Content Management Systems


Content Management Systems

In order to get people to find you, you have to make friends with the search engines.  In order to make friends with the search engines, you have to have fresh, relevant content that the algorithms find valuable enough to shoot you to the top of their results pages.

Once upon a time, when you wanted to update web content, you would have had to either know how to write code or pay someone who did.  These expensive and tedious hoops lead to a significant amount of stale content in cyberspace, which did no good for anyone.

Oh, how times have changed!  With blogs and new products constantly freshening up the Brand Strategyinternet’s offerings, developers went to work creating the tool now known as the content management system (also commonly referred to as a CMS).

Thanks to the ingenious minds that came together to embark on the creation of the content management system, you are now free to alter your pages and update your content as you see fit.  Each content management system that we use here at OTR will incorporate features that will enhance your experience as you navigate your way through your website.

These systems provide you with a way to securely and safely access your website from anywhere with internet access, and you can easily alter the design without needing any knowledge of coding.  You’ll have the ability to archive and retrieve prior versions after revisions, in case your newest update isn’t exactly what you’re looking for.

The goal is easy usability — a place where your team and ours can come together to store your content in a version-controlled environment with pre-built features incorporated around your specific business needs.  After all, captivating content should always be stored for safe-keeping.

At OTR, we work with you to understand where your business is now so we can choose the right content management system to get you where you want to go.  Our Web Content Team is standing by and ready to strategize with your key people to make remarkable messages appear on your pages.  Ready to learn more?

Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web, a web development company creating market ready websites since 2000, with locations in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.


Content Marketing – Distributing Content


Distributing Content

Content marketing is unique from paid advertising in the sense that the intent is for followers to find you more than you chasing them. This concept is changing views about distribution in many ways. Instead of mass producing a compromised message at a high cost determined by gatekeepers and hoping for a return on investment, you can craft a more engaging low cost message using various interactive distribution channels.

Social Media

A powerful way to share your content is through social media networks such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Facebook is a great place to share content with existing followers while Google Plus is a useful platform for finding new followers. Social media can be a time consuming experience because it involves interacting with several people, but it’s a great way to build relationships and loyalty.

Ideally, you want to create a brief catchy post about your blog on a social network with an attractive image and a link to the blog. There are different ways to post content, depending on how much time you want to spend. But if you want to post the same blog in several places including social networks, you should consider an automated system known as RSS (really simple syndication).


Blogs can be distributed to many different places at once using an RSS feed, which is designed for internet subscribers of frequently updated content. An RSS reader is software that aggregates various RSS feeds from the internet and displays them in one place. It eliminates the need for large companies such as USA Today to email their content to millions of subscribers each day. Subscribers can opt in and out of the content anytime they choose. They can subscribe to these feeds just by clicking a “subscribe” link.

Once you complete your blog on a blogging platform such as WordPress or Google’s content marketing rss feedsBlogger, you can click “publish” and the platform will automatically generate an RSS feed URL for your content that can be retrieved by subscribers. You can also syndicate audio or video podcasts. It saves you quite a bit of time from manually sending it out to each recipient or posting in various places. Each social network has instructions for where to place your RSS feed URL, which is a one time setup.

In order to set up an RSS feed you will need an RSS management platform if you’re not using a blogging platform that does it for you. RSS Builder and Google’s FeedBurner are software programs that will do the coding and generate an RSS feed URL for you in one click, while you fill in a form for your title, link, publish date and other information. MailChimp is useful software for scheduling your blog or other content for email subscribers.

Mobile Optimization

Let’s face it, mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets have surged in popularity and have become an easy way to access the internet for people on the go. Optimizing your website for mobile users can help your cause, especially if you run a local business with a physical location.

Some owners prefer to create a separate “mobile website” for mobile users, who need to conserve bandwidth and just need simplified versions of websites to access the most important information and links without dealing with big files. However a “responsive website”, one website that in effect remakes itself for each browser and device type is most often thought as the best solution overall. Google refers to the responsive web as a best practice. The Google app Currents and the iPad app Flipboard create simple ways to syndicate mobile content in real time.

Take the lead in content marketing by making your content available to your followers based on whatever the easiest way is for them to connect with your messages.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


What is a Landing Page and Why Do I need One


 What is a Landing Page and Why Do I need One

A landing page is not just any page in a website. It’s a crucial page that can make or break your marketing campaign. And by extension, it can help or hurt your sales.

This is why professionals spend hours poring over landing pages. They don’t stop at stunning pages. Testing and tweaking are part of their job too. The result of their hard work is a perfect landing page that converts well for a long time.

Take the lead now by creating landing pages that convert.

What Exactly is a Landing Page?

Your website’s home page is a landing page. But it can also be any other page where visitors are prompted to make a specific action or result. An effective landing page contains a lead form for obtaining a visitor’s information. It can be a simple email campaign page where visitors are promoted to fill out a form with their name and email address. Or it can be a detailed data capture form with more than four fields.

What Can You Get from a Good Landing Page?

You may have seen hundreds of landing pages already. The question is, are they any good? Have all of them convinced you to sign up or give up some of your personal information? Realize that only a handful of them are effective. So if you’re going to design a landing page, make sure it’s a good one to get all of these benefits:

Increased Conversion Rates

Targeted landing pages are likely to raise your chances of converting traffic into leads. They can, for instance, encourage visitors to sign up and receive product offers and recommendations from your company. You can personalized these offers and recommendations so that prospects are likely to buy.

Establish Lasting Relationships

Of course, landing pages can prompt actions other than buy this or proceed to checkout. When people fill in a form, they are at the same time entrusting their personal details to your company. This comes with caveat of course. Never ever break their trust. Send them useful stuff only. Make friends with them through helpful information and irresistible offers.

Getting people’s trust and actually making money out of your marketing efforts are two compelling reasons to craft an high-converting landing page. Don’t worry if you’re not a designer, you only have to familiarize yourself with winning landing pages and understand the basics.

What Makes Landing Pages Effective?

You don’t need technical knowledge to create a good landing page. But you do have to be brilliant at the basics. Here’s how.

>Less is more, especially in design. So keep your design clean and simple. This will help visitors focus on the product you’re offering or call-to-action. Your design should make it easier for visitors to focus. Anything unnecessary will only distract your visitor from completing an action.

>Make it easier for visitors to thoughtfully consume content. Use enough white-space for them to think. Doing so will help them make sense of what your product or service is about. You don’t rush them into buying and regret their purchases later. But you do give them the necessary push to buy or get something valuable.

>Create responsive landing pages or design for multiple platforms: full-size and 11-inch monitors, mobile and tablet screens. The percentage of users using smartphones and tablets for researching and buying is rising. Don’t miss out on these opportunities.

>Hire a professional copywriter who perfectly understands your business and your target audience.

>Use relevant images and videos. Also, be wary of using stock photos. Use fresh, relatable and unique photos instead.

 Take the Lead with our free 48 page eBook – How To Use Landing Pages For Business

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Brand Strategy Inbound Marketing


Brand Strategy Inbound Marketing

Brand Positioning Strategy

Today’s marketing world is much different than last century’s invasive marketing. At one time a brand positioning strategy was shaped through mass marketing campaigns and whatever it took to generate leads, even if it meant buying them and then attacking them with aggression and repetition. But two profound developments have presented historic challenges to traditional marketing: the internet and consumer awareness. Today’s clients want to believe they found you … not that you found them.

Internet Empowerment

The internet has turned individuals into multi-dimensional messengers of products, content marketingservices and even non-business interests. Online pioneers who helped redefine the consumer landscape were Amazon, Craigslist, Google and eBay. These companies not only survived the dotcom bubble crash of the late 1990s/early 2000s, they each paved the way for successful online business models. Wikipedia also set a tone, since they emerged as leaders in search engine rankings for a wide range of topics. Apple’s iTunes also played a part in the online revolution by ushering in the first profitable model of the seamless digital download.

Amazon became the world’s number one retailer by letting consumers learn about products before buying them. Google empowered businesses with pay per click advertising while Craigslist and eBay, like Amazon, brought buyers and sellers together to find the best deals. How did these tech leaders alter the course of brand positioning strategy? They changed marketing by maximizing a concept called “the long tail,” popularized by author Chris Anderson. The long tail represents a long list of niche products that don’t sell as well as the most popular products, but the cumulative sales of several niche products can add up to huge revenue. The internet allows consumers to find the niche products they are looking for better than a flea market or a garage sale. The long tail empowers consumers to find bargains that cater to their needs as individuals.

Smarter Consumers

As a result of long tail resources such as Google, which lets people find specialty businesses quicker than phone books, consumers can learn about solutions to their needs at an accelerated rate compared with consumers of last century. So no matter how you measure intelligence, today’s consumers have much more research and answers at their fingertips than ever before. Consumers no longer have to surrender to the pressures of top brands controlling product selection at stores with limited shelf space. Consumers now have the green light to explore online as much as they want until they find what they want.

Traditional advertising still helps sell units, but it’s mostly an expensive gamble that doesn’t always pay off. There are many stories of companies that went bankrupt because expensive media advertising drained their budgets and didn’t generate a return on investment. Consumers can be fooled if they are bombarded with the same exaggerated messages over time, but the internet has also taught many buyers to become smarter shoppers by replacing impulsive spending with online bargain hunting.

The New Definition of Winning

The old definition of winning in business was a matter of accounting. Whoever scored the most dollars from market saturation of big but often vague promises in advertising became the market leader. The new definition of winning in business is successfully nurturing online followings that breed long-term loyal buyers. This revolutionary direction is particularly useful to small and medium businesses who do not have the budget to buy expensive repetitious broadcast time or print space. In this sense, websites, blogging and social media level the playing field for all businesses.

As you carve your own corner in this amazing new business landscape, remember that your brand positioning strategy to acquire followers is now closer to honest artistic leadership than ever before.

Take the Lead – Download our 10 Step Checklist to Website Redesign

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Brand Strategy Niches


Brand Strategy Niches

Surround Your Brand Niche With Familiar Associations

You may have the most unique niche in the world, but in order for online followers to embrace it you need to shape your brand strategy so that the niche relates to things that are already familiar to your audience. It sounds like a paradox, but the secret to followers connecting the dots is to relate your unique concept with the world they already know about. That does not mean catering to the lowest common dominator, which is the direction many big marketers still follow. You can enjoy just as much success by relating your unique products with qualities that everyone naturally appreciates.

Market Leadership

Followers gravitate toward leaders not by chance, but because of magnetism and the ambition to follow a winning path. A leader can be defined in many ways, but your brandHitting the Mark strategy will have an enormous edge if you can define leadership as being the first in history to introduce your niche. Newspapers and TV news teams are always looking to document new inventions or ideas so that they can say they covered it first. Another way to sell your brand as a leader is to report statistics that reveal your brand has generated a widespread response. You can create a news story by appearing at a trade show and then report that your product was exposed to thousands of people.

Another way to convey leadership is to be interviewed by a local publication or website, in which you can give exclusive insight about your industry that no one else has covered before. You can discuss problems that are beneath the media radar then offer sensible solutions. People also equate leadership with innovation. By offering ideas for the future, you can help shape your image as an authority figure. Almost every company boldly states the What and How of what they produce or the service they provide. Differentiate yourself and build your brand around Why.  Never forget that leadership is a perception regardless of how your industry ranks leaders. Always find ways to communicate how your brand is ahead of the competition.

Things We All Share

Even though you don’t want your brand strategy to create the impression that it means all things to all people, you are justified in associating your brand with things we all share as individuals. The environment, for example, is something we all share. There’s a green revolution going on that continues to gain strength due to high energy costs and reports about dangerous chemicals in our food, water, air and soil. Since you are building your brand online, you’re already participating in the environmental movement. Assert your participation, which gives your brand credibility, whether it’s by going paperless, reducing the need to waste gas or communicating online instead of through snail mail.

We also all share a love for music and entertainment. So find pop culture items that connect with your brand, such as songs, movies, sports, fashion or hobbies. Use a popular quote, for example, as a metaphor for your product. Or explain how an underlying problem you are trying to resolve with your product is reminiscent of a scene from a popular movie. Let your imagination go wild in creating associations between your products and existing fads, either from the past or present. This type of brand strategy reflects how people communicate on social networks.

Creative Colors

Everyone loves colors. One of the first things we learned about as children was how to use crayons. Your logo needs to be simple with four colors or less, which saves money and creates a memorable image. But since everyone loves pictures with multiple colors, find as many attractive photos as possible and associate them with your brand by sharing them on social networks and your website.

Take the Lead in creating your Brand Strategy Niche Download our eBook


Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.
OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


SMB Web Design


SMB Web Design

Many business websites were designed with no purpose other than existence. However, the evolution of marketing and the Internet has transformed the business website into lead, traffic, and sales generating a multi-functioning marketing tool. The undeniable benefits of a well-designed site has caused several business owners to ponder over which provider can deliver the best product for the best price in the least amount of time as possible.     

With three apparent options, business owners may employ the shade-tree web designer, who also doubles as a nephew that creates pages from his bedroom after school. After the nephew, they can choose either a do-it-yourself website builder or enlist the services of a the professional web design company. In either case, you must take the lead and ensure your website meets your expectations and produces the desired results.

Take the Lead by Understanding These Terms in Web Design

Inbound marketing is the notion of attracting customers to your site by providing the information that users are searching for. The most effective inbound strategies are developed and incorporated into the fibers of the web page.

Copywriting refers to all of the text that appears as content on the page.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about making your website more visible onwebsite elements a search engine results page. As one of the primary objections of any web site, getting seen is directly correlated to high revenue. The most effective SEO campaigns are the result of being interwoven into the creation of the website.

Search engine friendly refers to the ease that search engine crawlers are able to index and find your page.

HTML5 code is the new Internet language that offers an impending focus on multimedia without the need for plugins. HTML5 was developed to allow low-powered devices like smartphones to run heavy content. Additionally, it allows for the development of universal or cross-platform mobile apps. Overall, HTML5 offers significantly more control over the design of your page.

Cascading Style Sheets 3 (CSS3) is responsible for the style and design of the page. CSS3 bolsters the capabilities of a web designer with enhanced aesthetic appeal and functionality on the website.

The Nephew or Friend of a Friend

While your nephew may offer the most cost-effective method for website creation,
it is highly doubtable that your nephew will be able to create the functionality that is required. With the amazing growth of HTML5, newer and more appealing features are consistently being created. If your nephew is not familiar with the newer code, your site will quickly begin to look old compared to the other sites that use HTML5. In addition to having to develop your own web content (rather than making use of professional copywriters), your nephew will in all likelihood completely negate the importance of intertwining SEO and inbound marketing into the core of the website.

Take the Lead with a Do-it-Yourself Website Builder

DIY site builders are excellent for start-ups and entrepreneurs who want to get their website online quickly and then perfect the site along the way. With a  template website, your page won’t break the bank or consume too much of your time. The all inclusive DIY website builder removes the coding process from website design and replaces it with the benefits of drop-and-drag. To begin, you simply choose a template and personalize it with your own tweaks and changes until it looks how you envisioned. DIY website builders also allow you to choose your domain name, work at your own pace, and web hosting is included with the DIY builder. Many DIY builders can generate a mobile-friendly version for smartphones.

There are however pitfalls. One of the major downsides of DIY website builders is the lack of customization in creating a website that reflects your corporate brand. Instead, the DIY website builder offers templates, which can leave a generic impression on visitors. As for SEO, you are left to optimize the page yourself and that can be a daunting task. Many time business owners using the DIY site builders quit in frustration due to the complexity of using the tool itself.

The greatest benefit of using a DIY website builder is the ability to work on your page at your individual pace and the low cost involved. If you have the time (remember also the cost of your time) and are willing to learn about SEO and copywriting as well as the actual DIY website builder tool, then the DIY website builder can be a good solution for you and your business.

Take the Lead with a Professional Web Design Company

Everyone knows that two heads are better than one. A professional web design company uses collaboration from copywriters, graphic designers, SEO professionals, software developers, inbound marketing strategists, project managers and several others to produce fully functional and highly attractive websites. The effectiveness of a professional web design company is the result of a team effort composed of different backgrounds. By using industry experts, a professional web design company delivers highly functional, unique, responsive, and profitable websites with both SEO and inbound marketing effectively interwoven into the website architecture and content.

With the many benefits of using a professional web design company, one disadvantage can be the upfront cost. Even with some services being a la carte, employing a design team can seem to be costly. In addition, a professional web design company will generally take approximately five to eight weeks to complete the site by the time they layout the navigation, create the design concepts, develop buyer persona’s, interview the key parties, research key phrases and then write the web content.

Creating a website that works for you and your clients takes time, no matter whether you do it yourself or hire a web team.

Take the Lead Download the OTR eBook – 10 Step Checklist Website Redesign

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.
OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website Development requirements Contact OTR Web.


time to redesign your website when


Time to Redesign Your Website When …

A good website is the key to a successful online presence. It provides a solid foundation for you to build upon and expand your brand. Unfortunately a bad website can cause everything to come tumbling down. Poorly designed websites drive potential customers away in droves. Some studies have even shown that visitors have less trust in companies with poorly designed websites. Don’t feel too bad, outdated and poorly designed websites are a common sight across the web. Choosing the right web design company and avoiding a few simple pitfalls can help bring your online business out of the 90’s and into the 21st century.

Even you can’t find your page on Google

Improving visibility is probably the number one thing you can do to improve your website. Sites designed with poor SEO end up buried in search results and reducing your traffic. You could have a perfectly designed site, but without proper SEO no one will ever see it. It would be like the Mona Lisa only ever displayed on the fridge at Da Vinci’s mom’s house. A proper SEO centered design can push your website to the top of the search results and expose your brand to a much wider audience. Remember however there is only one opportunity to make a good first impression. Take the lead with a well designed website created with SEO built within the sites architecture.

Mobile users can’t navigate your site

Responsive web design is the future of the internet. When was the last time you sat on a bus or in a waiting room without being surrounded by at least three or four people browsing on thumbs up and downa smartphone or tablet? Responsive web design is a design principle which provides your website with adaptability to allow it to be compatible and usable on a wide variety of devices. From the smallest smartphone to the largest display possible, a responsively designed site will work on any size display.

Your users took a wrong turn

A good website should be as in depth as it needs to be, but still simple to navigate. Your business may be complex, requiring a lot of information to get your idea across. However, this doesn’t mean your site has to be complex as well. If your users need more than 2 or 3 clicks to navigate back to your homepage, you may need to reconsider your layout and your web design company. If they have to use the back button on the browser … well enough said!

Your site loads slower than Windows

A website that takes more than a few seconds to load is almost as bad as a site nobody can find. Poorly designed or overly complex websites can slow down loading times and drastically reduce your visitor’s experience. The longer it takes to load, the more frustrated people become and the more likely they are to look elsewhere or as they say in the industry “bounce away”. Additionally, search engines like Google take average loading times into consideration with site rankings.

If your website falls into any of these categories, don’t feel too bad. The good news is these problems can be fixed by the right web design company. At OTR Web Solutions we pride ourselves on results. Our professionally designed and developed websites are world class. By incorporating proven design principles with cutting edge techniques, OTR helps you take the lead and put your business a step above and beyond the competition.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.
OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


What Is a Brand


What is a Brand?

A brand is an emotional image that combines with a logo and identity to convey a product line or business. Branding is a process shaped by the combination of your company’s communication and your market’s perception of your company. Successful branding involves getting your logo, messages and marketing materials in front of eyeballs using memorable campaigns that will stay in people’s heads. While mass marketing can be a costly gamble, developing your brand through building trust with an online community and sharing valuable insights has become essential.


A logo is a brand element. Colorful logos help attract attention, but for small businesses, expenses on print can be lowered using less than four colors. Adding a fourth color is fine if your budget allows, but complex gradients can be a distraction. Sometimes the most memorable logos are ones that use simple font as seen in the Google logo. The most important thing about a logo is that it can be easily read and understood whether it is big or small. Many popular websites feature small logos in the upper left corner. A logo over a white background is universal and easily read, whereas fancy logos over dark backgrounds are not always easy to read.


Catchy slogans and positioning statements are meant to sum up your business in a memorable way, kind of like the chorus or main hook of a hit song that stays in your mind. At one time melodic jingles were an important part of branding until they became overdone. Even if you decide not to have a slogan attached to your logo, you should still figure out a mission statement that can be summed up in five words or less. In the 1990s Apple was reborn with billboards everywhere displaying the Apple logo alongside the words “think different.” The campaign worked since it appealed to the company’s core market, which is computer users with artistic sensibilities such as graphic artists and musicians.


Developing your brand requires standing out, so it must be different from the competition. If your brand just blends in with the noise of multiple media messages it

customer service

Not the best way to differentiate your brand!

may get lost in the shuffle. Your brand needs to be associated with a unique and rewarding consumer experience. You need to establish a niche in which only your brand can be considered the top authority. Use your imagination and brainstorming techniques with colleagues to creatively describe your unique market position. From this process you can develop a list of keywords that will tell search engines and online users about your identity.


Not only does your brand need to stand out in the world of crowded messages, you need to convey why your brand is better than competitors and the value that it brings to your customers. Figure out what your product can do for certain that competing products do not deliver and then create keywords and marketing statements from those concepts. Expand on those keywords and concepts in your communication with customers on your website, blogs, social media pages, newsletters and email.

Market Leadership

Keeping promises that you make in your marketing will help establish your brand as a market leader. Use customer feedback as a tool to refine your brand. A key to market leadership is delivering consistent messages throughout various marketing channels. Nike is the best of its breed because it consistently delivers quality shoes and clothes for athletes. Developing your brand is more than just running short phrases through marketing channels. More than ever before, successful branding now involves sharing resourceful information and inviting people to join your online community.

ian_conklin2Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America. OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Responsive Web Designers: Key to Any Successful Business


Responsive Web Designers: Key to Any Successful Business

With the myriad of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices on the market today, how can you effectively reach this diverse audience while maintaining a singular vision for your brand? As recently as a few years ago this meant creating a bare-bones and utilitarian mobile site to compliment your main website. However, the abundance of mobile devices with different operating systems and screen sizes means this is no longer a feasible option. Traditional solutions such as mobile sites or apps are costly, inefficient and discouraging for your audience to use. Responsive web design for mobile devices is an approach to web design that recognizes the complex and fluid nature of the modern web and adapts your website to the needs of your audience, regardless of how they access it.

Using mobile sites or apps segregates your audience and creates a different experience for those viewing on a mobile device. Mobile sites are often bland, difficult to navigate and require more work to maintain. Using an app requires your audience to visit an app store and download just to view your site on their device. Responsive design eliminates these problems by allowing your site to scale and adapt to the needs of each individual device. This provides your audience with a consistent experience and maintains the vision you have for your brand.

The flexibility of responsive design extends beyond support of currently available devices. Responsive design recognizes the dynamic nature of the web and provides youResponsive Web Design with the ability to adapt as the web changes. The variety of devices with differing screen sizes and operating systems are no longer an obstacle as responsive design allows your site to adapt to the unique needs of each device. A responsively designed website is ready for the next big advancement on the web, keeping your brand already a step ahead of everyone else.

In addition to improving the experience of your audience, responsive web design for mobile devices streamlines and simplifies your experience as well. Traditional approaches require the updating, maintenance and cost of multiple websites and apps. A single responsively designed website can achieve the same cross-platform support as these traditional approaches for a fraction of the cost. In addition, a responsively designed website can be updated using a content management system, such as WordPress, to update your content on all platforms. The singular approach of Responsive Design also boosts your visibility on search engines due to your site sharing the same URL, regardless of device.

Responsive design is not only the cutting edge of web design, but the future as well. The unique ability to scale and adapt your website to any device provides you with an investment that will offer returns for years to come. As more users migrate from traditional PCs to mobile devices, a responsively designed website becomes less of a luxury and more of a necessity. A seamless transition from device to device maintains your own unique brand vision and reaches a wider audience than possible before.

Sharing your URL on a mobile browser via social media no longer results in desktop users seeing an ugly, out of proportion mobile site on their PC. Responsive web design for mobile devices also tears down barriers created by the use of mobile apps. Users who would otherwise forgo your website due to the requirement of an app download, can visit your website freely and easily. Responsive Design is a simple, yet innovative approach to provide the flexibility and support you need to stay ahead of the game.

ian_conklin3Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America. OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Web Designer Insider: Finding the Balance


Web Designer Insider : Finding the Balance

You’re not happy with your website, the design is old and feels stale. You are not generating leads at the rate of your competitors and you are now looking to redesign. Where do you put the bulk of your focus? Artistic  ‘Wow’ factor or into functionality and lead generation? How do you find the balance in the web development process?

Recently a thread of emails was shooting back in forth between marketing and design at OTR web systems and one email in particular from our veteran designer caught my eye. Igor, the designer in question, made some interesting and thought provoking statements.

Designers often want to be cutting edge with design on every site. They want the site to be web designersartistically brilliant and have the wow factor.This is completely understandable, they are after all artists. Here’s what he had to say. The following statement really grabbed my attention and provoked me to read more. I found it very interesting to get a glimpse into the mind of a veteran web designer.

“There are many fantastic websites made by very talented designers. Sometimes I am really envy on the creativity they show. As a colleague I am impressed! But would I be impressed as a client?!”

The reason this struck me is because the artist is more focused on the needs of the customer. The ego says art, the intellect says effectiveness. He wants to satisfy the clients needs for web development first!

Be Effective First

By focussing on effective web development first Igor is producing a product that will be seen. He has included all the keywords, SEO and other various tools needed to be found online and then be able to convert visitors more effectively. The absolute flip side is developing with artistry as the first priority and then having a beautiful, stunning web page that will rarely be found, if ever, because it has not been properly optimized, or is lacking in content. Igor sums it up nicely,

“When I am creating the website layout I am keeping this in mind – the purpose of the website is not to impress visitors and clients with fancy solutions. They are not coming toResponsive Web Design admire the design of the website. They are looking for some information, solution… practical things. The purpose of the website is to give them what they want fast and easy to find.”

Do Not Neglect the Artistry 

Effectiveness first, but the artistry must not be forgotten during the web development process. You have all visited those web sites where you feel like you are on a construction site or need sunglasses just to view the page! It is not a pleasing experience and you are much less likely to return to that particular web site. When working through the web development process effectiveness and artistry should be ranked 1 and 1a.

The Silver ‘Re’ Cap

  • Focus on web effectiveness first
  • Do not neglect artistry
  • Effectiveness and Artistry are ranked 1 and 1a
  • Make sure your designer understands the above points!

Effectiveness first, It won’t matter how artistically amazing your website is if no one can find it or just as damaging is if the visitor can not figure out what to do once they are at your site. Make sure your website functions first, then make it as visually wonderful as possible.

As always your comments and opinions are valued and desired.

Social Media is a Conversation


Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development & content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.