Global Wire Associates

Thinking About Redesigning Your Website For 2018?

Responsive Web Design Detailed on a BlackboardDuring this time of the year, my company Global Wire Associates starts to get calls from other businesses and nonprofits about getting help with reorganizing their digital strategy for the new year, namely their online presence.  Websites play a central role in online marketing plans today, and now is a good time to start the process so you can have a brand new website up and running on New Year’s Day.  How users interact with your site can make or break your business.  Before you do the redesign, create a checklist of wants and needs for the website, conduct a content audit, and answer the following questions.

Has your mission statement changed?  Usually, when the organizational goals and missions change, the website should also reflect this change as well.  Is the current mission clear to all users when they come to your website?  

Has the purpose of your website changed?  This is slightly different from the company mission as this more relates to technical aspects.  For example, do you want to sell products and services online?  Then you have to redesign your website to support e-commerce.

Is your content working for you? After you do a content audit, you might realize that you need to clean up the website’s text, images, and/or video.  Like we say here all the time, it really doesn’t matter how fabulous your website looks.  If you don’t have great content on your site, most people will not only not care about your web presence, but they will also not care to learn more about you or your organization. Having high-quality content on your web presence is a top priority for establishing both your credibility and your brand.

Is your website usable? A great website is one where users can easily navigate it to find what they want and have a reason to stick around long enough to convert to or became more engaged customers.  

What is your competition doing? You need to constantly keep track of what your competition is doing, and how you can get the competitive edge.  Is there something you can do different that would get the attention of customers?  

Is your website responsive? Google search engines are now giving higher rankings to websites that are mobile-friendly, or websites that can be viewed easily on mobile phones and tablets.  A responsive website adjusts to different browser screen sizes, rather than to different devices, without compromising the quality of the content and site design. A responsive website is also a better return on investment for your website and your company’s marketing strategy.

Are you thinking about your 2018 digital strategy and need some help?  Contact Global Wire Design at info(at)

Support News and Information for Refugees

President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees from Muslim-majority countries has been disturbing to many, including myself.  I work with two videographers from Somalia who regularly travel back Mogadishu and Nairobi to see family, and this may now be up in jeopardy.  This also touched me personally because my whole family immigrated to the United States from Jamaica in the 1970s so I could have better opportunities.  Many of them also have green cards.  I worry about how Trump will expand the order in the new future.

I have been lucky to meet with many immigrants and refugees throughout the years through my work at Global Wire Associates, where we provide basic computer literacy and media development training to those who support making communication accessible to all.

Many immigrants and refugees depend on clear and concise news and information to stay abreast of issues directly affecting them.  Internews in South Sudan has developed an innovative recorded audio program to provide life-saving and life-enhancing information to people displaced at four of the UNMISS Protection of Civilians sites across South Sudan following the conflict in that broke out in that country in mid-December 2013. The service utilizes a quad bike that moves around the site playing the programs in dedicated public spaces, at “Listening Stops”, through speakers that are bolted to the bike. A USB flash drive with the twice weekly professionally produced program is plugged into speakers.

Internews is a leader in humanitarian communication.  If you can, please consider making a donation to the organization to help them to continue their good work!

Time To Do a Spring Content Audit

The Web Design ProcessSpring is here, and it is time to do some cleaning, and I am not just talking about around your house.  Now is a great time to do an inventory on your online presence by doing a content audit.

What is a content audit?

No, a content audit has nothing to do with your taxes.  Rather, it is an inventory check of the content on your website, social media or other online platforms.

Why would I want to do a content audit?

The main purpose of having a content strategy is to make sure the information you are presenting online is consistent with your organizational messaging and brand identity.  It’s a good idea to do audits to keep your content on point.

What things should I be looking for in a content audit?

This depends largely on what the goals are behind your content strategy.  An audit can be an inventory of your whole website, or certain parts of it.  Some audits might just look at the effectiveness of your email newsletter or social media strategies.  There is also something called content sampling, where you randomly select content on your website to review.

How exactly do you conduct a content audit?

In the simplest fashion by using a spreadsheet, a basic audit for a website will include columns for the following: Page Title, Page URL, Keywords/SEO, Description, Date Published and Audit Date.  There you want to go through your website and fill in the rows with the metrics you are auditing. If you use a web traffic reporting tool like Google Analytics or Hootsuite, you would need to match the traffic with the pages.

You will spend your time reviewing the conversion rates and content for your pages on the spreadsheet.  Specifically:

  1. What are the web pages or links with the most or least traffic?
  2. Are images easy to view and tagged correctly?  
  3. Is your content up to date?
  4. Are pages meeting the standards for web accessibility?
  5. Are blog posts written with proper grammar and appropriately embedded SEO keywords?  
  6. Do you need a redesign of your website?
  7. Are your email and social media outreach consistent with content posted on your website?   
  8. Can some content be repurposed on other platforms?  
  9. Should you stop using a certain platform if it isn’t giving you the needed results?
  10. Etc… other content questions specific to your audit

Now would be a good time to correct and/or delete any content that no longer serve your purposes. Depending on how much content you are reviewing, like a website with hundreds or even thousands of pages, the process might take a while and you will need to get your co-workers or colleagues to help you.

How often should I do a content audit?

It depends on what your content strategy looks like.  Most people do it quarterly or annually to coincide with company financial and marketing reporting.  Others do it monthly or even weekly.  No matter how often you do an audit, it is always a good idea to review how your content strategy is working for you.

I still need help with doing a content audit

You can contact me or my staff at Global Wire Design about getting further assistance with a content strategy and audit or web design and marketing support.  We are hosting an “Extreme Website Makeover” on 14 May where we will showcase a “before and after” of two websites we redesigned recently.   Space is limited and priority will be given to current and past GWA clients, so sign up now at info(at)globalwireonline(dot)org.  

On Immigrants, Refugees and ICT

GettyImages-migrants-with-phones.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smartOver on Global Wire Associates’ blog this week, we have a post about how technology is support the recent influx of Syrian and Latin American migrants entering eastern Europe and the United States, respectively.  Our blog is designed “to provide thoughtful coverage and commentary on the politics of technology and social innovation.” In the last couple of days we have received a barrage of emails, criticizing us for “promoting a pro-immigration agenda.”  Global Wire Associates doesn’t have an official position on the very complex issue of immigration; the point was to showcase how apps and coding are being used by migrants.

But I guess many of you didn’t view it that way.  So I decided to publish a couple of the emails we received so far here. Most of them were about the American immigration debate.  I withheld their their names and email addresses.

“I do not understand why you all are telling illegals how to enter this country illegally.  This is very irresponsible and your blog should be shut down!”

“Germany is being overrun by these Syrians.  I don’t care for teaching them how to code.  They and [Angela] Merkel must go!”

Again, this is just the opinions of others and we didn’t take any specific policy position here.  Many of them complained that illegal immigrants were taking jobs from natural born citizens.  One of the points we brought up in the post was about Refugees on Rails, a nonprofit that teaches refugees how to code, which is a useful technical skill needed in today’s job market.  Despite complaints from anti-immigration advocates, in this case, refugees who are properly trained are taking jobs that are not being filled by native citizens.  

As in the United States, European countries have a severe shortage of people pursuing ICT careers.  A report shows that Europe will have 800,000 ICT jobs unfilled by 2020 if nothing is done to increase the number of workers, and most of these digital skills deficits are seen in poorer eastern European countries.  Programs like Refugees on Rails can actually jumpstart the economy with technologists who are eager to work in their new home countries.

This is a slightly different issue in the United States, where most undocumented immigrants tend to work in under-the-table jobs in the agricultural and janitorial sectors – again, jobs most U.S. citizens don’t want to do.  The reality is that there are over 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and they are not all going to be shipped back to their home countries, despite whatever Donald Trump says.  Maybe there should also be something similar to Refugees on Rails in this country for immigrants who want to work legally in an in-demand ICT field that pays a living wage.   

I guess I will get negative emails for saying this too.  But before you email me, please tell me if you have a better solution for the immigration crisis and the economy.