YOUR PARTNER IN VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING

Get Visual partners with you to create custom websites and graphics incorporating thoughtful design, navigation, and content. As a result, your website and visual communications will engage customers and create a lingering positive impression. We operate with constant awareness of what makes your website perform well in search engine results, and analyze website traffic data to understand how customers find and utilize your website. Unlike others focused on web design and graphics, we are also experienced at using location analytics (location-based demographics) to help you to better understand your market area. Tim McCauley, the leader of Get Visual, has decades of experience in business and government prior to focusing on web design and graphics. He is dedicated to providing you with outstanding service, well-developed business knowledge, and a complete one-stop website/graphics solution.

Our services and products are highly customized to fit your specific needs and discernment, and tailored (not templated!) to your unique business or organization, especially small and micro businesses. As a general approach, we aim to clearly explain and de-mystify information technology and websites, provide affordable and effective services and consultation, and make sure clients are getting what they need on an ongoing basis. The ongoing relationship with clients is something Tim values highly, sets Get Visual apart from others in our business.

WEBSITES

We create websites from "scratch" or from "the ground up" without relying upon templates and their associated limitations. This enables us to partner with you and for you to implement your vision of what your website should be. We can also re-create and enhance an existing website for improved look/feel, functionalty, and hosting.

GRAPHICS

The term "graphics" covers a huge variety of materials, from business cards to logos to website content to signs and posters, and many things in between. All we need to create graphics for you is a concept and an application. We can also modify or utilize existing artwork and merge it with other materials. We can turn your vision into great results.

MAPS

Computerized maps and aerial images are readily available for any large or small area of the United States. It takes tools, talent, and expertise to create accurate maps for use in creating graphics, market research tools, and location analytics. We have what it takes to mobilize this valuable resource for use in your business applications.

MARKET RESEARCH

Most small businesses and community organizations have little or no quantitative information about their customers, target markets, or service areas. Like maps, much data is readily available, but it takes the right knowledge to put it to use. We are experts at using U.S. Census data along with GIS to make this surprisingly easy and affordable.

OUR CORE OPERATING PRINCIPLES ENSURE BETTER RESULTS

Get Visual Business Solutions has identified four core operating principles that pre-define our relationships with clients, partners, and others we interact with – shown on the graphic to the left. We consider these to be imperatives in our day-to-day work, and strive to ensure we follow through on each one. We are customized, collaborative, responsive, and insightful in every job we do and in every client relationship we undertake. This helps us to achieve the best possible results in "marrying" the disciplines of technology, business, and art to create great visual communication for our clients. More info on these below.

CUSTOMIZED

Get Visual specializes in creating the look and functionality YOU want with visual communication, including the ability to implement your unique ideas and designs. It is unnecessary to be boxed in with templates and standardized packages, and we make sure that all of your options are considered. This is also surprisingly cost-effective.

COLLABORATIVE

We make it a point to consider YOUR ideas and creative input. Our clients come up with some wildly creative and innovative stuff that we and others haven't thought of. We will also work with other members of your creative "team" such as graphic artists, marketing folks, or your relative who dabbles in graphics and websites on the side.

RESPONSIVE

We promptly return phone calls and emails, unlike many others in the website business. Get Visual understands that providing good customer service is a benefit to us as much as our clients, since much of our business comes via referrals from delighted customers. Changes to websites, graphics, and other products are performed promptly.

INSIGHTFUL

The variety and depth of our experience in business, government, and technology, among other subjects, enables us to have a clear understanding of your business or organization, your customers, and therefore your needs. As a result, we can help you identify potential problems and opportunities for better visual communications.

OUR QUALIFIED LEADERSHIP UNDERSTANDS BUSINESS

Tim McCauley, the driving force behind GetVisual, has over 20 years of experience creating maps, graphics, photographs, and print publications to convey information. He has an extensive backgound in managing geographic and demographic oriented data analysis projects, as well as providing excellent customer service to businesses and the public. Tim is an accomplished technical writer and an advanced user of geographic information systems (GIS), which is particularly valuable for market research. He completed his MBA degree in 2009 and is keenly interested in helping you know your customers and communicate with them effectively.

Tim is very accustomed to working with design concepts, photographs, graphics, maps, and data alongside computer applications, programming, and operating in technically demanding environments. He thrives in marrying art with technology to create visual products that communicate complex information. Building websites is thus a natural activity for him, allowing him to maintain sight of "big picture" issues – those most important to his business clients – better than many others in the website creation arena. With his business, customer service, and data analysis background, he is able to fully understand and advise clients regarding their customer demographics, financial issues, business environment, target markets, and getting maximum value from their visual communication and marketing materials.

GET VISUAL NEWS AND DISCUSSION (BLOG)

We're always writing new information about our latest projects, research and learning activities, website tips, GIS/mapping interests, demographic market knowledge, and other topics related to "getting visual." The most recent four posts are shown below. Please go to the full GET VISUAL NEWS AND DISCUSSION PAGE to read more, search the archives, or comment. Please check out Tim's Google+ page too, where he talks about current projects and business networking in the Triangle.

I should be blogging, therefore I am

posted on December 10, 2013 by Timothy McCauley

Things have been so busy at Get Visual this year I haven’t put up a new blog post since March 6! I’ve been meeting an insatiable demand for everything WordPress, including new websites, re-styling, backing up and moving websites, implementing a wide variety of plugins, hosting, and more. While I (and a handful of clients) actually prefer working in plain ol’ html/css/php, WordPress has some undeniable benefits – especially the thousands of plugins available.

One of the most notable accomplishments this year was a new website for Backyard Bistro, an awesome Raleigh sports bar/BBQ/restaurant. This WordPress-based site makes use of various plugins, a simple non-responsive template, creative use of css, and SEO best practices included at every step of development. We teamed up with Xpress Mobile Solutions to develop the website and companion mobile website. Check it out at www.backyardbistro.com.

I was just looking at the records, and Get Visual has launched or contributed to about 2 dozen websites in 2013. The most recent one was just today for Premier One Automotive in Apex NC.

Stay tuned for more frequent Get Visual News and Discussion in 2014!

Click here to comment or go to the main News and Discussion page

New Apex Jazz Festival Website Launched!

posted on March 6, 2013 by Timothy McCauley

We launched the all new Apex Jazz Festival website a few days ago. Did plenty of tweaking of the complex WordPress CSS to make it look and feel the way the Jazzfest Planning Committee wanted it to, along with custom html on the home page for the large navigation buttons. The design is a collaboration among four people sitting around a computer in a coffee shop. Get Visual took everyone’s input, created a preliminary design in Corel Draw, did the initial web coding in Dreamweaver, then ported it over to a new WordPress site. Check it out at www.apexjazzfestival.com, and don’t forget to mark your calendar for the festival in Downtown Apex on September 21, 2013.

We’re working on the content as the planning moves along and musicians get on board. Stay tuned for more information on this great event.

Click here to comment or go to the main News and Discussion page

Why You Need A Website, Not Just A Facebook Page

posted on February 19, 2013 by Timothy McCauley

I met with two prospective clients recently who both have new businesses in competitive industries and competitive markets. Both of them have also located in what I would call “low visibility” storefronts, where drive-by potential customers really have no idea those businesses are there. Both of them are relying on Facebook as their primary web presence, indicating that they can’t really justify paying for a website (we’re talking about $500 or so for a simple site) when Facebook is free. While they have indeed established a web presence, and may actually show up in search results, how much information can customers really obtain from a Facebook timeline and a few pictures?

There’s no doubt these folks need to grow their clientele and consumer awareness in the local market in order to survive. The web is probably the most powerful tool businesses ever had for spreading awareness and providing information, and at a very low cost compared with print and broadcast media. With a website, you can present large amount of information to anybody and enable your existing and potential customers to share information very easily via tweets, text messages, email, word of mouth, and especially social media like Facebook. The bottom line is that websites offer a unique opportunity to customize and tailor your message and content to your target market, and in a manner simply not possible with the various forms of social media.

In addition, there are numerous ways to get found in search results with a website done properly, which doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The real magic comes into play when your website is integrated with the various forms of social media, enabling detailed information on your business to flow to potentially huge numbers of people. This happens not only with search engine results, but via the “word-of mouth” like activity resulting from people liking, recommending, reviewing, and otherwise sharing information about your business with a simple link to your website.

Get Visual can create such a website for as little as $150, or something with 10 pages, images, and other info for $500 or so, depending on graphical complexity. This will pay for itself within a short period of time if promoted with social media, word-of-mouth, business cards, flyers, and decent search engine optimization. You have nothing to lose, except perhaps potential customers, if you don’t take advantage of the most effective and least expensive advertising opportunity ever available.

Click here to comment or go to the main News and Discussion page

Analyzing Website Traffic Using Logs From The Web Host

posted on January 25, 2013 by Timothy McCauley

My clients are always asking me about the number of “hits” their website is getting, how people find them, what percentage of mobile devices are being used, and any number of other things regarding traffic to their site. They didn’t pay much attention to, or have access to, such information in years past, but are very concerned with it now as more of their competitors get on the web and the economy picks up. Since most of the websites I host have been up for about 6 months, I decided to do a deep dive into this subject and give my clients the most complete web traffic information possible.

I heard about Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, and had already implemented those to some extent. But I found out the complete database of information was contained in a series of large log files on the web host computer. It seems that every time a web page is accessed, an entry is made into the log file with a gold mine of detailed information about who, what, when requested that page. The problem was that 6 months of data for 15 websites was a huge amount to analyze, with the database containing about 600,000 records. On top of that, the best software for analyzing it was the open source variety, with less than desirable documentation on how to get it working.

Without getting into a lot of detail, I used a combination of database management software (dBase actually from the 1990s!) a good text editor (Notepad++), and a Perl script get the log files into a form that would work well with AWStats, a great open source web traffic analysis program. Once everything was processed, however, and AWStats was put into action, the results were fantastic. I can now provide my clients with every traffic statistic they can think of for their website including visitors by month of the year, day of the month, hour of the day, type of device used, type of software used, search terms, inbound links, and more. I also found that Google Analytics is a great supplement to the log data, and provides up-to-the minute “live” web traffic analysis as well.

So there you have it. Get Visual has yet another tool in our arsenal of capabilities to help make us your total one-stop website solution!

Click here to comment or go to the main News and Discussion page

GET VISUAL TWEETS

We're always tweeting stuff related to "getting visual" too. The most recent tweets are shown below.

NEWS FEEDS

Web Development – .net Magazine

  • Quick and dirty usability testing
  • Heffalumps and user experience
  • Clare Sutcliffe on teaching kids to code
  • Embrace failure
  • Create slick HTML5 animations
  • Quick and dirty usability testing

    Leah Buley outlines two quick usability tests that should be repeated throughout a project to ensure your design isn't veering off-course

        






    Posted on: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 14:14:22 GMTContinue Reading

  • Heffalumps and user experience

    Instead of wasting time developing features based on untested hypotheses that turn out to be incorrect, ideas should be tested as early as possible so that less useful assumptions can be discarded

        






    Posted on: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 13:47:04 GMTContinue Reading

  • Clare Sutcliffe on teaching kids to code

    Code Club's CEO - Clare Sutcliffe - talks about starting Code Club, her inspiration, her plans for a global future and the simple joy of helping kids learn to code

        






    Posted on: Mon, 09 Sep 2013 14:39:13 GMTContinue Reading

  • Embrace failure

    In an extract from his book, Why We Fail, Victor Lombardi explains what experience designers can learn from past failures

        






    Posted on: Mon, 02 Sep 2013 10:00:00 GMTContinue Reading

  • Create slick HTML5 animations

    Modern browsers have several dedicated animation technologies built in. Martin Görner showcases the top four to try in your next project

        






    Posted on: Fri, 30 Aug 2013 12:05:53 GMTContinue Reading

ESRI Arc News (GIS, mapping)

  • Location-based analytics helps Wendy's find its way to new sites
  • Boost Productivity with Explorer for ArcGIS
  • Maps.com Launches "Field Trip Library" for K–12 Students
  • Where in the World Does All this Esri World Data Come from?
  • Rancho Cucamonga mapping out its future with Redlands-based Esri

Business Solutions   •   Holly Springs, North Carolina   •   tim@getvisualcarolina.com   •   (919) 358-5292