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7 Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Thursday - October 17th, 2013

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

7 Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make

From social media to SEO, there’s an incredible amount of information that you must consider and evaluate as you pursue a holistic marketing strategy. But with so much going on, it’s easy to overlook crucial elements that could make or break your online marketing efforts. Seeing your website on a daily basis can make you immune to any flaws or inefficiencies that consumers immediately pick up on. The overall messaging could even be more confusing than you realize.

 

By keeping an eye out for these common web design mistakes, you can ensure that your brand maintains the pristine image you’ve worked so hard to build.

 

  1. Poor navigation. Too many businesses focus on the big picture without realizing the importance that details such as navigation make in the online experience. Careful attention concerning site navigation is a critical consideration for business owners trying to grow their online presence.
  2. Too much pizzazz. Of course you want to impress your visitors, but creating a site that’s too flashy results in a site that’s too confusing. After all, minimalism is currently defining the standard for web design. If you want to impress, then impress with simplicity.
  3. Poor readability. Today, the attention span for online content is so short that it’s critical to capture a user’s attention within a few seconds. Not only must the content on your site be well written, but it must also be published with beautiful typography that customers find attractive and easy to read.
  4. No calls to action. Yes, believe it or not, there are many businesses that fail to include calls to action throughout their website. The reality is that you need to prod visitors to take action, no matter how simple that action may be. Whether it’s signing up for a weekly newsletter or simply taking the time to learn about a product, a CTA dramatically improves the power that your site possesses for your business.
  5. Failing to test on all devices. Because consumers are browsing the internet on desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and various other devices, it’s crucial to ensure that your site functions on all these platforms. Investing in a responsive site or ensuring that it’s otherwise designed to function on any platform is a critical checkpoint in today’s marketplace.
  6. Lack of search navigation. Some visitors will come to your website knowing exactly what they want. If your website lacks a search box, it will be difficult and frustrating for a user to find something hiding within the site. This is a simple fix that can be addressed with Google Custom Search.
  7. Items that look like an advertisement. Even if you’re promoting something within your business, anything that looks like an advertisement will be ignored by large swathes of your visitors. The reality is that the internet has been around long enough for people to ignore banners, pop-up screens, and other typical advertisement gimmicks.

 

Ultimately, almost any mistake in web design can be attributed to a lack of efficiency and lack of clarity. In today’s hyper competitive online market, the mantra of keeping it simple couldn’t be more applicable. Users should easily be able to browse your site, understand what your business is about, and be encouraged to take some form of action.

7 Mistakes that Result in a Failed Website

Tuesday - October 15th, 2013

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

7 Mistakes that Result in a Failed Website

Did you know that there are over 700 million websites and countless pages that dominate the internet every day? Marketing and social media efforts make it possible for our sites to be found, but many of the factors that determine success (or failure) are often found in the web design of the site itself. The reality is that no matter how hard you market a website, if the site itself isn’t strong, it will be extremely difficult to grow your business.

Did you know that consumers rate 72 percent of websites with a grade of 59 percent or lower? While this is startling news, it’s also encouraging in that your brand has the opportunity to stick out as a business that is dedicated to a strong customer experience, especially online. The good news is that there are many brands that have incredible websites with equally successful sales – and you can enjoy this success as well!

 

So what are the most common reasons that a website fails?

  1. The site was created without an objective. What’s your goal? Is it to replicate your current sales process or to build awareness for your brand? The reality is that too many businesses try to do too much with their site and end up not accomplishing anything at all. If you’re experiencing a limited response from your site, then it’s time to hone in and focus on one area. The reality is that even if your site focuses on one thing (such as improving sales), other areas of your web presence (such as a blog) can continue building awareness for your brand.
  2. The site is out of date. The internet evolves incredibly fast. While it might seem inconvenient to stay up-to-date with every single trend, the reality is that the online world is beginning to mature. We do know that flat and minimalist designs appear to be a trend that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Remember, it’s easy to tell the relevance of a site (and therefor the business) simply by looking at it, so make sure that your site is current with the times.
  3. Failing to personalize the site. Today, it’s all about customized options. If your site forces a one-size-fits-all approach, you’ll inevitably push consumers away from your brand. It’s all about customization and creating a browsing experience that’s unique to each visitor.
  4. Forced registration. While you certainly want to capture user information while their on the site, this should be an optional offering. Forcing consumers to register for your site before you give them access to information is not only frustrating, but also an outdated tactic. If you grant access to your information and valuable content first, then consumers will be more inclined to not only visit repeatedly, but perhaps conduct business with your brand as well.
  5. Static content. There will always be static content on any website, but failing to invest in content marketing will leave your site completely devoid of fresh content. Whether it’s a blog or active social media strategy, you want your brand to be as alive as possible online.
  6. Not being aggressive enough. While you don’t want to be obnoxious, don’t forget to brag about your business. Now is not the time to be coy about your services and the incredible things that your brand has to offer. Rather, post glowing testimonials everywhere and stress why your business is the greatest thing that has happened since sliced bread.
  7. No fun. Though your site should get to business for your business, remember that it’s not all about business – yes, you can have fun! A site should be fun and engaging in order to captivate users and encourage them to perform business with you online.

Unlocking the Psychology Behind Web Design

Thursday - October 10th, 2013

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

Unlocking the Psychology Behind Web Design

An incredible amount of resources is spent analyzing marketing campaigns to measure what strategies worked and didn’t work. Fact is that brands go through painstaking processes to analyze the psychology behind their marketing efforts, but why not use this strategy to improve web design as well?

The reality is that once we can establish a framework in the psychology of the user experience, we can take advantage of this knowledge to create a site that’s efficient, attractive, and compelling. So what exactly are the psychological elements of web design?

 

Establish Trust

One of the immediate, yet often overlooked, elements in the basic psychological principles of web design is to establish trust with customers. Have you ever visited a new website and immediately clicked away because it didn’t look trustworthy? If we expect consumers to perform business with us, then our site has to “look” like an authoritative presence in the online world. While it’s easy to look professional, we must remain consistently attentive to detail.

Remember, visitors are almost always skeptical of new websites, especially those that are commercial in nature. Even if you’re not a professional designer, we all can pinpoint a trustworthy site from a sketchier one. In other words, if you’re having doubts about the timeliness of your site and whether you need an update, it’s probably time for one.

 

Create a Sense of Familiarity

While you certainly want to be creative and boast a website that is unique to your brand, you must also reconcile this with the fact that consumer psychology shows us that web users prefer familiar and recognizable patterns. Whether it’s in the way that your site is set up or the way that your product pages are designed, there are certain things that users expect to see on a given website – and should see.

 

Some of the most crucial pages in a website are an “About” and “Contact Us” page, both of which give consumers the opportunity to learn more about your brand, especially if they’re stumbling onto your site for the first time. Furthermore, a sense of familiarity will be easier to establish if your branding efforts are consistent across the platform.

 

Take Advantage of Psychological Triggers

Perhaps the most important psychological trigger in the practice of web design is taking advantage of imagery. Consumers can easily remember an image and associate it with an emotion that they felt at the time. By using strong visuals throughout the site, you can appeal to positive emotions such as a sense of belonging and value. Furthermore, images also reinforce important concepts that you want consumers to remember. This will make your intent clear and even help with branding efforts. Keep in mind that visual clues don’t necessarily have to be images, as something like your typography can be extremely visual as well.

Don’t forget about color psychology, as certain colors are proven to affect individual moods and behaviors. Of course, there are many color combinations and palates that you can take advantage of in order to create the best browsing experience possible for your guests. As you experiment with more and more options, you’ll begin to discover the tactics that engage your fans and which ones don’t.