How long has it been since you redesigned your business’ website? Has your business grown in that time? How has your business changed? Does your current site reflect this? While some studies suggest sites should be redesigned every 2 years, there’s no definitive rule on how often you should update your web design. However, if your site is looking dated, doesn’t reflect your business’ growth, or isn’t running as well as it should, you can be sure it’s time for a redesign.
When updating your web design, it’s hard to know where to start. Sifting through web design trends, best practices, and different utilities is overwhelming, especially to the uninitiated.
We’re here to help with a few creative web design ideas that can help you narrow down what won’t just look great but work best for your business’ site.
1. Keep things Simple
Is your site looking a little cluttered? Even big business sites are struggling with cluttered sites that leave visitors feeling the pains of information overload. When visitors get overwhelmed on your site, they’re more likely to leave, costing you sales. Instead, consider a more minimalistic design that prioritizes only the most important information and has a simplistic, easy to navigate site map. When visitors land on your site and know exactly what to do and where to find the information most important to them, it leads to a better user experience and more sales for you!
2. Have a Mobile Design
We can’t stress this enough—your site should be designed and optimized for mobile. Usage on mobile devices is only growing and sites that aren’t mobile optimized are being left in the dust. If you’re ready to redesign your website, make sure you also get a mobile design that’s properly optimized. This makes it easy for visitors to use your site on mobile devices and is also a positive SEO and PPC ranking factor.
3. Change Defaults
If you have a template site, change the defaults to mix things up! With just a few clicks, you can totally restyle your website, and give it a fresh new face that is more modern and better reflects your business. Just make sure to develop this new style across the entire site, rather than just a few pages.
4. Research New Utilities
Things have changed since you last designed your site and there’re a rainbow of utilities you can implement on your new site. Everything from video chatting features to customer review utilities are easy to implement on your site. Do some research on the different utilities available and which ones would most benefit your site and your business’ goals.
5. Look Outward for Inspiration
Even professional web designers face creative blocks. Look at Pinterest, articles, and your competitors’ sites to gather inspiration for your new site! What are other sites doing well? What could they do better? This will help you refine your image, so you can implement the ideas yourself or better communicate them to a professional. Remember though, you’re designing the site for your visitors, not for yourself. What you personally like may not always be what’s best to attract your ideal audience.
Web Design Made Easy
When redesigning your site, partner with the professional web designers, builders, and SEO professionals MLT Group. Our team will work with you to understand your business, goals, and needs to design a custom website that not only looks great but is easy for visitors to use. From design to build, we’re your web development partner and make the process as easy as possible.
Ready to redesign your site? Contact our creative team today at 507.281.3490 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been around since 1997 and continues to play a major role in how companies market themselves online. SEO drives traffic by helping sites achieve higher ranking on search engines. As with most technology SEO has evolved in the last 21 years and will continue to into the foreseeable future. According to Brian Dean at www.backlinkco.com Google uses at a minimum 200 separate factors to rank a website for relevant searches. Not all ranking factors are created equal and some play a much larger role than others when looking at SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages). Some key ranking factors used in Google’s algorithm are domain age, title tags, header tags, relevant content, length of content and page load speed.
The ranking factor I am going to focus on here is page load speed.
It makes sense that Google uses load speeds as a factor when ranking websites. The faster a website page loads the better experience the user will have. In contrast, slow load speeds will frustrate users, and cost you in search engine ranking. This is true for Google Adwords campaigns as well. Additionally, a slower load will likely lead to a much higher bounce rate, which according to some SEO experts, will negatively impact your search rankings as well. According to Google research, the chance of a bounce on your website increases by 90% when a page loads in 5 seconds compared to 1 second. If the site takes longer than 10 seconds to load a bounce is almost inevitable.
Below are some factors that can lead to slow load speeds.
1. Sub-standard (cheap) web hosting.
2. Size of images. Images should be optimized (sized) for fast loading.
3. Videos hosted on the website. Embedding videos on your website using an external video player like Youtube will help to decrease overall load time.
4. Code Density – Basically the cleaner the code the faster the load.
5. Too many plug-ins. If you are using WordPress as your CMS this is something to keep an eye on.
6. Too many file requests.
In July of 2018 Google confirmed mobile load speed as a major ranking factor in mobile search results. With the increase in mobile usage, this is a more critical marketing imperative than ever. Statistics show that over 50% of all Google searches were done on mobile devices. 42% of Business to Business searches are done on mobile devices throughout the research and purchasing process.
According to Google, in 2017 70% of mobile web pages took 10 seconds or more to fully load content. As referenced above, slow load speeds can almost guarantee a high bounce rate and far fewer conversions. A page load speed of three seconds or less is what Google experts say mobile website should strive for. Longer than that and you risk a much higher bounce rate and much lower conversion rate.
Rather than just tell you the positives of our services and the negatives of others, we’ll give you the full picture when it comes to the custom vs template website debate.
Before we jump into the comparison, let’s take a look at some of the custom websites we’ve built at MLT Group
Custom Websites By MLT Group
SEMA Equipment is a John Deere manufacturer with multiple locations and a customer base of thousands in the Southeast Minnesota area.
The custom features on their website include:
A data feed that populates a dynamic product inventory
A custom backend admin for updating advertisements, newsletters, photos, and more
This is a robust website with thousands of pages, which means SEMA relies on our expertise to make site updates and improvements for things like UX, SEO, and order processing.
Schreier Industrial services helps manufacturing businesses improve their processes. Our custom website design and color scheme help represent the company’s core values including precision, expertise, and rapid improvement.
If you click through to the website, you’ll see custom animations for banner images, body images, text, buttons, and more.
Hip for Homes provides a perfect example of a simple small business website with unique features. Our favorite piece of the website is the homepage, which includes model home imagery describe each facet of home HIP provides products and solutions for.
Before we dive into the comparisons of custom websites vs template websites, notice that each of these websites are unique. They were created with the combined knowledge an expertise of forward-thinking business owners and design, development, and digital marketing professionals.
Template websites have a wide variety of functionality and features. From WordPress themes to more customizable drag and drop templates, you can do quite a bit with these templates, but they also come with drawbacks.
Let’s start with the pros.
Take Less Time to Launch
Many template websites can be set up in a single day. A template website will require significantly less time to get up and running than a custom website.
The design and most of the coding is already done, so once you develop content for the site, input your logo, and add images and content, you’re well on your way to completion.
Generally, template websites are less expensive than custom websites.
WordPress offers hundreds of free themes you can use. Premium WordPress themes like Genesis Themes can range from $100-$500 or more.
Often, you can find site affordable site hosting, which can work well for businesses who don’t get a ton of traffic. Some companies, like Bluehost, offer hosting for as little as $3.95 per month.
Your costs also depend on who is implementing the template and how much manipulation needs to be done to the template design, potentially adding $1,500 plus to the cost.
Don’t forget monthly hosting and the cost of writing content for your site. Still, the final cost of a template site is likely to be considerably less than a custom designed site.
You can choose from thousands of different templates from hundreds of different companies.
The templates themselves can be customized to a degree. For example, here’s a screenshot of a demo page from Studio press:
This is not how the site would look when you buy it. Instead, you have options to configure the homepage with different button styles, images, captions, menu layouts, etc.
Also, many template website companies have built support features to make their offering more robust such as:
Email marketing tools
Done for you landing pages
Bull drag and drop builder functionality
Membership site integration
If you choose to buy a WordPress theme, you can customize your site even further using plugins, which are applications that add different types of functions and features to your template website.
If you have a very low budget and just want to “get something out there,” you can definitely go the template route.
Before doing so, however, take a look at some of the downsides.
While you can customize certain features, you don’t have nearly as much control as you would with a custom website and a team of designers and developers who can help you make updates to it.
Here’s a list of features that aren’t easy to add with a template website:
Membership site functionality
Event registration with payment processing
Custom graphics and placement
This is a short list of the hundreds of different features that are more difficult to add to a template website.
These changes can be done, but who is going to make them?
A template website is perfect for someone who has a lot of time on their hands, technical knowledge, and the willingness to fail and go through frustration in order to get the end result.
If you’re a normal business owner who needs to spend the majority of their time working on the business itself, consider the implications of using a template website that only you have control over.
If there’s a glitch, you are the one contacting support to figure out what’s wrong with the website. Need to make a change? Either you’ll make it or you will have to hire a freelancer or web company to make the change anyway.
Contrast this with a custom website built by a team who understands your needs. If you work with MLT Group and need to make an update to your website, you simply pick up the phone or email us, we fix it, and you can continue to work on your business.
Did you know that many template and hosting solutions provide security as an add-on?
If you buy the base package your site may not be covered against security risks. Why is that important?
Hackers often target popular template solutions because they know there are many users to exploit. Make sure to check if your website solution comes with SSL encryption, captcha, backup, and more.
All too often, business owners who use low-cost template solutions can experience nightmare situations like their entire sites crashing and databases disappearing. Then, when these issues occur, they have no one to turn to for help other than the support of the template company, which may or may not be great.
The biggest drawback of having a template website — for a business owner who wants to stand out in their industry — is the fact that you may have an identical site out there.
Does having a website similar to others in your industry provide a competitive edge?
You can go to lengths to make sure you choose a template others in your industry haven’t, but nothing is guaranteed.
Branding is an important factor in digital marketing because strong brands get better recognition on search engines and on social media.
Using a template website — while efficient — isn’t going to grow your brand’s presence.
Although content creation isn’t part of the development process for custom websites or template websites, it’s important to mention for one reason.
Our agency provides content creation services along with custom web development. Why is this important?
If you opt for a template solution, you have two options — hire a freelance writer or write the content yourself. With the freelancer option it’s possible — although not guaranteed — to have great content for SEO. The drawback is now you’re having to work with a separate contractor while working on your website at the same time, which means you have less time to spend on your business.
Now that we’ve explained the pros and cons of template websites, let’s discuss the pros and cons of custom websites and explain when our services would make the most sense for your business.
Custom websites aren’t the only player in the market anymore. With increased competition, it’s our job to show you why our option makes sense for your business.
And that’s the key. All things considered, a custom website might not be for you. That’s okay. We want to work with the right businesses and take on projects that are a good fit for both of us.
If you’re already convinced, go ahead and fill out the form below for a free consultation:
Now let’s start with the pros.
Design & Branding
If you’re the type of business owner who likes to share the uniqueness of your business and have input on the way your brand is communicated, it’s wise to go with a custom website.
When choosing to go with a custom-built website you have control over all the aspects of the design, branding and call-to-actions.
Your design can also evolve as your business evolves. You’ll have access to a team of marketing professionals who can provide insights for your business over time. Perfect example — we helped many of our clients re-build their sites to be mobile-friendly after Google announced it would no longer prioritize non-mobile-friendly websites.
Working with a smart agency gives you the reigns to your site while also having an intelligent guide to help you navigate the course of business.
Custom built websites can grow as your business grows. If you need added functionality, a custom website can allow the developer to add this over time without the potential limitations of a template website. This is important for certain businesses like e-commerce websites.
We can also build highly advanced websites for businesses who need complex solutions like HIPPA compliant databases, thousand plus member membership websites, and online courses.
Your business is unique because you, the business owner or the marketing professional in the business, is unique.
Do you want a website that reflects your brand and only your brand?
In business, unless you have an unlimited advertising budget, a unique brand can be critical to your business. Combine that with the way we interact with businesses online, and having anything less than a stellar looking site can turn off your target audience.
On top of our custom design services, we offer full-service marketing — meaning we can help you with any and every digital marketing need you have from SEO to social media to marketing research and more.
Not only do we build custom websites, we provide custom solutions to help you grow your business.
We sit down and talk with you to understand your needs. We craft a plan as a team to help you stand out among your competition online.
Working with an innovative agency means you can work on your business instead of in your business.
We’re your strategic partner, meaning we care about growing your business just as much as you do.
That being said, there are a few drawbacks to custom web design.
Custom-built websites generally have a higher cost than template solutions. While you might have to spend more, you’re getting a more quality product.
If you’re truly cash-strapped, however, it might not be wise to spend thousands of dollars on a website. Custom websites are best for established businesses with solid revenue who want to take their marketing to the next level.
Time to Launch
A custom-built website typically takes longer to build. This is because we go through several quality control measures from start to finish to make sure your website is error-free, branded perfectly, and stands out in a sea of websites. If it isn’t worth 12 weeks of your time to create a great site, custom websites might not be for you.
We recommend looking at your business needs, website users, and your overall online marketing goals to help you choose the right direction for your business or organization.
If you’re curious about custom websites, let’s talk. We’ll give you a free no-obligation site audit and proposal to see how we can help with your online marketing.
E-commerce marketing can do wonders for your business. With the right strategies, you can engage people who are interested in your products, build a base of loyal customers, and grow your influence to reach every corner of your market.
In today’s post, we’re going to teach you different e-commerce marketing strategies ranging from SEO tips, content marketing, social media marketing and more.
If you use just one of these strategies, you’ll see results that can help you grow your brand and your bottom line. Before we dive into the tips, let’s talk about the unique power of e-commerce businesses.
Why E-Commerce Businesses Are The Future
The internet has changed the way people buy and the benefits of e-commerce businesses are impossible to deny.
Here is a short list of benefits e-commerce businesses provide their users:
Convenience – You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to purchase from an e-commerce store
Speed – Most e-commerce businesses offer fast shipping. Just look at Amazon, who’s gone so far as to test ’30 minute drone deliveries’
Options – When shopping online, you can hand pick the products you want without ever having to visit a store and you can compare prices between different businesses without having to visit them
There are numbers to shed light on the shift in markets too:
In 2017, e-commerce was responsible for around $2.3 trillion in sales and is expected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021
As you can see in this graph from the Census Bureau, e-commerce market share is steadily rising:
It’s unlikely that retail will disappear, but it’s obvious the internet is here to stay.
If you’re an e-commerce business owner, providing a great user experience and solid marketing strategies allows you to reach a larger audience than you ever could with a physical location.
As an e-commerce business owner, you’re already sold on the power of the internet. For those who have the potential to move into e-commerce, but haven’t yet, consider how you can market and sell your products online to keep pace with the changing trends for the future.
SEO works well for e-commerce businesses who do it right. Just take a look at this search engine results page for the phrase “green tea for sale.”
Each page that appears in this picture represents an organic search result. Organic means the businesses achieved these results without using paid advertisements. That’s the beauty of SEO — you can achieve results through effort and sound strategies alone.
These e-commerce SEO strategies will help you rank your business on Google and put it in front of buyers looking for your product.
Here are the e-commerce SEO strategies you must use to succeed.
Optimize All Site Pages
The most important pages on an e-commerce website are it’s category pages, product pages, and blog poss.
You want to optimize your pages using the following techniques:
Use key phrases in your page titles
Use key phrases in your meta description
Place key phrases in your content
Optimize images by placing key phrases in their ‘alt tags’
Make sure your content length meets SEO standards
Add media to your pages like pictures, infographics, and videos
Here’s a great example of an optimized e-commerce website.
Cup & Leafs E-Commerce Product Page SEO Analyzed
The Cup & Leaf blog sells tea products. When you visit one of their product pages you’ll see organized information that also serves an SEO purpose.
Most product pages use the product name in the title. In this example, you’ll see an optimized key phrase as the product title:
When you scroll down, you’ll see a product description that’s optimized but also very informative and persuasive to customers (key phrase highlighted in red):
The content is in-depth, but not overwhelming. It uses key phrases but doesn’t stuff them in the content. It’s informative, describes benefits, and cites reputable sources.
It takes time, but providing on page SEO to each of your products will help them rank on search engines.
Cup & Leafs SEO Content Analyzed
The Cup & leaf blog uses content marketing and SEO through their blog. When you look at their blog page, you’ll see posts with titles that match topics tea lovers might type into Google:
Each blog post has optimized content, but also provides useful and relevant information for readers. This is key because content marketing and SEO are more about making users happy than search engines. Typical optimization doesn’t work anymore. The search engines are ranking content that’s useful for readers. It’s now their number one priority:
Notice the techniques used here:
Optimized page title
Key phrase in the first sentence of the content
Internal & outbound links
Imagine you’re a tea lover who searches for tips on making great tea. You land on this page and read articles giving you the exact information you’re looking for. Then, when you read the post, it ends with a call to action to check out the company’s products.
This is exactly what Cup & Leaf does.
At the end of one of their posts, you see a call to action to buy their products at a discount:
The owner of the company — content marketing expert Nat Elision — shares the entire SEO & content strategy he used to start the company in this guide.
Highlights from the post:
Research topics – using tools like ahrefs, the Google keyword planner, and more, you can perform keyword research to find topics with traffic volume.
Design the blog to drive sales – each post has a call to action to enjoy a discount or try related products
Gain product reviews – this increases social proof and is a positive ranking factor for SEO
Write long-form content – long-form content is a positive ranking factor.
With a sound SEO strategy employed, you can use more e-commerce marketing techniques to build awareness for your company and ultimately drive leads and sales.
Use the Following E-Commerce Content Marketing Strategies
Content marketing works especially well for e-commerce businesses. To have an effective content marketing campaign, you need to understand the full breadth of the phrase.
Check out this definition of content marketing from the content marketing institute:
Content comes in many forms, including but not limited to:
Written content – pages and blog posts
Photos & infographics
Let’s walk through examples of different types of content marketing and discuss what they do well.
We discussed SEO and content marketing for e-commerce businesses already, but it’s important to know the details of running a successful content marketing campaign. Here are some need to know items.
When you do the right research, you can create a strategy that targets the right customers and creates the types of content they want to read.
You can use keyword research — a staple of SEO — to discover topics people are actively searching for.
Check out our guide to keyword research for more detail.
You can also research what your competitors are doing well to create better content and use strategies like link-building to leapfrog them in search.
Here’s an example. Using the Ahrefs tool, you can discover a lot of useful information about a competitor. Sticking with our tea example, I found a tea company and looked for search data:
In the organic keywords section of the tool, you can see the keywords that get the most traffic and links to the pages receiving the traffic:
Then going into the individual pages, you can see where they’re gaining links from, as well as important metrics to know like site authority, the number of backlinks, and the phrases the single page ranks for:
Using the ahrefs keyword analyzer tool, I can estimate the number of links I need to build to the page:
Next, I’d create a piece of content about chai tea lattes and make it more detailed entertaining and informative than the competitor’s post.
Then, I’d build links to the page by sharing the content with people who are likely to link back to the page. This is known as the skyscraper technique.
You can also leverage reviews to discover what your customers like and dislike about your type of product. Check out this review on Amazon for a green tea product:
Using these insights, I make create content discussing both the quality and cost-effectiveness of my product.
Question and answer sites like Quora provide useful information as well. I typed in “chai tea” on Quora and got the result:
Knowing people want to know the difference between masala and chai tea, I could create content on this topic. My result may even show up in a cool Google snippet like this one:
Once you have solid e-commerce marketing research you can implement your campaign.
It’s important to know your target audience, goals, and key performance metrics before you begin creating content.
You also want to create a content calendar with topics you want to write about and block out time to create content.
If you’re an e-commerce business owner, you might not have time to create the content yourself. This is where a digital marketing agency can come in handy.
At MLT Group we have the staff, resources, and creativity to create a content marketing campaign for your business.
If you’re interested in a done for you e-commerce marketing strategy, fill out the form below for a free audit:
Video content marketing has grown in popularity in recent years.
For your business to grow and to effectively cater to your audience, they need to be able to easily find and communicate with you online. That’s why it’s so important to invest in quality web development. However, web development is made up of a variety of different elements, from the overall design and build to SEO and coding, sometimes making it difficult to see the bigger picture. However, almost everything can fall under three key elements which lead to effective web development and design. By using these elements to guide the different aspects of web development, you can ensure your website facilitates meaningful connections with your target audience.
1. Web Design With a Purpose
When you hear web development, you probably fist think of web design. After all, your site’s appearance significantly influences visitors. However, your web design should do more than just look good. When done right, web design can do a lot of heavy lifting for your site.
Guide Visitors- Visitors typically look at a site in an F pattern, starting in the upper left-hand corner and moving across the right and down. However, their attention doesn’t often last to the bottom right of your site. This means, the upper left-hand corner gets the most attention while the bottom right gets the least. Organizing the information on your site with this in mind helps you guide visitors to high priority information.
Highlight Priority Info- Speaking of high priority information, depending on your marketing goals, you can easily highlight what’s most important to your business. Trying to generate more leads? A well-placed contact form can help. Driving sales? You can highlight some of your top selling products or sales right on the home page.
Cultivate a Relationship- You can’t talk to your audience all the time, but your website can. Your site’s appearance can go a long way to cultivating a relationship with visitors. Everything from the way your site makes a visitor feel to what the images and content communicate makes an impression on them and lays the foundation for what will hopefully be a long-term relationship!
2. Effortless User Interface
Whether your site is simple or has a robust ecommerce, excellent user interface (UI) is essential. UI determines the way that software works for the customer and how they interact. Within your website, user interface may include icons or graphics, along with tables, animated elements, and buttons. Think of the way you interact with Microsoft Word or Facebook. To give the user a great experience, UI should be:
Clear- Users should understand how to interact with your site. It should be intuitive with clarification when necessary. For example, if the user hovers over a button and isn’t sure what it does, a small text box will appear with an explanation. Remember not to fall into the trap of over explaining!
Familiar- One way to ensure your UI is clear is to make it familiar. Use icons and graphics that mimic things visitors are familiar with, such has a shopping cart for their inventory or a chat box to talk with an online representative. This helps visitors jump right into using your site with little to no learning curve.
Responsive- Online users have little patience for slow sites. If your UI isn’t quick, visitors will go elsewhere. When visitors leave, or “bounce” quickly from your site, it not only loses you sales but hurts your SEO. Poor coding can contribute to a slow site, so make sure your code is clean.
3. Positive User Experience
When done correctly, web design and UI create a positive user experience, or “UX.” (Which is great for SEO) User experience is exactly what it sounds like, the way that visitors feel when interacting with a website. For example, does the customer find the website cluttered or clean? Are they able to easily navigate, and do they attach an emotion to the external aspects of the site? A positive user experience means visitors are more likely to stay on your site longer and return later! Here are a few tips for ensuring a positive user experience.
Don’t Expect Users to Remember- If there’s something particularly important you want users to see and use, such as a special offer, contact info, or promo code, make it easy for them to use it once they see it. When on a site, visitors are using their working memory, also known as short-term. Nothing is more frustrating than having to write down a promo code on a site so you can use it later. Instead, allow the promo code to automatically apply to their cart once they click on it!
Don’t Overwhelm Them- Your site has a lot to offer, but there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. If users feel overwhelmed on your site, they won’t find the information most important to them or they’ll leave. Instead, break things up so visitors can easily digest information. Also, visitors can get sensory overload which contributes to a poor user experience.
Be Personable- Remember, your site is a representative of your business and brand. Don’t be afraid to be personable and address your target audience directly using “you” language. For example, “You’re tired of products that make big promises but don’t deliver. You’re ready for something different. We’re here to help.” This helps to form a relationship, make users feel understood, and contributes to a great user experience.
Web development is made up of many tiny parts that, when assembled correctly, come together to make an amazing site for you and your target audience. It may seem complicated, but by using these three key elements a guide, you can ensure your site helps you achieve your goals.
Ready to get started?
The professionals at MLT Group partner with you to understand you, your business, and your goals, so we can create a website that meets your needs. We handle the nitty gritty, using industry best practices and overcome obstacles creative solutions.
Our digital world moves quickly, and there always seems to be a new rule or standard. Every year, the web is flooded with articles talking about the year’s latest trends and game-changing techniques. It can be hard to keep up or to even know what to pay attention to. This leads to a lot of misinformation and myths, especially when it comes to web design. Most of these myths are built on a grain of truth or were true at one time but staying loyal to these outdated ideas will do more harm to your business than good. Today, we’re going to bust the 7 most common web design myths!
1. Visitors Won’t Scroll/Place Your CTA Above the Fold
These two myths go hand in hand. When the internet was still in its infancy, users weren’t used to scrolling through pages for information, so anything below the fold would largely go unnoticed. This led to sites religiously placing their calls to action (CTA) above the fold. However, both the internet and users have grown up a lot and it’s time we act like it. If your site is engaging and your message is strong, users won’t have any problem scrolling below the fold.
2. You Don’t Need a Mobile Site
This is another myth that used to be true. When internet use on cellphones was expensive or unavailable, mobile optimized websites were more of novelty than a worthwhile marketing tool. Now, the number of mobile users is only growing. Mobile devices allow consumers to search for products and services in their area right when they need them, so it’s no surprise that mobile ecommerce traffic has surpassed desktop traffic. Have you ever tried using a non-mobile optimized site on your smartphone? You’ll only tolerate the slow load speeds and poor navigation for so long before you go somewhere else. If your site isn’t mobile optimized and responsive, visitors will find a competitor’s site that is.
3. Leave No Whitespace
With limited real estate per page, you want to use every inch of it right? Not quite. When used correctly, whitespace not only improves the aesthetic of your site, but can even increase your ROI. When met with a cluttered page, visitors become overwhelmed and have difficulty finding important information. Whitespace makes your content easier to digest and even improves comprehension. It can also be used to guide users to the areas of your site you want them to see the most.
4. The More Options, the Better!
Consumers always say they want more; more options, more variety, more features. However, this isn’t quite true. It’s not that consumers want more options, but rather they want to easily find the option that best fits their needs. Cluttering your website with every possible option will actually decrease conversions, as consumers find it difficult to commit and choose. This doesn’t mean you can’t offer variety—it just means you have to guide users to the options that best fit their needs, rather than bombard them with all of them at once.
5. You View Your Website the Same Way Visitors Do
This is similar to the myth that you should like your website. This may sound counterintuitive but hear us out. You have an understanding of your business that your target audience doesn’t. They have questions, concerns, and may not understand certain elements of your business. It’s your website’s job to address their needs and guide them to what they want. This disconnect between businessowners and users can cause a lot of problems, but if you’re able to put yourself in their shoes, you’ll be able to better address their needs.
6. Everything Should Be Accessible Within 3 Clicks
It seems consumers are only growing more impatient, so it would be reasonable to assume that if a visitor can’t find what they want on your site within three clicks, they might leave. However, this unofficial web design rule has been debunked by a number of usability studies. While ease of navigation is essential in web design, consumers are willing to click around and explore a website to find what they want. As long as visitors feel they are making progress and being presented with valuable content, they will be willing to explore your website.
7. More Feedback is Always Better
Have you ever heard of the saying, ‘too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth?’ When you receive too much feedback on your site’s design, this is exactly what can happen. It’s not that feedback is bad, but it needs to be valuable. If you need feedback on your site’s design, make sure you only ask those who understand web design, your business, and your target audience instead of sending out a mass email asking for input. Too much invaluable feedback can derail your project and lead to a poor design as you try to accommodate everyone’s minor tweaks. If you’re really unsure about something in your site’s design, ask your designer. You hired them for their expertise and they will guide you to the best design solutions for your site.
Did you believe any of these web design myths? Does your website adhere to any? It may be time to redesign your website! Contact the web design professionals at MLT Group at email@example.com or 507.281.3490 today! We partner with you to create a design that not only looks great but is also easy to use and appealing to your target audience. We also provide digital marketing services from SEO to PPC and more.
When writing landing page copy for or your business’ site, nothing is more important than a strong call to action. Whether you want readers to click, call, or sign up, without a strong call to action, your conversion rates will suffer.
Even if you write a brilliant piece of copy, it will be rendered useless without a good call to action. But how do you create a strong call to action?
Use Command Verbs
Your call to action is all about being direct. Using strong command verbs will let your readers know exactly what you want them to do. For example, ‘buy’, ‘shop’, ‘download’, or ‘find out how’ are all concise and strong.
When a visitor finds themselves on your landing page, they’re probably not ready to sign their life away. Including language like ‘no obligation’ or ‘FREE trial’ puts the visitor at ease, making it easier for them to follow through.
Keep it Brief
The longer your call to action is, the more likely you are to lose the reader’s attention. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. “Click now to increase your site traffic today!”
Have a Deadline
It’s easy for visitors to think ‘I’ll just come back later.’ Including a deadline will encourage them to act sooner rather than later. “Limited time only!” “Sale ends soon!”
Entice Your Audience
Have you ever been to a site that immediately asks you to enter your credit card info? How likely are you to jump right in? Not very. Instead of asking your visitors to buy right away, consider enticing them first by offering a free trial, directing them to a video, or a demo. This eases them into the decision to buy and allows you the opportunity to educate them on your product or service.
You never know if something will work unless you try. Don’t be afraid to have fun and get creative with your call to action. Having a unique call to action will catch more attention than something generic. You can always change it if it isn’t working. Here’s a great example from the dating app, okcupid.
When a visitor comes to your business’ website, you have about 7 seconds to capture their attention. If they are faced with nothing but a huge block of text, your chances of keeping them on your site are slim, which is the opposite of what you’d want from a successful SEO strategy. But how can you capture a visitor’s attention quickly and keep it? Adding a professional video to your site may be the answer.
How Professional Videos Improve Your Website
Increase Engagement: Visuals are more engaging than plain text, meaning you can hook your audience right away with a video.
Easily Communicate Your Message: A video on your home page or your company blog that explains who you are, what you sell, and what you do is a quick way to introduce new visitors to your business, saving them from scrawling through text to try and find the answers themselves.
Make You Memorable: People retain information better when accompanied by images. This means visitors are more likely to think of you when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
Improve SEO: Having a video that is optimized for search engines will boost your site’s overall SEO. Make sure the title and tags incorporate keywords and geotargets relevant to your business. If you have multiple videos on your site, optimize them for different terms and geotargets for additional reach.
Give Your Business a Face: Did you realize that the human face is powerful? People are able to better empathize with human faces than other images. Videos are a great opportunity to give your business a face. Whether it be the founder or a spokesperson, utilizing people in your video will help your audience better identify with your business and see themselves using your product or service.
Including videos on your website is a great way to get your message out there and engage your audience. Ready to step up your website with a professional video? Contact the videography experts at MLT Group! Whether you need animation, drone footage, or a commercial, we’ve got you covered. For a free quote, contact us today at (507) 281-3490 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your St. Paul business’ website has one mission- get visitors to act. Whether that be making a purchase, joining your mailing list, or downloading content, if visitors aren’t following through with your desired action, your site isn’t doing its job. Your site’s design plays a significant role in driving conversions. Learn how you can boost conversions with your web design alone.
Highlight Your CTA: Your call to action (CTA) is the ultimate tool in generating leads. It tells visitors exactly what you want them to do. “Sign up now!” “Get your free demo today!” “Start shopping now!” But if your CTA isn’t prominently displayed in your site’s design, visitors may not follow through.
Test Your Site: When a new visitor comes to your site, how will they respond? Will they be able to easily navigate your site and find what they’re looking for? The best way to answer these questions is to ask someone who is unfamiliar with your site and your services to test it. Have them go through your site and take the desired action, recording their questions or any issues they run into. This will give you great insight into what your visitors experience and how you can adjust the web design to make their experience easier, better guiding them to take action.
Use Negative Space to Your Advantage: Negative space is any empty space on your website. This can be space between large visual elements or even the space between paragraphs. Using negative space appropriately will make your site easier to read, benefiting the user. You can even use negative space to draw the reader’s eyes exactly where you want. For example, if you want your readers to be drawn to a particular area, make it stand out by using negative space around it.
Utilize an F-Layout: Users naturally look at a page, starting at the upper left-hand corner, moving to the right, then working their way down in an F shape. But why isn’t this an E shape? Because oftentimes, readers won’t get all the way through. They are just looking skimming for important details. This means the area of the page that gets the most exposure is the upper left-hand corner, while the lower right-hand corner barely gets any. Placing the most important information in the upper left-hand corner will ensure users will see it. Otherwise, if it’s in the lower right-hand corner, it may not be seen at all.
Use Personable, High Quality Images: Images are an important design element of any website. They promote your brand and make your site look professional, but did you know they can also increase your conversions? Using images that feature people that are representative of your target audience helps visitors to better identify with your business and services.
Does your St. Paul website follow these strategies? If not, you could be missing out. MLT Group offers custom web design for desktops and mobile. Contact our expert web design team at email@example.com to learn how to maximize conversions on your website today!
Having a mobile version of your businesses’ website may have been scribbled at the bottom of your to do list. Well it’s time that afterthought be moved to the top of the list. More and more, smartphones are becoming the main resource for consumers to find and purchase products and services. Mobile users have overtaken desktop users for the percentage of ecommerce traffic and mobile popularity is only growing. That means if your site isn’t optimized for mobile phones, you’re losing potential customers and sales.
Why Do I Need a Mobile Friendly Site?
Having a site that is mobile compatible isn’t just important because more users are turning to smartphones to do their shopping. Mobile friendly sites are also great for SEO. Search engines that are mobile compatible such as Google and Yahoo! reward mobile sites with better rankings. This is a benefit that spans across desktop and mobile platforms.
Sites that are optimized for mobile devices also provide more opportunities for customers to shop. One study found that consumers tend to use their desktops to search during the week and mobile devices on the weekend. Not optimizing your site for mobile use can cut off weekend mobile shoppers.
When people are searching for goods and services on the go, they use the GPS in their phones. This allows them to find businesses that are close to them. If your site isn’t mobile-ready, you’ll experience a high bounce rate from these almost-customers.
What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate is the number of users who visit your site, only to leave shortly after. But why do they leave? Mobile users look for a quick and easy experience. Ask yourself, does your website take more than three seconds to load on a mobile phone? Do mobile users have to zoom in and out to view the content? If so, consumers will move along to a competitor who offers a better mobile experience.
Don’t wait to create or update your businesses’ mobile friendly website. Let the experts at MLT Group help! Our friendly professionals offer mobile website design, web design, ecommerce solutions, and other web services. Don’t get left in the dust and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 507.291.3490 to get started optimizing your website today!