Website Optimization Tips

10 Website Optimizations for 2016

No more excuses. Your website impacts how people perceive your business. Most importantly, it affects your bottom line. Investing in your website in 2016 can-and-will improve the profitability of your business.

Here’s 10 important ways to improve the effectiveness of your website in 2016 and beyond:

1. Logo Refresh

It might seem strange in a post about websites, to begin by talking about your logo. But the thing is, your logo is the heart of your brand. It is the foundation of everything your visual identity is built on. A flawed logo will hurt your brand wherever it is represented–especially on your website.

Is your logo hurting your brand?

  • A dated logo will make your company and your website seem “behind the times”
  • A logo that represents only part of your brand (not all of it) can hurt brand perception.
  • A logo that can’t scale in size will lose readability at small sizes.
  • A logo that relies on gradients and textures is not versitile.
  • A logo that was not designed by a logo expert, simply looks unprofessional.

I could go on, but you get the point. If your logo needs a redesign, now is the time to do it. Don’t design your website around a flawed logo, or your website will also be flawed.

One last point on your logo. Talk to a branding expert about your logo. Friends, family, and employees will all have emotional connections to your logo that could cloud their judgement.

Continue reading “10 Website Optimizations for 2016”

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Introducing the Creative Agency Podcast

We’re very excited to announce a brand new Murmur Creative project, The Creative Agency Podcast. The Creative Agency Podcast is a business and marketing podcast that focuses on creative agencies, how they function, grow, fail, and find success. We’ll be interviewing entrepreneurs and professionals who work in the creative industries. Our first batch of episodes will feature Portland-based creative agency owners, but we plan to expand to other cities as well.

While the focus is on web agencies, design agencies, and marketing agencies, the podcast offers insights that can be applied to any entrepreneurial-minded person. Each episode will begin by telling the story of a entrepreneur or professional, how they found success, what mistakes they made, and what they learned along the way, then focus on a specific topic such as hiring, growth, culture, sales, on-boarding, etc.

Every episode finishes with 3 important takeaways that listeners can apply to their own entrepreneurial endeavors. So be sure to listen to the end!

The Creative Agency Podcast is produced and hosted by Chris Bolton, Murmur Creative’s digital strategy manager.  The podcast will also reveal many insights into how Murmur Creative works, our goals, and strategies.

Be sure to Subscribe to the Creative Agency Podcast, let us know what you think, and write a positive review in iTunes!



Our Newest Murmette: Renee Dimalla

We’re very excited to welcome Renee Dimalla to the Murmur team! She’s a fantastic designer, her logo skills are top-notch, and her illustrations are gorgeous. And she’s really nice and great to work with too! We feel pretty darn lucky to have her on board.

Want to get to know Renee a little better? So did we! So we asked her some hard-hitting questions.

What do you like best about Murmur?

Not only are the clients right in my ballpark (meaningful companies, many of which are local), but I get to work intimately with them in an unpretentious setting. Everyone has a defined role at Murmur, and that gives each member of the team the ability to be deeply talented and appreciated. It also helps that many of our clients are in the food industry!

How did you become such an amazing designer?

My Dad has a 1934 Graham Paige Coupe and obsessively collects every known artifact related to its existence. When I was little, part of this obsession manifested as 12-hour days spent in the lower depths of public libraries where they kept the micro film readers, with me in tow. He’d flip through reel after reel of newspapers from 1934 to hunt down Graham ads or references of ads for motor parts and accessories. Little me, having nothing better to do, would sit at my own machine and scroll through his discarded rolls, pausing to trace ladies fashion ads and pretty, scripty typography. Maybe having brilliant mentors and professors has more to do with it though.

Name 3 of your favorite books: 

Color by Victoria Finlay

Fragrant by Mandy Aftel

What Are You Looking At by Will Gompertz

And one more for good measure….

Mycophillia by Eugenia Bone

Describe a favorite childhood memory: 

My family lived in Australia when I was young, and I have a short and sweet memory of us sitting down for a dinner of lamb steaks in a trailer in the middle of nowhere, under a brilliantly clear Milky Way-filled sky. My first bite included the flattened bullet that killed the poor lamb. Luckily, I didn’t break any teeth. I really should have kept that bullet.

Tell us about an embarrassing moment:

In other childhood mouth-related memories: When I was 6, I lost a tooth way too early by way of McDonald’s ball pit. I bit down on the surrounding ball pit net (like how ALL children do), slipped and fell backwards, and my right front baby tooth had an early departure.

What’s your favorite spot in Portland?

After only 4 months, I haven’t figured that out yet, but there’s a little oasis called Cistus Nursery on Sauvie Island where I could easily spend a large portion of my life.

What are your favorite tv shows? 

Antiques Roadshow

Masterpiece Theatre period dramas


What is your hidden talent? 

I have a keen sense of smell.

What is your go-to fast-food order? 

Spicy. Chicken. Nuggets.

What are you easily swayed by? 

My cat, book covers, packaging and good smells.


Introducing the Newest Member of Team Murmur

Murmur Creative is growing and we’re excited to welcome Ben Bateman to the team. Ben is a WordPress wiz with an analytical brain and a super-friendly disposition. Be sure to say “hi” next time you drop by Murmur HQ.

Want to get to know Ben a little better? So do we! So we asked him these 5 questions so he could share with all of us.

How Did You Become Such an Amazing Programmer?

After saving what appeared to be a perfectly normal cat, I was surprised to discover it was in fact a magical cat which was prepared to grant me a single wish in exchange for my service. I was broke, so I asked for a job.

That job turned out to be at a video game localization company–doing essentially whatever they needed me to do. This included web development, because I happened to know more about programming than anyone else. I like rules, and systems, and organization, so I’d been drawn to programming since I was very young, and this job gave me a reason and an opportunity to develop that interest. And, given the increasingly demanding production schedules, I had to develop it rather rapidly.

I love programming because I love finding clever or elegant ways to solve problems. And that’s essentially what programming is: A series of problems.

What Do You Like Best About Murmur?

Everybody here is nice to me, and they are all very good at their jobs. After freelancing for the last year or so, it’s really awesome to be able to go to work and talk to other people about weird programming concepts and minutiae, instead of sitting in my house and trying to explain namespaces to my dog. I’m happiest when I’m learning and doing new things, and I know Murmur will keep pushing me to always learn and do new things. Also, I am most assuredly NOT a designer, but I do LIKE design, and I’m really excited to hopefully learn more about how it works from people who are some of the best around.

More importantly, though, we have constantly-stocked jar of FREE PEANUT M&Ms.

Tell us About an Embarrassing Moment:

Since my numerous romantic mishaps are almost certainly too salacious (I once lost a retainer making out with a girl) I’ll have to go with my old fallback, which is that when I was 10 or so I was gesticulating wildly to make some now-long-forgotten point and accidentally punched my grandma right in the face. She was fine, though understandably a little shaken, but to this day the thought of the incident fills me with immense embarrassment.

Name 3 of Your Favorite Movies:

1.  Die Hard (the first one, obviously)
2. Brick
3. Can I count the Fast & Furious series as a single movie? (Yes, Ben. Of course.)

What’s Your Favorite Videogame of All Time?

Mass Effect 2

What’s Your Favorite Spot in Portland?

That would be a toss-up between Forest Park and the Angry Unicorn burger cart.



A Big Welcome to Our Newest Clients!

One of the best things about working at Murmur Creative is getting to know so many interesting businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them. Each new client we partner with brings new challenges, learning opportunities, and potential for both personal and professional growth. We’d like to offer a big thank you to all of the clients we’ve worked with over the years and welcome some of our newest clients below:

Oregon Hazelnuts

Did you know that Oregon produces 99 percent of the U.S. hazelnut crop? Oregon boasts an ideal climate for growing the world’s highest quality hazelnuts. We’re nuts about working with this iconic Oregon brand!

Loyal Legion

Of all the states in our great nation, Oregon makes the best beer. Period. That’s why the Loyal Legion, a new beer hall located on SE 6th and Alder in Portland, OR, offers all Oregon beers, all the time. That’s 99 of Oregon’s best beers on tap. Brought to you by Chef’s Table, The Loyal Legion is for loyal Oregon beer drinkers everywhere.

Bee Thinking

Bee Thinking makes awesome backyard cedar beehives and sells all sorts of other bee-related equipment and products. Bee Thinking is also on a mission to save the Honeybees from extinction by turning us all into beekeepers. Yay!

Blue OX Tattoo

We’re super excited to be working on the newest venture by the folks behind New Rose Tattoo. Blue OX Tattoo is a new tattoo shop located in North Portland on Kilpatrick St.

Seely Mint

Best. Mint Patties. Ever. We’ve just started to work with Seely Mint and we’re already hooked on their amazing mint chocolates. The Seelys are fourth generation mint farmers. They grow peppermint and spearmint for tea and essential oil, and have recently expanded to offering handmade mint candies and chocolates. If you get a chance pick up a Seely mint patty at your local Whole Foods. They are to die for!

B&B Print Source

Locally owned, B&B Source is located in Tigard, Oregon and has been serving the Portland area for over 20 years. With a strong focus on quality, customer service, and innovative solutions, B&B print source has experienced exponential growth.

Pacific Coast Fruit Company

Pacific Coast Fruit Company is a local, family owned produce distributor that has proudly served our Pacific Northwest retail, wholesale, and food service customers since 1977. They are one of the largest independent produce distributors in the Northwest with distribution warehouses in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington and a state of the art Fresh Cut processing facility. 

Kline Law P.C.

Kline Law Offices P.C. is a unique personal injury firm based in Portland, Oregon. Attorney Rob Kline has spent more than 15 years practicing injury law from both sides of the table. He started on the side of the insurance companies, then he had a change of heart and switched sides: To helping victims get the justice they deserve.

Minto Island Tea Company

Minto Island Tea Company produces certified organic, handpicked, small-batch crafted teas. Their tea is grown in the fertile Willamette Valley at Minto Island Growers in Western Oregon.



Photos From Love Bomb 2015

What a par-tay!

As you can see in the pictures below, this year’s Love Bomb event was a smashing success. Thanks to everyone who attended for joining Murmur Creative (and all the other amazing businesses and entrepreneurs) who came to network and support a good cause.

This year we raised money and awareness for Street Roots, an organization that creates income opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and poverty by producing a newspaper and other media that are catalysts for individual social change.

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Mary Nichols Marketing Award

Murmur’s Mary Nichols Takes Home The Prize

You probably know Murmur’s account director, the unflappable Mary Nichols. If you don’t, you probably will soon. That’s how Mary works. She’s a marketing and networking powerhouse and that’s exactly what the judges thought at the American Marketing Association’s MAX Awards.

We’re proud to announce that Mary Nichols won the 2015 “Master of Marketing” Award at the MAX Awards. A panel of judges chose the nominee they felt exemplified marketing at the highest level.

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Oregonians: Prepare for the Great Funyun Shortage 1

Oregonians: Prepare for the Great Funyun Shortage

As you know, recreational marijuana is officially legal in Oregon. And while Oregonians have been in heated debate over the consequences of ending the prohibition of marijuana, I’d like to address a much more pressing issue: Will there be enough Funyuns? Has anyone even looked into this? Have we all become too complacent with the idea that Funyuns will always be widely available—whenever we have the craving?

Imagine standing in-line at your local 7–11, you reach down to select a grab-bag sized package of delicious onion-shaped corn rings and low-and-behold: nothing! It’s literally inconceivable.

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And the Award Goes to . . . 1

And the Award Goes to . . .

We’re proud to announce that Murmur Creative has won the 2015 prize for Best Rebrand by the American Marketing Association’s MAX Awards. We won for our rebrand of the American Lamb Board, a project which included logo design, print materials, a new website, infographics, SEO strategy, and more.

This category was the most competitive at the MAX Awards and we were up against some incredibly talented Portland design agencies.

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[Infographic] Old SEO vs New SEO

SEO is constantly changing. For this reason it’s easy for clients and marketers to get confused about what techniques, strategies, and practices are helpful and worth investing in and which are no longer useful or worthwhile. This infographic does a pretty good job of showing the difference between new SEO and old SEO.

Warning: if you’re paying for or practicing “old SEO” you’re wasting your time and money.

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american-lamb-infographic murmur-is-moving Seasons Greetings Blog Post Murmur Creative Murmur Front End Developer Computers

Murmur is Hiring a Front End Developer

Hi, we’re a small creative agency with an awesome team and a relaxed work environment. We’re looking for a freelance developer to help us with our growing backlog of responsive WordPress website development. This is work as-needed but it could develop into a full-time position over time. (We currently have work which can begin immediately.)

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The Genius of Laughing Planet’s Bad Yelp Review T-Shirt

Our client, Laughing Planet Cafe is a highly successful healthy burrito shop in Portland, OR. We love their food and quirky humor (especially the brand refresh and totally awesome website we designed for them). We’re often impressed with the bold and often silly marketing campaigns they come up with. One of these being the “Bad Yelp Review T-Shirt” which they sell on their website here.

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