Posted on November 15, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
When considering improvements to your website, always remember, less is more. It’s easy
to get carried away with multiple new fixes. Each is employed to draw in new traffic or boost
conversions, but all of them together can have precisely the opposite effect. Instead of
bringing in more site visitors for longer periods, you may be sending people away far more
often than you realize.
Including social network buttons on your website’s homepage is a great way to remind viewers
to stay in touch. But remember, the idea is to bring your fans to your website, not to
Facebook. Social media is a great way to connect and engage with your consumers.
It’s also good for SEO. But check your analytics regularly to make sure you’re not
encouraging your site visitors to leave their shopping carts and head off to a social
media platform instead, rather than the other way around.
Videos work in the same way. Ensure your video viewers stay on your website to watch. Don’t
direct them to YouTube to learn more about you. After all, once they get there, statistics
show most will never return.
Stay focused on driving people to spend time on your website with a high quality user
experience throughout. Attracting and holding the attention of your audience on every
landing page should be your priority.
Posted on October 4, 2013 in Uncategorized, Web Design by cmblogger
In deciding on the content for your new website, it’s easy to focus on what undoubtedly you know the most about: your company’s goods and services. And yet, when it comes to creating hard working content that really gets conversions, the answer lies in addressing what any consumer wants, quite naturally, to talk about instead: themselves.
Effective copy focuses on the benefits of your services, not the services themselves. What problems confront your typical consumer-and how does your product solve them? Only by demonstrating you first understand their personal challenges and have a way for them to overcome them will you generate the kind of solid return on your website design that you deserve.
“Benefits” too can be a murky term. Consider the difference between real benefits and “fake” benefits-and their impact on the consumer. Let’s assume you sell motor oil. Its use results in better engine functioning, and in turn, lower costs for the car owner as a result of needing fewer repairs. In generating the copy for your website, it might seem appropriate to tout “Better Engine Functioning!” as your headline. And yet…consider the emotional impact of selling this motor oil instead as a way to save time and money. In the end, unless you’re a car buff, you’re not going to connect with a phrase like “better engine functioning” on an emotional level. Time and money, on the other hand, are precious commodities we all have feelings about.
Remember, as much as we’d like to assume otherwise, most, if not all of our buying decisions are made from an emotional rather than rational vantage point. Make sure your new website design answers those questions, and ensure your success within the marketplace.
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 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 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 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 December 24, 2012 in Web Design by cmblogger
In today’s economy, a hundred dollars doesn’t buy a lot of things anymore, unless you’re at Captain Marketing. Here it gets you your own HTML website rental, with up to 10 pages you can use to localize your SEO and create targeted leads from a variety of markets you choose ahead of time. With an integrated, effective marketing message written by a professional copywriter, 2 revisions included, free managed hosting, and up to 10 pages featuring SEO-friendly copy targeted exactly to the locations you determine are most helpful, our leased websites can generate you the local search traffic and sales leads you need and aren’t getting from your current website. And the cost? At just $99 a month, with a one time $99 set-up fee, you’ll find convenience and conversions quickly define this as one heck of a smart investment. It’s just one of the ways Captain Marketing addresses the needs of today’s small to midsize business. Whether you need a simple homepage redesign, a localized website lease, or total website overhaul, we’ve got the affordable solutions you can count on.
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