How Bad Website Design Can Hurt Your Business

How Bad Website Design Can Hurt Your Business

We have all heard the expression, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” With over 1 billion active websites worldwide, it has never been more important to stand out in a crowd. However, despite the vast number of websites, relatively few receive significant traffic. This is often caused by bad website design. Moreover, while a website may look great, it can still have a negative impact on your business.

If your website creates a poor user experience, your visitors are likely to not stick around very long. There are many other websites around that are useful and engaging. Therefore, your business must understand user behavior. Use these website design tactics and elements to succeed online.

1. Mobile-Friendly Design – Google reports that 80 percent are accessing the internet using a smartphone, and 57 percent are using more than one device. Your visitors expect to access your site whenever they want, wherever they want.

2. Lazy Loading – The increase in multi-device use has increased the demand for faster page loading times. Lazy loading will load the viewable area first and then download the rest of your site in chunks, increasing the overall speed.

3. Logical Navigation – A great looking website means little if users become frustrated trying to find what they are looking for. Every website needs simple, easy to understand navigation.

4. Remove Intrusive Elements – Your visitors have come to your site for a specific reason, either to buy your product or consume your content. Moreover, they expect to engage with your site on their terms. Therefore, remove all intrusive elements such as popups and auto-playing videos.

What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about how bad website design can hurt your business, or need more information, please contact us.

Branding Basics – Part 2

Branding Basics – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series on branding, we discussed defining your brand, creating your logo, and putting that logo on everything. Here, in Part 2, we’ll cover brand messaging, integrating your brand, and marketing your brand.

Brand Messaging

According to Pardot, brand messaging refers to the underlying value proposition conveyed and language used in your content. It’s what makes buyers relate to your brand by inspiring them, persuading them, motivating them, and ultimately making them want to buy your product. To determine what your current brand message is, look at your business from three perspectives:

  • The customer – Find out what matters to them. Don’t presume anything based on what you think it is, or should be. That defeats the purpose. Interview customers, survey them, pay attention to them on social media. Identify what they value most in terms of your industry and offering, and pay attention to key ideas you hear repeatedly from them.
  • The company – Find out what about your product or service makes it unique. Ask people inside your organization what they think is unique about your product, the manufacturing process, the sales process, etc. What is the existing company culture, and does it reflect positively? If not, you’ll need to change it, but that’s another subject.
  • The marketplace – Find out how your competitors position themselves in the marketplace. Look at their tag lines. Read the “about us” page on their website. Follow them on social media. You want to make sure your own position in the marketplace is distinct.

Once you’ve looked at your business from these three perspectives, make any adjustments you deem necessary. Then write down the key messages you wish to communicate about your brand, create a “voice” for your company that reflects the brand image you wish to convey, and apply that voice to all written communication and incorporate it into all visual imagery you use. For example, if your brand is friendly, be informal and conversational. If your brand is more hi-brow, be more formal, etc.

Integrating Your Brand

Now that you’ve developed your brand message, make sure it permeates every aspect of your business from the way employees answer the phones, to how your salespeople dress, to everything you do online. In short, make your brand part of the company culture.

Marketing Your Brand

When it comes to marketing your brand, consistency is key. Just as it’s important that your brand message become part of the company culture, it must also be the foundation of all your marketing materials. This doesn’t just include static materials like sales letters and brochures; it also includes blog posts, web articles, social media content, etc.

In Conclusion

Remember, branding is what separates you from your competitors and helps consumers remember you and your products. Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface on the subject. There is much more you can learn. We encourage you to explore additional sources of information on branding. Meanwhile, we invite you to contact us online for help with your digital design and development needs.

Branding Basics – Part 1

Branding Basics – Part 1

Before we get into branding basics, let’s define “branding” in the context of this discussion:

Branding is what differentiates you and your offering from that of your competitors.

With that definition in mind, let’s get into some specific branding ideas to get you started. Here, in Part 1 of Branding Basics, we’ll cover 3 ideas to help you get started on your brand marketing journey:

1. Begin by defining your brand.

This will be an exercise in self-discovery for your business. To effectively define your brand, you must, at a minimum, answer the following questions:

  • What is your company’s mission?
  • What are the features of your products or services?
  • What benefits do your products or services deliver?
  • What do your existing customers think of your company?
  • What do your prospects think of your company?
  • What qualities do you want people to associate with your company?
  • What are the needs, habits and desires of your buyer personas?

Once you’ve defined your brand, it’s time to market it.

2. Create a great logo.

A great logo is an absolute must if you wish to differentiate your business from the competition. And, because you want your logo to be the first thing people remember about your business, make it permanent, at least in essence. For example, since 1977 (one year after the company began), Apple’s logo has been a graphical representation of an apple with a bite taken out of it. It has changed a few times over the years in terms of color, etc., but the essence has not. It’s still an apple with a bite taken out of it.

When creating a logo, consult a professional logo designer for help. Even the marketing genius, Steve Jobs, recognized that Apple’s original logo, which he and Ronald Wayne designed themselves in 1976, was not what it should have been. So they commissioned designer Rob Janoff to design a new logo. The rest is marketing history.

3. Put your logo on everything.

The whole point of a logo is to enable people to immediately think of your company when they see your logo. Of course, this will take some time, but that’s what branding is all about – investing the time and other resources in making your brand immediately recognizable. When you see the Coke logo, you think of the Coca Cola brand; and, when you think of the Coca Cola brand, the Coke logo appears in your mind. That’s the goal of your logo in relation to your overall branding strategy. The only way to achieve that goal is through repetition.

Stay tuned to our blog for Part 2 of our Branding Basics series. Meanwhile, we invite you to contact us online for help with your digital design and development needs.

2017 Email Marketing

2017 Email Marketing

You know that consistency is an important part of successful email marketing. Every year, you promise this will be the year you create (and stick to) an email marketing plan. And every year, something comes up and your plan falls by the wayside.

Stay focused, motivated, and accountable in what you do best. We make it simple to help you plan a whole year’s worth of email marketing and implement it for you.

Set yourself up for success in 2017 with a simple email marketing plan you can stick to.

Set it, and forget it!

Developing Effective Websites for Sales

Developing Effective Websites for Sales

Inbound marketing is the most effective form of online sales, quickly replacing static advertising. The selling website (or landing page) is only the end point in your online sales system.

  • Your website needs to be interactive and attractive.
  • It should be customer friendly, welcoming and easy to navigate.
  • It should be optimized for phones and mobile media.
  • It needs to be designed to act like a good salesperson, anticipating objections, answering objections and moving toward a series of closings in the form of choice points, ending with a final closing.
  • The way of finishing a sale (order blank and method of payment) should always be conveniently available.

You can turn your business website into your best sales person. Business websites that sell are like selling traps. They are designed in the form of a “sales funnel.”

First of all, development of the effective business website can not stand alone. The website must be part of a selling system that starts with the slow building of credibility and reputation. Participation in online business starts with becoming part of the online business community.

Start by looking for places to post blogs or comments that establish your authority and your business credentials. Join relevant business forums and discussion groups. Open a blog on a blog site. This will have potential customers looking for you and increase your rank on the search engines, so that your website will be easier to find. Your blogs should be informative and interesting. They should not be pushy or sales oriented, although you will want to link each blog or article to your landing page.

The power of inbound marketing is the incremental building of your reputation along with the search engine effectiveness (SEO) of your website, the ease with which customers can find your landing page.

Designs By Dave O. provides a full range of services aimed at building an online business presence from concept to reality. Please contact us to learn more.

Imaginative Methods to Build Your Business Brand

Imaginative Methods to Build Your Business Brand

In today’s world, it is more important than ever to make sure your company’s name and brand are burned into people’s consciousness. The internet has made it imperative that your brand is immediately recognizable by likely consumers, and accurately linked to a particular product or service. Therefore, brand awareness is a prime objective of a large portion of advertising and marketing.

Many, when thinking of branding, will likely look towards the most obvious. These are things like a domain name, logo design, or even their website layout. However, one should not neglect different and more creative customer interaction points.

1. Unique Login or Sign-up – Use your login or sign-up pages as a creative space to express your brand. Consider how a company that uses a dinosaur motif to jazz up their website. Scroll over their “login” button and the word changes to “RAWRR!”. It is silly, but also memorable, which is extremely important for an online form builder.

2. Show Off Your Customer Service. – Many companies believe their customer service as one of their best attributes. Nonetheless, customer service may not be an intricate aspect of brand awareness. The online retailer Zappos allows customers to actually wear shoes for a year with a full money back guarantee. However, to drive their customer satisfaction message home, they place their 24/7 customer service hotline at the top of every page.

3. Begin with Transparency – Consider the website of the serial entrepreneur, David Oralevich. Rather than hiding behind a brand image or logo, David places himself front and center within his website design. Many businesses keep images of proprietors or staff to a small profile photo on an about page or not at all. Pat’s approach is more personal and authentic.

If you would like to talk about imaginative methods to build your business brand, or need more information, please contact us.

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