Friday, 14 September 2012

Website Content Mistakes that affects CONVERSION

Mistake 1: You write for your peers and not for your customers.
Forget about industry jargon and proving to your competitors that you are knowledgeable. Write for your customer. What do they want to know?

Mistake 2: Your website content is not easy to scan.
Most website visitors do not read web content word for word. That means you need to write short paragraphs, include bullet lists, use bold and italics to emphasize key phrases, incorporate plenty of subheadings, and add images to make your web pages easy to scan.

Mistake 3: Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation
Maybe you saw this one coming: but when you’re actually creating your web content, what seems to be the easiest-to-avoid error can be your downfall.  Many websites have web content with 20 or 30 run-on sentences.  Make sure you don’t just write the web content; you need to proofread it as well to avoid this #1 common mistake.

Mistake 4: Writing for search engines
Writing for the search engines and stuffing keywords. While “barking dog instant stop” might be an excellent keyword phrase according to searches, there is a reason why there are not very many exact matches. When this phrase is in your title and 7 more times in the article, it makes for a pretty awful reading experience for your viewers. You are writing for search engines and stuffing keywords which can get you in trouble with Google.
Mistake 5: Too many ads
There is nothing wrong with trying to monetize your site, but please don’t stuff it with ads to the point where it looks like one giant classified. No one wants to read around a dozen ads when visiting your site to find one piece of information. It looks incredibly spammy, pushes your own branding below the fold and has a negative impact on the overall user-experience. Your content and messaging is much more important!
Mistake 6: No call-to-actions
Is no one filling out your contact form or signing up for your company newsletter? Have you tried asking them? Too often site owners worry about creating the perfect lead form, hoping to find the magic word count that will inspire thousands to fill it out. If you aren’t incorporating call-to-actions in your content, how will your visitors know what you want them to do? Ask and ye shall receive!

Mistake 7: Pricing Info
Pricing info is again on the list of content mistakes that don’t have a consensus. Some businesses will not have pricing info, thinking that they don’t want to turn off any customers. Here are the top reasons why it makes sense to always include pricing:
·         The first question on people’s mind after they are sold on your product is how much will this cost me? Can I afford it? If they can’t find that info, they will look it up elsewhere, probably on a competitor website in which case your competitor has won.
·         Putting your costs and pricing out there weeds out the customers who cannot afford your services or products. It increases conversion rates, helps to save your time and theirs as well.
·         It creates an atmosphere of transparency and trust, both essential for marketing on the web.

Mistake 8: Not Incorporating Social Media into Your Content Marketing Mix

Research shows that customers prefer to interact with brands through social media channels and that while other forms of contact such as contact forms, emails, phones are still relevant, social media is quickly becoming the number one choice of customers especially for customer service and queries. It’s no surprise that having social media icons on your site greatly increases conversion rates.

Mistake 9: Opening with an Ad or Flash or Survey

Visitors to your site are likely seeking information. Splash animations and Flash ads stand between them and the information they want. Yes, you can include a skip button, but why risk annoying visitors as soon as they get to your site. You want to create a favorable impression, not turn them off. Also, Flash significantly slows down site and people have too many options to wait. Instead, grab attention with well-crafted copy.

Mistake 10: Too much clutter

We have all been conditioned to think that more is better and that the more choices available the better. But that is not true. It can be confusing for visitors to have too much content on a page and too many options. Break up information into short, digestible chunks. Use short, clear sentences, single thought paragraphs, and lots of bullet-point copy. You want to make your copy easy to scan.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Latest website designing trends

When designing a website, there are a number of different styles you can adopt to get the message of a brand across effectively to customers, users or readers. The important thing to consider is to pick a style that matches the brand you are designing for. Also, there’s no reason why you need to stick to one particular style. Multiple different styles can merge together perfectly fine as you’ll spot in some of the examples below.
Here is a look at ten of the most creative styles in use in web design today with examples of some of the best websites that utilize them.

1. Responsive Interface Design

The average user’s experience is possibly the most important aspect to consider when designing a website. You want page elements to respond quickly to keyboard/mouse input and behave as expected. Some examples may include side fly-out menus, drop-down boxes, and popup windows.
Including famous JavaScript libraries such as MooTools and jQuery, it has become much easier to animate these features and even more. Most modern-day browsers support this code and even gracefully degrade when the scripts aren’t available. Ultimately you want to make the user feel comfortable when interacting with anywhere in the design.

2. Touchscreen Mobile Devices

In the past couple of years it has become evident that smartphones are gaining support among even non-tech enthusiasts. But only since 2011 have we seen an explosion of mobile sites and mobile-specific templates.

3. HTML5 & CSS3 Standards

Both of these new design archetypes have accumulated an ever-growing following throughout 2011. Semantic web designers have been waiting years to churn out CSS-only designs rendering rounded corners and drop shadows. Additionally the W3C has made a lot of headway in garnering support from the most popular browsers.



3. Image gallery slideshow

With the subsequent popularity of jQuery I have spotted more and more image slideshows being dropped into web layouts. Galleries are perfect for demonstrating a quick glimpse of inner-page content. This could be a set of portfolio entries, photographs, blog posts with featured images, demo screenshots, etc.

3. Modal pop up boxes

Many of the open-source image gallery scripts use a type of lightbox effect where the background fades darker than the popup box. I really enjoy this feature whenever I see it, although it has yet to be adopted by many. And although modal boxes are sexy and sleek, they can also be very difficult to code and get working properly.

 4. Social Media Sharing Buttons

As social media grows, sharing buttons have become a necessity for websites. Make sharing easy for users by providing social media button options. Do not limit these buttons to just Facebook and Twitter, pick the top 4 or 5 that work best for your client’s business (ask your client if you must). From Pinterest to GooglePlus, make sure not to miss out on relevant networks. Social bookmarking buttons for blog posts also help to allow posts to go viral.

5. Big Footer

Footers are becoming bigger and more prominent. Web designers are now adding eye-catching images, increased content, more links and business/personal information in these.
6.  Solid Blocking

This trend has been around for a while, and it basically introduces a brick-like design grid which features blocks of solid color coupled with blocks carrying photos or text.

7. Photo backgrounds
 Pioneered by fashion brands and photographers, this design approach is now being used in virtually all industries with great degree of success. Clients love it because it looks good – users love it because it feels good.

8. Fixed Position Navigation

We have all run into this technique at some point, mostly on personal websites or individual blogs. I have seen a large drop in this trend during 2010-2011, but a resurgence has been appearing over the last few months.
If your website doesn’t have a lot of main navigation then you only need to provide a few small links. So why not keep these visible to each user at all times? This can dramatically improve website performance and even blend into the overall page layout with ease. The concept idea is to keep the navbar and internal links/logo locked in place as your visitors scroll through the content.

9.  Big Vector Art
The goofy oversized mascots you can spot throughout websites have begun to claim a brand of their own. Just a few years ago you could not find very much illustration work tied into web branding. But the quality of individual designer’s talent has improved greatly. And I can think of no better marketing brand than a lovable vector-based creature.

10.  Custom Fonts

There are some online font libraries like Typekit which provide free fonts for web designers in order to use variety of fonts in their web design. Moreover, by using JavaScript, web designers can also make awe-inspiring custom fonts in CSS styles. This trend has been very popular with WordPress designers last year and it is expected that it will attain more popularity in blog designing during 2012 also.

11.  Ribbons and Banner Graphics

This is one design element which I had begun noticing a lot more in 2011. Designers began to write simplified tutorials for creating page ribbons, banners, bookmarks, or other types of display badges. Because of the massive emergence of free information more designers have begun jumping into the trends, too.

12. Focus on Simplicity

Ultimately the goal of any website is to get your visitors from point A to B as quickly as possible. Simple, intuitive interfaces are the way of our future. In just the past 5 years I have noticed most of the popular design trends stemming from minimalism. This idea is not ill-founded, as the lesser number of page elements to distract visitors will naturally keep them focused on their goal(s).


These design trends are just some of the few to keep up with as we move forwards into 2012. The year is unpredictable and nobody can say for sure what to expect. I think the facts are obvious that your average web designer has been learning much quicker in recent years than ever before in history. As such we could only expect plenty of innovation and new semantics ushering us into a golden age of technology and massive Internet awareness.