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5th Annual Flowers for Towers

Is an old computer sitting in your garage collecting dust? Is your broken laptop moonlighting as a table coaster? We’ve got you covered this Earth Day weekend. iPoint is announcing our 5th annual Flowers for Towers.

What is Flowers for Towers?

We designed Flowers for Towers to empower our communities to properly dispose of toxic materials and better the environment.

Not only does Flowers for Towers prevent dangerous toxins from ending up in landfills, but it saves you money. Most local recyclers charge a minimum of $15 per laptop; we’re helping you protect the planet for free. We’ll even throw in a $5 gift card to the Fort Collins Nursery. Then you can better the local environment with flowers, trees, and vegetables.

Why should I recycle my e-waste?

It takes around 539 pounds of fossil fuels, 48 chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to create just one computer. E-waste contains toxins like mercury that can seriously harm the environment, yet only 20% of the world’s laptops, cell phones, and towers are recycled.

Worldwide, we throw over 50 million metric tons of e-waste into landfills each year. That waste contributes to 70% of all toxic waste. By recycling your old computers, we can minimize our carbon footprint, preserving our planet for the next generation.

What was our impact last year?

Our goal is to recycle 100,000 pounds by 2020, and we are well on our way. Since 2014, we’ve collected over 54,000 pounds of e-waste.

What do you accept?

We accept PC’s, laptops and servers. We’ll even securely wipe your hard-drive. No one will be able to access your personal information. We do not accept monitors or printers.

Bring your old electronic equipment to iPoint Technologies April 20th – 21st from 10 am to 4 pm. We’ll help you unload your equipment, get you a free gift card, and even enter you into some fun raffles to win prizes. See you there!

You’re Losing 95% of Web Traffic: Here’s Why

You’ve updated your website with an incredible WordPress theme, written killer copy to highlight your brand’s story, and spent hours curating original content—all with the help of a professional web designer.

There’s only one problem: you’re not getting any traffic. No one is visiting your website, there are very few clicks on your services, and you’re not seeing the ROI you hoped for when you signed up for web hosting services.

Wondering why?

Only 5% of web users check the second page of results when searching for a product or service. If you don’t have first-page rankings, your website is invisible to 95% of potential customers. Even worse, the first search result earns 33% of all views: if you’re not in the top three search results, you’re losing 60% of web traffic. This means less visits to your site and less profit for your company.

So how can your site—whether representing major brand or a small business—gain first-page rankings?

Search engine optimization.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of connecting clients’ search terms with your website. When people type these keywords and phrases into major search engines like Google or Bing, your business’ website shows up at the top of search results.

SEO is affordable, effective, and vital in an increasingly competitive and web-driven marketplace. If you’re not maximizing your online presence, potential clients will find your competitors as your website disappears into millions of search results.

Not sure where to start? We can help.

At iPoint, we offer specialized SEO services so business owners don’t need to stress and wonder if their webpage is on the first page of results. Our specialists know what keywords and phrases are relevant to consumers. Combine that with our white hat optimization techniques, and your business with experience increased web traffic and significant ROI.

We understand that your SEO campaign should be just as unique as your business. After developing a thorough understanding of your brand’s specific needs, we’ll create the SEO package that’s right for you. Call today at (970) 266- 0703 to or visit us online for a free consultation. We can’t wait to earn first-page rankings for your website.

5 Reasons Why You Should Choose WordPress

Wix, Weebly, Webvanta, WordPress . . . The list of possible website builders goes on—and makes a great tongue-twister!

Search “best web builder” online, and you’ll get a million different opinions from 10 million different sources. With all the industry noise surrounding web design software, it can seem impossible to decide what platform best fits your business.

At iPoint, we believe that WordPress web design is the best option for businesses of all shapes and sizes. From the small travel blog to the big-name media company, WordPress software has proven to be flexible, affordable and effective for every industry.

No time for research? No problem. We’ve made a quick list of the top 5 reasons that you should choose WordPress for your business.

#1: The biggest brands in the world trust WordPress

Big-name brands like Forbes Magazine, the National Football League (NFL), LinkedIn, and Coca-Cola all trust WordPress to communicate their brand messages with consumers. A stunning 25% of all websites in existence function using WordPress: that’s over 75 million sites.

#2: WordPress is the best for SEO

WordPress software supports proper HTML markups, has SEO-approved permalinks and makes creating targeted content—including titles and headings—easier than ever. It also supports dozens of SEO plug-ins for individual use.

#3: WordPress balances high-quality design with a budget-friendly price-tag

Are you worried that over-spending on a website will negatively affect your 2018 budget? Maybe you already have a website, but it’s not meeting your expectations for quality? WordPress is the perfect solution for anyone looking to present a high-quality brand image while remaining cost-effective.

#4: WordPress is incredibly flexible

WordPress might have once been used almost-exclusively for blogs, but today it powers businesses of every size and style. Choose from one of hundreds of their ready-made themes, or hire a professional web design company to create a custom design that will connect with your customers and meet your unique needs.

#5: iPoint can help you use WordPress effectively

We’re here to come alongside you at every step in your web design journey. From a complete redesign to web hosting services, we can help you reach more clients and increase ROI. Check out our complete web design portfolio to see how we’ve helped businesses like yours maximize profits!

Project Spotlight: Wood Street Builders & Choice Moving Company

Today we are in a time period where people using the internet in millions of ways to gather information about businesses. Many people use it as their primary source for information, so it is important to maintain a good presence online in order to capture those potential customers. Mobile friendly re-design is a priority for many businesses today as i touched on previously. Over 50% of searches on Google today are from a mobile device. If your website does not pass Google’s mobile friendly test, your ranking on the results page will suffer. Lower ranks on the results pages means less traffic to your website and can result in a loss of potential customers.


Wood Street Builders

Wood Street Builders newly re-designed website

We recently completed a few projects that highlight the capabilities of WordPress in today’s web world by being responsive across all devices while maintaining a beautiful look. The first project to highlight was for Wood Street Builders. We created a mobile friendly re-design for WoodStreetBuilders.com. A great benefit of this re-design is it implements and emphasizes the different keywords they are targeting with the SEO services we provide for them. We were able to highlight the information that is the most important for visitors to learn about the Wood Street Builders in a new, colorful, and interactive way.

 

 

 

Choice Moving Company

Choice Moving Company’s new website

Choice Moving Company is an experienced and professional moving service based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. Catering to both residential and commercial clients throughout Northern Colorado. They came to us wanting to create a new website for them so that they could have an online presence for their business. With this new, mobile-friendly website Choice Moving Company can now present their customers with the information that they will want to find out about their business.
ChoiceMovingCompany.com

Contact us today to find out what we can do for your business!

(970) 266-0703

Google’s ‘Mobilegedden’ and its Effects on Your Website

responsive web design from ipointOn April 21st, 2015 Google released its latest search algorithm update. These updates are meant to improve Google Searches, with the most recent change sprouting from a steady rise in the volume of searches from mobile devices (tablets, smartphones).  Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’ update aims to provide mobile users better search results on any given device. We are now slowly seeing these changes take effect – mobile-friendly websites are rising to the top of search results, while older non-responsive sites are eliminated from the top rankings.

So how exactly does a website become “mobile-friendly?” In order to be categorized as a mobile-friendly website, it must be responsive to the different screen sizes of mobile devices on the market today.  The website must adjust to these varying screen sizes while retaining the same URL address.

You can test your own website for mobile-compatibility by visiting Google’s webmaster’s section of their website, or by clicking here.

This tool runs websites through a series of responsive tests, and generates previews of how sites will display across various screen sizes. If your site is not mobile-friendly, it will flag the components which did not pass the test so that they can be addressed.

You could be losing out on business by using a non-responsive website, as mobile browsing now accounts for over 51% of Google’s total search volume.  Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, this algorithm change will dramatically impact traffic to your website and ultimately your business.

Don’t forget to run the mobile-friendly test on your website and find out if your website meets current requirements. If it doesn’t, contact us today for a great deal on responsive web design.

Website Design: Form Vs Function

Style Vs Function Aesthetics or Practicality Matrix Choose BothWhat makes a good website? The answer to this can change depending on who you ask. A web developer might say that a good website should work flawlessly and is easy to navigate. A designer might answer that a website needs to look appealing and catch the eye. If you ask the same question to an average person on the street and they might say something like: “A good website would look like Apple’s.” All of these opinions are right in some way. When designing a website, the main goal should be to aim for a balance between form and function.

We very recently replaced all our desks in the office with new contemporary glass surface desks. They look great and very modern. Once they were set up I realized that my mouse no longer works because the laser on the bottom shines right through the table. There were not enough mouse pads in the office for everyone to use, so to combat the problem, I taped a piece of paper to the top of the desk. So even though our desks are new and good looking, they don’t work as well as the old desks.

I tell this story as a perfect example of choosing form over function. The form of a website is important for catching the eye of visitors and ensuring that they stay. However, focusing on form at the cost of function can be problematic. A website can look beautiful with crisp images or videos, a trendy parallax design, and catchy slogans; but without good navigation, it won’t encourage people to return.

A good function has to be built with form in mind. For instance, you can’t fix the previous example website by sticking some navigation buttons at the top. That creates the same problem as my desk with its piece of paper taped onto it. The goal is to find an equilibrium between the two. Sure there are examples of successful websites that only one aspect. Craigslist is the most popular classified pages in the world and it has almost entirely focused on function. These examples are few and far between though, and most sites like this were designed years ago before this trend became a standard.

Are QR Codes Still Effective?

qrcode.22925811It’s been a little over one year since our last blog about QR codes, so it seems like a perfect time to do a follow up. If you don’t know what QR codes are, here is the post giving you an overview on what QR codes are. Go ahead and take a minute to reread it, its short.

Originally, QR codes were used for manufacturing purposes as a way to track parts in ways that classic bar codes couldn’t. Eventually, businesses discovered that they could use them for marketing purposes. QR codes offer a lot of benefit for businesses by encouraging audience interaction. They act as an easy way to provide people with more information about a certain topic or to drive more traffic to a website. The codes are also extremely simple to make. Tons of sites will generate QR codes for free. Coupled with the fact that they were new, cool, and took advantage of new technology, these are the reasons that QR codes became so popular for businesses.

As mentioned in last year’s article, there are some limitations for QR codes. More people have become aware of what they are, or can recognize them when they see them. The problem now is that many people don’t know how to use them. They know that you can scan them on your phone, but some people are not aware of what app to use to do so.

There is also the problem that people are not using QR codes as much as they used to. The widespread use of the codes has taken away that initial “coolness” factor that drove much of their earlier success. Many businesses themselves are to blame for QR codes falling usage. There has been very poor implementation across many businesses. There are countless examples of poor usage of QR codes. Here are some of my favorite examples: on the back of a Pepsi truck, on a subway, behind an airplane, billboards. Even the TSA is guilty of poor QR code usage when their own posters direct to the wrong site.

None of these examples are isolated examples of bad design. This is a common practice among many businesses both large and small. The poor use of QR codes leads to a low click-through rate, which means that developers won’t devote as much time to developing quality content if no one is going to view it. This again leads customers to have low expectations with QR codes, further lowering click-through rates.

So the ultimate question becomes: are QR codes still worth using? For the most part, I’d say no. They are easy to make, but these days, people will often only scan the code if there is a good incentive for them to do so. This means that you have to produce good quality content, which takes time. If you can produce something that is worth peoples’ time, and can place the QR code in an easily accessible place, then by all means use them. But for the majority of businesses, it simply isn’t worth the effort that it used to be.

Do you have any good or bad QR code stories? Let us know in the comments!

How to Tell When it’s Time to Update Your Website

outdatedtechFashion trends change quickly, probably more so than any generation before. When I was a kid in school, there were two types of pants that were cool for guys. There were the big baggy jeans with holes in them or those cargo pants with the zip-off legs. The really cool kids would get multiple colors of the same type, then mix and match the zip-off leg parts. That was really the pinnacle of fashion in my adolescent mind.

It seems that almost all pants manufactures collectively decided that those zip off pants were a bad idea and stopped making them. However, on rare occasions, you can catch some people still wearing old cargo shorts that are designed to have legs attached. I know this because my former roommate used to wear a pair regularly. When I would ask him about why he still wore them, his response was usually something along the lines of: “Whatever, they are comfortable and they work.” He is absolutely right, it doesn’t matter what you wear when you are grocery shopping on the weekends. However, it can be problematic when you apply the same logic to your website.

Far too many businesses are complacent about updating the look of their website. They are stuck with their old “zip-off pants” version simply because it works and they are comfortable with it. People are afraid of change and will often make the excuse that as long as it works, that is all that matters. Too bad this is not true at all.

Design and looks are one of the most important elements, even in the B2B world. Here are some statistics to back up that claim:

94% of a website user’s first impression is design related.

75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.

So what is a person to do? Where do you start when you want to update your website? Well if you have a little experience in coding, the steps are very similar when you want to update your fashion wardrobe as well.

Start small. Examine a couple websites that you like the look of. Don’t directly copy their design, but look at how the elements come together to make it work. Maybe it’s simply the way the pictures are laid out, or their use of a unique font to create an interesting branding image. All artists take inspiration from something else. Spend some time and find your inspiration.

If you don’t have any coding experience, or simply don’t feel like taking the time to update it yourself, there are always professionals that can do exactly what you want. Take a look at our portfolio, or give us a call and see if we can help design the site you have in mind.

Five Reasons to Regularly Update Your Website

updateImprove your SEO

Most major search engines will “crawl” the internet, meaning they regularly monitor websites, checking for updates. The more regularly that websites are updated, the higher they get posted on search results. Regularly updating your website is a great, free, method to boost your SEO.

New content encourages other websites to link to your site

Other bloggers and websites are constantly looking out for good content to link to. This not only improves their SEO results but theirs as well. Building backlinks really helps drive new people to your website.

New content for readers

SEO rankings are not the only reason to update your website. New content provides a reason for readers to regularly visit your site. There are many different ways to create content for your website. One tried and true option is creating a blog that you update weekly. You can monitor which posts get the most attention and then create more similar posts. You can also cross link related articles to make them easier to find. All of this content will help ensure that your readers do not get bored.

New content helps expand marketing efforts.

In addition to providing content, tools like blogs and RSS feeds are a great way to further spread your marking messages. You can immediately spread news and content to a wide range of people. Keeping up-to-date content can significantly open up a wide range of promotional possibilities.

Offer information more frequently than your competitors

The web is a big place with a lot of sites all vying for attention.  Consistently updating your website is a great way to stay ahead of your competition in this regard. Maintaining an up-to-date website is very welcoming to visitors. If your website looks like is hasn’t been updated in a long time, people are more likely to click away. Stay ahead of your competition and provide something that they do not, content.

 

Project Spotlight: To Your Health!

VegetablesTo Your Health llc is a site that promotes good, healthy nutrition in order to help treat chronic disease and maintain optimal health. Recently, they have undergone a website update.

The whole feel of the website has been updated to reflect a more modern and satisfying look. The green-white gradient has been replaced with a warmer background image that not only is more pleasing to look at, but better reflects their overall brand. In balance with this, the fonts and images have been updated as well. The top banner buttons have been lowered and redesigned to match the rest of the page.

The style and feel of the website was not the only aspect involved with this update. The overall function has been improved as well. The front page still delivers the same information, but in a less cluttered method. The page takes more advantage of blank space. By making the content extend more to the left and right, the front page is not as long, meaning that more information can be shown on a first glance. The social media feeds are also displayed on the right side now, meaning people can more easily follow their page and events.

Here are some screenshots so you can see the changes for yourself:

Old:

to-your-health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New:

to-your-health-ipoint

Testimonials

Doug Hudson Testimonial

Feedback Sports provides high-performance bicycle stands and accessories with operations and customers around the world. It is crucial that our employees can connect in remotely while they are at the factory or in the field visiting customers. Along with developing our ecommerce website, iPoint upgraded our server to a new, cloud-based system that allows us to remote in from anywhere our travels take us. The flexibility and access to information remotely provided by this technology is extremely valuable. We have been doing business with iPoint for over two years and look forward to maintaining this beneficial relationship in the future.

Doug Kempel Testimonial

Ever since we integrated our new shopping cart, sales have doubled. Thanks iPoint!