Alphagraphics blog

Archive: July 2016

Keeping Your Website Relevant: What Can You Do?

Did you know that best practices for branding and business development dictate you update your website every three years, at a minimum? This is news to many companies—especially small businesses! The theory of “set it and forget it” seems to be common among those people who might not be particularly web-savvy, and as a result it’s not uncommon for many small business websites to fall out of favor over time. What happens to your website if you don’t update it? Think of your website like a house. Over the years you’re going to have to throw on a fresh coat of paint every now and then; you’ll need to remodel the bathroom to accommodate your changing needs; you’ll have to fix roofing issues as they develop, etc. If you fail to keep up with the needs of your home over the years, it’s going to fall into disrepair. Your website functions on these same principles. You’ll need to update the content every so often; design elements will need to be fixed to accommodate new trends; you’ll have to manage the structure and navigation of the site, etc. If your website remains stagnant, it’s also bound to fall into disrepair! And, in today’s digital age, a poorly formatted website is one that’s not going to see very much traffic. Search engine relevancy There’s more damage than meets the eye when it comes to a poorly updated website, however. Not only can the visual integrity fall out of favor with visitors, your ranking in a search engine might tumble down as well! Search results algorithms for Google, Yahoo! and Bing all take website relevancy into account when it comes to ranking results, meaning forgotten sites will plummet while frequently updated sites rise. It’s also important to note that search engine algorithms change frequently—sometimes as often as 5-6 times a year! Best practices for building a website a year ago might easily be replaced by new standards this year, making it critical to stay on top of your website month over month. What should you be doing? It’s understandable to have difficulty keeping your website up to date if you’re not web-savvy or don’t have the budget to hire a full time webmaster. It’s important to overcome these limitations, however, to ensure you’re not letting your business’ digital presence become lackluster. The first and best way to make sure you’re remaining current is to form a partnership with an experienced web design/development company. It’s advisable to steer clear of freelancers and “friends of friends” who might not have the experience or reliability of an established company. If possible, figure out a monthly rate or pay as you go schedule that’s conducive to your business’ budget. If you’re someone who has enough experience to get the job done yourself, take a look at a few best practices when it comes to keeping your website relevant:
  • Blogs are perhaps the simplest way to keep content on your website fresh. A simple 500-word blog post will be recognized by search engines as an effort to produce quality, recurring content, keeping your site well-ranked in search engine results.
  • Update your services or offerings as they change in real life. This is a good habit to get into anyway, to prevent confusion for customers. For example, if you now offer Service B in addition to Service A, make sure your website now offers information about your capabilities for Service B.
  • Assess the design and responsiveness of your website biannually to make sure it’s compliant with existing best practices on the web. Also, be sure to check all links and forms to make sure they’re still working appropriately.
The key to a good web presence that’s accurate and to-date is routine maintenance. Taking the time to set things straight every so often will help you avoid the massive amount of work that’s required every three years to redesign your site and get it back into good standing with search engines and your customers. If you’re concerned about your small business’ website, get in touch with your local AlphaGraphics today! We can help you figure out where you are, where you want to be and what it takes to get your website there. Read article →
July 30 / 2016
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Recapping DRUPA 2016: The Largest Printing Equipment Exhibition in the World

This past June, the DRUPA print media fair was held in Dusseldorf, Germany, as is tradition every four years. This massive exposition of print technology, products, trends and companies is known worldwide as the premier destination to get the scoop on print media and cross platform marketing for the upcoming future. As has been the case in years past, the expo produced some amazing prospects for the future of printing, advertising and technology! Read on to learn more about a few of the top highlights from the event that drew more than 1,800 exhibitors from 54 countries. Paradigm printing If anyone ever thought the age of physical media was dead due to digital technologies, their minds would have most certainly been changed by the astounding display of print capabilities heralded by the future of print technology. Some amazing highlights in this realm include:
  • Advances in UV LED ink are going to be a game-changer for pharma companies and food packing companies. Because these inks can be cured via LEDs, there’s no heating element required to set them, thus staying well within the packaging and printing guidelines of these rigorously monitored industries.
  • Affordable raised ink is now becoming a standard option for at-home, desktop printers! What this means for consumers is the ability to print not only textured documents, but also braille!
  • Flexo printing is getting a second look by innovators! This once quickly-dismissed printing platform is being innovated and improved upon to stay relevant within the industry. Look for enhancements via fixed color palette printing and new substrate materials to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this process.
3D and Functional printing The widespread accessibility of 3D printing and other forms of functional printing stirred up a tremendous amount of excitement at DRUPA this year. Some of the biggest things to draw a crowd include:
  • Conductive inks are a major focus of functional printing, thanks much in part to their continued use in RFID printing. Innovations continue to push the boundaries of conductive ink use—especially when used in conjunction with 3D printing!
  • Organic printing is already a hot topic in the medical field, but it’s also starting to gain traction in other industries as well! When paired with marketing concepts, organic printing could become a staple in temporary outdoor advertising.
  • Printed electronics was a show-stopping concept that this year’s DRUPA conference! Circuit carriers and circuit boards are the subject of printed electronics currently, with much speculation as to how they’ll shape the future of the electronics industry when perfected!
Packing advances Packaging technologies and opportunities have always been a core focus at DRUPA and this year, the excitement was turned up another notch. Presentations regarding touchpoint packaging and intelligent print packaging designs stole the show, opening the door for technologies that will soon come to revolutionize workflows in industries such as shipping, warehousing and distribution. Highlight’s from this year’s conference include:
  • Printed packaging security is something that can benefit nearly any industry, with positive ramifications that improve logistics, cut costs and streamline workflows. More than just RFID alert emitters and clear-print security, things like temperature-activated ink and inherently secure printed packaging designs will touch industries far and wide.
  • Holographic and tinted printing techniques could be used for a wide variety of print packaging applications, from security to advertising and beyond.
  • Serialization was a big topic this year, with much emphasis being placed on late-stage customization and how serialization via print processes can help to provide cradle-to-grave tracking for customers and designers alike.
DRUPA’s 11-day event timeline was loaded with amazing concepts, products and technologies from dawn until dusk each day. Authorities on printing from around the world exhibited and attended to make this year’s event yet another resounding success. And, as has been the trend in the past, many of the concepts being pitched and explained at DRUPA are sure to find their way into modern printing standards—most likely before the next conference in four years! Read article →
July 12 / 2016
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