Archive for June, 2014

eManagerSite’s 10 Website Design Tips for Your Small Business

June 18th, 2014


The first place the vast majority of consumers turn for information on local businesses is the Internet. That means your customers and prospects are looking for you online, from their laptops as well as tablets and mobile devices. In other words, your business needs to be online. Whether you have a website that needs to be improved, or don’t yet have a website, be sure to apply these 10 tips to help you get the website your business needs and de­serves.

Top Ten Website Design Tips:

1. Incorporate Keywords

In order for search engines to understand what’s on your page and better connect you to potential visitors, you need to have your most important information (keywords) included in your website. These typically are embedded during the meta-tagging process in the following three key areas:

• Title Tag: descriptive, keyword-rich and specific – tags are major contributors to ranking and should be less than 65 characters long
• Meta Description: keyword-rich – this explains what the website is about and helps click-thru rates
• Meta Keywords: match to related search terms used by your target audience

You’ll want to wrap these keywords naturally into your copy, since your website should appeal to human visitors first, search engines second. Keywords to consider:

• Your company name and key people, such as “John Johnson, plumber” and “Johnson and Smith Plumbing Company, Dallas”

• Products or services your business offers, such as “plumbing,” “child care,” “oil changes” or “wedding cakes”

• The geographic area you serve, such as “San Jose, California,” “Twin Cities metro” or “greater Cleveland”

• Phrases customers may search for, such as “car wash coupons,” “Minneapolis dry cleaner,” “free roofing estimates” or “Phoenix estate attorneys

2. Include Multiple Points of Contact

Make it easy for visitors to contact you. Display your phone number prominently at the top and bottom of every page. Include your email address and possibly your physical address in the footer (the bottom bar) of every page. Be sure to create a “Contact” page that includes all the above information, plus a map, directions, hours of operation and possibly a form visitors can fill out for more information.

3. Make Branding Professional & Consistent

Save the smiley faces and animated graphics for emails to your friends—your website should have a professional look that matches your brand. Use colors that go with your logo colors; choose one or two fonts and use them consistently across the site; make sure graphics or photos complement each other and look professional. If in doubt, keep it simple.

4. Provide Clear Calls-to-Action

A “call-to-action” refers to text on your website that invites visitors to do something. Clear calls-to-action get visitors to take the next step and go from just looking at your website to contacting your business. Calls-to-action could include:
• Learn More (link to download a brochure, an eBook, product guide, catalog, etc.)
• Call Now
• Free Consultation or Free Estimate
• Get a Price Quote
• Buy Now
• Make an Appointment
• Request a Demo
• Request a Sales Call
• Sign Up (for a newsletter, email tips or special offers)
• Follow Us on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, Connect on LinkedIn
• Register (for a drawing or a prize)
• Visit Us (link to map)

5. Make Pages Easy to Read

Most people just scan the information in websites rather than read it top to bottom, start to finish. Make pages simple to scan by remembering an “F” pattern—put important content across the top of the pages and down the left side. Also, use bold headlines and subheads to make information easy to scan.

6. Make the Site Easy to Navigate

Navigation tabs or buttons should be consistent across every page. As mentioned above, you’ll want to position navigation using the F-shaped reading pattern, with buttons, links or tabs running across the top or left side of the page. Also be sure to:
• Keep your primary navigation to eight tabs or less (five is ideal)
• Make clickable elements consistent, especially in terms of font, size and other stylistic elements
• Include a header and footer on each page for key links and information
• Add a progress tracker (sometimes called a Breadcrumb) close to the top of each page.
It should look something like “Home> Catalog> Product #1”, giving visitors an easy way to backtrack.

7. Put Important Info “Above the Fold”

Think of a newspaper — the biggest stories are on the top half of the page, or “above the fold.” Your website should do the same. According to a recent Nielsen report, 80% of site visitors won’t scroll down the whole page, so make sure the important info is near the top:
• Place your business name and logo in a prominent spot
• Emphasize what you do with a strong headline or tagline
• Use special offers to draw interest
• Summarize your services or products using your menu bar and visuals

Make it clear what visitors should do – calls-to-action, that include your number, a contact form, and maybe an option to download information, etc. Keep in mind that “above the fold” is a moving target with the increase of mobile and tablet use, but it’s still critical in website design.

8. Make the Site Quick to Load

If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, visitors may abandon it and go to a competitor’s site instead. You can help ensure the site loads quickly by keeping image sizes low (but still of good quality) and limiting the number of videos, widgets, photos and social media sharing buttons embedded in the site.

9. Build Credibility & Trust

Your website should help potential customers get to know you and trust your work. To help build credibility, include samples of your work on the site; testimonials from happy customers; links to newspaper or magazine articles that have featured your business; any awards you’ve received; and logos of any local organizations you belong to, such as the Chamber of Commerce.

10. Connect to Social Media

Whether your customers are consumers or other businesses, connecting with them on social media is a great way to spread the word about your products or services, as well as increase traffic to your website. You’ll want to know on which social networks your target audience spends their time. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular sites:

• Facebook – still reigns as the largest social site and offers opportunities to nurture relationships and target ads
• Twitter – great for communicating real-time news, assisting with customer service and supporting event coverage
• LinkedIn – serves as largest network for businesses and professionals and is ideal for building relationships, partnerships and hiring
• YouTube – the largest video-sharing site provides a place to easily share your expertise, tips and behind-the-scenes company videos
• Google+ – a growing networking site that has a link to a company’s Google+ account is a good way to influence shares
• Pinterest – one of the most visual social sites with a female-oriented member base. Great for retailers and other highly visual businesses.
• Instagram – great for showcasing your company with stylized images and videos. Perfect for businesses in hospitality, retail and entertainment.
• SnapChat – one of the newest kids on the block, this social app allows users to share short-lived photo and video messages.

Take Our 30 Second Test

“Time is money, wake up your website today!”

Discover the overall strength and effectiveness of your website. 

30 Second Test – Things to look for:

  • Does your website communicate your message clearly?
  • At the end of the day, what do you want your website to do?
  • Does your website effectively explain your product/service?
  • How do your clients react to your website? Do they like it?
  • What does your sales staff say about your website? Does it help or hurt them?
  • Does your website sell for you the way you want it to?
  • Do you know If people are even using your website?
  • What do visitors do while on your website?
  • Bottom line, all websites have a call-to-action, even if it is to click on the next link or read the next page. Is your call-to-action getting you results?

If one or more of these questions cause you concern, call Web Interactive today at 1-800-418-2358 and let’s get your website ticking again.

TCC Web Interactive

A Division of the Computer Company, Inc.
Website Design CT
15 Commerce Drive, Cromwell, CT
(860) 635-0500

eManagerSite: What Constitutes Good and Bad Web Design?

June 13th, 2014

Shoddy Web site design is a curse of modern life. The more dependent we have become on the Internet for information, the likelier we are to suffer from its design deficiencies. Bad design can be infuriating, inconvenient or damaging in any field. But it is especially frustrating in areas like this where many of us find the technology so inscrutable that we tend to blame ourselves for being baffled, because we feel unable to judge whether the design is at fault. So what does constitute good and bad Web site design?

In principle, a well-designed Web site needs to deliver the same things as most other examples of good design by fulfilling its intended function efficiently and engagingly. On the efficiency front, given that the most important purpose of most Web sites is to enable us to access information, helping us to find it effortlessly is essential. Straightforward though this sounds, dispiritingly few sites manage to achieve it. A common mistake is to prioritize style over substance. Fashion and luxury brands often do so by using animation software, which produces luscious visual images that can take ages to upload.

Other sites fall prey on using sophisticated technologies, which look dazzling when they show the sites to clients on their state-of-the-art computers, but considerably less so on older, cheaper machines with slower Internet connections, or on the cramped screens of phones.

But the principal problem with many Web sites is that their designers were neither rigorous nor imaginative enough in planning the way we will navigate them. Ideally, they should anticipate all of the individual items of information that we will wish to find, and how we might choose to combine them. They must then organize the site so that the requisite data is delivered promptly. If you find information swiftly and easily on a Web site, its designer has succeeded. But if you need to click on an inordinate number of buttons and links, or are confused over what to do next, the designer has failed.

Want a great website? Contact us today and let us take your site in to the future.

Do you want to win customers? Let us help by giving you confidence in your website’s value. Whatever your website need, you will benefit from:

Unmatched Customer Service – you’ll have full confidence in our ability to listen and understand your vision. We are not happy unless you are.

Customer Centric Website Design – you’ll have more opportunity to communicate your organization’s value and win customers.

Professionally Managed Projects – helps to keep things on track and within budget. After all, your time is valuable and you should be focusing on the needs of your business and not your website.

Hassle-free Website Edits – ability to make website edits and content changes without costly change requests helps ensure the final version of your website is exactly what you envision.

TCC Web Interactive
A Division of the Computer Company, Inc.
Website Design CT
15 Commerce Drive, Cromwell, CT
(800) 418-2358