Columbus Ohio Custom Website Designs

Web Development, Graphic Design and Company News

All posts tagged branding

EXPERT SERIES – Understanding Copyright and the Imagery on your Website

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Written by Rachel List, Photographer & Designer

“Can I use this picture on my website?”

We get this question all the time from our clients, and the answer depends on the image copyright. Websites today are very visually driven and including compelling photos can help your business gain customers.  Making sure that you aren’t infringing on copyright with the photos you use on your site is incredibly important to avoid costly bills and potential lawsuits. Here are some quick tips on determining which photos you can use on your website without committing copyright infringement.

 

“I took this photo myself, can I use it on my website?”

YES

Copyright for a photo or other creative work is held by the creator of that image or work. If you took the photo, you are the creator and you can use those photos in any way you like.

 

“A friend took this photo; can I use it on my website?”objective

MAYBE

Did your friend give you permission to use the photo? If they did, then yes you can use the photo on your website. If you want to be completely sure you’re covered ask your friend to give you permission to use the photo in writing.

 

“I found a photo I like online; can I use it on my website?”

NO*

In almost all cases, you can’t just find a photo online and use it on your website because you don’t hold the copyright to that image. This is true for almost all online sources from google to Facebook, and everything in between. Just because someone shares a photo online does not mean that it can be used by anyone. The original creator of the image still retains the copyright and can enforce that copyright, which can result in civil or criminal penalties. There are only three exceptions to images found online being off limits for general use.

  1. You purchased the image from a stock photography agency online, which specifically sells photos with limited copyright permissions allowing you to use the photo on your website.
  2. You track down the original creator of the photo that you found online and get written permission to use the photo on your website.
  3. The image is in the public domain. (There are a lot of rules regarding images in the public domain, which we will address in another article)

 

“I purchased a photo from a stock agency, can I use it on my website?”

YES

Stock photography agency’s like iStockPhoto or Fotolia are great places to find imagery for your website and you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement because you are purchasing the right to display the image on your website. Each agency has a slightly different policy about usage rights so if you have questions about how you are using an image you can refer to their usage rights policies to make sure you’re in the clear.

 

“I don’t know where this photo is from, can I use it on my website?”

NO

If you’re unsure where you found a photo and you use it on your website, you could be infringing on copyright and opening yourself up to legal action. It’s better to not use a photo if you’re unsure of where it came from.

 

In conclusion, when selecting images for your website it is important to know where they came from and make sure you have permission to use the image in order to avoid leaving yourself open to civil or criminal penalties.

EXPERT SERIES – Why is consistent branding important to your business?

 

branding

Written by Eric Meinen, VP & Chief Creative Officer

Your brand is how you represent yourself to the world. Branding is not just your logo or your company colors (although important), branding encompasses so much more. From your website to your business cards to your overall message, consistent branding across all platforms helps establish your company’s identity.

A potential customer should be able to pick up one of your flyers, go to your website or look you up on social media and not feel like they’re viewing 3 different companies. The more consistent you are across every medium (web, print, video, etc.) the more recognizable you become. Recognition leads to familiarity which leads to trust.

When working with a client to develop their brand, we take into consideration many aspects of their business. Just a few questions we ask are:graphic_design_marketing_branding What is your current image? What makes you unique? Who is your target audience? Who are your competitors? Who you are and what you do should drive how you want you to be perceived. And although each business is unique with a different message, once your brand is in place, consistency of brand is something every company should have. Once your brand is established though, maintaining it might just prove to be more difficult.

Building a branding guide is a great first step towards maintaining your brand. A branding guide sets the usage rules for everything from logos to fonts to photos. Once your branding guide is in place, every member on your team will have a resource and reference to turn to when marketing your business across multiple platforms.

Your brand is the foundation of your marketing. It’s how you’re perceived by your clients. Without a strong consistent brand, your message is muddled, your image is blurred and your goals are unfocused. Contact Robintek now to see how we can help bring your brand into focus.

New Website Design and Launch – The Guard Room

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Check out our newest website design and launch, The Guard Room!  This site was built using our Robintek CMS, complete with custom eCommerce, product management, and shopping cart features.

The Guard Room was created in 2005 by Jodi and Tim Fairbanks as a resource for all pageantry groups to Make Money and Save Money. Organizations with great used merchandise that they’re not going to use anymore can Make Money by consigning these items. Other programs can then Save Money by buying these items at a fraction of what they would cost brand new.

EXPERT SERIES – Benefits of Pairing Organic SEO Efforts with a Site Redesign

 

main_image_developmentWritten by Joe Jorgenson, President

Over the past several years, Google has shifted its focus to the ongoing activity and engagement level of businesses, and their websites, to help determine rankings. The efforts a business takes to improve its position without engaging in paid advertising, or Pay-Per-Click campaigns, is referred to as Organic Search Engine Optimization. The most common efforts include:

  • Launching a Blog and implementing an aggressive approach to producing new blog content.
  • Producing case studies, white papers or in depth analysis of services offered by the company.
  • Adding multiple well designed, single focus, landing pages with clear calls to action.
  • Keywords and Meta tags count for less than they once did, but they still matter.
  • Tracking your visitors beyond the monthly hit count. Where did they come from? What did they search for when they came to us? What page did they leave from? Was there a conversion?
  • A link building strategy can take time to implement, but is effective.
  • Social Media is a necessary evil in today’s competitive business environment.
  • Mobile responsive web designs or retrofits make the site better for mobile users and will be rewarded in searches performed on mobile devices, which is more than 50% on Google.

Most of the effective Organic SEO work has to do with ongoing activity. Putting programs in place that require content contributions for all levels of your organization spreads the work around and allow for a better engagement across disciplines. Sharing the results of keyword research will help inform those contributors as to the company’s digital marketing objectives, the competitive landscape and will help to improve the content’s effectiveness. Too often a variation of a phrase will get searched for many multiples more frequently than another. Knowing this from the beginning will help those authors use the most effective phrasing.

The same content can be summarized, linked to and referenced on social media to provide quality content consistently. Social media allows for a more relaxed tone. Quality engagement can come from all types of posts, including the simple ‘Friday Funny’, sharing a local sports team’s post or wishing everyone a safe holiday weekend can get as many likes or shares as a well prepared article.

If Organic SEO is tied to the level of engagement and activity, why is a website redesign a recommended addition to most plans? Why do clothing stores spend so much time staging their products? The consumers have already driven to the store, parked and walked in. Why spend so much time and money month after month to make the store look beautiful? The answer is to increase the level of engagement with the consumer, to increase the conversion rate and to sell each person more each time we interact with them.

Some of the specific benefits of a redesign are:

  • Consumers feel high quality, modern websites reflect that the company is more trustworthy, more stable and that the interaction on the website will be more secure.
  • A redesign can afford the opportunity to place contact forms on every page, without looking forced.
  • Anchors to blog content can be placed on relative pages allowing for an automated way to update content throughout the site. The homepage shows the three most recent blog articles. A particular service page could show the three most recent blog posts pertaining to that service. Post one blog and update 5 pages by hitting save.
  • The cost of retrofitting a site to be mobile responsive or to include common conversion tools can often cost as much as rebuilding the site from scratch.
  • If updating content on your site frequently is something Google rewards, a redesign will see every page on your website updated at once.

high street tattooThere’s no silver bullet. There’s no one answer and the person who emailed promising to get you to number one on Google is either lying or is selling Pay-Per-Click. The most effective solution is to have the best website and to publish the best content, period.

Start with a plan for how to manage the ongoing content generation, social media interaction and research into how your current site has served. From there, look at competitor’s websites and similar businesses from other markets to see how they’ve structured their site. Look at other websites for businesses who serve the same people you’re trying to reach. Take the best pieces from each, come up with a design that reflects well on your brand, then build a new website!

But remember, the best race car in the world won’t win anything unless you put gas in the tank and drive it.

Robintek’s Mission Statement

1748h0042Robintek is proud to unveil our new mission statement:

“Our mission is to improve your brand image, online presence and information management through the most effective and appropriate uses of technology.”

A big thank you to all of our clients who have made nearly 20 years of service possible!

New Website Design and Launch – Retrofit Lighting

retrofit lighting

Check out our newest website design and launch, Retrofit Lighting!  This was built using our Robintek Content Management System, and included custom design, branding, and forms.

Retrofit-Lighting has been working with LED lighting and other LED Products for over thirty years. With their knowledge and experience, you are in good hands when making the right choices about the LED lighting product that you should consider when replacing your old lighting lamps and fixtures. Retrofit Lighting always has the latest most energy efficient lighting products to offer to give you the most savings possible when you Retrofit to LED Lighting.

New Website Design and Launch – Trident Security USA

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Check out our newest website design and launch, Trident Security!

In the wake of 9/11 and the demand for facility hardening through security design and construction, we have assembled a unique set of professionals from the areas of law enforcement, military, construction, and designers that work with you to determine your requirements and identify the correct products and services. We have developed a wide range of customized security solutions for all types of security environments.

New Website Design and Launch – EFOHCA

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Check out our newest website design and launch, The Educational Foundation of the Ohio Health Care Association!

The Educational Foundation of Ohio Health Care Association (EFOHCA) is the educational arm of the Ohio Health Care Association, the Ohio Centers for Assisted Living and the Ohio Centers for Development Disabilities. EFOHCA was created to provide quality educational materials and training opportunities to the estimated 100,000 long-term care professionals in Ohio.

The Educational Foundation of OHCA is a recognized leader of long-term care professional education in Ohio. EFOHCA offers programs that are timely, relevant to the changing needs of the profession, and conducted by the most knowledgeable experts in the field.

You can always count on EFOHCA to provide the educational resources needed to help you advance in your profession and continue to deliver the highest quality of care to the individuals we serve.

New Website, Logo Design, and Branding – College Bound Advantage

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Check out our newest website design and launch, College Bound Advantage!  In addition to the website, we worked with the College Bound Advantage team to create their branding logo design, as well as business cards for the first phase of their business launch.

At College Bound Advantage we take the guesswork out of finding the path to your college future.  We combine your interests and strengths and match them with majors and college or universities that fit you.  The result?  An affordable, customized package of college recommendations that ensure your long-term success.  Gone are hours of online searching, enlisting family and friends for ideas, and reading college books.  Also gone are…sub-optimal college choices that result in dissatisfaction, frustration, or just lost opportunities.

Ohio is blessed to have over 60 independent and 14 public colleges and universities as well as 18 community colleges, however each school has different academic programs, degrees of selectivity, cultures, student body demographics, academic support services, cost, student organizations, locations, and resources. Some colleges apply substantive resources to remediation and support a variety of learning challenges; others are highly selective and allocate resources to extending academics, and all in between. Additionally there may be significant differences between the same academic programs (majors) between schools. For example, while one school may offer a Geology major supported by 1 full-time faculty member, limited resources, no active student organization, and limited connection to potential employers yet another, at the same cost, may offer the same major but supports it with 7 full-time faculty members, a large departmental budget, a vibrant and active student organization, an annual study abroad trip, and a recurrent flow of potential employers supporting the program and its students. How will you know which is which?

That’s why we’re here!

New Website Design and Launch – Out Of The Boxx Toys

out of the boxx

Check out the new website design and launch for Out Of The Boxx Toys!

Here at Out of the Boxx we buy, sell and trade toys from the 60’s to now. We even hunt down that long lost favorite you’ve been missing. Our passion is toys, and we love to find them, restore them and sell them to you!

We’re always looking for new opportunities to talk about and purchase toys! If you’re interested in cleaning out the attic, garage or the kids room we can help. We offer fair prices and work efficiently and professionally. A lot better than a garage sale!

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