Where we share our insights about all things web design, development, and marketing.


Getting more out of your contact page

Your contact page is one of the most valuable opportunities to connect with your visitors and motivate them to get in touch with you.  It is an essential element to most websites and it is the best way to display your contact information to give your visitors a way to get in touch with you. But simply putting your address and phone number may not be enough.

There are many different ways to beef up your contact page so that you give your visitors more information and encourage them to contact you. Typically, a contact page includes the address, phone number, email address, and any other main contact information for the business. In addition, you can include a contact form and map to your location. These are all great things to have, but there are things you can add to make your contact page stand out from the rest.

Consider adding contact information for different departments so that visitors have specific contact information if they know what they want to ask. You can also include your social media and blog links so that visitors can find you elsewhere on the web. You can offer a specific phone number for immediate or emergency requests, or encourage them to sign up for email updates from your company. This can all be done with additional text, buttons, or calls to action on your contact page.

Now let’s talk about the contact form. It is a great resource to include on your contact page so visitors have an easy and immediate way to get in touch with you. But did you know you can collect much more information with your contact form? Generally, contact forms collect names, addresses, other basic contact information, and the visitor’s question or comment. You can take this one step further and ask them if they would like to receive further updates from your company, give them an opportunity to enter a testimonial, or specific information about your products and services.

Essentially, one of the main goals of a website is to get visitors to contact you or act on a certain item. Your contact page is an integral part of your website and you should use it to its full potential in order to motivate your website visitors to get in touch with you while displaying and collecting information.


Website Slideshows

Website slideshows are frequently used these days; we use them on our websites all the time. You may even have one on your website. It is a great tool to use, and a great way to show off several images that convey your business and brand while giving your website some pizzazz.

Slideshows can make your website more interactive with endless possibilities of how to use them. The most standard use is a rotation of images to show off products or services. But this website feature can be used for much more. Your slides can include headlines and calls to action, testimonials and quotes, news articles, or other buttons. The question is when and how to use them.

When adding a slideshow to your website, it is important to consider the purpose of having it. Is it necessary? How will it enhance the user’s experience? Will it add to the overall website or take away from the more important features? After asking yourself some of these questions, you may think that a slideshow could greatly benefit your website. So, then how do you want to use it?

Rotating images are great for businesses that want to simply display several of their products and/or services. Image slideshows are great for photographers or retail companies and can be made large or small depending on how much focus you want put on the images.  Headlines and calls to action are a great way to add more focus to your slideshow. Each slide could have a specific purpose that details a product or service and then links to that page. If you display news articles or events on your home page, you could utilize the slideshow as a way to feature those and promote upcoming events. Using the slideshow for rotating testimonials allows this feature to display what others are saying about your business, which will more than likely catch the user’s attention. They will also see multiple testimonials as it scrolls through several quotes.

As you can see, slideshows are a great feature that can be added to your website. The trick is determining whether it is best for your website, and how to utilize the tool. When used to its full potential and fit to your site, a website slideshow can be an excellent addition.


News & Events Manager vs Blog

How are they different?

You want to post information on your website that is important and interesting to your viewers, but you are not sure of the best way to do this? There are many different ways to connect with your customers and spread your information. TWG offers two great options that can be utilized to keep your website updated—and which one you choose depends mostly on what exactly you want to do with it.
Our news and events add-on allows you to add news articles and event information to your site whenever you want. You can add exciting news about your company, announce new products, or add information about upcoming events that may interest your customers.  This add-on allows you to:

•    Post up to five images with each article that automatically display on your site.
•    Feed headlines to your home page

Essentially you can do those same things with our blog. So what makes them different?
With a blog, you have the potential to do even more. Our blog website add-on includes several functions that make your blogging experience the best:

•    Allows users to post comments so you can interact with them
•    Ability to add tags to posts so that they can easily be found by topic
•    Create categories for your articles

Both of these add-ons feature RSS feed capabilities, which allows readers to subscribe to your blog or news.  Additionally, we can set them up to display on other social outlets such as Facebook or Twitter.
Still don’t know which one is best for your website? Give us a call, and we will help you determine how to maximize your online presence with a news and events add-on or blog on your website depending on your specific needs.

Graphic Designer Rachel Green of TWG Design Studio
"Rachel has a love for all things creative. She is passionate about what she does and loves to create new things."


Find Your Marketing Love-Match in QR Codes

Quick Response (QR) codes are not just a passing fad—they are quickly becoming a reliable method for marketing teams to direct consumers exactly where they want them most.  Did you know, though, that these codes are not as mysterious and hard to come by as many may think?  In fact, sites like http://www.qrstuff.com/ have easy-to-follow directions that can walk you through how to create and generate your very own code. 

Free sites like this also offer some pretty good ideas on ways to use QR codes as well as a basic overview of the benefits to your business.  Did you know, though, that inside TWG Design Studio we have a design team that can take these codes to the next level with artistic flair and customization---tying the QR code into logos and images that free generating sites cannot provide?  Either way, if you have not begun looking towards QR codes to give your advertising and marketing a modern appeal, you may want to look into them before you’re left behind—and your competitors are connecting to customers quickly and smoothly without you!

QR Code Info:

This is what a standard QR code looks like:

•    They are “read” quickly by smart phones and mobile devices
•    Examples of use:

  • Magazine ads
  • Billboard ads
  • Invoices
  • Newspapers
  • Web pages
  • T-shirts
  • Envelopes
  • Postcards
  • Brochures & flyers (and other print pieces and signs)

•    QR codes store more information than a standard barcode, such as URL links, geographical coordinates, and text.
•    The reading device needs to have a QR code reader—which are available to download for free, by the dozens!  Some Examples are

  • Kaywa
  • Red Laser
  • QR Code Reader

This is what a TWG Design Studio custom QR code can look like:

QR Codes are easy to create, and easy to use.  The versatility and benefits to this new-age method provides instant value to any marketing strategy.  The technology behind QR codes is the future in mobile strategy for product sales, information access, and promotional programs.  In a time of online shopping, social website giveaways, and online bill pay---consumers no longer have to go to a business---the businesses cater to the consumers.  How much easier can you make it on your consumers than giving them a code to scan to take them right where they need to be?  Providing information, deals, coupons, and the ability to pay a bill, or purchase a product…? 

Search marketing benefits:

•    Business Directory Listings
•    Business Cards directing to

  • Website
  • Social Media Sites
  • Downloadable Contact Page

•    Print Advertising and flyers (track-able with special pages for QR use only to track conversion)

  • Product details
  • Contact details
  • Offer details
  • Event details
  • Coupons
  • YouTube video



QR codes are becoming more and more common all the time.  Here is a list of some examples of national and international use of QR codes—these may inspire a unique use for you, or at least provide a good example for you to implement within your own business!

•    Dick’s Sporting Goods displayed a QR code on the JumboTron during a football game. The fans took pictures of the QR code which connected them to a website where they were offered discounts on purchases.
•    McDonald’s uses QR Codes on its packaging in Japan so consumers can access nutritional information, and review the amount of calories, fat, and carbohydrates in their meal.
•    A couple of years ago, Ralph Lauren began placing QR Codes in print ads, store placements, and mailers. The QR Codes gave consumers access to their style guides, limited edition collections and exclusive video content.
•    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie posters were printed with QR Codes, giving users access to movie’s trailers. The user also received a QR code discount coupon for their next concession purchase.
•    Pepsi printed QR codes on bottles that redirected users to a custom landing page to view content.
•    CSI used QR codes as a plot twist in a TV episode.
•    The Nonprofit Technology Network used QR codes to conduct a scavenger hunt at an NTEN conference.
•    Google is using QR codes to highlight “Favorite Places” in search results.
•    Editorials Online published a book that contained nothing but QR codes (no text at all) that, when decoded, provided content about love and hate.
•    Audi made a giant QR code out of people holding black and white squares in a video advertisement.
•    Lego created QR code advertisement using Lego blocks.
•    Calvin Klein displayed a large QR code on a billboard that launched a racy advertisement.
•    Real estate agents are putting QR codes on “house for sale” signs.
•    Best Buy has a QR code iPhone app that provides product information.
•    QR codes are showing up on Japanese tombs—providing information about the deceased.
•    QR codes wer

e used in the NBA all-star game.
•    Fox TV is using QR codes to advertise TV programs.
•    Starbucks is using QR codes for micro payments.

QR Codes are not just a passing fad or a quick-to-die trend.  They are truly a new-age wave in the marketing game.  They are easy, can be customized, and can be seen all over!  It’s not too late---do some reading and find out the best way to start using these little marvels yourself!


Importance of Updates


For all who have wised up and invested in a business website: Good for you!  Now for a tough question…are you maintaining that site as you should? 

Like any other form of marketing, websites need to be adjusted over time.  As with any medium used to advertise your business, you need to be certain that the information available on your website is current and reflective of your business now and tomorrow, not yesterday.  Maintenance of your website comes with the territory.  Otherwise, the up -front investment is only worthwhile for a year or two.

Regular updates to your website offer many benefits to you and your over-all website marketing needs:

  • Keeps you current with search engines
  • Offers accurate information to your site viewers
  • With-holds your brand identity for your business
  • Updating with website add-ons helps make your website a more profitable tool
  • Regular updates to your site are an easy and very cost-effective method more so than updates and changes to print pieces, signage, print ads, commercials, or radio ads.


There are several things to keep in mind when preparing to update your website, especially when the changes have been a long time coming:

  • Is your website in-tune with current website standards and sizes?
  • Is the information on your website accurate?  Have you altered any services, hours of operation, locations serviced, or team members?
  • Does your site look like a leading, ahead-of-the-competition sophisticated design?  Or does it look old, historic, and unappealing to those viewing it?
  • Are there any tools you could invest in now, to make your job, the tasks of your employees, or ease-of-use to your consumers a top priority in the near future?
  • What exactly do you need from your site going forward?  What functions do you need from it---what do your viewers need to be able to do through your website to become loyal consumers?

Updating your site may be a little tedious.  It may not appear to be a top priority—but bear this in mind: Your website is available when you are not.  Be certain that the statement that it makes is the best message you can send out on behalf of your business.