Blog

Learn the ins and outs of Web Design with our how-tos and resources
  • Why You Need a Branded Website

    Creating a branded website is a must for any business that wants to thrive. After designing the logo, this is the next big step. A website creates a cohesive image of their brand, establishing trust between them and consumers. If you’re not already sold on this idea, here are some more points to consider:

    Make a good first impression

    Today, most people rely on the internet when it comes to finding a product or service. We’ve all had an unsuccessful experience, reaching a promising company only to find their website in complete disarray. There is nothing worse than representing yourself poorly with a terribly designed website that doesn’t provide the right information and is hard to navigate. Think about websites that still look like they did in the 90’s – do you trust them?

    Make it easy to refer you

    When someone is excited about the product or service you offer, they are likely to share it.  If your website doesn’t match your brand and reflect the your service or product, it may deter customers from passing you along. It is important to maintain consistency by using the brand colors, voice and logo that is provided by the product or service.

    Become social

    Branding your page doesn’t stop at making the page consistent with your brand and user-friendly. It opens up the door to social opportunity. Once you have a branded website that you are proud to show off, you should explore social options.

    If you don’t have accounts, create pages for your brand on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Once established, add buttons for your profiles to your website and for easy social sharing.

    New avenues for customer service

    Now that you are available on social media and already attracting new business through that, consider creating a company blog. Publishing new content on a daily or weekly basis is a great way to get more traffic to your site. Quality blog posts help to establish you and your company as experts in your industry.  Always use your brand’s voice and provide insightful, helpful information.  This will do wonders for your business and customers will trust you.

    If you plan to run a successful business today, then the best thing you can do is get a branded website. Everything has gone digital and every successful company is capitalizing on it. Impress your current customers and attract new ones by digitally showcasing your company.

    Danielle Pacelli is the Marketing Coordinator at LogoSnap. LogoSnap is based in Langhorne, Pa. It is an online marketplace for custom logo design, business card design and other graphic design services. Logo Snap provides custom designs through crowdsourcing and a DIY service.

  • Top 5 Ways to Use Video On Your Website

    The manner in which today’s consumers demand and absorb marketing information is not constant. Consumer behavior is the driving force behind the various sales methods that many businesses currently incorporate as a part of their marketing strategy. Businesses are now catering to customers who have become more visual than text orientated. The use of online marketing promotional videos is now a component of many marketing campaigns. It is used to drive consumer action and increase a business’ conversion across its entire sales funnel. Here are five ways you can use video on your website to effectively engage and convert your site visitors into leads and ultimately, paying customers.

    Product Description / Education / Demonstration

    You can use video to create an even better product description than your text content. Videos are more engaging and give you the opportunity to really show off your product/service. You can be free and open with your customers as no script is needed. You are an expert on your products and can therefore do a product description/demonstration that flows well and has what it takes to capture the attention of the viewers and drive sales. You are accustomed to doing daily promotions of your products, now you can do so on video.

    Product Review

    You can also use video to do a number of reviews for your products as well as others within your niche, and increase your search engine keywords. Product reviews are largely used among consumers to determine whether or not they should purchase a particular product or service. There are droves of viewers checking out product reviews on a daily basis. Creating valuable reviews for various products within your niche that sell well, and dropping in a line to promote your own product, will actually help to promote your credibility and visibility across the web. This will also drive potential customers back to your site.

    Video FAQs

    If your website carries a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) you can do a series of videos that explain and highlight them. FAQs are used to establish the value of your site and inform your visitors about what to expect when they use it. They also serve to differentiate your site’s processes from others. These videos should be done in a personal manner that tells people who you are, and gives them some important information about you and your business.

    Do a Presentation on Consumer Objections

    Do a video recording to supply answers to at least three of the top objections your customers may have about former presentations. This is an ideal opportunity to increase your credibility by showing your customers that you are knowledgeable about your products/services and you are not afraid to deal with customer concerns in a hands-on manner. Your presentation should be done with confidence that demonstrates your own conviction. This will help to build trust and increase sales.

    Introduce Key People on Your Sales Team

    Your staff is doing a wonderful job, and your customers are pleased with the service they receive. If this is the case, then by all means do a video that introduces key members of your back office staff. These videos will also serve to familiarize new customers with staff members who will be giving them post-sale service.

    These five methods are ideal ways to integrate online marketing promotional videos into your website and increase your online presence, attract more customers and ultimately, increase your sales.

    Jack Harding is a website marketing consultant. He blogs about his ideas and tips and his articles mainly appear on marketing blogs. Visit Wish.co.uk to see how they use video to reach out to their customers.

  • Best Non-Profit Website Designs of 2013

    Fair Vote Action

    Fair Vote

    Fair Vote Action’s website has the strongest interactive function of any site on the list.  Adopting both social media and design functions, Fair Vote Action encourages involvement from any visitor. Using playful graphics to ask serious questions the site helps the visitor find those topics approachable.

    Boys and Girls Club

    Boys & Girls Clubs of America

    Boys and Girls Club of America has a great design that encourages visitors to educate themselves on teenage issues. Boys and Girls Club recognizes that with the current climate many user are wanting education on way they can help their community. With a simple call to action interface, visitors can donate in a relatively simple process.

    Wounded Warrior

    Home - Wounded Warrior Project

    The Wounded Warrior Fund website focuses on a clean aesthetic and a simple story to convey a message of hope.  They have a website that is amazingly powerful.  With the addition of the ‘at a glance’ feature and other promotions that encourage visitor involvement, the Wounded Warrior Fund website is a great blend of form and function.

    American Cancer Society

    American Cancer Society

    American Cancer Society, the largest organization on our list, focuses on visitor interaction.  They encourage the visitor to ask questions and find out more on how they can become involved.  ASC has adopted infographics and other web tools to educate the public about the real problem with cancer in our society.  Lastly they do a good job to ensure that a clean and simple design shines through.

    Food For the Poor

    Food For The Poor

    Food for the Poor has the best call to action formatting on this list. They are encouraging you to donate, educate or participate…the three tenants of any good non-profit.  Their overall aesthetic is pretty good, but what really catches a visitor’s attention is the design functionality.  Food for the Poor uses a good balance of positive and reactive messages on their website to encourage visitor interaction.

    World Wildlife Fund

    WWF - Endangered Species Conservation - World Wildlife Fund

    World Wildlife Fund has the most contemporary design of anyone on our list.  With a sleek image based design and a simple message the audience can easily navigate to get involved with the WWF.  Their call to action buttons at the top are easily recognizable with a bright splash of color against the dark background.  WWF uses image messages very effectively to encourage education on the current issues with their organization.

     

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  • 4 Great Web Analytic Tools to Help Grow Your Business

    No matter how big or small your company, you need to have several tools available to understand how your website is performing. If you do not have this information, you really are going to have problems growing your traffic.

    The more data that you can collect with your Web analytics tools, the better you can target your traffic, learn why people come, and plan how to get more people to come to your site. Below are some of our favorite Web analytic tools.

    #1: Google Analytics

    This is a totally free service that will tell you all about the visitors who come to your site. This is the most robust, yet simplest Web analytic tool out there. Right now, it is used by 50 percent of the top 10,000 sites on the planet. You can learn where your users are coming from, what they are reading on your site and how often they return. There are many levels of deeper analytics here, but the service is very easy to use. It’s one of the most popular tools out there. A must have.

    #2: Yahoo! Web Analytics

    Once you have been using Google for a while, hop over to Yahoo! The search engine offers a similar tool that has more depth to it. It has more improved access-control tools and a bit of a simpler way to look at multiple sites. It also is good for raw/real-time collection of data regarding behavior or visitors and reports on demographics. Yahoo! is a fine option for those who are more power users and want to dig deeper into their data.

    #3: Crazy Egg

    This cool Web analytics tool lets you design a heat map that will track every visitor with every click. You will be able to visually follow where every visitor is going on your site. This really lets you visualize where your visitors are going and what they are reading. This can help you to tweak the design of your site and make it a lot better. Setup is very simple.

    #4: Compete

    This tool is best known for publishing the number of total visitors to the top 1 million sites on the Internet. This tool nicely complements Google Analytics. You get all sorts of creative intelligence on what your competition is up to, or how your users came to your site. You also can get a lot of great information on your traffic volume.

    Also, Compete lets you pay to track the keywords that are sending visitors to your site and to your competition.

    So there you have it! Explore these four helpful web analytical tools, and discover how you and your SEO company can use them to make your site better.

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    Aaron Walker is a tech enthusiast who loves trying new gadgets, reading true crime novels, and hiking. He hopes to someday end up in a writing career combining all of his interests.

  • Content Management System (CMS): Which One Works for You?

    cms

    Joomla!

    Joomla! is a free open-source CMS that uses the PHP language. For people who have no prior knowledge or technical skill, Joomla! is the easiest to learn with the most user-friendly back-end portion. Not only is it a simple install and setup, but it is also highly customizable and extensible. Joomla! offers thousands of extensions to cater to your needs and your customized design and functionality.

    These are examples of sites created in Joomla!:

    WordPress

    Another free, open source CMS that is PHP and MySQL powered is WordPress. WordPress is well known as a blogging tool and is utilized by over 20% of all new websites, making it the most widely used CMS on the internet. WordPress offers a variety of themes that users can install that will alter the aesthetic and functionality of the site, allowing the user to add in content without having to format it at all. Like Joomla!, WordPress has a large library of plug-ins for users who have specific functionality needs that surpass the features of the basic platform. It may not be AS easy to learn as Joomla!, but the use of training videos will allow you to pick it up faster than you might think.

    Some sites that use WordPress include:

    Drupal

    Drupal is a CMS platform written in PHP and is also free! It is a powerful program that can be used for small and large projects alike, like a basic blog or even enterprise applications. Drupal can be used for single or multiple users or even as a website that is run on user-generated content. The back end of Drupal is more complicated than Joomla! or WordPress with a programming interface that is geared more towards developers. However, you don’t need to be a programmer to complete a standard install and administration.

    Many well-known sites use Drupal including: