Tips for a Perfect Website Design

One of the most important things that you need to take into account when it comes to Internet marketing is to make sure that you have a great website design. A great web design will allow you to make the whole experience a lot more appealing for your potential visitors, something that leads to the success of your Internet marketing campaign.

The way your website looks is crucial in order to grab the attention of your customers. In fact, people always want to get access to a website that brings an exquisite, new visual experience, instead of visiting the same old sites, and that is the main reason why you should always try to prepare your website in such a way so that you provide exactly what your visitors are asking.

Things such as; the layout of your site, images, fonts, the colors that are used in the website design and if they related to your field of work for example are essential if you want to get the most from your web design.

In order to create the best web design for a user friendly and efficient experience, we have gathered a few things that are essential to know when it comes to developing a great website. The main role of your website design when is that it needs to be appealing enough in order to keep people on the page for a long time, enough so that users can see what they need to see easily, and be able to quickly navigate the site and find what they are looking for.

Strategic Coloring

One of the first things that people see with when they visit your site is the color theme that you are using. Most web designers tend to avoid giving too much importance to this particular thing, although it’s a very important detail. You need to avoid going with a particular and vibrant color palette, instead try to go with neutral color tones as this makes the site appear more professional and will be easier to read.

Your website should provide an image of strong professionalism and ethic, so you do need to make sure that the website design has a modern, clean appearance, something that can only be received through a neutral palette.

Of course, you do have the opportunity to customize the color palette according to your needs, but start with a neutral one and add more colors down the road if you want to mix things up or your logo or brand colors change.

Make sure that the color palette seamlessly combines with your other marketing materials like your social media pages, flyers, business cards, banners etc., as you need to include everything in your branding efforts.

Remove Clutter

In order for the site to be fully efficient, you need to make sure that you remove as much clutter as possible. Having too much content or too many images and flashy banners can lead to an unpleasing website design that will just drive people away from the site rather than keep them on the site for longer. People want to see a clean website design and you should aim to provide them with that.

Try to remove all content that’s not important, and place a call to action in the upper side of your website, in order to make sure that any visitor will see it immediately without scrolling. The call to action needs to be clear and above the fold if you want the best results.

Above the fold means to have your call to action, or opt in form on the top of the site so that you shouldn’t have to scroll down to see it.

If you want to fully get rid of the clutter, you might want to add fewer links and other options in the footer and header, because this way you can keep everything concise and easy to read. On top of that, try to keep your content as short as possible, because then the readers will be able to focus on the content and be more likely to continue reading and check out other pages on your site. If there’s too much content, or it’s too bulky, hard to read or just not relevant then your visitors will leave.

Keep it Light

It’s important to try and leave your visitors some breathing room. You don’t want to have dozens of paragraphs right after the other, because this just makes the page feel crowded and, as such, you may have a bad bounce rate. Instead, try to bring some space between the content as well as the other features on the site. A great way to do this is to add subheadings, lists, bullet points, quotes and images.

Place images strategically and make sure that your do your best to achieve a layout that is easy to browse yet which still provides the viewer with a great, appealing experience. In the world of web design, less is more, so keep that in mind when you create your website.

Simple, Intuitive Navigation

Combining your layout with a great way to navigate the site is essential. Usually, most sites have menus located on a bar in the upper part of the site for navigation ease. However, when it comes to a stellar website design that makes your landing page appealing to potential customers, you need to make sure that the navigation is innovative, yet still brings quick access to all of the information on the site.

Remember that ease of navigation is better than having a lot of content on the site. Sure, some fun effects do work, but people will appreciate if your pages load faster, so try to optimize the landing page in order to get a faster loading time, as this is one of the most important things when it comes to making a great site design for your Internet marketing strategy. A slow site will increase your bounce rate and, in turn, hurt your rankings in the search engines.

Polish your Logo and Place it on the Homepage

Logos are crucial for any brand as they provide users with a way to remember the company in a visual way. Since visuals help viewers and prospects remember a company, you need to place a lot of emphasis on the creation of a professional logo that defines your company and its field of work, and make sure it’s easy to remember.

This is more challenging than you might expect, because a logo needs to establish a connection with the users, it needs to be unique and instill confidence, something that can be quite hard to do at first. It’s recommended to opt for a professional logo designer, as they will bring you some great designs that will make your brand appealing to the masses, something that’s indeed essential!

Professional Photos

If you want your Internet marketing strategy to be effective, your website design needs to integrate unique images. This is a must, because you can’t create a good impression with images stolen from other sites. Instead, hire a professional photographer that will provide you with a great set of shots that are created specifically for your company, and this way you will stand out.

Having HD quality images is essential; because these will always draw the eye and help you instill the necessary emotion in the hearts of your users. This is very important, because otherwise you can’t connect with your clients efficiently. Just like the old saying goes, an image is worth a thousand words, so try to take full advantage of that!

Don’t be afraid to use comedic images, everyone loves to laugh and not take things too seriously at times… don’t you?

Fonts

Believe it or not, fonts are very important in the website design process, and they do play a major role in the way your Internet marketing plan performs. You want a website design that appeals to people, and fonts can help you gain the attention. But with so many fonts that are inclined towards art rather than readability, it can be very hard to find out the best ones that will work for your brand.

Most importantly, make sure to find some that are very easy to read, yet which make the whole website design very stylish.

Another important factor when it comes to fonts is the font size. Of course, the call to action needs to be large and easy to see, but all other content should also be easy to read as well.

Some fonts might read well in one browser and poorly in another, not to mention that the resolution and display size also play a major role here. Try to find a font that scales well at high and low resolutions on platforms such as mobile devices. Around 15 to 20 words on a single line is more than enough if you have a design that has a fixed width..

Design Each Page with a Landing Page Idea in Mind

Usually, a lot of attention goes to the landing page, and that’s to be expected considering that it’s the first page a person will see on the site. A good web design needs to consider the other pages as well. As such, creating each of the pages with a landing page design in mind will allow the visitors to get a much better and more unified experience.

Responsive Design

With so many device types nowadays, it can be hard to make sure that your site will look the same on all of them. This is where responsive website design comes into play, as through it, you can create a site that will scale to the resolution and provide the same experience not matter where the users are coming from.

The better the user experience you provide, the more time people will spend on the site which leads to higher conversion rates. Integrating responsive website design is essential.

Another important factor you need to take into account is that you should try to avoid integrating Flash, as this will usually make the page harder to load and sometimes unresponsive. Instead, try to implement HTML5, as it provides a similar experience, not to mention that it brings you even better web support, which is essential nowadays. The best part here is that it doesn’t require any plugins, as it’s fully integrated in any browser in a native manner.

Place Buttons

Although the interface might look nice without them, placing buttons will bring you that ‘extra touch’ that is highly sought after nowadays. Buttons enrich the website design and make it more appealing and fun for the viewers.

A common place to have buttons is on a slider image or at the end of your content in the form of a call to action. You can say things like ‘ Click to Learn More’ or ‘Take me There’ or ‘Subscribe for More Info’ on your buttons.

Optimize Everything

From images to content and layout, everything needs to be optimized in order to provide the best look and user experience. It’s important to make the experience personal, and as such you need to come up with high-resolution images, compelling content and a wonderful layout that will entice people to visit the site more and more often.

Even by replacing a simple call to action or changing a shade of color, you will be able to gain stunning results, so it’s recommended to optimize and tweak as often as possible. Also, don’t forget to test the website design on multiple devices, in order to see that everything works properly.

These are the most important steps that you need to take when you create or optimize your website design. Only with a great layout, compelling content, a great color palette as well as fast loading time will you be able to have great results from your Internet marketing strategy so don’t hesitate to integrate these tips into your website design process.

Experimentation is key here, as you always have to study the website design and see which things work and which don’t! Use the site analytics to perfect your design and implement the tips above in order to create an appealing, unique and engaging website that will aid you in your overall Internet marketing plan of success and take your business to the next level!

Top Ways to Integrate Offline Marketing with Your Online Marketing Strategy

It’s time to take your online marketing cleverness and apply it to your offline marketing strategies. At such a time that you would ever need to discuss SEO, at most times it centers on strategies for your marketing and such recommendations as the inclusion of your keywords, the possible fixing of your title page, assessing your citations, and looking over your reviews.

These are the things that push for the appearance of your website at higher rankings than one would anticipate. The thing is, the offline aspect of things is not quite touched upon or thought about when it comes to the grand scheme of things.

One of the most vital things you have to take into consideration is the use of reviews. Reviews make up such a large portion of SEO that, without them, your website’s ranking would crumble.

Get Reviews with QR Codes

A way to help generate reviews is by use of a QR Code. QR Codes are the wave of the future. You can scan the code with your mobile device and it takes you directly to that product’s website, where you can review the product. If you made it so that people could use QR Codes and be directed to a review page, you are allowing your prospects to see the reviews of others and it could push more traffic to your website.

A whopping 88% of potential customers use reviews sent in by other customers to decide whether or not to purchase their item (or trust the info found on that website).

It would also be a benefit to add a QR Code for your website to a reviewing website, such as Yelp, YP, or Yahoo!, and through this, you’d be able to get more customer product reviews for your product or your website’s information. QR Codes truly are a good thing to use, but make sure that, whatever reviews were left with you through the use of it, could be seen on your website.

If you were to use Google+, you would only show as having reviews and ratings from that site specifically. You would not get information from other sites if you had your website’s QR Code on other sites.

Basically, you really have to make your business desirable, especially the act of making people want to review your website/product/service, which translates to having to make it easy for them to do so.

If you are going to use a QR Code, then make sure that whatever link you combine with the QR Code, the link leads directly to the review page. Be sure to lay it all right out for your customer. Have easy-to-follow instructions, and if you get raving reviews, lead your potential customers right to the raving reviews, and they may be more inclined to buy your product and leave a positive review themselves.

Regarding receipts…you have the freedom of will to make changes to your receipts, so that, for example, everyone who gets a receipt has a QR Code right on it so that they can go to the review site and leave positive reviews.

Online and Offline Strategies Together Are Unbeatable

In all, your online strategies can be coupled with your offline strategies not only as a form of initiative, but as a very smart business plan to help boost your website’s popularity.

Offline businesses can take pages out of the book of online businesses and benefit from that quite well.

You should now be questioning this: How do you blend them together for the best result?

Answer this question by asking yourself other questions. What do you want to get out of this? What approach would work best for your website? These are some goals that you can strive to:

  • Bringing even more traffic to your website
  • Bringing a high level of awareness to your brand and website
  • Bringing more strength to your brand and website
  • Going the extra mile and making a special “opt-in” list for your email marketing campaign
  • Bolstering your popularity, you’re positioning, and your trust-worthiness
  • Possibly benefitting from would-be partners who’d approach you and offer you a partnership

These are just a few goals you can aspire to. There are many more that you can come up with, just make sure you create feasible goals with a timeline. If you’re setting your goals too high, you might be disappointed because it wasn’t possible to achieve them in the first place. Set small goals first, and then once you accomplish them, you can start to aim higher and higher as time goes by.

You also have many methods of promoting your product/website through offline advertising. You can use some of the following:

  • Television
  • Radio
  • Street signs
  • The newspaper
  • Press releases
  • Flyers
  • Mail outs
  • Business cards

Again, these are just some of them. If you were looking to push/promote your product/website online, you’d have options. You could easily utilize:

  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Article marketing campaigns
  • Social networks
  • PPC (pay-per-click) advertisements
  • Unique banner advertisements and text-based advertisements

There is a way to blend both online and offline methods together, and you may agree even more with this, as opposed to the singular methods. You could go ahead and fashion together some different styles of ads, then do one of the following with it:

  • A radio or printed ad
  • PPC (pay-per-click) advertisement
  • Exposing your product via social media

At this point, you will want to create and launch your campaigns of ads to these sources. However, there are 3 types of launches you would need to consider in order to make your launch more of a success. The best thing to do would be to choose 1 of the 3 types of launches that would complement your product the best:

  1. Simultaneously

A simultaneous launch is where you basically throw all of your campaign ads out on the Internet and offline at the same time, and hope they all do reasonably well. This is the most common way to launch an ad campaign, and many people elect for this way because it is considered to be a whole lot easier.

  1. Complimentary

A lesser-used, but still popular, method of promoting your campaign ads where you launch them in such a way that they support each other and each ad draws popularity and success from another, and it continues in a cyclical motion, which brings all of your ads to successful heights.

  1. Consistently

They may say slow and steady wins the race, but chances are it was someone who was fast and furious who said it. Essentially, push your audience to embrace your ad campaign by promoting ad after ad after ad after ad and have a vast amount of copies of your ads around the Internet and offline so that there is a very high chance that you will have people reading your ads and saying “Hmm…maybe I should check out more on that product!”

If you are concerned about how you are going to keep an eye on everyone who is reading your ads and visiting your website, then you need not fear any longer! You can simply check the URL and use an Analytic tool, such as Google Analytics, to investigate just how many people have paid a visit to your website via the URL. If the number is very high, then it only makes sense that a very large amount of people have been reading your ad and have decided to pay your website a visit via that link or via the advertisements themselves.

Keep Track of Ad Conversions

It is always an absolute necessity to keep track of all of the people visiting your website and purchasing your product, as having all the numbers with you can help you in the future, in case your product’s popularity started to ever decline (knock on wood it doesn’t). You’d have all the numbers there to tell when the visitors started to decrease. At that point, you can go from there.

When managing your online marketing, always take a look at where your audience spends the most of their time, and try to slip your advertising campaigns into that niche.

If you are searching for more (you think online marketing just does not branch out into enough venues for your product), then a bit of offline marketing on the side would not go astray. Who knows? Maybe your offline marketing would yield even more success than your online marketing strategies.

More Benefits to Offline Marketing Strategies

Another benefit to online marketing is that you’ll quickly notice that it is much cheaper to do than offline marketing, as it would eliminate the costs of things such as hiring people, making the advertisements and distributing them, etc.

Yet, in the same breath, offline marketing can see a great benefit as using the human psyche to shed your product’s influence off onto the potential customer. Humans are, by nature, creatures of feeling. If they cannot roll it around in their hands and feel its textures and its contours, then it’s less of a reality for them.

If you were to use direct mail even to push your product onto people, they may be more inclined to make a purchase or even just visit your website if they have the advertisement right in their hand while doing so.

Know Your Target Market

If your product advertisement is directed at seniors or middle-aged people, here is a fantastic thought: Post it in the newspaper. Newspapers were mentioned above, but let’s dig deeper into it. If your product sees senior citizens or middle-aged men and women as its target demographic, then consider that the majority of seniors still read the newspaper. Most of them don’t even know what Facebook is. The majority of them don’t even know that they CAN get their news online (and the ones that do stubbornly refuse to, and rightly so).

So, use the newspapers to your advantage. In that situation, you would likely have to set up a less computer-friendly method of getting these senior citizens/middle-aged people to buy your product, but the newspaper is read by so many older people, and you can tap into that market with your advertisement through the newspaper. Sometimes yesterday’s news is the best news you’ll ever hear.

Now…if you were to issue a postcard, or a brochure, you would have to include your website on it. If you do not, then you may have problems bringing more traffic to your website, and by extension, your product.

The Word of Mouth Method

One of the fastest ways to blend your offline and online marketing is to get people talking about it, both online and offline. Regarding offline marketing, your best and fastest option would be to advertise your website and product in a place where many people gather, such as a café, or a park. If enough people saw your advertisement, and they visited your website or bought your product, they might start talking about your website, ergo, a chain reaction begins socially.

Saving the best for last with online marketing…your best bet is to advertise in close proximity to social media sites, as if your product and/or website become very popular, then you will have people talking up a storm about it. Who’s to say you couldn’t do both?

If you started drawing traffic from both the online and the offline method of this, then you would be able to build a massive chain of social media, both online and offline, and soon…like any chain reaction, everyone who’s seen or used your product/website will find a way to talk about them amongst each other!

Be a Tease

The last thing we will discuss here is teaser advertisements. Don’t tell people all of what your product or website entails. “Tease” people. Get them interested, but don’t unleash spoilers upon them and watch them walk away with all they need to know. If you’re having trouble conceptualizing it in your head…think of it as you giving everyone a thimble’s worth of liquid information, as opposed to a soupspoon’s worth.

Now you know a lot about offline marketing, and how you can integrate it with your online marketing strategies. Your online and offline marketing efforts are both equally important, both with their ups and downs as we’ve listed…but at the end of the day, both should be used just as much as the other, and through that, you will soon see an inordinate amount of success for your business.

A Few Great Ways That You Can Better Enhance Your Marketing Using Social Media

The first thing that may come to mind, in the event that you do not know what social media marketing is, a good example would be this: If you were going to use Facebook, or Twitter, or another social media website as a way of marketing your product, then this would be called social media marketing.

Top Ways of Advertising with Social Media

One of the advantages to social media marketing is that social media websites receive ample amounts of traffic every day and night, which can be extremely beneficial to you and your business if you decided to market your product via one of these websites.

Now…social media does not refer to just websites like Facebook…it can refer to anything that the public absorbs and considers a form of multimedia: Music, television, radio, blogs, even street signs can be a form of social media marketing, and many of them can be seen as great ways to enhance your product through advertisement in these venues.

Your Followers

Another major point that you can count as a benefit is, if you promote your product through social media marketing, you also stand to gain a following of people who really like your product and want to see more of it and your other products and services. But the icing on the cake, is that your ‘followers’ will most likely use social media websites such as Facebook to spread the word about your product, therefore; you can get free marketing through word-of-mouth.

However, one of the things you have to do the legwork in is keeping your followers happy and excited. It’s much like being the owner of a theme park. If you don’t keep your customers happy with your rides and concession stands, they’ll all leave your park and it’ll be deserted.

It’s the same with social media marketing. If you don’t keep your followers happy and thoroughly engaged in your product, they will abandon your business, and you’ll be left high and dry. Social media can be fickle, but not if you know how to bend, twist, and otherwise conform it to your wishes and desires regarding your product.

Other Aspects of Social Media

Social media is a very unique thing between the sites that function as social media sites. They all have different layouts, different styles of presenting social media to the public, and even different audiences that they seek to cater to.

When it comes to social networks, which are the biggest hubs of social media out there, you would want to go to one of these social networking sites because they are one of the fastest ways to get your product or service across to the public. If you have a strategy built for your products and services, you’d do best to head on over to a social networking site that has the audience, the attraction, and the style that conforms best to your products and services.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Social Network to Join and Advertise Your Business

When it comes to advertising your business and products on a social networking website, there are some factors that you do need to consider:

Your Time

If you’re not the kind of person that can spend hours upon hours on a social network (leave that to the teenagers of today’s society), then how can you possibly hope to advertise your product? Well, if you have the funds, consider hiring someone to manage your social networks, and be sure to keep up on what they are doing. However, if you do not have the funding to hire a person, then try to set aside the time to work with your social media accounts (at least 1 or 2 hours a day per social network you have joined).

The Resources at Your Disposal

When it comes to what resources you have access to, you have to consider a couple of things. What do you have in way of staffing is important to consider, as if you have a staff, their skills will need to be applied to all the correct areas.

If you are working with a visual social network that uses images as the majority of their service, then you need a staff that has knowledge about what images to use, when to use them, and how best to apply them. If you are on a more text-based social network (Facebook being one prime example), you will need to bring on workers who are well versed in the ways of using such social networks.

Considering Your Audience

When you are deciding which social networking sites to join to advertise your product, you need to look at the audience you are trying to draw for your business. Is this audience on the social networks you are looking to join up with? If not, then maybe that’s not the social network you should be joining.

Always be sure to join the social networks that have the audience that you are looking to promote your product or service on.

Your Writing Voice and Your Writing Style on Social Media

When people are reading information on the Internet, they are reading the “writing voice” of the author of whatever they are reading. When you are displaying your content on social networks to help promote your product, you should assess the situation and develop a “voice” for your style of writing.

The voice must be consistent, and the voice must be present through all of your writings. Your voice comes out in the choice of your wording, your sentence structure, and your expression, and it can’t really be helped, but make sure all of the aforementioned aspects of your writing voice remain consistent throughout your time spent on social media and social networks. At the end of the day, your writing voice dictates how much your readers will hang on to your every word like a lifeline.

Images in Social Media

When you are building your clientele base on social media for your business, one thing that is very, VERY important is the idea of imagery.

Images are a crucial part of your social media advertising. People are not just creatures of emotion, but as a rule, people learn best and absorb the most by SEEING what they are being told.

If you provide attractive images of your product or service, people would be much more easily magnetized to your product than if you simply told them through text. You should always be sure to use eye-catching images.

If you are advertising on, say, Facebook…and you post a VERY attractive and eye-appealing image of your product that catches people’s interests, then they may “Share” your image with their friends and family, thereby increasing your customer base with little effort from you.

A study has been done on Facebook users who would sooner post images than text, and it shows that people were more likely to “Like” or “Share” an image of, say, a cow munching on grass, as opposed to “Liking” or “Sharing” a post saying “The cow is munching on grass happily.”

So, consider boosting your popularity on social media by combining all of your text-based information with a plethora of imagery.

Frequency of Posting on Social Media

When you have all of your content prepared and you have enough great images that catch the reader’s eye to share with your social media followers. But how often should you actually post on your social media sites?

In all honesty, there is no definitive answer to this question, unless you included a bunch of factors:

  • What business are you trying to promote?
  • If you’re promoting fireplaces, you might want to post often closer to winter. If you’re promoting candles, you might want to keep your posting to a decent minimum.
  • Who are you drawing the attention of with your product? Post at a time that this specific audience would be viewing that social network more than usual.

Are any updates to your posts truly top-notch quality? If you do a very simple update that doesn’t appeal to people very much, such as “This is what I am selling you” Vs. “This is what I am selling you NOW”. Can you see the difference, which one appeals more to you?

But if you stated, “This is what I am selling you” Vs. “My product has undergone a sweeping change! Allow me to tell you just how much my product has changed!” then that would be far more pleasing to the mind, and you would have a much better chance of catching people’s eyes with your new content.

One last thing about frequency you should consider is this: If you come to notice that people are really liking your content and your posts and such, you can generally post more about your products and services than you typically would, as people wouldn’t entirely mind if they really liked your concepts. Generally, the big, major social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook, tend to have their primetime in the afternoons.

There are certain social analytics tools like facebook insights that can let you know when your audience reach is at it’s peak and let you know what times your audience likes or engages with your posts or pages.

Setting up a System that can help you to stay on Top of Everything

With there being SO much about social media marketing that may confuse you or may become quite messy and disorganized, you’d probably want an efficient way of keeping everything organized and in the proper order. A tool such as Buffer would be a good starting point; as such tools are very good at keeping your content all together.

If you have multiple social sites to manage and are tired of logging in and out of each one in order to post a daily update, you should really think about getting a program like HootSuite. It will help you organize your social media accounts and even allows you to schedule your updates for whatever time you choose.

We’ve Talked About Online Strategies…but what About the Offline Aspect of Social Media Marketing?

You were probably concerned for a bit that the offline side of social media marketing wasn’t going to be talked about, but you have no reason to fret.

While online social media marketing is often the way everyone goes nowadays…some offline techniques still work quite well in order to help promote your social media sites.

When you think about it…people still watch television and listen to the radio. People even still read the newspaper (Shocking, right?). People still glance at giant billboards on the side of the highway as they’re driving through 4 lanes of traffic. You see the pattern, right?

There are PLENTY of places you can advertise your product or services offline as well as promote your social media pages. In fact, the more places you can place your social media badges, icons and images, the better.

You should promote your social media sites everywhere you can, online and offline. Here are a few places to promote your links and icons.

  • Email signatures
  • Business cards
  • Print marketing materials, flyers, newspaper ads
  • Apparel, hats, shirts
  • Pens, notepads, stickers, buttons
  • Tv and radio

Be a Social Media Star

You have made it to the end! Congratulations! Yes, that was a lot of information to take in, but rest assured, it will be of great benefit to you in the future if you can apply the knowledge in the ways mentioned.

One of the things you should know, in closing, is that all of this information brings you one (or even two) steps closer to understanding and being able to implement social media marketing into your offline and online career, and the fact that both can intertwine with each other. It may cost to do social media marketing offline, but if you are willing and able to do both…you will be truly successful if, again, you apply the above methods in the correct ways and truly try to help your clients and not just close a sale.