JPS Design Group - Website Design graphic design, packaging design, web design en-us Sat, 25 May 2024 23:14:00 -0800 Wed, 2 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 no 10 Common Errors in Your Personal Website That May Be Slowing Down Your Career Growth <p>are you a professional and a highly skilled individual? whether you are working as a web developer or working as a real estate agent, today’s employment scene demands people to have their own personal website for branding. a personal website is one of the marketing tools skilled professionals use to market their services to potential clients.</p> <p>if you have a website yet still didn’t get referrals, inquiries, or job offers from it, there might be some mistakes in your personal website that drive customers away instead of booking your services.</p> <p>here are some mistakes you might be doing that caused you some business and how you can fix them.</p> <h3><strong>1. content has no value</strong></h3> <p>now that you have bought a domain and hosted your site via <a href=''>hostinger’s vps</a>, it is time to boost your new site with high-quality content. some professionals buy their domain yet never invest in great content- in terms of value and quality.  </p> <p>invest some time in pouring your website with the right information like your bio, portfolio, contact information, and maybe some blog articles for seo purposes. if you think you don’t have the skills or the time to achieve this, then go ahead and hire somebody. don’t hesitate to outsource and delegate.</p> <h3><strong>2. you don’t update your content</strong></h3> <p>a potential client checks your website but instead of an up-to-date site, your site reminds them of a 90s site from the choice of colors to the layout. or you have a well-designed blog but the last blog post entry is 5 months old already.</p> <p>to fix this, regularly<a href=''> publish rich content</a> for your site to rank higher in google. your portfolio needs to be updated as well, showing your latest project.</p> <h3><strong>3. your site doesn’t have a responsive web design</strong></h3> <p>clients and companies want to make sure that you are currently practicing your skills and craft. one of the things to show this is to have your website responsive. what is this? a responsive web design automatically adjusts your web pages no matter what kind of device a user is using, whether a smartphone or a desktop. </p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <h3><strong>4. the overall design and layout is poor</strong></h3> <p>poor design doesn’t mean old design. there are newly designed sites that unfortunately have poor design and interface. skip the bold and all those annoying ads. keep it simple and direct to the point. make sure your site has plenty of white spaces. lastly, adjust your design to website responsive.</p> <h3><strong>5. you use bad photos</strong></h3> <p>visuals are everything and we’re talking about photos. using low-quality photos on your site reflects your skills – poor. make sure to use high-resolution photos. you can take them or hire a photographer. you can also source them online; just make sure you credit and use from sites that allow reuse. for your bio, use recent photos. </p> <h3><strong>6. no facts and data</strong></h3> <p>when using a site to market yourself, you need to provide statements with some authority and you can do this by adding data and facts.  provide concise figures and infographics. </p> <p>write, “i was able to increase my division sales to 100% for the 2nd quarter of the fiscal year”, instead of “i helped my company reach our quota”.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <h3><strong>7. your website doesn’t show a balance of your skills and your personality</strong></h3> <p>though personal websites are great ways for employers and clients to know you beyond your skills and professional experience, it shouldn’t be presented as a personal diary either. too much about your personal life is a big no-no. likewise, skipping showing your skills and experience will shy away from any opportunity for you. </p> <p>therefore, find a balance of showing your past projects while showing a little bit of your personality just like what<a href=''> bill gates</a> did in his personal website. while you highlight your skills and experience, your site should also reflect your personality. remember, businesses and clients often hire people based on their personality and character.</p> <h3><strong>8. there’s no portfolio</strong></h3> <p>related to #7, it is a cardinal sin to exclude your portfolio on your<a href=''> personal website</a>. that’s the objective of your site in the first place – an online and digital portfolio and resume. have a separate page exclusively for your portfolio and place them in a gallery. include links where clients and employers can read and check your previous works and projects.</p> <h3><strong>9. it is hard to find your contact information</strong></h3> <p>now that someone is interested to hire you, it is time to get in touch with you. but wait, where is your contact information? </p> <p>an email with this pattern – “johndoe(at)” gives interested parties the right information while keeping spammers at bay. don’t forget to add your social media, as these are the quickest way brands and companies find and reach you.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <h3><strong>10. your “about me” page is a mediocre</strong></h3> <p>your bio is a short statement that encapsulates who you are as a skilled professional and as a person. however, it is hard to compose this part of your site. if you find it hard, let someone do it for you like a friend or a professional. in your bio, find the perfect mix of summarizing your experience and skills and your interests as a person.</p> <p>these days, a personal website is an essential tool to market yourself and build your personal branding. give yourself an edge against other applicants with an online portfolio and resume that clients and even headhunters can check out. however, about the pitfalls mentioned above and you’re on the road to the best career of your life.</p> <p>original story on tle</p> Website Design Wed, 2 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 Sliders are bad for your credit union website design <p>pull up your credit union’s website. when you land on the homepage, do you see a rotating banner? </p> <p>given today’s landscape of <a href=''>credit union website designs</a>, i’d say there’s a 50-50 chance your website has a slider (aka rotating banner or carousel). though sliders are incredibly prominent, they are remarkably bad for user experience. in this article, i’ll lay out the evidence against sliders and share some better alternatives.</p> <p><strong>why sliders seem to be a good thing</strong></p> <p>most credit unions use sliders to display promotions. for example, you might post an auto loan deal that your lending department is excited about, a job opening from hr, and a message about your upcoming shred event. from an operations perspective, sliders seem wonderful because they enable marketers to put multiple promotions on the homepage for all to see—which makes every department happy. and in theory, it appears to be an economical use of limited space. why show only one promotion when you can display three, or four? </p> <p><strong>the truth about sliders</strong></p> <p>the truth is, people ignore sliders because they resemble ads. “banner blindness” is a well-documented phenomenon on the internet, where anything that even resembles an ad is ignored by most viewers. </p> <p>the image below illustrates this principle. it’s a heatmap from an article published by the <a href=''>nielsen norman group</a>. the heat spots in yellow, orange, and red map where users spent time looking at something on the page. there’s one ad at the top and several in the right sidebar—notice that none of them have any heat spots.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:512px; width:316px' /></p> <p>people also tend to dislike sliders because <a href=''>they are usually irrelevant to users’ interests </a>, and diffuse focus with multiple calls to action. that’s why study after study reveals that sliders get dismal click-through rates. </p> <p><strong>the data has spoken</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href=''>marketing agency mri tracked sliders</a> on three different websites, and found that click-through rates ranged from .16% to .65%</li> <li><a href=''>notre dame university tested sliders</a> on their homepage, resulting in just a 1% click-through rate</li> <li>another agency, <a href=''>beaconfire red</a>, tracked several nonprofit websites and reported a slider click-through rate of 0.9% to 2.0%.</li> <li>in one of the most damning studies, <a href=''>mÅrten angner tested a slider vs static content</a> on grizzly zoo’s website. just 2.06% of homepage viewers clicked on the slider, while the static content generated a click rate of 40.53%. the difference speaks for itself. </li> <li>for plenty of more anti-slider stats, check out <a href=''></a>, and this aptly-named post from yoast, <a href=''>sliders suck and should be banned from your website</a>. </li> </ul> <p><strong>if people do click, it’s on the first link</strong></p> <p>in addition, many studies have found that if people <em>do</em> click on a slider, they overwhelmingly click on the first link, defeating the purpose of having a slider in the first place. the beacon fire and notre dame studies cited above provide evidence of this, as do these two studies: </p> <ul> <li><a href=''>study of</a> (university of york)</li> <li><a href=''>study of several mobile ecommerce sites from mobify</a></li> </ul> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:269px; width:512px' /></p> <p><strong>sliders hurt accessibility</strong></p> <p>ada compliance is a growing concern for credit unions and sliders are really, really hard to make accessible. andrea fercia, yoast’s resident accessibility expert, has this to say: </p> <p><em>“though there are examples and recommendations to follow to make sliders as accessible as possible, i’ve rarely seen a fully accessible slider being used in production. sometimes sliders are just not coded with accessibility in mind, sometimes they are but there are so many accessibility requirements to address that missing just a couple of them can be disastrous for accessibility. interaction with keyboards and assistive technologies is so hard that static content is always preferable. it’s no coincidence that was launched by jared smith of webaim, one of the most influential and respected organizations committed to spreading out accessibility culture and developing accessible web content.”</em></p> <p><strong>are there exceptions?</strong></p> <p>generally, sliders are a bad idea, but there might be cases where they are appropriate. for example, if you are showing off different features of a specific product, then a non-automated slider could work well if executed thoughtfully.</p> <p>still, if you are going to use a rotating banner, then you should a/b test it regularly against other types of content since you are going directly contrary to all of the evidence against sliders. </p> <p><strong>what should you do instead?</strong></p> <p>i realize running promotions might seem difficult without sliders. fortunately, there are better alternatives. rather than running random promotions blindly to everyone who visits your site, you can use technology to target specific users. </p> <p>on the websites we design at bloomcu, we’ve had great success using <a href=''>personalization technology</a>. based on past browsing behavior, you can show personalized, specific content to each user. for example, a user who previously visited your auto loan page could be presented a featured rate or relevant blog post like, “5 things you should know before buying a car,” on a subsequent visit. a <a href=''>case study we published with</a> shows a 31% increase in engagement when using technology to personalize content for visitors.</p> <p>having your website’s navigation in order also goes a long way towards solving the problem. visitors go to your site intending to take action. if they are easily able to find your checking account page, for example, then they are much more likely to sign up online, promotion or not. </p> <p>lastly, when you ditch the sliders on your site, you leave room to focus on your credit union’s core message. what matters most to consumers is not some deal that will be gone in a month, but the long-term <a href=''>competitive advantage you can offer your members</a>. what makes you special and sets you apart? why should people choose you over every other financial institution? if you can answer those questions on your homepage, you’ll attract lifelong members and borrowers rather than just deal seekers.</p> <p>original story in cuinsight</p> Website Design Sun, 30 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 14 common user experience mistakes to avoid on your company’s website <p>today’s consumers expect a fast, flawless and beautifully designed interface when they use a software product or browse a website. slow page speeds, broken links, non-responsive page displays or simply poor design can turn users off from ever visiting your site again. that’s why it’s critical to make user experience and interface a top priority for your business’s development strategy.</p> <p>to get an idea of what not to do on your website, we asked a panel of <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>young entrepreneur council</a> members the following question:</p> <p>what’s a common mistake you see companies make with their websites’ ux or ui?</p> <p>their best answers are below:</p> <h2>1. designing for desktop instead of mobile</h2> <p>we are truly in a mobile-first world. sixty percent or more of website visitors are checking out your site on their mobile devices. focus on the vertical format first and foremost. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>ben jabbawy</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>privy</a></p> <h2>2. too much content</h2> <p>your potential customers want videos, big pictures, less text and more fine print that they can just skip over. if your website is puncturing droves of useless content and information into the eyes of would-be buyers, you just gave them a clear sign that they shouldn’t be doing business with you. – jason criddle, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>jason criddle and associates</a></p> <h2>3. lack of online chat functionality</h2> <p>it blows my mind how few companies have a nice online chat feature. the younger generation does not want to call your business and wait on hold then speak with someone. from a business perspective, one person on your team can handle up to 20 chats instead of one phone call. chats are a win-win for everyone! – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>brandon stapper</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>crown growth</a></p> <h2>4. trying to be cute and clever</h2> <p>i see so many companies trying to be cute and clever while trying to communicate their core messages. when this happens, messaging gets lost in translation and users will often click off the site. being clear and brief is so much more important than being cute and clever. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>kristin marquet</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>creative development agency, llc</a></p> <h2>5. not making your point upfront</h2> <p>companies love to flood their websites with text, stories, descriptions of their product or business. that’s useful as supportive information but get to the point. are you selling a product or service? if so, really sell it: briefly explain the benefits and features, but make this clear. think ‘cliff notes’ for above the fold; in-depth explanation for secondary or below-the-fold content. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>shawn schulze</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'></a></p> <h2>6. not using strategic opt-in forms</h2> <p>i’ve noticed a lot of websites either don’t use opt-in forms at all, which fails to convert visitors, or go the other extreme and bombard you with pop-ups as soon as you land on their site. take a look at technologies where a pop-up only appears when the visitor is about to leave the site. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>syed balkhi</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>optinmonster</a></p> <h2>7. random or inconsistent design elements</h2> <p>the most common mistake i come across with a website’s ui is a haphazard design. a website should be orderly, with all layout elements coming together seamlessly, offering a similar look and feel. if design elements such as colors, styles, fonts, wording and hovering effects appear random, there’s a problem. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>derek robinson</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>top notch dezigns</a></p> <h2>8. fixing what’s not broken</h2> <p>i commonly see entrepreneurs making ui or ux changes for the sake of change. this leads to changing things without a real reason for the update. when preparing for a ui change, you should have one single goal. then, hold each change up to that one single goal. if the update does not serve that purpose, it should be nixed. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>diego orjuela</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>cables & sensors</a></p> <h2>9. failing to make the login function site-wide</h2> <p>a lot of startups that have membership logins don’t make login available site wide. it happens to more early-stage companies than you may think. your site will get a lot of traffic and homepage search hits for people who are going to go straight to the login button. make sure you filter that data out when making design decisions about the site. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>nicole munoz</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>start ranking now</a></p> <h2>10. overwhelming users with choices </h2> <p>when you build a site that has too much happening, too many options and too many toggles, your end user gets paralyzed by choice. less is more when it comes to interface design. ux/ui is about subtraction, not addition. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>eric mathews</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>start co.</a></p> <h2>11. not directing people to the next intended action</h2> <p>on every page you create, ask yourself what you want the next step to be. you should never leave people to their own whims because they’ll almost never do what you expect. instead, map out exactly where you want them to go, and why you want them to consume your site in a certain sequence. just a bit of planning here will walk leads right into your funnel. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>peter kozodoy</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>gem advertising</a></p> <h2>12. below-the-fold calls to actions</h2> <p>calls to action should be easily accessible without scrolling. look at a typical website heat map and you’ll see that the further a user has to scroll, the less likely a user will take action. to enhance the ux of a website, include a call to action in the hero image. make it hard to ignore so that website visitors can be directed to the right place. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>brett farmiloe</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>markitors website development</a></p> <h2>13. lack of testing and feedback</h2> <p>there are many people and companies that are willing to test and provide feedback on ux or ui. however, there don’t seem to be as many companies actually taking them up on this offer, because their ux or ui isn’t actually working. it’s a simple and low-cost way to enhance either that is well worth the investment. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>angela ruth</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>calendar</a></p> <h2>14. image overload</h2> <p>visual marketing is powerful, but can easily be overdone. some website owners insert too many images, making their pages hard to load and overly stimulating for visitors. be selective about the images you use to maximize impact without distracting customers from your main goal: conversions. – <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>firas kittaneh</a>, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>amerisleep</a></p> <p>original article by <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>tnw</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 10 May 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Designing a Website? <p>before discussing the top most important factors to consider while designing a website, let us have a look at few of the interesting facts; <br /> <br /> - 48% of visitors quoted a web design as the no. 1 factor in deciding the trustworthiness of a business. <br /> <br /> - within 10 seconds, you need to tell your customers what they’ll get out of your website <br /> <br /> - 47% of visitors expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. <br /> <br /> - 39% of visitors will stop visiting a website if images won’t load or the pages take too long to load. <br /> <br /> - 64% of visitors want to see the company’s contact information on a home page. <br /> <br /> - 40% of visitors will switch over to the other search result if your website is not mobile friendly.</p> <p><br /> <img alt='graphic_design_in_parramatta' src='' /><br /> in today’s digital world, web design plays a vital role of doing business nowadays. even the smallest slip-up can ruin the experience of your customers which could end up costing you a much more amount of money and also you will lose your valuable customers. in this article, the experts of jps design have listed out the top most important factors to consider while designing a website. <br /> <br /> <strong>define your requirements</strong> <br /> <br /> determine your requirements by answering the following questions: what is the information you are trying to provide? are you going to implement any videos, links or documents? once you have clearer idea on what exactly what the page should be doing, it is far easier to create it. <br /> <br /> <strong>identify your targeted audience</strong> <br /> <br /> before you start designing your web pages, you need to make sure who you are trying to interact. identifying your audience base will help you convey information in a perfect manner which would be easily understandable by your customers. <br /> <br /> <strong>use clear navigation</strong> <br /> <br /> make sure to use clear navigation to ensure your visitors can find what they’re looking for! the navigation path should be simple and near the top of the page. don’t forget to place the search box at the top of the web page, so that your visitors can search what they’re looking for using keywords. <br /> <br /> <strong>make it compatible for all devices</strong> <br /> <br /> today more than 68% people are accessing internet from all kinds of ways from desktop to smartphones, using different browsers and different operating systems. therefore, it’s your responsible to make sure your website is accessible for all visitors. <br /> <br /> equipped with more knowledge about web design? so what are you waiting for? contact the leading experts of jps design group and get started today! your website is no longer a just representation of your company, but has gone on to become a perfect platform where your company can showcase the products and services to your customers!</p> <p>original article by <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>promotionworld</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 10 May 2018 00:00:00 -0800 What is User Experience Design? <p dir='ltr'>my big brother is a smart guy, and he recently got a new job that he’s super excited about. it’s a job in “ux design,” and he says it’s going to combine computer and design work in a way that will keep things really interesting for him. i’m thrilled that my big brother is getting a good job, and i’ve been nodding along when he mentions it, but i have to admit something: i have absolutely no idea what “ux” stands for, or what “ux design” actually is. i would ask him, but my brother has a bit of a reputation in the family for being bad at explaining things (if you ask him about an acronym, get ready to hear four more acronyms, which he will insist on explaining with more acronyms, and so on). so i’m asking you instead: what the heck is ux design?</p> <p dir='ltr'>ux is an acronym--sort of. the “u” stands for “user,” and the x--taking the first syllable instead of the first letter--stands for “experience.” so ux is “user experience,” and what your brother will be doing is designing the things that affect that user experience.</p> <p dir='ltr'>user experience is one of the most important parts of any technology, say the experts behind a <a href=''>ux design course london</a>. but it’s quite a broad term. what exactly are we talking about when we talk about ux?</p> <p dir='ltr'>first of all, ux tends to be a tech term (and you already mentioned that your brother works with computers and programming), so it’s safe to say here that we’re talking about a tech product: an app, a program, or a website. second, we can get a better sense of what ux means by introducing another term--ui--and examining the difference between the two.</p> <p dir='ltr'>we already know that ux means “user experience,” so what does ui mean? it stands for “user interface” (no weird x this time!) and it means something a little different than ux.</p> <p dir='ltr'>the user interface of a product is the part that faces you--the part you, the consumer, interact with. the features closest to the surface <a href=''>are the ones that fall under ui</a>. the look of the app or product, for instance, is ui. the buttons you click and the layout of a website are ui. when your brother designs things, he will (most likely) not be designing the shape of a button or choosing the background color of a screen--that’s ui.</p> <p dir='ltr'>ux is something larger and deeper. in fact, the term remains quite broad even after we take away all the things that are better called ui. user experience is about how a product interacts with its customer. in the case of an app, that might refer to how the menus are arranged or what buttons are on a screen (ui would determine how these options are laid out on a given page, while <a href=''>ux might be more concerned with how the menus are connected and what kind of hierarchies they have</a>). the app’s very reason for being may be ux-centric: many apps are designed to make something easier or streamline a process.</p> <p dir='ltr'>in practice, ux and ui may overlap a bit. but the important thing to understand here is that your brother’s new job involves making things work better for users and can cover a huge range of interactions between customers and products.</p> <p>original article by <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>columbia chronicle</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 10 May 2018 00:00:00 -0800 5 Tips for Your Spa Website Design <p>it’s easy to make a bare-minimum website that contains the basics of your spa’s services and deals. however, if customers are not impressed with the website, nothing stops them from leaving and moving on to the next spa available.</p> <p>are you looking for useful web design services that can guarantee customer views and online bookings?</p> <p>then you have come to the right place.</p> <p>this article is meant to help spa businesses gain customers by offering what their competitors may lack, a pleasing yet effective website. by having the right knowledge and using the right tools, nothing can stop your spa from receiving clients from other locations.</p> <p>so now that we’ve intrigued you, let’s get to the good part.</p> <h2><strong>1. plan out your web design services</strong></h2> <p>do you have a number of awesome ideas and plans but you’re not sure where to start? it happens more times than we can count.</p> <p>we get our minds racing with all these visions that are going to guarantee our spa’s success, but as soon as we start physically creating it, we get stuck.</p> <p>the problem isn’t your lack of knowledge or ideas, the problem is that you didn’t plan it out.</p> <p>instead of spending time drawing and coordinating, you jumped in head first.</p> <p>your website is more likely to turn out better when you have a plan. first, you’ll need a company that provides web design services.</p> <p>figure out what you want to portray, what services you have to offer, what images you like, and where you want your contact information to be.</p> <p>it will be much easier to consolidate your ideas when starting out instead of completing your website and then deciding you don’t like it.</p> <h2><strong>2. include social media</strong></h2> <p>the 21st century is all about technological advances and social media updates. customers expect companies to have social media, and if they don’t, some customers won’t even give that company the time of day.</p> <p>with that being said, your spa website should contain links to every social media page you have, this includes <a href=''>facebook</a>, twitter, instagram, and yelp.</p> <p>in 2015, facebook influenced <a href=''>52% of consumers,</a> both online and offline. if your spa services aren’t accessible on social media, you are missing out on potential clients and positive reviews.</p> <p>by providing clients easy access to your social media accounts, you can advertise and showcase your services and skills without any paid advertisements.</p> <p>if your company does not have any social media accounts, now would be a great time to create one.</p> <h2><strong>3. keep it simple</strong></h2> <p>have you ever stumbled upon a website that was extremely cluttered and difficult to use? can you recall your reaction?</p> <p>we can almost guarantee that you left the website as soon as possible and questioned their lack of web design services.</p> <p>keeping it simple does not mean you cannot be creative, it just means that we do not recommend cramming everything on one page. if your spa has multiple services it offers, create a drop-down menu that can break up your services and describe them in detail on separate pages.</p> <p>another example includes imagery.</p> <p>we know your spa wants to showcase all of the services it has to offer or how beautiful and clean the building is. but instead of placing pictures all over and between every sentence, break up images and only place them where it’s relevant.</p> <p>by having a clean and simple website for your spa, you entice clients to continue navigating. <a href=''>spa mate</a> is a great example of simple yet effective web design.</p> <h2><strong>4. call to action</strong></h2> <p>so you used web design services to create a beautiful and elegant web page. you are happy with the way it turned out, but no one seems to be calling or booking appointments as much as you would like.</p> <p>we bet it has something to do with your call to action or lack of one.</p> <p>by offering discounted spa services for first-time clients, customers will be more tempted to go. if someone is on the fence about whether or not they should try out your spa, the discounted price could be the tipping point that makes them go.</p> <p>however, calls to action do not necessarily mean you have to offer anything, it just means you give the customer an easily accessible button to click so they can contact you.</p> <p>giving clients easy opportunities to schedule appointments or to learn more about what your spa can offer is a lot more beneficial than forcing the client to search for it themselves.</p> <h2><strong>5. mobile friendly</strong></h2> <p>when people think web design services, they think that the website is being created for a desktop. that is simply not the case.</p> <p><a href=''>43% of consumers</a> between the ages of 25 and 34 use smartphones to make purchases online. the reason for this is because cell phones are always in our hands.</p> <p>in the age of cell phones, no one has time to wait until they reach their desktop to search for a new spa to join. if something gets our attention, cell phones give us the power to look it up at that very moment.</p> <p>if the website you are viewing does not work on a cell phone or is not easy to navigate, potential clients are more likely to go on to the next website instead of checking in later on their desktop.</p> <p>to avoid losing clients, use the mobile-first approach to ensure that your website is easy to use on devices like smartphones and tablets.</p> <h2><strong>conclusion</strong></h2> <p>web design services are not as difficult as it may initially seem.</p> <p>by simply creating a plan, keeping it simple, adding social media, adding a call to action, and making it mobile friendly, you have already completed most of the work.</p> <p>the next step is just simply launching the website and waiting for clients to book the appointments.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>smseo</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 13 Tools for Responsive Web Design <p>responsive web design ensures a site renders well on different devices and screens. use responsive design tools to make sure your users have an optimal viewing experience.</p> <p>here is a list of responsive design tools. there are tools to build responsive web page elements, and tools to test your design on a wide variety of actual devices and screen sizes. there are premium and free tools.</p> <h3>tools for responsive design</h3> <p><a href=''><strong>responsive design, responsively illustrated</strong></a><strong>.</strong> created by james mellers of adobe, this simple tool allows users to play with an illustrative example of responsive design. resize your browser window to see the types of size constraints you’ll be utilizing. price: free.</p> <p><a href=''><strong>bootstrap</strong></a><strong>.</strong> build responsive, mobile-first projects on the web with one of the most popular front-end component libraries. <a href=''>bootstrap</a> is an open source framework for developing with html, css, and js. quickly prototype your ideas or build your entire app with bootstrap’s responsive grid system, prebuilt components, and plugins built on jquery. price: free.</p> <p><strong><a href=''>google mobile-friendly test</a>.</strong> test how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device by using google’s free mobile-friendly test. designing your websites to be mobile friendly ensures that your pages perform well on all devices. price: free.</p> <p><strong><a href=''>justinmind</a>.</strong> justinmind is an all-in-one prototyping tool for web and mobile apps. define websites and apps for web, ios, and android with a drag-and-drop interface — no coding involved. customize and adjust your wireframe with a dynamic layout to fit all screen sizes across all devices with justinmind’s flexible events and actions. justinmind will let you view and test your web and mobile app prototypes instantly from any browser, with native web display and different device skins. price: plans start at $19 per month.</p> <p><strong><a href=''>gridset</a>.</strong> gridset enables designers to set up creative layout grids for the web without having to worry about the calculations. gridset lets you tailor specific grids across breakpoints you define for effective responsive design, ensuring your content looks good on any screen. price: plans start at $9 per month.</p> <p><strong><a href=''>adaptive images</a>.</strong> adaptive images detects your visitor’s screen size and automatically creates, caches, and delivers device appropriate re-scaled versions of your web page’s embedded html images. it is intended for use with responsive designs, to be combined with fluid image techniques. no markup changes needed. price: free.</p> <p><strong><a href=''>fittext</a>.</strong> a jquery plugin for inflating web type, fittext makes font-sizes flexible. use this plugin on your fluid or responsive layout to achieve scalable headlines that fill the width of a parent element. fittext is for huge display text only. price: free.</p> <p><strong><a href=''>ghostlab</a>.</strong> with ghostlab, you can test any website on various browsers and mobile devices simultaneously. just drag the url into ghostlab and click the “play” button. start testing in one of the connected browsers or devices. all other browsers and devices will mirror your actions — clicking buttons, following links, scrolling the page, filling out forms, and hovering your mouse over special elements. take a screenshot directly from within ghostlab, annotate it in the integrated image editor, and drag it to whatever bug tracker you use. price: $49.</p> <p><strong><a href=''>am i responsive?</a></strong> am i responsive is a tool for quick screenshots on responsive design breakpoints. simply enter your url. rearrange and reorder the devices by clicking and dragging on the device. use the am i rwd bookmarklet to check the responsiveness on any site with a single click from your very own browser. price: free.</p> <p><strong><a href=''>responsinator</a>.</strong> responsinator helps website makers quickly get an indication of how their responsive site will look on the most popular devices. however, it does not precisely replicate how it will look. for accurate testing always test on the real devices. price: free.</p> <p><strong><a href=''>google chrome devtools device mode</a>.</strong> google chrome devtools is a set of authoring, debugging, and profiling tools built into google chrome. use the responsive mode during active development of your site and app and resize the viewport often to create a freely responsive design that adapts to even unknown and future device types. test your site’s responsiveness using device mode’s screen emulator. viewport controls allow you to test your site against a variety of devices, as well responsively. price: free.</p> <p><strong><a href=''>browser stack</a>.</strong> browser stack is a platform for live, web-based browser testing. test on a range of physical android and ios mobile devices and tablets for the most accurate results. test with 1,100 desktop browsers on real machines, with media streaming, developer tools, keyboard shortcuts, and more. generate screenshots at actual device sizes on ios, android, os x, and windows. price: $29 per month.</p> <p><strong><a href=''>crossbrowsertesting</a>.</strong> crossbrowsertesting gives you access to the browsers and devices your visitors are using. perform interactive manual and exploratory testing on 1,500 desktop and mobile browsers. take screenshots automatically across multiple browsers at once, comparing full-page responsive layouts. take visual tests with every new change, and compare them to historical versions for easier regression testing. price: $29 per month.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>practical ecommerce</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Effective Tips For Developing A Successful Website <p>it is quite easy to just stick with the beauty aspect of the website but in order to make a good brand name with the website, it is important to focus on some essential factors of the site which does not always depend upon how the website looks.</p> <p>you can categorize such factors into brand awareness, brand image, lead generation and others. let’s face the fact that there are billions of website in the competition. you need extraordinary efforts to top this game. the website design should be totally dependent upon more than a single factor. firstly, it should be optimized for the usability. secondly, the user can easily navigate through the website making them revisit it again and again.</p> <p>in order to fulfill these two factors, some tips and tricks are mentioned below.</p> <h3><strong>1. simplicity is the key-</strong></h3> <p>it cannot be denied that the feel and look of the website are unimportant. but, there are some much more essential things that need attention during the <strong>website development</strong>. the visitors to your website are more interested in knowing the potential of your site and the products or service you provide through your website. they either want action or some valuable information.</p> <p>adding unnecessary design elements having absolutely zero functional purpose will only waste the time of your traffic. you clearly cannot afford that. also, you need to focus on some small aspects like-</p> <ul> <li><strong>colors</strong>– even if you love colours, the developers and experts often suggest not to use more than 4 colours when it comes to your <strong>website design</strong>.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>graphics</strong>– if certain graphic helps a user to perform a function then you can go for it but just to make your website look good, do not add unwanted elements.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>typefaces</strong>– it should be clear and readable. use few colours here. it is generally advised to use maximum three typefaces of different sizes. not more than that.</li> </ul> <h3><strong>2. hierarchy of website elements</strong></h3> <p>visual hierarchy is an important component where the <strong><a href=''>website</a> </strong>elements are organized in such a way that the traffic can get attracted to the important stuff first naturally without wasting much of their time. the action must be performed by the visitors, not in a boring way. they must enjoy what they are performing.</p> <p>adjust the colour, size and position of the elements so that the site can be structured in such a way that the traffic can focus on them.</p> <h3><strong>3. easy navigation</strong></h3> <p>it is essential to make the visitor comfortable. it must not get hard for them to find what they are looking for. easy navigation is important for the valuable customers to visit the website again and again. in an ideal way, the customer must not feel lost. moving from one page to other must be easy for them.</p> <h3><strong>4. tips to optimize the website for smooth navigation</strong></h3> <ul> <li>the primary navigation must be kept easy and simple. also place them close to the top of the web page.</li> <li>do not forget to place the navigation near the footer too.</li> <li>it is essential to make use of breadcrumbs on the web pages except for the homepage. this will make people aware of the navigation trail.</li> <li>the top of your website must contain a <a href=''>search</a> box.</li> <li>there must be limited options for navigation on the page.</li> <li>you can include the links on your page and the sources of the links must be made clear.</li> </ul> <h3><strong>5. keep the stuff on the website consistent</strong></h3> <p>it is important to keep the navigation of the website consistent. also, do not keep changing the overall look of the web pages as it can have a negative effect on the usability.</p> <p>while these tips are going to help you greatly, practical efforts like gathering feedback, user testing and changes made in the way will prove fruitful for the website.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>m.c. today</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 10 Elements and Features of a Great Dental Website Design <p>a website for a dental office must include features that are both useful and engaging to visitors who are looking for a dentist. ideally, the creator of this sort of website should provide all the pertinent data about the dentists and the practice in a visually appealing way. consider ten features and elements necessary to build a great website for a dental practice.</p> <h3>1- succinct text</h3> <p>the writing on a website for a dental practice should be organized into short, informative paragraphs. most people who are searching for a dentist online want to learn what they need to know about the practice in a matter of minutes. in fact, many visitors skim the text they see on a dentist€™s website, so they can glean what they need to without reading the entire page.</p> <h3>2- engaging images</h3> <p>the images on a dentist€™s website help visitors to discover a little more about the practice. for example, photos of a person€™s teeth before and after a procedure can serve to convince potential patients of the dentist€™s expertise. photos of the waiting room, the examination rooms and even the outside of the building all help online visitors to get a better idea of the atmosphere of the practice. if the office looks clean and inviting, an online visitor is more likely to give the dentist a call to schedule an appointment.</p> <h3>3- personal stories</h3> <p>a gathering of personal stories is another feature of a great website for a dental practice. a personal story may be shared by a patient who lived with tooth pain for years until the dentist diagnosed the problem and found a solution. another patient may describe how afraid she was of visiting the dentist until she met the doctor and the staff of the practice who made her feel at ease. some personal stories can be written and published on the website while others can be put on video. online visitors evaluating the dental practice may relate to some of the personal stories they see.</p> <h3>4- dentist profiles</h3> <p>whether there is one dentist or half a dozen dentists working in the office, most potential patients want to know about their n. a dentist€™s profile on the site can include a photo, where the professional earned his or her dental degree, how long the person has been in practice, the person€™s specialties, etc. once again, knowing a bit about the background and education of the dentists working in a practice can entice visitors to give the office a call.</p> <h3>5- age range of patients</h3> <p>the website must include information on who the dentist serves. some dentists serve only teenagers and children while others are family dentists who serve people of all ages. displaying this information for online visitors can save them time and help them contact a professional who can help.</p> <h3>6- a list of services</h3> <p>some dentists conduct all sorts of  v from basic cleaning to performing root canals. other dentists specialize in certain areas such as cosmetic dentistry. displaying a list of services makes it easy for potential patients to determine if a dentist will be able to help them.</p> <h3>7- hours of service</h3> <p>displaying the hours of service on the website of a dental practice is very important. some dentists keep regular business hours while others hold office hours on saturday and even sunday afternoon. finding the hours of service on a dentist€™s website should be easy for any visitor.</p> <h3>8- information about emergency services</h3> <p>if a dentist provides emergency services, he or she should include that on the website. it is even more effective if the dentist lists examples of dental emergencies that he or she handles. a list may include broken or lost teeth, an abscess or a painful cavity.</p> <h3>9- contact information and directions</h3> <p>the contact information of a dentist should be easily accessible in the design of his or her website. the address of the office, phone number, fax number, email address and even an emergency number are all examples of contact information visitors may need. also, simple directions to the dentist€™s office are helpful to any individuals who are new to the area or live on the other side of town.</p> <h3>10- a page for customer reviews</h3> <p>a lot of people researching dentists online like to see what their neighbors have to say about a professional. so, it€™s useful to have a page filled with reviews of the dentist and his or her office on the website. sometimes a good, detailed review can convince a person to stop his or her search and call the dentist for an appointment.</p> <p>these are just ten of the features and elements essential for a great website advertising a dental practice. other unique touches such as background music can also enhance the effectiveness of a website.</p> <p>if you are a dentist, you might be very busy, and you may think why you should know these things. the answer is simple; you are not expected to design your own dental website, but when you assign the job to a professional, you want to be on top of what they deliver, and at least, understand the basics.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>bis</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 12 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Top Emerging Design Trends for Law Firm Websites in 2018 <p>law firms trying to stand out from competitors know that having an effective website is essential for creating a good first impression on potential clients.</p> <p>because web design is constantly evolving with both fresh ideas and concepts recycled from the past, it can often be hard to keep up with the latest trends in the online world. this year, web design is expected to be dominated by bold colors, illustrations, asymmetry and data-heavy content. while not all web design trends may be useful, understanding them can help lawyers decide what might be a good fit for their law firm.</p> <p><strong><span style='font-size:18px'>focus on data</span></strong><br /> this year, web design will continue shining a spotlight on quality content. while eye-catching design serves to attract visitors, people visit websites primarily in search of useful, relevant information. </p> <p>focusing on data is especially beneficial during a time when audiences have limited attention spans and are scanning websites to quickly access the information they need. instead of relying solely on long copy, law firms can select some key pieces of data or facts that may be of interest to potential clients, such as details about various practice areas or past cases.</p> <p>the website should emphasize the data in a visually impactful way that makes it easy for readers to digest. ultimately, the most important task of web design is to present content in the best way possible. </p> <p><span style='font-size:18px'><strong>explanatory illustrations</strong></span><br /> illustrations are expected to take center stage in 2018 when it comes to the visual elements of web design. illustrations can be a powerful tool for helping website visitors better understand abstract or complex concepts. they can also bring dull statistics and facts to life for the reader. </p> <p>law firms can use custom explanatory illustrations on their websites to present information in a way that feels authentic and engaging. for example, a personal injury attorney may use illustrations to depict the common types of accidents that can result in a personal injury lawsuit. a car accident lawyer may want to share data on the number of crash fatalities that have occurred over a certain number of years.</p> <p>while photography has its place in web design, it can sometimes be limiting. not only do illustrations add visual variety and personality to websites, but they also offer brands opportunities for creativity. they can be customized in many ways like color, style and size to match the website’s branding and existing look. unlike images, which tend to slow pages down, illustrations will not impact the website’s performance.</p> <p><span style='font-size:18px'><strong>asymmetry</strong></span><br /> there has been a gradual shift toward asymmetry in web design over the past year, in relation to both layouts and images. websites are embracing out-of-the-box layouts that adopt the idea of organized chaos. asymmetrical layouts result in a more free-flowing and less framework-oriented look. </p> <p>the new take on traditional layouts offers a unique way to stand out from competitors. asymmetrical design works to grab the attention of website visitors in a more forceful way by adding visual interest. remember though that visitors still need to easily find all of your law firm’s important information without searching too much. anything that is too gimmicky is likely to turn people off and lead them to question your law firm’s credibility. </p> <p>besides layouts, asymmetry can also be used in smaller design elements such as pictures, graphics and text. however, while it may boost the visual appeal of a website, asymmetry can make the page difficult to read. visitors may find it tedious to navigate a page that is not clearly sectioned.</p> <p>color<br /> vibrant, intense color schemes are becoming increasingly popular on websites. bright hues and bold graphics are now being favored over traditional, minimalist design aesthetics. because website visitors typically spend only a few seconds on a page, colors that stand out are useful for capturing their attention.</p> <p>while the general approach to web design is likely to involve heavy experimentation this year, the phrase “everything goes” does not necessarily apply to law firm websites. although it is not strictly taboo for law firms to utilize bright colors, excessively garish tones may seem out-of-place and turn off potential clients rather than encouraging them to stay on the website. </p> <p>lawyers should use vibrant color schemes cautiously, and only if they are in line with their firm’s personality and brand image. jarring color combinations can be distracting for website visitors.</p> <p>in an era of ever-changing design trends, the bright color trend is likely to be short-lived in comparison to classic, minimalist hues. any web design element that does not stand the test of time is likely to require considerable amounts of money and effort to update in the future.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>blf</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Wed, 31 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Online branding: Is your website sending the right message? <ul> <li> <p>branding is crucial for every business. your logo and website should clearly communicate the ethos of your company, and the first impression your business gives off has a massive impact on whether or not customers will buy from you, and whether they will remain loyal. a survey found that 48% of consumers admitted the most <a href=''><ins>critical time to gain loyalty</ins></a> is when they make their first purchase, or start using a service.</p> <p>there are a number of different things to take into consideration when branding your business online, such as domain name, content, and website design, which can all help ensure that you’re sending the right message to your clients.</p> <p>you also need to be confident that your branding online is delivering the message efficiently to potential customers and clients. a website that takes time to load, has low-quality images, and a complex user interface can drive your customers away, so make sure you have a well built website, and follow the following tips.</p> <h2><strong>make sure your domain name is memorable and clear</strong></h2> <p>the domain and url you have for your business is crucial to online success. domain names at their best must include your business name, and explain what you’re offering to customers. as branding experts novanym explain, a <a href=''><ins>domain name</ins></a> should “capture the tone of voice and style of your business”. this means it is important to consider domain name potential when you first start naming and developing your business, as you want your business name to be as clear as possible - and for its matching domain name to be available for purchase.</p> <p>your domain name is the <a href=''><ins>face of your company</ins></a>, and you want it to be brandable, identifiable, and memorable. you should carry out research to be certain potential customers won’t confuse it with an existing website or brand, which could drive them away from your website. the extension you choose can also impact your brand. newer extensions such as ‘.me’ may feel edgy, but ultimately, the more common ‘.com’ is much better for business.</p> <h2><strong>only include relevant content on your website</strong></h2> <p>everyone who lands on your website is a potential customer, and you want to do as much as you can to keep them online for as long as possible. having irrelevant or generic content can drive people away from your business, so taking the time to produce your own quality content will pay off. a study found that 78% of consumers believe that companies who produce <a href=''><ins>custom content are more trustworthy</ins></a> than those that churn out generic content. creating content that draws customers in and informs them of your business, and the industry as a whole, may take more time but will pay off and encourage customers to stay on your website.</p> <p>you should also ensure that everything about your website and branding is relevant to your business. your customers are landing on your site for a specific service, so everything should be related to what you offer in order to keep user attention. if you have a company blog, you’ll want to create original and engaging content which is related to your business. according to this infographic on <a href=''><ins>content marketing</ins></a>, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month than those without blogs. this is because businesses are specialists in their fields, and are therefore sources of accurate information for customers. a business which is knowledgeable is immediately more likely to appear trustworthy to customers.</p> <h2><strong>ensure your website is user friendly</strong></h2> <p>the user interface of your website or app is as important as your branding; there is no point having a great brand with a terribly designed website.user experience (ux) is defined as the ease that someone can use and navigate around your website in order to get what they need. a bad <a href=''><ins>user interface</ins></a> can make it difficult to navigate around to the right services, and may keep relevant information and products hidden or difficult to find, giving a bad ux. small details, such as the design and layout, can make a huge difference to the user interface, so you should keep this in mind when building your website.</p> <h2><strong>interact with customers on social media</strong></h2> <p>social media is one of the best forms of marketing and branding for a business—and it’s completely free, so there’s no excuse for not taking advantage of it. around 53% of <a href=''><ins>people recommend companies and products on twitter</ins></a>, which will lead potential customers to your social network page, and then your website. people generally buy based on recommendations, so customers mentioning your brand online will encourage many others to buy from you.</p> <p>on top of this, 64% of twitter users and 51% of facebook users are more likely to purchase from a brand they follow online. your social media presence is vital to your business, and interacting with your followers can encourage them to make more purchases. it also means you can deliver excellent customer service online, which customers appreciate. your social media channels are considered an extension of your website, so you should ensure that branding remains consistent across all pages with the tone of voice and imagery.</p> <p>your brand is vital to your business, so you should make sure that everything is perfect, from your url to the website design.</p> </li> </ul> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>tg daily</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 22 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 5 Ways Community Banks & Credit Unions Can Crush Competitors Online <p>to be successful online, community banks and credit unions must compete head-to-head with both big banks and smaller local institutions within their footprint. this can be a challenge.</p> <p>big banks spend over $17 billion on advertising and marketing annually, according to the ffiec. additionally, since many local community institutions may share similar attributes like supporting their communities and personalized service, it can be extremely difficult trying to differentiate your brand.</p> <p>the key to crushing your competitors (online or offline) is to understand how you are truly different from <em>both</em> big national banks <em>and</em> smaller local institutions.</p> <h3>exploit your competitive advantages</h3> <p>what do most credit unions and community banks have that big banks don’t? for starters, they are more trusted. according to a study fielded by kasasa, 93% of community bank customers and credit union members say they trust their institution, whereas one out of three megabank customers don’t trust their own bank.</p> <p>smaller institutions also tend to have less turnover than larger banks, and can form more lasting relationships with their customer base. this is important when consumers need to make big decisions, like where to place their life savings or how to handle a recent life change. having a trusted relationships like these helps consumers feel valued in today’s faceless digital economy where most companies treat people like numbers.</p> <p>community institutions also tend to have a better understanding of their local neighborhood’s needs and residents, and have deeper ties to local community organizations. yes, the bigger banks may have branches within local footprints, and may donate big checks to the local chapter of a national organization. but more often, they aren’t as deeply and personally embedded in the community in the form of creating jobs, giving back, and serving on boards.</p> <h3>how are you different that other local institutions?</h3> <p>although credit unions and community banks are clearly different, they are also very similar in several key areas. they both pride themselves on exceptional personal service. they tend to have lower fees and offer more competitive rates. but they often have a tough time competing with bigger banks’ technology offerings, who — despite having their headquarters hundreds of miles away — nevertheless position themselves as an “institution rooted in the local community.”</p> <p>to compete, it’s smart to figure out what truly makes your institution unique, and to use those elements as the foundation for your marketing strategy. conducting a competitive <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>swot analysis</a> can help your institution discover what elements set it apart from other local institutions. here are some questions to consider:</p> <ul> <li>what ways does your institution beat out local and national competitors in price, product offerings or personalized service? are your rates higher or fees lower on key products?</li> <li>what digital capabilities does your community bank or credit union have that other national or local institutions don’t? do you offer online account opening or better features within your mobile banking app?</li> <li>how does your institution keep the customers or members that everyone worked so hard to earn? this may come in the form of a rewards or referral program or personalized service.</li> </ul> <p>figure out why people choose your institution instead of your competitors by fielding surveys and interviewing your customers/members. you should also gather information from your internal sales teams and branch managers — those who are working with the public on the front lines.</p> <h3>generating new business online with smart digital targeting</h3> <p>once you’ve articulated your institution’s competitive advantages, the next step is to get that message out to the people most likely to care. without the vast resources that megabanks have, it’s smart for community banks and credit unions to hone in on the following high-impact digital tactics.</p> <p><strong>1. search engine optimization (seo).</strong> search engine optimization (seo) should be your first line of defense against the bigger banks and local competitors. you should build a local seo strategy and add <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>schema markup</a> to relevant pages. most big institutions simply can’t compete on a hyperlocal level when it comes to seo, but you can.</p> <p><strong>2. content strategy.</strong> a great banking website needs great inbound marketing strategy to convince people to visit and convert. content can take many forms, from product pages to a blog or resource center, social media posts and emails. take the time to truly understand your audience, and develop a <a href=''>content marketing strategy</a> that drives interest at various stages of the sales funnel. remember to mix up your content types to add variety and cater to many different audience needs. also remember to localize your content where possible.</p> <p><strong>3. social media.</strong> now that social media marketing is mainstream, it’s matured into a channel that can be used to target people with precision. work towards creating content that sells and allocate budget towards social platforms to see success. don’t forget to focus most of your <a href=''>social media content</a> on what makes your institution unique and different so that you can reinforce your brand equity, mixing in product-related posts only about 20% of the time.</p> <p><strong>4. pay-per-click advertising (ppc).</strong> pay-per-click advertising is another digital tactic that can help you beat out your competitors online, putting you at the top of search engine results for specific search queries. select your keyword strategy strategically so you can bid on lower competition but highly relevant terms aligned with key business focus areas. if your bank or credit union has online applications like loans or checking accounts, those are great products to focus on driving conversion for within your ppc strategy.</p> <p><strong>5. email marketing.</strong> email marketing is making a comeback, but it’s important to modernize your strategy. email newsletters can be used to stay top of mind, increase cross-sales and much more. email addresses can also be used to target digital ads across the web, so these days you must focus on building your email list.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>the financial brand</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 22 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 How to perform a DIY site audit <p>according to the seo experts, regular seo audits are important to ensure that your website effectively evolves with the <a href='' target='_blank'>ever-changing search algorithm of google</a>. some of the most important tips and tricks are listed below that you can do yourself for seo website audits. the search engine rankings of some websites were affected by the series of updates by google algorithm in the past few years. </p> <p>search engine optimization emphasizes all its focus in this modern world. seo audits are nothing but the simple analysis or a check to ensure the things are done properly. your audit needs to be concerning you altogether. you cannot determine the best audit by the price they demand or the size of problems they put in forth. every website is different and unique in its ways and should be dealt differently. </p> <p>according to jeanie krzyzanowski, the director of a link building strategy company, performing an seo audit is considered efficient and beneficial for every business. in these recent years, google has changed a lot and looks at every tiny bit of detail, and if there is <a href='' target='_blank'>any trouble with the basis of your websit</a>e, you might be at a high risk of being fined by the google team.</p> <p>most of the experts have to say that the intense principles that go behind the <a href='' target='_blank'>seo site audit</a> have significantly changed from the past and certain aspects are more vital in the current state than they used to be.</p> <h3><strong>understanding the various types of seo audits</strong></h3> <p>there are usually three fundamental seo audit types that are explained to the <a href='' target='_blank' title='customers'>customers</a>, they include:</p> <p><strong>organic seo audit</strong></p> <p>the term “organic” refers to all the natural techniques of attracting viewers towards your website with the help of <a href='' target='_blank'>good content and branding</a>. things that are taken care of in this type include supervision of traffic volumes, website referrals to examine the owner’s strengths, top - <a href='' target='_blank'>converting keywords</a>, looking at the weak points of your website, which site the viewer opens next when he closes your page is also known, what are your competitors doing, etc.</p> <p><strong>on-page seo audit</strong></p> <p>high alert traffic can happen overnight with only one or two tweaks. the job of the on-page seo audits look after the more technical aspects such as the title tags, header tags, meta descriptions, indexing, mobile optimization, sitemaps, and the factors that affect the loading time of a website.</p> <p><strong>backlink audit</strong></p> <p>as you might know that, the links on your page are from the third party sites serve as the important testimonials to the credibility of your website. they make sure that the search engines are aware of the existence of your site. “hey, this is a valuable site; make sure you promote it in your listings.” you might also know that all the links are not equal and the backlink audit lets the clients know which links are impacting their sites and which links are earning them a high amount of money so that they can get into more fruitful relationships. </p> <p><strong>how to implement it?</strong></p> <p><img alt='151307914147 kiss 89kb - how to perform a diy site audit' src='' style='height:484px; width:1332px' title='how to perform a diy site audit' /></p> <p>some say that you should hire a professional to handle such issues. well, yes, it’s the easiest way, not the cheapest though. there is a bit more difficult way — to do it yourself using seo tools. i’ll show it by the example of <a href='' target='_blank'>serpstat</a>.</p> <p>it’s capable of all types of audits mentioned above. just create a project run your website through the site audit feature, and it will return you the whole list of errors and gaps on your website. what is more, it will point the accurate location of these errors and give you a recommendation on how to fix it:</p> <p><img alt='151307918907 kiss 72kb - how to perform a diy site audit' src='' style='height:522px; width:1115px' title='how to perform a diy site audit' /></p> <p>click on one of these errors to see the details. thus, you have the list of your errors, their location, recommendations on how to fix it, and a lot of step-by-step tutorial on the internet. i think it’s enough to fix all your errors by yourself without spending a bunch of money.  </p> <p>also, serpstat makes use of the best kind of algorithm that allows the system to explore the market shares of all the domains that are shown in the top 100 search engine results for a particular keyword and the keyword groups as well. this facility enables the search engine optimization specialists and professionals to examine the trends and consequences in the <a href='' target='_blank'>visibility of the domains</a>. </p> <p>serpstat also displays the fluctuations caused by the market share which eventually provides a vision to the users to track their opponents closely and at the same time get into the market share deeply. with the help of serpstat, you can see how well your website has been optimized, and you can compare them to the extent of optimization that your competitor’s website is own. </p> <p>this facility enables you to precisely see what the processes of optimization you have to implement the elements you certainly need to discard. with serpstat, you will be able to spot the latest errors and malfunctioning of your websites so that you can rectify within time and <a href='' target='_blank'>rank better in the search engines</a>.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>knowtechie</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Tue, 19 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 The web is always evolving, you should be too <p>the web actually is always evolving. there’s always new information being pumped through it, and new technologies being built to make it better. the internet literally rules the world.</p> <p>there’s isn’t much that now isn’t found on the internet, so if your business isn’t moving as the web is, you’re going to be falling behind before you know it. there’s so much potential for a business if they put themselves on the web, you just need to know how to do it properly. if you don’t feel like you’re reaching your full potential, here’s a guide to get you going.</p> <p><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>your website</a> is key to your business. anyone who thinks it isn’t definitely isn’t doing it right. if you do do it right, your website should bring in the majority of your sales. everyone goes on the internet nowadays to buy everything, it’s just so much easier than going in the shop.</p> <p>so, the main thing to focus on is the design. you need to try and keep it unique, but at the same time focus on keeping it smart and not too out there. some websites are just far too over the top. they look cluttered and hard to use.</p> <p>this is when you’re going to see customers leaving rather than staying. sticking to simplicity as much as your can is guaranteed to get your better results. if possible, you want the theme to try and follow your logo colours. if you don’t already have a logo, this is definitely something you need to consider sorting before your website. consistency is key, and customers like to see that. if you’re going to go for something bright and bold, just bear the design of your website in mind.</p> <p>the next thing you need to think about is how you’re going to do it. creating a really good website isn’t as easy as a few clicks of a button. it actually is really hard to set up a responsive website, especially one that is going to work well for your customers.</p> <p>there’s a lot of background coding involved. you need to be contacting companies such as <a href=''>jps design group</a> to do the job for you. having someone who has done it hundreds of time before, and who you know will do a professional job is important.</p> <p>you’ve worked hard on your business, you don’t want your website to be dragging it down. when working with someone, make sure you convey all your ideas the right way. it’s easy for them to get the ball rolling with something that just isn’t what you asked for because your instructions were not clear. make sure you go in with precise ideas that you know is going to work for you.</p> <p>once you’ve got the website nailed, you need to market yourself to get it noticed more on google. research seo tactics and maybe even hire an seo consultant to try to boost your rankings. the more exposure, the more sales you’re going to have.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>bankless times</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Tue, 19 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Online portfolios: A professional opinion <p>what do photographic agents, curators, editors and commissioners look for on an online portfolio? five industry professionals offer their perspectives.</p> <p>the <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>photography portfolio</a> has, some might argue, been eclipsed by its digital counterpart. offering an opportunity for almost limitless invention and innovation, mastering this mode of display involves a whole new set of challenges. from the colour scheme to layout, every element of a photographer’s website deserves careful consideration. there are now a number of services, such as <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>format</a>, committed to providing creatives with the tools to produce online platforms that enhance their work. </p> <p>when designing a website, however, it is also important to carefully consider your audience. what is it that you want your online platform to say about you as an artist and how do you plan to communicate this? to help better understand what makes a <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>compelling website</a>, we asked five industry professionals about what they look for and why having a strong online portfolio is so important today.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:775px; width:1200px' /></p> <p>naomi wong – – built using <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>format</a></p> <hr /> <p><br /> <strong>what do you look for in a photographer’s website?</strong></p> <p><strong>diane smyth, digital editor – british journal of photography:</strong> a website that’s both clear and easy to navigate – the design comes after. images need to be large enough to see them properly, but small enough to load quickly. i don’t like seeing watermarks on images. it’s helpful if the images are divided into separate series, with text before each series giving a quick idea of what it’s about. i also like to have a quick bio of the photographer somewhere on the site and (obviously) details of how to contact them. it’s better to have a small number of really good images than a large volume that includes weaker shots.</p> <p><strong>ken flaherty, founder – doomed gallery: </strong>i like to see the one image that really defines the photographer on their landing page. i also like to know the story behind a body of work. photographers can be unwilling to express their ideas and motives in words; for the viewer, a brief explanation or critique, can help us look more and understand what we are seeing better.</p> <p><strong>john wyatt-clarke, founder – wyatt clarke & jones photo agency: </strong>i see a glaring divide between websites that are trying to achieve something and those that are just reflective of a photographer’s fascination with themselves. <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>a good online platform</a>should be designed to guide an ideal visitor towards a specific action, whether it be commissioning, buying work or enquiring about an exhibition. it’s also important to clearly distinguish the work that is most important to you, to give a sense of what direction you’re going in as an artist, and consequently, where you’ll be in a few years. as an agent, i’m interested in the future, and i want a website to give me an idea of that. </p> <p><strong>fiona shields, head of photography – the guardian: </strong>at the guardian we will always view an online portfolio before commissioning a photographer for the first time so it is important that we can gauge the range, breadth and style of imagery. i would always advise making contact details very prominent on the opening page and including your geographic location, along with your phone numbers, email address and twitter account – i will often try all three if i’m looking to contact a photographer as a matter of urgency. this landing page is a shop window for your talents so be scrupulous over quality and keep the edit varied but tight. </p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:908px; width:1390px' /></p> <p>leo berne – – built using <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>format</a></p> <p><strong>how important is your first impression when looking at a photographer’s website? and would you say that this is dictated more by the nature of the work, or the way in which it is presented?</strong></p> <p><strong>ds: </strong>i’m much more interested in the work itself, but if the website takes ages to load or i can’t find my way around it easily i’ll definitely come away with a bad impression.</p> <p><strong>matt martin, co-curator – doomed gallery: </strong>a bit of both. if the work doesn’t jump out at me immediately then it’s rare that i will look through the rest of the website.<a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'> good design and a strong lead image</a> can help with this, but it’s also important that the site is easy to navigate. </p> <p><strong>jw-c: </strong>i spend a great deal of time on photographers’ websites. we get up to 50 emails a week from photographers looking for representation and consider each one carefully. first impressions aren’t that important because we’re trying to find people we can work closely with for years, so looking at their work more thoroughly is always necessary. </p> <p><strong>fs: </strong>always check that your website can be found simply on a google search under the name and keyword ‘photographer’, and that the website  loads swiftly on desktop and mobile. any picture editor looking to make a commission immediately, or who is considering a number of photographers, will be frustrated by a complex portfolio that can’t be accessed easily.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:909px; width:1378px' /></p> <p>ursa premik – – built using <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>format</a></p> <p><strong>should a website exist solely as a platform for the featured work, or is it important that it has a distinctive aesthetic too?</strong></p> <p><strong>ds:</strong> i don’t have much of an opinion on this one, either one is fine by me if i can find and see the work and find contact details for the photographer. it’s sometimes nice when i come across an unusual or quirky website. but in general i’d say the aesthetic of the website should come lower down a photographer’s priority list than their work.</p> <p><strong>kf</strong><strong>: </strong>i’m really interested in the idea of the virtual gallery as somewhere you can explore. i also really like it when photographers provide further insight into their work through the inclusion of interviews or short text. </p> <p><strong>jw-c: </strong>it’s the photos that count above everything else. an online platform can complement your photography but no site will ever be good enough to disguise poor work. conversely, if your work is good enough, from the perspective of an agent, you can get away with bad presentation. it would be our job to help you improve your online presence. i’d advise devoting more attention to the architecture, signposting and navigation than the graphic design. </p> <p><strong>fs: </strong>consider design and allow a slick presentation for anyone navigating their way through your portfolio. if you have particular publications you admire, or would like to attract commissions from, then it’s worth paying attention to their visual sense. equally, if your style is aesthetically distinct then do play to this strength as it may encourage a picture editor to cast you for a specific brief.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:764px; width:1200px' /></p> <p>neil kryszak – – built using <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>format</a></p> <p><strong>with the digital realm becoming increasingly integral to our everyday lives, would you say that having a strong online portfolio is more important than ever?</strong></p> <p><strong>ds: </strong>definitely – i rarely get shown physical portfolios now, in fact it seems a bit old fashioned when i do.  it’s interesting to see some of the shifts in how photographers are presenting themselves – websites used to be quite formal, presenting work projects in separate series, but on instagram photographers tend to include more behind-the-scenes images – shots of them installing a show, for example, or photographs from their everyday life. i don’t have a preference about which is better or worse. whichever format you use, and however you present yourself, all that really matters is that your work is online and that it includes your contact details.</p> <p><strong>mm: </strong>this boils down to the question of where are people looking at photographer’s work the most? ultimately, i think that when it comes to photography a website is the best place to showcase your work.<a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'> an online platform provides the optimum space </a>to present images clearly and organise them to communicate any narrative running through a series. however, i do still think that it’s important to have a strong physical portfolio or book. </p> <p><strong>jw-c: </strong>i can’t imagine how anyone would get work without one. a more vital question is how do you get people to look at it? and obviously that’s where social media comes in. a site is useful as a centre for all your social media activity, a place where all these disparate platforms lead back to and where you can showcase a more comprehensive overview of your work. that’s why it’s so important to understand what you want your website to do, so you can focus all this energy in the right direction instead of dissipating it.</p> <p><strong>fs: </strong>yes, often we are seeking to commission photographers globally who it would be difficult to meet face-to-face so an online presence is the best opportunity to review a portfolio. it is a competitive market so it’s worth spending time presenting work with consideration and keeping the portfolio up to date.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:515px; width:781px' /></p> <p>harriet victoria – – built using <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>format</a></p> <hr /> <p>it might be tempting to create an online portfolio shaped solely by your creative vision, but building a website that caters to your desired audience is crucial. clarity, ease-of-use and layout are all important elements to consider.  ultimately, your online portfolio is your opportunity to showcase who you are as an artist and, if done well, will help further your career. to experiment with designing your own website on format, sign-up for a 14 day trial <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>here.</a></p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>british journal of photography</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 What is user experience design? <p>user-experience design, or ux design as it's become known, refers to the development of systems, resources and processes to make them as user-friendly as possible.</p> <p>getting the user experience right is vital to ensure user satisfaction and that means making sure the entire process a user has to go through is perfect.</p> <p>however, user-experience design also needs to consider the business too, and what that wants to achieve from the product. there's no use designing a product that's great for the user, but doesn't have any benefit for the business.</p> <h3>key features of ux design</h3> <p>ux design refers to the overall experience, but there are many elements that make up a great user experience.</p> <p>for example, a good navigation design will make sure visitors can easily find their way around the site, users can find what they're looking for within the software, and end up at the destination they expect. if referring to a website, it could lead them to make a decision (such as contacting you to find out more or to sign up to your services), the end of the purchase process, or alternative end of the journey.</p> <p>visual design makes the website, software or service pleasing to look at. it comprises the user interface and all design elements, including colours, icons and anything else that changes the look and feel of the site. any element here should aid the user journey and ensure users aren't put off or led away from what they're doing by obtrusive elements.</p> <p>infrastructure design is the basis upon which the site, software or service is built on. it should be effective, fast and make sure all elements flow with as little latency as possible.</p> <p>interaction design is how the user interacts with the product. if they do something, such as click a button, what is the result? is it expected? is it natural? does clicking something trigger another action? if so, is this a smooth experience? these are all considerations a user experience designer should consider. all interactions should be planned to happen for a reason, making sure there are no surprises and they address the user requirements you identify through your research.</p> <h3>how to create a great ux</h3> <p>the first step to designing a great ux is to make sure you know who the user is and how they will use your product. if you're creating software, for example, this will help you understand which platforms to design it for and which you can drop if the market is unlikely to need it.</p> <p>next, you need to focus on getting the building blocks right. don't start with the visual elements of the design until you know the basics of how the site will work. find a great technically-focused ux design and get the graphic designer in after the individual elements work seamlessly together. dressing it up should be the last thing you consider.</p> <p>get feedback from your users and business stakeholders along the way, at defined points if need be. after all, they're the ones you will need to impress and it's imperative they are happy with the way it works before signing each stage off. but don't just ask their opinion, watch how they react and use the product when given a list of tasks to complete. if they complete them quickly and find what they're looking for, it's a success. if it takes longer than you anticipated or they become frustrated, elements should be redesigned.</p> <p>even when your product is built, tested and released, it's imperative you constantly measure its success and monitor the features that are/aren't being used, plus finesse the experience if it's not working as successfully as you were hoping. this way, you can make sure every element improves the user experience.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>it pro</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Wed, 29 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 common obstacles to face when creating a website for the first time <p>all businesses need a website if they want their business to reach its fullest potential. furthermore, your website design has to be responsive and attractive. it’s estimated that a company’s credibility will be <a href='' target='_blank'>judged by 75% of a website’s visitors.</a> there’s no room for error.</p> <p>this guide is going to show you five of the most common obstacles you’ll face when building your first website.</p> <h4><strong>finding a domain name for your company</strong></h4> <p>the first step is to find a domain name that works for you. it should be easy to remember, easy to type, and should spell out what your business does. it’s one of your most important branding steps.</p> <p>make sure that your domain name comes with the ‘.com’ suffix. there’s little point in getting it if it doesn’t come with this.</p> <p>note: don’t just go for the first domain name that seems to check all of the boxes and is readily available. you don’t want to build an audience and then find that you want to change your domain name to something that is a better fit. many first-time website owners make this mistake and it costs them down the line. </p> <h4><strong>discovering the right theme</strong></h4> <p>never employ a web designer and spend thousands of dollars on your first website. it’s totally unnecessary with the number of premium themes available today with no coding required.</p> <p>wordpress is <a href='' target='_blank'>one of the best website builders</a> around to many people. and they provide thousands of free and premium themes available for use.</p> <p><strong><em>note:</em></strong> we suggest going with a premium theme as soon as you can afford it because it will make your website look more professional. the goal is to stick out from the crowd, so consumers can get to know your brand.</p> <h4><strong>design confusion</strong></h4> <p>themes? features? add-ons? it can all get so confusing when there are so many options on the table.</p> <p>how do you figure out what you should have on your website?</p> <p>look to your closest competitors and see how they built their websites. you’ll see common features and page structures used. follow your competitors because this is what your target market will want.</p> <p>everyone copies each other for a reason. that’s not a bad thing. you’re simply giving customers what they want, what they expect, and what they’re used to experiencing.</p> <p><img alt='media tool' src='' style='height:494px; width:740px' /></p> <p>using the right media is also crucial when creating a website. (<a href=''>source</a>)</p> <h4><strong>using the right multimedia</strong></h4> <p>images and videos are essential for any successful website. try to avoid using stock images and instead let your visitors get to know the owner or owners of the webpage. </p> <p>try to take some original photos and make some original videos. you want to show visitors that you’re producing unique content. get into the habit now because these days’ people are pickier than ever and they will just click away if they don’t like something.</p> <p>it does take a lot of effort to gather quality, unique multimedia content, but it’s more than worth it.</p> <h4><strong>seo considerations</strong></h4> <p>seo is important to the success of any website. make sure your website builder has the necessary seo functions in place or in you’re on wordpress you should install a plugin such as yoast seo. </p> <p>having the right seo tools in place will make it easier to create an seo friendly website. </p> <h4><strong>last word – creating a website</strong></h4> <p><a href='' target='_blank'>building a website</a> for the first time can be overwhelming. by learning how to deal with these five common obstacles you’ll be well on your way to creating a website that you can be proud of.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>born2invest</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Tue, 28 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Are banks ready for an uptick in HELOC applications? <p>rising home prices and a market in which many homeowners are reluctant to sell or refinance means helocs will continue to remain an attractive loan product. especially for <a href='' target='_blank'>younger borrowers</a>, who are more likely to be both current and future users of home equity lines of credit than either gen-xers or baby boomers.</p> <p>in a recent survey, td bank found that 35% of the millennials said they would <a href='' target='_blank'>consider applying for a heloc</a> versus 15% of gen-xers and 4% of baby boomers. since they already have a relationship with their customers, banks are well-positioned to engage with these mortgage customers and offer them an attractive home-equity product.</p> <p>but do banks really understand the needs of these customers? we decided to find out, and surveyed a nationally representative group of consumers who had <a href='' target='_blank'>secured a heloc in the past 12 months</a>. we asked them about their expectations, experiences, and preferences throughout the lifecycle of the loan: from the initial shopping for the product, applying for the loan, and finally through the fulfillment process to the closing date. we also studied utilization of the loan: from the initial draw, through additional draws and repayment, and right up until the point where the customer makes the decision to pay down the remaining balance and close the line. throughout this process we asked these consumers which channels they would prefer for engagement and interaction with a lender.</p> <p><img alt='heloc applications' src='' /></p> <p><span style='font-size:11px'><em>adobe stock</em></span></p> <p>when looking for a heloc product, younger borrowers are looking for guidance. the group aged 18-25 would actually prefer to have a phone call with a banker than to research or chat online. older borrowers (26-59) much prefer to research online — possibly because they're more experienced. banks are well positioned here since they can engage with these younger customers and offer to guide them through the heloc application process. this is an important phase for millennials, and an opportunity for banks to nurture customer loyalty.</p> <p>convenience is key to the application phase, mirroring an overall trend being driven by innovative players such as rocket mortgage. in general, we found that the older you are, the more you prefer going into a branch to apply for a heloc, while the 18-25 group equally prefers the phone to the website or online chat.</p> <p>the banks' website is preferred by all age groups for submitting and, most importantly, tracking the heloc application. for closing, in-branch and website are the two preferred channels.</p> <p>most of our respondents told us they want to receive heloc offers via email. website was the next popular choice, followed by phone and online chat. we found a striking disparity between what consumers expect and what banks can actually deliver. 83% of customers expect to receive the money they applied for within a month, whereas recent icon advisory group data indicates that only 17% of customers actually get access to the money within 30 days.</p> <p>this "turnaround gap" — the difference between how long customers expect to wait to receive their loan from the date of application, compared to what banks say is possible — is an area where banks can innovate to close more heloc business. more than half of the respondents aged 18-45 said they would pay an additional quarter percentage point (0.25%) to close within one month. so why aren’t more banks including this possibility in their offer by restructuring their product offering?</p> <p>the way that banks transact with consumers reflects the trends we're seeing in other retail sectors: namely, omnichannel. consumers have many channels to choose from, and distinct preferences on which channel to use throughout the various phases of the loan application and fulfilment. it's therefore essential to match the right engagement channel to the customer as the marketing and processing teams determine their heloc business development strategy.</p> <p>the survey results highlight the varied ways different kinds of customers want to engage with their bank. what banks must do is make it easy for them to choose the channel that works for them, and then make it easy to switch to a different channel without starting over again. this "pick-up and resume" capability enables a customer to start the heloc application online and then walk into a branch to discuss questions and complete the process.</p> <p>it's clear that tomorrow's customers will be won and retained less on interest-rate decisions, and more on "intangible" factors such as knowledgeable and helpful customer-service agents who are empowered to discuss personalized loan products across any of the bank's channels. are you ready?</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>national mortgage news</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 3 of the Easiest Ways to Build Better-Quality Backlinks ASAP <p><a href=''>building links</a> to your site isn’t easy. and it isn’t fun, either.</p> <p>especially when it comes to getting the right links for your site. links from diverse, unique, high domain authority sites that actually move the needle.</p> <p>these links have the potential to skyrocket traffic, off-page seo, and rankings.</p> <p>and that’s why they’re nearly impossible to obtain.</p> <p>getting the same old links with the same old tactics from the same old crappy directories isn’t going to deliver bottom-line boosting results.</p> <p>not in today’s cutthroat, oversaturated world.</p> <p>thankfully, there are a few proven methods when it comes to acquiring the right links with less effort than a boring link building campaign or yet another cold email outreach process.</p> <p>here are three of the easiest ways to build better-quality backlinks asap.</p> <h2>what types of links to focus on and why (data-backed)</h2> <p>in 2016, google conducted a <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>question and answer</a> hosted by a search quality senior strategist named andrey lipattsev.</p> <p>the data that lipattsev gave us was one of the only clear answers google has given on top ranking factors.</p> <p>to sum it up, lipattsev told us that the top two rankings factors are: links and content.</p> <p>in no particular order. what more would you expect from google?</p> <p>essentially, if you want better rankings, you need better content and more/better links.</p> <p>the tricky part is the link building catch-22. you often can’t get more/better links until you have better content.</p> <p>otherwise, it’s too hard to scheme, plan, or scale your way to better links.</p> <p>this is backed up by <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>research from backlinko</a>, which studied one million search engine result pages to determine which factors had the most influence on rankings.</p> <p>here are the key findings:</p> <ul> <li>top-ranking content (1-10 on serps) had more links. the #1 post on a given google search had more links <em>by far.</em> meaning they dominated the competition with backlinks.</li> <li>total link quantity isn’t all that matters. the top-ranking posts had links from hundreds of diverse websites. meaning you can’t just get links from a single site and call it a done deal.</li> <li>high domain authority (da) sites are the best links you can get. top-ranking posts had the highest da-based links. you need links from the top dogs if you want to rank.</li> </ul> <p>in summation, you need to hit three main factors when looking for links:</p> <ul> <li>quantity.</li> <li>quality.</li> <li>diversity.</li> </ul> <p>still skeptical? head over to google and perform a dozen searches for random industry keywords, like “content marketing guide.”<img alt='content marketing guide search' src='' style='height:231px; width:649px' /></p> <p>let’s see how links impact these two specific rankings.</p> <p>the content on them is pretty much the same. they’re both long and in-depth. we’re talking lots and lots and lots of words. also, pretty pictures and design.</p> <p>meaning one of the only remaining ranking factors left to check out is links.</p> <p>first, let’s drop the top-ranking post by moz and plug it into open site explorer to see the backlink profile.</p> <p>here’s what that looks like:</p> <p><img alt='moz content marketing total links' src='' style='height:256px; width:951px' /></p> <p>nearly 10,000 backlinks spread across 95 different domains.</p> <p>now, check out the second:</p> <p><img alt='quicksprout content marketing total links' src='' style='height:257px; width:950px' /></p> <p>967 links spread across 372.</p> <p>repeat this for any search, and you’ll likely (almost always) find the same pattern.</p> <p>if you dig deeper into each backlink profile, you quickly notice the other patterns of diverse sources and high-quality da sites:</p> <p><img alt='high-quality domain authority' src='' style='height:333px; width:82px' /></p> <p>obviously, these data points aren’t everything. but they’re a lot. they tell you about all you need to know.</p> <p>quantity, quality, and diversity drive results.</p> <p>the only problem is figuring out how and where to get these kinds of links.</p> <h2>1. guest blogging for brand awareness</h2> <p><a href=''>guest blogging</a> has been under fire in the last few years. this year was no different (see: <a href=''>google issues a warning about guest posting to build links</a>).</p> <p>in 2014, <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>google clarified</a> that guest blogging is good, but guest blogging solely for links and seo isn’t.</p> <p>if you’ve been keeping up, you already know that it’s a hotly debated topic.</p> <p>with that being said, you shouldn’t only focus your guest blogging on link building. meaning your primary goal shouldn’t just be to spam guest posts on every site and grab a fast link.</p> <p>instead, you should use it as an opportunity to post content that increases brand awareness, builds credibility, and qualified traffic at the same time.</p> <p>so, how do you get started guest blogging to build brand awareness when you’ve got no connections?</p> <p>it’s easy.</p> <p>head to google and search with the following <a href=''>parameters</a>:</p> <p><em> (or any target site) + guest blogging (or guest post or write for) </em></p> <p>doing this simple search will instantly return any page on a given site that talks about guest blogging and how to apply:</p> <p><img alt='search engine journal guest blogging how to apply' src='' style='height:102px; width:640px' /></p> <p>repeat this process for almost any industry site, and you’ll find results:</p> <p><img alt='semrush guest blogging how to apply' src='' style='height:104px; width:649px' /></p> <p>most sites will have guest posting opportunities on their blog. so instead of going to each site and scouring the footer or header, just use a parameter.</p> <p>don’t just do seo for seo sake.</p> <p>the point is to generate an roi. and <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>study</a> after <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>study</a> proves that people buy from those they know (or feel like they know).</p> <p>so yes. you should guest post. no matter what google says.</p> <p>because you’ll get something even more important than a sweet backlink in return: profit.</p> <p><img alt='brad smith byline' src='' style='height:264px; width:779px' /></p> <h2>2. generate more brand mentions</h2> <p>the best way to produce more brand mentions and links is by posting better content.</p> <p>but it can’t be a standard blog post. not even a long-form post about seo tips will do the trick.</p> <p>those topics are too saturated. they don’t change people’s lives. they don’t shift their world views.</p> <p>why do certain posts get tons of links and praise for years to come? they were monumental in the industry.</p> <p>they drastically impacted the daily lives of seo professionals. one perfect example includes big, proprietary, data-backed studies.</p> <p>drift recently <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>conducted a study</a> where they put their own business on the line to uncover data on forms and live chat.</p> <p><img alt='drift study a year without lead forms' src='' style='height:858px; width:977px' /></p> <p>they got links from sites like neil patel and cmi. and a google search for forms now routinely turns up a drift mention.</p> <p>groupon showed us another similar example of this tactic when they risked their own profits to <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>uncover dark traffic</a>.</p> <p><img alt='groupon uncovers dark traffic' src='' style='height:486px; width:832px' /></p> <p>if you search on google for “groupon dark traffic” now, you turn up thousands of results mentioning their brand:</p> <p><img alt='google search groupon dark traffic' src='' style='height:924px; width:683px' /></p> <p>the effects can be massive because the content is<em> literally game-changing. </em></p> <p>do you have a case study in which you used an “out of the box” method to gaining results? did you uncover new data that was otherwise unknown? share it with the world.</p> <p>so, what do you do when you’ve gotten some new brand mentions?</p> <p>first, you will probably notice that tons of your mentions don’t have a link.</p> <p>you want to then reach out to these sites and ask them to include your link where your brand is mentioned.</p> <p>since they’ve already mentioned you, they will likely have no problem giving you a link.</p> <p>that’s not the hard part. the hard part is actually getting someone to talk about you in the first place.</p> <h2>3. mention influencers in your content</h2> <p>you all know and love (<em>hate</em>) influencer round-ups.</p> <p><a href=''>they usually look a little something like this:</a><img alt='round-up style post seo trends 2017' src='' style='height:654px; width:1045px' /></p> <p>they often compile tons of input from dozens of influencers.</p> <p>since they usually reference popular influencers, it’s no wonder that they generate links.</p> <p>why? because they first give a link and a brand mention to each expert involved:</p> <p><img alt='seo trends 2017 brand mentions' src='' style='height:546px; width:720px' /></p> <p>and we all know that reciprocation is key when it comes to just about anything in life.</p> <p>if you only take (rather than giving too), you likely won’t get very far in life.</p> <p>these posts often get links from most of the people mentioned.</p> <p>if you don’t believe me, just take a look at the backlink profile for this post:</p> <p><img alt='seo trends 2017 backlink profile' src='' style='height:258px; width:950px' /></p> <p>that’s a lot of links (from a lot of domains) for a single post. if you inspect each link, you can quickly see that tons of people mentioned in the post are linking back to it.</p> <p>why? it’s free promotion for the experts involved. they can drive more traffic to that page by linking to it on their own site.</p> <p>by doing so, they’ve even shown that they’re an industry expert and further cemented that image in their customer’s’ mind.</p> <p>want more links? write a round-up post featuring experts.</p> <p>for example, check out how <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>aaron orendorff</a> uses round-up style posts to contact and mention influencers and secure links:</p> <p><img alt='aaron orendorff round-up style post b2b ecommerce' src='' style='height:707px; width:535px' /></p> <p>a great way to let influencers know of your new content featuring their input is to simply mention them on social media.</p> <p>if your content is top-tier, like <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>aaron’s 4,234-word guide</a> with nine b2b e-commerce trends, you can expect links from the influencers mentioned.</p> <h2><strong>conclusion</strong></h2> <p>chances are, you don’t just need any links.</p> <p>you have enough low-value junk pointing to your site.</p> <p>instead, you need the right ones. you need the legit, hard-to-reach ones. the ones that deliver intangible benefits, like branding and credibility, which ultimately lead to more sales.</p> <p>guest blogging – no matter what google threatens – is still one of the best (easiest) ways to get started. the second piece involves generating more brand mentions with atypical content.</p> <p>stuff that stands out. stuff that’s actually remarkable (without just saying it is).</p> <p>we’re talking the content that is revolutionary in the industry, like groupon’s dark traffic study or drift’s year without forms.</p> <p>lastly, try mentioning influencers in your content.</p> <p>sure, it’s cheap. it’s easy. but it’s also effective.</p> <p>it gets you on more people’s radar. it helps spread the attention and love. which then also helps drive new revenue.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>sej</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 This is how to teach a search engine what your business does <p>search engines are powerful tools for bringing people to your business. the challenge that many entrepreneurs face, however, is that they’re not well-versed in how to communicate with the robots that control the algorithm behind google and <a href='' target='_blank' title='read more about bing.'>bing</a>.</p> <p>your business might be the absolute best at what it does. but you need to follow a set of concrete steps to share your story and reach your target audiences as a result. fellow entrepreneurs and search engine experts share their best tips:</p> <h2>know the difference between search engine marketing (sem) and search engine optimization (seo)</h2> <p>jeffrey bumbales, marketing associate <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>at small business loans company credibly</a>, explains that it’s important for entrepreneurs to understand the subtle differences between the two. here’s how he describes the difference:</p> <ul> <li>seo is the practice of testing and improving digital content to organically make your website more visible in search engine results pages (serps)</li> <li>sem includes the umbrella of paid marketing campaigns — marketers within companies can bid to rank for keywords that their target audiences are searching for. marketers pay for these advertising placements on a pay-per-click (ppc) basis</li> </ul> <p>this subtle distinction will help marketers and business owners best identify where to focus and dedicate their time.</p> <p>“the biggest pitfall that small business owners experience is a misunderstanding of what seo and sem is,” says bumbales. “this results in an inability to identify where the right customers are and how to best relate to them.”</p> <p>if your business is competing with bigger companies — and bigger marketing budgets — sem may be out of your company’s reach. or, at the very least, you’ll need to prioritize how you allocate investments towards paid and organic campaigns.</p> <p>regardless of where you invest your marketing time — with seo or sem — here are the steps that you’ll need to take to get seen by search engines.</p> <h2>focus on local seo</h2> <p>small businesses in europe, especially, should focus on local seo. gregory golinski, seo executive for <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'></a> shares the following tips for capturing local audiences across europe:</p> <ul> <li>set up your google my business profile, and register your company on local, high-authority business directories. “it’s good seo practice to make sure that your company name, address, url, phone number etc. are consistent everywhere on the web. many businesses lose seo juice because they register their businesses under slightly different names, or inconsistent phone numbers.”</li> <li>choose domain url extensions that reflect your target market. “if your focus is the french market, you should choose an .fr extension, as people tend to trust websites using their country’s extension vs. websites that use a more generic audience like .com or .net.”</li> <li>create social media profiles for your business from the start. “search engines monitor brands’ social media activity carefully. if they see that your facebook page is active, with customers interacting with your company, they’ll help you rank higher.”</li> </ul> <p>“the main pitfall is to create a website that doesn’t feel local,” says golinski. “if you’re creating a website for german customers, everything must be written in german. localize your website.</p> <h2>be wary of taking wrong turns in a digital maze</h2> <p>google uses hundreds of variables to determine how web pages rank against one another for both paid campaigns and search engine result page listings.</p> <p>“the two most important as they pertain to small businesses are content and backlinks,” says caleb ulku, search engine specialist and principal <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>at ulku logistics, inc</a>. “put a lot of content on your website, especially the homepage. a lot of small businesses will put up a simple homepage with no content.”</p> <p>ulku elaborates that small businesses should target 2,000 words on their homepages and make it a goal to add content daily.</p> <p>“make the content about the service you offer, the city you offer it in, and the customers you offer it to,” says ulku.</p> <p>what you’ll notice about these two steps is that they’re simple: you’re creating information that will be helpful for the people who want to find you. precision will be essential — and ranking on that front page will be a priority.</p> <p>“there are no secrets in seo, and seo isn’t an art,” says ulku. “seo is about giving google’s algorithm the signals it needs to rank your website higher. seo is a zero-sum game, meaning there are exactly 10 website on the first page of results and almost 95 percent of clicks go to that first page. if you aren’t doing enough seo to get onto the first page, then you’re just wasting your time and money.”</p> <h2>make your content do the heavy lifting for you — and don’t cut corners</h2> <p>write content for humans, but keep in mind that it’s a robot reading your webpage.</p> <p>“the content should be properly structured such that google’s search crawler categorizes it correctly,” says timothy platt, vp of it business services at <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>an it managed service provider</a>. </p> <p>“these techniques fall into a bucket known as ‘on-page seo’–the things you can do in your page content to rank better. this involves knowledge of html markup code.” </p> <p>platt encourages business owners to take the following steps:</p> <ul> <li>know your code. be sure to use a descriptive <title> tag, a well formatted <meta> description tag, and include at least one <h1> header tag. use human-friendly search keywords. it’s the words and short (or long) phrases that people would use to search for your website. if you don’t include your keywords in those structures, there’s a very good chance google will miss the point of your page, or rank you on page 100 of the results, where nobody is ever going to find it.</li> <li>build a network. off-page-seo is the other important factor in ranking well in search engines. backlinks are signals to search engines that your website is valuable. when someone links their website to your website, that’s their vote of confidence that your web page has something important to say. a web page with 10 incoming links is going to rank better than a page with two incoming links, in most cases. links from industry leading web sites, the local chamber of commerce, and citations in online articles, are all examples of high quality backlinks.</li> </ul> <p>focus on creating content that your customers care about, but be sure to craft it in a way that a machine can easily digest.</p> <h2>turn your website into a knowledge hub</h2> <p>many website owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers aren’t sure where to get started with seo and sem. the key is not to invest in one or the other but to think of both as complements to a holistic marketing strategy.</p> <p>“in terms of marketing strategies, seo is a long term game while sem tends to provide immediate results and traffic,” says matt bentley, ceo of seo intelligence tool canirank.</p> <p>“sem requires ongoing investment. the moment you stop paying for adwords, the traffic and leads stop. although seo requires a lot of effort over the long run, it provides ongoing traffic and enhanced brand awareness. even if you don’t invest in your seo marketing for a time, the traffic continues for years. in real estate terms, sem would be renting an apartment while seo would equate to owning a property.”</p> <p>long-term, think of your website as a knowledge hub. all content should interconnect and support readers’ needs. a strong internal linking strategy will tell search engines that you’re an authority in your industry.</p> <h2>be a scientist</h2> <p>luke fitzgerald, head of seo at irish agency <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>wolfgang digital</a>, encourage marketers to be aware that algorithms are ever-changing.</p> <p>“seo is organic,” says fitzgerald. “you can’t pay to directly influence your ranking. on the other hand, sem helps you pay for advertising within google search results. both are important, with the key difference that seo is a longer-term strategy requiring patience and in-depth understanding of the various algorithmic, competitive, and technical factors that can influence your site’s organic performance. sem brings an immediate reward.”</p> <p>dig into your data. don’t cut corners. focus on sustainable growth.</p> <h2>most importantly though: think like your customer</h2> <p>it’s very easy to fill up your website with the language you use between you and your peers everyday, but don’t forget that’s not normally how your customer speaks. as guido tijmensen of the dutch seo agency <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>digital agency</a> says, “a common mistake is that people use their website as their business card, including jargon.” </p> <p>“the customer has to pick you instead of others, so it helps to put yourself in their shoes,” he says. if that’s hard to imagine, the internet provides tools to help businesses out. answer the public is multi-lingual site where you can type in a search term that relates to your business, and get back the questions people search for. </p> <p>“by picking and answering these questions, small and medium businesses can provide answers that large corporations don’t even think of,” tijmensen says.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>tnw</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Sat, 4 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Is Your Website Content Helping Or Hurting Your Online Marketing Campaign? <p>content marketing has become more popular than ever since its rise to prominence after <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>google’s “panda” update back in 2011</a>. website content can be highly valuable, and crucial for many independent online marketing strategies, but some people have come to see content as purely a good thing.</p> <p>in reality, the effectiveness and value of your content depends heavily on the type of content you’re creating, and how you’re implementing it. and the scale doesn't start from zero, either; in fact, bad content can actually do more damage to your campaign than doing nothing at all.</p> <p>so how can you tell if your website content is helping or hurting your campaign?</p> <p><strong>why content matters</strong></p> <p>let’s start by analyzing why content matters in the first place, and the different ways you can gain value from it:</p> <ul> <li><strong>seo fodder. </strong>first, content is necessary for a search engine optimization (seo) campaign. seo is all about making your website as visible as possible in search engines, which means creating lots of pages that can be indexed and maximizing the value of those pages. adding new content gives search engine crawlers more material to index, and can make your website more relevant for specific search queries.</li> <li><strong>reputation building. </strong>content is also valuable for building your brand reputation and proving your expertise to new and recurring visitors; it’s your opportunity to impress people. high-quality content will make people appreciate, respect, or trust your brand, and the best content has the potential to go viral, attracting even more traffic to your site and earning links that boost your domain authority.</li> <li><strong>conversion attraction. </strong>content is also an opportunity to convert your audience, or get them to take a desired action. if you’re writing about how to choose a bicycle to buy, for example, you can end your article with a link to your most popular bicycles. in this context, content serves as a traffic director that helps turn your visitors into paying customers.</li> </ul> <p><strong>three key traps</strong></p> <p>in all three of these applications, content can be valuable, but people tend to fall into three major traps of thinking that prevent them from using content properly. these traps are influenced by biases and inexperienced understanding, and can cause you to unknowingly execute a content campaign that not only doesn’t help you; it actively works against you:</p> <ol> <li><strong>quantity matters more than quality. </strong>because content has many benefits, some marketers unjustly assume that more content is always better, and then spend their efforts making as much content as possible—rather than making the best content possible. this “quantity over quality” mindset is counterproductive, since even one piece of bad content can damage your reputation.</li> <li><strong>content is a means to an end. </strong>some marketers see content as a means to an end, viewing it solely as a vessel to get people to convert. they treat it like an advertising opportunity, rather than an opportunity to provide value or benefit to their audience. doing so may betray your audience’s trust.</li> <li><strong>strategic mimicry achieves similar results. </strong>other marketers see similar brands that have been successful with content marketing and attempt to duplicate their strategies. while in theory, this seems like a sound approach, in reality, it cheapens the content you produce because it means your content lacks originality—and it’s rare to capture the essence that made the original strategy successful in the first place.</li> </ol> <p><strong>how content can hurt</strong></p> <p>so how can content actively hurt your campaign, rather than improving it or letting it simmer?</p> <ul> <li><strong>thin content and reputation. </strong>“thin” content is content that doesn’t have value for readers; it might be devoid of details or meaningful information, it might be woefully short, or it might be surface-level, repetitive, or a derivative of other works. if a reader encounters this content on your website, they might leave thinking less of your brand, or seeing you as amateurs, rather than experts.</li> <li><strong>thin content and seo rankings. </strong>thin content is also bad for your seo rankings. google’s algorithm detects the qualitative value of content based on many different factors (which aren’t publicly available), and if it determines that one of your pages is low-quality, you could suffer a mild penalty throughout your entire site.</li> <li><strong>marketing spam and distrust. </strong>if readers think your content has been contrived for the sole purpose of attracting more visitors, or for earning more conversions, they’ll come to see you as a spammer, and may distrust any content you publish in the future. remember, your primary goal in content marketing is to provide value for your audience.</li> <li><strong>improperly targeted content and alienation. </strong>if your content isn’t targeted to the right audience, you could end up attracting the wrong types of people—and pushing away the readers you need the most. you might see decent traffic figures, but your conversion rates and profitability will be way off from where they could be.</li> </ul> <p><strong>ongoing improvements</strong></p> <p>what’s the best way to make sure your content never works actively against your campaign? the short answer is: make it as good as it can possibly be. content you put genuine effort into will almost never work against you, and will, in most cases, provide a substantial benefit.</p> <p>if you want to make your content campaign as valuable as possible, commit to making ongoing improvements; get to know your target audience better, do more research, and pack your content full of as many details, facts, and unique perspectives as you can. only your best work should ever make it to your blog. for more help developing and executing a content marketing campaign, see <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>the definitive guide to content marketing</a>.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Sat, 4 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 Tips to setting the foundation to SEO Friendly Web Design <p>every website owner who has spent many years in the industry would know that just having a good product and service or investing in a creative web design is not enough to increase the amount of traffic that your website is getting. search engine optimization, also known as seo, is one of the things that web developers and designers take time to focus on in order to reach a larger consumer base. this concept basically involves the use of effective strategies to make a website more visible to the consumers by achieving high rankings in top search engines including google, yahoo!, and bing.</p> <p>gaining more followers for your personal blog, reaching out to a wider reach for your organization’s cause, and drawing potential customers to check out your online shop is an achievable goal if you have the right tools and the proper knowledge to start with. it may take a lot of your time, effort, and resources, but the results are surely long-term and totally worth every penny of your investments.</p> <p>check out these five useful tips towards an seo-friendly web design and start getting increased web traffic in no time.</p> <ol> <li><strong>start with the navigation tools</strong></li> </ol> <p>it’s not a secret that having a well-designed website with easy-to-use navigation tools can help increase the time spent by a visitor to your website. if you can’t fit everything on a single page, then make sure that you have a search option available for them to use. using short yet easily understandable urls is also a key to having an seo-friendly <a href=''>website design</a>.</p> <ol start='2'> <li><strong>go mobile</strong></li> </ol> <p>since the last quarter of 2016, more than half of the web pages loaded on the internet are being accessed using smartphones and tablets (in contrast to desktop and laptop computers). this event has paved the way for website owners to optimize their websites for mobile viewing and gain that defining edge against their competitors. google also plans to roll out a mobile-first algorithm next year – making mobile optimization more of a need than an option if your goal is to get more web traffic.</p> <ol start='3'> <li><strong>aim for speed</strong></li> </ol> <p>it goes without saying that a website with slower loading times has the highest chances of a visitor giving up and going somewhere else. choosing the right server for your website may be a good thing to start with, but making small steps such as reducing the use of flash elements and unnecessary images would effectively work without additional costs.</p> <ol start='4'> <li><strong>optimize images too</strong></li> </ol> <p>before, web developers are too much focused on optimizing texts that they forgot to work on the images too. it may be an unfamiliar strategy for some, but keeping image sizes below 100 kb and the resolution to at least 72 dpi will ensure faster loading times for your web pages without sacrificing a good image quality. also, don’t forget to take advantage of adding relevant keywords in the alt text section of the images, and to place them in pages where they are supposed to be.</p> <ol start='5'> <li><strong>connect with social media</strong></li> </ol> <p>adding links to social media accounts of your blog, organization, institute, and company can help you connect with a larger audience, provide better customer support, and enhance your presence online. make these links easy to find on the homepage, along with your contact information and a contact form.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'><strong>technology reviews & updates</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 30 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Investing in websites instead of apps <p>since the dawn of the first iphone, apple has been shaping the mobile narrative to suit its interests. apple is able to maintain its dominance over the mobile market by brainwashing much of the technology industry into thinking that businesses need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars creating and maintaining mobile apps to reach their target audiences. in fact, up to 42 percent of smbs have built a mobile app, and that number is expected to grow to 67 percent by the end of the year.<br /> <br /> this narrative has certainly paid off for apple: its revenue from just the app store in 2017 is already over $4.9 billion. that's 40 percent higher than apple's net income in 2007 (a "meager" $3.5b). but the fact of the matter is that many businesses are wasting their money investing in native applications. apps aren't advantageous for most developers, or even for a majority of consumers.<br /> <br /> on average, it takes eight months and $270,000 to develop a native app. and due to the difficulties associated with device/os fragmentation, many enterprises spend millions of dollars on each wave of app updates they release. the possibility for such businesses to make any of that money back is minute, at best. it was revealed last year that of all app store publishers in the u.s. with paid apps or in-app purchases, just 1 percent of those who <a href='' target='_blank'>monetize their apps</a> accounted for 94 percent of the store's revenue.<br /> <br /> the remaining 6 percent - approximately $85.8 million - was divided among the other 61,677 publishers. that averages out to $1,391 per publisher - not a whole lot of revenue. and now thousands of these businesses and developers are watching their hard work turn obsolete as apple drops support for 32-bit apps with ios 11, amounting to roughly 8 percent of all <a href='' target='_blank'>apps on the app store</a>.<br /> <br /> at the same time, consumers already have all the apps they want or need. they're not looking for new ones, which is why app downloads in the u.s. are slowing down, having declined more than 20 percent year-over-year. the average consumer downloads only a handful of apps a year, almost all of which are free, and 42 percent of all app time spent on smartphones occurs on the users' single-most used app (typically big brands like facebook, google, youtube, pandora, etc.).<br /> <br /> so what should businesses do, rather than invest in apps? simple - put that money toward their mobile websites.<br /> <br /> mobile apps were originally developed as a fix for the connectivity problems and poor quality that initial smartphones had roughly a decade ago, like 3g mobile networks and early mobile browsers. but the technology for mobile browsing has come a long way in the last decade, thanks largely to the cloud.<br /> <br /> cloud-based browsers offer impressively quick browsing by outsourcing all of the website processing to data centers, which enables the phone to simply be a display of the content running on remote servers. this makes mobile browsing up to five times faster, with 80 percent less data usage, compared to native apps - a nod to hundreds of millions of smartphone users who aren't on an unlimited data plan.<br /> <br /> leveraging the <a href='' target='_blank'>technology of the cloud</a> for mobile browsing also offers a number of flexibility and security benefits. consumers using such browsers don't need to worry about constantly downloading the latest updates to their phones and developers can focus on maintaining their websites instead, which saves time, money and network bandwidth. since all of the processing happens on remote servers, users are safer from cyberattacks. through the cloud, all website traffic can be handled and filtered through unique, encrypted connections.<br /> <br /> new web standards and frameworks have also made mobile websites better, faster and easier to use. not only have companies been spending the last few years tweaking and optimizing their websites for <a href='' target='_blank'>the mobile experience</a>, but open-source projects like progressive web apps and accelerated mobile pages have led to a new standard for mobile websites. such systems enable lightning-fast load times on an array of unique browsers and devices without fear of distortion or altered functionality due to differences in size and specs, making addressing fragmentation easier than ever.<br /> <br /> all of these advances, as well as many companies following google and supporting integration between their desktop and mobile ecosystems, are contributing to incredible growth in mobile browser usage among smartphone users. consumers worldwide are even starting to access the web from mobile devices more than they are from desktops or notebooks (51 percent on mobile vs. 49 percent on desktops and notebooks in november 2016). it is due to shifts like this that companies, including the washington post and patagonia, have decided to focus on their mobile websites rather than native applications.<br /> <br /> businesses need to have a clear view of what approach makes the most sense for them, based on a realistic understanding of their target market's behavior and usage patterns. for many, that means it is time to look past the mobile app brainwashing and start focusing on the mobile web instead. </p> <p>originally posted on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>app development daily</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 30 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Reasons to have a good website design <p>a website is a set of web pages that shows valuable information and allows businesses to interact with customers, including potential customers.</p> <p>according to a research published in <a href='' target='_blank'>behavior and information technology</a>, visual appeal of a website plays a vital role in making a user stay on the site. this was justified by conducting three various researches which concluded that a website only has a few seconds to create a first good impression before the visitors, and this impression is largely based on visual elements.</p> <p>experts at <a href='' target='_blank'>wsi</a>, a known web design company, say that the right layout can help businesses grow by providing several benefits, including improved bounce rates and better conversion rate.</p> <p>let’s have a look at some of the reasons to have a good website design:</p> <h2><strong>a good website design aids in branding</strong></h2> <p>today it is all about branding. it is believed that customers do not purchase products but they purchase brands, and believe it or not your website can largey help you create a brand of your own.</p> <p>now think of mcdonald’s, it is one of the most famous fast food chains around the world with a unique website that follows the same color palette that all mcdonald’s restaurants follow.</p> <p>it is very consistent and helps customers relate to the brand. when you visit any of mcdonald’s website, you think of nothing but their product because it’s presented that way with a proper layout that also makes it easy to order and complete other tasks.</p> <p>you should design your website in the same manner. if your brand is funky, you should use funky colors on the website etc. this way people will connect with your business better and have a clear image of who you are.</p> <h2><strong>improved sales</strong></h2> <p>a good web design means more sales. it is quite understandable why this happens. users who find it difficult to navigate a site will instantly leave it and go to your competitors.</p> <p>this does not only increase your website’s bounce rate, but also causes you to lose potential customers who might never come back.</p> <p>whereas, if your website has a simple layout and users can easily find what they need, their chances of making a purchase would greatly increase.</p> <p>this can be done by taking care of the search feature and having a fully functional menu bar in addition to proper linking.</p> <h2><strong>a good website design improves communication</strong></h2> <p>a website’s purpose is to convey valuable information to the person at the other end. according to research, all it takes for a visitor to hit the x button on the website is 30 seconds, and a large number of times this is due to poor design.</p> <p>a website that is designed by keeping the communication and interaction factor in mind succeeds in attracting visitors and also makes them stay on the website for long.</p> <h2><strong>it reflects professionalism</strong></h2> <p>if your website uses poor design elements and bad font, it will come across tacky and unprofessional. this can give a very bad signal to your visitors.</p> <p>make sure to have a professional website with all links and features working properly. use fonts that are the right size and easy to read. also, stay away from poor colors and unattractive combinations. use images and videos that are of high quality, and make sure the website goes well in sync with your niche.</p> <h2><strong>enhances your seo efforts</strong></h2> <p>according to reports, poor web design can impact your seo efforts in a negative way. if your website is not responsive or if the links are not properly connected, or are dead, then your seo efforts may go to waste.</p> <p>google and other search engines consider these factors when ranking websites. with around <a href='' target='_blank'>60% of all search engine queries</a> now coming through mobile devices it has become very important to have a responsive web design. moreover, missing links etc., can make it difficult for crawlers to reach a page, hence affecting its ranking.</p> <h2><strong>conclusion</strong></h2> <p>the benefits of a good web design are clear. it can be the deciding factor between success and failure.</p> <p>make sure you hire a professional web design company to make you a website that covers all the necessary features a website should have so that your chances of finding success can greatly increase.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>augusta free press</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 SEO Alone Isn’t Enough; Best Practices for Manufacturers Looking to Grow in 2018 <p>with b2b buyers nearly <a href='' target='_blank'>60% through the sales cycle</a> before contacting a supplier and engineers investing the equivalent of more than <a href='' target='_blank'>one full workday</a> per week consuming content, leading manufacturers are increasingly realizing the value of having an effective marketing and demand generation strategy.</p> <p>yet while search engine optimization (seo) will improve organic ranking and can increase their leads, today (and moving forward) manufacturers are discovering that seo alone does not make a successful strategy. focusing on seo alone overlooks the opportunity to maximize its value.</p> <p>historically, the main goal of seo services was to drive more traffic to a website. today that’s only 33% of the puzzle, as more traffic does not necessarily mean more demand for your offerings, which is the key business objective for most manufacturers. to profitably and sustainably meet and convert customer demand, it’s up to manufacturers to be visible with the right audiences, educational and persuasive at the right times, and provide an effective user experience that accelerates customers through the sales cycle, delighting them along the way. it’s a tall order.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:297px; width:331px' /></p> <p> </p> <p>to maximize your marketing investment and generate profitable demand, leading manufacturers are leveraging seo, content marketing <em>and</em> user experience to work together and drive demand. only then will your marketing be a competitive differentiator. <em>if your seo strategy is to simply rank highly on relevant keywords, it’s greatly missing out on the real value of seo and wasting marketing dollars.</em></p> <h2>what is search engine optimization in 2017 and beyond?</h2> <p>effective seo is critical to helping your content be discovered. it’s focused on aligning your online presence to the latest search engine algorithm requirements, which in turn drives traffic to your website. with <a href='' target='_blank'>75% of people</a> never looking past the first page of search engine results, this is a critical component to a manufacturer’s demand generation strategy. in fact, <a href='' target='_blank'>57% of b2b marketers</a> stated that seo generates more leads than any other marketing initiative. and it’s no wonder: <a href='' target='_blank'>61% of marketers</a> say improving seo and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.</p> <p>but simply focusing on driving visitors to your site overlooks the business objective of accelerating those visitors through the sales cycle and meaningfully converting them into customers. after all, if a prospect visits your site because you rank highly for ‘precision manufacturing for aerospace’ and then quickly realizes the content on your website isn’t valuable and/or the website offers a poor user experience, they will leave the site. this in turn sends a signal to search engines that your site didn’t do a great job of addressing the query and will negatively impact your organic ranking for that search term.</p> <h2>what is content marketing in 2017 and beyond?</h2> <p><img alt='' src='' style='height:192px; width:413px' /></p> <p> </p> <p>as the associated graphic shows, content marketing is the intersection of what we create and what customers want. if as a manufacturer you are creating content that’s of minimal value to your customers, it’s just noise. similarly, if manufacturers are creating content to only address customer concerns without considering how this will benefit your business, it’s charity.</p> <p>leading companies focus on the sweet spot that provides customers the education and value they’re looking for while incrementally helping their company move in the right direction.</p> <p>but for maximum effectiveness, content marketing must work in conjunction with effective seo and user experience. after all, if you create the most amazing content that perfectly addresses your customers’ and business needs, but if it’s not found by your target audience, it’s resources wasted.</p> <h2>what is user experience in 2017 and beyond? </h2> <p>have you ever visited a website and immediately been confused, annoyed or unsatisfied with the resulting experience? <a href='' target='_blank'>79% of people</a> who don’t like what they find on one site will go back and search for another site. thus, as you’re establishing your demand generation strategy and implementing seo and content marketing, it is critical that your strategy considers user experience and cross-channel marketing. in the end, if you’ve invested in ranking highly for the right keywords, developed effective content for each phase of the buying journey, and then your perfect customer leaves your website and goes to a competitor due to a poor experience, you’ve lost.</p> <h2>seo alone isn’t enough; demand generation requires optimizing and integrating seo, content marketing and user experience </h2> <p>as with most marketing initiatives, having a clear understanding of your target audience and their buying journey, your competitive differentiators and measuring the right analytics will help drive success. and with demand generation it’s no different. your demand generation strategy must ensure the right audience is able to find the content they’re looking for and this content must then drive and accelerate desired business results.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>b2c</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How to captivate millennials with web design <p>even though a strong argument can be made claiming that every person has their own opinions of what is appealing and what is not, the truth is that you might not be as unique as you think you are. different demographic groups have their own unique approaches to certain situations, which allows web designers to categorise certain actions they take as more or less suitable for this particular demographic. this being said, here are few ways to captivate millennials who are currently becoming <a href='' target='_blank'>one of the most influential groups in modern corporate culture</a>.</p> <p><strong>1. share-friendly content</strong></p> <p>one of the first things you need to know about millennials is that they are probably the favorite demographics of digital marketers worldwide. why? well, simply because they are likely to share content they like, rate a company they felt pleasure doing business with and rate the service they found useful. this means that by doing only a part of your job right, you can start a social media avalanche without even trying. this is why rule number one of captivating millennials lies in making your website and your content share-friendly.</p> <p><strong>2. stay up to date</strong></p> <p>aside from being omnipresent on social media, millennials also consider themselves to be incredibly tech savvy, which makes them respond negatively to sites that aren’t up to date. according to experts behind one of the most reputable <a href='' target='_blank'>website design perth</a> companies, this doesn’t go only for news and trends you display on your blog but also to the themes, plugins and other third-party software you are currently using. the maintenance of your website is a serious matter and it needs to be seen as such at all times.</p> <p><strong>3. start by introducing yourself</strong></p> <p>another thing you need to focus on is the way in which you introduce yourself to your audience. sure a wall of text can be quite efficient at describing what is it that you do but there are definitely some better ideas out there. for instance, watching an informational video before offering a cta (call-to-action) button to your clients can result in a <a href=''>144 percent higher conversion rate</a>. this is mainly because people adopt information from visual means 60,000 faster than through text, while formats such as video appeal to all your senses at once.</p> <p><strong>4. make your website mobile-friendly</strong></p> <p>finally, everyone knows that the world of the 21st century is a mobile one. currently, about one-third of world’s population owns a phone and it has been two years since google officially announced that the number of searches from phones surpassed those made from desktop setups. as you can only guess, millennials represent a huge portion of these mobile users, which is why you need to adapt in order to appeal to them. you can start by choosing mobile-friendly formats like the above-mentioned video, infographics or even short comics. aside from this, you need to make your interface touch-friendly and your format easily legible from a phone.</p> <p><strong>in conclusion</strong></p> <p>while there are many other methods to increase the effectiveness of your approach to millennials, these four alone are bound to do miracles for you on this end. apart from this, you also want to put a strong emphasis on speed and even resort to minimalism in order to achieve it. another honorable mention would be taking up a cause, which is, yet again, completely up to you. the world is your oyster.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>sme</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Your website, your business: Maintain it well <p>a web presence is a fundamental part of business. it’s a virtual brick and mortar that provides customers and potential clients essential information for doing business with your company. by having this information available online, phone calls are cut down and employee time can be used for other projects. a good website with proper maintenance can only benefit your business.</p> <p>inaccurate website information could lead to missed sales and discouraged clients. however, keeping your website current and factual can seem like a significant or expensive undertaking. better business bureau offers the following tips for basic website maintenance:</p> <p>• own your domain. don’t allow others to purchase it for you as part of an agreement.</p> <p>• document key information, such as the security key and password, as well as what web editing software is being used. if the relationship is severed, you’ll want to have access to your website.</p> <p>• do not agree to “free trial” websites.</p> <p>• proofread. check for spelling and grammatical errors in your website content.</p> <p>• keep it simple. many hits may come from mobile devices, which do not easily load music, flashy animation, etc.</p> <p>• make sure all claims are accurate and true. for example, do not use the term “licensed” if there is not a license required for your field. be able to back up any claim you use.</p> <p>• set your website as the homepage on your computer. this gives you the opportunity to check it daily.</p> <p>maintaining an effective website doesn’t have to be time consuming or intimidating. build trust and credibility with a well-made virtual brick and mortar.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'>dayton daily news</a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 12 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 7 Mobile SEO Tips You Need Right Now <p>most searches are done on a cell phone and it’s time to put a mobile seo strategy in place. here are 7 tips you need to help you get started.</p> <p>did you know that mobile devices account for <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>more than 52%</a> of all internet searches?</p> <p>nowadays your online marketing campaign has to target mobile users. our highly-connected world has enabled people to search and view websites while on the go from a variety of devices.</p> <p>this means that if your website isn’t optimized for mobile usage, you’re losing leads and conversions. a non-optimized mobile site will also slip in search engine rankings.</p> <p>the good news is that optimizing your site is easy. keep reading for 7 mobile seo tips to boost your site’s visibility.</p> <h2>1. determine how mobile friendly your site is</h2> <p>before making any decisions as to a way forward for mobile seo, you’ll need to know where you stand.</p> <p>google offers a free tool that will determine the <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>mobile usability</a> of your site. with this tool, you can test all sorts of mobile factors including:</p> <ul> <li>use of plugins</li> <li>viewport width</li> <li>content sizing</li> <li>use of flash</li> <li>font sizes</li> <li>positioning of page elements</li> </ul> <p>the report results can be used to shape your next moves. maybe you need to redesign your website for smaller screen usage. or maybe you need to optimize content and remove certain plugins.</p> <h2>2. use responsive design</h2> <p>one of the best mobile seo tactics is to embrace responsive design.</p> <p>this design approach responds to a user’s platform, screen size, and orientation. in turn, your website is more likely to load for a larger number of users.</p> <p>but why not just create a mobile site for all mobile users?</p> <p>the biggest issue with a mobile site is that screen sizes continue to change. with new mobile phones and tablets released each year, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up with the dozens of screen sizes.</p> <p>responsive design is all encompassing and will deliver the best experience for mobile users.</p> <h2>3. get involved in social media</h2> <p>the use of social media on mobile devices has continuously grown. in fact, <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>80% of time</a> spent on social media is through the use of a mobile device.</p> <p>getting involved in social media is a must if you want to grow your company’s visibility. this mobile seo strategy allows you to engage with potential consumers while targeting existing customers.</p> <p>use facebook to share company information and updates. twitter is the ideal place for holding hashtag contests.</p> <p>the key is to get involved and stay involved. engaging in conversations and campaigns keeps your company’s name relevant.</p> <h2>4. focus on page load time</h2> <p>for mobile browsers, there’s nothing worse than a slow website. in fact, mobile users expect pages to load within 3 seconds or less. after 3 seconds, <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>53% of users</a> will abandon the page.</p> <p>slow pages may be costing you leads and conversions. so how can you speed up your website?</p> <p>some steps to take include:</p> <ul> <li>removing unused script</li> <li>minimize http requests</li> <li>compressing files</li> <li>enabling browser caching</li> <li>optimizing images</li> </ul> <p>page load time is a critical factor in the success of your website.</p> <h2>5. focus on local searches</h2> <p><a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>local seo</a> is another important piece of mobile optimization. mobile users often search for products and services in their area.</p> <p>this means that your website will need to be optimized for local searches.</p> <p>one of the easiest ways to do this is to include state and city names in your content. this includes meta descriptions, title tags, and h1 headings.</p> <p>aside from onsite content, offsite content is just as important.</p> <p>to build your company’s visibility, create a google my business listing. this is a free service that allows internet searchers to locate your business as well as read customer reviews and even view images.</p> <p>you may also want to create a google maps as well as a google+ page.</p> <h2>6. optimize for mobile keyword searches</h2> <p>if you already have existing content, such as a <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>company blog</a>, chances are you know about the importance of keyword optimization. but, mobile keyword optimization is a little different.</p> <p>the days of text-based internet searches have taken a back seat. instead, consumers are increasingly using voice-based searches.</p> <p>in fact, <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>41% of mobile users</a> have embraced voice search. it’s much more convenient to ask siri or google to find a local business for you.</p> <p>with mobile keyword optimization, you’ll want to focus on voice search-friendly keywords. as consumers embrace more voice activated technologies, your website content will need to keep up.</p> <p>to make your website more voice search friendly:</p> <ul> <li>optimize using conversational search queries</li> <li>answer questions in your content</li> <li>use structured data markup</li> <li>create a faqs page</li> </ul> <p>the voice search trend isn’t going away anytime soon. your business will want to focus on voice search optimization to stay ahead of competitors.</p> <h2>7. consider using accelerated mobile pages</h2> <p>google’s <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>accelerated mobile pages</a> (amp) is a new initiative that seeks to provide faster mobile pages. these pages don’t look any different than a normal html web page. the biggest difference is the insanely fast load time.</p> <p>with faster pages comes a much better browsing experience for users.</p> <p>pages designed using amp incorporate simpler forms of client-side scripting. this means you can still use html, css, and javascript on your site, but you’ll instead use the amp versions.</p> <p>these script libraries are slimmed down and load much faster than standard libraries.</p> <p>for added speed, the pages are cached in the cloud. script and caching techniques combined enable an under a second page load time.</p> <p>other benefits of using amp including improved search engine ranking as well as increased visibility. while this initiative is still evolving, now is a good time to benefit from it.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'>business 2 community</a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 12 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 After Launch: 8 Steps You Can’t Overlook When Redesigning Websites <p>congratulations, you just launched your new website. now what? before you pop the champagne, make sure you have an ongoing website support plan in place to sustain the momentum. here's what banks and credit unions must do to maximize any new website, build traffic and increase online engagement.</p> <p>significant planning, preparation and production goes into redesigning a financial institution’s website. but is equal consideration given to the post-launch strategy?</p> <p>a bank or credit union typically overhauls its website about every three years, requiring careful coordination between internal and external teams. most website redesigns involve months of planning, designing, writing, programming, marketing and testing. once complete, the result is (hopefully!) a website that’s on-brand, mobile friendly, content-rich, functionally useful, and ada compliant.</p> <p>launching a new website is only the beginning of the institution’s work effort. successful banks and credit unions also plan ahead for what happens <em>after</em> the site goes live — maximizing the user experience, enabling inbound marketing and collecting valuable data.</p> <p>while a new site serves as the online hub, the overall digital strategy is shaped through a combination of online marketing, maintenance and management. here are eight ways you need to sustain the momentum once you’ve rolled your new site out.</p> <h3>1. search engine optimization (seo)</h3> <p>you simply can’t compete if your site doesn’t play nice with major search engines like google and bing. search engine optimization (seo) must be a major focus before-, during- and after your institution’s site is built.</p> <p>once a website is optimized, it needs to <em>remain</em> search-friendly through a strategic seo nurturing program. the goal is to keep or improve on the traction that the website redesign project attained through foundational search engine best practices.</p> <p>analyzing your current website statistics, seo experts should review how your site is performing and make recommendations for improvement. combining on- and off-page optimization tactics, continual seo services involve conducting keyword research, creating custom meta titles and descriptions, copywriting certain pages, as well as advising on the current site’s architecture, link strategy and build.</p> <p>furthermore, regional financial institutions can develop a local seo strategy to maximize searches at the town or metro area level, leveraging google my business listings, schema markup and local landing pages.</p> <p>routine seo upkeep also bodes well with inbound marketing services, including content marketing, search engine marketing, remarketing campaigns and social media marketing. to keep up with the evolving search algorithms and bolster your ongoing marketing efforts, seo is a perpetual process that your financial institution should do during the site build and after launch and not just “set it and forget it.”</p> <h3>2. pay-per-click advertising campaigns</h3> <p>supplementing your seo best practices, pay-per-click (ppc) advertising displays your institution’s site with paid ads alongside the highly competitive organic search results. as your website listing naturally climbs up the search ranks, ppc advertising ensures that your target market will see your brand and its services on popular search engines like google and bing.</p> <p>ideally, your search engine marketing (sem) specialist will be a google adwords certified expert, giving your institution some peace of mind with its investment in ppc. targeting relevant keywords with lower or medium competition, the sem specialist can create a customized ppc campaign for your institution, pinpointing consumers in your geographic footprint, by what kind of device they use, and other specific criteria.</p> <p>sem is equal parts art and science, requiring strategic keyword research, ad copywriting, media budgeting, campaign management, bidding adjustments and performance tracking to maximize effectiveness. carefully crafted ad copy serves to further attract target audiences, directing them to click through to an optimized landing page for more information and ultimate conversion.</p> <p>to assure the ppc campaign is working, custom analytics can assist with conversion tracking with the collected consumer information used to propel subsequent remarketing initiatives. complementing your organic seo strategy, ppc advertising gets more eyeballs on your new financial site with targeted, pay-to-play ads.</p> <h3>3. social media marketing campaigns</h3> <p>social media marketing is a smart way to accentuate your institution’s site redesign, especially if that coincides with a brand refresh. your existing social media channels will benefit from the continuity of a reskin that matches the updated look and feel of your new site. your cover images, profile pic and image-based posts should reflect the digital style of the re-launched website, bringing forth consistent brand messaging.</p> <p>facebook, twitter, linkedin, google+ and the like are appropriate channels to tease your audience with the redesign, and then subsequently guiding users through the transition of the new site once launched. your site launch also represents an ideal opportunity to reinvigorate your existing social media presence, putting more emphasis on current channels. additionally, it presents a timely opportunity to introduce additional channels, like youtube, instagram, pinterest and snapchat to your social media mix.</p> <p>because members and customers often turn to these social media channels with customer service issues, your social media team needs to be ready to assist the online community during the new site launch.</p> <p>planning a social media campaign around the launch of your new institution’s site makes sense from both a customer service, as well as from a marketing point of view. and, plugging into an integrated marketing campaign or site launch campaign, a social media campaign can generate excitement, highlight new features and answer frequently asked questions surrounding the site launch.</p> <h3>4. integrated marketing campaigns</h3> <p>with its updated design, advanced functionality, user-friendly interface, robust content and strong calls-to-action, your new site should become the focal point for your integrated marketing campaigns.</p> <p>promoting your institution’s brand, products and services, integrated marketing campaigns bring together content marketing, traditional marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing and email marketing initiatives with a singular focus.</p> <p>with optimized destination pages and landing pages, your new site should have plenty to market, including your institution’s latest rates, limited-time offers, account openings, product promotions and more. in most cases, your site redesign either reflects a rebooted brand or serves as the centerpiece of a refreshed style guide. to clarify the message and earn consumer trust, your institution’s online and offline marketing tactics should have continuity with the look and feel of your site.</p> <p>your institution’s coordinated promotions – from in-branch print materials to online blog articles – should carry the same consistent brand messaging exemplified on your site redesign. guiding target audiences along the sales funnel, this inbound marketing strategy will drive consumers to appropriate internal pages on your institution’s site or campaign landing pages for subsequent tracking and conversion.</p> <h3>5. site launch campaign</h3> <p>a website launch campaign is an effective means to build excitement for your institution’s new site, as well as guide consumers through the transition of a redesign. a website launch campaign leverages elements of integrated marketing campaigns, using print and digital tactics, such as direct mail, posters, flyers, statement promotions, email, site banners, and more to call attention to the new site before and after launch.</p> <p>a landing page often serves and the primary communication mechanism, giving customers and members a heads up to the redesign pre-launch and then offering updated content about the new site’s features and benefits post-launch.</p> <p>adding a contest to the launch campaign incentivizes consumers to take notice of the redesign and explore the new site features. reinforcing your institution’s brand positioning and driving traffic to the new site, the contest can ask consumers to share their financial success stories, find a hidden digital asset on the site, participate in a site-related quiz, or forward the site to a friend to qualify for a chance to win a relevant prize.</p> <p>throughout the transition, social media marketing performs a starring role in your launch campaign, calling attention to the site redesign, communicating its new functionality, promoting an associated contest and driving to the corresponding campaign landing page. a well-conceived website launch campaign can also help reduce call center volume, while increasing adoption of your new financial site.</p> <h3>6. ada compliance and support</h3> <p>ada website compliance needs to be a priority for your institution’s redesign, making it accessible to all audiences, including those with disabilities. launching your new website to be conformant to wcag 2.0 standards is the first step. but, it’s important to have an ongoing process to keep it accessible for all consumers.</p> <p>because your site is continually being updated with new content and you will likely have many people with administrative website access, ongoing compliance scans are a necessity to maintain conformance. meeting ever-evolving conformance rules, specific legalities and site standards, ada conformant websites require proper business analysis, design decisions, content strategy and site testing to achieve compliance.</p> <h3>7. analytics strategy and reporting</h3> <p>when your new website is up and running, will you know how well it is performing and (more importantly), if it’s delivering roi? that’s why an ongoing analytics strategy and reporting plan is key for all bank and credit union sites.</p> <p>before launch, your business goals and marketing objectives should align with quantitative success metrics for your site. the key performance indicators (kpis) need to be set up and tracked in your site statistics, allowing you to monitor, measure and adjust tactics accordingly.</p> <p>as the most ubiquitous website tracking platform, google analytics is free to use and offers robust reporting capabilities for banks and credit unions, while being compatible with other products, such as google adwords, google tag manager and google data studio.</p> <p>whether your analytics monitoring needs require just the basic google analytics tracking code or more sophisticated goal and event tracking using google tag manager, trained analytics experts can help to report against pre-determined goals.</p> <p>furthermore, custom analytics show how audiences are engaging with your site, reporting on the effectiveness of inbound marketing campaigns. robust statistical reporting is integral to proving a worthwhile return on investment to key stakeholders within your financial institution, as well as making more informed marketing decisions with your new site.</p> <h3>8. site hosting and monitoring</h3> <p>website hosting is one of the most critical components on your financial site’s success. after all, what good is a world-class website if your consumers can’t access it?</p> <p>banks and credit unions need a safe, secure and reliable hosting environment as the lifeblood to the financial institution’s online presence. while each institution will have unique needs, all will require a secure, robust web-hosting package should include ssl secure certificates, firewall/traffic routing and ddos mitigation services.</p> <p>some institutions may also require data encryption, load balancing, geographic redundancy and dns failover services. moreover, your hosting provider should provide continuous support to protect your consumers and institutions from threats, such as website monitoring, intrusion detection, penetration testing, vulnerability reporting, anti-phishing and anti-pharming services.</p> <p>website hosting must offer more than dedicated servers and multi-cloud connectivity; you need the human support behind the services to help address any issues. combining automated processes with manual review, your institution’s site hosting and monitoring requires a reliable solution for uninterrupted service.</p> <h3>making a continual investment in your website</h3> <p>indeed, your institution’s new site development is a monumental undertaking, necessitating proper allocation of time, money and resources to ensure a successful launch. however, before going live, planning how to sustain the momentum of your new site should be built into your digital strategy.</p> <ul> <li>optimize the site to show up in search results with proper seo.</li> <li>drive traffic to the new site and gain valuable feedback with social media.</li> <li>with various online and offline tactics communicating your brand messaging, prominently figure integrated marketing campaigns into the new site.</li> <li>promoting before and after the new site goes live, a website launch campaign informs and educates your customers and members.</li> <li>from a usability standpoint, your site redesign must comply with the latest ada conformance standards for accessibility.</li> <li>set up the right site metrics and interpret the reporting properly to assist in the long-term viability of the new site.</li> <li>and last, but not least, ensure its continuous uptime with dependable hosting and monitoring.</li> </ul> <p>thinking ahead, you can put the right plan, people and process in place to make sure the site is continuously monitored, measured, updated, marketed and compliant.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>the financial brand</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Fri, 6 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 11 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Understand About Website Development <p>startups can jump headfirst into competition with other firms if they have a great website and an online presence. building a website is as simple as choosing a web hosting service, buying a domain, selecting a template, filling it with good content, and publishing it for the world to see.</p> <p>but if you want a website that’s seriously successful, you should understand the following 11 points about website development and maintenance.</p> <h3><strong>1. ui/ux design</strong></h3> <p>ui and ux stand for user interface and user experience. basically, you need to understand the ui/ux design of your website to ensure it’s designed with your target market in mind.</p> <p>think about colors, navigation, domain name, branding, and calls to action, among other things. the layout and overall design should exert a major psychological impression on your users. it will guide their response and encourage or discourage future visits.</p> <h3><strong>2. downtime</strong></h3> <p>businesses that have network performance issues lose revenue and business opportunities during each outage. by <a href='' target='_blank'>using a reliable network performance monitoring tool</a>, you can easily identify dead zones, reduce network outages, and enhance website performance.</p> <h3><strong>3. typography</strong></h3> <p>the text of your website is one of the design metrics that has the greatest impact. text that’s too large will make your content look puffed-up and amateurish; but if it’s too small, readers will have to squint to read it and get annoyed (and most likely just click out).</p> <p>additionally, you don’t want to use fonts that are difficult to read. stick to sans-serif fonts such as arial for the best online reading experience. avoid using multiple fonts as well. as a general rule, a website should use a maximum of three fonts, but two is preferable.</p> <h3><strong>4. security</strong></h3> <p>many websites find themselves subject to an attack simply because they don’t have proper security measures in place. if you think you’re not going to be a target because you’re a small business, think again. many hackers target small organizations because they so often lack adequate security.</p> <p>in fact, <a href='' target='_blank'>43 percent of cyber attacks</a> target small business. unfortunately, only 14 percent of such companies say they have sufficient security to minimize their vulnerability. installing security plugins, two-factor authentication, and encryption on outgoing information can decrease the risk.</p> <p><strong>5. site performance and speed</strong></p> <p>errors in functionality will significantly slow your website and affect visitor satisfaction. people won’t read your content if it loads too slowly.</p> <p>on average, a consumer will abandon a website if it takes <a href='' target='_blank'>longer than three seconds</a> to load. optimize your website for speed and performance. minimize http requests, reduce server response time, enable browser caching, allow compression of larger files, and enable other speed-encouraging measures.</p> <h3><strong>6. search engine optimization (seo)</strong></h3> <p>most entrepreneurs have heard of seo before, but do you know how it applies to your website? certain essential plugins will promote your site’s seo, such as yoast seo.</p> <p>if you know a little coding, you can also build seo tags into the framework. this will make it easier for your website to be categorized in google’s caches, which will create a better connection with your target audience.</p> <h3><strong>7. plugin options</strong></h3> <p>there are plugins to handle a variety of your website needs. they can alert you to security breaches, optimize your site for seo, collect subscribers, back up your website, cache your files, and handle many other functions automatically.</p> <p><a href='' target='_blank'>explore plugin libraries</a> for your preferred website creation tools and add the ones that will keep your site running quickly and at optimum performance.</p> <p><strong>8. competitiveness</strong></p> <p>everything that happens online entails a huge competition, and business owners should be aware of what their competitors’ websites look like before they design their own. this will give you ideas about what works, what doesn’t, and how to capture your target audience’s attention. it will also help you avoid creating blatant copies of your main competitors’ work.</p> <h3><strong>9. responsive design</strong></h3> <p>in case you haven’t heard, responsive web design is absolutely critical to a successful business website. <a href='' target='_blank'>about 60 percent</a> of internet access takes place on mobile devices, but 91 percent of small businesses don’t have their website optimized for mobile use.</p> <p>this has become the industry standard, so companies who accept this and incorporate it into their websites will instantly have the high ground.</p> <h3><strong>10. basic coding</strong></h3> <p>you don’t need a web design certificate, but some basic knowledge in coding will be substantially advantageous. try to learn the terminology and the kinds of coding requests that your website type often involves.</p> <p>even if you choose to use a template, <a href='' target='_blank'>your coding knowledge</a> can help you customize the design and make your website more secure. you’ll save time and money on repairs in the future, have a better idea of project timelines, and be able to communicate with your web developer more readily.</p> <h3><strong>11. it costs</strong></h3> <p>up front, you may have to pay for your domain name, hosting service, templates, web designers, and plugins. this may cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. then there’s the cost of repairing and maintaining your website through its life.</p> <p>this cost is absolutely necessary, of course, but you’ll want to be prepared for its impact on your business. it’s one of the most essentials considerations when launching a website, and it can certainly shape the final product.</p> <p>allocate sufficient budget that you’re able to do your website right the first time.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>tg daily</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Tue, 26 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How To Sell Web Design To A Sceptic <p><strong>in today’s competitive market it is extremely important for businesses to invest in web design. with the plethora of digital advancements available, competition is growing and getting stronger. that is why businesses need to understand the importance of having a well-designed website. however, there are remain many web design sceptics, or people who don’t see the value in website design or understand the concept. so how do you sell website design to a sceptic? it’s simple: show how important it is for having a successful business in today’s fierce market.</strong></p> <p>web design is a strategic field that involves the design, construction, function, and maintenance of a website. the design and function of the website are entirely moulded around the client’s brand, audience, and requirements. great web designers keep themselves updated on developments and trends in their field and appropriate them in fulfilling their clients’ needs.   </p> <h2>why is web design important?</h2> <p>there many reasons why web design is important, but the main idea is that a business’s website is an expression of its brand, an extension of its identity. how it presents itself online can contribute to its success or failure. it basically means if your business doesn’t have a website, has a poorly designed one, or has one that hasn’t been updated in a while, then you risk turning off your customers or not registering in their consciousness at all.</p> <p>in today’s market, potential customers are using the internet to find companies they trust or find appealing. no one uses the yellow pages anymore, and phone calls are rarely happening. think of the <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>website as a business storefront</a>: it is what customers see right away and what establishes your brand from the get-go. without a well-designed website, businesses are seriously lacking new customers and increased revenue. here is what web design does for your brand.</p> <h2>adds credibility</h2> <p>web design is essential to providing a business with credibility. when a potential customer is searching for a product or service, they are more likely to use the internet. if 85% of consumers are using the internet to find a local business or product, having an impressive website is extremely important. while customers are searching for the desired service, they are only going to choose one that has a website backed with credibility.</p> <p>web designs come options on how to build your reputation and gain trust. depending on the nature of your business, you could have customer reviews and testimonies, portfolios, or have dedicated pages for awards and citations. an attractive website that looks better than your competitors’ could also build your credibility to potential customers.</p> <h2>builds brand image</h2> <p>another vital aspect that web design provides for a business is a strong brand image. ever heard of the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover? unfortunately, potential customers are doing exactly that with your website. web design includes colours, visuals, and features, that strategically express your image and identity. your home page or landing page gives you that unique opportunity to show your brand image it a way that will resonate with your customers. </p> <h2>generates sales</h2> <p>having an online channel <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>connects you to more customers</a>. each visitor is a potential buyer. even if you’ve got a brick-and-mortar and have no plans of going the e-commerce route, your website could connect you to potential customers that your storefront and your traditional media efforts might not be able to reach. </p> <h2>what does web design include?</h2> <p>web design encompasses a variety of skills and disciplines. starting from the blank page, adding the layout, then company logos and images, there is a lot that goes into to constructing a website. web designers and developers usually offer packages that provide you with everything you need for a fully functional website that will draw customers in. here are typical inclusions in web design packages:</p> <ul> <li>domain and hosting – <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>online real estate, t</a>he address and space to build the structure.</li> <li>interface design – everything that a <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>visitor sees and interacts with</a>.</li> <li>navigation and layout – ensures that visitors can intuitively find what they’re looking for.</li> <li>graphic design – appealing aesthetics that are consistent with the brand image.</li> <li>add-ons – enhance user experience or facilitate management and site analysis.</li> <li>seo – helps users get to the site when they <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>enter a search term</a> in a search engine.</li> <li>full maintenance –  makes sure the site remains up and running.</li> <li>e-commerce – sets up the facilities for an online shop, including payment channels.</li> </ul> <h2>conclusion: so is it worth the investment?</h2> <p>this is the one question that gets sceptics hesitant to invest in web design. however, based on all the information provided above, it’s easy to see where all the money is going. creating a customised platform requires a lot of work and maintenance. also, you aren’t paying just anyone—you’re paying experts in the field. most web design packages not only cover construction, but also routine maintenance and updates. this means your website will always look up-to-date and functional.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>bcw</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 4 Tips To Ensure Your Website Design & SEO Is Done Right <p>website design and organic search performance are intrinsically linked, which is to say that design has an observable effect on a website’s ability to rank well for relevant terms. this can become problematic for companies with isolated teams, where design and marketing don’t work closely together, or in cases where marketing is only brought onto a project after a site has already been launched. sites designed without seo in mind can cause ranking issues down the line. </p> <p>at our digital agency, we work with clients across industries to design and develop websites that are built with seo best practices in mind. our marketing strategists are involved in design and redesign projects from the beginning, collaborating with the designer to create a website that is search engine friendly. from this experience, we’ve gained a lot of insight into the interplay between a site’s design and its ability to rank well in organic search.</p> <p>below we cover 4 methods to ensure your design is helping, as opposed to hindering, your seo efforts.</p> <p><strong>1 - know your usability factors</strong></p> <p>the goal of search engines is to provide the best results they possibly can to users who search on their platforms. this is the best way to ensure customer satisfaction and keep users coming back. more users equal more advertisers, and more advertisers equal more profits. </p> <p>what this means on a practical level is that search engines will reward sites that offer great experiences to users. the last thing they want is to place a site in the first position of the results page and have a user click on that site only to realize that it’s frustrating or difficult to use. poor usability translates to a bad user experience with the search engine. good usability translates to user satisfaction with both the website in question and the search engine that included it in the results. </p> <p>good user experience will bear itself out in longer time spent on a page/site, higher volumes of inbound links, and a healthy amount of social shares. these factors are seen as indications of quality and therefore are rewarded by search engines. of course, by now we all know that it’s not enough to focus solely on desktop usability - <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>mobile usability</a> has an equally important role to play in the overall picture of user experience. mobile-friendliness is an absolute must if you’re hoping to make gains in organic search visibility, and it should be a primary design focus.</p> <p><strong>2 - design for content discoverability</strong></p> <p>in order for content to be crawled and indexed by search engines, it needs to be discoverable. search engines, though sophisticated, are limited to discovering content through links. if the proper links to your content don’t exist, or they’re buried or broken, your content won’t be discovered and it will be impossible to get your site’s pages to rank. </p> <p>your goal from a design perspective is to create a site architecture that is intuitive for users to engage with, while your goal from an seo perspective is to create an architecture that allows pages to be crawled and distributes internal links judiciously. fortunately, these goals are aligned and can be achieved simultaneously. prioritize your most important content high up in the architecture - this will include top level service or product categories, which should also map directly to your priority keyword themes. from there, create subcategories and individual product or service pages. </p> <p>a search for ‘craft beer’ on bing results, guinness has mastered content discoverability through seo.</p> <p><strong>3 - plan for high quality content</strong></p> <p>the content on your website is what tells search engines what each page is about. where it once was enough to stuff landing pages full of keywords to achieve rankings, modern seo is all about quality content. </p> <p>in order to create content that can truly be called high quality; you need to begin planning for it before the design phase or redesign is underway. for each page you’re creating you should ask yourself: what purpose does this page serve? what do users want/need to know about this topic? what types of content are necessary to convey our message as effectively as possible? the answers to these questions should be used to inform the design of the site because the design of it must be conceived to accommodate the content you’ve deemed necessary. the alternative means wedging content in after the fact, when ideas about the design may have already become entrenched and difficult to alter.</p> <p><strong>4 - be vigilant during a redesign</strong></p> <p>a redesign can be a dangerous time for the seo value of a website. a website redesign that’s done without the input of a search expert puts the company at risk of losing much of the seo value it’s spent years building. not realizing this, many companies waltz blindly into a redesign, only discovering their error when their organic traffic takes a nosedive. </p> <p>before you begin the redesign process, you should crawl your site to come up with a view of the current site, including all the pages on the site and relevant information associated with them (eg; current rankings, existing title tags). are any of these pages outdated or redundant? if so, where can they be redirected in your new architecture? which of the current site pages rank highly for your target keywords? comb through all of your content to make sure that none of it gets left behind in the redesign - it’s essential that high value content is maintained on the new site. if you’re changing url structure make sure to do a redirect map and have redirects in place at the time the new site goes live.</p> <p> </p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Why Website Design Is Given So Much Importance? <p>having a website with simple functionality and dull website design is not going to fulfill the objective of any business. a website is an online presence of a business and has to be such that it clearly depicts the business and its objective to the online visitors and turn them into potential customers. it has been seen that intriguing design of a website tend to attract more visitors than websites that have a dull user interface and simple website design.</p> <p>website design tells a lot about many aspects of the business like creativity, objective, usability etc. it doesn’t matter how functional a website is but if doesn’t have an attractive design that defines its business services or products or objective well the visitors are not going to stay on it for too long. this means that the website will not be able to hold the visitors and in this era of technological advancements more and more people visit a website to enquire about a product or service before making a purchase decision. so if a website doesn’t have a good design it will lose its precious visitors and ultimately lose potential clients.   </p> <p>this is the reason that website design is given the utmost importance when building a business website. let’s quickly look at why good website design is important for a business?   </p> <p><strong>helps in better navigation and usability</strong>: no matter if the website is full of information but if the user is not able to find what they are looking for it is of no use. any visitor can judge the website within mere seconds of arriving on it. websites that are chaotic, confusing or cluttered the visitor will instantly hit the back button and will move on to the competitor’s website. good website design makes sure that the navigation and usability of the website is simple yet creative so that visitors find what they are looking for and stays on it and make a query.  </p> <p><strong>helps to build customer trust and provides better service</strong>:  a business website is no less than a customer service representative. so the first impression it will make is going to decide whether the customer will opt for the service or not. poorly designed websites tends to make impression of rudeness and unhelpful customer service. on the other hand a website that is well designed creates an impression of politeness and friendliness and makes the visitor to stay on it till he finds what he is looking for. good <strong>website design</strong> helps to build a better business-client relationship. </p> <p><strong>helps to surpass competition</strong>: it’s tough to survive the competition these days if you don’t have something that stands out of the competition. having an online presence of a business with <a href='http://https//' target='_blank'>good web design</a> and smooth functionality lets the business surpass the competition. this is because websites that look shoddy and amateur cannot stand against the steep competition as every business look to grab his share of clients.  </p> <p><strong>helps with consistency and coherency</strong>: it has been seen that people doesn’t like website that uses different fonts and is laid out differently. people are more likely to stick to a website that uses same style, set of format and typeface guidelines. all this serves as the backbone for all the pages of the website and creates a sense of consistency and creates a more coherent experience for visitor.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>training zone</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 Web Marketing Strategies for Your Business <p>today, most people are operating an online business. digital marketing is essential to help businesses to increase their brands influence and outreach.</p> <p>going online will open new financial opportunities for your business. once you have joined the digital revolution, marketing will become an important factor for success.</p> <p>when it comes to web marketing,there are several ways to advertise your goods and service online. a business owner has different resources to win potential customers. if you advertise and market your brand, products, and services accordingly, there will be an immediate benefit for you, and your clients.</p> <h3><strong>utilize email marketing:</strong></h3> <p>commonly, with the help of advertisements, you reach out to potential customers and solicit new products to already customers. email marketing is a more targeted method to get the message out, it also increases brand recognition and brand loyalty. when you start a business and market a product via email, it gives you better growth chances for the new product. this is an efficient way to stay connected with your customers or clients and promoting your business.</p> <h3><strong>efficient use of seo:</strong></h3> <p>everyone knows that search engine optimization is one of the more important factors of digital marketing. this allows your company name and website to be more visible on search engines. a strong seo strategy helps you rank higher in search engine results, increasing the chance of being noticed by potential customers searching the web for products, or services, similar to yours.</p> <h3><strong>make use of social media marketing:</strong></h3> <p>social media is one of the most popular marketing platforms for small and large businesses. with the help of social marketing, you can get extraordinary approach to web marketing . it is cost effective and simple to access. lots of tools are available to increase internet marketing strategies and offer more productivity to your business.</p> <h3><strong>use content marketing to measure your strategy:</strong></h3> <p>for this you should use content to inform readers, maybe some troubleshooting or comparison reviews. this helps increase the visibility and authority of your brand, creating an audience of potential customers. you can post content on blogs to help attract more traffic to your website, achieving different goals, good traffic and leads.</p> <h3><strong>advertise via ppc:</strong></h3> <p>ppc (pay per click) is for businesses to advertise their product on targeted websites. this helps boost your business website and send more targeted messages to viewers. through adwords, you can launch a pay per click campaign and follow the impact in real time. this helps you get a feel for the market and react fast.</p> <p>original article posted on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>tg daily</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 31 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Top Web Design Trends To Look Forward To In Q4 2017 <p><strong>in today’s fiercely competitive market, presenting and marketing the business idea successfully in front of customers plays an important role. one of the tools for doing this is the strategic ‘web design’ process. web design is a field that requires varied skills, disciplines, and essential tools for the production and maintenance of websites. considering the ever-evolving nature of the digital world, it’s imperative to keep a pulse on the ongoing web design trends. here are the latest web design trends that are going to define q4 in 2017…</strong></p> <h2>excellent layout features</h2> <p>one of the important web design trends to look out for in 2017 is the layout features of the web designing process including the web graphic design, user experience design, user interface, website strategy etc. since the well-designed web design services help the business owners in establishing a strong online presence, it is essential to build a resource pool of web design tips, free graphic ideas, website templates etc that every website and web designer should follow. </p> <p>here are some of the basic principles to make good web design using the resource pool that will continue to define the web design space of 2017: </p> <ul> <li>clarity in terms of colour, images and grid system: to make a crisp and sharp web design, it is important to consider the web templates, alignment, relevant images, and colouring etc.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>safe web fonts: it is imperative to consider the fact that there are few fonts which are supported by most browsers which makes font selection a key factor while making the good web design.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>web graphics and usability: one of the important principles of web design is the intelligent use of web graphics and its usability. the web page should be made in a way that is easy to use without unnecessary cluttering.</li> </ul> <h2>grid layout & card design</h2> <p>this is another definite web design trends to watch out for in the last quarter of 2017. one of the golden rules in any good web design is how crisp and sharp the design is. have you taken into consideration alignment, relevant images, and colouring, manually clean up of extra line, shape, and boxes, appropriate grids to make the content looks simpler and easy to read & understand? it is all about the experience you are giving the users and it all comes down to these basics.</p> <p>grid layouts in the web design are particularly suitable for pages with an abundance of data, as they help in making the information more accessible, and aesthetically pleasing. the card design layouts will be a big part of the web design trends this year with a focus on a lot more dynamic grid style in 201. a good web design agency will always adhere to standards, keeps basics in place and understand the business thoroughly. they work towards the purpose of building a brand and delivering information in a technically sound and visually coherent way but also make the website designing a fun process. </p> <h2>conversational interfaces & ai powered bots</h2> <p>when it comes to of visuals, bots are unlikely to have a big impact on web design; however, they will significantly influence how designers think about creating websites. the conversational interfaces and ai powered bots are going to dominate the web design services, empowering businesses to automate communication and sales in the long run. the online businesses will be able to leverage various tools such as letsclap, pixlr etc to connect with their customers via messaging apps like whatsapp, facebook messenger or wechat, providing customised customer support and commerce solutions.</p> <h2>the use of cinemagraphs</h2> <p>cinemagraphs are yet another interesting trend of 2017 to watch out for. the cinemagraphs are the high-quality videos or gifs that run on a smooth, continuous loop to provide an all immersive web design experience. they have become a pretty popular way to add movement and visual interest to otherwise static and mundane web pages.</p> <h2>illustrations</h2> <p>more and more brands are experimenting with the illustrations to add liveliness to their web pages. the illustrators and graphic artists have the expertise to create bespoke illustrations for the websites, which is an interesting trend of this year to look for. to break the monotony of the flat design and minimalism in the websites, adding illustrated touches is an excellent way to achieve a sophisticated web page.</p> <h2>experimenting with horizontal & vertical text</h2> <p>to achieve a great web design, the qualified web design agencies are exploring the idea of mixing horizontal and vertical text. this concept of freeing text from its usual horizontal alignment and placing it vertically on a page adds a certain uniqueness and a refreshing dimension to the web page.</p> <p>web design services involves a complex process of achieving a design that is relevant, user-friendly and pleasing. there are different areas of web design including web graphic design, user experience design, ai powered bots etc that will continue to be the top trends of 2017 in web design space. to achieve better outcomes with this entire process, it is essential to keep a tab on the market and hire a web design agency with the deep understanding of the market and creativity in the working style.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business computing world</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Wed, 30 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 User Interface Tweaks That Will Double Your ROI <div class='wpb_wrapper'> <p>a good user interface is beyond just appealing graphics and trendy fonts. it’s all about adding up a professional tone and compelling brand presence. it’s a matter of developing websites that users actually love to browse and use. but what type of user interface changes marketers can make to improve their website conversion rate. here i’ve listed a few user interface tweaks that can help you improve user experience while doubling your roi.</p> <h2>call to action</h2> <p>with the arrival of mobile apps, having a dedicated clickable area on your call to action buttons is vital to so that users click on them. since many buttons are totally based on graphics, there are still some buttons that insert small link text as opposed to a more responsive and intuitive option. small links may look sleek and sophisticated on a desktop website, but are a painful eye exercise on a smartphone.</p> <p>in addition, creating captivating taglines is the key, perhaps you have only 2-3 seconds to grab the attention of users, especially when they first visit your website. and in such short amount of time, your value proposition has to quickly resonate with your prospective clients. if your visitors clearly understand the main usp, then more likely you will be getting more leads and conversions. therefore, it is always a worthwhile idea to use persuasive taglines for better results.</p> <h2>white space matters most</h2> <p>white space plays a key role in user interface design that many designers overlook often, because to them, white space is just screen real state that needs to be filled. and when you limit screen space, such as designing for mobile or smart watches, it can be tempting to fit as much as possible into that small space.</p> <p>the proper use of white space not only increases focus, but also leads the eye to key visual graphical elements, ctas and other important areas of your website that you want visitors to focus on. it basically presents your site as a more welcoming, pleasing, open and accessible place.</p> <h2>focus on providing results</h2> <p>when it comes to providing a seamless user experience, it is important to ask yourself, what does the user need, whether your website fulfill users’ demands? and then make website tweaks to fulfill their needs and wants. users want to get their desired product with as little frustration as possible, they probably don’t focus on web design.</p> <p>so, the easier you make the process, the more comfortable the user experience will be and the more likely they will become your returning customers. moreover, chances are they will tell their friends about their seamless user experience.</p> <h2>use icons wisely</h2> <p>believe it or not, symbols help users a point of reference, especially when it comes to navigate a site or when scrolling over a website. using small, identifiable icons are meant to inform the reader at a glance, in fact it might be the best choice, especially when you are targeting global audience where more creative or abstract icons might not be instantly recognizable.</p> <p>if you want to use abstract icons, make sure to label them clearly to facilitate users to understand where clicking on those icons will take you. it should be kept in mind, icons must be used to support your navigation, they are not meant to replace it.</p> <h2>using sliders is a good choice</h2> <p>sliders are commonly used in many modern websites for several reasons. because they are trendy and have a real power to attract the audience with visuals. they inform readers above the fold and allow you to focus on the special areas such as sale offer, special products, new arrivals, stock clearance etc.</p> <p>but it is important to carefully consider the speed of sliders, because sometimes they scroll so fast, or contain a lot of things in it, resulting in defeating their main purpose of sharing information that is tailor-made to get users’ attention. sometimes readers find it difficult to read them at once, getting less information, or unable to click on them. therefore, make it as simple as possible, so that it will become easier for readers to navigate. reduce the number of images and use the text concisely to clearly communicate the ideas with clear meaning.</p> <p>moreover, carefully think whether your website actually needs sliders or a static appealing banner serves it purpose of communicating the message to the audience. running a split test between both options is the best idea to figure out which option works best for your website performance.</p> <h2>craft a brand story</h2> <p>keep in mind that you are promoting your website, improving ux, and creating engaging content for real people, so give your audience a real reason to stay on your website, tell them your brand story. most websites are unwelcoming, corporate places with little time for real emotion. people connect with feelings, emotions, humor and empathy. breathe new life into your content, images, videos, infographics, and then stand back and watch your online conversion spike.</p> <h2>create valuable, engaging content</h2> <p>the main purpose of your website is to connect and resonate with the target audience for your products/services. creating your website content that is jargon-free and to-the-point while enabling you to present the main purpose of your website. just forget about the long, boring complicated words, stick to the engaging, interesting information, and you will be able to grab your prospects.</p> <h2>final words</h2> <p>making these user interface tweaks will certainly improve your website traffic, conversion rate and ultimately sales.</p> </div> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong></strong></a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Killer Web Design Hacks That Will Actually Work for You <p>is your website getting a large number of visitors but not giving you the quality results you want? efficiently directing your visitors and persuading them to convert is not an easy feat and there is no shortcut to achieve overnight success.</p> <p>ecommerce is the fastest growing industry, and it is expected that ecommerce sales will increase up to $523 billion <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>by 2020</a>. this would open a number of opportunities for online shoppers. for online business owners, optimizing their business websites needs to be a top priority, if they really want to reach their milestones. this is the reason, competition is getting tougher day by day.</p> <p>there are a number of online shopping platforms presents all around the globe, and users have no problem bouncing from one website to another in order to find their desired products. with the limitless number of options available literally at their fingertips, it is important for web marketers to go beyond to meet consumers’ needs and desires in the best way possible.</p> <p>in many cases, a business website just needs a few user interface tweaks to boost conversion rates, as opposed to a full website redesign. no matter what tweaks and adjustments need to be made, it is always wise to think carefully before you do it. it is highly advised to work with careful planning and a/b testing in order to track results, and opt for strategies that lead to better results and determine which ones should be ignored or improved upon. in short, optimizing your website is a task that needs to be constantly updating.</p> <p>here, i’ve listed amazing website hacks that marketers can use to improve website design in order to increase the conversion rates.</p> <h3>speed up your website</h3> <p>do you know the normal human attention span is as low as 8 seconds? keeping this factor in mind, everything related to the web, no matter if it is a website or a mobile app, needs to function smoothly, and above all, fast. website loading time is also an important factor, especially when it comes to search engine rankings. and if you want to sell your business online, prospective customers will don’t think for a second to abandon your website if the speed is too slow.</p> <p>if truth be told, a fast website is the key to get your customers glued to your website. there are so many factors that can greatly contribute to decreasing webpage speed. and if you have tried all the tweaks such as improving your web design, compressing the size of images and codes, reducing your forms fields, eliminating unnecessary plugins, then more likely, you will need to double check your web host.</p> <p>if a host is the real reason behind your slow website speed, don’t waste your time on quitting your provider, as there are countless better options available. just make sure that you use a well-suited hosting provider based on your cms. if you use wordpress to develop your website, it is advised to opt for some fastest wordpress hosting services for better results.</p> <p>a seamless, intuitive user experience is the foundation of any online business, ecommerce platform, media publication or community forum. a website that loads faster leads and has a <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>good user interface</a> can lead to a positive ux, and a positive ux leads to fastest conversions.</p> <h3>make your ctas persuasive</h3> <p>many professional web design agencies, saas startups, entrepreneurs, and ecommerce business owners understand the power of ctas and consider them as the most integral element of web design. regardless of the users’ demographic and what type of content they are presented with, in the end, their focus needs to be on the cta button. therefore, it must be obviously placed in a way the user can identify it with a single glance.</p> <p>moreover, there are a lot of factors that can greatly affect <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>cta </a>button. in fact, these buttons are the most split-tested feature of any online business. colors are most probably the most important psychological factor that results in more clicks. while there is no perfect rule to coloring your cta buttons, it must stand out in contrast to the background layout. preferably, it is a color that is not used anywhere throughout your web design.</p> <p>use cta button as a separate object without the context of the rest of the website. it should be sharp and simple with a clearly conveyed message. by adding a more personal touch to your ctas will increase your website conversion rate.</p> <p>moreover, positioning plays a key role in this regard. it is also advised to try different placement areas on your web design including header, sidebars, center and more. social media and visual content consumption are indeed a bit challenging, so are users. testing and optimizing your ctas will likely be continuously changing project.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business 2 community</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Universal Usability Crucial in New Website Design <p>building a new website for an organization means designing a virtual space that is available to individuals of all ability levels. considering that more than 50 million americans are living with a disability, it is essential that websites allow for universal usability. </p> <p>a website's success is ultimately dependent on its accessibility, an aspect that must be carefully considered and conveyed through every step of the web design process. it begins at the microcosmic level of building universal usability into the framework of the website and continues beyond the design stage, becoming an ongoing point of concern and maintenance. </p> <p>it can sound complex and overwhelming, but there are easy steps that companies can take to ensure their sites work for everyone. the first step in that path is making accessibility a central and consistent concern. </p> <p>for more helpful tips and support in implementing accessibility strategies, please visit the <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'></a>.</p> <p>about the bureau of internet accessibility:</p> <p>mobile and website compliance is a requirement, but trying to understand the wcag 2.0 guidelines and how they relate to ada, acaa, ocr, aoda, section 508 and other compliance requirements, can be confusing. the bureau of internet accessibility (boia) has been helping eliminate the accessibility digital divide since 2001. the organization's reports, tools, and services have assisted businesses in improving, maintaining, and proving the accessibility of their websites. with services that include self-help tools, audits, training, remediation and implementation support, boia has the experience and expertise to ensure that accessibility efforts are worthwhile and successful. for more information, visit <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'></a>.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>sys-con media</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How to Develop and Design a Successful Website <p>building a website for your business will take more than registering a domain name and throwing up some sales information on a standard-issue template. if you want to compete with modern, web-friendly brands, you'll need to follow these steps to create a high-impact website for the 21st century.</p> <h2>integrate your social media accounts</h2> <p>according to the pew research center, 69 percent of adults use some form of social media. the greatest concentration of users is on facebook, but instagram, twitter, pinterest and linkedin also boast millions of visitors. a successful business website will integrate these platforms to increase customer engagement with their brand. for example, you might create an icon tray of social media buttons that encourage users to "like this" or "pin this." you might also include pop-ups that ask users if they'd like to "share this with friends" whenever they purchase a product or sign up for a loyalty program. the more that you encourage word-of-mouth on social media networks, the more customers that you'll potentially reach.</p> <h2>create an engaging site design</h2> <p>web design is about more than having an attractive layout. it also needs to be smart, intuitive, and user-friendly so that customers want to click around and spend time on your site. if you're running an e-commerce site, this means site navigation that clearly divides different product categories. if you're running something like a medical or legal website, you'll want the most relevant and up-to-date information at the top of the page and not the bottom. think about issues like sidebars versus drop-down menus, and consider both the advantages and disadvantages of having a splash page. if needed, you might invest some time researching enterprise web development companies for some ideas to implement on your own site. you should also pay attention to things like color psychology and text readability. these small design elements can make a big difference in the overall success of your website.</p> <h2>optimize your site for search engines</h2> <p>search engine optimization (seo) is a marketing technique that can help you gain visibility on search engines like google. instead of being a useless result on page 30, you can use certain tips and tricks to become one of the first websites that customers see when they input specific search criteria. keywords are the bread and butter of seo, but there are also things that you can do with links, graphics, alt-text and that your content can be indexed to make your site friendlier to search engine algorithms. another thing to consider is relevance or "authority." if a search engine considers you to be a reputable source, you'll climb in their results faster than unofficial or unfounded sources.</p> <h2>use analytics to increase web traffic</h2> <p>the nitty-gritty details of your web traffic can be very important when building an advertising strategy. if you don't know who your customers are or where they're coming from, it's much harder to establish things like targeted marketing techniques for specific individuals and groups. do yourself a favor and monitor the analytics of your website from the moment that it launches. look for trends in user demographics that can help you nail down the ages, genders, locations and income levels of your biggest customers, and figure out where you're getting the most clicks and pingbacks to boost your ad revenue from those particular websites. knowledge is power when it comes to web traffic, especially knowledge that's gained and analyzed over a long time period.</p> <p>creating a website for your business is different than running a blog for your personal amusement. not only can your sales and profits depend on your web presence, but it can also make or break you in terms of brand awareness in the digital age. use these tips to ensure that your website is well-crafted and well-worth the visit from potential customers.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>promotion world</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 10 tips for choosing the perfect domain <h2>when it comes to choosing a domain name for your business, you've got more choices than ever.</h2> <p>your domain name and url play a big role when it comes to search. not only is this the destination where your visitors will find you and your content, but the domain you choose also can and does impact your search visibility. while there are more domain options than ever before, there are still some best practices you should adhere to if you want to see optimal results.</p> <p>as of our publishing date in august 2017, <a href='' target='_blank'>icann recognizes</a> 1,547 top-level domains (tlds). while this means you have more choices than ever before, it doesn’t make choosing a domain any easier. to ensure you get the right domain for your business, consider these 10 tips.</p> <h2>1. start with keywords</h2> <p>before logging into to your favorite domain registrar, take some time to brainstorm a few ideas. it can be helpful to have three to five keywords in mind when doing this exercise. these words and phrases should clearly define what you do (or want to do). mix and mash them together and see what looks right and makes sense. don’t force the process — just let it flow.</p> <p>for example, let’s say you are starting a local bakery. some terms you want to include would be your city, fresh bread, baked goods, bakery and so on.</p> <p><strong>here’s a pro tip:</strong> use <a href='' target='_blank'>prefixes and suffixes</a> to help you create a good domain that grabs attention. for this example, you may end up with a domain like</p> <h2>2. make it unique</h2> <p>your domain is part of your brand. making sure it stands out is extremely important for you and your users. having a domain that closely resembles another popular brand is never a good idea, as it can lead to confusion.</p> <p>be careful that you’re not trying to be too unique, however. forcing an alternative spelling of a common word can lead to big trouble. an example cited in the book, “<a href='' target='_blank'>the art of seo: mastering search engine optimization</a>,” is that of the popular image site flickr.</p> <p>when the site founders established their domain, they did not use the standard spelling,, and they may have lost traffic as a result. they ended up having to purchase the correctly spelled domain and have the additional domain redirect to</p> <h2>3. go for a .com</h2> <p>if you are serious about building a long-term brand online, there is nothing better than a .com. using a 301-redirect to drive traffic to a .net or .org is totally fine, but owning the .com or the equivalent tld for your target market country is critical.</p> <p>there are a number of reasons why this matters, but the most crucial one is for your users. while there are thousands of tlds to choose from, .com still carries the most trust with it.</p> <p>many internet users are still unaware that the other tlds exist and may hesitate to click when they see one. make it easy for your users and choose a .com. you’ll thank me in the long run.</p> <p>(<strong>note for transparency:</strong> i am currently working on getting ownership of the .com for my site’s domain. when i rebranded a few years ago, i was unable to claim it and now have to bid to own it.)</p> <h2>4. make it easy to type</h2> <p>if your url is hard to type, people won’t. difficult words to spell and long url strings can be extremely frustrating to your end users.</p> <p>sure, you may be able to add a nice keyword with a long url, but if the user experience is negatively impacted, you’ll ultimately suffer.</p> <h2>5. make it memorable</h2> <p>word-of-mouth marketing is still the best of all. if you want to help your brand spread faster, make your domain easy to remember. having a great website won’t matter if no one can remember your domain name.</p> <h2>6. keep it short</h2> <p>shorter urls are easier to type and remember. they also allow more of the url to show up in the serps, they fit on business cards better and they look better in other offline media.</p> <h2>7. create and meet expectations</h2> <p>what is the expectation you want to set when someone hears your url for the first time? if they can’t instantly grasp what you do or who you are, you have a problem.</p> <p>while sites like amazon, trulia, google and trivago sound cool, it takes a lot more marketing and branding to make them work. domains like,, and all let you know what to expect up front.</p> <h2>8. build your brand</h2> <p>if you can’t find a good domain that meets the previous rule, use branding to distinguish yourself.</p> <p>using a unique moniker is a great way to build additional value. take note that, because of this need for brand-building, you’ll likely be slower to gain traction than if you used a more simple and straightforward domain. but, if done correctly, the effort can pay off in the long run.</p> <h2>9. don’t fall for trends</h2> <p>just because something is trending now, it doesn’t mean it always will. copying what someone else is doing can lead you down the wrong path. stay away from odd spellings and lots of hyphens or numbers. keep it simple, focused and easy to remember.</p> <h2>10. try a domain selection tool</h2> <p>if you are having a hard time brainstorming for an idea, no worries, the internet has your back.</p> <p>try using a domain selection tool to help you find the perfect domain. tools like <a href='' target='_blank'>domainsbot</a> or <a href='' target='_blank'>namemesh</a> can help you find that perfect domain. but remember to adhere to the advice above when using these tools.</p> <h2>conclusion</h2> <p>your domain is where you do business online. just as in real estate, location matters. having a domain that clearly tells your user and the search engines who you are and what you do can help you establish your brand online. don’t just pick a domain; take some time and choose the right domain for your business.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine land</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How to improve your SEO with user-friendly interlinking <h2>sure, backlinks are important, however a case be made that internal linking is also a critical component of improving your website's search engine optimization and user experience.</h2> <p>at my startup, lseo, we recently ran an internal link audit to help inform and refine our growth marketing strategy. with multiple freelancers and staff writers constantly contributing content, our site has more than tripled in size in the past two years.</p> <p>unfortunately, running a massive content marketing initiative with no central internal linking strategy in place had limited the spread of link authority throughout our website.</p> <p>i highly recommend auditing your own internal linking structure to make sure you aren’t inhibiting a blog post from being crawled or receiving “link juice.” this is not only bad from an seo perspective, but also from a business standpoint. content that is not properly interlinked may not live up to its full organic ranking potential — or be found easily by users.</p> <p>let’s review some of the best practices of internal linking and show you why interlinking should still be a central concern of your seo development.</p> <h2>the function and benefits of internal links</h2> <h3>function</h3> <p>a sophisticated internal linking structure provides seo and user experience (ux) value for your website. here are some highlights of internal link functionality:</p> <ul> <li>opens pathways to web pages previously less accessible to search engine spiders.</li> <li>helps organize web pages categorically based on the keyword used in the link’s url and anchor text.</li> <li>improves user navigation by providing further ways to interact with your site.</li> <li>uses anchor text keywords to aid user intent.</li> <li>passes “link juice” between web pages (a purported ranking factor).</li> <li>organizes site architecture and communicates to search engines your most important web pages.</li> <li>helps promotional campaigns by visibly highlighting or featuring links on a home page or next to content.</li> </ul> <p>of course, there are instances of links that search engines can’t parse. it’s important to mention them so you don’t mistakenly use them:</p> <ul> <li>links in web pages that are disallowed in your robots.txt file.</li> <li>links in search bars or submission fields.</li> <li>links in embedded plugins, such as java or flash.</li> <li>links on web pages with more than 150 links.</li> </ul> <h3>user experience (ux)</h3> <p>setting aside all of the seo value of internal links, interlinking is valuable to your ux. a savvy interlinking structure should feature a functional drop-down menu and navigation bar with links to relevant topical content to satisfy user intent.</p> <p>providing clear labels for each link encourages further website interaction, which also has lots of seo value. not only does this increase user dwell time and session length, but the longer a user stays on your website, the more likely he/she is to complete a desired conversion.</p> <p>imagine landing on an awesome web page from a referral traffic source and a day later trying to find it. unfortunately, without optimized anchor text in the url or deep links to index the page properly, it may be impossible to find it through direct traffic methods, which is frustrating.</p> <h3>link authority</h3> <p>unlike backlinks, internal links have no direct impact on google’s algorithm. but they do increase the flow of backlink authority that circulates from one page to another.</p> <p>new blog articles are born with virtually no authority or recognition. with a deep link from the home page or a cornerstone page, you instantly transfer previously earned authority to that web page. that piece will be indexed faster and rank higher as a result.</p> <h2>interlinking structure best practices</h2> <h3>site architecture</h3> <p>your internal linking structure should follow a pyramid formation. your home page rests at the top. directly beneath lie cornerstone pages or category pages that deep-link to relevant blog or product pages. all pages directly within one link of the home page will be perceived as the most important to search engines.</p> <p>the goal is to reduce the total number of links that occur between a web page and the home page. your home page is your most authoritative, in part because it is the page that will receive the most backlinks. leverage your home page’s authority to spread link juice evenly throughout your site, and position each web page to rank highly.</p> <p>this leads us to the importance of navigation bars and menu functionality. as your website grows with blog posts, content and resource pages, these sophisticated navigation features will ensure that all web pages are still within two to three links of the home page.</p> <p>let’s explore the anatomy of link placements and which ones serve our ux and seo campaign more.</p> <h3>content links</h3> <p>content is not simply a clever place to insert internal links for indexation, but they also aid our site’s ux. placing a link in a piece of content serves as a source material and communicates to readers that you can stop reading to gather more information “here.”</p> <p>bolding content links makes them visually stand out from the rest of the content and beckons users to click on them. ideally, you’ll want to place links in blog posts to other relevant blog posts. relevancy is key because irrelevant links will disrupt your ux and result in bounces.</p> <p>you should ensure that your web page contains no broken links. if so, redirect those links to relevant web pages. it’s also important that your web pages load fast to ensure a positive user experience and to stave off bounces. additionally, make sure that any linked web page is not more than one click away from a conversion page and always contains a call to action in reach.</p> <p>some experts speculate that content links are more valuable than other navigational links, which brings up an interesting topic with interlinking: do links in different page spots affect my seo, and what are the best practices?</p> <h3>hyperlink page positions</h3> <p>according to <a href=''>john mueller of google</a>, “position on a page for internal links is pretty much irrelevant from our point of view.”</p> <p>this doesn’t mean the position of important internal links is irrelevant from a <em>ux</em> standpoint. ideally, you’ll place your most important internal links on your home page, in the navigation bar, or on a drop-down menu.</p> <p>within lower authority pages, it’s unnecessary to link back to your home page or contact page within content. it does not pass “link juice,” nor does it promote a positive ux. it is best to link only to other relevant posts here.</p> <p>footer links and sidebar links should link to relevant content or product pages. while a link to a cornerstone page in your footer will not be less valuable than placing it in a navigation bar, it’s generally a bad practice from a ux standpoint to have an expansive footer bar.</p> <p>placing links at the end of articles or on a sidebar to relevant web pages will encourage users to keep interacting with your website. this provides positive user signals to google, which may indirectly affect website and page rank.</p> <p>a great way to help index your content is to place link tags or keyword tags on content that will communicate to search engines the topic of that landing page.</p> <p>breadcrumb links and an xml sitemap also contribute greatly toward user and site crawler navigation.</p> <h3>link relevancy</h3> <p>the essential component of link-building 101 and internal linking 101 is <strong>relevancy</strong>. optimize all anchor text to reflect the title or topic of the landing page being linked to. placing irrelevant anchor text on a link will qualify your website as spam.</p> <p>be sure to create keyword variations for your anchor text structure. constantly using the same anchor text for each link could qualify as spam and, if used for different landing pages, will result in keyword cannibalization.</p> <p>leverage your keyword research, and conduct a link audit to identify areas of content where relevant internal links can be placed. ideally, you’ll want around three internal links for a piece of content, at least — perhaps more, depending on the word count.</p> <h3>call-to-action links</h3> <p>i can’t fail to mention the importance of optimizing your call to action (cta) to maximize your conversion rate. a cta button should be big and bold and should be optimized for each device. make sure your cta is distinguishable from the background.</p> <p>cta positioning is important, and i recommend placing a cta above the fold. quicksprout often uses a slide-in cta that gathers massive conversions.</p> <p>ultimately, you want your cta to be present on each web page so that users are always one or two clicks away from creating a conversion.</p> <h3>nofollow links</h3> <p>if you don’t want a search engine to count the link juice flowing through a specific web page, then you can place a rel=”nofollow” attribute on your link tag. these are often used in links found in comments and user-generated content to protect against spam penalties.</p> <p>unfortunately, this tag can sometimes cause a ripple effect and limit the authority flowing through other pages directly linked to that page. google specifically advises against what it refers to as “<a href=''>pagerank sculpting</a>,” and the nofollow attribute <em>generally</em> shouldn’t be attached to internal links.</p> <h2>conclusion</h2> <p>when we think of link building, we often ignore the ux and seo value of building out our own internal link structure. while backlinks remain the crown jewels of seo, their effects can be amplified through a sophisticated internal link structure that spreads the wealth evenly throughout your site.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine land</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Optimized store landing pages: An important part of local search strategy <h2>how can brick-and-mortar stores improve the online experience for both users and search engines?</h2> <p>if you’re a business which has brick-and-mortar store locations, you may know that having a local search strategy is crucial to your business. most business owners are aware that building a local search presence requires having profiles on google my business, yelp, bing places, yellow pages, etc., so that you may show up for local search queries and build local search relevance. having a presence on these local directory/profile sites is definitely a core part of local search marketing.</p> <p>just as important is listing each of your business locations on your website. however, i’ve noticed that many businesses do not have landing pages for each of their store locations, which is a missed opportunity to further build local search relevance and rankings.</p> <p>each brick-and-mortar location presents an opportunity to highlight information that is specific to the store and its surrounding area. it also gives you the potential to outrank other local directory/profile sites such as yelp, which as business owners you don’t have full control over.</p> <p>here are two examples. both party city and dick’s sporting goods are doing an excellent job of building and optimizing store location pages — and as you can see below, those local landing pages outrank yelp results. the yelp profiles have low ratings, which is not something you want appearing in a top position.</p> <p><img alt='party city store landing page outranking yelp result' src='' style='width:80%' /><img alt='dicks store landing pages outranking yelp' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <p>notice that they both have a location knowledge graph panel appearing in search results, along with multiple location landing pages. this is, in my opinion, the ideal user experience you want for your store locations. it increases the chances of your website getting the search traffic rather than a third-party site like yelp.</p> <h2>examples of optimized store landing pages</h2> <p>let’s take a look at how party city and dick’s sporting goods optimized their store landing pages.</p> <h3>party city</h3> <p>party city has a plethora of content on their store location pages. they not only make it easy for users to navigate and find their store locations, but also include relevant content that is benefiting them in organic search.</p> <p>these location landing pages have optimized page titles, meta descriptions and headers, as well as keyword targeted content. they have great social integration, highlighting their instagram and facebook profiles via widgets. these pages also exist within a logical hierarchy of pages, as evidenced by their url structure:</p> <p><img alt='party city store landing page' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <p>party city also leverages <a href=''>structured data markup from</a> to provide search engines with local content in a structured format.</p> <p><img alt='party city schema store markup' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <h3>dick’s sporting goods</h3> <p>dick’s local landing pages are also very seo- and user-friendly. in addition to optimized copy and prominently displayed store information, these pages also highlight specific services that are offered at each store location. weekly ads that feature sales, offers and events are included, too.</p> <p><img alt='dick's sporting goods store landing page' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <p>similar to party city, dick’s leverages structured data markup on their local landing pages. in this case, they have employed the <a href=''>sportinggoodsstore schema</a>.</p> <p><img alt='dick's sporting goods store markup' src='' style='width:80%' /></p> <h2>recommendations for optimizing store landing pages</h2> <p>if you’re ready to take the next step in your local search optimization and build store landing pages, here are some best practices to follow:</p> <ol> <li>ensure store landing pages maintain the same user experience, layout and design as the rest of your site. the navigation in the header and footer should be the same so users can easily navigate to other sections of the site.</li> <li>pages should be mobile friendly at minimum and fully mobile optimized at best.</li> <li>ensure keyword targeting is done for page titles, meta descriptions, body content, headers and images.</li> <li>avoid keyword stuffing and fluffed content. <strong>write for users.</strong> avoid boilerplate content and instead write unique content about each location.</li> <li>include a map embed, nearby store locations, store hours, address and contact information, etc.</li> <li>include helpful features like “text to mobile” and “get directions.”</li> <li>incorporate structured data markup from such as <a href=''>localbusiness</a>, <a href=''>store</a>, <a href=''>departmentstore</a>, etc.</li> <li>ensure store pages live within a logical site hierarchy. example: store finder > state > city/town > store location page</li> <li>include content that is helpful to users such as: <ul> <li>events (be sure to leverage <a href=''>event</a> schema markup).</li> <li>coupons and sales.</li> <li>names and photos of managers and employees — for example, <a href=''>ethan allen highlights its design team</a> at each location on their store landing pages.</li> <li>videos of the store location.</li> <li>photos of the outside and inside of the store.</li> <li>testimonials or reviews of the store.</li> </ul> </li> <li>include social media profile widgets or buttons as well as social sharing buttons.</li> <li>ensure store landing pages are included in your xml sitemap (or, create a specific xml sitemap for only store pages), and submit the sitemap to both google search console and bing webmaster tools.</li> </ol> <p>article originally on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine land</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 From Rags To Riches: It Started With A Website <p>one of the first things to remember before you attempt to create a successful website for your <em>small business</em> is that it won’t be easy. it takes a lot of time and effort to achieve the perfect balance, along with how it actually functions and how appealing it is to the eye.</p> <p>there’s plenty of help out there with companies like <em>jps design group</em> that work with you and discuss design ideas. a study done not too long ago shown that customers are more likely to love or hate a site based off of the design, than the actual content that’s given.</p> <p>here’s how to make potential consumer like, then love, then buy.</p> <p><strong>the power of the headlines</strong></p> <p>research shows that headlines are the most viewed piece on a website, they even out trump the images. so as you can see they are very imported and should be worded correctly, as well as have the appropriate text and colour that will draw people in. the main goal is to make them big and bold so they stand out. </p> <p>they aren’t only used as a marketing tool though, they actually save a lot of time and confusion for your customers, making your website a clear and efficient one, as well as being aesthetically pleasing.</p> <p><strong>if it’s important, make it obvious</strong></p> <p>you should <em>categorise your website</em> in order of priority so that customers are getting the appropriate information when and where you want them to.</p> <p>think back to when you were searching a restaurant’s website to try and find the contact number or opening hours, and they would hide all of the important information at the very bottom of the page in barely readable writing. – this is how <em>not </em>to do it. you want the key information somewhere visible for customers to find with ease. so when designing your website’s format, try and put yourself in the customer’s perspective.</p> <p><strong>make sure it loads </strong><strong><em>quickly!</em></strong></p> <p>it’s the year 2017, so no site should be a slow runner anymore, there’s absolutely no excuse. speed has a big impact on your customer’s experience, along with your overall sales, because unless your website offers something no one else’s does – customers will just leave and find someone else.</p> <p>a report has said that if your website takes a mere 2 seconds longer to load, you can expect to lose 4.3 percent of <em>your customers</em><em>.</em> so speed really does make a big difference.</p> <p><strong>give customers closure</strong></p> <p>it’s human nature to seek closer when doing something. that is how we move on without feeling like we’ve left or forgotten something behind. the same goes for your website – when a customer purchases an item or product from your site, make sure you end the purchase properly. so for example, once the customer has paid for the item, make sure a page follows that with a phrase like ”thank you for your purchase. it has now been completed, and you should receive a confirmation email shortly.” this just lets the customer know that they can go now and everything worked how it should.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong></strong></a>.</p> Website Design Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Google Mobile-Friendliness Test Shortcut in Search Results <p>google has made it easier than ever to test your site’s mobile-friendliness with a shortcut built right into its search results.</p> <p>now it’s as easy as typing the command “mobile friendly” into the search bar to bring up a testing tool built by google to gauge how mobile-friendly your site is.</p> <p>here’s what it looks like after typing in the command:</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='width:90%' />after entering in a url, it brings you to google’s mobile-friendly site testing tool where you can see the results for the url you have entered.</p> <p><img alt='' src='' style='width:90%' /></p> <h3>why does this matter?</h3> <p>it can only be assumed that google is making it incredibly simple to test your site’s mobile-friendliness for the following reasons.</p> <p>first, it is better for users if they’re able to access your site on a mobile browser. it is now known that over half of all searches are conducted on a mobile device.</p> <p>that means a substantial amount of users could be trying to access your site from their phone or tablet.</p> <p>with that said, sites that are mobile-friendly have an edge in search results due to the fact more people are searching from mobile devices versus desktop devices.</p> <p>a further advantage can be expected in the near-future as google is expected to roll out its mobile-first index next year.</p> <p>a mobile-first index means search results will be delivered as if everyone was searching on mobile devices.</p> <p>you may have guessed it by now, but that means priority in google’s mobile-first index will be given to sites that are already 100% mobile-friendly.</p> <p>it is for all these reasons that google is making its mobile-friendly testing tool extremely accessible. the search giant would rather you have a mobile-friendly site than be left behind.</p> <p>so go ahead and test your site now with google’s tool, if you haven’t already. don’t worry, if your site is not considered mobile friendly, the tool will lay out some simple steps for you to make it so.</p> <p>original article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Web Design: Native, Hybrid or Responsive, What Format Is Made For Your Mobile Application <p>native, hybrid or responsive: what format to choose to make your mobile users live a successful experience. we take stock!</p> <p>at some point, when designing your mobile application, you will have to decide on how you will develop the application. your choices include native applications, hybrid applications and responsive websites and the decision you make will affect the end product. learning to make the right decision requires understanding how each type of development works and how it affects the end product.</p> <p>there are three main options for creating a mobile app. you can create a native application, a hybrid application, or create a responsive mobile website that offers similar functionality to an application. each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to understand them in detail before embarking on a particular development path.</p> <h3>what is a native app?</h3> <p>a native application is designed to run on a particular mobile operating system. it will not work on other mobile operating systems. so, for example, if you were developing a native application for ios, you would do it on swift.</p> <p>the biggest benefits for native applications are that they can typically easily access all the features of the selected device and are more likely, if properly developed, to run without error on the device.</p> <p>however, this involves a compromise. a native application cannot be run on a device that does not use the same operating system. this means that if you want your application to run on windows, ios 7 and android, you will need to develop the application three times, once for each operating system. this can make the development process slower and more costly.</p> <p>many companies will develop their application for a single operating system when choosing the native route. if the application succeeds in this environment, it will go back and recreate it for other operating systems. it should be noted that at present, ios 7 applications are more cost effective than applications running in other environments.</p> <h3>what is a hybrid app?</h3> <p>a hybrid application is designed to work on multiple platforms. it is written using only one standard code language (such as c # or a combination of html5 and javascript) and compiled to run on each platform. device-specific interactions will usually be handled through the use of plugins for that operating system.</p> <p>the biggest advantage of hybrid applications is that they allow the support of several operating systems at a more economical price than the development of several native applications. users, as long as the development runs smoothly, will not normally be able to distinguish whether an application is native or hybrid. in fact, users, in general, do not care about how your application is developed, they just care about whether it works on their device and does what they expect to do.</p> <p>there are disadvantages for the development of hybrid applications. it can present serious challenges if the application requires a complex interaction of the device. effectively, there is a limit to what plugins can achieve on this aspect. the support costs of a hybrid application may be higher than the support costs of a native application.</p> <h3>what is a responsive website?</h3> <p>a responsive web site can provide functionality similar to an application. in fact, with a little creativity, you can minimize the differences and make sure that the home page is displayed directly in full-screen mode.<br /> responsive websites will be developed using html 5 and javascript. as a general rule, developers will adopt a “mobile first” approach to developing the mobile version offering a simpler and less expensive experience compared to the desktop version of the same site.</p> <p>the main disadvantages of using responsive websites are that the application cannot be distributed via an application store; this can be bad for your business if you are looking to monetize your app downloads. second, there is the problem that the user will need constant connectivity to use the site. this may not be a problem in highly developed markets where mobile broadband is roughly ubiquitous, but this can be problematic in developing markets.</p> <p>it is interesting to note that, at the moment, applications seem to be the driving force behind the mobile site. the average user already uses up to 30 applications per month, and more than 250,000 applications are broadcast per year … there may be an overload point from the user’s point of view. at this point, it is possible to imagine that if there are well-designed mobile websites, users will move away from apps and return to browsing and individual sites to experience their online experience. subsequently, applications could become “launchers” of mobile websites.</p> <h3>in conclusion</h3> <p>the mobile site offers an important opportunity for entrepreneurs. mobile applications are relatively inexpensive and easy to produce. choosing the right approach to development is essential to the good experience. by understanding the differences between hybrid, native and responsive, you can make the right decision for your mobile marketing project.</p> <p>original article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business2community</strong></a>.</p> Website Design Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 Practical Tips to Help Increase Your Visibility Online <p>gaining visibility online is all about capturing the attention of your target consumers. before consumers can be affected by your advertising messages or brand promise, they need to first be paying attention. and honestly, that attention doesn’t come cheap because your competitors are also craving for the same chunk of attention you seek. so you see, increasing visibility online can be a bit complicated as the strategy that works for organization ‘a’, may not succeed with organization ‘b’. </p> <p>annually, billions of dollars are spent by large organizations to make their brands visible to their online consumers. the sad story, however, is that only few have succeeded. a classic example of brands that have failed in their online campaign is the coca-cola company. </p> <p>in 2011, coca-cola launched a new marketing campaign called liquid and linked. the goal was to increase their online presence. about the campaign, coke’s jonathan mildenhall was quoted as saying, ‘’coke would continue produce the world’s most compelling content which would capture a disproportionate share of popular culture, doubling sales by 2020’’. </p> <p>the following year the company launched its digital magazine called coca-cola journey to attract online consumers. with all the money invested, over 3 years of its launch, it barely registers views. and it is not even in the top 10, 000 sites in us or the top 20,000 in the world. </p> <p>the question is, how do we develop a strategy that will increase brands visibility online? there are two broad ways to do this, you can either ‘buy it’ or ‘earn it’. buying it could cost a fortune and there is no guarantee for return on investment. earning it however, requires strategic planning. </p> <p>here are five practical tips to help you increase your visibility online.</p> <h3><strong>1.</strong> <strong>post relevant content </strong></h3> <p>create content that offers value to your consumers. your business is all about your consumers. there are two classes of advert that can create value to your consumers: information and entertainment. information is all there is to know about your brand: the price, availability and so on. entertainment provides content that is playful, lively, inspiring, amusing, and imaginative so as to make the ad interesting to consumers. </p> <p>your message must be clear and should be so engaging that your consumers will want to share with their followers. directing people to nuggets of content such as social media posts or email newsletters will do you good, keeping you visible and being seen as an authority in your field. one way to achieve this is by giving them a sense of ownership and involvement.</p> <p>the morning email</p> <p>wake up to the day's most important news.</p> <h3><strong>2.</strong> <strong>make ‘freemium’ work</strong></h3> <p>ever heard of the word ‘freemium’? well, it is a combination of ‘free’ plus ‘premium. it is becoming a very popular business model especially among internet start-ups and smartphone app developers. consumers or users get basic features free and can access richer functionality for a subscription fee. even popular sites like mailchimp, zapier, dropbox and so on have employed this model. it is a good trick to gain visibility online and convert prospect to consumers.</p> <h3><strong>3.</strong> <strong>blog </strong></h3> <p>blogging is an essential inbound marketing strategy. your blog is where you showcase your knowledge of the industry you are in, and where you can establish yourself as an authority in your field. the more content you add to your blog, the more pages on your domain will become indexed in search engines. this will of course increase your visibility and it will drive traffic to your blog. the more content you post on your blog, the more your chances of being ranked for various words and the easier it becomes to find you. </p> <h3><strong>4.</strong> <strong>seo marketing</strong></h3> <p>google algorithms are programmed with a focus on consumers. seo is an acronym for search engine optimization. if you want to know the benefit of seo to a business, check this statistics from hubspot; 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases..</p> <p>google uses keywords from users and interprets them, leading to ranking of different websites. a good seo marketing strategy considers more than just keywords. you need to know which search engines your target consumers are using the most, and what exactly they are searching for. ensure that your blogpost contain seo key terms that you know your clients would like to see while searching online. it is not something you do once and stop, the rules are not always the same, search engines are constantly changing the way they work and the rule that apply to rankings.</p> <h3><strong>5.</strong> <strong>collect leads</strong></h3> <p>before you start building your online presence, it is best you start collecting leads<u>. </u>lead generation is all the process it takes to introduce your brands to your prospective consumers and the steps necessary to convert the prospect to consumers. people won’t trust your brand immediately so you will need to take practical steps to build that trust. </p> <p>there you have it! gaining visibility online is a continuous and conscientious effort. and you have to stay abreast of new changes in the information technology world. while it is true that there are other tips available, the eight tips shared here are proven and are the secret weapons of successful online brands. </p> <p>original article in <a href='' target='_blank'>huffpost</a>.</p> Website Design Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 10 Awesome Evergreen Content Ideas for E-Commerce Websites <p>e-commerce websites depend on conversions (lead and revenue generation) to survive. that’s why pushing out evergreen content is crucial for staying relevant today.</p> <h2><strong>what is evergreen content?</strong></h2> <p>evergreen content is basically a piece of content that doesn’t rely on current trends to be helpful or be of interest to its intended audience. simply put, evergreen content is informational or reference material that remains useful and relevant long after it’s been published on a site.</p> <p>this kind of content is vital, especially for e-commerce websites that rely heavily on business sales to stay on top.</p> <p>take, for example, a site selling clothing and accessories. shirt styles and dress designs may come and go, but product size charts and care instructions remain standard.</p> <p>investing in creating a pool of evergreen digital assets for any e-commerce website almost always result in a virtuous cycle of robust traffic generation. given that these assets cover topic areas that are not time-sensitive, making it easier to scale visibility through organic search and continuously earned social sharing (and linking).</p> <p>ultimately, an evergreen content approach can put you in a position wherein your social followers, email subscribers, brand advocates, and sales can grow in number – almost automatically.</p> <h2>how to create evergreen content for e-commerce websites</h2> <p>start by creating content based on keywords your target customers generally look for – such as “best bluetooth speakers” or “makeup tutorials.”</p> <p>do keyword research using google’s keyword planner and google trends to identify topics that your target market constantly wants to learn about.</p> <p>avoid presenting viewers with big blocks of pure text. enrich your content with visualizations, such as infographics, visually appealing product images, and in-use photographs to generate more interest and keep readers scrolling to the end.</p> <p>present content in other formats (e.g. slide presentations and videos). people love these because they won’t have to read as much to get the information they need.</p> <p>know what your competitors are creating. offer a better user experience and make your content a better reference for the same information (10x content). add bonus tips, resourceful links, and other relevant information that will appeal to your audience.</p> <p>make sure your content is unique and comprehensive. be as extensive and in-depth as necessary when providing product or industry knowledge. make it your professional goal to have the best evergreen content about that topic to genuinely become an authority in your space.</p> <p>update your content if necessary, especially if you’re building lists and compiling tips.</p> <p>to paint a better picture of what you can do to beef up your e-commerce website with evergreen content, here are some great evergreen content ideas and inspiring examples.</p> <h2>1. useful guides related to your products & categories</h2> <p>instructional materials benefit not only users looking for information but also your seo efforts. guides provide a venue for you to insert keywords you want to rank for naturally.</p> <h2>2. well-designed product videos & manuals</h2> <p>product descriptions are good, but consumers also want to see how things work and look like, and how to use and care for them properly.</p> <p>you would do well to include shareable product videos and user manuals in your e-commerce site, such as this video on the feature-filled baubax travel jacket and this neat manual on the same product.</p> <h2>3. product size charts</h2> <p>size charts aren’t only useful for shoes, bags, and clothing; they also come highly recommended for sites selling tools, furniture, and other items where dimensions are relevant.</p> <h2>4. actionable success stories & case studies</h2> <p>“that’s nice, but does it really work?” this is one of the questions consumers usually ask before they get convinced to click that “buy” or “add to cart” button.</p> <p>to make it easier to convince potential customers, you can include success stories and case studies to your site.</p> <p>you may have customers who have reviewed your product or shared how your product addressed their need – contact them and ask for details, and ask them for permission to share their story.</p> <p>when sharing case studies and success stories such as this one from, make sure to highlight how your product(s) helped in meeting your customers’ needs.</p> <p>when people with the same needs read about how others were able to find satisfaction or overcome challenges using your product, there’s a bigger chance that they, too, will purchase and use your product.</p> <h2>5. industry-specific glossary</h2> <p>niche markets would often have its own jargon or set of concepts, so it’s a big help to interested consumers if you have an industry-specific glossary on your site.</p> <h2>6. data-driven resources</h2> <p>users like not having to switch from one website to another to get the information they need, so it’s up to you to research the info and collate it for them so they won’t have to leave your site.</p> <p>there’s plenty of publicly available data (such as those from government websites) you can use to create content that will resonate well with your target market.</p> <p><strong>visual content</strong> – like infographics and other forms of visual guides – is another content format that e-commerce site owners and marketers can explore in sharing timeless stories/tips (take one bid4papers’ extensive visual guide to the most common spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes).</p> <h2>7. user tips & hacks for products</h2> <p>product hacks present interesting ways to maximize the use of an item, even something as simple as a binder clip.</p> <p>even those people who do not have the item shown in the hack would be enticed to buy one, and recommend the tips and tricks to friends.</p> <p>it’s always an amusing and amazing experience to know about the many uses of a certain product, especially if the content comes with images and/or videos. take a look at this article on coffee maker <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>hacks</a> to see what we mean.</p> <h2>8. comprehensive checklists</h2> <p>traveling, cooking, diying? there’s a checklist for that – or there should be one – on your site.</p> <p>if you sell outdoor gear, create a checklist on what every responsible camper should have.</p> <p>if you’re offering auto repair services, make an extensive list of what car owners need to check or what should be in every car’s emergency kit.</p> <h2>9. curated lists of products, services & resources</h2> <p>another way to add valuable content to your site and share some link love in the process is to curate lists of products, services, and web resources that complement your own offerings.</p> <p>for example, if you’re selling art materials, make a list of online drawing tutorials, watercolor demos, and other resources.</p> <h2>10. be effective</h2> <p>be more than just creative, be effective!</p> <p>even simpler additions to your product pages can turn them into evergreen content assets. just see how livingspaces make each of their product pages helpful by including a product q&a section on these transactional pages.</p> <h2>summary</h2> <p>these are some of the best evergreen content ideas you can use on your e-commerce website.</p> <p>you can also answer reader faqs and provide industry advice via how-to articles and lists of tips.</p> <p>making evergreen content allows you to essentially automate your sales and marketing efforts months or even years after your content first went live. so create and use it to maximum advantage!</p> <p>original article by <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a></p> Website Design Wed, 9 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Why should you only consider a professional web designer instead of that kid next door? <p><strong>your website is your online image</strong></p> <p>if you need a heart replacement would you go to the guy next door that hunts deer? or, would you seek out a professional who has done this before? remember your website is viewed by more people than any brochure, article, display ad, billboard, etc. that you have ever done. a professional designer can properly design your website to target the audience that you are seeking with the proper image and branding message that your company utilizes. remember, first impressions are everything. you have to make the right one.</p> <p><strong>professional designers know ...</strong></p> <p>a professional designer not only knows how to create a beautiful image, but also how to give your image effectiveness to meet your business and industry needs. professional web designers also know the importance of marketing. a successful website will be unique, project the right branding, have clear and easy navigation, load quickly, and work correctly with all of the major internet browsers/os.</p> <p><strong>using your resources efficiently</strong></p> <p>instead of building a website yourself and trying to learn all the in's and out's of the internet and browsers, you would save a lot of valuable time and frustration by hiring a professional designer. there is a large skill set that is necessary to make effective websites. many aspects to web development go far beyond the basics such as html. a professional web designer is not only skilled in design but also remains in-the-loop in several important areas including marketing, communication, html, css, page optimization, loading optimization, search engine optimization (seo), javascript, and several internet/server languages like coldfusion, asp,, php, and others.</p> <p><strong>keeping ahead of the competition</strong></p> <p>in every industry and business, competition on gaining an edge on the internet is increasing every day. if your business rival has a presence on the web before you than you are already behind. however, if you launch an effective website, you gain that edge back.</p> <p><strong>a website with a unique appearance that is customizable</strong></p> <p>like your marketing plan, you want your website to stand out. how can that happen with the billions of websites on the internet? buying a template site might seem like an easy solution but you run the risk looking like everybody else. in addition most templates don't have much latitude for change which means your branding/marketing image has to fit the template designer's idea instead of it fitting to your message. many templates don't come with any customizable features such as contact forms, galleries, forums, calendars, etc. finally, most templates can not be easily modified to meet your future growth. remember a freezer box is a freezer box and will never be anything more no matter how you fill it.</p> <p><strong>your company message</strong></p> <p>your company message is important and effectively communicating this is a priority. marketing your message clearly with colors, fonts, shapes, layouts, and more is the job of a professional web designer.</p> <p><strong>search engine optimization (seo), a golden bullet to the internet</strong></p> <p>the most important mechanical factor of your website is it's placement and presence in search engines. it is pretty useless to have a great website that nobody can find. the higher ranking of your website has with search engines, the more customers you will have visiting your website. a professional designer knows how to develop your website in a way that search engines can easily read and rank your page. a properly designed site is the best way to get top ranking than resorting to tricks and expensive ranking marketers.</p> <p><strong>compatible with all the web browsers, not just ie</strong></p> <p>personally, browser incompatibility occurs way too much these days and leaves a lot of websites broken to a lot of visitors. only a professional designer is going to know how to leverage your websites "playability" for every browser that is currently available for both desktop and mobile. what looks perfect in one browser must look exactly the same in all the other ones, otherwise your website is not projecting the same message. a skilled professional will know what works and what won't work to keep that same brand/image properly projected no matter what device is being used to view your website. an great web designer will test your website across many different browsers/os, insuring that everybody on different browsers can view your website the way it should be displayed.</p> <p><strong>marketing a smart investment</strong></p> <p>your website will be something that thousands of people around the world may view everyday. having a professional website will give your business an edge that no template website will ever be able to give you. make sure your website represents what your company wants the world to see. a template website may seem inexpensive and easy, but in the long run, it's not going to serve your business. hire a professional designer.</p> Website Design Sat, 20 May 2017 00:00:00 -0800 What makes a good color combination for a website? <p>in the early days of the internet most websites were flashing at you in neon colors with everything in bigger and bolder text. thankfully those days are long gone!</p> <p>today's websites are much more color coordinated to fit the company image and branding with color palettes that enhance the user's experience. for this reason, it is important to pick a web designer that understands branding and knows how to enhance and promote the company image while providing clear and concise navigation. this can often be accomplished by developing the proper color palette at the beginning of the design phase and sticking with it throughout the website design process.</p> <p>to better understand this process, this article gets into analogous, complementary, neutral and muted color palettes; backgrounds; and some general rules about color combinations. the importance of the color palette is even more essential with the smaller screens that smart phones utilize.</p> <p>though this article tries to keep things simple, it might be too technical for some. jps design group understands the importance of company branding, color palettes and usability.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'></a></p> Website Design Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:00 -0800 When should you redesign your website? <p>we often fall in love with a particular web design that we currently have online. however, it is very possible that "love affair" might have gone on for too long. it is very difficult to step back and to take an honest look at ourselves. if it was easy then we would all do the right thing...always.</p> <p>here are several reasons to consider a new design for your online presence:</p> <ul> <li>your site is not mobile friendly</li> <li>your site has grown outdated with the current design trends</li> <li>you have no seo program or your website places badly with the search engines</li> </ul> <p>this article gets in deeper to these points. take a read, it makes a number of valid points to consider if you're thinking it is time for a new website.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'></a></p> Website Design Mon, 1 May 2017 00:00:00 -0800