitors have the opportunity to give positive feedback to medical professionals who provided high-quality care; also offered is detailed information about the Foundation, its history, mission and board members.
Aug201511

Responsive Redesign for Bank of Bozeman

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Design, Development, Optimization

Bank of Bozeman is designed responsively.

JTech recently launched a responsive overhaul for Bank of Bozeman just in time for their 10th anniversary. Bank of Bozeman, a longtime customer, has been serving the Gallatin Valley area since 2005 and provides various banking solutions for personal, business and lending as well as many other online services such as account transfers, bill pay, mobile banking and e-statements.

Along with an updated overall look, Bank of Bozeman is now fully responsive on all mobile devices and clearly organizes the benefits of their banking services on comparison matrices. There are a number of subtle details that nicely complete the polish of the website — for instance, the About Us page includes dynamic business hour information with the “open” and “closed” sign updating to reflect their current status. With their sleek new website, Bank of Bozeman can continue serving the community with exceptional service for years to come.
Aug20154

Book Now For Year-End Website Changes

by Mira Brody in Announcements

With the pleasant summer weather, the last thing we want is to distract ourselves with Christmas trees and snowmen, but the year-end holiday season will be upon us before we know it. As people rush to get their businesses ready for the new year, the fall season here at JTech gets busy, fast. Which is why we encourage all of our clients to contact us with any changes they wish to make to their website as soon as possible.

For any project, big or small, we have a thorough planning process which covers everything needed in order to execute the changes or upgrades you wish to make to your site. After planning, we schedule you into our development work cycle as soon as we have an opening and begin building the improvements to your custom site.

In order to get your business on the books before the holidays, it is essential that we begin the planning process now. So, if you hope to make some upgrades to your website before the year’s end or start a new website marketing campaign for the holidays, please call us as soon as possible and we would be happy to work with you to make the updates.
Jul201528

Fresh Look for Clark Film Buying

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Design, Development

Clark Film Buying is designed responsively.

Clark Film Buying is a Bozeman-based film booking company who advocates for over 160 independently-owned movie theaters in 17 states. With 40 years and two generations working in their Bozeman-based offices, Clark Film Buying pride themselves on building lasting relationships, providing an open source of communication to help their clients run their theaters and stay up-to-date in the cinema industry.

Our web developers worked extensively on a secure extranet for Clark and their clients to easily manage operations. This extranet is an incredible resource that includes gross management, a feature-rich bookings matrix, automated import from external data sources, industry news, monthly billing and film company resources. Our complete overhaul of Clark Film Buying’s website includes a sleek new color scheme, rotating promotional photos of new releases and menu items that include an overview of services, staff member profiles and frequently asked questions. The entire website is created using fully responsive website design and provides a new standard of quality for film buyers’ websites. This new website fortifies Clark Film Buying’s campaign to always provide their clients with cutting-edge support.
Jul201524

Live Chat Will Build Trust and Retain Customers

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Development, Tools & Tips

Live chat support builds trust.

Have you considered adding a live chat option to your website? Depending on the business, a live chat service can do much more than simply provide quick and painless customer service. When used in the correct situation, it can increase conversions on your site, the number of returning visitors and ultimately, revenue.

At JTech, we’ve encouraged many of our clients to utilize the many benefits of a live chat service if we feel it would help that particular business. Our internet marketing department performs extensive research about your users and their behavioral needs in order to decide what type of support would be a beneficial addition to your online business.

Here are some of the advantages we see clients getting out of using live chat on their custom website:

Conversion rates and revenue.
Because it can help customers make instant decisions about the items they are browsing, live chat will lead to higher conversion rates and likely more purchases. Live chat can very efficiently solve a number of business needs; customers can not only get all of their questions immediately answered, but receive direction and advice on products, easing navigation through your site and completing transactions that may not have occurred otherwise.

In fact, almost 62 percent of internet shoppers said that they would have purchased more products if live customer support had been available during their shopping experience (1) and 38 percent said they had made a purchase due to the chat sessions they had used (2). The option to chat with one of your company’s representatives will help retain customers and create a more user-friendly, engaging site overall.

Less employee power.
Even though customers are really getting more satisfaction out of a live chat service on your site than they would by dialing and navigating the maze of options on an 800 phone number, it is substantially less work for your employees. Depending on the size of your company, those who are assigned to answer messages can not only be doing other work in between and during a chat session, but also be dealing with many different individual customers at the same time as opposed to a single-line telephone conversation.

Helping multiple customers simultaneously has its own risks — a chat message, unlike email or feedback form, needs to be addressed immediately to dispel the risk of losing your customer. Communication problems commonly experienced over the phone, though, are a nonissue, as chat services can accommodate many different language barriers and can be reverted into a contact form when live chat services isn’t offered so that contact is still available. No misheard phone numbers or email addresses, no unanswered phones and no trying to find the only Spanish-speaking employee in the office!

Return customers.
Another advantage to live chat is its ability to increase your site’s accessibility and build trust. With our phones always within reach, and their use evolved from simply dialing a phone number to web browsing and messaging, speed and accessibility are a foremost concern for serving your customers. They want more personal questions answered based on preference or for comparison, but prefer to do so anonymously.

With live chat, answers are not only instant but also more accessible for customers to use for purposes other than complaints or feedback. In fact, because of the versatile uses for chat, users are 63 percent more likely to return to a site specifically because live chat was an option (2). The ability to talk to a representative immediately gains the trust of many users, especially for companies with whom they regularly do business. For Frontline Processing, we integrated live chat into their payment portal so that merchants applying for their services could reach them easily from any page if needed. Because they deal with the intricate world of credit cards and payment services, live chat is a perfect fit for customers who need to reach customer service with questions straight from their computer as they are trying to complete a task.

Be available.
Adding a live chat option to your site is all about being available to your customers. Aside from providing them with a much improved customer experience, it is an easy way to gain trust, retain repeat visitors and increase revenue from your online business.

Sources
Jul201521

Employee Timecard Integration

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Development

How many employees do you manage for your business and how much time and effort are you putting into keeping track of their time worked in your current timekeeping system? As your business grows and you hire more people, timecard integration into the company’s administrative program may be a viable investment that improves the organization of your payroll process and gives your human resources department peace of mind.

JTech recently completed an advanced timekeeping system for Montana Health Network, who employs healthcare practitioners in different facilities across the state. In order to cater to the various types of shifts and reimbursements MHN offers their workers, we designed a system that tabularly organizes types of pay and provides access to past pay periods up to six months previous. Employees may now choose shifts by facility, enter regular shifts, on-call shifts and travel time, data which can all be double-checked and archived by those with administrative access. By adding a timecard web application to your business, you can make timekeeping easier for both your employees and payroll more painless for administrative staff. Contact us if you have any questions about how you can expand your capabilities as an employer by building a custom online timekeeping system into your business’s website interface.
Jul201520

Structured Data: The New Metadata

by Mira Brody in Optimization, SEM, SEO, Content

Traditionally, search engines are adept at “spidering” through layers of data on your website, but have a tougher time understanding the appropriate context for your content — when you write about fireworks, do you mean emotional sparks or Fourth of July munitions? Structured data, an up and coming advanced form of metadata, is a way to integrate specific tags into your site’s HTML code that help describe the contents and context of your site’s content. By gaining these insights, search engines can greatly increase their usefulness when displaying organic search results.

Structured data provides granular metadata about the content of your website so that search engines can interpret it more intelligently and offer better results — both more accurate in response to their users’ search queries and better formatted listings reflecting the type of content offered on your site. When search engines can better understand the structure of a web page’s data, they are better able to help the searcher recognize whether the source is something that answers their query. Providing more detail will yield accurate results and therefore a higher percentage of visitors who are actually searching for what you offer — leading to decreased bounce rates and higher retention among those who are searching for your product or services.

As search engines incorporate structured data into their results, it is quickly becoming the “new metadata” of web design. Where metadata tags are limited to very basic information about the general purpose of your page such as a title, keywords and description, structured data will allow for far more detail and is evolving to be more widely accepted as useful, accurate information.

How structured data is displayed.
There are different ways to integrate structured data into your site depending on how much coding experience you have and what sort of information you want available to your visitors when they search for you. The writing structured data into your websites code is essentially a way to request Google to display extra information directly in search engine result listings, such as movie times, a product’s average user review or your nearest Chipotle’s business hours, without having to visit the entire webpage. These extra snippets of information are called rich snippets. Rich snippets provide extra information to help researchers decide whether to click on your site or not and therefore provide a ton of power in catching the eye of potential visitors.

Even without coding experience, Google allows you to create these rich snippets for your site with their markup tool. Depending on the category, you’ll be presented with fields to fill. For example, for a recipe, there will be fields for: recipe name, image, description, cook time, nutrition information and more. This way, instead of Google having to guess what your page is about, it’ll already be aware that this is information about a recipe and display it as such in results, making it much easier for potential customers to reach you and enjoy your best recipes.
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Schema.org is a comprehensive resource for those looking to integrate snippets into their projects and illustrates the standardization in place for coding these bits of information. A collaboration of Google, Bing, Yandex and Yahoo!, schema.org documents the standardized, very specific vocabulary that can be added to HTML in order to improve search ratings. By using schema’s syntax, you can add an Amazon rating and price to a product’s listing directly in the search results.

Be visible with structured data.
In the sea of search results, structured data may increase a business’s visibility by providing context, not only for Google’s SEO purposes, but for searchers as well. It’s not enough to simply include SEO in your copy or metadata in your code anymore, but to also implement this contextual schematic of your content in order to ensure you are discovered. Structured data is the future of online marketing and if it is not considered in your site’s marketing plans, your clients may be missing out on an opportunity for higher search rankings as well as increased customer activity.
Jul201514

A Website for Ryen Glenn Subdivision

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Design, Development

JTech has the pleasure of once again working with Nistler Home Builders to create a website promoting their newest subdivision project in Belgrade, Montana. A business with local roots, NHB pride themselves on providing residents of the Gallatin Valley with the home, condo or townhouse that best fits their lifestyle needs. Ryen Glenn, a brand new subdivision on the north end of Belgrade, will be composed of a series of spacious lots for brand new neo-rural luxury estates.

Our Montana website design team has been creating a site that will show off this beautiful swatch of land by integrating photos and maps to accentuate the local feel, various amenities and outdoor activities offered by the community. The exciting portion for our web development team will be laying out the plat coordinates onto an interactive map so that prospective buyers can easily view and navigate the available home sites. Keep your eye out for the forthcoming Ryen Glenn Estates website!
Jul20157

Build Strong Landing Pages to Guarantee New Visitors

by Mira Brody in Announcements, Tools & Tips

Landing Pages Header (Airplane Landing)
Landing pages create a great entry point for potential customers arriving on your business's website.
Photo credit: Michael Gil

Does your business utilize custom landing pages to attract visitors to your website? When searching for a specific service or item online, customers will often become frustrated if they aren’t finding a result right away, and leave. Landing pages offer a highly-focused narrative that offers a solution to a single problem. In order to funnel more people in, you must have a variety of strong topical landing pages available that cover the vast area of services that you provide.

Our marketing team at JTech are experts at building landing pages well worth their effort that will match the look and feel of your existing website. By carefully researching the keywords and phrases that your prospective customers are using to find your product or service and creating landing pages for each, you are able to expand your reach to a much broader target audience with answers to questions being asked in organic search. For example, if you are looking for affordable, well-built homes in the Gallatin Valley, but your business covers the entire state of Montana, you can build a landing page that grabs the attention of those looking in a specific county, then provide a distraction-free path to the part of your website where they can make purchases or request a consultation.

Landing pages have the potential to benefit many types of online businesses, helping them gain more customers who are searching for their product or to solve a problem. If you’d like to learn more about how landing page development can increase your site’s quality search traffic, contact us today and our marketing team would be happy to build landing pages into your site’s marketing plan.