New Client – George Thompson, Insurance Claim Attorney

We’ve taken on a few new clients lately, and we wanted to spotlight them.

George Thompson is a local insurance claim attorney located in Westborough, specializing in insurance disputes for both individuals and businesses. George provides his clients with over twenty years of experience in the field with insurance claim and litigation experience concerning individual disability policies, short term disability insurance, long term disability insurance, health insurance, life insurance and long term care insurance disputes.

George also advises clients on their rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), Salary Continuation Plans, COBRA and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has represented clients in the initial submission of an insurance claim, the appeal of a claim denial and the litigation of a claim denial. He also has experience in Federal and State Courts. Although the principal hub of his practice is the New England region, he has counseled and advocated on insurance coverage issues and claim strategy for clients from Maine to California. George has been repeatedly recognized with the maximum Martindale Hubbell Lawyer Peer Review rating that a lawyer can achieve for legal ability and ethical standards.

Prior to starting his own law firm, George worked for a Fortune 300 Insurance company, UNUM that focused on selling individual and group long-term disability insurance. George worked as a Vice President and Managing Counsel where he mentored and managed teams of attorneys responsible for handling the company’s disability insurance litigation as well as advising the claims and underwriting departments on insurance disputes across the country. He literally analyzed thousands of disability insurance claims and was responsible for hundreds of lawsuits during his 15-year tenure in the insurance industry. He also had the responsibility for regularly updating the company’s claim department on legal developments and litigation trends that could impact their claim handling responsibilities. This experience serves George’s individual and business clients well giving George a unique insight into what went wrong in the decision to deny a client’s insurance claim.

Be sure to visit George’s website at

Advertising Do’s and Don’ts For Your Small Business

Do: Find your target audience

The first thing to think about when starting an advertising campaign for your small business is your customer base. Who are they, and why do they want your product or service? Make sure that your advertising is aimed at your target audience and specifically speaks to their needs. Let them know that what you are offering is right for them, and think about how they’re going to use it when planning your ads. Would you advertise a nightclub to senior citizens or young children? No. Tailor your ads and their placement to your target market.

Do: Generate your business or product message

The next step is to create a clear, concise message. Generally your message or tagline shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to read. It should be memorable, and it should be featured in all your advertisements—the repetition will make it easier for potential customers to remember. Your message should simply and accurately describe your business or product in a way that will entice people to look for further details. Once you’ve worked out your message, commit to it. Advertising takes time and dedication.

 Do: Make your contact information readily available

Your contact information should be easily available as well, so once a potential customer is enticed, it is easy for them to find more information. Your website, phone number, address and message should be available across all your forms of advertising and any business stationery that you have. With online media becoming increasingly more popular, it’s important to have a website. Your website should have your message as well, because the more a person sees your message, the more likely it is to stick with them.

Do: Budget and explore free resources

Set up a budget—advertising will cost you money, though there are also several free resources available, such as Google Places, Yahoo, Bing and Yelp business pages, and Facebook pages as well. Get started on the free media exposure, and fill out your pages as thoroughly as possible. Encourage customers to leave feedback and reviews on those pages. You can gain more interest when a page has some solid reviews. Track the progress of your advertising as well, ask customers where they found out about you, encourage the use of a coupon or a special ad and keep track of who mentions it. The response to your ads will let you know how effective they are, and if you are advertising in the right media.

Don’t: Focus too much on yourself

People want to know about your business or product. Sure, they like to know that you’re a real person, or a family-owned business and not just some talking head of a big corporation, but in the end you’re selling them a product or service. Tell them about that product or service, and why they need it in their lives. Yes, you can include a small history of your business on your website, but don’t make it the focus of your main page.

Don’t: Be afraid to try new things

If your current method of advertising isn’t working out, and you’ve given it time to sink in and develop, rethink your ideas and try something new. Are you exploring all the avenues of social media? Is your television ad on the right station? Is it only airing at 3 A.M. between infomercials? Do you even need a television ad?

Don’t: Spread yourself too thin

Your business should have a specific focus. Ever heard the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none”? Make sure that you’re focusing on what you do best, and not using all your resources to do everything at once if it’s not paying off.

Don’t: Give up

Make sure you give your advertisements time to sink in. Let them circulate let word of mouth spread. Don’t expect everything to work right away, and bring a stampede of customers to beat down your doors. Sometimes your advertisements won’t work, but you have to keep at it. Learn from your mistakes, and research what works for others in your field.

Optimize your website for mobile devices

Smart phones and other mobile devices are rapidly becoming an integral part of our everyday lives. If you have a website, it’s important for it to be optimized for mobile viewing so that you don’t lose out on potential viewers and customers.

When designing your mobile site, there are some important factors to keep in mind—a mobile device is much smaller than a computer screen, and your site should be streamlined, simplified, and downsized to make mobile viewing easy and convenient.  Remember, people viewing your site on the go are probably looking for some specific details or information. Design your site using your most important information and leave out long mission statements, employee bios, and large images that can slow down loading times.

Most people don’t want to wait more than 5 seconds for a site to load, so hold off on the large graphics and special effects that can bog down your site. Keep in mind that Apple products do not support Flash, and many other devices don’t support Java—avoiding those effects will ensure that you don’t lose out on viewers, and it will also keep loading times down. Keep the essentials of your branding, like a logo, on your site, because you want cohesion between your mobile and regular site, but don’t go too fancy.

Vertical menus work best, and your mobile site should have fewer pages than your regular one—most viewers don’t want to click through page after page of information when they’re on the go. Use white space to your advantage and make your links easy to click. It’s easy to get frustrated trying to click a small link when it’s surrounded by other small links.

Follow these tips, keeping your mobile user in mind at all times, and your mobile site will be successful.

Search Engine Optimization

How Important Is Search Engine Optimization For Your Website?

What is SEO? It is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. What exactly does SEO do? It is the method of analyzing and constructing individual web pages, as well as entire sites, so they can be discovered, analyzed, and then indexed by various search engines.

SEO can make the content of your web pages more relevant, more attractive, and more readable for search engines and their crawling and indexing software.

Why would this be of great importance to you? Would it be important to you if customers were unable to find your telephone number or find the address of your business? I don’t think many businesses could survive for very long in this situation.

This situation can easily apply to a web site. Can potential customers locate your current web site easily? Traffic to your web site could be extremely low. Potential customers might not even know that your site exists.

“Wait a minute!” you say. “We have a beautiful web site, and we include the web site address in all advertising campaigns. Why would people be unable to find our site?”

Of course, your current customers and people already acquainted with your business would be likely to find your web site without difficulty.

But are you absolutely sure that your advertising has reached enough potential customers? Did you consider that some people simply do not read the newspapers? How about people who didn’t get the issue of the magazine where you placed an expensive ad? Did these people hear the WABC radio broadcast when your commercial aired? Were they watching channel 44 during the news hour? Were they on the direct mail list for which you paid thousands of dollars?

So how about those search engines that everyone uses? Potential customers will type a word or two into the box, hit ’Enter’, and immediately find a listing for your company’s web site. One more click and you have another visitor. Search engines sure are great, aren’t they?

Yes, they certainly are great, and the ’type-and-click’ scenario above does happen. More often than not, however, it doesn’t happen without a little work. Search Engine Optimization is that work.

We’re settling into our new office space in Worcester!

JRA Design has finally made the move to a larger location at 51 Union Street, Suite 324 in Worcester and it’s a much needed new space! It’s taking a little getting used to, but we’re really enjoying it. We’ll be keeping the Shrewsbury office as well because I can already see the need for more space in the near future. We’ll see what happens there, but for now back to Worcester–we’re in a refurbished factory building built in the early 1900’s. The owner has kept the character intact, providing an inspirational, unique workspace. We’re in the process of creating a site for the buildings’ leasing and will keep you posted on that. If you’re in the area stop by and check us out.

Thanks – Joe Albano

JRA Website Design
508 735 3671
51 Union Street, Suite 324
Worcester, MA 01608

21 Lakewood Drive
Shrewsbury MA 01545
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JRA Website Design Receives 2011 Best of Shrewsbury Award

JRA Website Design Offices Worcester MA
Our offices here at JRA Website Design

JRA Design Receives 2011 Best of Shrewsbury Award

Press Release


JRA Design Receives 2011 Best of Shrewsbury Award

U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

NEW YORK, NY, December 5, 2011 – JRA Design has been selected for the 2011 Best of Shrewsbury Award in the Internet Virtual & Web Hosting Providers category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2011 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a New York City based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association

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Top 10 benefits of website redesigning

JRA Website Design Offices Worcester MA

Our offices here at JRA Website Design

Website redesign is as important as designing a website itself. The world is always changing and therefore with the passage of time, the concept and look of your website is bound to become obsolete when compared to other competitive websites.

Remember you have only seven seconds (as shown by various researches on web habits of visitors) to hook a visitor’s attention to your site. If your website does not appear appealing, they are going to waste no time in switching to your competitive websites. Once you lose a visitor, you are never going to get him back. And loss of visitor is directly proportional to loss of sale, right?
All these problems, however, can easily be taken care of with one important ingenious decision- hiring the service of a professional website redesign service.
Following are listed the top ten benefits of website redesign;

• Easily navigable

If navigation menus and links are not properly arranged on your existing website, it is going to irritate a visitor who will immediately move to your competitor website. Contrary to it, the ease of locating links will provide the visitor with the required information he/she seeks. Website redesign will help you arrange menu and links in a systematic order on your site and thus ensure the visitor remains glued to it.

• Making it look eye catching and aesthetic
Layout and design catch a visitor’s eyes first while visiting a site. If your site is not appealing to a user’s eye, he/she will immediately move to your competitive website. Website redesign can make your website pleasing to the eyes of visitors by using attractive and cutting edge graphics, images, fonts and colors.

• Enhanced search engine visibility
Website redesign not only adds to the aesthetic appeal of your website, it also helps in improving your site’s search engine visibility.
A professional web designer will put SEO tags in all your pages so that it can be indexed properly by search engines for keywords that potential customers use to find a business like yours (on the internet).

• Superior design + more eyes = More sales

With your website getting a killer look and increased visibility, it is bound to attract more and more visitors to your site. Website redesign will thus lead to an increase in the sale conversion and making your business a profitable venture.

• Superb compatibility with modern day browsers
Many new modern browsers have flooded the market. If you your website is not equipped with the latest technology supporting them, it is not going to be accessible to a number of online users. Having your website redesigned will ensure that your website is viewable on all major browsers and thus keeping your professional appearance up in front of everyone viewing your site.

• Highly competitive

The market is continuously changing. Your website, even if it is 1 – 2 years old, can no longer compete with technologically advanced websites in the present time.
Website redesigning will help in bringing latest technology and innovation to your site and thus ensuring that it remains competitive and in sync with the demands of the market.

Reducing your maintenance time and cost greatly
By hiring a professional website design service, the time and cost you otherwise have to spend cleaning things up and ensuring everything is up-to-date drops considerably. This helps you to focus more on the things that matter most – traffic, sales and increased visibility.

• Equipped with state of the art technology

Technology is fast changing. Having a website which is unable to keep pace with latest technological demands is not going to serve any purpose.
Website redesigning will ensure your website is equipped with all the latest state of the art technologies.

Creating a professional image
Out dated graphics and look of the website can turn away your visitors to your competitor’s website. Hiring a professional website redesigning service will help you give a neat and clean look to your site. The clean look of a site gives a professional image to your business which ultimately results in more leads and more sales.

• Fast uploading and conducive to all screen resolutions

Website redesigning will ensure your site can be fast loaded. This will also help in making your website accessible to all kinds of screen resolutions.


Website redesign is thus highly profitable if you want to enhance your chances of improved business and expectant sales. Redesigning the website helps in improving the overall aesthetic appeal of your website. Further, it also helps in increasing the search engine visibility which leads to an improved sale conversion rate.

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Website Design Do’s and Dont’s

JRA Website Design Offices

Our offices here at JRA Website Design

Many sites make some huge mistakes in their website design, and most site owners never even realize it. But these types of problems can be serious impediments to your website’s success. Here are a few things to consider when building or analyzing your own website. Hint: Have someone else look at your website with these things in mind as well. You may be too close to your website to be able to analyze it’s design objectively.

1.Navigation should be clear, organized, and simple. Don’t use images for navigation. Don’t use flash or complex dropdowns. Make sure everything is organized into logical groupings from broad to specific, with top-level categories leading to subcategories, which then lead to the most specific pages.

2.Users should be able to instantly tell where they are within a website. If a visitor is confused about where he is, or how to return to where he was, he’ll probably choose to leave instead. The use of breadcrumbs at the top of the content helps orient the user. Breadcrumbs are a visual trail such as Home > Widgets > Red Widgets > Bouncy Red Widget. Each part of the trail should link back to its corresponding page.

3.Don’t subject users to auto-starting audio or video in your website design. Users want to control their audiovisual experience. They want to start and stop when they choose. Don’t make them angry by taking this choice away from them.

4.Don’t overload users with ads or too many graphic elements with your design. Have you ever seen those web sites that bombard your eyes with so many colors and flashing doodads that you just want to run screaming from the room? Don’t be the person who made that web site.

5.Make sure everything with your web site design works! Routinely check all your forms, links, and processes. Go through the web site and fill out everything a user might fill out. Ensure that you receive all messages the forms and processes are designed to send. Don’t wait for a user to inform you that something on your website is broken. For every user that informs you, another hundred probably just left your website, never to return.

6.Keep the layout and design consistent (for the most part) throughout the website. Visitors appreciate being able to find similar features in the same general area across the web site. Changing the layout or site design in different areas can confuse users. Although you can make small changes for site design creativity, don’t stray too far from the general website design elements and layout.

7.Ensure the website loads fast. Users no longer have the patience they once did when dialup was the norm. Their expectations are set very high, and if the main elements of a page don’t load within about 4 seconds, they’re gone. Bonus Tip: In that four seconds, the user wants to be able to understand what the page is actually about. Make sure that’s clear to the user at the top of the page (above the fold).

8.Don’t hide the website from searchers. Make sure search engines can easily find and understand your website. SEO is a broad subject not covered in this article, but at the very least, make sure to use the words and terminology throughout your content that your users would likely use to search for websites like yours. Use these words in your page titles, site links, and content. Don’t go overboard and riddle the site with these phrases in a nonsensical way. Just naturally use them. This will help search engines, like Google, understand what your pages are really about, which will help them rank your site better for those phrases.

9.The ultimate goal is conversion. You want your users to do something. That something may be to buy a product, or download a whitepaper, or sign up for a mailing list, etc. Don’t hide what you want them to do in some far-off dusty corner of your page or website. Help your users know what you want them to do next. Give them clear instructions. A big bold button that says Download Here works wonders. Make it easy and clear so users don’t have to think or wonder. Be their tour guide. If the process takes more than one step, number them! Buttons with numbers on them are very helpful in leading the user through the process.

10.Make the website usable rather than difficult or confusing. Usability covers a broad area, and many of the above tips are a part of user-focused website design.


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