Posted on December 3, 2014 in Blogging by cmblogger
Realtors in New York City are catching on to the need for more sophisticated, all purpose web design to attract consumers and hold on to current customers, the New York Times reports.
While in the past potential homebuyers or sellers had to contact a real estate agent to get any information on local property listings, now the information is available on the web for anyone. Realtors must reinvent themselves as “neighborhood specialists,” as the Times describes to prevent their industry from going the way of the brick and mortar travel agency, an industry that has all but disappeared from our popular culture in 2014.
Creating a unique value proposition can be created with a thoughtful, responsive website design, however. Sites are now easier to navigate, with less clicking back and forth between search parameters, and present listing results all on one page for easy comparison. In addition, Google map photos of a neighborhood also show up immediately, along with ready information about nearby restaurants, shopping, schools, crime rates and other “points of interest” important to a potential homebuyer.
As the New York Times reports, “instead of us putting forth hundreds of search results,”said Christina Lowris Panos, the chief marketing officer of the Corcoran Group, “we’re the curator of the information. We’re not just giving you volume.’” Links to social media are also displayed prominently, along with relevant news about the community at large.
Posted on November 1, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
It’s easy to get carried away with designing a website. So many choices on so many things can
cloud the bigger issues for even the most focused marketing team. But for anyone interested
in conversions online or off, it’s important to address four major concerns that most consumers
will be asking when they visit your site. These are the big questions from a customer you must
answer in the layout, navigation, and any basic sales message you choose to include:
1.) Can I trust them?
2.) Are they going to be too expensive? ( This is important no matter what demographic you’re
pursuing. Remember, everyone likes to get a deal. )
3.) Do they like working with people/companies like me-am I their “type?”
4.) Will I be able to get someone from their company on the phone directly if I need to?
Whether you sell high end custom yachts or the most basic of plumbing supplies, your site
must not only make your consumer feel welcome, but respected. Along with this comes the
necessity of educating your site visitor on the emotional assets you bring to the table along with
the practical ones. After all, moving your potential customer from a place of not knowing to a
position of confidence in your products, services, and integrity is above all else an emotional
journey-not an intellectual one.
Posted on October 18, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger
According to a recent report from Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab, 46.1% of people say that a website’s design is the “number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company.” The silver lining to this rather serious news? Great web design doesn’t have to be fancy-or expensive.
Its central goal should be to convey your company’s most important qualities, those that separate you from all other competitors and define you as a trustworthy brand that consumers can’t afford to be without. Retain current website traffic and attract new site visitors with easy, intuitive navigation, well organized content, and a consistent, concise message throughout that focuses on the unique benefits provided by your products and services. And the rest? Ensure your site loads quickly, remains compatible with a variety of browsers and has a hosting service that’s entirely reliable-and you’ll be good to go.
Need more statistics to convince you? According to KissMetrics Research, 40% of consumers will simply walk away from a website that requires more than 3 seconds to load properly, and at least 50% of potential sales disappear when a customer can’t figure out how to navigate pages effectively. In contrast, 60% of consumers report feeling positive about a website when they read any custom content found on a website. Quality visuals, appealing colors and well considered layouts also encourage your visitors to stay longer and browse.
With Internet users growing increasingly sophisticated and familiar with the very best cyber design the marketplace has to offer, the takeaway is…you can’t afford not to have a great website as we go into 2014.
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 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.
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.
Posted on August 2, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger
For many small businesses without SEO optimization, it’s a hard truth. Your site traffic numbers, particularly for businesses catering to a small local clientele, may be not be in the thousands. In fact, they may be in the hundreds, or worse, even the tens. If that’s the case for you-then quantifying your conversion rate will be all the more essential in determining what changes you’ll have to make to get more customers, stat.
For a low traffic website, this can be a challenge. With a website that gets huge numbers, obviously multivariate testing is effective. But with only a few site visitors per day, getting the answers you need can be a long, slow process. Speed up your results by testing for one variable at a time.
Next, beef up your website’s user experience. With more internal links, stronger content and compelling page headlines, you can improve engagement and lengthen the time each potential customer spends on your pages. This will improve conversion numbers, fast.
Finally, take a look at what the visitors you have are doing once they get to your website. Consider asking them directly if they found what they were looking for with the help of a review service, or a chat function. Their feedback can provide insights you may have missed previously. You can also employ a mouse movement capture function to record exactly how consumers behave on your website. Where do they go? What do they click on? This information is invaluable in creating content that works for you.
With testing, content changes and ultimately, the help of your consumers, a low traffic website can increase its conversion rate. Remember, feedback is your friend when it comes to successful online marketing.
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 July 5, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger
Trying to decide between a big headline and only a few bullet points on your homepage, or a lengthy paragraph explaining the ins and outs of your services? Don’t listen to the experts-prove them right or wrong with Google’s Content Experiments feature.
Using Content Experiments, you can actually test which design will work best with your customers. Using a random sample of your site visitors (whether you include everyone or just a certain percentage of them is up to you), you can select an objective to test for and receive regular updates by email on the results.
Imagine you sell grilling accessories and barbecues online. Since the barbecues are your most profitable product, your objective for your homepage design is to sell even more of them, while still letting customers know you have other products in your inventory as well.
For your Content Experiment, you will set up three versions of your website homepage. One page will feature a splashy headline and just a giant picture of the barbecues, one page will feature several paragraphs going into great detail about your barbecues, and one will have a great photo and three bullet points describing what makes them special.
Random visitors will be sent to any one of these three pages-and you can measure which page sells the most barbecues with its design. It’s another way Google allows you to gather definitive data on your marketing campaigns to see what really works. Ask your project manager or web designer to help you get started.
Posted on June 28, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger
The success of a website is determined by your answers to two questions. First, are you getting site visitors? If not, a solid SEO campaign, paid ads, and social media marketing can address that problem well. However, if you have the traffic but not the conversion numbers, you may need to rethink your website.
Before you panic, consider the basics. It may sound elementary, but you’d be surprised how many websites are missing a call to action and a clearly visible phone number (or other contact information, if you prefer) from the top third of their homepage. By clearly visible, too, we’re not talking about something small and grey tucked away in the corner of the uppermost logo, but a “Call/Email/Order (as appropriate) Today for Your Free Quote/Widget/Etc.” and a large, bright font, placed where people can see it.
Second, is your site mobile friendly? With more than a billion cellphones in use around the world and tablet use exploding among the U.S. population, people are accessing your website from more than just desktop browsers. Aside from the negative SEO complications, a site that doesn’t work, isn’t readable, or plain just looks awful from a mobile device is bad news. As basic as a strong visual with your contact information, addressing your mobile consumers with a responsive web design should be mission critical for everyone in 2013.
Tag Archives: Web Design