Is Your Website Ready For The Biggest Shopping Season of the Year?


Categories: Oracast News

Here are a couple of key questions to ask yourself as you approach the holiday season. Answer each question honestly and then use the answers to improve your holiday marketing strategy.

What types of offers and campaigns will you run and why? (Here’s a few ideas last minute marketing ideas)

How much traffic did your website receive last year, and what are 5 ways you can drive more traffic to your website this year?

What were last year’s conversion rates? What are 5 ways you can improve upon those?

What changes can be made to your website to increase conversion rates, increase traffic and reflect the holiday season? Make a list.

Is your website “up to speed” with quick load-times and checkout times? (Talk to your hosting company if you are not happy with load-times to see what can be done in speed it up.)

What feedback did you receive last year you can implement this year to improve the shopping experience and customer service for your clients?

How can you get to know your customers better this season?

7 Marketing Tips To Gobble Over This Thanksgiving


Categories: Oracast News

Send Thank You Cards

Thank you cards go a long way in making your clients feel special and appreciated. While it’s always a good time for a thank you card, Thanksgiving is an excellent time to tie it into the spirit of being Thankful. Thank your clients for working with you this year. Go a step further by making a list of your best clients and add a hand written note to your cards.

Give Back

Thanksgiving is a great time to give back to the community. This can be through donating to a charity or by getting your team involved in helping out a family with a meal. Giving back builds moral and spreads the holiday cheer and shows your commitment to the community you are a part of.

Reflect The Festive Season In Your Graphics

Add a little Thanksgiving flair to your website and social media profile images, or even your logo. Even simple and subtle changes are enough to send out that thanksgiving vibe. Pumpkins, turkeys and fall leaves are very popular this festive time of year.

Host a Competition

Get customers involved by hosting a competition. This idea, for example, is a win-win. Have your clients let you know what products they are most thankful for this year and get them to submit their answers along with a snapshot of the product. Launch the competition through social media and then pick a winner! Most people love the chance to win great prizes and you’ll get a lot of positive word-of-mouth exposure. If customers hit the share button, your business will get even more free advertising. Don’t forget to post the lucky winners on your Facebook and Twitter pages.

A Chance To Show Thankfulness

Ask your customers and your company employees to share festive photos of what means the most to them this thanksgiving. Thankful words and images of family members or pets is always uplifting and it shows the human side of your brand.

Thank Your Clients Online

Say thank you to your clients by featuring their businesses on your website and social media pages. This is another win-win idea as featuring your clients can gain them potential new clients, as well as it shows your appreciation and community spirit. (Ask permission first!)

Offer a Discount

Start off the season by offering a deal on your products and services. With Christmas right around the corner, this is a great time to grab some extra attention and attract new customers. Advertise the promo by saying thank you to customers for supporting your business.

Best Ways To Send Large Files


Categories: Oracast News

Clients often need to send us high quality photos, videos and documents during the website and app development process and these can sometimes result in some pretty large file sizes. There are many options when it comes to transfering large files over the internet. Here are our top picks for transfering large files online that are easy and won’t cost you a penny.

Compress Your Files

It’s best to avoid trying to send huge files over email as it can cause hang ups and delay’s and most email services have a file size limit of 20MB. If you have documents you’d like to send and you are finding them a bit too large for email, compress them into a smaller size. If you have more than one file, zipping them all together can simplify the process. Once your files have been compressed, check the file size to determine the best way to send them.

Here is the quick fix to creating .zip files:

Windows Mac
  1. Find the file you want to compress
  2. Right click on it and select “Send To”
  3. Choose “Compressed (zipped) Folder”
  1. Find the file you want to compress
  2. Two-finger click/command+click on the file
  3. Select “Compress …”

Of course, even after files are compressed they may still be too big to send over email. Espcially when sending jpeg’s and png files, compression doesn’t always reduce file size by a whole lot. A simple method for sending files over 20MB is through a file-sharing web service (or cloud storage service).

Upload to a Cloud Storage Service

Instead of (or in addition to) compressing your files, you can upload them to an online cloud storage service where your recipient can download them. The free accounts do have space limitations, so sending an HD movie this way won’t work for free, but it is a great option for sharing high quality photos and documents.

Dropbox is the most popular file transfer option. It offers 5GB of storage space for free and a variety of sharing options and is very easy to use. All you do is simply create a free account, drag and drop your files into the ‘dropbox’ area and click share to generate the link to send to your desired recipient. Your recipent then simply clicks the link and downloads the files. Easy!

Google Drive is another super popular option for sharing big files, though it also caps the free space at 5GB of storage. It’s likely you already have a google account, and you can access Google Drive and Google Docs from there. Similar to the interface of DropBox, you can drag and drop files and sync them with your Google space. One big advantage to Google Docs is it gives you the option of collaborating on a document instead of just sharing it.

Mediafire offers  10GB of free storage, but it limits file uploads to 200MB so it’s not great for transfering video files. It’s available for iPhone, Android, OSX, Windows, and Web.

There are endless companies providing file transfer services. The above are simply a few of the most popular.

For complete control over file sharing, you can set-up your own private FTP server using free software like FileZilla.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

FTP is designed to transfer large files between computers or a network. When you download and set this up on your computer, you can share a directory by providing your recipient with a network address and password (they will also need to download the software you are using to their computer however). This option is not as intuitive for the non-tech savvy as the other options mentioned above, however, it does allow you to remove files and access at anytime giving you more control. We recommend Filezilla as it is free and supports a wide range of transfer protocols and runs on a Mac, Windows and Linux operating system.

If you’re still unsure what method to use to send us your files, simply ask your project manager, and they will be able to assist you.

Top Strategies For Growing Your Email List in 2016


Categories: Oracast News

There are many channels to take when marketing a business online. Implementing several marketing tactics that all work together produce the best results for attracting new clients. This includes search engine optimization, content marketing, social media, blogging, pay-per-click advertising, and email marketing. Building a client list (or prospective client list) by capturing email addresses remains a top priority for marketers. This should be considered as you build your website and create your overall business marketing strategy.
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Why Your Site Is At Risk Of Being Hacked


Categories: Oracast News

There are over 8 million results in Google for the keywords “recover hacked wp site”. Why is website security such a huge issue, and what’s in it for the hackers anyway?

Many website owners assume hackers are always after sensitive information like credit card numbers, personal data and lists of email addresses. While such sensitive information certainly gets targeted, there are a huge host of reasons why hackers compromise websites. Any site could be a risk, no matter what your site is for or how much traffic you have.

The problem of a hacked website is more common than you may imagine. In fact, if you don’t have the latest version of WordPress and haven’t taken some precautionary measures to ward off attackers, chances are your site will at some point get hacked. Even with safe-guards in place, there is no guarantee your site will not be compromised, but with care, the chances can be greatly reduced.
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SEO – Positioning Yourself In 2016


Categories: Oracast News

I’ve been in the web industry for the past 10 years, and over that time, there have been many changes in they way Google ranks websites, displays content and what they offer their users. The core theory of SEO (search engine optimization) is essentially the same, only Google has become smarter in the way they rank websites and many more factors need to be considered these days.

As with all things digital, strategies that worked in the past, don’t work forever and there are many new influences on the scene.

Optimizing your website using the traditional methods of keywords, back links, title tags and website structure is all still valid and important. Mainly SEO has expanded to include user experience, higher quality content and a ‘bigger picture’.

Be In More Places

Google wants to offer their users as many options as possible. Search engine results may yield social media sites, Google My Business, click to call phone numbers, hours of operation, Google Maps and Google answers ahead of other sites. This is where having an online presence on other platforms (as well as your own website) is important. This means having social media accounts, listings on local sites, a Google My Business account and a website your visitors love and talk about online.

Quality Content

User experience is of high priority to Google.  The focus is content marketing that meets user needs. Content must be unique and cater to your specific audience. This has led to more engaging and shareable media such as video, infographics, unique photography, and readability factoring into today’s SEO strategy.

“The reality is search engines are getting much smarter. The content creator is having a lot less control over how their pages are showing up and what words they’re showing up for.” Martin Laetsch, director of online marketing at Beaverton


Mobile is part of the user experience of today. Your website needs to be accessible, responsive and readable on mobile devices in order for your site to show up on a mobile search. This will impact how Google ranks your site. The use of apps is also on the rise, and having links to apps also helps SEO.

Now What?

There are many factors that influence SEO. It can seem overwhelming for businesses to ‘be everywhere’ online, produce quality content and keep up social media while running a business. Online success is best built over time with a solid strategy and marketing plan. Keeping all cylinders firing will result in the best online branding for your business, and if you are finding you simply do not have the time to invest, we’re here to be your partners for online growth!

Make an Irresistible Call To Action


Categories: Oracast News

Here at Oracast, we talk a lot about Calls To Action, usually abbreviated to CTA’s.

What is a call to action? A call to action is a button, an image or text that prompts the visitor to take the next step, or in other words, to take action. The action could be anything from clicking on the link, signing up, buying an item, downloading an ebook, whatever your goal is for your visitors to do on that page of the website will help you determine your call to action for that page.

In the website development process at Oracast, we encourage a call to action on each page of the website. It’s usually best to have only one clear call to action per page, but there are some instances where you may have more than one.
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You’ve Got Mail. Emails That Make an Impact


Categories: Oracast News

Email is the most used product on earth, and email marketing is still one of the best ways to market to clients and subscribers. It’s not about spamming everyone with emails these days, but taking a much more focused approach with targeted recipients, and of course, following the laws of the land which require opt-ins.

It is not a dyeing marketing strategy as some claim. Far from that, it is still a very effective tool and we predict it will continue to be an important aspect of marketing for years to come. This is because it gets results and it is also very cost effective. Email marketing updates clients and subscribers on news, tips and advice and can build a deeper relationship with clients while keeping your business ‘top of mind’.

While email marketing can be a very effective tool, your emails need to be crafted in such a way that they do not feel spammy. How do you do this? By building trust in your clients and giving them real value. Good email content should give targeted recipients quality niche information they would appreciate and would share with others. Good emails can also offer exclusive subscriber discounts, making them feel important and giving them a great deal at the same time.

Not sure where to start for your business? It can be hard to find truly inspirational examples of excellent emails, unless you subscribe to countless email lists, however, has done the work for us and compiled a fun list of emails that made an impact. Here is a sneak peak at a few of them:

sample email

mothers day sample email

sample email from poppin

The rest of the email examples can be found here:

Success is dependent on the quality of articles and unique presentation. Looking at these email examples can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing and be helpful in seeing which emails are read and appreciated by recipients.

Need a marketing strategy? Oracast can help! Contact us today.

Mobile App Design Trends


Categories: Oracast News

Thinking of developing an app? Here’s a few great design tips that will give your app the latest edge of 2015 and beyond.

Call To Action (CTA)

As trends shift to mobile, an increasing amount of thought is going into utilizing small screen size for maximum visual appeal and conversions. As with websites, the call to action buttons have an impact on generating leads and converting visitors into buyers or customers. The 2015 trend for mobile is blurry background images and contrasting CTA’s so they stand out as much as possible. As you will see in the Vimeo app example below, the design is clean and simple, and the call to action buttons contrast against the dark background.

Screen shot of vimeo app
CTA’s standout against the dark background in the Vimeo app.

Hidden Menus

You may have noticed that hidden menus are a hugely popular design feature. Menu’s and responsive drawers that become visible when swiped and retract when not needed are featured on most new apps. As users become accustomed to smartphone functionality and comfortable with swiping and what to expect, apps are becoming more sophisticated. The purpose is to de-clutter the screen so your smartphone can turn into one of the thousands of handy devices such as a GPS, keyboard or the video camera that you‘d like it to be with clean and clear functionality.

responsive drawer image from the whole foods app.
Example of a responsive drawer from an app

Animated Elements

Interactive and attention grabbing, animation is a cool visual component. It can be used to save screen space, to motivate the user, to create an awesome interactive experience, to entertain and to enhance functionality. Animation is gaining popularity as app developers compete for customer attention… and user experience is at the top of the list.

Screen shot of the KFC app, in which animation is used.
KFC uses animation in app – a popular trend

Story Telling

Facts tell, stories sell, and there is no exception when it comes to mobile app design. As mobile apps become more interactive, story telling is taking on new and engaging forms. Captivating video, bold imagery and personalized experiences are all elements you can expect in the latest app development.

Story telling is age old, and there's no exeption when it comes to app design. This is a screen shot of the redbull story from their app.
Facts tell, stories sell.

There is no question mobile design will become increasingly interactive as the user experience tops the agenda of developers. Need an app? Our professional app developers are at your service!

Google Analytics: 3 Tips to Understanding your Metrics at a Glance


Categories: Oracast News

Google Analytics and Web Master Tools are important and useful tools in tracking website statistics. Unless requested otherwise, Oracast set’s up every website we launch with access to these free tools. We’d like to help our clients get the most out of these readily available statistics.

So, once your website is launched and your analytics tools are in place, how do you use these tools to your advantage?


Google analytics reflects three main metrics: acquisition, engagement and outcome. Today I would like to focus on engagement. How do you know your website is reaching the right audience and engaging your visitors?

Here are a few metrics we like to look at:

  • Bounce rate   (Ideally below 60%)
  • Time on site (Above 60 seconds indicates an engaged visitor)
  • Page views   (The more, the better. Take note of which pages are trending)
  • Pages per visit   (The more, the better. Note blog pages)

#1 Landing Page:

One of the first statistics to check out is your homepage is your bounce rate. This will give you a good indication of how many of your visitors are sticking.

You have less than 5 seconds to capture your visitor with a clear message about why they are looking at your website, or they’re gone.

One of the main reasons people ‘bounce’ off websites is because of a lack of clarity. If your homepage bounce rate is above 60% it’s time to take a second look with fresh eyes. Show your website homepage to a few people who have never seen it before and ask them what your company does after 5 seconds. Do they know the answer?


Here is a good example of a clear landing page. Within 5 seconds it’s easy to tell Hootsuite is a social media management tool.



The top of the page is where visitors eyes land first. I usually recommend a clear headline supported by an image that quickly and clearly communicates what your company does.

#2 Popular Content

Take a look at what pages visitors are spending the most time on. This will help you to determine what content they really want from your website.

If visitors are staying on a page for more than 60 seconds, it’s a good indication that they are engaged.

Make note of the pages with the highest time spent and which pages have the most visits. This can be found under Behavior > Site Content >

analyticsAlso look into your blog article statistics and determine which topics are the most popular and helpful to your visitors. Another way to find out which content is the most popular is by looking at the keywords people typed in to find your website in the first place. What are the most popular keywords on your site?

Increasing your engaging content will entice visitors to stay on your website longer and return again and again. Ultimately if you are providing content people are looking for, the number of visitors to your website will grow over time.


#3 Growth Patterns

Start with the default 30 days, and then change the date range to 3-6 months, and 1 -2 years (if available), and compare. Looking at the long term statistics will help you pick up on larger trends. Are there certain times of the year your traffic spikes or dips such as holidays?


It’s a good sign if there is a growing trend such as an increasing number of unique visitors, page views and time on site over the long term. If the patterns are decreasing, there may be some gaps in your content or SEO strategies.

Reach Your Online Goals

There are many important things you can discover about your website and audience by taking a look at your Google analytics. We recommend signing into your analytics tools at least once every three months and measuring up the stats to your goals.

We are here to help you reach the goals you’ve set-out to achieve. Let us know if you have any questions about your website’s analytics and we will be happy to help!