2018 was a huge year for us at Stray Media Group! Our team nearly doubled in size, we had the honor of working on some incredible projects for our clients, and we received some recognition for our successes along the way. Most notably, we are thrilled to announce that we’ve won three awards for our website redesign work on the new website for North Dakota Telephone Company. Continue reading
The year was 2018, the team was SMG.
Many exciting changes had them jumping with glee.
From being adorned with new, shiny awards to proudly hang on their wall
To growing their team nearly two times its size, the crew sure had a ball.
Websites are more than just pretty faces. Developing a custom website is no small feat – it takes research, countless sugar-powered brainstorms, ample amounts of time, and great communication between you and your web developer to bring your vision to life. Here are 5 key things we at Stray Media Group advise you to know before diving headfirst into the wonderful, wacky world of web design.
What we really mean by this is “understand what your customers want and how you’re going to provide it.” Do you know who your target audience is? Have you done your homework on what problems they seek answers for and how your service will help them? Putting your personal preferences aside and digging deep to truly understand who your customer is and what they want is the first step to building a killer website.
It’s important to note here that you have to put personal preferences aside and focus solely on the customer. Love the color green and pictures of cute kids? Green is awesome and cute kids rock, but if that only resonates with you and 5% of your target audience, you need to let it go.
Like pretty much every single thing in life, there’s more to building a website than meets the eye, and it takes longer than you would think. It takes time, attention to detail, drafts, revisions, more revisions, and did we mention revisions? Timelines will also depend on the depth of your site – if it’s a simple one-pager it will take less than an in-depth e-commerce site, but all in all you’d better call it “Rome” because a good site won’t be built in a day (or month).
There are a few key things that you can do to help move the process along more quickly, though. One thing we advise is to begin collecting and taking photos, so you have your own image library to work from – the fewer stock photos the better, and the more personable your business will appear.
Another key is content – ‘tis king, after all. You don’t have to be a professional copywriter – psst, shameless plug about how our Stray Media Group team has your back on this one – but even a general direction or voice you know you want to portray to your audience will help speed up the content process.
Final note is to be on the ball when you do have something to review from your web developer. We see this a lot, where it’s ‘When will the site be ready?’ for weeks and then when the site is ready for review – crickets. Working with your web designer to turn things around quickly will help speed the overall process along.
We’ve touched before on not trusting friends with your marketing and the fact that you get what you pay for. If you want someone dedicated to making your website as great as you want it to be and on a reasonable timeline, the best route is to hire a professional. A good developer or company is going to give you the attention you deserve, and help guide you in the right direction in areas that are foreign to you.
Scared of the price tag a professional web designer will put on your start-up company’s website? You’ve got options. Let’s say you want a baller website with XYZ but you find out that your current marketing budget will cover a fraction of that X. You’re better off starting small with a pro and updating your website in phases to work up to that XYZ, rather than resorting to a friend of a friend that can give you XYZ for $500 and finding yourself a year down the road with nothing. We may or may not know you, but we know you (and your business) deserve better than that.
You invested your time and money into building the brain child that is your beautiful site. Everyone and their mother will recognize this and be chomping at the bit to check it out – right? If you live in a fantasy world, yes. Reside in the real world? Great, us too – and no, that’s not how it works.
Turn that frown upside down – there are solutions. Solid SEO strategies and emphasizing your business’s unique selling points are two key areas to focus on. This will help to A. set you apart from your competitors and B. make you easily found on the web by your target audience.
Technology changes at an alarmingly fast rate. In order to keep up and provide your customers with the best possible user experience, understand that your website will need to be continually updated. Plan for monthly if not weekly updates to stay on top of things, and keep your site at that top level.
Building a website is a big project, and we hope these tips will help ease the journey for you a bit. Feeling a little lost? We’re here for you. At Stray Media Group, we work with companies of all types, sizes and budget levels to help point you in the right direction and give you the killer site you deserve. Chat with us about your vision today.
With Christmas and the end
of chapter 2017 so near,
Team SMG reflects on the year’s
events we hold so dear:
A growing team full of
creativity, laughter and life.
Led by the dynamic duo, Dave and Heather,
who happen to be husband and wife.
2017 brought to us Tim’s friendly service
with a smile, coupled with his analytical mind.
The year also gifted us with Alexa,
a creative brain as talented as she is kind.
We were thrilled to celebrate our first anniversary of working
with Keely, our top risk manager and graphic design guru.
And we took a journey with Jen to Montana,
as she set up her wordsmith shop in a land anew.
The past year has been filled with creative ideas
and hard work for customers new and old.
We look forward to 2018 and continuing to do
what we love, in ways that are fresh and bold.
Our little family of marketers is gearing up with ideas and ready to shine,
with the help of our beloved office dog, Reagan, who will surely keep us in line.
It’s that time of year, when we invite you to #RunHogWild with our crew! Join us on September 22nd and 23rd for the Stray Media Group 10K at the 6th annual Grand Forks Marathon. It’s shaping up to be the best year yet, with the great swag they’re known for; fast, fun, flat courses; and local hospitality that can’t be beat. Whether you are with a group of friends or pounding the pavement solo, our 10K distance is the perfect course for runners of all levels, ages, shapes and sizes.
Don’t miss our booth at the SCHEELS Health & Fitness Expo and packet pickup on Friday, September 22nd, from 10AM-7PM. We have some awesome prize drawings and sweet photo ops awaiting your arrival!
We’re pumped to see you out on the course, so register today or at the Expo! Looking for the latest news for the race weekend? We’ve got you covered here.