• Big dreams. Start here.
  • Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, British Columbia by Angelo Narciso
  • StartCanada: Web Design / Development + Social Media Marketing

StartCanada Blog

The StartCanada Blog provides insights about some of the work that we’re doing; including web design / development, design thinking, social media marketing, small business information, trends, tips, ideas and inspiration for start-ups, professionals, non-profits and small businesses.

Before & After: Roaming Alberta Meats Website

StartCanada client, Roaming Alberta Meats, connects meat producers to consumers. They believe in local, sustainable, ethical and delicious food! They are committed to sourcing local products that are grazed on native grasses, not given any antibiotics or growth hormones, and are finished on non-GMO grain from heritage seed to ensure an impeccable flavour.

Home Page: Before \ After

Products Page: Before \ After

Highlights of the new Roaming Alberta Meats website we created include:

  • Redeveloped logo / branding
  • Image product links with mouse hover animation
  • Blog page that includes news, events and recipes
  • Blog that allows remote updating through standard browsers
  • Specific subject selection list in the Contact page
  • Sliding image links of farmers on the Home page
  • Latest Blog page feeds on the Home page

Click and explore the Roaming Alberta Meats website!

Website Update: Fusion Therapy Services Website

StartCanada client, Fusion Therapy Services, are an eclectic group of passionate professionals drawn from the worlds of rehabilitation, health and wellness. Their team includes licensed occupational therapists, physical therapists and registered massage therapists.

Highlights of the FusionErgonomics.com website update include:

  • Larger image banners and cleaner lines
  • Subtle parallax effect of the spine logo background
  • Specific subject selection list in the Contact page
  • Integration of print, media and announcements in the Blog page

Click and explore the Fusion Therapy Services website!

Before & After: Durango Developments Website

StartCanada client, Durango Developments, is a forward-thinking, service-driven, inner-city boutique builder with over 20 years of experience. They build custom homes, spec homes and infill homes, including renovation of kitchens, bathrooms, basements and additions. Here are before and after screenshots of the work we did on their website.

Home Page: Before \ After

Portfolio Page: Before \ After

Highlights of the new Durango Developments website we created include:

  • A new logo and slogan / brand identification
  • Left-hand menu navigation
  • Social media links
  • Integration of client testimonials
  • Portfolio photo thumbnails and galleries
  • A blog that allows remote updating through standard browsers
  • Latest Blog page feeds on the Home page
  • Section summaries on the Home page, including the latest Blog posts

Click and explore the Durango Developments website!

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Last April 21, Google announced the implementation of its mobile-friendly update. The update:

  • Affects only search rankings on mobile devices,
  • Affects search results in all languages globally, and
  • Applies to individual pages, not entire websites.

How does that affect your website? Your website has to represent you well on mobile devices. Here are a couple of reasons you should care...

  • Today, about half of the adult population owns a smartphone; by 2020, 80% will, and
  • 89% of smartphone users look for local information on their phone and 88% take action as a result, such as making a purchase or contacting the business.

Test your website if it is mobile friendly through Google's Mobile Friendly Test.

In seconds, the test reveals if your website is awesome and mobile-friendly. It even gives a phone screen shot of how the Googlebot sees your website!

Google recognizes three different configurations for building mobile sites.

  • Responsive Web Design,
  • Dynamic Serving, and
  • Separate URLs.

Responsive web design is Google's recommended design configuration for building websites.

Source: The Economist, Google Think Insights, Google Developers

Google Adds Mobile Friendly to Search Today

Today, Google will add "mobile friendliness" to the 200 or so factors it uses to rank websites on its search results. The two important changes are as follows:

  • Google will be expanding the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal which will have a significant impact on search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
  • Google will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search.

Google will start to reward sites that provide a good mobile experience for users. As a result, websites that do not meet Google's criteria will tumble in its all-important rankings.

While the mobile-friendly change is important, the ranking update will not make a non-mobile-friendly page with high-quality content rank below lower-quality pages that are mobile-friendly.

Source: Google, New York Times, Econsultancy
Photo: © Angelo Narciso, Casablanca, Morocco

Small Businesses in Canada Export Through Websites

Pierre Cleroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist of the Business Development Bank of Canada spoke to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce about What to Expect in 2015: An Economic Outlook for Small and Medium Businesses.

"So if you are an owner of a small business, you might think exporting is a good idea but mostly for large and mid-size firms. I want to give you a different perspective about this because more and more small businesses are able to export with new technology. Digital technology is changing the game for small business. You can access billions of consumers online with very low costs... something not possible 10 years ago."

Mr. Cleroux continues to explain the how websites enable small businesses to export their products to the world. His three examples were outfits in:

  • Calgary selling pipeline sealers,
  • Nova Scotia selling dog food, and
  • British Columbia selling spa uniforms.

HIs presentation starts at 21:30 of the Calgary Chamber video.

Source: Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Photo: © Angelo Narciso, Delta Hotel, Calgary, AB

Five Web Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Five Internet marketing musts according to Ilya Pozin, Founder of Pluto.TV

  1. A well-designed website. 
    Design matters, especially when it comes to your website. 
  2. Smart(er) SEO (Search Engine Optimization). 
    Getting your brand to the top of search engine results is something every business wants.
  3. Noteworthy email marketing efforts.
    If you’re looking to reach your customers and stick to a tight budget, email marketing might do the trick.
  4. Leave your mark socially.
    If your business isn’t on any social networking websites, then, well, you're living under a rock.
  5. Embrace multimedia.
    Now more than ever is the time for meaningful imagery in your business's marketing tactics.

Source: Inc.com

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StartCanada Business Development Corporation

Big dreams. Start here.

StartCanada is a Canadian company that designs, develops and manages elegant and effective websites for start-ups, professionals, non-profits and small businesses. StartCanada also provides social media marketing services for its clients.

Angelo Narciso leads StartCanada and is involved with business development, the design thinking process of web design / development, website management and social media marketing.