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 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 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 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 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 February 15, 2013 in Web Design by cmblogger
Websites come and go, but a logo is forever. Does yours work for your business? Consider the most popular trends for web design in 2013-and see if they might help you streamline the single most important visual image your company will ever utilize, the central idea that will connect you with your customers in just one glance.
1.)Simplicity. When you think of the most successful companies in your field right now, what do their logos look like? Think about the four companies most liked by the general public for 2013, according to a recent Harris Poll (we discuss more results found in this poll in our most recent SEO blog)- Google, Apple, the Walt Disney Company and Amazon. All of those businesses use very simple, readable, instantly recognizable logos and fonts, without a lot of accompanying frou frou. As poet Robert Browning once said and master architect Mies Van Der Rohe later made his central guiding philosophy, less is more.
2.)Naturalistic colors and fonts. There’s a reason color analysts at Pantone made emerald green the 2013 color of the year. As environmental concerns remain at the forefront of popular culture, companies are incorporating natural colors and elements into their product labeling and logo styles. In a changing world, people want something they can trust, especially over the Internet. Leaves, clouds, trees, animals-all those convey trust and a certain “down to earth” message in their basic design.
3.) Appealing illustrations and characters. In today’s media savvy world, the stock photograph is now easily recognizable-and forgotten as such. Consider a memorable character instead, or hand drawn image to convey the idea behind your products or services. Not only will your consumer be less likely to see the image somewhere else on the web, but they will associate your company with its friendly, personal design.
Posted on October 19, 2012 in Web Design by cmblogger
Every website needs a call to action
Every website needs a call to action, especially on your homepage. Make sure you have one-something that lets the customer know what they need to do to get in touch, and why it’s better to do so sooner rather than later. Whether it’s the creation of a special promotion that lets the customer know he or she can get by clicking to order, today-or even just a simple direction to call for more information (and a phone number in bold font right next to it), your site visitors need to have something to do, other than just stare at your page and wonder idly about what to have for lunch.
Tag Archives: website optimization