How Much Does a Website Cost?

The default template you used on your company’s website has broken… again… and you are now tasked with the job of finding a designer and hosting company to get back on page 1 of Google. Time to start looking, but you ask yourself: “How much does a website cost?”

Before you start asking design and advertising agencies in Cleveland, it’s best if you can answer these questions with certainty.

1. Based on The Current Market, What Should My Website Provide to My Customers?

Different markets expect different results from a website. Restaurants and food distributors rely on social media and recommendations to get more business. If someone lands on your website, what do you expect them to do? If they email you, do you have a way to respond within the next 3 hours? How many back and forth emails will it take to answer their question, and could the website have been structured to have all these answers already organized, so that an email never needs to be sent?

Knowing the 3 Main Goals of your website will focus your attention on what your clients need.

2. What Functionality Does My Website Need?

Another aspect to focus on is looking at your current market. Your competitors may have been providing an online service for years, and they already have a giant head start on the problems and solutions clients may ask. Learn from your competition, find what they do well, and do it better, and find where they are lacking, and become the main hub for that solution.

Once you know what you should be providing, research the best way to provide it, and list out all the companies and services that have mastered it. Collaboration (even for a cost) works better than re-inventing the wheel every time.

3. Will I need to Scale My Website in the Future?

A simple solution that can solve the problem now  is good, but what about 3 years from now? Do you have a plan in place for a phase 2, 3, 4, or 5? You need a chain of command that will allow you to make your website grow organically, without ending up a complicated mess as pages, people, and projects get added.

Always have a plan for where new pages will go, what to do if you hire a marketing manager, or even if you want to let someone write a guest blog post. A well thought out structure may increase your website cost, but it will save you and your company money in the long term.

Website Page Breaks

A web page breaks when you least expect it.

4. Who Do I Call When Something Breaks?

No one wants a page to break, but it happens. Disaster can always happen and the only way to soften the blow is to have a disaster plan. Understanding who to call and what steps need to be taken to get your website fixed are crucial. Are there backups? Is there a plan in place if someone’s email only sends cat photos? What if someone mentions your site on TV, and you get 6,000 people checking it out at the same time? Could you handle that traffic and get 6,000 customers?

Having a policy and plan in place will save you a countless amount of headaches and missed opportunities.

5. So, What Does A Website Cost?

After you have answered all these questions (or wrote them down), start asking around your local Cleveland advertising and marketing agencies. Shel Perkins at AIGA wrote a great article about pricing models and the phases of purchasing a website design, and knowing what you are buying is always a good idea.

JAC Creative also has a system for scoping and estimating a website cost broken down by Market Standards, Functionality, Scaleability, Security & Backups, and customer support. We have been doing this for some time now, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Shoot us a message to get started.

Infographics On The Rise

The infographic is a design trend sweeping across the digital landscape over the past several years that has provided a new way of communicating data to viewers in a visually engaging and compelling way. Infographics, a.k.a. information graphics, are graphic representations of information that are presented in a clear and compelling way. When done properly, they are a dynamic cocktail of data, writing, and design. Sites like Daily Infographic can feed the appetite of design and information junkies (nerds), like myself.

Not Your Parent’s Graphic

Technically, infographics have been around for centuries. Remember that pie chart that your 5th grade social studies teacher showed you on the overhead projector from 1952? That was an, albeit crude, infographic. Luckily, over the past 5 years, design and marketing professionals have entered the infographic realm and have taken it to the next level. Infographics have been redefined into a medium of presenting, what could be otherwise characterized as “boring”, data and information in a way that is engaging to viewers – keeping their attention and helping them retain information.

Graphic Design Pie Chart Infographic

Pac-Man eating an orange

So Why Use Infographics?

As a designer of infographics, I will be the first to caution that NOT all content lends itself to being turned into one. Aside from being visually engaging and compelling, there are several other benefits to presenting your content in the form of an infographic. They are easily viewable, can be in either print or digital format, are adaptable to a company’s brand, can increase traffic and views to your website, and are contemporary.

Check out some of 2015’s best infographics. Also, JAC Creative has been creating infographics for their clients for several years. If you need help with infographic design or have any additional questions about the benefits of an infographic, please let us know.

The Best Super Bowl 50 Ads

The pizza and wings have been eaten, Peyton Manning hugged his family and drank his Budweiser, and Chris Martin walked away unscathed from a fierce dance off. Now the only things to talk about are the commercials from this year’s big game. Although this was a toned-down year for the ad industry’s best of show, we combed through all the weird, heartwarming, hilarious, resonating, or just plain boring to bring you the best Super Bowl ads from 2016!

Here are the runner ups (our winners are found at the bottom):

Bud Light

The Bud Light Party Featuring Amy Schumer and Seth Rogan

 

Squarespace

Real Talk with Key and Peele

 

Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans

What We Were Thinking

 

Hyundai Elantra

Ryanville Featuring Ryan Reynolds

 

Heinz

Wiener Stampede

 

Budweiser

#NotBackingDown

 

UnitedHealthcare

Delivery

 

T-Mobile

Restricted Bling

 

Subaru

Dog Tested

 

Hyundai Genesis

First Date featuring Kevin Hart

 

And the winner for most unique ad goes to:

Taco Bell

Quesalupa featuring Cleveland’s Norton Furniture


There was a lot of talk about a Puppymonkeybaby, but there was a disconnect between the commercial and the product. That’s why the award for most unique ad goes to Taco Bell, which showcased local “celebrities” from all across the country. If you want a few additional laughs, check out some of the other Quesalupa ads from across the country.

 

And the winner for Funniest ad goes to:

T-Mobile

Drop The Balls featuring Steve Harvey

Two hilarious T-Mobile ads. Take that, Verizon. Also, what a great way to play off of a huge mistake Steve Harvey made only a few weeks ago.

 

And the winner for most emotional ad goes to:

Colgate

Please Turn Off The Faucet.


This PSA-style Colgate commercial had everyone thinking about their water use. I, for one, will be thinking about how long the faucet is running for some time to come, and I know I’m not the only one. An ad that can make that kind of impact deserves this award.

 

And the winner for best overall ad goes to:

Jeep

Portraits


This ad is a reminder of just how much the Jeep brand has been through. “From the beaches of Normandy to the far reaches of the Earth.” It tugs at the military heartstrings, reminds Jurassic Park fans of a terrifyingly exciting T-Rex chase (“Must go faster!“), and even brings in B.B. King, Marilyn Monroe, and Aretha Franklin. It is a modest look at everything Jeep has accomplished, and it includes something to which anyone can relate.

Weird, right? A Marketer’s Take On The Rise And Fall Of Scion

Toyota announced on Wednesday 2/3 that Scion, a sub brand of Toyota, will stop producing cars under the Scion brand. Starting in August 2016, the Scion logo will come down. For some of Scion’s models, a Toyota logo will go up in its place. Scion’s marketing was on point, but it couldn’t compete with not only an aging target audience, but a changing one.

The Rise

Scion was established in 2003 to attract the younger crowd. It worked for those Generation Xers who wanted an affordable, fuel efficient car, but were not ready to buy from the “soccer-mom” brand, Toyota. Scion sold 173,034 models at its peak in 2006, when a big part of Generation X was 20-something years old. The company used catchy marketing images and slogans like “want2Bsquare.” Remember that boxy-looking xB? Those just coming out of college thought they’d look great cruising around in that thing.

Scion xB

 

Is that a small kitchen appliance? Nope, its the 2006 Scion xB!

The Fall

Suddenly that Che-Guevara-t-shirt-wearing dude was setting aside his Aviators, rocking a pressed button-down shirt, and lugging around diapers and baby formula. That tC just wasn’t suitable for a family. According to Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz, “customers have changed, and we need to change with them.” From 2008 to 2009, the number of Scion models sold dropped almost in half.

Scion iA

 

Starting at $17,595 the 2016 Scion iA has great gas mileage, but are Millennials looking for affordability and efficiency?

The Take Away – A Marketing Standpoint

In early 2015, I started seeing Scion’s new tagline: “Weird, right?” I thought it was a nice differentiation from standard automobile taglines such as (Chevrolet) “Find New Roads,” (Ford) “Go Further,” and (Nissan) “Innovation That Excites.” And it somehow spoke to Millennials. Since Generation X was no longer interested in the Scion brand, Millennials became the new target. But Scion was still the same brand that was created to target Generation X, touting low prices and good fuel economy.

Maybe it is due to the recent drop in oil prices or the number of competitors that also boast a low price tag and high MPG. It could even be the emergence of the sharing economy, or a marketing message that no longer resonates with the 20-something crowd. Whatever it is, Millennials are not the same as Generation X, and Scion did not change its marketing tactics to accommodate for this shift. But the Scion models will be rebadged with the Toyota logo, which just might appeal to those people who grew out of the Scion brand.

Increase Your CTR And Other Online Advertising Tips

As online advertising becomes more and more relevant over traditional advertising, we at JAC Creative recognize the importance of a highly effective, high performing online advertising campaign. One that has a big return on investment. Whether you put all your eggs into AdWords, Bing Ads, or some mix of PPC advertising, these tips are good standard practices, straight from the Googleplex.

  1. Use keywords in you ad’s copy – So you’ve come up with a big list of awesome search query keywords… Great! Now don’t forget to use those same keywords in the ads that you write. This helps to increase your click through rate (CTR), particularly if those keywords are in the ad’s headline.
  2. Give users a reason to click on your ads – A call to action is very important. Say something that might separate your ad from all the others, and let users know what they will find once they visit your site. Don’t forget to keep it simple!
  3. Ad Extensions make things even easier for the user – As mobile search becomes more and more prominent, as simple “Call” button attached to your ad could be just the thing your business needs to get that dusty, old landline ringing once again!

We are always open to a good chat. If you have a question about your business’s online advertising campaign, feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to learn more about your business and see if there is any way JAC Creative can help.

Check out this video to learn more:

…And follow the Google AdWords YouTube channel. They are always posting new videos that are full of helpful tips!

Cited source: Google AdWords YouTube channel – Remembering AdWords Fundamentals – Google Best Practices – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPmzOxrMkvw

The Simplicity of Web Design

Knowing what a section is in HTML5, setting up the newest version of PHP, and how to properly configure your robot.txt are all great things when it comes to building a website, but you could be overlooking some simple rules of the internet.

3 Simple Rules of Web Design

It all really boils down to displaying the correct information about your product or service. That information needs to load quickly, across multiple devices, and needs to be built in a way that is easily shared with others. These simple rules make or break your website or online advertisement.

Loading Quickly

Looking pretty is one thing, but having the correct information load on a phone (we know most of you just browse the web on your phone) in the shortest time possible. Images are good to have, and are a big part of the internet, but content is king, and a big part of that is through text paired with optimized images.

Structured Content

When it comes to current web standards, things can get a little tricky. It’s important to understand the fundamentals of HTML5’s sections and hgroups, because making Google index things better is extremely important. More importantly than having the most optimized page is organizing it in a way humans can understand it. The more Google grows and learns, the higher level of understanding Google has when it comes to simply reading your services on a webpage. Write for humans first, then spend the rest of your time making robots recognize it.

Call to Action

The internet is just like the highway. Everyone has places to be and things to do. You don’t take a longer route to get to your destination, you take the shortest path possible. A Call to Actions on a webpage can be as simple as a single button that leads to an easy form to fill out. If two companies provide the same product or service for the same price, it all comes down to ease of use.

JAC Creative strives to follow all of these rules of web design with all of our clients’ websites. We want to make it easy for clients, their customers, and everyone in between.

[button label=”Contact” url=”/contact” color=”#f2642f” target=”_blank” ptag=true]

Brushing Up On Grammar

Nothing is a bigger turn off for me when reading any sort of material than improper grammar. It can make a company lose its credibility faster than the time it takes to hit the back button on a typo-ridden website. It takes a good design and turns it ugly, takes a thoughtful Facebook post and turns it into a laughing matter.

Sometimes it is the simple things that we have trouble with: then or than, your or you’re. Check out this article from Entrepreneur to learn how to avoid six common grammatical errors.

Here is one that didn’t make the cut but always trips me up: who/whom. If you are referring to the subject of a sentence, use “who.” If you are referring to the object of a sentence, use “whom.” Put another way, if you can substitute it with “he” or “she,” then use “who.” If you can substitute it with “him” or “her,” use “whom.”