Web Design

5 Design Considerations for Your Website

by Jon Heinl September 1st, 2015

Web design is an ever-changing industry that constantly evolves. Whether it’s the continued growth of mobile and tablet usage or optimizing for large format monitors and high resolution retina displays, it is important to design a website that takes these factors into consideration. A website should continually evolve to stay current with user behavior. According to data collected by Super Monitoring, 57% of users won’t recommend a website that is poorly designed for mobile devices. Internet users are not going to spread the word about a website that isn’t impressive for it’s design, ease of use, imagery or quality of content. Read the rest of this entry »

tips for landing page

5 Quick & Easy Tips To Improve Your Landing Pages

by SEO Savvy October 22nd, 2014

The world around is full of marketing messages competing for attention. There’s an estimate that consumers are exposed to an average of 5,000 of these messages per day. The Internet can be a competitive space when marketing your product or service. If you’ve got something to sell or to say, you want to stand out and attract visitors, but getting someone to visit to your site is only half of the battle. With mere seconds on your side before a visitor to your website decides to stay or move on, you’ve got to employ as many smart tactics as you can to encourage them to stay. Having high quality, optimized, and focused landing pages can help you improve conversions, especially if you are running PPC campaigns.

What’s a Landing Page?

A landing page is any web destination someone arrives at from a link, but in marketing speak, a landing page is a web page that only directs to a call to action—typically an email sign-up form, a product purchase or a phone call. Landing pages are stand-alone pages specifically created for direct conversion: Do you want them to sign up for more information? Subscribe to your email newsletter? Purchase a product from your ecommerce store? Or pick up the phone and call you?

The best landing pages have a lot of thought put into them in order to capture every available opportunity to turn a visitor into a customer—graphics, videos, style, colors, clearly presented information, with a focus on user experience. For the purposes of this post, we’ll assume you’ve created a great offer for your customer and the important info is already there. You just want to make sure you are presenting the offer the best you can. Whatever action you’d like your visitor to take, you can run through this checklist to see if you’re doing these things, or whether you can optimize your landing page for better results. Here are just a few quick and easy tips for improving landing pages:

1. Use Energized Verbs in Your Headers

Use the opportunity for big, bold headers to inspire action in your visitors. Use verbs and verb phrases that feel high-energy, inviting and positive. For example, “Learn all about how to …” or “Download a free copy now!” Don’t waste valuable real estate on passive language. You want them to feel energized to buy, so use phrases that are energetic. An excellent resource for writing engaging, magnetic and compelling ad copy for your landing pages is Ca$hvertising by Drew Eric Whitman.

2. Keep Your Contact/Lead Form Short & Sweet

Only ask for the information you really need for a quality lead or sale, and don’t worry about the details. Try not to have more than 3 fields in a contact form. If someone is on the fence about signing up, a long and intrusive form may be enough to push him or her away. Just looking at a long form with several fields can make a potential customer’s stomach drop. Suddenly what you have to offer feels like a burden. Only ask for the basic contact information you need to follow up, which is often just a name and email address. You can gather the rest of the information later, should they show an interest in pursuing your product.

3. Use Bullet Points

  • Bullet points easily and quickly get the most important information across to convince someone to pursue your offer!
  • Data suggests that when we read online, we’re scanning the page, rather than actually reading all of the text that’s there. Customers look for the information they need to make a purchase decision or move on. Make sure your content here is concise yet compelling.
  • Boil down your most persuasive selling points into 3-4 bullet points.
  • Use the first and last bullet points for your strongest sales messages. Most people will only recall those two.

4. Place Important Content & Lead Form Above the Fold

By all means, do not make your visitor scroll down the page to figure out how to buy what you are selling! Place your contact form and pertinent product information above the fold, which is the screen space that is immediately accessible without having to scroll down. Everything a customer needs to know about what you are offering, its benefits and how to redeem that offer should be crystal clear when they arrive on the page—direct their eyes to the goal (lead form, phone number). Potential customers should not be searching; everything should be right there for them, ready for them to complete your conversion goal.

5. Remove Navigation Menus and Links

That’s right, you don’t want a menu bar or navigation links to anything other than your conversion goal. When you direct customers to a landing page, you want them to do one thing and one thing only: Convert (buy your product, fill out your form, or call you). You don’t want to provide links back to your main site because you want them to be hooked right then and there, and they can find their way back to your homepage on their own. You want no distraction from your main goal: convert the visitor into a lead or a customer. Once you direct someone to your landing page, this is where you present them with an offer they can’t refuse.

UX Design Basics and Impact on SEO

by SEO Savvy September 2nd, 2014

User experience (UX) is the expectations, emotions, intuitions and connections a user feels when interacting with digital interfaces. Great UX matters for SEO; in fact, Search Engine Land even calls “UX the cheese to SEO’s macaroni” – they complement one another in a satisfying way. Improving your site design may help to improve traffic quantity and quality.

Great UX methodology means that users won’t have to search for what they’re looking for when they visit your site – finding the information they need should be a seamless, straightforward process. Integrating UX testing into your SEO tactics can increase sales by up to 50 percent, according to Search Engine Watch.

User Interface and SEO: What Matters Most

Follow these three UX tips to get started improving UX:

#1: Design with users in mind

This starts by identifying your target audience and then creating buyer personas. This will allow for clear messaging and targeting when crafting and/or modifying existing communication strategies around the wants and interests of these personas. Once the buyer personas are identified, you can ask yourself, “Which buyer persona do I want to target? What would they likely search for? What are their needs? What solutions are they looking for? How can I best achieve that through a carefully-planned content strategy?” Buyer personas help you understand how, when and where your buyers consume content, according to NewsCred. Understanding patterns of content consumption helps ensure that you are able to design the delivery of this content in an effective manner, such as emphasizing mobile optimized viewing if most of your users read your blog on their smartphone while grabbing their morning coffee.

#2: Eliminate visual clutter

Clutter is a major killer for conversions, according to KISSMetrics. If your landing page is cluttered with multiple “click here” and “try my free sample” buttons, this can be confusing for visitors, who won’t know where to turn first. The first step to de-cluttering your website is to understand the structure you want your content to take and the brand image that you want your company’s content to convey. This should be a seamless experience enhanced by the content on your landing pages, the placement of the call-to-action, the location of your landing page CTA buttons, the location of testimonials, etc. People tend to make snap judgments, so KISSMetrics recommends eliminating visual clutter to ensure your users are given a clear reason to stay on your site.

#3: Test for usability

According to research from the Nielsen Norman Group, usability testing is important for improving SEO and conversions. The good news is that these tests do not have to take a lot of time. Usability can be tested in small batches focusing on 1 objective at a time. If you have an extremely limited budget, consider a guerilla testing option where you give target users a paper version of the wireframe and get immediate feedback. With a more moderate budget, you can use a third-party testing site, like Usertesting.com, for speedy feedback in a short time frame.


web design and ux

The Importance of UX in Web Design

by SEO Savvy May 19th, 2014

The Nielson Norman Group defines user experience (‘UX’) as the end-user’s interaction with a company and its products or services. When it comes to a website, however, “user experience” refers to the user’s interaction with the website interface. The more positive this experience is, the more likely it is that the user will not only make a purchase, but will also become a loyal customer. On the other hand, when a consumer has a negative experience, he or she may leave the site before converting.

Key UX Statistics

User experience affects consumers’ feelings about both your website and your company. For example, according to KissMetrics, user abandonment increases as load time increases. 40% of shoppers will leave a page that takes more than three seconds to load, and nearly half of all users expect a page to load in two seconds or less. Furthermore, 44% of users will share their bad UX experiences with friends.

The visual appeal of the site and the organizational structure also affect user experience. If these factors aren’t pleasing to the eye or logistically sound, users may leave the page. In fact, DashBurst reports that 68% of all users abandon webpages because of design issues.

UX Best Practices

To ensure that your website provides the best possible user experience, follow these tips:

1. Don’t sacrifice your load time for improved aesthetics.

It doesn’t matter how nice your graphics are if users don’t stick around long enough to see them. Design pages that are visually appealing, but make sure they don’t take too long to load. In general, it’s best to keep loading times under two seconds. For example, if you find that pages with multiple images are taking more than two seconds to load, consider changing the format on some of the images or minimizing the file size. JPEG or JPG files are usually smaller than PNG files but be careful not to sacrifice quality.

It’s possible to reduce the file size of images using tools like ImageOptim. This tool strips the image of unnecessary color profiles and meta data without loosing image quality.

2. Organize your site logically.

Almost as frustrating as slow load times is poor usability. If visitors cannot find what they are looking for, they will eventually give up and go somewhere else. Make sure each page is well organized and that all links to other parts of the site are clearly labeled. Display links to the most common destinations in prominent locations on the page.

For example, if your site sells products from multiple categories, consider placing links to only four or five of the most frequently-visited categories on your homepage, along with an additional link labeled “see all categories.” Evaluate and improve the overall usability of your site before it goes live by allowing a test group to navigate through site and provide feedback.

Make sure absolutely no links are broken. This degrades confidence and it’s very frustrating for the user. Use a program like Integrity to quickly check your site for broken links.

3. Avoid clutter.

Cluttered websites can be overwhelming and confusing to visitors. Resist the temptation to cover your pages with multiple videos, colorful graphics and other distracting content. Instead, make sure each page has a clear focal point and can be navigated easily. White space, or negative space, is your friend!

4. Perform tests on your site.

According to DashBurst, up to 85% of UX problems can be solved through testing of the site with as little as five users. Perform user experience tests on your site before it goes live and make changes as needed. Use sites like Fiverr to get people to give an honest criticism of your design. Something that seems obvious to you might not be obvious to the end user.

When users like or dislike something about your company’s website, pay attention. If a significant number of users report the same issue, make changes to the site to resolve it.

5. Evaluate and improve your site regularly.

Evaluating your site on a regular basis will help ensure that UX quality doesn’t diminish over time. Check your site for common problems, such as broken links or outdated material, and resolve these issues immediately.

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