Website Design – Part-1 of 3

Website Design – First Impressions

Our three part Blog series will help you make the right first impression with great website design.

One of the meanings for the word impression is a “sensation”. Impressions have strong effect on our psyche, as they produce feelings on a sub-conscious and conscious level. Researchers from NYU found that we make eleven major decisions about one another within the first seven seconds of meeting. Our minds are quick to critique and judge whether we want to stay in this interaction or if we need an immediate exit strategy.

Part 1: How alluring is your homepage?

Your homepage has seven seconds to make either a positive or negative effect on your potential client. According to a recent study, 70% of people go online first to help them locate a business. Are you making the right impression?

Identify the goal of your website. Consumers want to know what sets you apart from your competitors. It is a good idea to convey your company’s mission statement and your brand’s philosophy. Make sure website design matches you company’s overall brand message.

Set the tone and image for your site. Think of your site as putting on clothes in the morning. Is your site saying shorts and flip-flops when a shirt and tie would make a better impression?

Add teasers to your homepage. Adding articles to keep your users informed is very important in order to keep users coming back to your website. Post updated related articles only displaying a portion for the viewer to read. If they more they can click “read more.”

Check back next Wednesday as we share Part 2 of our series, “First Impressions are Strong: Make Yours Rock”.

PR & SEO – A Happy Marriage

PR & SEO – A Happy Marriage

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PR & SEO – A Happy Marriage

First and foremost, PR has changed. Many business owners have a misconception that Public Relations (PR) is only a strategy for large companies, who can afford to spend big money to manage their brand. However, in reality, almost every kind of business needs a PR strategy. Today most of us do online research before we make a purchase. Search engines have leveled the playing field for small and medium size businesses to compete with large companies on a local level. Suddenly small businesses are visible on search engines and engaging with large audiences via their social media sites. The way your brand is represented on-line is modern day PR.

Effective PR strategies have these three components:

1) Brand Alliance – Your online presence represents your business in a way that matches your company’s mission and values.

2) Happy Customer Social Engagement: People are satisfied with their experience with your company and are sharing that message. Are you actively monitoring your social media sites to see how your customers really feel about your brand? This is called Online Reputation Management (ORM).

3) And perhaps most importantly, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. Can consumers find you when they search online? If they can’t find you, they WILL find your competition! According to a poll by MarketShareHitsLink.com, over 61% of people use the Internet to research products before their purchase, and 75% of them won’t scroll past the first page of search results.1

So how does a PR campaign help your SEO efforts? Here are 4 reasons PR & SEO have a happy marriage:

1) Press Releases – Share your press release with a wire service and on your social media sites. This kind of sharing will increase traffic to your website and boost your site’s search engine ranking.

2) Blogging and Guest Blogging – Blogs are important because they allow you to share your expertise and become a trusted source of information and because they will help your SEO efforts. It is important to write a keyword-targeted blog on a frequent basis. If you are not a good writer, hire a company like Playbook who can take your ideas and formulate them in a meaningful way. We will also help you develop relationships with other bloggers and key social influencers, which give you the ability to share and expand voice.

3) Social Media Content – An effective social media strategy that produces quality content will help your SEO efforts.

4) Add a Press Section to Your Website – Keep a section on your site that you keep updating with all your press links, and everywhere you have been featured. These links will increase your SEO efforts. Google alert will help you keep track of all your press.

With over 131 billion searches per month on the web2, it is vital you get your company seen on-line. PR & SEO are cost-effective, long-term strategy to increase your visibility online and in the marketplace.

1 Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012
2 Comscore, January 2010

Components of Great Website Design

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Components of Great Website Design

Anyone over the age of 30 can remember picking up a big yellow telephone book and leafing through the pages to find a business. In fact, the Yellow Pages were the only way many businesses advertised at all. The phonebook had an amazing 100-year run, but now it’s over. The fact of the matter is that in 2014, we laugh at the prospect of picking up a phone book to find what we need. Today, the majority of people seek out new products and services through the Internet, and more than 65% do so on mobile devices. Every age demographic is online and using Bing, Yahoo or Google to find what they need. It’s important for a business’ website to be attention grabbing, easy to maneuver, and visually memorable. Website design is an art. Designers create the web art to attract people and ensure their brand is remembered. When it comes to website design, here are a few things to remember:

 Aesthetic Design

People look at the design first. Colors are important when it comes to the design. Specific colors give off different ‘vibes’ to consumers. For example, brighter colors tend to give potential consumers a feeling of excitement while darker colors have a relaxing effect. Designers chose color schemes depending on how they want their potential consumers to respond.

 Attention to Detail

High contrasts between the background and page color will draw the consumer and make the text more readable. The colors a consumer sees first affect the emotions they feel and where their attention should be. Paying attention to even the smallest details on your website could make or break your consumers’ online experience.

 Content is King

Content is obviously incredibly important when people dive beyond the visuals of the website. It needs to be tight and to the point. People have no patience for long-winded paragraphs. The website should highlight the most important messages to assist the needs of your consumer. Think, if you were them, what would you want to know? Also, using search engine optimization techniques (SEO) helps ensure your content is reaching the greatest number people that are interested in your product or service. Everybody is on the go so make sure your site is reaching these people in a beautiful and effective way.

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