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A minimal website naturally improves website conversions

A minimal website naturally improves website conversions

There is a lot of debate over how much your website design and user experience (UX) actually matter when it comes to online conversions. While some people swear by elaborate, flashy designs that wow users and keep them engaged, others maintain that keeping everything minimal and clean will naturally result in better conversions. Does a minimal website design really improve website conversions?

A minimal website removes the barriers to action

A minimal website naturally improves website conversions because it removes the barriers to action. A minimal website has only the core or essential components, reducing confusion and distraction. Minimal designs focus on simplicity by eliminating distractions, making messages clear and navigation easy, so visitors know where to go and what to do next. The main objective of minimal web design is to make the content stand out clearly without 'pushing' anything else onto users/visitors - no gratuitous animations or special effects that might distract them from actually reading your valuable content. Animations can be fun and engaging without being distracting. They can, and must have a purpose or they should be removed. Ask yourself, if it is adding to the clarity of your message?

A website is a reflection of your business

If your website and message, are too complicated, then maybe so is your business. By creating a simple, easy-to-navigate website, you'll be sending your visitors the message that you have clarity, leadership which ultimately builds trust. Minimal websites build customer trust when you need to demonstrate product quality without confusion. This helps your users focus on what matters, making their path to conversion smoother. By eliminating distractions and features that are not essential to the website's goals, you'll be able to focus on one thing only - improving conversions.When people visit websites, they make split-second decisions about whether it meets their needs and to which content they should pay attention. As such, users need to understand your website in seconds, not minutes. Minimal websites are designed in a way that "forces" visitors to focus on the content, not everything else around it.

A minimalist website makes for a more enjoyable experience

Minimal design is effortless to digest which makes users happier when they visit your website and spend more time browsing through your site's pages. Simplicity is also comforting for both the business owner and the user. Since minimal designs focus on ease and clarity, users aren't confused by complicated structures or distracted by too many elements vying for their attention at once. This helps your users find what they are looking for faster because it doesn't distract them with other things instead of the core purpose of the website - to convert leads into paying customers.In conclusion, a minimalist website design improves website conversions by removing barriers to action, reducing confusion and distraction, and allowing users to focus on your message. Plus, it shows clarity and leadership – a direct reflection of your business. Ultimately, focused attention accelerates user comprehension and action. What are some of your favorite minimalist websites? Let us know in the comments below!Reach out to learn more about minimalist web design or get started with one for your own business. And don’t forget to comment below with your favorite minimalist websites!

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The Future of Gesture Recognition Technology

Life has become a science fiction movie. Ok, while that may be a bold claim, current trends in technology have pointed toward a world where humans and machines interact in a fantasy, movie-esque fashion. Screens can now recognize faces and fingerprints and the Google glass project has turned glasses into fully functioning computers. This emerging trend can be better defined as gesture recognition or language technology. Since there are so many devices that now incorporate gestures into the user experience it is vital to ask the questions of where does this take us? and can the movements of humans be patented?Before we begin the dive into theorizing what the future of gesture recognition technology has in store for all of mankind; we should first explore where these things are most present. The two biggest devices which support this emerging trend of interaction are smart phones and televisions. The blink of an eye, the wave of a hand and much more are ways that humans friend their technology per say. The Google glass, while not so much based off gestures, is important to bring into the discussion because it is the first of its kind; essentially a wearable computer.

Smart Phones

For smart phones it all began with the touch screens. This allowed finger motions such as swipes and taps to become the norm for advancing user experiences. The next step as seen with the latest model of the Samsung Galaxy is the detection of when a user is looking at their phone. The campaign for the Samsung Galaxy S4 includes a commercial which boasts the phone's ability to pause video when a user looks away. The Galaxy S4 also supports a wide array of touchless gestures where a user can simply shape things over the phone with his or her fingers and the phone responds. This could be the reason behind the heavily-fueled rumor that Apple's newest iPhone will feature an eyeball recognition locking system. Voice commands, although are not gestures, have become popular with many phone companies as it allows users to be completely hands free regardless of whether the fingers touch the phone or hover above it.

Televisions

In conjunction with its newest Galaxy model Samsung is also spearheading the future of television interaction. Its new SmartTV, as the commercial campaign boasts, can be controlled by voice and hand motions. Simply waving one's hand in front of the screen in predetermined motions act as a mouse or remote when choosing things on the screen. The voice command can simply be used to shout out the name of desired program. Although this may not necessarily be the first time that a television has had this capability it definitely appears to be the most fluid working.

Google Glass

The Google glass project is still in the early stages as it is not available nationwide in stores yet. The glasses are mostly limited to developers and people who have written Google personally and then Google decided whether to grant the privilege of owning them or not. These go beyond gesture technology because they are wearable and the user doesn't necessarily even have to make gestures. It is a lens that projects all the information one would want from their phone directly in front of them. Text message, phone call or GPS; the Google glass can do these things easily from a voice command.

Future of Gesture Recognition Technology

The future of this technology is hard to predict because with any technology, it is always changing. The horizon is a little blurry but one can make the assumption that it will only continue to develop and eventually turn into voice command technology. These two have already been integrated together but the point of technology is to be able to use it without thinking about it. Whatever that secret may be is what the future is going to be. Wearable tends to be the forerunner right now with Google glass becoming popular and the rumor of Apple releasing an iWatch next year. It will be interesting to see where technology takes us because it is just as important to remember to stay human. Google has also been talking about making a car and with the Siri integration in others; technology and our phones have entered into every part of our lives. Perhaps there will come a day we will be able to speak things and they will just happen all in part to devices being able to completely understand our meanings.

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Dr. Susan Weinschenk On How To Get People To Do Stuff, Pt. 2

The LA UX Meetup on August 15 was just as much a lesson in psychology as it was an insight into user experiences and web design. The Los Angeles web design community was lucky enough to learn from Dr. Susan Weinschenk as she discussed her new book "How to Get People to Do Stuff".In addition to her Ph.D., Dr. Weinschenk has over 30 years of experience in behavioral psychology. She applies the discipline of neuroscience to figure out what it is that makes people tick and why they make the decisions they do. Clients have sought her help to implement plans of better communication and persuasion with customers. She has researched and written about ways to persuade for websites, presentations and many other mediums. The seven drivers of motivation highlighted at this LA UX Meetup were supported by her examples and inspired the web design community in attendance. Let's take a look at them:

1.) The Power of Stories

"There's research that shows us that the brain processes information best in story format, people will understand it better, they will remember it longer and they will be most emotionally impacted by the information if it's in story format," Weinschenk begins on her first driver of motivation. She notes that this is something most people are already aware of and goes on to explain the other aspect of power in stories, "We have stories that we tell ourselves, we have self-stories." Self-stories are significant because it is how we communicate ourselves to others. If a company can change an individual's self-story than it has the power to change that individual's behavior or buying process. Her example was illustrated through her story about how she was once a PC person and then converted into an Apple person. Her first purchase was an iPod Nano. That caused a “crack” in her self-story of not being an Apple person. Now she was kind of an Apple person, which led to her purchase of the iPhone. Apple was able to change her self-story by getting her to purchase one product and then to purchase another and more. She concluded by saying she now owns an iPad, Macbook and Mac desktop computer and even an Apple TV.

2.) Tricks of the Mind

This second motivator dealt with the unconscious and how we perceive things in daily life. Dr. Weinschenk shared Daniel Kahneman’s categories from his book “Thinking Fast and Slow. There are two types of thinking: 'system one' and 'system two' thinking. "System One thinking is quick, intuitive...effortless," explains Dr. Weinschenk, "that's our normal mode, we walk around all day thinking like this, most of the time." She then showed a video to display the difference between these two systems of thinking. When you are thinking in a system two mode your eyes tend to dilate because of the heavy, more focused thinking. Another insightful note Dr. Weinschenk presented during this portion was "Most mental processing is unconscious."

3.) Instincts

This portion was a nice lesson on the different parts of the brain and how they affect behavior. Humans all have three basic instincts: food, sex, and danger, and in order to motivate people to do things; these instincts can be tapped in finding different ways to reach people at a level in which we all share these basic human instincts.

4.) Carrots and Sticks

This motivating factor is based on rewards. She uses an example of how a casino gives rewards to winners, but not every time. She warns, however, that of the seven motivators this is the weakest one, "It's probably one of the less powerful techniques that I am talking about...use some of these other things, the power of stories, instincts." She also warns that one should not use punishment because that only discourages, "It's one of the least effective things you can do," she said. Rewards are much more beneficial and are more effective in getting more of a behavior than punishment..

5.) The Need to Belong

"We have an inherent need to belong to a group. We want to be social. We want to belong to groups. We are social animals," Dr. Weinschenk said following a nice display in which she invited seven members from the audience to participate. Each member had a different percussion instrument. At first the sound was the very dissonant but as the group members looked around at each other, the sounds became more synchronous. This is tied to getting people to do stuff through the need to connect. People want to trust each other and the best way to get someone to trust is you is for you to first show them that you trust them. Once trust is established it gives companies and clients the chance to maintain a relationship which can continually improve business.

6.) The Desire of Mastery

This motivator refers to how people like to learn new skills and gain knowledge of new practices. This is a way to motivate people because it allows them to grow and reach new heights and will ultimately benefit them. Clients will become more loyal to your products and services once they see they are progressing in their skills and knowledge with a product. Achieving and learning new things establishes a sense of pride that allows people to brag and talk more about your company.

7.) Habits

The easiest way to create a new habit is to anchor to an existing habit explained Dr. Weinshcenk. New habits can form in less than a week by using this anchoring technique. Breaking things into small steps is important to getting people to develop new habits.The Los Angeles web design community sure had a lot to learn and apply after this informational session with Dr. Susan Weinschenk. Many thanks to the LA UX Meetup, Santa Barbara UX Meetup and the UX Book Club of Los Angelesfor hosting Dr. Weinschenk. Also thanks to the venue hosts at Cross Campus in Santa Monica.If you would like to learn more about the 7 drivers of motivation be sure to check out Dr. Susan Weinschenk's new book "How to Get People to Do Stuff". This is her latest book and base for the night's presentation but it is one of several other great books she has written, give them all a read!For Part 1 of 2, the Susan Weinschenk INTERVIEW click here.

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The Future of Interaction Design With Noessel and Hendrie

The Los Angeles web design community focused on the future of interaction design last week at Art Center in Pasadena. Two speakers took the stage to discuss what users can expect in the near future for user experience (UX), interaction and visual design. The first speaker, Maggie Hendrie, is a user experience designer and educator, who is the Chair of Interaction Design at Art Center. She highlighted some student and graduate work from Art Center IxD students to see how social and creativity have become central to their practice. The main speaker of the night was Christopher Noessel (@chrisnoessel) who recently co-authored the book Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Sci-Fi. He discussed the relationship of design to science fiction, and how sci-fi continuously inspires people to be more innovative with interaction design. The Media Contour team had the opportunity to sit down and talk with both before the show, here are the main ideas:

Mobile Design and Beyond

The first topic Luke Swenson asked the pair to talk about was what is next after mobile design. He noted an increase in business for website design on a mobile interface but what's the next big technology that will further improve user interaction?Chris Noessel is excited about future technologies and began, "I think that the Leap Motion millimeter-wave gesture recognition is going to be super promising. Now that we can read fingers it's going to get a lot more interesting as far as gesture recognition, and we'll be able to maybe even sort of meet sci-fi at what sci-fi has been promising for that sort of thing."Gesture based technologies sound fun and futuristic but it’s not what Noessel is most excited about. He is interested in eyes. "I am most excited about our eyes because there are two technologies that, I believe, are on the verge of breaking through, that is going to change our experience with technology. One is “gaze monitoring.” It’s been around in art for twenty years." He then explained the method of how it works, involving infrared LED monitors that triangulate gaze. As a pointer on a screen, this would be far more efficient than a mouse. "I think we'll be able to relate to computers a lot more when they know where we're looking, especially given that we're entering a world of multiple devices, multiple screens, and multiple touch points. Knowing where I'm looking is pretty critical and computers will be able to know that," said Noessel.

Consumers, Existing and Future Technologies

The discussion of future technologies led to trying to discover how customers will be reached by brands in the coming years. Many references to the Google Glass project were made because of the bridge it has built between mobile interfaces and a eye-projected interface.Maggie Hendrie began with this important point to consider, "A lot of technologies exist today that we just don't use. So near frequency, RFID, Bluetooth..you know the fact that we still have so many connectors instead of bluetooth-ing a lot more is kind of untapped but I do agree that the opportunity to have a personalized, visual experience is new for people. People have had the data experience or a promotional experience or a mobile experience but they haven't had an immersive visual experience outside of gaming and it could naturally focus our attention in a way that our devices used to distract our attention."Hendrie theorized another good point after she had brought up the patent case issue between tech-giants Apple and Samsung. The issue was over a patent Apple had made for its "pinch" screen gesture which led to Hendrie asking "What happens when people patent our gestures?" She continued, "There's an increased understanding of the connection between design innovation and IP creation, right? A lot more people are investing in IP creation, they're beginning to invest in design innovation." Her next call was for designers to be conscious of picking the best medium for their work. In science fiction technologies are functioning in an ideal world where the technology in real life is just now being realized. "Again I think that's going to be the role of designers is choosing the right interactive medium for the desired outcome."

How Businesses Can Conceptualize Ways to Reach Consumers

The last major idea Luke asked Chris Noessel and Maggie Hendrie to touch points on was how a business can conceptualize ways to use technologies to reach consumers. It may be hard for a client to understand the best way to implement new technologies into marketing efforts and ultimately what will the adoption curve rate be of these new technologies.Noessel began, "We often ask our clients to do one of two things. One: Imagine its sci-fi...sci-fi is a language in and of itself. For example, imagine it’s in Minority Report, or imagine it’s in Star Wars. That frees them up from the constraints of “what can be done” to what would be awesome? What would be useful?"Hendrie added that when meeting with clients there are always two big questions to ask and consider. The first question is "What business are you in?" and the second is "What kind of organization are you?" It comes down to what kind of opportunities are available to your type of organization.

Conclusion

The round table interview ended on a positive note with many delightful insights on the future of technology as a business tool. Many thanks to Art Center in Pasadena and Jon Fox and Petra Wennberg Cesario of NorthEast LA User Experience (NELAUX) group who made it possible to interview Maggie Hendrie and Chris Noessel.Christopher Noessel's new book Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Sci-Fi is available on (http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/make-it-so/)

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Roundtable: Lean UX with Lane Halley and Jaime Levy

Jaime Levy and Jane Halley

At this month’s much anticipated Los Angeles User Experience Meetup event regarding Lean UX, Media Contour had the opportunity of conducting a round table interview with Lane Halley and Jaime Levy on the benefits of Lean UX strategies and practices for startups and enterprises.Lane Halley is a digital product designer and UX facilitator at Carbon Five. Jaime Levy is a User Experience strategist and principal at JLR Interactive. She also teaches User Experience at UCLA Extension.They are both pioneers in the topics of User Experience and Lean Startups and offered innovative insight at this great event. Below is an excerpt of our round table.LUKE: Hello. Our community consists of both agency UX’ers and designers, but also startups, small businesses and marketing teams within medium-to-enterprise level companies. I’d like to start with them. Let’s define Lean UX and discuss why it’s beneficial to their projects.

What is Lean UX?

LANE HALLEY: Lean Startup is a growing movement focused on customer understanding, experimentation, validated learning and iterative product releases which shortens product development cycles and increases the chance of product success. Lean UX combines elements of design thinking and Agile development practices. I think of Lean UX as the evolution of user experience methods which allow us to continue as UX practitioners in the modern world.Lean UX is an alternative to the “waterfall” method of product development which involves distinct phases, handoffs and an over-emphasis on deliverable documents. By working in small validated cycles, teams can reduce risk and minimize waste in their design and development process.

Jaime Levy and Lane Halley

Jaime Levy, Chris Chandler and Lane Halley discuss Lean UX at Cross CampusJAIME LEVY: User Experience is typically practiced as a linear methodology with the output being a static product design document jammed with wireframes and functional specification. The biggest waste to me is the precious time that we creative professionals spend designing products that potentially nobody wants or needs.LUKE:Reducing waste. How often do we end up at the final QA phase of a project only to find out that we should have done something another way? These realizations are often unavoidable growing pains of developing something new, but Lean UX can help businesses find out what they REALLY need earlier on.

Why is Lean UX Better for Businesses?

LANE HALLEY: The first question would be what does this business do and who is their audience? With that sort of foundation, you can better determine ways to deliver what meets your client’s needs without getting caught up in the hubris of what you think they need.LUKE: It’s almost planning by doing. You don’t know what you need or what you’ve missed until some sort of final product is in front of you.LANE HALLEY: Working in this kind of environment, you have to create a different kind of collaborative relationship with your client, where you become explorers together, and you have to recognize that all of your ideas are assumptions until they’re validated with happy, paying customers. This shift in consciousness and way of working based on this philosophy really does yield better results.LUKE: Happy paying customers. I’m finding that it’s really important to get real user feedback sooner in the process and in Lean UX it’s a must.JAIME LEVY: I would add that getting stakeholders and users together as quickly as possible really applies in any type of work environment. For example, a technique I employ is bringing startup clients and potential users into an informal environment (i.e. a cafe) instead of a traditional focus group setting. We show the potential users a quick and dirty prototype as opposed to a polished product. This relaxes the atmosphere. It makes the interview more conversational, and we increase the likelihood of receiving both immediate and more thought-provoking feedback. I did these "guerilla"-type interviews with the CEO of TradeYa recently. He saw how the potential customers not only stumbled on the prototype but just did not understand the product's value proposition. Because he sat in on the interviews as a notetaker, it allowed us to get on the same page more quickly and with a sharper focus toward product optimization and value innovation.

Adopting a Lean UX Philosophy

LUKE: Let’s shift back to agency life. For teams unfamiliar with Lean UX, how can they start implementing the Lean UX method into their practices?LANE HALLEY: It’s really about changing the relationship between the client and the team that’s doing the production and design. The first thing is to make talking to users an ongoing part of your process. It’s not a special occasion and it’s not just at the end of the process. It’s about continual user engagement, constantly mixing that conversation into the project, and engaging the people who are making the decisions in that process too. Step two is really empowering and aligning the team around a shared vision. We use a technique at Carbon Five called “design studio.” It’s a collaborative design session facilitated by a designer where everyone sits down with pencil and paper and sketches solutions to the problem. This is a great way to get the right conversation flowing around the product that is being created.JAIME LEVY: Well, it’s so dependent on the client because a lot of times clients come in and already have a specific idea for something. It’s also really important to do market research so you know what direct competitors are doing so you can consider what’s being done outside of that particular vertical in terms of feature concepts. This allows for new ways of approaching things and problem solving. Oftentimes, you need to shift the mental model of how a product works to something totally different. Lean UX advocates for UX practitioners to ask clients about who they think are their customers and what problems they are actually trying to solve. But UX Strategy is about balancing the validated solution against smart market research so you can find new opportunities to exploit.

Conclusion

Lean UX is defining a problem and then finding a solution by doing. By getting started, you provide your team with the opportunity to catch missing functionality that you couldn’t of otherwise caught without some type of prototype. It’s also about getting customers in front of your project as soon as possible to learn as much as you can about real user interaction.You can start practicing Lean UX by bringing together collaborative teams and giving them tools to create working prototypes. These prototypes do not have to be complex. At our studio we use a combination of marker boards, paper sketches and Balsamiq Mockups to create working prototypes with your clients and their customers.

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5 Internet Marketing Trends for 2013 You Can't Ignore

Internet marketing trends change from year to year. Sometimes these fast changes leave Internet marketers and small brick and mortar businesses alike scrambling to catch up. Here’s the good news. Although 2013 is nearly half over, there’s still time to implement these five internet marketing trends you don’t want to miss out on.

1. Responsive Website Design

People visit websites from a wide range of different devices. Your site needs to be accessible to as many of these viewers as possible no matter how they’re accessing your site. In other words, you need a site that flows seamlessly for people viewing on laptops, desktops, tablets, notebooks, netbooks, and mobile phones alike. That’s what responsive website design is all about, creating a site that’s friendly on all platforms. Today, it’s not a nice-to-have feature, it’s a must have.

2. Email Marketing/Remarketing

Email remarketing is one of the Internet marketing trends for 2013 that business owners from all industries can get excited about. An important component of it is contacting people who have allowed website shopping carts to expire by not taking the final steps to make the purchase. It lets your audience know you care to hear why they didn’t make the purchase to begin with. It also helps you shore up areas of concern for customers so they’re confident enough to buy from you in the future. Start off with email marketing. Launch an email campaign and publish an email newsletter to develop a relationship with your existing and prospective customers and make your email remarketing more effective.

3. Content and More Content

Of course, a voluminous amount of content alone is not enough. You need high-quality, high-value content that is relevant to your area of business, or niche, if you’re going to really capitalize on the benefit it can provide. A content management system is a great tool to help you “feed” your website with timely and regular content and is one of the most valuable of the internet marketing trends.

4. Smarter Social Media Strategy

Social media is constantly evolving. While you may be using social media, are you using it to your full advantage to capitalize on internet marketing trends for 2013? Do you have a plan and social media strategy in place? A smart social media strategy includes social listening, engagement, call to actions, advertisements and measurement. A solid social media strategy for businesses that is reassessed every year, and not just for 2013, is a wise plan for all businesses operating on the Internet today.

5. Mobile Strategy

Just as social media is growing in prominence and importance as a marketing tool, so is the usage of mobile devices by the population at large. In fact, 24 percent of Google traffic in the fourth quarter of 2012 came from mobile devices. Those numbers are only going to grow in 2013. The current worldwide audience of subscribing smartphone users is 1.1 billion people. That’s a huge market to miss out on if you don’t have a mobile website.

If you aren’t keeping up with these Internet marketing trends your business could suffer in 2013 and beyond. Now is the time to reassess your Internet marketing strategy to be sure you’re embracing the changing way the world does business today.

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Is a Mobile Website a must in 2013? Move it or lose it?

Businesses today need every competitive edge they can get. In today’s fast-paced world, a mobile website is the very edge you need in order to remain competitive, much less get ahead of your competitors. More and more people are making the move to mobile services for fast access to information and for making purchases. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, then you’re leaving money on the tables for other businesses in your field to come in and swoop up.

Unprecedented Growth in Mobile Traffic

Mobile websites offer a whole new world of opportunities for business owners to cash in on the “other” half of people accessing the Internet by engaging them with apps, mobile coupons, QR codes, location-based coupons and discounts, and countless other mobile-specific offerings. However, any of these efforts are pointless if you do not have a mobile website that’s compatible with smartphones and other mobile devices.

“In 2010 more than 50 percent of all Internet access was being done via handhelds of some sort,” reports Inc.com. Those numbers, according to Cisco, rose to 70 percent in 2012.

The widespread introduction of fourth generation, or 4G, mobile connectivity has generated 19 times more traffic than non-4G connectivity according to Cisco. This means that mobile websites are becoming even more critical for business success.

Mobile Users Expect It

Even with faster 4G connections, mobile users have come to expect quick loading, easy to navigate mobile websites. If you do not have one, then they’ll simply visit the next one on the list. The real secret to success with mobile websites is to follow the keep it simple philosophy. Mobile visitors want sites that load fast and give them the information they are looking for without a lot of the clutter full websites include.

Now Offers the Greatest Advantage

“90 percent of websites are not ready to be optimized.” -- Get Elastic

“52 percent of users who have bad mobile experiences are less likely to engage with the companies.” -- Get Elastic

These statistics tell you that it is your opportunity to be the early bird that really does get the worm. More importantly, this means you could be missing out on business today and in the future by not having an easy to navigate mobile website for your business.

Mobile is Where People are Spending Money

Consumers spent $25 billion dollars via mobile devices in 2012. Those numbers are only expected to grow as more people make the move to 4G devices and greater numbers of net savvy youth get jobs and enter the mobile marketplace. -- Yahoo! Small Business Advisor

The bottom line is that you need your website to be wherever people are spending money.

Businesses today can’t afford to alienate potential customers by ignoring their mobile audiences. It would be the same mistakes businesses made by putting off embracing social media and could prove extremely costly.

Stay ahead of your incorporation by implementing a mobile version of your website.

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7 Reasons to Publish an Email Newsletter Today

It started with a simple box inviting people to subscribe. Today, Geoff Bartakovics has transformed Tasting Table to a thriving newsletter with over one million subscribers. It only took four short years and a fair amount of elbow grease to do it. Not all businesses will grow to one million subscribers. But, it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibilities. Here are seven reasons your business needs to publish an email newsletter beginning today.

Keeps Your Business Name Fresh in the Mind of Customers

Every single time you send out a news email “blast” or email newsletter to your subscribers you’re sending them a reminder that your business is the one that can meet their needs. Whatever business you’re in, this is advertising that keeps on giving – even if they don’t need your products or service today, your business will be the first one that comes to mind when they do because they consistently see your name in their email inboxes (whether that’s on their computer or mobile device).

Brings Customers to You Week After Week

You no longer have to wait for customers to come to your website when they need something you have to offer. Now, you can bring your website, products, and/or services to them with a few keystrokes and a click of the mouse. And – it’s instant! You don’t even need to wait on the postal services to deliver it.

Lets Your Customers Advertise for You

When you send consistently high quality email newsletters to your customers, the chances are good that they are going to share your newsletters through social media or with other friends and family who need the information, services, or goods you have to offer. They become advertisers for your business and all it took was for you to give them the tools to help you out via your email campaign.

Drives Traffic to Your Website

No matter what line of business you’re in, no matter how good you are at taking care of your business, your website isn’t going to be successful without traffic. Email marketing through a well-designed and well-thought out newsletter brings a steady stream of visitors to your site week after week. The best news is that these visitors are generally people who are already interested in the products you’re selling.

Helps You Build Relationships with Your Target Market

More importantly, email newsletters help you build trust with your target market. The more reliable and informative news you share with your audience, the more often they will turn to you for solid industry information. There really is no better way to build solid, trusting relationships with your customer base than email newsletters.

Establishes Your Business as an Industry Leader

For the people who subscribe to your newsletter, you are the voice of authority in your industry. The more information you provide them with, the more proof you’re giving them that this is the case. Give expert advice to your customers and they will keep coming back to you for more and more advice in your industry. Newsletters are, by far, the easiest way to share that advice.

Gives you the Chance to Provide a Compelling Call to Action

More importantly, it gives you this vital opportunity every time you hit the send button for your email newsletter. You’re not just sending one call to action. You’re sending calls to action to each and every newsletter subscriber on your list. And, they’ve invited you to do it. They want to hear what you have to say and when the timing and product is right, they are your most likely buyers on the World Wide Web (and sometimes off the Internet too).

Wouldn’t it be great if you could do all these things so easily? You can! We can help. Contact us today to to see how we can help you get your email newsletter up and running today so you can enjoy amazing results like these tomorrow.

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5 Strategies for Getting the Most Out of Your Business Website Design

Whether you’ve decided that it’s time to redesign your website, or perhaps you’re embarking on your very first business website design, your website is a vital part of building your brand and business, both online and off. Either way, here are 5 strategies to get more traffic to and customers from your website.

Be strategic.

In other words, know your website’s goals, both primary and secondary. The more clearly defined your website’s goals, the easier it is for your website designer, copywriter, and blogger to meet these goals. What is the main purpose of your website? Is it to gain leads, sell products, attract new clients, ask you for a free quote request, sign up for your newsletter, provide product and service support to reduce phone calls, or read your blog a few times a week?

Make it user friendly.

Are your visitors able to interact with your website in a way that is meaningful to them? Intuitive navigation, easily recognizable hyperlinks, strategic information design, optimized search function, scannable and readable text, fast page load times, functioning keyboard shortcuts, and good use of white space are all features of a user-friendly website design.

Make it mobile friendly.

According to GoMo News, 25 percent of mobile only internet browsers rarely or never browse the web using their desktop. Think with Google further reports that by 2015, more individuals in the U.S. will access the internet through their mobile device than through a desktop personal computer. What’s more, one in five mobile website visits leads to a user taking action. Building a mobile compatible website while also avoiding elements that frustrate mobile users is critical for businesses to take advantage of the exploding mobile world we live in today.

Incorporate fresh and captivating content.

Regularly supplying your website visitors with fresh and engaging content will incite visitors to return to your site again and again. Encourage comments or participation in polls to have your visitors interact more with your site. Utilize a call to action to ask for blog or newsletter subscribers, provide captivating high quality images, and be sure to integrate social media into your website and blog. Whether it’s your blog, product updates, galleries, multimedia, or company or industry news, deliver useful, entertaining, and valuable information -- consistently.

Utilize analytics.

At the very least, get to know Google Analytics, which your professional web designer can provide and incorporate into your website. This insightful tool can tell you what pages on your site your visitors are reading, how long they are staying, where they are located, what browser or device they are using, what their entry and exit pages are, and so much more. Learning more about your visitors and their behaviors can help you better target them.None of these business website design strategies are a quick fix. They require effort, persistence, and time. But the investment not only provides cumulative benefits, but also takes your business to the next level.

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Make Smart Updates and Avoid Being Distracted by Website Trends

In any field involving design, there will always be trends. Sometimes, these trends offer easy ways for designers to make certain that one of their creations looks contemporary. In other cases, these trends are destined to be short-lived and may not really offer anything to the end result. Website updates generally will follow some dominant design trends in the Internet world but, that being said, it's important to understand what types of website trends may constitute wastes of time and money.

Layout Trends

Today's websites tend to be much more content rich on a page by page basis than were the websites of the past. In fact, multicolumn designs allow website designers to pack pages full of information. This is an example of an effective website trend. When this is done right, your website visitors won't have to click through a lot of different pages to get to the information they want. When it's done incorrectly, your visitors won't be able to figure out what part of the page they should be looking at to find what they're after.If you are expanding your website from a one-or two-column designed to a multicolumn design, make certain that you're doing so in a way that makes life easier for your visitors, not more complicated.

Graphic Trends

One of the very noticeable website trends in design over the last few years is that graphics have become more functional than they ever were before. For instance, rather than having a pretty picture on a page to keep visitors interested, most images on webpages these days are very specific to the content on the rest of the page. For businesses, rather than looking for a nice image to put on a webpage, the current trend – and this has been a trend for a while – is to utilize the branding theory as much as possible in image selection.Branding is an example of a good website trend as far as design is concerned. It comes from the accumulated knowledge that marketers and businesses have built up over years of being on the Internet now.

Too Trendy

Remember not to get too trendy with your website design. You may notice that a lot of websites are starting to adopt a particular design style that appeals to you. Your website designer can help you to take advantage of what's good about these website trends but, if they're a very good website designer, they will also show you how you can be different and original at the same time.

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