Sunday, July 31, 2016

Local #InternetMarketing Services For the Small Business

By Allan Joseph

Small businesses who do not take advantage of the Internet are missing the boat when it comes to promoting their products and services. Applying local Internet marketing services can turn a small business web site into a lead generation tool.

Many businesses have taken the very first step of building a web site. There is a bit more to it, but more on that later. Let's focus on the web site first. Here are some tips to make the web site more effective. Keep the content and the look-and-feel simple and appealing. The visitor should be attracted to the site and able to find clear information about the company's products and services. In fact, there should be just enough information to answer the most common questions that the visitor might have. However, just putting up a site on the Internet isn't going to be enough to bring more business.

More and more people are using search engines to find local businesses. In fact, recent surveys indicate that more people are searching for local products and services on the web than in the "yellow" page books. The search engine companies are wise to that and are adapting their search results to how the web user searches. Therefore, businesses need to do two things to take advantage of this trend.

1) Adapt the web site to the ways people are searching for their services. That means optimizing the site pages each to the desired search phrase. That's called on-site SEO (search engine optimization).

2) Promote the web site to maximize the odds of being found. Promoting a site includes the following: getting listed in normal search results for targeted key phrases; signing up on local business directories; adding profiles to social media sites; and building links to the site from a variety of other sources. The Internet provides many opportunities for a site to be found beyond normal search engine results.

The key to driving more visitors to a web site it to make it easy for them to find it when they search for targeted keyword phrases related to the business. Nowadays, targeted keyword phrases include geographic modifiers. For example, "marietta ga hvac" gets searched hundreds of time a month. If a local HVAC contractor in Marietta, GA exploits that, his/her business can be well-positioned to capture that search audience.

Small business owners need to apply these tactics now... before their competitors do.

Promoting your web site on the Internet can seem intimidating or overwhelming. For more information on how to apply local Internet marketing [http://www.mariettagawebdesign.com/local-internet-marketing-services/] services, visit Marietta Web Design [http://www.mariettagawebdesign.com].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Allan_Joseph/437152
http://EzineArticles.com/?Local-Internet-Marketing-Services-For-the-Small-Business&id=4207550

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Common Small Business #WebDesign Mistakes to Avoid

By Andy Cresswell

As a small business owner, you probably already know that your website is a very important tool for marketing your brand and reaching your target audience. Ensuring your website design is attractive and functional to your audience is also necessary for success. Unfortunately, there are quite a few small business web design mistakes that are all too common. Sometimes this occurs when small business owners hire a cheap designer and believe they're getting a value, although sometimes it's mistakes the website operator makes by excluding certain important information.

To make sure you maximise the potential of your business website, keep these pitfalls in mind and avoid them.

Mistake 1: Not Building Trust

Building trust with your audience is arguably the most important thing any small business web design should do. There are actually some really easy and quick ways to build trust, as well as improve your conversion rate. Start my making sure your full address, company name and phone number is included on every page, preferably the footer. If you have an e-commerce storefront, make sure you are displaying badges like your SSL certificates and sitelock. After all, most people are not going to want to place an order if they doubt the professionalism and security of your website.

If you are a very small business or a freelancer, it also helps to add a picture of yourself to your "About Us" page along with a personal quote. Be prepared to be very transparent about your services and offer as much detail as possible, including any return policy or guarantees you provide. You should also have a privacy policy on your website, which tells your visitors what you will and will not do with their personal information that's collected.

Finally, consider adding the rel="publisher" link to your homepage, which points to your business's Google+ page. This way, the image used on your Google+ profile will be displayed alongside your website on Google search results.

Mistake 2: Website is Too Flashy

It's not uncommon for business owners to get a little carried away with the content and design of their website, requesting flashy graphics and bold colours that detract, not add value. To effectively market your brand and improve visibility, you want a clean and minimalist interface that impresses customers but makes it easy for them to find what they are looking for.

Content should be straight-forward and relevant, not a long rambling monologue or an excuse to stuff in keywords unnaturally. Users should come away with a good experience and feel like they found exactly what they were looking for.

Mistake 3: No Call to Action Buttons

Call to action buttons are important because they funnel your visitors further into your site. By keeping website users on your website for a longer amount of time, you'll lower your bounce rate and increase the chance of a conversion. It also improves user experience by directing users exactly where they want to go, assuming it isn't overdone. If you sell insurance, for example, you would have a call to action button encouraging users to request a quote. If you sell products online, you would have a call to action button for users to "Buy Now" or "Add to Cart."

Mistake 4: Not Using the Rel="Nofollow" Tag on Outbound Links

Finally, a really common small business web design mistake is not using the rel="nofollow" tag on outbound links away from the website. While it may not seem like a big issue, it actually allows you to control the "link juice" of your website, which gets leeched out to all of your "dofollow" outbound links. Only links going to your internal pages should be "dofollow," which means they pass along this link juice.

It's also important to avoid linking to a lot of low authority or low quality websites, especially if you do not have a great deal of inbound links to your website.

Unfortunately, these mistakes are all too common, but very easy to fix, for the most part. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the best option is avoiding these mistakes in the first place by working with an experienced individual who can create a custom web design for your business.

Andy Cresswell is a freelance UK web designer who specialises in custom web design for small businesses, as well as branding, mobile web design and development services.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Andy_Cresswell/1699652
http://EzineArticles.com/?Common-Small-Business-Web-Design-Mistakes-to-Avoid&id=8003063

Monday, July 4, 2016

#SmallBusiness #WebDesign - Five Common Mistakes to Avoid

By Brian Jay

If getting customers to visit your website is your first challenge, getting the customer to look around is your second. Your site's basic design, layout, and content can be the difference between a sale and losing a customer to the back button. Whether you are looking to build a website from scratch or thinking about updating a current site, here is a list of five design no-no's that are sure to drive most of your customers away.

1) Flash Introductions

In addition to being terrible for search engine optimization, modern web surfers loathe the Flash introduction. Intro animations are mostly (and thus expected to be) a barrier between a customer and the information for which s/he is searching. Even if your introduction contains relevant information or offers a skip button, trash the Flash!

Flash animations can be a useful tool, however, if your product or service is best described with an audio-visual medium. If you know your animation helps educate your customer on your product or service, link to it on your home page, but avoid requiring a customer to watch or listen before moving on to a different page.

2) Automatic Sound or Videos

If you must have music or a video on your homepage, make sure the customer is given the option to view or listen. NEVER have the sound or video play automatically, even if you have a "turn off" button in plain sight. In my opinion, these are the two most common violations of netiquette (that's etiquette for the internet) and will send your customers searching for the back button, not the off button!

3) Stock Photography

We've all seen the picture of the smiling telephone operator waiting to take our call, but she sticks out like a sore thumb on a small business' website. Simply put: stock photography is cold and impersonal, not the image you want to portray to your customers.

So what's the solution to filling all of that empty space on your website? A digital camera! Take pictures of your office, team members, storefront, showroom, warehouse, etc. These pictures 1) show you are a real company, not just a website and 2) give your customers the feeling they are dealing with actual hardworking people like themselves.

If you are worried about the quality of the photos you can take with your own equipment, hiring a photography student from a local college can be an inexpensive way to make the photos on your website look more professional. If money is less of an issue, a professional photographer could get the work done in an afternoon.

4) Images of Text, Instead of Text

You should not encounter this problem if you are starting from scratch (if you do, change designers!), but I still come across dozens of small business websites each month that have images of text instead of text. This is the biggest search engine optimization (SEO) mistake that can be made. Period. If you have a website that has nothing but images, you are way past due for an upgrade!

In addition to being an SEO problem, images of text prevent customers from copy and pasting phone numbers or addresses and other useful information, but mostly it just looks dated and unprofessional.

5) Clean is King

Simple, clean designs are the new dominating design force on the web. Many of the most visited websites on the web have mostly while backgrounds, text, and a header and footer. Take a closer look at some of your favorite websites, you'll notice they are deceptively simple!

How do you apply this simple design principle? Avoid black backgrounds, harsh color palettes, or graphics-intensive designs. This way, your content becomes king, not your design.

Bonus tip: Do your customers visit a physical store or office? If so, adding a picture of the outside of your building to the "contact us" page can help your customers quickly identify your building and avoid getting lost or missing your business all together.

In additional to owning several small businesses over the years, Brian Jay has consulted with many small businesses on how to improve their website and their internet marketing effort. His latest consulting gig is for FuseAvenue.com, an online resource that helps businesses and media owners buy and sell advertising [http://www.fuseavenue.com].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Brian_Jay/462982
http://EzineArticles.com/?Small-Business-Web-Design---Five-Common-Mistakes-to-Avoid&id=3379203

Saturday, June 25, 2016

#WebsiteDesign - The 8 "C's" That Make a Site Sticky

By Darryl D Alexander

I believe in judging a website by how well it converts visits into profits and this can be achieved with "stickiness"... the measure of how long a user spends on your site.

The longer they stay the likelier they are to spend money, ask any good salesperson worth his weight in salt!

Website Design, "stickiness" & the 8 "C's"

Your design should keep visitors on your site AND make them come back for more so implement a few of the "C's" in your site design to improve your conversion rate:

1.Content

"Content is king" so ensure your web copy is unique, fresh, useful to users and fits in with the overall design.

Broadcast content with RSS Feeds, e-mails and sms to your target audience and link to relevant sites to get your point across (automate this in the website design).

Interactive website design (on-line games, weather reports, etc.) ensures consumers spend more time on your website.

Include F.A.Q.S, reports, research data or on-line response forms and integrate call to actions throughout the website.

2. Community

Engage people on your website, plug-ins from Social networks should be incorporated in your website design to further develop peoples perception of your brand.

3.Communication

It's important for prospects or customers to reach you, display your contact details on each page and use an email notifier to inform users of any updates to the website.

Your design should include a Blog and allow comments giving you a better insight of your visitors needs.

4.Customisation

Allow visitors to personalise landing pages and ensure the website design is customer centric with personal greetings and personal preferences.

5. Commerce

Customers should be able to complete the entire purchasing process on-line so incorporating on-line registration, secure payment facilities, order tracking and return policies in the website design is essential.

6. Convenience

Ensure your Hosting Company is reliable and keep your website down time to a minimum, remove dead links and ensure that information in no more than 3 clicks away (plan during the initial website design phase).

The website design should ensure a pleasant user experience with simple navigation, good graphics and clear typography.

7. Choice

The website should offer a wider selection of products than normal distribution channels or perhaps offer a product customisation option for registered members.

8. Cost

We always looking for bargains and the easiest way to find them is on-line, offer discounts for on-line purchases or bookings (check out kulula.com for a good example).

Plenty of thought has to go into website design so always plan before you launch your on-line presence (or overhaul your existing web design).

We incorporate various marketing techniques into all our web design and will be sharing opinions in future articles.

Feel free to visit our site [http://www.ovpod.co.za] for more on Graphic Design, SEO and Branding.

Darryl Alexander is an Internet Marketing Specialist with over 10 years experience in Retail Marketing and Information Technology. A Business Analyst with a passion for helping businesses grow their Brands on-line, offering affordable and reliable marketing solutions.For more information visit [http://www.ovpod.co.za].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Darryl_D_Alexander/1177435
http://EzineArticles.com/?Website-Design---The-8-Cs-That-Make-a-Site-Sticky&id=6601519

Sunday, June 19, 2016

7 Characteristics of a Bad #WebDesign

By Maria Marilyn Madrid

Did you know that one of the easiest things to do when it comes to web design is creating poorly designed websites? Unfortunately, from the time websites become en vogue up to the present, there are still web designers who are guilty of doing this. The situation becomes even more dumbfounding considering the progress web designing has made in terms of technology, knowledge, and skills; these bad characteristics should have been eliminated by now. Some of the common features of bad web design are:

  1. Bad colour scheme. Colours are supposed to enhance the aesthetic aspect of the website but this is not the case always. Some websites make the mistake of using light colors as text, use glaring colors as background, and a sight for sore eyes through a mix of colours like yellow and pink with violet as background.

  2. Loading takes time. This is one problem with making a web site very colourful and with lots of special effects, it makes users frustrated as loading tend to be slower. Thus, beauty and interesting information in the site is totally forgotten because a majority of web users do not have the patience to wait for page loading.

  3. Default page does not fit computer screen. Even if the user is using a 32inch LCD, the entry page of the site visited still needs scrolling down or sideways to view other parts of the entire page. And this is not good as users want the whole thing outright. They are looking for information, not bonuses and points in a video game.

  4. Cluttered arrangement. Until now, you see web pages where different important tabs are not aligned together. They are instead plastered in different portions of the page. As a result, users will have a hard time finding the necessary button to click because the buttons are scattered.

  5. Text that are difficult to read. Not only does the web designer utilise glaring colour for the font, the size is also a problem. For example, if your website is geared towards senior adults, how can you expect them to read the text when even if they enhance their vision, it is still unreadable due to its size?

  6. Lots of junk materials in the front page. Are counters really important? Do you need to highlight awards instead of content? Do you need to broadcast your profile in the entry page before the transaction page? These are just some common errors with regards to front page loading and bad features of a web page design.

  7. More frames than the page can handle. Because of advances in web design technology, multiple frames are no longer current. Yes, it has still some usefulness but not to the point of loading too much frames in the web site.

Indeed, just because the page is colourful or has lots of interesting articles, it is already an attraction for users to flock and remain loyal to your website. The above ideas suggest that a good web design is not about taste and preference exclusively but also includes functionality and navigation.

Bad design is a no, no for Globalgraphics UK, a web design Birmingham UK company.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Maria_Marilyn_Madrid/1384642
http://EzineArticles.com/?7-Characteristics-of-a-Bad-Web-Design&id=8818843

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Top tips for choosing a professional #webdesign company

If you are planning to expand your business online and looking out for the best corporate web design company, read further. This article deals with the top tips for choosing a professional web design company.

With the increasing number of web design services providers online, picking up the best and the reliable one is quite a daunting task. There are many web design services providers who claim to be one of the best and reliable among the lot. Thus, one of the most challenging parts for any business owners is to pick up the best among them, the one that will furnish and design a website for you as per your business requirement in your limited budget within the given time. Here we have discussed some of the tips that will help you in selecting a professional web design company.
professional web design company
Experience: You should always choose a professional web design company that has been into the business for quite some time, always look out for an experienced and reputed company. Before selecting a corporate web design company, do take some time out to assess its past work in order to get a fair idea about the company's skill and the experience.

Analyse their website: Assessing the website of a given corporate web design company will give you a fair deal of idea company and the kind of work they deliver. If you like the company's website and feel that it has the desired feature that you want in your corporate web design, you should go for it. You can also assess the work portfolio of these companies in order to get a clearer picture of their work profile.

Prices versus value: Though prices should not be the only criteria while selecting the best corporate web design company, you wouldn't want to spend more than your budget. Look out for the corporate web design company that charges a fairly reasonable price. More importantly, you should assess if the work by the company is worth the price it charges. If you feel it does, go for it even if you have to spend little more.

Timeline: Before finalizing a web design company, you must always assess if the company is capable of delivering your projet on time. Check if they have the expertise and the skilled workforce to give you your project on time. The testimonials on the websites of the corporate web design companies will give you a fair deal of idea about their approach towards work.

Ask for reccommendatiuons: Instead of making a fresh research and selecting a completely new web design company, it is always better to ask your business partners and friends about the good web design company. The ones who have availed the services of the web designers will give you a genuine feedback about their work.

About the Author: So, if you are planning to establish an online business and looking out for the best corporate web design company, visit http://www.designgenies.com/. DesignGenies provides professional web design, development and maintenance services based on the latest technologies such as LAMP (PHP/MySQL), ASP.NET, J2EE and J2ME.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Why Choose a Local #WebsiteDesign Company

By Susmita Mahato

It is commonly said that necessity is the mother of inventions. Your search for a local website design company isn't any different. Because of the knowledge on the local market constraints, condition and the general perception of the people on the goods and services, a local company for the website design services, for instance, can do it pruned to your exact requirement/s there. Moreover, the local website design service provider will be able to reflect the local sentiments on your site in a flawless manner.

In short, there are a few coveted benefits such as the following when you go with a local company for the web development meant for your business.

Local flavour: You will be surprised to know that people around the world have different tastes and preferences. For instance, Indians love spicy food while Britons love less-spicy and usually boiled stuff. This essentially means a company that sells, say burger, has to go for a product innovation befitting the local flavour. You will get to the truth when you know the reason behind launching Indi McSpicy burgher in India from its original McSpicy. All these put together suggests that the local website design company has something unique on offer that makes your site a preferred destination for the customers and the prospects in your niche market.

Economic service: You will by default find the services economical from a local website design company. Because of the local base, the local developers and the service providers for the websites have the cost advantage that they usually pass on to their customers like you without compromising the quality. This summarily means you enjoy world class services for your site/s at the most economical price.

On demand service: A local web developer is available within your arm's length. You can either call the people for a personal presentation at your end befitting your schedule for the day or can call them over the dinner, say for the finalisation of deals. All in all, you will have the privilege of working pruned to your exact requirement when you hire a local website design company in any part of the world.

Customer-friendly work culture: This is yet another unique feature of the local website design companies for many cities in the world. They work 24x7 and 365 days a year for you safeguarding your products, services and the data online while you enjoy sleeping at night. Many have witnessed this. It's now your turn to test the reality here.

Susmita Mahato is a seasoned professional in the field of website designing. Check out more about her right here at web design in Jamshedpur.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Susmita_Mahato/2150887
http://EzineArticles.com/?Why-Choose-a-Local-Website-Design-Company&id=9276261