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When It Comes to A/B Testing, Identify Your Goals First

Posted on September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger

When it comes to designing the right website to get the customers you want, don’t take chances on gut feelings or worse, the personal preferences of your web designer. With A/B testing, you don’t have to. Test your site’s performance to optimize for success.

To evaluate your site effectively, however, you must identify the key goals that you’re trying to achieve. Without this information, you won’t be able to determine what works, what doesn’t, and how to make the changes necessary in getting you where you need to go.

First, who do you want as leads? Who are the site visitors you’re hoping to turn into customers? Remember, the more general your answer, the less likely you are to create a website that meets the specific wants of a particular demographic. Generic website designs designed to address everyone’s needs usually end up satisfying none.

Second, what do most of your consumers want when they get to your website-and what is the “essential” experience you would like them to have? For example, your company may sell more purple widgets off your site than anything else, and you may want them to buy blue widgets instead. Both these facts are critical pieces of information as you test.

Understanding the answers to these questions will allow you to effectively evaluate site content and refine for even more conversions. Evaluating what makes a good website isn’t just about looking at graphics or content. Base decisions on goals and hard data to ensure your success.

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Web Design Disaster: Lurking Technical Problems That Can Derail SEO

Posted on September 6, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger

Think of your website as a beautiful looking dinner. Prepared with the right ingredients, what looks great can also be good for you too. But like unrefrigerated chicken, a few technical mistakes can end up making everyone sick.

For example, are you cloaking? As a black hat technique, this term refers to showing the search engines different content than what you’re presenting to your site visitors. It ‘s a way to trick the search engines into giving you a higher site ranking than what you deserve, and naturally, Google doesn’t like it. Unfortunately, quite inadvertently, sometimes coding issues can create exact match anchor text links that don’t show up on a mouseover-and give the appearance of cloaking as well. Have your developers routinely check for any of these technical errors that may end up hiding content from users, while still having it appear for the search engines.

What about 301 redirects? If you’ve recently migrated your website or gone through a redesign, even the most functional 301 redirect plan can sometimes fail. Whether from a coding problem, a faulty database table or other issues, a faulty 301 redirect can send your SEO strategy off a cliff in a hurry. Make sure to to evaluate any old URLs regularly to stay safe.

Whether it’s a dirty sitemap or problematic code, technical problems are never fun. Evaluate your website regularly to ensure you’re not sending the wrong messages to the search engines, and instead are delivering up fresh, healthy signals for the best results.

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Web Design That Works: Simple Gifts Are Best

Posted on August 23, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger

So it turns out that the Shakers, an eighteenth century religious sect known for making simple but beautiful furniture along with writing a popular hymn, were right when it comes to web design. While they may not have been thinking about the Internet when coming up with the idea, they were definitely on to something. Simple gifts, in fact, are better when it comes to a website that not only works- but works with Google too.

The reality is that Google doesn’t handle a quirky website well. Apple found that out recently when the search engine reportedly had trouble crawling their website, resulting in problems linking to the company’s iTunes preview pages. After much publicity, changes were made on both sides, but unless you’re based in Cupertino, California, it’s unlikely Google will accommodate your company website’s uniqueness in quite the same way.

As a best practice, stick to the simple and straightforward instead. The product pages and eCommerce shopping elements of your website need to be especially easy to navigate. Avoid the unusual design choices that make it harder for Google to “read” them.

In return, you’ll gain better rankings and as a bonus, more conversions from people who otherwise might walk away from a website that necessitated a PhD to sort through. Remember, the average consumer spends 4-6 seconds on your homepage before deciding whether to continue or click away. Capture them with an intuitive, uncomplicated design, and you’ll reap the benefits with Google as well.

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Reaching Consumers on the Move: What You Should Know About Mobile

Posted on August 9, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger

Turn to any blog or magazine writing about what matters in digital marketing in 2013 and you’ll read about the mobility of the modern customer. With smartphones and tablets everywhere, today’s consumer is accessing the web from just about anywhere other than a desk.

And yet, reaching this demographic is still a challenge. Clearly, the same old techniques used with the customer on a desktop browser won’t always work, and yet, the degree of difference between a mobile consumer marketing campaign and a traditional one is still being debated.

Here’s what we know. First, don’t eliminate tried and true strategies for your mobile campaign, just modify them for your mobile customer. Emails, newsletters, and links to infographics are still extremely effective. However, shorter subject headings, mobile friendly graphics, and designs that make it easy for your customer on a cellphone or tablet to access and see what you’re selling is essential.

Consider utilizing location based data as well in your mobile strategy. Using the smartphone or tablet’s GPS device can help you provide targeted information for the right customers who are poised to take advantage of a particular offer or store location. Capture them by taking advantage of the information a mobile device provides you.

Mobile doesn’t have to mean a sea change from the marketing you’re already doing. Shifting your existing strategy into one that provides the maximum ease and convenience for your mobile customer is the key element in developing a successful strategy.

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Important Design Terms for Any Website

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.

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The New Frontier for Responsive Web Design

Posted on May 17, 2013 in Coupon, Web Design by cmblogger

Pew Internet and American Life Project recently released new statistics on current mobile device usage in the United States today, and it’s clear that mobile web browsing is a trend that’s here to stay. Nearly one in three American adults owns a tablet computer, and nearly half of all Americans have a smartphone. More than 55% report using these devices to access the Internet regularly, with a quarter using them to get coupons to use at local businesses.

Among teens, the move to mobile is even more pronounced. More than 37% of teens own a smartphone, while one in four reports using the Internet primarily from their mobile device. More than 22% own their own tablet computer. As perhaps is to be expected for an age group focused by definition on social communication, teenagers are more connected to the Internet than any other age related demographic.

The message is simple. Optimize your website for mobile traffic with a responsive design, or get left behind as the stampede moves on to buy from your competitors.  Whether you decide to create a unique app or use a mobile web layout, make sure you highlight your products and services effectively through a design that reflects these new realities of the marketplace.

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Psychological Effects of Good Web Design

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.

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Great Coming Soon Pages Get Attention, Don’t Miss an Opportunity!

Posted on April 26, 2013 in Coupon, Web Design by cmblogger

Don’t just leave a default message and a logo if your website isn’t ready for action. Generate buzz for your business with an effective “coming soon” page.

A great “coming soon” incorporates several key elements into its web development. With an appealing color, graphics and layout, you can attract all the right attention for your brand that really gets them interested. With compelling copy, you can create excitement about what’s coming and use the page for collecting email subscribers and potential leads. Don’t forget to include links to your social media sites as well. While your site is being built, you can engage with customers on social media.

Remember to include both your launch date and a brief purpose of your website too, so customers are clear on what your company delivers. A “coming soon” page is an opportunity to educate your consumers about your products and services in a quick and compelling way.

The decisions surrounding how you will build your website take time. Let Captain Marketing help you utilize the right “coming soon” page for your website to get business immediately!

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How Mobile is Your Website?

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.

$100 Off Web Design Coupon

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Shopping Carts: Three Tips for Success

Posted on February 25, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger

Shopping Carts: Three Tips for Success

  With e-commerce a reality for so many small to midsize businesses, the online shopping cart has become a ubiquitous part of consumer experience on the web. With seemingly a million   options for customizing a shopping cart to fit your individual needs, it’s sometimes hard to know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to this vital tool. However, a poorly designed cart can have serious and negative effects, so make sure you consider carefully both your own unique requirements and the way in which your customers interact with your products and your website before deciding on specifics.

1.) Consider your icon. Many website designers prefer to use a visually attractive icon to represent the customer’s shopping bag. Sometimes this is indeed preferable to the words “shopping cart” or “view basket”-terms which may get lost against content in the navigation bar or be hard to readily spot in a sea of text. Take advantage of a good cart icon design to capture and inspire your customer to purchase more.

2.) Improve User Experience. Think about how you like to use an online shopping cart when making a purchase-or even when just browsing. For example, it may be helpful to let your customers see what’s in the cart, without having to click away from the rest of the page entirely. Or to know how much everything will cost…or what forms of payment you accept…or even to be able to quickly and easily “check out” by clicking an icon next to the shopping cart itself. These options make for a  quick, simple shopping experience for your consumers-exactly what you want when it comes to selling online.

3.) Placement is key. Don’t hide your shopping cart with the wrong font, a nebulous icon or with one that is confusing and nonclickable. While it may cost more in terms of developing, the payoff for the consumer, as well as your conversion rate, is invaluable. By efficiently guiding your customer through the buying process, you’re sending the message that your brand itself is trustworthy. Anything less is a liability.

Tag Archives: web design tips