Category Archives: Information Design

young business woman optimizing keywords and SEO

3 Tips to Optimize Your Keywords

“Am I sure my website is optimized?”

You know it is, since you did poured hours into perfectly selecting your keywords when you built your website. Everything page was SEO’ed to perfection. But it’s been a year, two, or even more since you launched your website. You’ve noticed a down-tick, over time, in your traffic. You’ve put on new shows, followed the trends, run new social media campaigns, and yet you feel as if you still can’t get seats filled. Something has changed. Or, put correctly, something hasn’t changed.

Making sure your website is optimized is boring but necessary. Everyone has a website these days, which means you’re competing for your seconds and minutes of your audience’s attention. So here are some tips to make sure your website is optimized:

  • “Are you asking the right question?” Look at the following questions: “Is my site giving us what we want?” “Are we sure not getting enough traffic?” “We’re getting traffic, why it is not converting?” This is where asking yourself and your team what you need from your website.
  • When was the last time you ran a keyword audit? Auditing your keywords is important. Businesses change. Business landscapes change. Search terms change. It’s important to keep your keywords up-to-date to make sure you’re A) reaching customers and B) reaching the customers you want.
  • Your keywords focus only on the short-term, not the long-term: If you’re in a position where your keywords are bringing in traffic, but not converting, it could be because you’re focusing on short-term keywords, but not long-term keywords. Short-term keywords focus on the event you’re running or the biggest new things, but aren’t taking into account things like location, venue, etc., aka, you’re optimized for people searching for performances of Wicked, but the people finding you are 1,000 miles away.

Take these things into consideration, whether you’re setting your yearly marketing goals or trying to capture more market share. If you want someone to take a look at them, give us a call. We’re more than happy to help.

Augmented Reality In The Arts

As still uncharted territory, the words enhanced, augmented, and VR might still sound foreign. They belong more to the world of science fiction than the one we inhabit. The truth, however, is that augmented reality is rapidly becoming a popular phenomenon in gaming and entertainment, but also in the arts.

In a recent app build for one our clients, we added beacons and image recognition services to their app so that if their patrons point the device to the pictures of any of the artists, they can hear them play. If they wanted to find the concession stand, the app would direct them to the nearest station. It would tell them specials they could find, whether at the concession booth or at the gift shop.

Enhanced and Augmented reality make use of the real-world environment by overlaying new information on top of it via a device. Apps use a smartphone’s GPS, beacons, and compass to pinpoint a user’s location in space and the device’s orientation. If you’ve ever played Pokemon Go, think of that.

Virtual Reality, through its use of goggles or full mask, usually replaces the space your in with a wholly new image. It creates full immersion, such as swimming with dolphins or sitting in a concert hall.

Matt Sainsbury, a popular digital art critic, and author, argues that augmented reality is the norm and this transformation can only be for the better. Imagine being completely immersed in your next concert, and learning about the musicians in the symphony as they take the stage. Think of a ballet, and how the original set pieces can be changed with digital technology.

Even though enhanced and augmented realities are not currently integral parts of a performance, it already has its place in museums and some of the larger art organizations.

Museums have had good responses by using this technology in their exhibits. An enhanced reality component is particularly attractive for museum visitors, whether as part of guided tours by getting a nearly first-hand experience of the sights. The Chicago History Museum did something similar by introducing the Chicago 00 The Eastland Disaster app which showed users a gallery of images as they walked along the Chicago river. The Seattle Art Museum also utilized an AR app for their the Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic exhibition. Enhanced reality has reached as far as the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece where it brought ancient architectural remains to life by filling in lost features and restoring the once-vivid colors.

One thing is certain – enhanced and augmented realities are here to stay and these can only provide us with a richer, fuller and more satisfying experience, whether it comes to museum tours, theater performances or performing art in general.

Dream Warrior Group Attends the 2015 Arts Reach Conference in San Francisco

sanfranciscoartsreach

Dream Warrior Group recently attended the Fall 2015 National Arts Marketing, Development & Ticketing Conference in San Francisco from October 22nd to Saturday, October 24th. This visit was filled with warm introductions, presentations and shared experiences in the world of arts organizations.?DWG presented about Understanding the Lurker?s Journey and the New Mobile Paradigm. Here at DWG, we know how important it is to convert visitors to buyers/donors as well as increased mobile and tablet usage.

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During a lunch with the experts Q&A, DWG shared technological recommendations to a table full of eager listeners. It was truly an unforgettable experience and we are so glad to have had the opportunity to share some of our web expertise.

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing the best video player for your project

When incorporating video on your website, it is essential to choose the best video player for your website and your content. Your video player should have a quick loading time, offer HD quality and should inspire users to take action. If you choose an optimal video player then users will be more likely to share your content as well as click on ads. ?According to a Kaltura White Paper, when choosing the best video platform it is important to ensure your video player has these key components:

Quick Loading Time: If your video takes a long time to load you will lose viewers and people won?t stay to watch your entire video. According to the Kaltura White Paper, after two seconds people lose patience and anything past that time increases abandonment rate.

Responsive Videos: The world has become highly technical and a majority of society uses smart phones, tablets, and many other technological devices with different screen sizes. It is just as essential to have a website that is responsive on all devices as it is to have responsive video. Many times if a viewer visits a website that has video and it cannot be played on their smart phone or it looks distorted they abandon ship and move on to a website that does allow for easy viewing. If your video player cannot deliver video to any device you will lose a lot of viewers due to a lack of convenience.

Ability to Maximize Monetization: Your video player should allow the opportunity to monetize your video content with ease. Digital ads are becoming more and more prominent daily and it could be beneficial to take advantage of these opportunities. In order to do this your video player needs to allow for transparent delivery of your ads. Some people op to use YouTube and other free video sharing sites to monetize their content. While this may be an easy option, it also results in a loss of revenue because you have to give whichever video sharing site you are using a portion of your profits. When you cut out the middle man you are more in control of your profits from ads because you are dealing with advertisers directly.

Customizable Video: ?Consistent branding across multiple platforms is central to an online strategy and that is why it is vital to be able to customize your video player to have similar colors and fonts to your website/brand. When you use a professional video platform you will have more freedom in customization. Most times free players have a distinct look and may clash with your brand?s appearance. Also you want to be able to drive traffic and by keep your video player aligned with your brand you encourage promotion of your brand. Some features that you may want to include that you may not be able to incorporate using a free solution are, on-video watermark, animated logos, clickable logos and more.? With free solutions you may have limitations and it is imperative that you have the ability to customize past a certain point if needed.

A Video Player that protects your content: Copyright issues are becoming more prevalent every day. When creating original content, it is critical to prevent others from downloading that content and doing whatever they want with it. A good video player will provide protection and will use DRM technology to encrypt content.

A Video Player that provides analytics: Being able to see very clear analytics is in implementing an online video strategy. With some free solutions the analytics provided is limited. With a good video player you will be able to track views that show the play to impression ratio, and keep track of bandwidth and storage.

These components are just a few things to keep in mind when choosing a video player for your website. It is important to look at your company?s needs and see which option will be best for you. You can find more information and things to look for when choosing a video player in the Kaltura White Paper.

Note: DWG is a Kaltura partner but is also familiar and works with other adaptable platforms.

Parallax Scrolling and SEO

According to Awwwards.com, Parallax scrolling is an ?animation technique which simulates 3D depth by moving the background slower than the layers in the foreground.? Parallax design allows for up and down scrolling of a single page that continues to show new content as you scroll. One of the benefits of a Parallax website is the breathtaking design. It provides for a unique, engaging 3D experience. With the implementation of the use of a single page for an entire site complications could arise with search engine optimization.

Parallax sites cannot have multiple H1 headers because it is all on a single page. As a result of this parallax sites don?t have meta descriptions or separate title tags; features that help search engines index a website. Keyword optimization plays a very integral role in SEO. A parallax site usually only allows for the optimization of one keyword rather than multiple keywords on multiple content pages. It is also very hard to measure a site?s analytics because it is hard to determine where a majority of the traffic is going to since it is all on a single page. Other challenges with Parallax revolve around load times, such as use of multiple images and multiple videos.With a slower loading time, parallax does not work well on mobile in an age when mobile is becoming more and more prevalent among viewers. Due to these very reasons a parallax site is better for a brand that is already established, for example NIKE. A huge brand will not need to rely heavily on search engines to attract traffic because they already have a large fan base, whereas a lesser known brand will have a harder time gaining initial traffic. While these issues can be problematic there are a few steps that can be taken to make sure that a parallax site is SEO friendly such as: ? Providing internal links to different sections to allow search engines to index parts of your content ? Having a section on the website that does not use parallax to allow for the possibility of various pages (urls) It is essential to do appropriate research before deciding if parallax is right for you.

Cow-Path Web site Navigation

We?ve all heard the experts and read the articles about the best way to set up your web?s information design. Graphics, detailed menus, right navigation, left navigation, heat maps, intuitive, topical, functional ? STOP STOP STOP.

I propose Cow-Path navigation design. Behnam Ataee, CTO of Dream Warrior Group, Inc. shows his expertise every day when designing and implementing the information design on web sites from The Arts to E-Commerce. He consults with clients about their goals, researches and then uses his knowledge of user behavior to design the best possible initial site navigation.

But is that enough? I say ?It?s the ideal and necessary start but we can?t stop there. This is where observation and analytics?come in to the picture. Now that we have a logical and amazing looking navigation, we need to see what happens. Because (and I know this is a shock), people don?t always act logically. As marketers and developers, we need to see what is happening ? figure out why and if we can and adopt the navigation schema to behavior. Certainly, we still want to design a site that funnels folks to the desired end? But they may have a better way to get there. Or, it may not be better but it was they want? give them what they want.

As I was discussing this with our new friend and client, John Olchak from The San Diego Repertory Theatre, he likened it to landscape designers who don?t put in the concrete sidewalks until they see where people are making their own paths. Smart. I likened this back to my college days at UWSP. Outside the Science and Natural Resources building there were signs saying ?Don?t make cow-paths!? because the student body was forever cutting corners and tearing up the grass (I confess to nothing). So, with Web site navigation I say ?Let?s embrace the cow-paths?. Check out your analytics how are people getting to your desired goal/conversion? Can we make that navigation easier and more enticing for others?

So, don?t ever pour concrete on your web site. Leave the navigation open to change to match the cow-path or add a second path. Keep it simple, clean and give the visitors what they want. Now? are your visitors not converting or choosing to make a path to your goal page? That?s another blog and conversation about goals, page content and ease of conversion. We?ll talk soon. Mooo.

Responsive Vs. responsive

For the better part of my career on the web, I have been a strong proponent of creating UX scenarios and utilizing a set of static templates to accommodate the majority of viewing options. With the rapidly expanding utilization of mobile devices for web viewing, it is no longer possible to introduce various UI?s after the launch, which leaves us with the flexible grid and the hair bending initial discussions with the customer.

As wonderful and time saving as a fluid or a semi-fluid design is once the coding process begins, it introduces as many difficulties up front during the initial design reviews with the customer. Now, instead of 2 mockups & 3 to 5 wire frames, you need to start with 6 to 8 mockups & a dozen wire frames, which means exponentially more time spent on discussions, and Q&A.

So based on this experience, we have now modified our time to completions of the projects by an additional 20% to reflect the new reality of responsive design discussion. I would love to hear from anyone else, and how their quotes and time lines have had to be fiddled with ?
Posted in Software
What?s up with the ?New iPad??
Posted on May 6, 2012

The Retina display on the iPad 3 allows for a crisper more detailed screen. Colors are more vibrant and text is noticeably clearer. It has 4 times more pixels than the iPad 2 and a million more than an HDTV. The 5-megapixel iSight camera features a backside illumination sensor that captures great-looking pictures whether by sunlight or candlelight.

http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/