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Sun Sign Designs Launches Java Joe’s Roasting Company New Website

We are proud to be a part of Java Joe’s Roasting Company’s evolution to a new perspective on how they do everything. With this transformation we have rebuilt there website and added many new features to streamline their process.

Below is the press release we wrote to cover their new launch. And please go to www.javajoesroasting.com to see their amazing products.

“8.1.2016
Java Joe’s Roasting Company is proud to launch their new website. The new website has taken a new form as a national e-commerce website with the vision of delivering the Java Joes Roasting Company brand of gourmet coffee to customers across the United States.

Java Joe’s Roasting Company back on May 17th, 2016 launched Fundraising Junction as the new brand that will forever handle coffee fundraisers. This launch then allows the new Java Joe’s Roasting Company site to focus on corporate clients, corporate promotions and party favor coffee (Lagniappe), and direct to consumer coffee sales.

Java Joe’s Roasting Company believes in quality of product and superb customer service. So if you are in the Binghamton NY area, and would like a tour of their factory, or would like to buy a bag of coffee, stop in and visit. I know you will be surprised and delighted.

Java Joe’s Roasting Company
Purity Per Pound (TM)”

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Launches Fundraising Junction’s New Brand

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Java Joes Roasting Company, a small business in upstate New York called on us because, for a lack of better words, they had been taken advantage of by marketers for the last decade. They were in desperate need for an advocate who would tell it to them straight, and build them a true strategy that would guide them into the next few years.

Sun Sign Designs built them a road map to help them choose the right tactics, with the right message to move them forward. As part of this initiative, we started with their core business, Fundraising Junction, and re did their logo and their website. We helped them understand that educating the market to see that fundraising is really building community and the interactions which occurs in fundraising help better society as a whole.

Though they are just beginning their journey, we are proud to be part of the evolution. Fundraising Junction launched its new site on May 17th 2016 to service the nation with fresh idea’s about fundraising products. The core product being gourmet coffee, which I might add I am hooked on, proves that high end healthy products can be part of a fundraising campaign.

Please do them the honor and visit their site and if you do happen to choose them for your next fundraising campaign, tell them that Stephen sent you.

www.fundraisingjunction.com

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Mobile Development: Getting Your Content into the Hands of Consumers

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Mobile usage is reaching critical mass as the go-to method for people seeking new content online. And while we’ve spoken previously about the importance of making your webpage mobile-friendly, it’s worth looking at current events to see the effects of not being 100% prepared. We’ll also look at some of the clear benefits of building out a mobile platform for your business.

Yesterday Radiohead released their first album in five years on their official website, in addition to music streaming services. While the album is available for download from the Apple iTunes store today, many fans couldn’t wait the 24 hours for the long awaited arrival of the band’s work, and downloaded the music directly from the home site. At the point-of-sale, however, an interesting notice appeared: “Please note: Do not download [the music] from a smartphone, it will not work. Please use a computer.” And while this notice will likely not cause any real issue for Radiohead, who have 6 platinum albums in the US alone, your business might not be so lucky if it came with such a warning. The fact is, customers hate to see these kind of hurdles, especially if their go-to device is their phone. If your competition happens to have an easier way of access via mobile, customers may gravitate towards their business, leaving you in the dust.

But enough of the negative, what are the benefits of going mobile? Alluding to the Radiohead story above, having a strong mobile presence will boost sales. In the same way that the internet reached entirely new areas of people that your business could previously never dream of reaching, mobile marketing reaches people who aren’t necessarily logged in at home. It also enhances the customer experience overall – yes, customers could just go on to their computers to reach you, but why not make it that much easier for them, making everything smoother and offer a positive word-of-mouth experience? And finally, the ability to give tougher competition to your adversaries is an obvious selling point for the case of having a mobile presence. If you decide to take the plunge and develop an app or at least make your site more mobile-friendly, your competition will realize that your company is serious about succeeding in the market, and they may even kick themselves for not being so bold.

Mobile development isn’t for the meek, and you’ll need all the help you can get to compete in this field. That’s why you’ll want to reach out to Sun Sign Designs to help carry the weight for you. Reach out to us today!

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Optimizing the Internet of Things and Virtual Reality

We’ve mentioned the Internet of Things a few times previously here, and while the concept may be new it isn’t necessarily complicated. It follows the natural progression of the internet being used to link devices up that previously weren’t connected, such as phones, cars, televisions, etc. The Internet of Things appeals to the hearts and minds of our current culture as a bold technological step forward in the midst of uncertain economic times. While this current digital device revolution has been happening, another kind of movement has been slowly gaining its own steam, one that’s been tried often before and has met repeatedly with failure: Virtual Reality. And while the notable commercial flops of Virtual Reality has served as a warning to tech companies to not do too much too soon, the predominance of the Internet in our culture today has served as a gateway for the this oft-maligned technology to finally get some love. The combination of these two phenomena open numerous doors for savvy digital marketers, and we’ll explore these opportunities in this article.

A key similarity to both these concepts is that they’re both in the beginning stages of development. While the idea of Virtual Reality has been dated back to the 1970s, the lack of widespread success in any version of the technology means that in functional terms, it’s still relatively new. This means that the fields are wide open for any smart company to take advantage of the situation, the way that Facebook did with Social Media. Broken down to its component parts, Social Media brings reality (images, stories) to the internet. Using this comparison, The Internet of Things brings the internet to reality, in the form of physical objects. And Virtual Reality brings the user into an immersive experience, combining artificial reality and the connectivity of the internet into a completely new environment.

While the concept of the Internet of Things is helped by the current prevalence of iPhones and Smart TVs, Virtual Reality may seem a more far-fetched idea for a business to build a marketing effort around. But one only need to look at the overwhelming success of video games, whether on console, computer or the “freemium” games on digital devices, to see the potential of the full Virtual Reality experience. You don’t want to have your company become the equivalent of the record labels who rejected The Beatles saying that guitar-groups couldn’t be successful in the 60s. You need to open your mind to whatever technology could give you the edge in the always competitive landscape of business, and both the Internet of Things and Virtual Reality could be your ticket to the top.

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Social Responsibility in the Age of Click Culture

How much of the internet is our responsibility to keep clean of garbage? In a new book published this month called Disrupted, journalist Dan Lyons relates his story of working at a tech startup, along with telling how he employed and witnessed many of the marketing techniques that we’ve discussed on this blog – email marketing, working the social media channel, SEO, etc. all in the name of lead generation, which is another way of describing getting prospective customers to click on your call to action. From the way he tells it, it’s not a pretty sight, and he has found allies in this particular cause. While his supporters acknowledge that as a business model, online marketing is a solid marketing replacement for media advertisement campaigns, they believe it pollutes the screens of users and generally makes the Internet a worse-off place overall. Since we here at Sun Sign Designs have been touting many of these techniques, we feel that it’s worthwhile to dig into the gist of Lyons’ argument in order to speak to his complaints and enhance everyone’s efforts in this space.

The main charge of this critique is that all of these techniques are being done in the name of lead generation. This is a bit of a paper tiger argument, because if you’re in business, new customers and sales are essential to your revenue stream no matter what your platform. There is just no way around the fact that there will be cases where your marketing efforts aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. We do agree, however, that your content and technique management should be tastefully done. If you automate your processes to the point where your prospects are getting the equivalent of spam every week, then you should take a look at what you’re actually offering in this space.

Every business effort is going to have its own equivalent of the sleazy used car salesman, the one who sees dollar signs as soon as you step within 10 ft of his territory. Our techniques are tried and tested, and when ethically employed, they work and will bring new customers to your website. It’s up to you as a business to know where to draw the line and not abuse the effectiveness of the techniques to the point where your customers are fed up with your overuse of the internet.  Restraint is a valuable quality in a medium where one is able to deliver nearly unlimited content at the touch of a button.

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Steps to Maintaining a Dynamic Digital Marketing Strategy

One of the biggest temptations when creating a strategy is to assume that it’s complete the moment you implement it. Your team can then focus on the actual execution of the components of the strategy along with maintaining its operations, right? Wrong. For business, it’s hard to imagine the circumstances where this would ever be a good idea. The demands of your customers, innovations of your competition and just the role of dumb luck will force you to modify your strategy in real time. Given that a typical business strategy can have many component parts, you’ll need to choose your battles in order to be successful in strategic modification. In this article we’ll go over some primary areas where you want to spend your focus.

All businesses depend on their clients and customers for their revenue and profits, and your strategy must account for their needs. Given the connectivity of your businesses, random events that impact them will always affect you, so it is essential that your strategy has a built-in client industry awareness so you can anticipate potential effects. It’s also important not to grow too attached to any particular aspect of your strategy because it may be rendered obsolete from a particular request or refusal from your client.

You can’t go wrong by focusing more on the content of your online marketing. From a strategic blueprint standpoint, content is the equivalent of the bricks to your building. You can use all the special affects you want to draw people in, but if you don’t have relevant content they’re going to wonder what the big deal was and leave disappointed. The keyword here is relevant: understanding changes in the industry will keep you ahead of the game and allow you to delight your customers with killer content.

Good communication, both internal and external, seems to be that elusive goal for all businesses to achieve, and for your online marketing strategy this couldn’t be more essential. Whenever there is a change to your strategy, all relevant parties should be made aware. Clients will need to know if there will be changes to their service levels. Employees will need to know if they’re doing the right work. Being able to trust your own company, vendors and contractors to execute when required will allow you to communicate with your clients with confidence, particularly when another strategic modification is required.

Understanding strategy is more than drawing up a plan and seeing if it will work – good strategy requires dedication and expertise. Sun Sign Designs knows all about that, as we make strategy the key to the services we provide to our own clients. Reach out to us today to learn more!

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It’s All Semantics: How Latent Semantic Indexing is Changing Google Search and SEO

We here at Sun Sign Designs have lately focused on general topics and techniques to assist your company’s marketing. The reason for this is that it is essential that you have an understanding of how the fundamental concepts work together before delving into the more technical aspects of web presence. Today we’re focusing on one of those technical pieces: Latent Semantic Indexing, or LSI. This feature of Google’s search functionality ties directly in with one of our previous content topics, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and it is critical to understand how LSI affects SEO in order to fully maximize your company’s online offering.

One of the simplest ways to describe LSI is to point out what it’s not, or to be more specific, what it’s replacing. For many non-marketing professionals, SEO is synonymous with Keyword Density, the easily exploitable system where the number of times a certain word is mentioned on your website will affect the location of your webpage rank in search results. While this may have been effective back in the early days of Google’s world-conquering search algorithm, using keyword density is no longer a viable option, as Google has phased out its use due to its contribution to inaccuracy for results.

LSI is the system that takes Keyword Density’s place. It groups words together into semantic systems, letting Google know when the related words on a website speak to a specific search. It’s best to show in examples: say you’re searching for Rolling Stones. Google knows that “Rolling” and “Stones” combines together to form the band name, and will avoid giving you results of rocks rolling down hills, even if that happened to be randomly trending at the moment. If you’re searching for an Oracle Developer, Google will know that you are searching for someone developing an Oracle database and not landscapers for ancient Greek monuments.

LSI does the heavy lifting for a user’s searches, connecting the informational dots, allowing Google to give more pertinent results for its visitors. So how can you capitalize on this new system? Content, as usual, is king here. Having high value content in every corner of your website will allow you to stand out among the crowd so that Google can use its LSI to your advantage. You look at your website and see well-made content—Google will see it as the brightest Christmas tree on the block when all the semantically related content relates with each other, catapulting your site above the rest to the top of users’ searches.

That last description doesn’t have to be an exaggeration for you—it can be a reality! Google prides itself on finding high value content, so it’s a triple win for Google, its users and your company if you have that kind of content on display for its search to find. Reach out to Sun Sign Designs today so we can give you all the technical knowhow of how LSI can help your business come out on top!

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More than the Bottom Line: Understanding Online Marketing ROI

Tracking results is a critical piece to your overall business, and it is important that you’re watching the right results when investing in an unpredictable force like online marketing. It makes sense to look at the cost being put in to these efforts, along with the direct profits earned from what you rightly see as a financial investment. But online marketing has metrics that can be difficult to successfully track unless you are being mindful and diligent, such as overall market awareness and the timing of your measurements. By keeping these criteria in mind, you will be able to properly keep an eye on your businesses efforts so you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Let’s say you have an electronics store, with a new marketing campaign centered on selling new computers. You advertise on your website that your $600 desktops are now selling for $500 for the month, and you watch in satisfaction as an influx of new customers arrives to your store. Marketing campaign success? Sure, more customers came, but how do you know your competition may have had to raise prices that month, or that you may have got more customers if you lowered the price to $475, or even better, used a more robust email follow-up campaign to reconnect with previous customers due for an upgrade? Business is always in flux, and monitoring just the direct profits of your marketing efforts may not be enough to tell you why you got more customers, or how you could have had an even larger number of people come to your store.

Timing your measurements correctly is a more controllable variable than knowing everything that is going on in your market, but it’s also potentially a harder concept to grasp if you’re not ready to think scientifically. Jayson DeMers explains in his recent column for Forbes that looking only at ROI forces a “skewed perception that slants toward short-term results.” In other words, it is human nature to attribute effects such as profits or losses to the most recent effort done by your marketing team, as opposed to the strategy and efforts put in during the history of the marketing project or website. Online marketing content has a long “half-life” on the internet – articles you publish today will remain there for years to come if left undeleted. Visitors may stumble across an article from 2013 from your website that happens to have topics trending in 2016, and decide to go with your services due to your wise advice. If your tracking is only measuring the visit without tracing it to the source, you may think those visitors were due to your most recent marketing efforts, therefore leading you to miss out on capitalizing on the new trend and the ability to connect with more prospects.

In either of these cases, it helps to have a team of professionals to handle the tracking so you can keep an eye on the bigger targets. Sun Sign Designs is staffed with experts ready to help you deal with these issues. We are able to conduct a full marketing strategic report for you so you understand the impact of your marketing efforts, along with a detailed of analysis of where you are getting your website visitors and how you can get more of them. Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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Keeping an Eye on Growing Cyber Security Threats in 2016

When considering taking your business online, internet security is an issue that for some is a huge point of concern, and for others maybe it should be a bigger one. Owning an online business puts you at risk for virus attacks, malware, and malicious hacking attempts. And being a small business is no defense, and can actually be a bigger weakness—according to the International Data Corporation, small businesses account for 71% of the cyber security threats. Assaults on larger firms make for bigger headlines in the news, but no matter the size of your business, it is critical to decide how your company can handle the developing security dangers out there.

Back in January, Sun Sign Designs reported on the Internet of Things and the growth of previously non-online physical objects, including vending machines, umbrellas, biofeedback wristbands, etc. Given the potential for expansion in this field, it’s no surprise that independent inventors, small tech firms and global companies alike are looking to cash in on the possible smart object that will be the iPhone’s successor. But as Apple’s recent brush with the FBI shows, data encryption and security for your handheld phone is no lightweight matter, and it’s no accident that malware threats are increasingly targeting smart objects as the way to get into your precious files.

Up to now, most internet devices have had technology that included a processor that could handle connecting to the internet along with standard computing functions – think personal computers and laptops. As smartphones, e-readers, and gaming systems also went online, for the most part, they had a large firm such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft or Sony backing the technology, so it was a logical step to imagine these firms handling thesecurity threats to these new types of internet-ready hardware. But the Internet of Things offers the opportunity for  any electronic device to connect to the internet with its function. It’s this inherent deregulation of the concept that is the cause for alarm.

For small businesses, being aware of the potential threats is part of the battle. As Site Pro News reports, small businesses “are easier targets” for hackers to take on than global firms. They recommend an “ABC” approach to establishing a security presence:

Assess: Know what assets, resources and risks need to be protected; Build: An organizational security policy to be prioritized through leadership; Control: Establish the tools and control systems most suited to your organization and security blueprint; Deploy: Implement the tools; Educate: Ensure employees and executives understand the policy and are aware that security is everyone’s responsibility; Further: Continue to assess new security trends, conduct tests, and further integrate more powerful tactics in cyber-security.

Knowing the right approach to cyber-security involves having both the experience and the resources necessary in order to protect your valuable work. That’s why trusting the experts at Sun Sign Designs is the right call. We provide a full range of services that can be tailored to the specific security needs of your business. Reach out to us today!

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The Nuts and Bolts: Code Implementation in Mobile SEO Performance

Whether you are starting a website from scratch or revising previous design situations, the way code is implemented on your website can have a big impact on the performance of your site on mobile devices. The words “code implementation” may make some non-technical professionals want to turn in the other direction to find a cute puppy or kitten video on YouTube, but it’s still an important decision for your website regardless of your level of expertise in the IT field. The reason for this is the growing presence of people’s use of mobile devices to access the Internet. If you’re not reaching these people, you are losing out on a growing segment of the marketplace that could one day easily replace desktop users completely.

For those who still feel that we’re speaking a foreign language when it comes to coding, the simplest solution is the best one for you in this instance. When Google released its new rules regarding coding implementation last year, they suggested what is known as “responsive design” to be the preferred choice for its browser. As ClickSeed explains, “Responsive design delivers the same code to the browser on a single URL for each page, regardless of device, and adjusts the display in a fluid manner to fit varying display size.” Easy enough—make responsive design the way your website implements coding, and both Desktop users and Mobile users will see the same content, just in a different manner given the screen size. So why would you choose something different? Two things: responsive design may create a slower experience for the mobile user if the webpage load is too big, which is a big no-no in the speedy world of mobile. In addition, responsive design discards the opportunity of designing a truly mobile experience for your visitors.

There are two other methods to try other than responsive design to give your visitors a more diverse field of options. For those not afraid of higher maintenance costs, separate URLs (website addresses) for Desktop and Mobile is an option. In this case, the mobile site is in a sub-domain of the main site (or some other kind of similar configuration), and this allows for more customization of the mobile platform. The drawbacks are obvious – the aforementioned higher cost along with the increased difficulty of monitoring for duplicate content on both sites. Those choosing this route are accepting higher upkeep for a richer overall experience for mobile users.

The final option is a hybrid choice between responsive design and separate URLs: dynamic serving. In this case, you are using the same URL for Desktop and Mobile, but the server knows to deliver different content depending on the device. At first this option seems like the best of both worlds: you’re able to customize the mobile experience while also keeping everything on one URL. However, the cost here comes in the dramatic increase of technical resources needed to operate dynamic serving. You will want someone who absolutely knows what they’re doing to implement this, and the upkeep is comparable to having separate URLs. In the future, dynamic serving may become an increasingly popular option as the cost and technical requirements for advanced computing continue to decline.

So which implementation is right for you? Do you have it all figured out, or are you still reaching for your YouTube bookmark to get a cute animal video fix? Regardless of your level of technical expertise, it’s still a very good idea to connect with web development experts in order to make the best decision for your business. Sun Sign Designs has been studying Mobile SEO before it became the phenomenon it is today, and we are ready to help you in this growing development in the online marketing field. Reach out to us now!