Despite having built a gorgeous website full of valuable content for your existing and potential customers, your work isn't done...

Avoiding the common mistakes made by many who build their own websites can save you a ton of time and money. By following a couple website design basics you can get started quickly, efficiently, and start generating traffic and conversions as quickly as possible.


Here are a few website design basics to keep in mind while you get started:

 

* Be smart about your company name – Try to go with a company name that is somewhat unique. For instance, naming your company after your favorite song will put you in direct competition with that song on the search engines. An example would be naming a company "Uptown Girl". While it may be a great name for a women's clothing company, that search engine listing is going to be occupied by Billy Joel's song for pages on end.
* Focus on delivering quality information to your visitors – Your website traffic is an extremely valuable asset. Don't squander it by offering unprofessional content or text that is crammed with keywords because it has been written solely for the search engines. Your keywords have to be incorporated in your content but make sure that the content reads as if it has been written by a professional.
* Make it very clear for your visitors that they have landed on a page that is relevant to their search term – If the search term your visitors have used to find you is " Vintage oval mirrors" make sure that the words " Vintage oval mirrors" are the first thing they see when they land on your page. Images of oval mirrors are a good thing too.


While this is short list, these three website design basics can go a long way to launching your site toward the fastest and most efficient start possible.

What can Adobe Flash do for website design?

Does your website design start the conversion process the second a visitor lands on one of your site's pages? It's not that you want to start "selling" from that first second – that's a sure way to alienate your visitors. That being said, your website design should be based on a conversion process that first grabs your visitors and then gently guides them through to making a purchase.


Your first priority is to make sure that your arriving visitors immediately find what they are looking for, which is information that relevant to the search term they used to find your site in the first place. Do this by placing that same search term in a place on your landing page that your visitor will see immediately.

The next phase is to create interest in your product. This is where creating high value content comes in to play. This high value content is what will separate your site from your competitors while creating interest in your product.


Creating desire is the bridge between interest and getting an order. This is where you can discuss features but emphasize benefits. Telling potential buyers about how your product will improve their lives because they will be richer, skinnier more beautiful, etc. is a great way to create the desire needed to generate a purchase.


After that bridge has been crossed it's time to ask for the order. This is known as the "call to action" where you prompt the visitor to make the purchase. Your call to action should be very clear in directing your visitor toward the purchase whether it's a "click here", "buy now by...", or some other command.


Your website should always be built around getting the sale. Follow these steps and those conversions you're missing now will start showing up on your bottom line.

 

Like virtually everything else on the internet, website design is constantly evolving, a process that incorporates the new and jettisons...

If your business’ website is experiencing high bounce rates and/or a high percentage of visitors that exit the site well before getting close to the beginning of the conversion process, there are several easy steps you can take now to improve your website design. These steps include:
 
* Landing pages that quickly assure visitors that they have come to the right place – Search engine results aren’t perfect, a fact that consumers are well aware of. If your arriving visitors are bouncing off, the most likely reason is that they have made a snap judgment that your website either doesn’t have the information they seek or that it will be too complicated to find it. This can be rectified with a page design that immediately spotlights the keywords that were used in the search to assure visitors that the landing page has relevance.
* Reduce visual stimulation – If you’re trying to convey your message to visitors who are simultaneously focused on obtaining related information, everything else is noise and distraction. Eliminating unnecessary visual stimulation will increase your visitors’ focus and allow your web pages to tell your company’s story without being diluted by needless commotion.
* Simplify your font – In the not-too-distant past a high percentage of your traffic probably viewed your site and read your content on the large screens of their desktops. That has all changed now as screens and the text on them get progressively smaller. Today’s reduced screen sizes make complex fonts less attractive and more of a nuisance.
 
Keeping visitors on your site is the first step toward improving your conversion rates. By incorporating these website design improvements, your visitors will stay longer, thus improving your chances of selling to them.      
 

Featured News

  • User Experience and SEO

    SEO

     

    Prior to Google’s implementation of the Hummingbird algorithm in the second half of 2013, search engine optimization and delivering a positive user experience with published content were distinctly different practices. Despite Google’s mission to surface high value content, its algorithms were easily manipulated with SEO tricks that didn’t necessarily deliver the information that the search engine users were looking for. At the same time, content that delivered relevant information often earned lower rankings than poorly written articles that prioritized packing in keywords over adding value.

     

    Hand it to Google, the search engine has stayed true to its commitment to deliver improved user experiences and is now far less vulnerable to manipulative practices. Its ranking algorithm now factors a variety of signals that result from positive user experiences, including:        

            

            Links from authority sites – Content that contains valuable source material, topic-relevant information or delivers a positive user experience in general can earn links from authority sites to provide additional information or to be cited as a reference. These links carry an increasing amount of weight in the ranking algorithms due to the quasi-vetting process from originating authority sites. This is a completely different ranking methodology than the one which rewarded web pages that had thousands of spammy backlinks purchased for a few pennies each.       

            Social actions – When content is posted to social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, user can elect to share that material with their friends and/or followers. Sharing or liking posted content is referred to as a social action, which is an indication that the content delivers a positive user experience, whether it’s entertaining, informative or a combination of the two. Steady and/or increasing social actions with specific web pages can then boost rankings due to the implied legitimacy of independent referrals.    

             Active and positive comment threads – Quality content draws engagement in the form of active commentary threads. Content that is generating shares and likes will also elicit commentary, with the actions reinforcing each other when being weighed by search algorithms. While these reinforcing actions are great for SEO campaigns, they are equally capable of driving higher rankings for negative content, such as news stories.    

     

    In today’s SEO campaigns, manipulating the algorithms has become increasingly difficult. This is due in part to the growing sophistication in algorithm methodology that can detect spammy links and content. It is also due to the evolution in the way people communicate and share information on the web. The paradigm change now forces SEO and content distribution campaigns to focus on the same primary goal; delivering a positive user experience. 

  • One SEO Change to Implement Now

    social-media-marketing

    As the sophistication of search algorithms continues to increase, search engines are improving their understanding of what their users are looking for with their inquiries. Prior to replacing its search methodology with the Hummingbird algorithm in 2013, search results typically showed results that had a high percentage of the same keywords included in users’ inquiries. While the pages that were returned based on keyword matches generally reflected some relevance to the search, there were also results that had nothing to do with the nature of the inquiry.

     

    Two of the primary reasons for these unrelated results were black hat techniques that were used to trick the early algorithms into granting high ratings, as well as words that were spelled the same but had different meanings, known as homonyms. An example of a homonym is the word “lead”, which can either be a noun as in the metal or a verb as in “to guide”. An inquiry such as “lead dog” could list sculptures of dogs made of the metal as well as dog teams in the Iditarod race. Refining the search to “what is a lead dog Iditarod” could still return mixed results. With the implementation of the Hummingbird algorithm, searches provided results based on the context of the inquiry, rather than trying to find pages with identical keywords.

     

    The change to contextual search, in addition to providing a higher percentage of relevant results for all users, was also influenced by the more conversational nature of inquiries from mobile device users. When voice commands are used, it’s more natural to ask a question than limiting inquiries to a few key words. As the search phrases became longer, keyword-based algorithms struggled to return listings that answered the questions that were being posed, which required follow-on searches and lead to a less than optimal user experience.

     

    For businesses that have not changed the foundation of their SEO initiatives to the new search methodology, previously high rankings are likely to start falling, if they haven’t already. The key to success in context-based search is to modify content so that it answers the questions posed verbally by mobile users. As a simple example, a searcher may pose the question “Where is a pizza place in Anytown?” Content that answers that question, which would earn a higher search listing, would include something like “Jack’s Pizza is located at 123 Main Street in Anytown.”

     

    As Google and the rest of the search engines try to deliver the best user experience possible, the focus is on eliminating listings that don’t deliver the answers sought by searchers. To that end, the listings that are presented will increasingly address the full context of inquiries with the delivery of specific answers. In this environment the SEO campaigns that are modified to answer questions, rather than match keywords to searches, will deliver website and storefront visits which will drive revenues.  

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