Posted on September 20, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
Photo Credit: fodor
In many ways, a website is like a blind date. You’re greeting many customers for the first time, and in doing so, need to make a great impression. Nevertheless, you’d be surprised how many websites are the equivalent of a nightmare first meeting, complete with an unattractive, less than hygienic appearance and rude table manners. Many sites also fail to communicate to consumers just what they’re looking for in a relationship as well-leaving visitors confused about what to do next or why they should bother.
Along with a clean design and well chosen images, a website and its home page need to have a strong call to action. Many businesses interpret this as simply a phrase that says, “buy now!” or “sign up!” included in the copy. Some take it one step further with a call to action button at the top of the page, something that lets the customer click immediately to a “contact us” or “order now” form. As you might imagine, this is a good thing.
However, many call to action buttons, despite their format, are still too weak. Like a limp handshake or limited eye contact upon meeting someone for the first time, they’re not conveying the energy necessary to inspire a consumer to take action. As an example, consider two call to action buttons from a PR company that were recently A/B tested for conversion rates associated with their use. One read, “Click here to read more.” The other was “Make me famous!”
Would you believe there was more than an 8% difference in number of conversions for a single month using the second call to action button? Good copy makes a difference. And like a great first date, they could lead to a lifetime of fantastic results!
Posted on August 16, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
How much do you really know about your customers? For anyone interested in maximizing conversions with an effective website, it’s this “big data” that can make the difference when it comes to creating a look and a message that works.
Understand your site visitors and their experience on your website with some of the extremely useful metrics now available. You’ll accrue real information that can help you determine how to shape your website’s layout, copy and featured products, and know you’re basing these decisions on facts, not just feelings.
First, think about what your goals are for the website. Is it strictly meant as an information hub where customers can get a quick phone number or an address, or are you selling directly on the site? In other words, develop a game plan for what you want consumers to do. Then you can test and shape consumer behavior through a useful trial and error process that only data will provide.
What do people look at when they come to your homepage? Where do they go from there? Do they respond better to one kind of graphic and headline than another? Have you checked in with your consumers via a chat function, for example, to see if they found what they needed when they came to your website?
Only through tracking and analyzing this kind of information can you move from a web design that “looks like it works” to one that really does. Support your hunches with facts, and move from just hoping for more conversions to the reality of making them happen.
Posted on July 26, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger
Along with hard hitting PPC, social media and SEO campaigns, your digital B2B marketing plan must include landing pages that work intuitively to capture your prospects, from a customer’s initial click to their completion of a “contact us” form. While this last element may seem easy, you’d be amazed how many businesses overlook the benefits a well thought out landing page can provide in nurturing sales leads.
First, make sure your landing page is linked seamlessly to whatever you’re sending out. Whether they started with a drip marketing email, an invitation on a social media site to get more information or a paid search ad, make sure what your customers find on your landing page fits with what they initially clicked on-and that they can get there with a minimum of hassle.
Think of your landing page and the “teaser” that led there as part of the same overall design. The message your customers find on your landing page should expand upon and reinforce the initial selling proposition you alluded to. Use your landing page to close the deal, in other words, that began somewhere else.
Make it easy for your clients by asking only for the bare minimum necessary from them to get to the next level. If they’ve already given you an email on an initial inquiry, don’t ask them to fill it in again on the landing page-prepopulate the form if possible. And like a first date, you might spook new clients with too many questions. Get more information later.
Remember, a landing page brings leads directly to the door, so to speak. Using smart, cohesive visuals and strong copy, you can turn those prospects into sales, today.
Posted on July 19, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
It used to be that building a brand required a serious financial outlay for television, print and radio ads. The world has changed-and today, you can build a brand with a viral campaign for relatively little.
With the popularity of social media, the power of Google organic search and the steady influx of new, inexpensive channels by which to communicate your message to consumers, good branding is not only possible for small business, but imperative as a way to stand apart from your competitors. The key? Consistency.
Once you’ve defined who you are and what what you look like, keep that brand design and messaging the same across multiple channels for maximum impact. Think about high fashion: there’s a reason you don’t see Ralph Lauren selling cooking utensils. There is, however, a reason for him to sell high end dishware and tablecloths. Gracious entertaining is part of the Ralph Lauren brand. Quick meals on the fly for cheap, not so much.
You may sell plumbing equipment rather than designer dresses, but nevertheless, the rules still apply. Keep everyone in your sales funnel connected with one customer experience, one set of ideas, one kind of commentary, and one design scheme.
Good branding is about a strong identity that your customers can recognize a mile away or from the other side of the Internet as yours alone. While Facebook may afford you the chance to post a cat video once in awhile for the amusement of your customers, everything you post should fit overall with your basic values as a company. It’s okay to be silly in the right context-but always be your brand.
Posted on July 12, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger
With any design project, it’s easy to get intimidated by the creatives when they talk about your new kitchen or your new website, especially when they toss around unfamiliar terms with the authority that comes from doing hundreds of them a year. But like a well thought out new kitchen, a great website must reflect its owners tastes, habits and preferences to justify the expense in creating it.
Here are some useful terms to help you communicate with your design team so that you can get exactly what you want during the process:
Analogous Colors: This refers to the colors next to one another on a color wheel. Used together, they’re generally complementary to one another and pleasing to the eye.
Dots Per Inch: DPIs refer to the resolution of a printed digital image. More dots per inch=greater image resolution, fewer dots per inch= less image detail.
EPS: This file format contains both texts and graphics.
GIF: Steve Wilhite, the man who first created the Graphics Interchange Format, says a “GIF” is pronounced with a soft “g” and never in a “jiffy”. The term refers to a small moving image, photographic or animated.
HTML: The computer language programmers use to create your images, content and links for the web. Imagine it like the actual two by fours, nuts and bolts used for a construction project.
JPEG: Refers to an image file used with photographs for maximum clarity.
Kerning: Knowing this phrase will impress your friends-and the design team. It refers to the space between individual letters in any copy. Not to be confused with Leading, the space between the typed lines of copy.
Visual Hierarchy: The way in which your content is prioritized by the actual design. Your company’s phone number and logo, for example, would probably come first in the visual hierarchy of your page, with their bright colors and large size.
Posted on June 7, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger
The smartphone revolution is upon us, with the recent Pew Research reporting 56% of American Adults using smart phones. Teens are among those most dependent on their phones for Internet access, with one in four reporting to the Pew Center for Internet Research that they use their device as their primary connection with the web.
Other studies at Pew reveal similar data. When it comes to adults doing local searches on their phone, for example, a whopping 74% reveal that they use their device to get real time, location based information. Over 18% indicate that they use a geosocial service to share their location with friends and family. Where we go, in other words, is now just as interesting as what we do when it comes to interacting on the web.
Is your existing website set up for this influx of mobile customers? With potentially more than a billion potential consumers viewing your information via a far smaller screen than a desktop browser provides, it’s now a critical question for any online business.
Whether you choose to merely pare down the complexity of the layout, develop a separate mobile version, or ideally, completely rebuild your website to accommodate any size browser for a fast and easy display, mobile friendly is the new normal for website design in 2013. Stay current, by making sure your site is responsive.
Posted on May 10, 2013 in Coupon, Web Design by cmblogger
Colors and images set the mood of a website more than you might imagine. Blue is a trustworthy color, which is why so many banking institutions use it for their website designs. Green is often associated with nature and rebirth, and you’ll often find it used on websites touting health related products.
But it’s more than just “feel good” psychology when it comes to the layout of your website. Your design choices are not just about fostering brand consistency, but can actually provide the measure of encouragement your customer needs to make a purchase, or reach out for contact.
You have only a short time, most analysts say only 4-6 seconds, to “hook” a consumer who visits your website, and transform them from a casual browser into an active customer. Just as you would want an impressive storefront and well groomed employees no matter what your business, your website must have visual appeal as well as solid content.
Call us today to discuss your particular goals and challenges. Captain Marketing’s experienced team of web designers and copywriters can help you set just the right tone with an effective, consumer friendly website, formulated for success.
Posted on April 19, 2013 in Coupon, Web Design by cmblogger
When six of the seven billion people on earth now in possession of a mobile phone, responsive web development is more important than ever.
First, have you checked your website to see how it looks from a mobile phone or tablet?
Can you easily read the critical information a customer will need on your site from a smartphone or other device?
How difficult is it to order products, get price information, or fill out a contact form from the smaller screen of an Ipad or mobile phone?
According to the New York Times, consumers spent $25 billion dollars in 2012 on their phone or tablet, an increase of over 81% from the previous year. Mobile websites are critical, and luckily, Captain Marketing can help.
We offer a range of affordable web development services to make your site responsive and ready for mobile site traffic.
Posted on November 14, 2012 in Web Design by cmblogger
Affordable Choices: It’s What Captain Marketing Is All About
What makes a great website? There are many replies to that question, but the most important answer is…you can get the elements you need to drive conversions and rankings without spending huge amounts of money. In fact, just an effective homepage redesign can significantly boost revenue, allowing a small to midsize business more time to “save up” for a totally new website. With Captain Marketing’s assortment of web design and copywriting products, a small business can pick and choose among many reasonably priced packages that remain budget friendly while getting them the upgrades they need to take sales to the next level.
Posted on October 10, 2012 in Web Design by cmblogger
Does your website content sell your product-or just confuse people? Make sure you tell your product or service story in a simple, easy to understand way, no matter how complicated it is, no matter how savvy or sophisticated your typical customer. The average viewer will spend 3-5 seconds on your site before clicking away to something else. Don’t make it easy to walk away. Compelling descriptions and strong headlines are essential for a website that’s designed for maximum conversions.
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