May 5, 2017

User Interface Web Design Principles

How to Improve Your Website’s User Interface

At MIL, we get asked all the time, “What makes a website great?”, so we thought we’d spent some quality blog time going over a few ideas to not only improve the looks and functionality of a great site. This is from some of the best web designers in the world as well as from right here in Gwinnett.

First, when it comes to creating a great website, it’s important to think about three main things. Naturally, it must look good. The more of a “WOW” factor the site has, the more time the browser is going to spend on it which improves your user metrics. Next, the site must have a high user friendliness factor. If your users can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re just going to bounce. Lastly, but probably most importantly, the website must have a high conversion rate. This means that once your target market finds your site, the site needs to do all it can to convert them into actual paying customers. Conversion can be defined by either the person goes through with your call to action (i.e. call, email, fill out a form, buys something, etc.) or the browser becomes a customer. It depends on how strict you want o be in your definitions. As always, it’s a numbers game. All of this can be defined as improving your user interface (UI).

Here’s a list of ideas to improve the UI of your site (in no order):

-On your homepage, try using one column versus two or three. This simply controls where your user’s eyes go more efficiently rather than giving them choices that could take them away from the call to action you want them to make

-All website design has at least one purpose in mind (i.e. get them to call, buy, etc.). Rather than trying to close the sale right away, consider giving the user something like a free (useful) report, a free month of service, etc. That establishes a relationship rather than jumps into a hard sell.

-Testimonials do help. People argue about whether people believe testimonials or not, but studies show that real people saying how great you are is more effective at converting browsers than you saying how great you are. The fancy term for this is social proof.

-Repeat your primary call to action, but don’t beat them over the head with it. Give the user the option above the fold and then again down at the bottom where they may get to the bottom of the page and stop to think about what to do next.

-Studies have shown that if you give people three choices, the often take the middle one because of perceived best value, but try recommending the best choice. This nudges the user into going down the path you’d most like them to take.

-Don’t bring a shotgun to sniper school. Some websites seem to be for everyone. Use your text to define exactly who your target market is to help you convert the customers you most want to work with.

-Beware of uncertainty in your text. Reread your website copy and consider whether you’re telling users that you are the best choice for them or are you being wishy washy at all.

-Use contrast to make your call to action stand out. If you use a button to get the user to buy, make sure the button stands out on the page rather than blends into the design.

-Make your forms simple. People are in a hurry; you can get their mother’s maiden name and their pet’s zip code later if you need it.

We’ll add more to this list later, but this is a good start to help you improve your overall website design. Take this list and use it to measure what you must better connect with your target audience.

Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to start-up a web company or a well-established organization looking to grow your bottom line with the power of Web Marketing, Make It Loud is ready to help you find the right approach to grow your business on the web.

If you need a consultation about SEO or Web Design, our company, Make It Loud, can at the very least help you to discover if SEO or a good website fits into your budget.  It doesn’t cost anything to find out and we’d be honored to serve you, face to face when geographically possible.  Feel free to contact us by email at:  info@makeitloud.net, visit our website at: www.makeitloud.net, or call us at: 678.325.4007.  Even if you’re not local to Gwinnett or Atlanta, we’d be happy to do an assessment.

——————————————–

Digital Marketing Tools 101

When it comes to digital marketing, business owners currently struggle to get everything done. It’s hard to balance working in your business and doing all that needs to be done to market the business. It can be even more difficult to find the right tools to help you get everything done. That’s why it’s important to have a full toolbox of digital marketing tools.

So, where does the overwhelmed business owner turn? The good news is that there are so many good choices that it’s a matter of personal preferences. When it comes to digital marketing tools, its important to have good image management tools so you can crop images, write captions on the pictures, etc. It’s also important to have some familiarity with the various social media tools that can help you save time by posting in one pace versus having to log in to all your social media accounts. Sites like Hootsuite, Buffer, Cyfe, etc. can be terrific timesavers. Naturally, business owners need a simplified way of managing their email marketing campaigns. Constant Contact or MailChimp do a great job of tracking open rates and click through rates as well as helping the business owner keep track of their email lists.

When it comes to digital marketing, the fact is that there are so many tools to choose from that it can get overwhelming. It boils down to using whatever is easiest to use, gets the job done and takes the least amount of time. Check out our notes from the last Free Business Boot Camp we did for more ideas of helpful digital marketing tools.

Make It Loud provides digital marketing services for business owners in Lawrenceville, Buford, Suwanee, Duluth and the rest of the metro Atlanta area. UI Tools, Digital Web Design Tools, Digital Web ToolsWhether you are an entrepreneur looking to start-up a web company or a well-established organization looking to grow your bottom line with the power of Web Marketing, Make It Loud is ready to help you find the right approach to grow your business on the web.

If you need a consultation about SEO or Web Design, our company, Make It Loud, can at the very least help you to discover if SEO or a good website fits into your budget.  It doesn’t cost anything to find out and we’d be honored to serve you, face to face when geographically possible.  Feel free to contact us by email at:  info@makeitloud.net, visit our website at: www.makeitloud.net, or call us at: 678.325.4007.  Even if you’re not local to Gwinnett or Atlanta, we’d be happy to do an assessment.

——————————————–

Recently, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about business blogging, so we did a boot camp on the topic that was well attended. We thought we’d take some time to summarize some of our main points on the topic.

Believe it or not, there are still some people out there who don’t know what a blog is. Basically, it’s just another opportunity for a business owner to tell the browser more about what they do. If a resume covers your work history, think of a blog as your cover letter. Or, as some people have recently inferred, think of the homepage as the hotel lobby and the blog is the bar where all the fun people hang out.

Why Blog?

It’s a good question really. Who reads this stuff? Well, your target market does for one. So does Google. Here are some quick facts:

Small businesses with blogs generate around 126% more leads

More than 80% of consumers say they trust the content on blogs

Websites with blogs get indexed by Google more than 400% more times

Sites with blogs get nearly 100% more inbound links

B2B marketers with blogs generate 67% more leads

If this data is remotely correct, it makes a good case for blogging.

The point is that more people are at least glancing through blogs to get a feel for the business they’re considering doing business with. Browsers are looking for relevant, useful content that helps them solve problems in an entertaining way. Plus, Google loves new content that is keyword rich and helps them determine what to do with your site.

Who Has Time To Blog?

Truthfully, no one feels like they have enough time in business- especially, if things are going well. That’s why you must make blogging a priority, and there are certainly ways to be more efficient about it. Here are our top tips:

Use Evernote or some other app to record ideas for blog posts

Look for blog post ideas from your clients (i.e. what are the top 5 questions they ask or should ask?)

Look for ideas from competitor’s blog posts

Try newsjacking (connecting current events to what you do)

Connect what you do to seasonal events or holidays

Set aside 2 hours a month to write all your posts

Review all your ideas & create an outline for each

Use bullet points so that your outline becomes most of your text

Proofread what you write then schedule your posts!

Best Blog & Website Designs 

How your blog looks should be about you and your industry, but we do have some basic ideas that we think will help business owners across the board. Here’s what we think works:

Run your content on the left side and add sidebars on the right

Have a call to action with links to relevant pages on your site

Include a bio in your sidebar

Allow comments to get readers to add content of their own (moderate the comments though)

Include an ad in your sidebar to something elsewhere on your site

Always include a relevant image on your blog

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make about blogging is, well, simply, they just don’t do it. Or, they don’t do it enough. If you’re looking to rank better for a keyword or phrase, obviously, use those terms in your blog, but it’s important to blog anywhere from 1-6 times a month (more like 4-6 times a month if you’re working on SEO).

The more you blog, the easier it gets. Good content helps win browsers over to customers and that’s what blogging is all about. If you need a consultation about SEO or Web Design, our company, Make It Loud, can at the very least help you to discover if SEO or a good website fits into your budget.  It doesn’t cost anything to find out and we’d be honored to serve you, face to face when geographically possible.  Feel free to contact us by email at:  info@makeitloud.net, visit our website at: www.makeitloud.net, or call us at: 678.325.4007.  Even if you’re not local to Gwinnett or Atlanta, we’d be happy to do an assessment.