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A New Era of Photography Online

A New Era of Photography Online

  • Beto O'Rourke for U.S. Congress, TX-16 Beto O'Rourke for U.S. Congress, TX-16
  • Interstate I-10, El Paso Texas Interstate I-10, El Paso Texas
  • Buffet, El Paso Club Buffet, El Paso Club
  • Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio Texas Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio Texas

When digital photography and the Internet were introduced, it was love at first sight. Digital cameras and smartphones with camera capabilities were snatched off shelves sooner than you could say “cheese.” Since then, tech and online companies have continued to improve upon this reignited love of imagery developing ways to make it better, faster and more meaningful.

Image-based social sites have grown into a highly competitive niche with several revamping their front-end design based on what’s popular now. This year, Pinterest grew 4377% and Facebook continues to dominate the photo-sharing genre with over 300 million photos uploaded every day.

Technologically, we’re moving toward higher resolution monitors and devices becoming available to the general public. As more consumers adapt to technologies such as retina displays, web design companies will need to revisit the way they create graphics and images. Given the tools for sharing user-generated content, consumers are fast becoming tech-literate. So the sites, applications and graphics web designers build must meet or exceed consumer expectations.

From a substance standpoint, our culture is moving toward a more meaningful experience online. As we continue to build these communities and networks the demand for transparency and substance grows. This shift is so strong it’s even started to change the style and approach of ad campaigns hoping to reach new targets with a “soft sell” approach. More and more companies are finding out the benefits of personal recommendations and user-generated content.

When it comes to how you represent your business online, all trends point toward authenticity. This means having a genuine representation of your company. We can now wave goodbye to the stock images and say hello to custom photography, social networking and relationship building.

From social sites revamping their infrastructure to be more “photo-centric” to newer technologies like retina displays, photography is clearly dominating the web-space. We feel it’s so important that we’ve now added custom photography to our arsenal of online services. So when it comes to your online strategy, we can help you provide that meaningful experience to help increase your bottom line.

Find out more about our new service by filling out our contact form or giving us a call at (915) 351-8440.

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

Is It Time For You To Advertise Online?

Is It Time For You To Advertise Online?

Times, they are a changin’, and it was very evident when we recently spoke with a client of ours. This “client who shall not be named” has always spent a substantial amount of their budget on traditional media channels such as television, print and radio. The day they asked to explore an online ad budget (shifting their budget from traditional to digital) we couldn’t believe our ears.

Maybe all those years of bringing it up finally wore them down. Maybe it was the great campaign we ran for a local politician. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the overwhelming evidence that there is a better way to reach their consumers. So that leads me to ask you – “Is it time for you to advertise online?”

Many businesses run away from online advertising because a.) they don’t really understand how it works or b.) they think there is little return on investment. If you fall into either of those categories, don’t worry. We’ll keep your secret. Now let’s tackle those reasons head on!

How It Works

Online advertising comes in many forms and each one serves a particular purpose. Aside from a website, some of the more well-known types are:

Display (Banner) Ads – Various image-based ads created for the web that appear on websites, within content, applications, email and other related forms via the Internet or wireless networks.

E-Mail Marketing – Newsletters use a mailing list of consumers who are opted in to receive commercial messages from a particular company or individual.

Mobile Advertising – Distributing promotional or advertising messages through wireless networks.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – The process of gaining traffic from or visibility on search engines using tactics such as Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Social Networking – A platform or site that facilitates relationship building and interactions with consumers.

Return On Investment

All businesses want reassurance that their investments are favorable. When it comes to advertising online, the business must define exactly what those measurements of success will be. If a company is on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest – what are the indicators of success? The number of followers? The interactions? Once a baseline is set, then it can be tracked, measured and fine tuned. Lucky for you, there are great people like us who can help you get the best results possible.

Are you ready to talk about advertising online? Fill out our contact form or give us a call at (915) 351-8440.

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

Beto for Congress: An Online Political Campaign

Beto for Congress: An Online Political Campaign

We just updated our resume and this is a great one, if we do say so ourselves. The world of political campaigns can be a tough one but we think we did a pretty good job for the Beto O’Rourke for Congress campaign. Click here to check out all the details in our case study!

Beto O'Rourke and supporters celebrate his win over incumbent Congressman Silvestre Reyes.
Beto O’Rourke and supporters celebrate his win over incumbent Congressman Silvestre Reyes.
Stanton Street Staff
Stanton Street is a web design and website development firm in El Paso, Texas specializing in Websites, Intranets, Extranets, SEO/SEM, Website Analytics, Email Protection and Email Newsletters. Designing and developing websites since 1999.
Did the facebook timeline switchover catch you by surprise?

Did the facebook timeline switchover catch you by surprise?

As we mentioned earlier this year, Facebook changed the layout of their profile pages to a new Timeline format. Last month, they rolled this change out to businesses and this month they are modifying the Timeline layout… again.

We’re constantly on “Facebook Watch” so if you need help getting a handle on your Timeline or if you’re considering jumping in, give us a call. We can help you out with:

• Strategy & Approach
• Profile Set-Up
• Conversational Calendars
• Scripted Interactions
• Building Connections
• Expanding Your Fan Base
• Analyzing & Optimizing

Not only do we have a handle on Facebook, but also Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo and Google+. Social media is here to stay and if your businesses goals are to raise awareness and drive sales, it may be something to seriously consider.

Questions? Give us a call at (915) 351-8440 or fill out our contact form.

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

You May Have Established Your Business But Have You Developed Your Brand?

You May Have Established Your Business But Have You Developed Your Brand?

Before you call up a web developer, create that Facebook page or tweet on Twitter, let’s talk about how you will represent yourself online. We’re hoping you’ve already developed a logo and mission statement for your company. If you have, then this conversation should be simple.

Personality

What kind of information and tone best suits your business? Are you very professional or whimsical? Do you have a lot to say about your company or have lots of pictures to share? Your company’s personality should be consistent in all your communication with consumers. This includes all of your online efforts as well. Be sure to use the same logo, fonts, colors and language online and offline. Every interaction with your audience is a chance to reinforce your brand and encourage their loyalty to you.

Communication Channels

Your website should be the main focus of your online efforts. If you’re thinking of social media, a blog or newsletter, use your corporate site to tie all of the pieces together. Each social site serves a particular purpose and caters to a particular user demographic. Blogs are also another way to connect with your audience. Online newsletters help you capture a database of leads from your website and can be produced daily, monthly or quarterly – whatever fits your schedule. If you know who your target audience is, then you shouldn’t have a problem selecting a secondary channel for your online communications. Be aware that incorporating any of these efforts into your online marketing plan can be very demanding. Unfortunately, most small companies don’t have enough staff to maintain these additional channels. If that’s the case, focus on making your corporate website the best it can be.

Social Proof

As long as you exist, people will talk. It doesn’t matter whether you’re online or not. Many businesses overlook the value of social influence, which is basically what people are saying about you and how it’s influencing others. If you can find trustworthy associates to vouch for your product or services online, it ripples across the Internet. Those who haven’t experienced your brand could stream in based on what their trusted resources are telling them. It’s very important to monitor this incoming traffic to see what is or isn’t working.

Reputation Management

Now that you know a little more about social influence, let’s talk about negative comments. Before creating your online presence, have a plan on how you’ll deal with not-so-nice messages. This will especially help whoever is managing your online communications to stay consistent with your brand.  While the occasional disgruntled user may seem like a wrinkle in your rep, it could also be seen as an opportunity to find out how to make improvements to your services. Of course, if the individual is just flat out vulgar with his/her choice of words or doesn’t seem like the reasonable type, simply disregarding the message all together may be the best solution.

These are only a few of the many tips to help you maintain your brand’s personality online. If you’d like to know more, fill out our contact form or give us a call at (915) 351-8440.

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

Mixin’ It Up In San Antonio

Mixin’ It Up In San Antonio

So we’re settling nicely into our San Antonio location. We’ve got the office space, the new business cards and the lay of the land; it is now time to make some web design and development connections.

As one of the first orders of business on our recent move to San Antonio, we joined the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, a must for entering the city’s business community. On Wednesday, February 22, they held their Greater Connections Mixer at The Plaza Club downtown. You know Stanton Street Technology Group just had to be there.

After being greeted by the Chamber’s gracious staff, grabbing a libation, and ogling the splendid assortment of tasty finger morsels on display from The Plaza Club, it was time to “mix” as it were. I was very pleased to meet such wonderfully warm and friendly people, many of whom were just as excited to have us in San Antonio as we are to be here.

Needless to say, we’re off to a real gun-slinging start in the historic Alamo city. We met new website business clients and look forward to showcasing our website design and development skills with many more.

Whether you’re in San Antonio, El Paso or anywhere else give us a call at (915) 351-8440 if you’re interested in getting started on a website.

Stanton Street Staff
Stanton Street is a web design and website development firm in El Paso, Texas specializing in Websites, Intranets, Extranets, SEO/SEM, Website Analytics, Email Protection and Email Newsletters. Designing and developing websites since 1999.
Google Search Algorithm Champions User Experience

Google Search Algorithm Champions User Experience

On January 19, 2012, Google made an interesting change to their algorithm. Yes, it is just one out of about 500 algorithm changes per year, and it will only produce a noticeable affect to less than 1% of searches globally. Considering that 1% of the 12 billion searches on Google in December 2011 equals 120 million searches, 1% is a big deal.

The change means the Google will be looking at the page layout of each landing page, specifically for content “above the fold.” If a site comes up in the organic rankings for a paticular keyword, Google wants the user to be able to find that information quickly without having to scroll and scroll to find it. Google is really trying to target sites that have lots of ads above the fold, and push the real content down below those ads.

Score one for Google in the fight to improve user experience!

To read more about this change please take a look at Google’s Official Search Blog, Page layout algorithm improvement.

Karen Loper
Karen Loper is the Internet Marketing Specialist at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas website development company.

Contact Karen Loper at (915) 351-8440.

Portfolios are pretty, but do you check references?

Portfolios are pretty, but do you check references?

Hiring a company to build a website is a lot like hiring a new employee. You wouldn’t hire an employee without first assessing the kind of work you need completed and the skills and talents someone needs to complete it. You then need to compile a list of candidates, review of their resumes thoroughly, check their references, interview the best candidates and then discuss salary expectations. Here are some tips on applying that same principle when choosing your website creator.

Task at hand
Do you just want a website? Maybe you actually need a complete marketing strategy that includes a website. Do you want to tack on extras like search engine optimization, social media or pay-per-click campaigns? Confused? You may actually need a consultant to tell you what you need!

Compile a List of Candidates
You really can’t post a “help wanted” sign on your door for a website developer. This is going to require a little research on your part. First place to go is to the Internet. Look at a websites you like and find easy to use. Web designers usually put their logo or name somewhere near the bottom of a website. Follow the link to their website. You can also run a search for “website or web designers” or “website development in ‘your city’.”

Review Their Resume
No website or marketing company is going to hand you a resume, but they may have some information on there website or in Google Places. Here is the minimum of what you need to know.

Years in Business
Investigate how many years they have been in business. It can give you a good indication of if you expect them to be there for you a few years down the line.

Years in the Business of Building Websites
You wouldn’t think this is different from the number of years the company has been in business, but an advertising company may offer many services, and only just started offering website development.

In House vs. Sub-contract Designers and Programmers
Some companies say they build websites, but don’t have anyone on staff with the qualifications. You really really need to know if a company sub-contracts your website design or programming out to other companies or freelancers. If there is a problem with our site that you discover a year from now, the sub-ontractors may not be around to fix it.

Check out their portfolio
Do they have a large number or wide variety of clients? Do all their websites look the same, or are the styles varied? Do the websites intrigue you as a user? Most of all, can you see your new website listed among the pictures and names of the other clients in their portfolio?

Check References
Portfolios are filled with lots of pretty pictures and impressive client names. After all, that is the purpose of the portfolio, to dazzle you. But, building a website is an interactive process. How a web developer handles this interaction with you is key to building the website you envision, want and need. Pick up the phone and call a few of their clients. Ask them what they like about the developer. Did the process go smoothly? Was everything handled professionally? Was the developer responsive to questions? Ask them if they are happy with their site, and with the continuing customer service.

Interview the Best Candidates
Schedule a meeting or phone call with the companies you like the most. Discuss your website ideas, goals, and timeline. Do they promise you the world, or give you realistic and professional business solutions? Do they have a team large enough to provide you the personal attention that you deserve? Also, find out what you can expect throughout each step of the process. Building a website is a business partnership that continues well after your new website is launched. Don’t forget to ask about the level of site maintenance you can expect as well.

Salary Expectations
We all want a good product at a fair price. Are you looking for a website built to your custom specifications, or will an out-of-the-box template website meet your needs nicely? Do you want the ability to change or add new content to your website by yourself through a content management panel or is this a set it and forget it proposition? There are $500 websites, and then there are $50,000 websites and everything in between. The developer should be able to give you a ball park number of what your request will cost, and then provided a more accurate number at a later agreed upon date. When you get the final website proposal, it might not fit within your budget. Perhaps you thought you were in the market for a Ford Fiesta, when actually you expected all the bells and whistles of a Mercedes Benz. Pricing usually comes down to time, and time is money. Custom programming takes time but is made to fit you perfectly. Off the rack websites are inexpensive, but might not meet all your needs, and might not be adjustable as your business changes with time.

Once you have enough the information, you can make an educated decision as to which web developer is right for you. Choose wisely. This investment should last you at least 3 to 5 years.

Karen Loper
Karen Loper is the Internet Marketing Specialist at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas website development company.

Contact Karen Loper at (915) 351-8440.

A Walk Down Web Design Memory Lane

A Walk Down Web Design Memory Lane

Image Credit: Web Design Shock, http://www.webdesignshock.com

Every now and then I get nostalgic for the good old days. Do you remember rotary dial phones, dial up internet connections or your first cell phone? How did we ever survive without a smart phone, wifi and GPS? Technology has come so far, so fast, and I for one am very thankful.

Web design has also evolved at an incredible rate since 1991. Enjoy a first hand look at just how far web design has come in the last twenty years with WebDesignShock Editorial’s “Web design history, a complete journey.” We know you will laugh, cry and also be thankful for the incredibly talented web designers of today.

Click here to see the article.

Karen Loper
Karen Loper is the Internet Marketing Specialist at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas website development company.

Contact Karen Loper at (915) 351-8440.

Can We Talk about Your 2011 Online Marketing?

Can We Talk about Your 2011 Online Marketing?

December is a great month not only for presents, parties and family gatherings. But it also is a great time to reflect on the past year, and then to set goals, make resolutions and map out the coming year. Don’t forget to include your Online Marketing! To give you a little help, we have the perfect article, “Online Marketing in 2011: 4 Things to Do Now to be Prepared” by Ann Donnelly for searchenginejournal.com.

Ann outlines four important steps:

  1. “Complete Your Online Marketing Plan,” because planning is everything.
  2. “Get Your Website in Shape,” because you only have one chance to make a first impression.
  3. “Set up Google Analytics” to measure your success.
  4. “Organize your Data,” because knowledge is power.

If this all seems to overwhelming, remember that Stanton Street is here to help!  Feel free to contact us to get your Online Marketing on track for 2011.

Click here to see the article.

Karen Loper
Karen Loper is the Internet Marketing Specialist at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas website development company.

Contact Karen Loper at (915) 351-8440.