Three Reasons Why Your Company’s Website Needs to be Responsive

A quarter of web views come via a mobile device

A quarter of web views come via mobile devices

Today, there are more cell phones in the United States than people. We increasingly use our phones to access websites and social networks, and for many Americans, smartphones are their only access to the internet. It’s not surprising then that mobile traffic to websites rises each year, now accounting for a quarter of all views. But if your website is not designed to be viewed from a mobile device, you can expect six out of 10 of those mobile viewers to leave your site before completing a call to action.

The solution to this challenge is a responsively designed website. Responsive sites adapt to the device the viewing the website, allowing for a more user-friendly experience. Web pundits are calling 2013 “the year of Responsive Design.” RIESTER has been developing sites with a responsive, mobile first, philosophy since 2011. Since then, we have helped clients develop a number of award-winning responsive web design websites.

Here’s the top three reasons why your website should use this design philosophy:

1. Better User Experience

According to Google, users are 67 percent more likely to buy on sites when they have a positive mobile experience. It is easy to see why, optimized, responsive sites are more enjoyable and easier to navigate than the pinch-and-zoom method of non-responsive websites on a smartphone or tablet.

2. Responsive Web Design Improves SEO

Google and Bing favor websites that create a positive, engaging user experience more than ever. When curating search results, they will place more credit to websites that address user needs in the context for the visitors. At the heart of it, search engines also have technical preferences to websites that are responsive.

3. Your Website Will Be More “Social Friendly”

In 2012, 60 percent of Social Media visitors came from mobile devices. A brand’s responsive designed website that is referenced in social media posts will perpetuate a “mobile friendly” experience for the end user. This positive, interesting experience will also set the stage for the sharing of information socially through brand advocates.

The Responsive Web Design Bottom Line

As we move into this new, post-PC era it is imperative that brands address the mobile needs of their customers and partners by creating an experience that fluidly conforms to smartphones and tablets. Not only will this convey thought-leadership, but improve usability that will lead to increased conversions and engagement.

Contact RIESTER to learn more about responsive web design

Responding to tragedy on social media

Epicurious boston tweets The horrific Boston Marathon bombing prompted many people and brands to get on social media to offer their condolences and, in some cases, assistance to those impacted by the atrocity. While most comments were sincere and thoughtful, one brand, Epicurious, sparked outrage with its tweets suggesting recipes to help Bostonians get through the trauma. The company quickly deleted the offending messages and apologized, but the damage to the brand was done.

Epicurious is not the first brand to fall into this trap. Famously, Kenneth Cole used the #Cairo hashtag during the Egyptian uprising to plug their new spring collection on Twitter. During Hurricane Sandy, American Apparel struck a nerve when it offered a special online discount for people in affected areas with the prompt “In case you’re bored during the storm.”

How to Avoid the Social Tragedy Trap

First, take the marketing hat off. Using tragedy as an opportunity to push products or sales is rarely a good idea. Unless you are giving away snow shovels during a blizzard and want to communicate to people how to take advantage- step out of the marketing mindset and be sincere, human and offer an authentic response to the events. We do not believe the saying “there is no such thing as bad press.” Consumers remember social media mishaps like this for a very long time, and it may impact whether someone buys from you or your competition in the future.

How Should Brands Respond to Tragedy on Social Media

Another question we have clients ask us is if they should post about a tragic event and at what point a tragedy becomes post worthy. First, consider your brand. If you have a brand that focuses on being fun and light hearted, then you may not want to draw attention to tragedy. Second, ask what you have to offer to the conversation. If your brand does business in the impacted community, then you have a connection that you can discuss on social media. Or, if your customers are in the impacted community you may want to let them know that you are thinking about them. If you are not connected but feel your brand’s voice is caring and compassionate, then posting is still appropriate when done without putting marketing first.

When one of our clients debated about posting something on Boston, we considered their voice. We determined that it was fitting within the brand to offer condolences. The post performed similarly to their other content, showing that fans were just as likely to engage with the condolences post as they were with the brand-centered content.

Have a Plan Before You Post

As in all social media crisis situations, it’s best to have this discussion before the next tragedy to ensure that you can easily answer if and how you will respond to a tragedy. Being prepared now can prevent an Epicurious mistake in the future.


Congratulations to Fred DuVal- Arizona’s Next Governor!

Fred announcing his candidacy in Phoenix

Fred announcing his candidacy in Phoenix

Our friend Fred DuVal announced today that he is running for Governor of Arizona. We were proud to be with him  at the Squash Blossom in Phoenix and Bentley’s House of Coffee and Tea in Tucson as he told media, family, friends and supporters how he plans to restore focus on jobs, opportunity and education as Arizona’s Governor.

RIESTER has been honored to be a part of Fred’s campaign from the beginning, having a pivotal role in developing the campaign’s website and social media platforms. I encourage you to learn more about what Fred will bring to Arizona as Governor. Together, we’ll move #AZForward.

An Earth Day RIESTER Foundation Report: Hope is growing in Costa Rica.

IMG_5847It is estimated that more than one billion people will take part in the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. RIESTER Foundation is celebrating by announcing an exciting new effort to help fight global warming, while working to restore habitat on and around the RIESTER Reserve near Islita, Costa Rica.

This new project is the RIESTER Reserve Native Plant Nursery.

Located on the Reserve, the nursery will grow native plants and trees as money-making crops for local Costa Ricans, as well as possible sales to residents wanting to landscape their homes. As an experimental nursery, six separate areas will be explored: fruit trees; medicinal plants; flowering trees; ornamental plants; and palms, aromatic trees and hardwood trees. Among these different categories, the plants will include cashew, limon, papaya, breadfruit, Guanacaste, cacao and Ylang Ylang.

This new project is the RIESTER Reserve Native Plant Nursery.

This new project is the RIESTER Reserve Native Plant Nursery.

The RIESTER Reserve caretaker, Norman Quiros, will oversee all aspects of the nursery. Norman grew up in Islita, and learned about native plants from his father.

Please join RIESTER Foundation in celebrating the health and well being of our planet. And we invite you to learn more about RIESTER Foundation.

RIESTER wins Telly Award for PacifiCorp “Trees Have Dreams” video.

"Trees Have Dreams" team: Creative Director and Writer Jeff Bagley, Associate Director of Integration Laura Carlson, Associate Creative Director Mike Ross.

“Trees Have Dreams” team: Creative Director and Writer Jeff Bagley, Associate Director of Integration Laura Carlson, Associate Creative Director Mike Ross.

Good communication is an art and it’s rewarding to receive recognition for a job well done.

RIESTER won a Silver Telly Award for a video titled “Trees Have Dreams.” Silver is the highest honor awarded in the Telly contest.

Thank you PacifiCorp for entrusting us with the honor of doing this work.

The video encourages customers to take advantage of the convenience of paperless billing and shows how a tree can serve many other noble purposes rather than ending up as a bill. We think you’ll enjoy it:

Korea Looks to Arizona in quest to create first-ever trauma system in the Country


Left to right: Mr. Oh Jae Sae; Governor Jan Brewer; CEO of Maricopa Integrated Health System and President, Betsey Bayless; and Founder of the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation, Bob Ramsey.

Left to right: Congressman National Assembly, Mr. Oh Jae Sae; Governor Jan Brewer; CEO of Maricopa Integrated Health System and President, Betsey Bayless; and Founder of the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation, Bob Ramsey.

Our client and friend President and Founder of the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation, Bob Ramsey, helped mark a significant milestone today toward the establishment of a national trauma system in Korea. He in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Health Services Director of the Bureau of EMS and Trauma System, Bentley Bobrow, M.D. and many other government, medical and health care experts initiated the Korea-Arizona Trauma Summit today. A Korean delegation comprised of physicians, public health officials and government officials will participate in this meaningful three-day event which includes presentations by local experts and tours of major medical facilities in Phoenix and Tucson.

RIESTER helps courageous teens tell their stories of fighting youth tobacco use

Digital Art Director Andre draws the evidence bag sequence for the videos

Digital art director André Linnartz draws the evidence bag sequence for the videos

RIESTER is fortunate to be involved in tobacco prevention and cessation efforts for over 17 years and these types of projects and volunteerism keep us committed to fighting this battle; for many years undercover teens have been working with local authorities in Arizona to bust retail establishments that sell tobacco products to underage youth. The operation, known as Counterstrike, is made possible through coordinated efforts with the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease and the Attorney General’s Office.

The Counterstrike team has operated out of the public eye for most of the operation’s existence. That changed in March 2013, when RIESTER had the privilege of bringing awareness to the Counterstrike program through a series of video stories. RIESTER aimed to capture the thrill and experience of Counterstrike sting operations and to highlight the brave teens who work to keep tobacco out of youths’ hands.

We are so impressed with the dedicated youth volunteers who have made a commitment to decreasing underage consumption of tobacco in Arizona. On camera, the teens opened up about how they had been personally impacted by tobacco, how their loved ones suffered the consequences of nicotine addiction and how they use this as motivation to fight back.

Hundreds of retail shops throughout Arizona are shopped on a weekly basis. The stories of those courageous teens who hit the streets day after day can be found at

For more information about Counterstrike, visit


Google Analytics Just Got Smarter – Introducing Universal Analytics

Google Universal Analytics

Google Analytics – the industry standard for web analytics – just got smarter. Much smarter. Google revolutionized the analytics service to track and visualize the complete user experience with its new analytics offering, Google Universal Analytics. This advancement is based on the understanding that users interact with brands on a variety of touchpoints online and offline, on desktop computers and mobile devices.

Complete User Behavior Tracking


Google has changed how data will be collected to provide more clarity into user behavior. To leverage Universal Analytics, a new JavaScript snippet must be utilized and businesses will need to set up a new Analytics web property or new account for Google Universal Analytics.

With Universal Analytics, marketers will have simple, customizable user engagement tracking options across multiple devices and online/offline campaigns. Additional customization of engagement tracking will also be provided for “clean” metrics.

For example, Google Universal Analytics will enable:

  • Exclusion of referral domains (e.g. self-referring traffic)
  • Modification of accepted search engine traffic
  • Simple modification of campaign and session time limits
  • Search term exclusions (e.g. attribute “” to direct traffic)

Universal Analytics Business Insights

These new offerings address many “disconnects” in past Google Analytics metrics that only told one side of the user experience story. As our RIESTER digital division focuses on mobile users with responsive website design and mobile application development, we are keenly aware of the impact of mobile devices on the entire brand experience. The ability to track user engagement across these devices, as well as the attribution of offline campaign metrics will provide our team and our clients much more holistic, strategic insight.

Learn more about RIESTER Google Analytics solutions and services.

View the Google Universal Analytics blog announcement for additional details.

Searching for the 25 Best RIESTER Stories!

Help RIESTER Fill Its 25th Anniversary Book!

Help RIESTER Fill Its 25th Anniversary Book!

Yesterday marked RIESTER’s 24th anniversary and honestly, we are too busy to stop and celebrate.  Instead, we are working on exciting new campaigns for some of America’s top brands.

Since our humble beginnings back in March of 1989 – with one MacPlus computer, a fax machine that printed text on rolls of paper, cans of spray mount, and a TEAC four-track reel-to-reel audio studio – RIESTER has always been a place filled with buzz and creative energy for our clients instead of parties for ourselves.  However, beginning our 25th year in business makes us appreciate the many wonderful clients, employees and vendors who have generated that energy with us along the way.  We could truly fill a book with interesting stories about the incredibly unique and talented people with whom we have worked.  In honor of 25 years, we should!

Please send us your finest RIESTER stories and pictures to  We will provide prizes for the top 25 most entertaining memories and include you in our 25th Anniversary Book.  We promise to pause for a moment at this time next year and party like its 1989!!

Thanks in advance for your help.

Benefits of Setting Google Analytics Goals

Google Analytics is a great resource for any business website. What is often overlooked is the myriad of tools and analyses available to marketers through thoughtful application of more in-depth resources available within Google Analytics. One of the many resources available is the ability to set and track goal/conversion metrics.

Why Should I Set Google Analytics Conversion Goals?

When marketers go through the simple steps to set Google Analytics goals, the metrics and “story telling” information nearly triples and goes far beyond simple Traffic and Audience data.  Digital marketers will also be able to see how various digital traffic channels interact for a given visitor, where along the “brand experience” process do visitors engage with paid search, referral, organic, direct visits, etc. and where are the disconnects in the website experience as a visitor is trying to complete a desired action.

Google AnalyticsIt may not occur to many website owners and digital marketing managers that non-ecommerce sites can still track behavioral activity of website visitors. A simple introspective question should periodically be asked of the marketing team, “what do we want visitors to do when they come to our website?” For information sharing websites, it may be “to spend time on the page or view multiple article pages”. A brand’s website may have the goal to “have visitors go to a Where to Buy page on the website” or “sign-up for email newsletter updates”. The possibilities are nearly endless.

How to Set Google Analytics Goals

As an administrator for your Google Analytics account, you will be able to set goals for your website.  It is highly recommended to consult with a Google Analytics consultant when establishing goals for the first time. To begin, after your team has established what actions you would like to measure, follow these steps to create Google Analytics goals:

  1. Click “Admin” button at the top of the window
  2. Click on the managed website domain you would like to create a goal for
  3. Select the “Goals” tab in that domain’s admin panel
  4. Click on an available “+Goal” to create a new goal
  5. Type the name of your goal (e.g. “Newsletter Subscriptions”)
  6. Select the type of goal (URL Destination, Visit Duration, Page/Visit, Event)
  7. Based on the type of goal, enter the details and conditions of the conversion
  8. If you can attribute a value per action (for non-ecommerce sites), you may also enter a “Goal Value” in the field
  9. Click “Save”
  10. 10.  Begin monitoring the conversions!

It should also be noted that “Events” are essentially Google’s catchall for goal creation. Website owners can create virtually any goal conceivable by creating an Event goal. Event goals are more complicated due to the open nature of the creation process. You can learn more about creating Event Goals at the Google Analytics blog.

For help with your Google Analytics set-up and reporting, contact RIESTER today.