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2014 Sizzle Award Winner

2014 Sizzle Award Winner

 JLB Wins 2014 Sizzle Award for Best Web Development Company in Williamson County

JLB, a full-service web marketing firm voted Best in Williamson County

Franklin, TN  (April 11, 2014) – JLB Works, LLC, today announced that it was recently awarded the Sizzle Award for Williamson County’s Best Web Development company.

The Sizzle Awards, hosted by Southern Exposure Magazine, the Williamson Herald, and Franklinis.com, is an annual competition in which residents and business owners choose their “favorite” businesses and services in Williamson County.  In its seventh year, the Sizzle Awards entered over 100 categories and received several hundred thousand votes, adding several new categories that included Best Web Development Company.

 “Given the obvious need for businesses to have an outstanding presence and strategy on the internet, it was nice to see Best Web Development as a new category this year.  We are thrilled to be the first to be chosen Williamson County’s favorite Web Development Company and are proud of the work we do here.  JLB has had great community success for over 10 years and I am honored that our customers have chosen to recognize us as the 2014 Sizzle Awards winner in this category,” said Ken Royer, JLB’s President and CEO.  Royer added, “We work hard to be a business’s internet domain marketing partner so that they can propel their brand and lift their identity online without having to figure out all the complexities.  This is being received well and will continue to be one of our key differentiators.”

To celebrate as the first web development firm to win the Sizzle Award in this category, JLB is extending an open invitation to Williamson County residents to visit their office at 423 4th Ave. N. in Franklin, TN.

About JLB (www.jlbworks.com)

JLB is an Internet marketing and communications business that delivers professional results from concept to support. JLB’s core value is that all key elements of a website operation are fully managed in-house with business class support. JLB also has a strong commitment to CASA where every dollar spent on JLB hosted services delivers a recurring contribution to help children in need. For more information, please visit www.jlbworks.com or contact JLB at 615-794-2123.

 

How Much Is Online Presence Helping Small Business?

Via Forbes.com:

Research demonstrates that smaller businesses, by and large, are not maximizing the benefit of their Internet presence.

This may be surprising to hear, and even disappointing to some, but it should be pointed out that those taking advantage of it, are really experiencing significant gains.

So why are so many still missing the boat?

Small businesses can often be charged with the harsh reality of just keeping the lights on. Computer and communications technology is complex and even somewhat obscure to the general public – not everybody wants to spend their weekend figuring out how to optimize a deployment, and others, well, they’re just not necessarily built for it.

But the research, conducted by San Mateo, CA-based Merrill Research, demonstrates that smaller businesses can leverage their position with minimal.

A recent study — called Benefits And Barriers Of Bringing A Small Business Online: Perspectives From Global Small Businesses — helped to shed some light. The study was conducted earlier this year (late May though early June) and measured the responses of 1,050 businesses with 1 to 49 employees. The demographics were as follows: 150 each from China, France, Germany, India, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom. All of the respondents were from the commercial sector (i.e., not educational, governmental, military, or non-profit) and they had to have an online presence of some sort (either a website, social media account, e-commerce site, local review site, or blog).

What was ultimately discovered was of considerable interest. It turned out to be pretty interesting. While most understood the importance of an appealing website, many simply opted for social media instead.

The essential wisdom garnered was that small businesses, most of which don’t have IT people on staff, think that using a social medium to host a Web presence is easier than doing it themselves. Why? Primarily because these sites offer a simple template that simply has to be populated. And, among those who were involved in e-commerce (selling things over the Internet) sites like Amazon.comEtsyShopify, or eBay seemed to most as good a place as any to set up shop online.

Unfortunately, those who choose such direction may be missing out on the true value of having one’s own, well-defined space on the Web.

The value of a domain for a small business is far more significant than many realize. Not only does it provide the foundation for one’s home page, but it can also be used to point to one’s Facebook or other social media site.  It may even be used for branded email – a hallmark for “real” businesses.

It turns out that before many respondents created their websites, a slight majority have thought that their greatest inhibitor would be a lack of technical knowledge. Some other perceived obstacles mentioned included cost, support, investment of time and security. Upon project completion, concerns turned to Web maintenance and content sources.

It seems most don’t realize how many affordable and effective solutions exist in today’s market.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • A great way to differentiate yourself is to find ways to continue great relationships and support with online customers. Let them know you care and that they are appreciated.
  • You are the expert of your product. And even online, special preference will be give to local business. Don’t miss the opportunity to remind people how available you really are.
  • Make sure your online presence is all that it can be. Again, there are cost-effective ways to look like you really know what you are doing. Looking established will set you apart right from the start.
  • If you take your online presence seriously, there is no better way to compete with “the bigs.” In fact, it is entirely possible to take a bite out of larger competitors’ volume.

The Science of Colors in Marketing and Web Design

We came across this article from Think Brilliant by Dave posted on April 9, 2010, and found it quite interesting.  Tell us what you think.

“Color has been used as a catalyst for affecting human mood and behavior in marketing for centuries. Today, similar principals of color psychology are being utilized across the web to insight interaction and emotion from onlookers and consumers alike.

What is it about colors that make someone feel differently toward products or places? Are people more likely to be hungry in rooms with red walls? Are we more likely to be calm in blue surroundings or more apt to buy a product based on the boldness of attention grabbing colors like yellow? Numerous studies have been conducted in attempts to decipher correlations between colors and human behavior, and while some professionals remain skeptics you can bet that businesses don’t. So how much validity is there in this spectral dispute?

Well, to put it simply: A LOT. For sighted people, color is a constant. It’s omnipresent. It’s everywhere. There’s no escaping it, that is, of course until you close your eyes. Oh wait, there maybe some color there too…gahh!

Most of us are so immune to color that we do not even realize how it affects our mood or behavior. Advertisers and marketers have spent vast amounts of time and money in attempts to sway or engage consumers into utilizing their services or buying their products. It is not by accident that the CocaCola™ logo and cans have remained red for decades. In fact, even the mention of CocaCola™, probably had you immediately associate the product with the color red.

Quite naturally, similar color principals have made their way to the web as it is primarily associated with being a visual tool. Any seasoned designer will know, at least, the basics of color interaction and combination to positively impact visitors’ first and sustained impressions.

While different cultures retain individualistic adherences to colors and schemes alike, in the western world color sentiment is usually depicted as follows:

Many, would argue that in web design, sites are not made up of just one single color from which to conjure emotion, but rather construed of a series of colors making up a scheme. Even so, through proper color combination you can see a predominancy of underlying tones. For example, let’s take a look at three different auto manufacturer sites:

First to the plate, we have Jaguar. A powerful luxury auto manufacturer who markets and caters to individuals of affluence. Note the predominance of black, signifying power and sophistication with subtle hints of white and blue often associated with purity and tranquility. In a sense these colors are conveying that the product itself, while powerful, will be a serene experience to operate.

Keeping in the realm of luxury, next up we have Bentley. The prestige and class that Bentley is known for shines through the sites use of white and grey, with subtle hints of black tying together its elegance.

And finally, we have the Toyota Prius. Ahh the Prius. It may be a bit sluggish, but it’s good for the environment. Right off the bat, you can notice the major splashes of green, that is meant to signify, you guessed it… being “green”. The use of orange relates to ambition, energy and new beginnings. A perfect fit for this environmentally sound machine.

Putting it all together: So what is the point of all of this? The main thing here is that when beginning a new project, whether it be marketing, branding, identity, or design think about who your target audience is. What kind of emotion do you want your visitors or customers to feel not only on first glance but when they use your product or service. Colors can be a powerful tool to entice and engage your target audience, and if properly used can be extremely beneficial to your marketing success.”

Franklin Mercantile Redesign

This week, we launched the Franklin Mercantile’s new site. Graeme and Corrie have been two of our favorite clients over the years and we were excited to give them a fresh look that went along with the decor of The Merc. They had local photographer [and friend!], Dave Braud take pictures of their delicious food and storefront and they really add to the aesthetic of the site. We built their site in WordPress so they could easily update their, now, ever-changing menu. It was also important to the Asches that they could inform their clients about upcoming events and specials, so we added a calendar. We’re happy that this project was such a success! Everyone take a look HERE.

Franklin Mercantile

Comments, comments are no fun…

For a long time, I’ve known not to read the comments section of any blog post or news article I’ve found online. People seem to lose any sense of decency and decorum as soon as they start typing in that little box at the bottom of the page. Turns out, I’m not the only one who avoids them.

I just came across an article on fastcompany.com posted by Drake Baer that talks about why people can be so mean and awful in the comments section.

The Psychology Behind Why Online Comments Turn Normal People Into Ghastly Ghouls

Here’s a little snippet: “…the more removed we are from the richness of face-to-face interaction, the more likely we are to offend people…”

As I read that last part, I was reminded of a great Louis C.K. interview on Conan that I saw where he says something really similar but in the context of his kids owning cell phones at an early age:

“They don’t look at people when they talk to them and they don’t build that empathy. You know, kids are mean, and it’s because they’re trying it out. They look at a kid and they go, ‘you’re fat’ and then they see the kids face scrunch and go ‘ooh, that doesn’t feel good to make a person do that.’ But they got to start with doing the mean thing, but when they write ‘you’re fat,’ then they just go, ‘mmm, that was fun, I like that.’”

Awesome Signage

Signage is everywhere. Whether it’s a restaurant sign, coffee shop sign, corporate building sign, road sign, or a sign from God, we’re inundated with signs in our daily lives.

Thankfully, Amrit Pal Singh of amritpaldesign.com compiled a nicely curated selection of the best of the best. Take a look!

Awesome Signage Design

Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word 2013

If you follow WordPress news, you’ll know that Matt Mullenweg gave his annual “State of the Word” talk at WordCamp San Fransisco. If you really follow WordPress news, you’ll be just as excited as I am for what WordPress core will be bringing us. From the history of the first WordCamp San Francisco 8 years ago to what versions 3.7 (and even 3.8) will be bringing us, Matt’s talk was one surely not to miss.

Read more…

Matt Cutts and Some Summer Intel from Google

Matt Cutts recently posted a nice little vlog on Google’s latest direction in the world of SEO. It’s not too deep, but it does provide a telling snpashot of some of the areas that Google is focusing on for the next several months.

Key areas of change and growth? Read more…

Does your business need a mobile app?

Does your business need a mobile app?

Mobile is growing, and everybody knows it. As creatives, we get excited about exploring newer realms. As businesses, we get excited about seeing our website on our latest smart phones and tablets. Sometimes this excitement can steer you in the wrong direction, causing us to overshoot our goals.

From a business standpoint, the most important thing to consider is ROI. While it is important for a business to stay current, consideration should be given to WHY we think we need a mobile app. While mobile web traffic has been on a steady rise, most people don’t realize that it still only accounts for approximately 7% of total web traffic. The cost of a “native” app (the kind you download and install on your device) can be much higher than you may realize. The development process is very different than a typical website. An app is, after all, software, and requires many more iterations of coding, user testing, etc… to complete. Once complete, a new operating system or a new device will hit the market creating an almost endless need for maintenance and updates to the app.

So why choose to develop a mobile app? Read more…

Why convert to Sticky Navigation?

Sticky or fixed navigation refers to navigation that doesn’t get lost when you scroll down on a website. Although only a few major sites have adopted this design, Facebook and Google + for example, research is showing overwhelming statistics that people prefer sticky navigation to the traditional, even though they may not realize why. Read more…