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 13, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger
Everyone agrees that A/B testing is useful when it comes to determining what variable works and what doesn’t for a website design. In fact, one company recently demonstrated that this kind of evaluation can lead to an increase in sales of more than 35%. However, when you are getting ready to create your test, make sure you understand how and when to utilize this helpful tool. The wrong kind of testing can lead to faulty information and a design that spells disaster for your customers.
The A/B test is used exclusively to evaluate two different versions of one element of your web page. For example, you would use this test to evaluate whether you received more calls from a phone number printed in yellow at the top of your homepage, or if one printed in black was more successful.
However, when it comes to testing for several different issues, multivariate testing may be a better choice. With multivariate testing of your phone number color, font and placement, for example, you’ll create 8 different versions of the same page, assuming you’re choosing from only two options for each variable. Equal numbers of site visitors should be directed to visit each page in order to get the data you need to make a decision.
Consult your web designer to make sure your testing will answer the questions you’re asking. Armed with the right information, you’ll have a great website, with design choices based on hard data instead of guesswork.
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.
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 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 24, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger
Times have changed the way we do business, and innovation is only accelerating. Consider the iPhone. Released in 2007, at first it seemed to many like little more than a novelty. Now, along with its competitors, the smartphone is a contemporary necessity for most in the business world today.
In revolutionizing the way people access the Internet, it has also changed the priorities for web design. Mobility is everything, as your site must be easily seen and absorbed from a small screen. Responsive layouts are now a requirement for any business hoping to alert consumers to their products, services or even just their brick and mortar location from the web.
What’s next? Get ready, but new inventions are already on their way. The widely heralded Google Glass is soon to be made available for the masses, despite its initial cost of around $1,500. Its tiny monitor, attached to a pair of glasses, will provide a camera, microphone and of course WiFi to users. Competitors have announced their own prototypes and launch dates.
Apple is working on their smartwatch, another wearable Internet browser. Its introduction is expected within the next year or two as well. Add in the rush to release smaller and smaller tablets, some with flexible or foldable displays, and you have a strong case for the enormous, non-portable home computer to go the way of the typewriter and rotary phone.
Whether we’ll someday give up our desks for good remains to be seen. But in the meantime, don’t get caught with a website that isn’t ready for consumers on the go. Focus on mobility, and ensure every aspect of your site works well with a variety of browsers and devices. The future is now when it comes to web design-and successful online marketing.
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 October 31, 2012 in Web Design by cmblogger
Staying On Point: The Key To Good Design
When creating a new website for your company, think about the purpose behind the site-and the audience for whom it is intended. Make sure your graphics, visuals, and content reflect both of your answers throughout the website. While it’s easy to get distracted by the all the bells and whistles available to you in the world of website design, these two issues are the fundamental bedrock upon which your website should be built. There’s nothing sadder than a beautiful website that cost the buyer a lot…that does nothing in terms of conversions. Stay focused, and your customers will too.
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