Category Archives: Website Advice

Web Images and Graphics that Fascinate

How Pictures Serve to Captivate Customer Curiosity

You’re looking at your website one day and wondering why it’s not attracting more customers. Analytics report that once visitors enter your website, they don’t stick around for more than three minutes or so. You study your website again and notice the plain black background and the white text splashed over it. The content is good enough in conveying what your business is all about. Why, then, is your website not getting you more leads?

Checking up with different web designers has brought the same answer: the website is overly simple, and that it lacks pictures and other graphics. In fact, one designer baldly tells you that your website looks boring and appears to be created by an amateur. They all tell you that a website must have bold colors and high-resolution images that will help catch and keep attention to your well thought-out content.

Visitors are more impressed with well-designed websites. They are more liable to access the Contact Us page if they see that you worked hard to present flashy images supported by engaging content. You’ve hired a professional photographer to take good pictures for your website. In considering which images to put in your site, you must think about two elements: (1) images with story appeal; and (2) images that are relevant to the content.

An example of a well-selected image is this picture from the home page of thewebsitedesigncompany.com.au:

Notice the background image of this real estate and property management company website. A woman happily smiles at the one taking the photograph, conveying her happiness with the gem of a property being shown to her. The image instantly captivates the visitor’s attention. The eyes are then drawn to the marketing copy above the picture. Both elements are satisfied. The picture has a story in it that makes one stare and think about it for a while. It also meets the relevancy requirement. If the picture is pasted on a website of a theme park, visitors will get confused and be likely to click the back button.

Other qualities to consider in putting images in a website are the following:

1. Proper Placement

Imagine if the picture in the above website is not properly placed. Instead of its original position at the bottom of the text, the picture is placed behind the paragraphs of black-colored words. Wouldn’t that be exasperating to see? This makes it important for web designers to choose the right positioning of images. A correctly placed photograph will enhance the beauty and attraction factor of the website.

2. Well-worded Captions

Captions are important because they draw the visitors back to the content in your website. Once they’re entranced with the main photograph, their attention might not flit back to the content if you don’t have a good caption to bring the eyes back to the text.

Let’s go back to the screenshot of the website above. The caption reads, “ROBERTSON. PERFECT FOR YOUR WEEKENDER.” The caption is white in color, easily read and noticed. When visitors see this, they’re reminded of the reason why they entered your website—they want to buy or sell real estate.

3. Anchoring Margins

When organizing the text, always remember to align it always on the left side. Never right nor center. If you do that, you’ll make it hard for your visitor to read your company. And since web visitors have a notoriously low patience threshold, they’ll soon close the window or look for another company with a website that has clearly aligned paragraphs.

4. Upload Pictures with Care

It is best to choose carefully which pictures to upload in your websites. If you place high-resolutions in every page, then your page might not load fast enough, especially for visitors with slow Internet connection. When this happens, expect a lower number of visitors to contact you because web users are more liable to look for other websites with faster loading times.

 

References:

Kissmetrics Blog

TheWebsiteDesignCompany.com.au

Website Visit Analytics, Anyone?

Increase Traffic for Your Business Website with Google Analytics

You’ve made a website in the hopes of getting more customers to call and visit your shop. How do you find out if your site is effective enough in attracting more people to your business? Google Analytics is developed to answer this burning question. This tool investigates and documents your customers’ Internet trail from the first search engine input until they click to visit your website.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free website monitoring tool that takes note of every person that visits your site. This software takes note of how much time is spent interacting with your website content. Aside from that, this will also help you understand why the customer left your site. Were they able to find what they’re looking for, or were they disappointed with the site details? Miscellaneous information will also be taken, such as the location of the user who visited your site and the steps they took to find your website.

In short, Google Analytics can help businesses better understand their customers. This application can help you find out whether your site is properly doing its job. If it is discovered that your current website fails to entice customers to purchase from you and contact you, then you can either reconstruct it or make a new website again.

How should you use Google Analytics?

  1. Plan how you should measure the results. It helps if you detail your goals, performance indicators and targets. For example, would you consider your site a success if it has a 50% for repeat visits?
  1. Take note of all the website details to be monitored from first to last click.  Ensure that all the key actions are properly tagged.
  1. Determine which parts of your website should be the monitoring focus. If you have an e-commerce platform, let Google Analytics take note of all key website actions from online orders to checkout details.
  1. Do you need advanced monitoring tools (e.g. social plug-in trackers) aside from the basic descriptions described above? If so, discuss with Google Analytics if your special requirements can be accommodated.
  1. Optimize the insights to make certain that you’re not missing any important details from Google Analytics report. Benefit from different features like custom alerts to help you see the big picture about your website.

Website Customer Surveys: How Feedback Forms Can Affect Your Business

Be updated with the customer pulse with the help of regular surveys.

Asking customers how they feel about your business can be a bit worrying. Getting in touch about the difficulties they have encountered in your shop can be wearying as you try to explain the problem and assuage their annoyance. Keep up to date with customer pulse with the use of regular surveys. Install feedback boxes on every page of your website. This will help customers immediately express their satisfaction or aggravation about your products and services, as well as staff problems you may not be aware of.

What are the benefits of website feedback forms to your business?

1. Customers feel that they’re important.

Make your customers feel that they can help you further improve the way you run your business. As soon as you start receiving entries, check whether they list commendations or complaints. This will help you familiarize yourself with each customer’s experience and enable you to be ready to answer questions about your services. Contact the customers who have filled out the forms and thank them. Discuss with them any issues they have brought up so that every detail is taken care of.

2. There’s always more room for improvement.

Asking what your customers enjoyed and disliked can help you further improve your business and enhance customer experience. If there are many dissatisfied grumblings, take them as blessings-in-disguise and transform them to make customers come back. Be sure to thank each customer when they answer your feedback forms. This helps reassure them that their concerns will be addressed and solved.

3. You are better equipped to take on the competition.

Involving yourself in the reactions of your customers will help you better understand how to improve upon the weaknesses and build up the strengths of your business against your competitors. This will help you give them what they’re looking for when they need it. Once you’ve established a rapport, trust will soon be given and make customers rely on you to provide for their needs every time. They’ll go nowhere else and be your customers for life.

Free, Affordable Ways to Establish Web Presence

Letting the public know that you are open for business can be expensive.

Why not connect to the Internet and its vast number of netizens? Build up your web presence now to attract more and more visitors to your retail store or shop. If you’re worried about the price of investing on billboards and other signage materials, here are some affordable ways you can advertise:

1. Making and registering your own website.

A website can be a fount of information for your customers. If properly created, it can drive more calls to your business and earn you more profit. Make an investment with a website. You can customize it to provide knowledge about your business as well as your products and services. Look for affordable web domain registries and hosting sites for your website. Their coordinators will guide you through your options and help you decide which will fit your business better. If you already have a domain, look for hosting sites with package deals to save more on your budget.

2. Blogs

Blogs, especially those which are regularly updated, make great reading and marketing material. Link your website to your blog for more informal communication with actual and potential customers. Blogs are a great way to interact with your customers through the use of comment boxes. Proper use of this social media tool ensures more personal dealings with customers, which makes you seem more approachable and friendly.

3. Social Networking Sites

Social media sites are hubs of millions and millions of users waiting to be tapped. Try launching a social page or feed to market your business to a diverse base of users. This will enable you to share news about your company, offer special deals and discounts, and participate in online discussions about your business. Choose which demographic you want to attract. Social sites can help you share news about your business to your target audience.

Social Media Choices: Play or Pass?

Ever wondered what social media site should you use for your business? Here are some features and facts of the most popular social networks for you to consider:

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2012/04/16/social-networks-tips-infographic/

https://support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics/topics/104-welcome-to-twitter-support/articles/166337-the-twitter-glossary#

http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-use-facebook/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook

http://adage.com/article/adagestat/demographics-facebook-linkedin-myspace-twitter/227569/

http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1215273&topic=1257349&ctx=topic

http://www.saltywaffle.com/who-actually-uses-google/

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/05/23/35-mind-numbing-youtube-facts-figures-and-statistics-infographic/

http://www.buzzbooster.com/marketing-blog/2011/08/28/youtube-demographics/

Smart Social Selling ==> Good Customer-Vendor Interaction

How improving and maintaining good customer relationships gain you more profit

Selling has always been interactive, even before social media was invented and became popular. Retailers and businesspersons rely on high-quality products and professional service to get more customers. People go into your store, ask about your products and if they find them satisfactory, they buy from you. If your service is helpful and endearing, then you have a large chance to earn referrals and references. Efficient networking with other businesses can also help you find other clients. Once it comes out that you’re a skilled and nice person to deal with, old and new customers will come often.

With social media, the focus turned to the Internet. People nowadays rely on online resources to look for the best vendors who can provide first-rate commodities that meet their needs. Sites offering virtual communities where people can get in touch, share photos and discuss interests became widely known and favored. These encouraged people to dish out comments and complaints about particular businesses. What people currently say about your service can affect your sales and make or break your profit. Feedback, whether positive or negative, will stick to your online reputation and sway public opinion.

One way to support affirmative views and stop the spread of harmful judgment is to monitor and acknowledge each customer comment connected to your company. If you are commended for your fine service, humbly ask for referrals from other people who might be interested in getting your services. This will help widen your client base and make you more popular. Complaints should also be handled diplomatically. Listen to your customers, even if they’re too disgruntled and harsh. Once you get them to coherently talk about their problem with your product, workable solutions must be provided. If matters cannot be cleared up immediately, investigate the situation further to find out how to solve the thorny situation.

Neglecting to look for online commentaries about customers’ experiences with your products and services is not a good idea and this rebounds heavily on you. Keep up to date with what people are sharing about your business. This will help you nurture fruitful relationships with satisfied clients and clarify issues with consumers who dislike doing business with you.

Tweeting to Thousands: How Trending Topics Work

What is a trending topic?

A topic can be considered a trend when it is currently the most popular subject of a particularly high number of tweets. For example, #GuyFawkesPumpkin experienced a sudden spike of tweets in a particular country or area in the All Hallows’ Eve season. This topic will be listed down as the trending topic for some days before and after Halloween. As soon as the number of people tweeting about #GuyFawkesPumpkin goes down steadily, this topic will be struck from the list of Trending Topics.

There are three factors to be taken into account to determine whether a topic is trending or not:

1. Popularity of Tweets

The more people talking about the same subject, the more chance that subject will climb up the trend lists. The number of tweets has to be dynamic enough, which means there are sudden increases and gradual decreases of the number of people tweeting about a certain topic. Twitter identifies which topics are being talked right now than they were previously.

2. Diversity of Sources

The popularity has to be widespread. If only one area is talking about a topic, it will not make it to the Trending Topics list. There must be a diverse number of people from a large number of different cities or towns tweeting about the same subject, so it would be considered popular enough.

3. Novelty of the Topic

A topic has to be new, in order to top Twitter’s list. Twitter looks for the latest emerging topics, which is not necessarily the most popular topics at the moment. There should be a drastic increase of tweets over a certain topic with its growth reaching as far as possible to be calculated as a rising trend.

Your Website has 5 Seconds to Succeed

This post was originally published on Engage the Blog.

The fate of your website will be decided in less time than it takes you to finish reading this sentence.

The same people who a decade ago would wait patiently through the screeching greeting of a dial-up modem are now frustrated when the homepage of CNN doesn’t refresh as quickly as a wiper blade across a windshield.

Consider the following:

  • The human brain senses delay after 0. 1 seconds (This is when people start to notice “slow”).
  • 75% of sites load in less than 5 seconds. (The benchmark for “acceptable slow” is created).
  • 57% of people will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. (Impatience kicks in: Game over).
  • Your organization won’t get your 15 minutes of fame if you don’t win the first 5 seconds.

And if the statistics aren’t sobering enough, think about these 5 reasons your digital efforts should focus on feeling the need – the need for speed.

1. The mobile revolution demands speed

As screens and devices get smaller, expectations for what said device can deliver get higher. Over is the era of device novelty where people were willing to wait for the little loading bar to painstakingly tiptoe from left to right across their screen because the eventual reward (the content) would be so novel that tardiness was forgiven.

Now people want to be able to sit on their couch and figure out in a few seconds who the NBA MVP was in 1994 (David Robinson) with their smart phone. And increasingly, those same people want to find a local shop that sells a replica jersey from that same year – while they are driving there (though we certainly don’t endorse the behavior).

2. Search engines are speed freaks

It is estimated that at least 1% of all search queries have results which are affected in part by the speed of a site. In other words, all other things (content, inbound link profile, etc.) being equal, the faster site wins the ranking at least 1% of the time. I imagine that number is only going to grow.

Ever notice how Google shows you how “fast” their results load? If the search giant is focused on it, we should be, too.

3. Speed is a byproduct of simplicity

People like when things are made easy for them. Hey, it’s why the Staples Easy Button has caught on as a mini-pop-culture-phenomenon of its own: it speaks to our very human nature.

Easier is better because it is faster. But this also plays out in the real world:

In a now famous study, researchers found that people who were exposed to a smaller menu of jam in a grocery store were more likely to purchase jam than those who were exposed to a larger list (debunking the notion that “more” means “better”).
Siegel and Gale’s Global Brand Simplicity Index found that people are willing to pay up more for products that seemed “simpler” to them.

While websites of today are less likely to be plagued with way too many giant images and clumsily loading content (though that still happens), they still run into the problem of including too many calls to dynamic content (like embedded Twitter streams) that slow down the overall load speed of a site.

Boil down your core content offering to your audience and simplify your site. The collective patience level of the Internet will thank you. (Don’t believe me? In a 2009 study, people ranked load speed as the most important factor that impacted their browsing experience).

4. Speed paves the way for engagement

It’s a small miracle to get someone to arrive at your site (with all the competitive sources they could turn to instead). Making them wait once they’re there is like begging them to click the already tempting “back” button. The logic is simple: people are more likely to read a page that loaded quickly, they are more likely to share content that loaded quickly, and they are more likely to click another link on a site where pages seem to load quickly.