Our Blog

Social Media Icons are an Exit Sign for Your Website

In today's world, boosting your web presence means not only having a custom website, but rolling up your sleeves and digging into a little social media as well. Working the two in tandem is a subtle art. ..

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Things That No Website Should Have, Ever.

We all know how quickly the web changes. What seems like a good idea today can turn obsolete before you know it. ..

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Web Design: 2016's Biggest Hits, and What to Look For in 2017

It sure is a whole new world, isn't it? It seems like a short amount of time to have come such a long way from the dial-up days, and pages that looked like this:  ..

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Using Images To Increase Conversion Rates

Believe it or not, images on your website are one of the most important factors toward closing on a call-to-action. When used correctly, images allow you to make a more human connection with your target audience. Images allow one to experience your website, rather than just browse it. At the end of the day, the research speaks for itself:  ..

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Improving Your Online Presence

My old man used to rave about the efficacy of putting a full-color ad in the yellow pages. Before computers, it was that easy to get found, and then have folks driving down to your brick-and-mortar. Fast forward to 2016 where even the White House has its own YouTube channel. ..

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Making Your Custom Website More User-Friendly

Over the years here at Hazel Digital Media, we've refined our design process, infusing cutting edge technology, allowing every custom design website to have its own unique aesthetic, but each with the same easy accessibility and readability. If you are considering building or improving your website, here are some fundamental ideas to keep in mind, which you'll find at work throughout our portfolio. ..

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Successful E-Commerce

Giving your custom designed website an e-commerce function can be a great way to extend your brand and increase revenue. There's no reason your online image can't double as a storefront as well.  ..

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5 Things To Know About Email Marketing

The electronic newsletter is the tried and true method for staying in touch with old clients and stirring up business with new ones. Today there is an estimated 2.5 billion active email users, with 91% checking their inbox every day! Ooh la la... ..

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3 Things To Know About SEO Before Designing Your Website

Your website may be a perfect 10, but if nobody can find it, there's a chance it's not reaching its full potential. These days, one of the most important rules of having a website is: make sure it gets along nicely with the search engines. ..

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How To Make Your Website Readable

Here at Hazel Digital Media, we strive to create beautiful, functional websites for our clients. This means not only making pages that please the eye, but also making sure you can easily control the content from within.  ..

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5 Reasons Why You Need A Blog

The plain truth is that blogs are just good for business. Year after year, the inertia of the internet has proven this fact. An active blog drives customers to you, and serves to polish your brand in the digital marketplace.  ..

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Fresh Ideas in Web Design for 2015

Many business owners create their website with hopes that it will last for decades. In reality, web technologies are constantly changing and evolving. As web technologies evolve, the average ‘shelf-life’ of a website tends to be around 3-5 years. Below are some of the recent changes in website design that business owners should be aware of for 2015. ..

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Email Marketing, Pt. 6: The Power of the Automated Newsletter

Newsletters are great for generating interest in your company, driving traffic to your site, and keeping your loyals updated on the goings-on of your operation. If you can learn to effectively automate your newsletters, you can do all of this while saving yourself a heaping amount of time. And as business owners, what could be better than more time? ..

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Email Marketing, Pt. 5: Making Use of Open Rates & Click-Through Rates

By now, you've scoured the Internet, collecting the best practices and tactics for your Email Marketing Campaign; you've written the perfect message for the perfect audience, and you've sent your work out into cyberspace. Now it's time to see just how fruitful the product of your labor is, using the in-depth Analytics & Reports toolbelt that came with your HDM custom website. ..

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The Official HDM Color Guide

Do you ever notice how when people are sad, they say they're feeling blue? Or when they're angry, they say that they're seeing red? When it comes to visuals, colors are never random. Going back through the history of painting, cinema, and of course, marketing, you better believe that every single pigment is given a great deal of consideration. ..

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Email Marketing, Pt. 4: The Most Popular Platforms For Viewing Email Campaigns

You may not realize it at first, but the way in which people view your Email Campaign can greatly impact what your message needs to look like to be effective. ..

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How To Write A Good Blog, Pt. 3: Promoting Your Posts

When you write and publish awesome content on your blog, good things will come your way.” – Nicholas Whitmore ..

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How To Write A Good Blog, Pt. 2: Generating Quality Ideas Over Time

Last time we talked about The basic guidelines for how to write a good blog post. Hopefully you found our tips from the previous post helpful, and hopefully those itchy fingers of yours have been buzzing with blog euphoria. ..

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How To Write A Good Blog, Pt. 1: A Few Basic Guidelines

Blogging isn't about publishing as much as you can, it's about publishing as smart as you can.” – Jon Morrow ..

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What Does Your Website Say About Your Business?

Oh, the times, they are a-changin'. As a boy, I recall that when my father wanted to drum up some business, all he had to do was put his picture in the yellow pages. But now the year is 2014, and if you haven't got a website, you could be missing out on more than a few potential clients. ..

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Importance of Logo Design

Today, there are more businesses trying to sell their services and push their products than ever before. In such a grand sea of competition, it may difficult to think how one may set themselves apart and grab the attention of the consumers who could truly benefit. One surprisingly effective answer to this dilemma is the creation and distribution of a well-designed logo. ..

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Redundancy in Web Design

We often place redundant content and links on the websites we design, especially on the home page and in the sidebar and footer. We think this is smart, so long as it suits the goals of the site. Redundancy can also very easily be a bad thing. Here are some examples, both good and bad.

Home pages: we often place 'teaser' content from other sections of the site (about us, blog, etc.) on the home page. This acts as a lead-in for the various sections of your site, and offers visitors an overview of the content available on your site. These lead-ins are always accompanied by a button or link to their respective section of the website: 'read more about us', 'visit our blog', etc.

We also tend to place key information and links in multiple places throughout the site, especially in the header, footer, and sidebar. Important information like your company phone number or physical address should be easy to find, no matter what part of the site your user is on. Furthermore, the 'call to action' buttons on your website should be prominent and easy to find on every page. For example, if your goal is to generate inquiries, it's beneficial for your visitors to see 'contact us' in multiple places. It's important not to go overboard; you might irritate or annoy your visitors. The goal is always to improve the functionality of the site and make it as user-friendly as possible.

Another consideration is varying user behavior. We (almost) always have 'home' as the first link in the main navigation. We also make the logo a link to the home page. It isn't necessary to have two home page links side by side, but it doesn't hurt anything, and it accommodates a broader audience; some people are conditioned to click the logo, others will be looking at the main navigation.

These examples explain why we prefer to err on the side of 'good' redundancy. Bad redundancy equates to poor organization of your site's content. Or, it could simply be anything that is confusing or unclear. For instance, it doesn't make sense to place a 'contact us' button on your contact page. Similarly, if a user is browsing your online store, they don't need to see a 'shop now' button. However, you probably want several 'buy now' and 'view cart' buttons placed strategically on those pages.

All of this to say, when placing key information and links throughout your site, it is very important to consider the goals of the website, as well as how your visitors are going to interact with the site. With such a high saturation of websites and available information, it is more important than ever to make your website as clear and easy to use as possible. ..

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Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design ..
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Why Your Website and Blog Should be Integrated

It is common for many organizations to have a company blog. However, many companies have a blog that is completely separate from their corporate website. Meaning, a company will have a website on one domain name (yourcompany.com), then have their blog hosted on a completely different domain and site (companyblog.wordpress.com).    ..

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HTML5, YouTube and the Future of Flash Video

The current undisputed champion of web video is, hands-down, Adobe's Flash. However, YouTube is showing us that things may be changing in the near future. HTML5 only requires that your browser support HTML5 to view video. Pretty cool, video without plugins. I am a big fan of Flash Video, I’m all for a high-quality, and this new move could just be the swift kick in the pants that online video has been needing for a while now.
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An Overview of Website Navigation

Web surfers are always going to be an impatient group. If a website is difficult to figure out due to the links are not obvious then they quickly will go away and never come back. Website navigation is always going to be one of the most essential elements in determining the effectiveness of a website. 

A web designer must always keep in mind that the fundamental idea of the website and the intended audience while designing navigational elements. Of all the website exist the most of the websites live to either provide information to the visitor about a products or services to actually sell them. With this being true, there are some basic guidelines to follow: 

You have to make sure that the navigational elements are going to be intelligently linked by using standard methods and elements of links such as buttons, menus, underlining the text or changing color on mouse and you also need to stay away the temptation to use clever or ambiguous names for links. 

If you have opted for entirely different or somewhat different links then expressly inform the audience that this is a link if you design a web page where you want to use a map showing several different regions and want to let the user click on the city name to pull up information about that city. Here you need to make sure that you have informed well in advance to the user to click on the city name to get more information about that city. 

You always need to remember and need to follow the basic rule of three clicks that most of the professional web professionals use. Survey and studies have shown that most of the users will not click more than three or maximum four links to get to the required information they want so every page on your website should be reachable within couple of clicks.
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