Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Finding the SEO Balance

Often people search for their site on Google or Bing and are not satisfied with the results. They want to see their site higher in the search results or they want it to appear for certain search terms. The logical next step is to look at Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. What SEO steps should you take? We recommend you carefully consider your SEO actions.

Heavy-handed SEO can make your site rank lower.

You might think that seeding your page with keywords of all sorts is a good step to take. It's not. Individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of topics or keywords. And search engines are smart enough to realize this. In fact, if you have multiple pages created just to tag keywords, search engines will negatively rate your site causing it to rank even lower. They could even remove your site altogether.

The key to effective SEO is relevant, reliable content. 

The changes may seem too small to matter - tweaking the title, rewriting a paragraph or adding accurate meta descriptions - however, these are small changes with big impact. You need to look at the page content, the links you've included and your overall site architecture. You need to consider your use of social media and how often you update your content. Taken as a whole these elements all work together to give your site the right balance - and the right search engine results.


Let's go back to our original question: What SEO steps should you take? 

1. Review search engine tools - they have set up very helpful resources.
2. Learn more about your current traffic. What terms are people using to find your site? What other sites or resources or referring people to your site? These can help you determine where to focus your efforts.

3. Contact TBH Creative. Yes you can do many of these SEO techniques on your own, but if you find yourself overwhelmed with the task - we can help. Learn more about our SEO work.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How will retina displays influence the future of web design?

Retina is the new buzzword around web designers and interactive marketing teams. This new technology has not only improved the way we see web content, but retina is starting to influence how developers build websites. As a strategic web company,  it's TBH Creative's goal—and responsibility—to ensure a satisfying experience for users browsing the web, regardless of display.

What is retina display?

Retina is a high-density resolution display. It produces crisp images by doubling the pixel density in the same amount of space as a normal computer monitor. As you can see in the screengrabs posted below, the amount of pixels in the retina display is drastically different than the normal display on the iPhone. The retina display is sharper, displaying a more vibrant image and crisper typography. 

The first example below shows a non-retina display image. When a user zooms in on the logo, the edges of the graphic are blurred and muddy, which doesn't show the image off at its full potential. The second image is the website viewed on a device with a retina display with the logo optimized for this format. The result, when zooming, is detailed and adds to the overall beautiful experience of the website. 

Example of an optimized website viewed on a device with a non-retina display.

Example of an optimized website viewed on a device with a retina display.


There are several solutions for optimizing websites for this improvement in browsing technology. These small changes in web development can impact the way your website is viewed on a high density display.

@media queries:
This solution involves targeting images in the stylesheet for both a normal display and retina display. The regular image is loaded at first, then switches out for the higher resolution image should the device request it. This solution is good for any website or app that uses the background-image property, but does not support inline images.

Similar to the solution above, you are able to replace images in your content with a retina-optimized counterpart. Javascript is able to detect the screen density when the page is loaded.

@font-face image fonts
This solution is specific to scenarios when there are a large amount of icons on a website. Similar to the above technique, when the webpage is loaded, the icons will automatically resize themselves.

More resources:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Write your way to a better website

(Photo courtesy morgueFile)
What do people want from your website? No matter what you're trying to communicate, the right words can get you there.

No matter who is your users are, the key to effectively communicating with users is simple: make sure that your website answer questions and meets needs.

This starts with strategically planning content that is smart and strategic and written in a voice with a tone that matches your brand.

Focus content.

When a user comes to your website, they don't want to hunt for the content they need. No user is happy when their web browsing turns into a game reminiscent of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? or Clue. Users are depending on your website for information, enlightenment, entertainment, and/or guidance. Focus content to help them meet their goal.

Chances are that your users aren't stupid; however, they are likely very busy. Respect people's time. As you're writing, follow the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) philosophy to focus your content. When you keep the writing simple, you'll make it easy on your users. Remember:
  • Plan your content. 
  • Think about content as a conversation. 
  • Label your links accurately.
  • Make your content scannable; add subheads and bulleted lists when useful.
  • Less is more. Keep to the point.
By using the right words presented in the right place, you'll meet your users' needs.

Determine tone of voice.

Voice and tone are critical in shaping the success of those experiences, for both you and the audience. Clarity is critical. Remember:
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms.
  • Use the simplest word that works for the meaning.
  • Write accurate and helpful titles.
Aim for consistency in your voice and tone across your website's content. This consistency will help users know that they are in the right place. Writing with a consistent voice and tone builds trust and rapport, and ultimately, better relationships with users. Don't forget that you're writing content for people, not robots.

Does your website content need a tune-up? TBH Creative specializes in website writing and editing for organizations and businesses. We'll help you write your way to a better website. Let's get started.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

To blog or not to blog, that is the question.

Does any of this sound familiar? Your organization has a website. You make sure the content is up-to-date. You check the stats from time to time and wonder if there's something else you should be doing.  You've heard about blogging, maybe even follow some blogs from time to time - heck you're reading a blog right now. What's the value behind a blog? Should your company start a blog?

The short answer: Yes. Your company should have a blog.

Want the longer answer? (We thought you might.) Yes, your company should have a blog for these reasons:

Three Key Reasons to Add a Blog to Your Web Presence

1. Traffic

We're not saying that if you write a blog you'll suddenly see an increase in traffic (though stranger things have happened). However, thanks to the power of search engines, you will see traffic that might not have come your way otherwise.

Writing a blog gives you a chance to talk about specific aspects of your business and services. The more you talk about those things, the higher credibility your site carries in search engines. More credibility means your site will appear higher on the page when people are searching. When you write a blog you are adding keywords to your site and keeping your content current - two things that search engines like very much.

2. Increase your credibility (and your knowledge).

Traffic is nice but even if you don't see extra traffic from a blog it's still a worthwhile exercise. A well-thought out blog post requires you to do a little research and to stay on top of trends in your industry. And when you are well-read and informed about your industry, you are a better spokesperson for your business. If you write articles that are useful to your customers and prospective customers, they'll start relying on you for advice... and be more likely to turn to you when they need your service.

3. Build community and loyalty. 

Promote your blog in offline marketing activities. Make sure people know that you're putting out worthwhile content. Keep your blog active - posting at least weekly. These things will convince people to visit your blog regularly. That kind of loyalty is gold when it comes to establishing repeat business and word-of-mouth marketing. Your blog should give a peek into your personality and let people know what to expect when they do business with you. If people feel like they are getting to know you through a blog, they will be more comfortable doing business with you now and in the future.

Hopefully we've given you some food for thought when you consider adding a blog to your website. Ready for more? Check out this article about the pros and cons of blogging.

We're obviously fans of blogging. We think it brings great benefits to your business and marketing presence. Want to learn more? Read some of our previous articles and then give us a call. We'd love to help you establish a blogging presence.

Friday, March 1, 2013

When is a one-page website a good option for a website?

Single-page websites can be a great solution for small businesses and clients with modest budgets. These types of websites display content on a single page, giving users a unique experience by encouraging vertical scrolling rather than clicking through to interior pages.

Today, we'll explore the benefits and risks associated with developing a single-page website, as well as showcase examples—across various industries—using this web solution successfully.


  • Lower cost: A one-page website means less to develop, which in terms of cost, means a lower price point to the client.
  • Positive user experience: One-page websites eliminate the potential for overwhelming menu options, are quicker to navigate, and encourages a user to scroll. For more information, read UX Movement's well-written article explaining the benefits of scrolling.
  • Keeps content to a minimum. This is a great option for clients that may not have a great deal of content and are looking for more brochure-site qualities for their website, for example, a company featuring one product or service.
  • More opportunity for unique design. One-page web design opens the door to more fluid and unique design options. Designers have the opportunity to use various types of creative solutions from jQuery plugins to parallax scrolling.


  • Page load times can be hefty due to document size and any scripting that may be on the page. This can easily be mitigated by minimizing the amount of javascript on the page.

Client-types that could benefit from one-page websites:

  • Event websites (conferences, festivals, etc.)
  • Sign-up forms
  • Single-product websites
  • Restaurant websites
  • Photographers and artists (portfolio websites)
  • Low budget clients
  • Clients seeking to start an online presence


Here are some successfully executed one-page websites:

Microsoft Build Conference 2012's one-page website features a minimalistic design.

Mo's & Bows fundraising event website: This one-page website combines
beautiful photography with a unique personality to create an exciting user experience.

Fray.it's one-page website is clean and easy to navigate by using scrolling and in-page
anchors taking users to the various sections.

Grooveshark's one-page website is a great example of using jQuery
to navigate between each section of the page.

Mighty Matcha uses a one-page website design to showcase
their tea product.

Aquent's Summer of Learning one-page website features a great use of a form submission
and a clear display of event information.


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