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Remember the last time you checked out a website, but its design was too atrocious that you immediately had to get out?
As a business owner, when a user arrives at your website, you want their visit to last a lot longer than just a few seconds. Your goal is to convert visitors into leads.
Modern web designs have been enriched by new tools and innovative technologies on a daily basis. This also has raised the bar for quality web design.
A website with an attractive design is no longer enough. Today’s users also want a friendly, hassle-free experience.
Thus, it’s not an exaggeration to state that modern web designs can make or break your conversion rates.
Here are 4 bad web designs you should avoid at all costs.
Modern Web Designs That Kill Your Conversions
Flash is ancient. Unfortunately, many websites are still developed with Flash.
Neither users nor search engines are a fan of Flash. One of the most common reasons is the incredibly slow loading time. Did you know that 79% of web shoppers will abandon any website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load?
The only time you want to use Flash is frankly, never.
If a user is not willing to wait 3 seconds for a normal website to load, more likely than not, he isn’t going to spend his precious time waiting on a Flash site.
2. Web Copy
It’s normal to want your website to look beautiful. However, by focusing too much on design, many people tend to overlook the importance of web copy.
In fact, modern web designs and web copy should complement each other. They should aim to attract, engage, and convey meaningful messages to the customers.
Don’t forget to include a call to action (CTA). Effective copywriting is critical in helping you come up with CTAs that a visitor can’t help but click.
3. No Mobile Site Experience
The rise of mobile consumption shows no sign of stopping. According to a report by Zenith, a media buying agency, 75% of Internet use will be from mobile devices in 2017.
Mobile-friendly sites are both loved by users and search engines. Users are more likely to buy products from mobile-friendly websites. In contrast, they will not recommend a business with a badly designed mobile site.
If your website is not optimized for mobile experience, it’s time to consider this a priority. Otherwise, you’ll be sending customers to your competitors.
4. Poor Navigation
Your website structure should resemble one of a tree. Smaller pages should be nested inside main, most important pages.
A well-structure site makes it easy and pleasant for users to navigate. It’s undoubtedly frustrating if it takes your users 10 different clicks to find out about your contact information.
Don’t just focus on making your website look good. No matter how sleek the design is, it simply isn’t enough to compensate for poor navigation.
Looking for more insider’s tips on modern web designs? Want to gain insights on how to improve your business online presence? Contact us today.Read More
With 2017 still fresh underway, you can’t help but wonder:
What website design trends are we going to see this year?
And how can you not wonder?
Technology and the way people interact with it is constantly changing.
Structure, layout, colors, UI, typography … everything seems to change. One moment we’re using Comic Sans and the next we’re told that Comic Sans is a no-no.
So rather than being left in the dust and stuck with the Comic Sans of web design, let’s take a look at what we can expect for the latest website design trends.
1. Bold and Bright Colors
Everything is becoming more colorful. Well, your website pages and your apps are. More brands are turning to using bright, bold colors to make a statement with their brand.
Instagram’s doing it. Snapchat is becoming even more colorful than it already was.
And why not?
Technology brands are constantly boasting about how their latest-and-greatest toy has amazing – no, beyond amazing – color displays.
If they’re overflowing with color, brands should take advantage of it.
They certainly won’t be the last brands you’ll see amp up their color game.
2. Duotone Gradient Imagery
Speaking of colors, have you noticed that more and more websites are opting to use duotone gradients in their imagery?
You know, slapping two enthusiastic hues together and then blending and blurring them into various pleasing spectra.
It’s simple yet so effective.
Colors really are the way of the future. And why not? Colors evoke different feelings and emotions. Brands have known this for years.
It’s only natural that we keep doing this. Thankfully, it’s aesthetically pleasing.
3. More GIFs, Animations, and Videos
This shouldn’t be a surprise when it comes to website design trends.
People like videos. People like GIFs. People like animation.
It’s easy to see why – animation can convey a message much easier than pure text.
They can show you how something works or reveal the content in a meaningful way.
With video takeover of the internet, more and more brands will look to add a video of some sort to their page to convey a message.
4. Hand-Drawn Elements
Hand-drawn elements are making a splash in the latest website design trends. What do you expect from an artist? They create art and they doodle.
Now some brands are incorporating hand-drawn elements (or doodles) as fonts, icons, graphics and buttons to give a more human, characteristic touch to their brand.
It really is quite charming.
5. Focusing on Content
Another website design trend we’re seeing is a more of a focus on the actual content of the website itself.
Brands have been so caught up in sign-up buttons and navigation to show that they have literally everything you could ever need to know about a topic on their site that it’s become a mess.
Now it looks like brands are taking a step back and doing some spring cleaning.
Brands are stripping back all the in-your-face extras on their site by either simplifying the extras or taking them away altogether.
This is welcome news, as it will allow you to focus on the content of the site.
6. Goodbye to Flat Design, Hello Creativity
Flat design has been all the rage in 2016. It allowed you to create a beautiful, yet simple website interface.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Well, as you’d expect, everyone wanted this kind of layout.
It’s causing everything to look the same, which is making it tired and boring. Where’s the charm? The personality?
So a website design trend in 2017 looks to be creativity. Making a website unique and charming again.
7. Authentic Photos
Those cheesy, fake photos you see circulating the internet may actually diminish.
Sorry lady laughing with salad (we know you’re lying, anyway).
Instead, brands and designers are going to be more careful when it comes to stock photos and opting for hiring a professional photographer to represent their brand.
It’s a welcome website design trend. You know stock photos are fake and cheesy so you’re not really gonna buy it, are you?
8. Geometric Shapes, Lines, and Patterns
Shapes, lines, and patterns are leaving their marks on websites. Even if it’s minimal, like with a simple circle or a few lines or dots, it’s making an impact.
So much so that it’s becoming a website design trend to incorporate some sort of shape or set of shapes in your design.
Some popular shapes you may have noticed include:
It’s hip, it’s modern.
9. Bold Typography
Not literally bold, but a bold choice in typography choice.
Typography is always going to be hot for website design. We all know that typography can make or break a look (we’re looking at you, Comic Sans).
What’s a bit different in this website design trend is that in 2016, designers were becoming bold and using different types of fonts rather than your standard Helvetica.
Some are even using typography for contrast. Pairing both serif typefaces and non-serif typefaces together.
It really is a huge deal when it comes to typography.
10. Device Flexibility
More and more, we’re becoming more of a mobile-centric world. We’re always connected to our phones. Tablets, too.
To accommodate our mobile world, websites are working to become more flexible and adapt adequately to whatever device you’re using through responsive web design.
It’s just one of those things website designers are going to have to get on board with. Not everyone is on a desktop or laptop anymore.
2017 Website Design Trends Wrap Up
So, what do you think of 2017’s website design trends? Are they surprising? Are they bold?
Are you feeling inspired and itching to revamp your website? Do you need help with your website?
Adxotic Internet Marketing is here to help you with your website design, website building, full-service SEO, and so much more!
If you’re feeling stuck or just need help taking your website to the next level, contact us! We’ll be glad to help you reach your full potential with your website and your brand.Read More
In internet marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always the talk of the town.
On this land, Google is the king, boasting about 68 percent of the search engine market share as of 2016.
For your site to be friendly and appealing to search engines, you need to optimize it, update the content regularly and have a killer marketing strategy.
Keep that mind.
So, how can you use SEO for business to grow your company this year? It’s not complicated as you might think.
Here are seven tried and tested techniques that work.
1. Start with keyword research
Keywords are important, and you can view them as the compass for your campaigns. They help you understand your target audience and figure out their interests, needs, and thoughts.
So, start with keyword research, and use research tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Keyword Tool, to find powerful low competition keywords that will attract visitors.
Some essential keyword strategies include:
- Spying on your competitor
- Finding long tail keywords
- Discovering the language your audience use
- Focusing on consumers’ search trends
- Using LSI terms to bolster your keywords
Use audience personas to categorize keywords with their search volume. Excel sheet is an excellent tool to use to record and plan your keywords.
2. On-Page SEO counts
Basically, on-page SEO involves optimizing individual pages on your website to rank higher in SERPs. This covers both the content and the source code of your pages.
Your pages must have meta tags, title tags, heading tags, and meta descriptions. Ensure to include your target keyword at least once in your tags.
The title of the page and meta descriptions should provide your visitors a clear view of what the page is all about.
For quality SEO for business, ensure to take advantage of internal linking to direct visitors to other pages on your site. Good site navigation is also important to make the site user-friendly.
Also, focus on creating actionable and authoritative content that is optimized around your target keyword. Don’t stuff your content with keywords as that is a red flag for Google.
3. Get local with SEO for business
As a small business, investing in local SEO can help you to position your brand in search engine results. It contributes to optimizing your site for local search and here are some key tips:
- Add your location to your domain, such as XYZnyc.com targeting New York City
- Add location and keywords to your page titles, such as plumbing in Seattle
- Create a “contact us” page featuring your address, phone number, and business name
- Associate your business with your location by creating lots of local content
Additionally, use business listing services, such as YP, Yellowbook, Bing Places, DexKnows, Yelp, Yahoo Local and Facebook, to list your business.
4. Blogging works effectively
There is a lot of marketing information being thrown around regarding blogging, so it is wise to pick tips that are proven to yield results for your business.
Frequent blogging helps to keep your content fresh and focused on providing convenient solutions to your readers. Always strive to create unique blog post ideas that resonate with your audience.
In SEO for business, leverage tools such as Google Trends, Twitter, and Quora to generate new ideas for your blog. Creating case studies, inspiration stories, reviews, and interviews offer a great way to improve visitor retention.
Also, focus on post types that readers love such as how-tos, tutorials, funny stories, cool tips, and advice.
5. Mobile optimization
In 2015, Google tweaked its algorithm to include a new feature dubbed Mobilegeddon whose primary focus was to enforce mobile-friendly websites. Essentially, Google intended to include mobile-friendliness and usability as a ranking factor.
The search giant implemented this algorithm following the increasing number of mobile users, so sites that are mobile-friendly are likely to rank high in mobile SERPs.
Take the time to ensure your site is mobile friendly by testing and fixing the loading speed, optimizing images, eliminating render-blocking codes, using browser caching and making your content readable.
6. Optimize your images
Adding visual content to your website is always important and beneficial, but many people seem not to take it as a powerful asset in SEO for business.
You can get the best possible SEO value from your visual content by using the recommended labeling techniques.
This is popularly known as the “ALT” tag.
For example, when you upload an image of a brown tote bag to your online store, it enhances the overall experience for your customers. But, check the trailing name on the image URL, and if there is something like “861092753j9252_1.png” then you are missing out on a number of SEO benefits.
Try to use descriptive names in your image URL. For this example, something like “brown-leather-tote-bag.png” is great. Ensure every image you upload has an ATL tag.
7. Diversify your online marketing strategy
Google has more than 200 ranking factors that it uses to show relevant SERPs to online users. For your SEO for business to work, you need to ensure that you meet most of these factors.
The key factors include content, backlinks, mobile-friendliness and technical factors such as security, tags and anchor text.
Marketing diversity will help your site benefit from consistent SEO juice. Take advantage of reviews, guest blogging, forums, remarketing, Yelp, social media marketing, email, and PPC marketing to boost your strategy.
Ideally, a diverse plan helps to boost your SEO through branding, quality backlinks, and referral traffic.
Create a successful SEO strategy
With these core SEO tips, you can now get to your drawing board and create a killer SEO strategy that works for your business.
Here are crucial steps for creating your strategy:
- Create a list of keywords for your business
- Build keyword-targeted website pages
- Set up a blog to drive traffic to your business website
- Create a link-building plan
- Follow current SEO news, tactics and updates by reading resources such as SEOBook, Thi Blog!, Search Engine Roundtable, and Search Engine Land.
- Track, measure and analyze your SEO to see what is working and what’s not
The key to running a successful SEO campaign is learning and acting on your SEO data. Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking and assessing your traffic and see how your visitors are using your website.
Keep in mind that SEO for business is not a one-time affair; it’s a continuous investment that is affected by so many factors, including social media updates and Google updates.
The key is to start with the right strategy, and also to work with the right SEO agency. Contact us today for all your SEO for business needs.Read More
Designing websites was a lot easier back in the day. The only things you had to worry about were screen sizes and what browsers people were using.
These days, however, things are a lot more complicated. More people are using computers and smart devices than ever before. Creating a website that tailors to each of these individuals is almost impossible.
It is also extremely necessary. Since more people are doing their shopping and business online, it is impossible to ignore the preferences of how people use the Internet. In fact, if you do ignore these preferences, you and your business are likely to fall behind.
Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case. Something known as mobile first design can help you out by ensuring your website is viewable regardless of the device.
Read on to learn all about mobile first design and why you need to be on this popular bandwagon.
What Is Mobile First Design
The challenges of creating a website typically occur because of the variations in devices that people use to go online. A website is going to look different on each device depending on its screen size, performance capability, and other features the device may have. A good website is designed to accommodate as much variation as possible.
This is where mobile first design comes in. Also known as responsive web design, this design philosophy tries to make a website adaptable. For example, it creates web pages that can expand or shrink depending on the screen size of the device.
In the end, a mobile friendly website will look the same as much as possible on any device.
This allows businesses to cater to anyone online without fear of their website not working. Most people are unlikely to use a website or business they can’t easily access. As result, mobile first design keeps your website and business competitive.
Reasons To Care
There’s a whole variety of reasons why you should adopt this design style if you haven’t already. Here are just a few of the most popular.
It’s hard not to notice how popular mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have become. What may be surprising is just how popular.
Up to 80% of Internet users have a mobile device they use consistently. For many of these people, these devices are preferred over laptops and desktops.
Since you can’t force people to change and accommodate your website, your website has to change and accommodate them. This is where mobile first design comes in.
Responsive design will make your website look attractive and usable for anyone on any device. Even though it’s extra work up front, it can help prevent some headaches in the future when you start to lose out on potential customers.
Your Website Will Be Competitive
More and more websites are turning to mobile first design to get a competitive edge. At this point, any website that isn’t turning to this design philosophy is falling behind.
Since more people are taking to mobile devices over traditional desktops, they have certain expectations on what they can access through these devices. If these expectations aren’t met, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere.
Web sites that realize this truth are going to be able to capture more potential visitors than those that ignore reality.
Adopting a responsive focus will keep your website in the game. It may even put it above others that are still lagging behind. In business, any advantage you can get is worth exploring.
It Makes Money
The most simple reason for mobile first design is it allows people to do business with mobile devices. This is a demand from consumers that continues to grow each year.
Many people like the convenience of being able to do business or find information through mobile devices. This puts the entire world of the Internet literally at their fingertips wherever they go.
If you want your website to have a little piece of the entrepreneurial pie, it needs to provide this convenience. You need to make the information, products, and services on your website available to people who prefer the mobile option.
It’s The New Standard
Here’s the most important reason that’s hard to argue: mobile first design has become the standard. This isn’t a new concept, in fact it is been around for several years. Because of this, more websites have had time to adopt this design style.
It’s become so popular that it has become a standard in the web design industry. New websites that only cater to desktop and laptop users are seen as outdated.
It Will Only Get Worse
If you think this is a passing phase that you can ignore, think again. Smart devices and mobile technology aren’t going anywhere. In fact, things are going to get much worse.
For example, mobile technology is beginning to expand into devices that are known as wearables. Things like smartwatches and glasses are allowing people to access the Internet off of their phones and tablets. For many, this is even more convenient.
For web designers, this is even more complicated. Not only do they have more devices to cater to, but some of these devices are presenting new challenges like circular screens that websites have to appear on.
Despite these challenges, the demand remains the same.
Setting Up Your Website
Because of the demand and necessity that mobile first design has today, it is important to adopt this philosophy as soon as possible. Having a website that isn’t responsive to mobile technology puts you at a disadvantage.
Thankfully, it’s not difficult to use this new design style. Modern web designers and web design resources have focused on this design style for quite some time. Really, it’s difficult not to find someone who isn’t in the mobile first design game.
If you have a website that needs updating or is looking at creating a new one, we can help. We specialize in mobile-first websites and cater to a large number of mobile devices. Get in touch to see what we can do for you.Read More
Always remember that these trends
- change with the push of a button
- spread quickly
- lurk online forever in some form or another awaiting instant revival.
We’ve got seven trends to implement, one for each day of your social media week.
Seven 2017 Social Media Trends
There are seven big trends set to innovate and motivate companies across the globe. Don’t be stranded in the woods, looking for a way to keep up with your competitors.
Join the world by getting in on the changes now.
1. Virtual Reality is the New Reality
We’ve been hearing about it for years, but it’s finally here.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017, virtual reality stole the show. That’s saying something because it was the 50th anniversary of this mega tech extravaganza.
And it was held in Las Vegas.
Virtual reality is impossible to ignore and so far, people show no signs of wanting to ignore it.
If an entity can steal focus away from Las Vegas, it’s worth your while to look at that entity as a way to get the attention of buyers and potential converts on social media.
It engages on such an intimate level, it’s guaranteed to change the way businesses interact with the public and vice versa.
It’s set to take social media by storm, changing our perception on just about everything.
This year, Facebook plans to release a 360-degree video for Facebook Live users. this will extend to all pages and profiles.
Other social media giants like YouTube plan to do the same.
Of course, this virtual reality is not the only sci-fi trend on our list.
2. Artificial Intelligence Is Truly Intelligent
Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to help companies interact with their customers and potential converts.
AI technology does this by answering queries, taking orders, and resolving customer service issues. If programmed, it can update social media pages and blogs.
Believe it or not, people sometimes prefer talking to bots, especially if they just want a quick transaction.
This will completely overhaul customer service. It makes customer service a 24/7 solution. It elevates the speed of delivery. It responds to social media comments and complaints.
It makes customer service a 24/7 solution. It elevates the speed of delivery. It responds to social media comments and complaints in real time, helping maintain your brand reputation.
If intelligent enough, who knows how far AI could go. Maybe it could even write an editorial or two…
3. Heavy Hitters Fake Out Fake News
Google has tried to obliterate fake news with recent algorithm changes. Their heart’s in the right place—you can Google that!—but the algorithm awards a higher ranking to pages that receive lots of clicks.
In a way, the algorithm makes fake news more popular. However, everyone wants to remove the scourge from existence. That includes sites like Facebook and Twitter.
However, everyone wants to remove the scourge from existence. That includes sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Expect to see major social media platforms changes pertaining to this in the near future. In the meantime:
- verify the source of the stories you post.
- read the complete post before sharing it.
- research other posts about the same story.
Your followers will appreciate it. It establishes trust, just like good employees do.
4. Employees Make Their Presence Known
Employee social advocacy is a big trend because it gives a personal touch to each brand that uses it. Customers are able to interact with real humans when they choose.
And if they don’t interact in real time, they can respond or follow the posts of specific employees.
This technique inspires brand loyalty. Remember the old saying about how people don’t buy a product, they buy from good sales people who take their time to develop a relationship?
It’s never been truer than now. Get your employees on social media. Their following will show you who to target with paid ads.
5. Paid Social Media Advertising Will Increase
Utilizing your social media platform as a marketing tool is a great option for businesses who want to make large strides in conversions. When you pay to target specific people, the marketing pays for itself.
According to the Data and Marketing Association, brand awareness campaigns motivate 51% of social media marketing respondents to take action.
That action results in sending emails, filling out contact forms, making phones, purchasing your product, and sharing links to your company social media pages
In recent years, companies on average dedicated 30% of their marketing budget to online marketing. That figure is predicted to climb to around 35% in the next few years.
Make sure you’re hitting that 35% mark to keep up with the rest of the world, including your competitors.
And make sure your influencers know about it.
6. Influencer Marketing Will Assert More Influence
It’s not a new trend, but the importance of influence marketing will increase in 2017.
In case you’ve been out of the loop, influence marketing consists of businesses that seek out people or companies already influencing their market.
This is a prime example of quid pro quo.
The influence marketer appreciates the help received from your company when it comes to meeting the needs of their followers. You gain added exposure to new leads with additional praise from the influencer in the form of social media posts.
It’s a win-win all round.
7. Content Marketing Can Characterizes Brands Into Significance
Like influencer marketing, this is not a new trend.
However, it’s one that’s reemerging on the social media scene with more vitality than in recent years. The key to making this a successful tactic is to create a voice for your content marketing and stick to it.
Another thing to consider is that content can be visual, rather using photos, memes, or options like Facebook Live. All of these options are engaging, quick reads that are easily shared.
And if they’re funny or cute, then they receive extra attention. Think about it: everyone loves to laugh and everyone love cute videos about babies, pets, or silly mishaps.
Relating these bond builders to your brand is a big business booster.
To incorporate these trends and learn about other marketing innovations for 2017, you need a clear cut strategy that converts leads and makes significant ROI gains.
That means you need us.
Social Media Trends That Matter and More
Here at St. Louis SEO Company, we specialize in helping businesses strengthen their brand via social media trends as well as
- website design.
We use our service to help you generate leads, all while reducing costs to you.
You can check out our blog which we update with the latest information and insights for our team and other industry innovators.
We’re waiting to show you what we can do. Get ready to implement those 2017 social media trends by contacting us today.Read More
Remember the days of dial-up internet, when every web page would take thirty seconds or a minute to fully load?
You’d catch the header, first, and then the subtitles, and finally the images and content. Meanwhile, you’d sip your coffee, tap your foot impatiently, and jab at the keyboard screaming, “Come on, already!!!!”
Well, gone are those days (thankfully!)
Nowadays, technology like Google Fiber allows web pages to load in milliseconds, and our smartphones even allow data to be “pushed” to us – meaning we don’t demand content, rather, it demands us.
Yet even with record-speed internet connections, some websites and blogs are just…slow. Like, circa 1995 slow. And when you’re a business owner trying to sell your product or service, a slow site is the quickest way to lose potential customers.
If you’re a WordPress user, read on. Below we discuss the best WordPress themes to ensure that your strategically-designed website loads quickly.
Which means that you can start cashing in on sales ASAP.
It’s the top-selling WordPress theme of all time, and for good reason: faster than 87% of sites tested in one study, it loads in an average of 1.7 seconds.
Avada is versatile, too. It has a builder tool to design custom layouts and supports e-commerce tools and social media extensions. This makes Avada a great pick for a variety of niche businesses and industries. Lawnmower servicing, anyone?
The theme is also clean-looking and downloading the template is easy and straightforward.
What’s not to love?
Despite it’s enormous list of custom design options (more than 250!), Soledad websites load in no time at all.
Soledad is so quick that it’s a popular option in certain countries where internet speeds are still relatively slow. The behind-the-scenes code is easy on internet servers, which drives the strong speed performance.
And with so many design options (like sidebars and slide combinations,) there’s no chance your site will look anything like the next guys.
This theme is fast and SEO-optimized already, making it one of the best WordPress themes on the market. If you’re looking for strong search engine hits, MH Magazine may be for you.
It has an average load time of 2.18 seconds and is designed to support content-heavy layouts (hence the SEO optimization.)
The theme also offers a dozen demos so that no matter your industry or niche, you can get a good feel for what your site may look like if you opt for the NH Magazine theme.
Designed for the business owner who wants viral exposure. And no, we don’t mean the flu virus.
This WordPress theme loads in an average of 680 milliseconds. That’s like, the same amount of time it takes you to read a single word. Believe us: it’s quick.
This theme is designed with millennial customers in mind, and every single widget aims to serve one goal: get a click (i.e convert!)
There are countless social media sharing buttons, too, so your customers can get the word out to their friends in no time at all.
The Divi WordPress theme is particularly visually-appealing. Yet despite it’s stunning imagery options, the easy-to-use page builder allows you to drag-and-drop content and images. If you’re not a master coder, that should be news to your ears.
It’s versatility makes Divi a great pick for all websites (like e-commerce or news sites) as well as blogs.
The average load time for Divi leaves little to be desired, too: 1.22 seconds. That’s well under the 3-second goal: studies show that 47% of users will abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
This WordPress theme supports the WooCommerce plugin, making it a popular option for a web page supporting online shopping and e-commerce.
And despite a quick load time of 1.14 seconds, H-Code has loads of templates to choose from that include features like site maps, search bars, and testimonials.
It’s clean-looking too, drawing attention to what matters most: your product or service. The last thing you need is a bunch of fluff distracting your customers.
One of the biggest challenges for a heavy photo- and video-content web pages is speed. Zoomy set out to meet that need and with a load time of 3.3 seconds, they’ve done a stellar job.
The site is designed to display your stunning, high-res pictures and videos. This would be ideal for a photography website, but it also serves well for photo-heavy product advertising.
This WordPress theme has adaptability in mind: with more than a hundred ready-to-use templates, you can easily drop your web page content into the perfect template.
The variety of templates also make Pillar a suitable option for a variety of businesses and industries, including e-commerce, wedding websites, photography portfolios, and much more.
Pillar loads in an average of 1.40 seconds, making it faster than 82% of other sites.
Like the name says, CheerUp is clean, intuitive, and fun.
Providing more than 200 design layouts, you’re guaranteed to find an option that works best to market your business product or service. This layout also supports the WooCommerce plugin so you can ramp up your e-commerce platforms.
And, your customers can share your site easily on their social networks due to the variety of social media interfaces building into CheerUp.
There’s more than one thing to cheer about with this WordPress theme!
So What are the Best WordPress Themes Out There?
Well, it depends on your needs. We’ve only scratched the surface in listing a handful of the best WordPress themes above, but start with your core content.
Is your web page text-heavy and you’re hoping for strong search engine hits and SEO optimization? Or are you running an e-commerce site and need easy-to-use shopping platforms? Or are you wanting to display a photography portfolio to entice customers?
Whatever the case, your web page needs to be designed accordingly, and it needs to load quickly.
Your business web page is an investment, and it’s worth doing well. Contact us today to help with choosing from the best WordPress themes, designing your website, and more.Read More
One of the keys to maintaining a strong business in the constantly changing market is the ability to stay up to date with the latest digital media trends in the industry.
The world is becoming more digitally connected. As of January 2017, half of the world’s population now has access to the internet. Compared to last year this equals to a 10% increase in the total number of web users.
As we move further into 2017 there are definitely more digital media trends and insights you should be aware of. This will help you become more relevant to the growing number of customers.
Opportunities will keep on knocking on your door as long as you stay open and flexible.
With no further delay, check out 7 digital media trends you can implement to take your business to the next level.
7 Winning Digital Media Trends In 2017 You Should Know
1. Video Communication
Video is undoubtedly the hottest folk in town, beating all other digital media trends for the number 1 spot.
Since the launch of video features on Instagram and Facebook, the number of users using such social media channels have been growing significantly. While only 12% of adults were on Instagram in 2012, the number is predicted to be around 40% by the end of this year.
Video is a powerful tool for brands to communicate with consumers. It immediately grasps user attention. Compared to text alone, the sound and visual effects of video make it much easier to evoke emotions.
Though video requires more time and money investment, its perceived value is much higher than other media. Thus, if you want to bridge the gap between your business and your customers, focus on video marketing.
2. Mobile Marketing
Much has been said about how the proliferation of smartphones and mobile devices have changed the way brands communicate with their customers. Of all 2.789 billion social media users, 2.539 billion came from mobile.
Mobile marketing has moved on to the next stage — a more mature one. The question is no longer about if you should optimize your mobile experience, it’s when.
In 2017, success belongs to companies that only invest in mobile optimization, but they also need to provide the right content and personalize the experience. It’s all about eliminating the noise and giving consumers the content that truly reflects their preferences and behaviors.
3. Behavioral Targeting
One of the winning digital media trends in 2017 is behavioral targeting. This goes hand in hand with mobile marketing.
In fact, thanks to mobile experience, the mobile email opens have grown by 180% in the last 3 years.
So if your email open rates have been low, you need to dig deeper.
Behavioral targeting allows brands to tailor and fine-tune the messages. This ensures that customers will only receive the content that underlies and resonates with their specific interests.
4. Native Advertising
Have you seen those sponsored posts on your Facebook or Instagram News Feed? Though they look like a “regular” posts, these are sponsored, paid content ads. In other words, they are a form of native advertising.
And they work.
Why? Most consumers identify native ads as an article, not an advertisement.
Brands take advantages of user-generated content, which is essential to bring out the authenticity needed to make consumers feel like they are a part of the process.
In addition, high-quality ads help increase the perceived value of the brand, creating a higher level of trust.
The future of native ads is looking bright. According to Business Insider, 74% of all ad revenue will come from native advertising by 2021. In the United States alone, the total spending on native ads is expected to reach $21 billion by the end of 2018.
5. Influencer Marketing
Though influencer marketing has been around for a while, it’s definitely getting more sophisticated over the past few years.
According to a survey, 84% of marketers plan to implement at least one influencer campaign in 2017.
The driving force for the success of influencer marketing is its authenticity. Their endorsement matters to consumers. The human element in influencer marketing allows brands to easily build trust and loyalty.
However, the challenge is to find the right influencer for your brand. This requires your business to understand the audience.
6. Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality perhaps needs no introduction. Among the prominent digital media trends, VR should be on your close watch in 2017.
Thanks to technological advancement, VR has truly taken consumer experience to the next level. Besides games, sports, movies, and shopping, VR will continue to expand in other areas of our lives, including healthy care and medicine.
7. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is perhaps the biggest revolution in digital marketing since the Internet. In fact, businesses are predicted to invest 300% more in AI in 2017 compared to last year.
Keep in mind that AI is not there to take your job. Rather, it helps free up your time so that instead of doing repeating, time-consuming jobs, you can focus on strategic tasks that have a real impact on your business bottom line.
With the help of analytics, marketers can gain insights into their customers’ true motives. They then can use the learned knowledge to personalize and improve customer experience.
A Final Note on Leading Digital Media Trends in 2017
It’s hard to say what will actually happen in 2017. However, success belongs to businesses that continue to stay relevant and adapt to changes.
Technologies have certainly enabled marketers to create new ways to engage with customers and deliver that “wow” factor. Your task is to digest these digital media trends and integrate them into your marketing campaign so that it rings true to your customers.
We hope that by capturing these winning digital media trends, you are able to allocate your marketing dollars wisely so that you can achieve the highest returns on investment.
Looking for ways to stay competitive and increase engagement with your customers? Contact us today to find out how we can help you find the right data-driven marketing solution and achieve your business goals.Read More
In the rapidly evolving technical world we live in today, your business’s webpage is almost as important as the facade of your business itself.
In fact, according to Stanford research, 75% of people decide if a company is credible based on their website design.
With a successful webpage and crafty web design, your business can lure more of your target audience, and convert new customers, all while steadily increasing your business appeal.
Sound interesting? Read on!
Create a Good First Impression and Draw New Customers
It takes a customer only 50 milliseconds to form an opinion on the visual quality of your business’s website. That’s 1/20 of a single second!
That’s good news if you have good web design because that means it only takes 1/20 of a second to create a good first impression, and better your business appeal.
What’s the best way to do this?
First: know where to focus.
Your whole site is important, but your homepage is where you want to be the most clear and precise with your language and design.
This way, you make sure you’re representing your company in the best way to better your business appeal.
Now what? Make your homepage great! Some tips:
- Be clear in exactly what your business does, the services it provides, and what your business specifically has to offer. Have your logo nearby, so the customer associates this information with you visually.
- Know the language your customers want to hear. If your website is for your ENT practice, it should read differently than if it’s for your daycare.
- Don’t be too pushy with marketing. If your homepage has a million links and ads, not only will customers not be able to find what is important, they might dismiss the whole page as spam.
Another great way to draw new customers from your target audience is to focus on SEO in your website design.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, uses the strategic use of keywords to help your webpage rank better when searched for online. For more information on what SEO can do for you, check out our page here.
Support Easy User Experience and Increase Business Appeal
Having a bad website is as bad as having bad customer service.
Your website represents your company, and if it behaves badly, unintentionally through bad web design or not, the customer will blame you. That’s no way to build your business appeal!
Fortunately, there are two factors that easily encompass and foster great website design, and thus a great user experience. They are User Experience Design, or UX, and User Interface Design, or UI.
UX and UI are similar in nature but work together to create a website that excels both in terms of graphic design (UI’s specialty) and navigability (the specialty of UX).
With the two functioning the way they should, you can expect to better your business appeal by having a visually appealing site with a usable shopping cart and an understandable navigation menu.
Sound good? Ready to take your webpage and your business to the next level? Contact us!Read More
For many business owners, the amount of work that goes into getting your website up and running can seem overwhelming. Along with great copy, smart SEO and a superior USP, you need web design that’s intuitive, easy to navigate, and attractive.
The answer? A freelance web designer. Freelancers now make up 35% of the workforce and they’re a cost-effective way to get your website up and running
The problem? There are so many web designers to choose from that it can be difficult to pick the best freelance web designer for the job.
We’ve got everything you need to know about picking a web designer who can be trusted to get the job done. Read on to learn more.
What does a Freelance Web Designer do?
First, it’s important to understand the difference between a developer and a designer. Of course, many of the same skills are used in both professions, but there are some important distinctions.
A web designer is someone who is creating both the look and feel of your site. They’ll work with you and help you choose your layouts, pick colors, create logos, and work on branding.
A freelance web designer will then create mockups so you can see how your website will look if you go ahead with that design.
A developer uses those mockups and builds a website with them in mind. They’ll either customize an existing theme or build you a custom theme.
Why does this matter?
Often people will think they need to hire a developer when really they’re interested in how their website looks and feels for visitors. That’s where a web designer comes in.
How do you Pick the Best Designer?
Once you’ve decided you need to hire a freelance web designer, you’ll need to choose the best one for your project.
This is where it can get tricky. Choose the right web designer, and the end result will be a great-looking website, on time and on budget.
Choose the wrong designer, and you could be dealing with delays, days of silence, missed deadlines, and a blown budget. Often your website won’t even be completed in time for your launch.
With that in mind, here are some things to consider when it’s time to hire a freelance web designer:
Communication is one of the most important aspects when you’re considering doing business with anyone.
This can be seen on a large scale. In “The Cost of Poor Communications”, David Grossman revealed that of the companies surveyed, each had lost approximately $62.4 million each year. Why? Because of inadequate communication both to and between those companies’ employees.
Granted, these companies each had around 100,000 employees. But it’s obvious that poor communication can impact businesses of all sizes.
If you’re comparing web designers, set up a Skype meeting or phone call. Sure, email is faster in a lot of ways. But you need to ensure that this person is able to listen to what you’re saying and effectively communicate their ideas with you.
A great freelance web designer will avoid using confusing jargon and will be interested in you and your business. They’ll listen to what you need, and you’ll end the call feeling confident that they can do what you need.
They’ll also be responsive when you’re finalizing project details. You should hear back from them within 24 hours of emailing, and they should be available to answer any questions.
How long has the web designer been in business? Can they show you examples of their previous work? A freelance web designer should have a solid portfolio and ideally will have worked with a range of businesses.
Take a look at their own website and the sites they’ve designed and consider these questions:
- How do you feel about those sites as a potential consumer?
- Are they easy to navigate?
- Do all of the pages seem consistent?
- Is the site fast-loading?
- Do the colors and text work well together?
- Do the links work?
Along with proven experience, any web designer hoping to gain new clients should have some testimonials. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for contact information. You can then ask those companies to give you details about working with the web designer.
Are any other services offered? Be sure to ask these questions:
- Can the designer help you with your domain name?
- Do they offer any copywriting services?
- Do they host websites?
- Do they partner with any developers or writers?
- Are they willing to update your website in the future?
- Will they teach you anything you need to know about operating the site?
- Will they be available to answer questions after the site is completed?
What are the Terms?
Once you’ve found a freelance web designer that you’re interested in, you’ll need to know what their terms are. Any professional designer should have a standard contract which will include:
- The scope of work
- The price of work
- The deadline
- The amount to be paid
- Payment terms (e.g percentage for deposit, when the final payment is due etc)
- Number of revisions (how many times the designer will edit the work under the original contract)
Keep in mind that these terms will sometimes be negotiable. If you have an issue with anything in the contract, speak to the designer and see if they’re willing to meet you halfway.
Of course, for most business owners, the price the freelance web designer charges will be important. But you should avoid hiring on price alone.
Cutting corners will your web design can end up costing you big in the long run. You want to give your visitors a great first impression when they visit your site.
One of the great things about hiring freelance web designers, is they have less overhead. That means the price should already be reasonable for the value you’re getting.
Spend some time shopping around to choose the best freelancer based on the above points, and you’ll soon have an amazing looking website!
Are you looking for a freelance web designer? Get in touch today to learn how we can help.Read More
It’s a common struggle with businesses: your marketing isn’t as effective as it could be.
If you aren’t earning the revenue you believe you should be, it may be time to hire a marketing coach.
You may be hesitant to hiring a marketing expert for various reasons: pride, budget, or any number of other reasons. However, a marketing expert can give you information to benefit your business in the long run.
Who is a marketing coach?
A marketing coach can help your company reach success. They do this by helping you develop solid marketing tactics that can increase your company’s profits and customer base.
Any marketing expert worth the amount you pay them will be able to identify issues with your current marketing scheme. They can also give you tips and assistance on how to fix it.
Let’s be honest: your business needs a marketing strategy. If you don’t have one, you don’t really have a blueprint of where you want your advertising and marketing to hit.
There’s more to marketing than just blowing metaphorical dandelion seeds out into the wind and hoping for the best. There’s a science behind it, and you can tap into some of that science by having a sound strategy.
However, if you don’t have one, or you’re not sure how to develop one, a marketing coach can help you out. They’re the experts, so they’ll be able to provide you with key demographics to aim for, or let you know what needs improvement.
If you don’t have direction (ties into a marketing strategy), you probably don’t know what’s working and what isn’t with your business.
Several businesses take a case-by-case approach when it comes to marketing. They’ll receive opportunities and analyze them as they come around.
However, you need to be in touch with your target demographic. If you aren’t, you aren’t really going to be able to accurately say what marketing techniques will and won’t appeal to them.
A marketing coach can help you out there. Your coach should be able to tell you what demographics you should be aiming for, and the best way to reach that demographic.
Additionally, they’ll be able to tell you the best way to use your marketing to analyze your ROI.
Both of the above points can be rolled into one easily understandable concept: inexperience. If you’re a small business owner, you may just be starting out. Additionally, if you hire any marketing help, it’s possible they’re a new grad.
It’s also possible you’re giving marketing tasks to people who don’t really have much of an idea how to do it. That doesn’t mean that they’re bad at their jobs, but if nobody knows how to market on your team, then any strategy you employ isn’t going to be effective.
That’s the great thing about a marketing coach: they’re experienced. They know what they’re doing. They can steer you in the right direction and give you the appropriate skills to handle your marketing needs.
Creating budgets is never a fun activity, but it’s a necessary part of owning a business. The problems start to arise when you realize you don’t really know how much to spend on decent marketing.
If you’re a new business or a small business looking to expand, you may have a tough time figuring out what your marketing budget should be. This gets worse when you realize how much variation there is between different advertising techniques.
Any marketing coach that’s worth their salt will be able to help you devise a solid marketing budget that will take care of your needs – provided they’re realistic.
Skills and tools tend to fall under the same subheading. It’s entirely possible that you and your team don’t have the right tools and skills needed to create effective marketing.
While there is a science to marketing, there’s always that small portion that comes down to luck. However, you can increase your chances of getting lucky by equipping yourself with the proper data, tools, applications, and plans.
If you hire a coach to help you with marketing, you’ll be able to gain access to a ton of marketing resources. This will benefit you exponentially as your business continues to grow.
It’s a common problem: your products are great. The customers you currently have may really, really like you! The problem comes in when you can’t attract new customers. Without new blood, it’s impossible for your business to grow.
Usually, in cases like this, there’s a disconnect between what you’re selling and how you’re advertising it.
You need to connect with a marketing expert in order to make sure your goals line up with your product and your advertising technique.
Just because a tactic worked for one company doesn’t mean it will work for you. Take some time out with your coach to help find your marketing voice.
Sometimes, it comes down to your marketing to the wrong people.
This doesn’t mean you’re pushing your product to people who won’t use it, at least intentionally. Usually, things go wrong regarding the marketing itself.
If you’re creating a product for a younger demographic and you’re focusing solely on print advertising, you’re losing a significant chunk of your potential customer base.
The modern young adults spend most of their time on digital devices, so starting there may be a better tactic.
A marketing coach will help you figure out where to focus your efforts and what type of advertising is needed to get the results you want.
While hiring an expert for marketing may seem silly and worthless (especially when you can accomplish quite a lot of marketing yourself, for free), the advice you’ll receive from your coach can’t be measured.
It’s up to you to implement that advice into strategies that will help benefit your company in the long term. However, your marketing coach can give you the tools you need to succeed in today’s business climate.
Curious if your business needs marketing help? Contact the experts!Read More
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