Answer These Questions

Answer These Questions

Get the Most Out of Your New Website

Prepare for a successful website!

When you’re working with a web design company on your new website, you want to get the most out of your investment. A good website will help you attract more and better leads that are more likely to engage with your business.

Part of maximizing the success of your website is being prepared with relevant information. This will help us build the most effective marketing platform for you.

Let’s take a look!


1. What does your business do?

To create the best website for your business, a web design company needs to fully understand your business. They can’t produce a website that works for you if they don’t know much about your company. It is important that your web design company has the opportunity to get to know your business.

This includes the history of your business, the products or services you offer, your employees, competitors, and more. All these questions should help us get a better understanding of your business, how you operate, and your company values.

When a web design company knows your business, they can start to shape a site that reflects your business best.

2. Do you have a website?

It may seem like a silly question, but we need to know if you already have a website built. This is an important part of the process for two reasons.

The first reason is that your web design company needs to know how much work they need to put into your site. If you don’t have a website, they’ll need to put in more effort to build one for you. For businesses with established sites, they know that they have an existing structure they can modify.

It is also important to know if your business has a website because if you do, your web design company can ask you about your site. They can ask you what you like and dislike about your site, what you wish was on your site, and how your website drives (or fails to drive) results for your campaign.

This is an opportunity for us to learn what you like and dislike about websites. It will help us create a site that drives results for your business.

3. What is your site’s goal?

Before beginning the project, you should know what you want to achieve with your website. You shouldn’t just build a site “just because.”

There are numerous goals you can focus on with your website. You can aim to earn more leads and revenue, increase brand awareness, capture emails or social followers, or get more phone calls to your business. It is important that you establish a goal for your website to help your web design company create a better site for your business.

Your goal impacts the design of your site. If you want to increase more brand awareness, your web design company will focus on building your brand and helping people become familiar with it. On the other hand, if you wanted to earn more leads, your web design company will focus on incorporating elements that encourage people to learn more and ultimately purchase.

4. Who is your target audience?

Your target audience plays an important role in how you shape all aspects of your campaign. You want to appeal to them and get them interested in your business. Your website’s design is no different.

To design a website that drives results, you need to know who is in your target audience. We will ask you about your target audience so they can build a site that works better for your audience. Your audience’s behavior will impact how you structure your site.

5. How is your company unique?

Each company across the globe has something unique to offer their customers. There is something that sets them aside from the competition. It may be something small, but there are things that make your business unique compared to your competition.

This is an important selling factor that we’ll want to incorporate into or emphasize in the design.

You want to stand out from the competition. Your unique features of your business will help you do that.

6. Who are your competitors?

You want to create a website that will help you stand out from the competition. It is important that your web design company knows about your competitors so they can create a website that makes you unique from your competitors.

You’ll need to think of a short list of competitors that directly impact your business. You can give this list to your web design company so they can check out their sites. This will give them an idea of how your competitors sites look and how they can produce a site that is better.

7. What features do you want on your site?

It is important that you incorporate features that will help you achieve your campaign goals.

You’ll need to think about how you want your site to look. There are numerous features you can add to engage your audience and keep them interested in your site. You need to think about which features you want on your site.

Some popular features include email sign-up bars, social media icons, incorporation of videos, or color choices. These are all features that have an impact on your audience. It is important that you think about which features are important to your campaign.

You want to be sure that you are incorporating elements that help you achieve your site’s goal. If your goal is to capture more leads, you’ll want to incorporate an email sign-up bar and social media icons. The features you incorporate on your site should help you build a site that gets your audience to complete the intended action.


Start building a better website today

If you want to build the best website for your business, you need to make sure you know the answers to questions that help you construct your ideal website. These questions should help you construct a better site that is more effective for your audience.

Want to get started today? Contact PixelForge today to begin building a better website!

Internet Marketing Tips

Internet Marketing Tips

Increase Online Traffic and Revenue

Increasing revenues and profits for your business will take strategy and effort.

Here are four tips to help you as a business owner increase your traffic and profits.

Update Your Website

It’s 2017, so if you’re like most businesses, you have a website (if not, what are you waiting for?). In fact, odds are good that you’ve had the same website for several years. This can be a blessing and a curse, and is something business owners should address in 2017.

Websites that have been around longer have an SEO advantage over newly created sites. However, the longer a site has stayed the same, the more likely it becomes that certain information on the site is inaccurate or out of date.

A recent study found that the majority of consumers encounter multiple erroneous sites in their daily internet browsing. There are few faster ways to lose a customer than having them drive to the address listed on the website, only to find that the business has moved across town.

Updating a site is also a good time to upgrade security features. Feeling secure is essential to building consumer trust. Similarly, improving the site’s mobile friendliness can also lead to tangible improvements in business performance.

Utilize PPC and Social Media Ads

Many business owners have a false impression about the way that the internet and social media work. While it’s common for large websites or popular social media business pages gained their massive followings organically, this is almost never the case.

Rarely there are cases of something just going viral. In most situations things that get a lot of publicity and attention paid for advertising and promotion to get the ball rolling. True, all the money in the world isn’t going to help bad content, but without paid promotion on the internet, getting noticed can be slow work.

It’s important to realize that social media can be just as useful as Google in directing traffic to websites. While fans for a page don’t necessarily equate to customers, Facebook’s utility as content distribution network makes the platform as useful as search ads on Google or video ads on YouTube. Investing in both forms of paid advertising can produce good returns for a business.

Integrate Marketing Tactics

Another goal business owners should pursue is using multiple marketing tactics in a coordinated way. A long time ago, the only way people learned about information was through gossip or the town crier. Now, there are a large variety of ways to get information to consumers, and the better these methods are used in conjunction, the more effective the results.

This integration can fall into two categories. First, businesses that use multiple forms of internet advertising should coordinate them to ensure that one consistent message is being sent to target consumers. Using email advertising, social media, PPC and video ads in tandem makes it hard for people to miss the message.

The other form of integration is when businesses coordinate their online marketing with their offline marketing. The methods mentioned before are effective on their own, but imagine how much more effective is when the online ads are reinforcing what they’ve seen on local billboards, TV ads, etc. Making an effort to coordinate all the various advertising and marketing channels can be tricky, but it is worth it for business owners to make the effort or to hire people who can handle this coordination and implementation for them.

Create More Content

While this may seem like an anticlimactic piece of advice, this may be the most important. Advertising still works, there’s tons of evidence to support that, but consumers are becoming more capable of avoiding and ignoring ads if they want to. Content marketing is a good way to reach audiences while showcasing the knowledge base of a business.

For example, some consumer have begun using ad blockers to prevent them from seeing ads while browsing websites (though Facebook is designed so that these technologies don’t work on their site). If people aren’t going to see your banner ads about your plumbing business, writing blog posts about common plumbing issues would be a good way to attract your target audience without relying on ads. It may be indirect, but content marketing works.

And if there’s one thing that business owners should strive to do is use every available form of advertising and marketing to promote their business.

How to Make Your Nonprofit Site Effective

How to Make Your Nonprofit Site Effective

Creating a Strong Presentation

Your nonprofit’s website is a tool that should be used to engage, interact with, and mobilize your audience – a tool that should ultimately inspire action.

1: Know Your Audience

If you don’t know who your website is serving, you’re at a serious disadvantage. No matter how hard you try, it will be nearly impossible to create an effective nonprofit website – one that meets the needs of your constituents and helps you achieve your mission.

  • Focus on their needs – Who are your key groups and what do they care about? How do they interact with your site?

  • Use the right language – Know that writing is an art and a science. Every bit of content should showcase your mission. Avoid industry jargon and acronyms. Keep it simple, but include descriptors for clarity and improvement of search engine optimization.

  • Keep mobile in mind – Mobile browsing is the #1 method users use to access the internet. Is your content completely accessible?

2: Focus on Your Home Page

Your home page is your first opportunity to make a strong impression. Within the first few seconds of arriving, your users will form an opinion.

  • Prioritize content – Create visual hierarchy. What content elements are most important and deserve the best location? Remember your goals as well as your audience’s during this exercise – not everything everyone wants fits, or even belongs, on the home page.

  • Make sure people can scan through easily – Use of headers, content blocks, and visual design will allow users’ eyes to follow the right path of content.

  • Provide choices – Not everyone accesses your site in the same way; make sure you provide different ways to access information to accommodate this.

  • Test – Show your home page to audience members, and then ask them a series of questions about your organization and its mission. If they can’t answer them, consider refocusing and prioritizing your home page.

3: Share Your Mission

Sixty percent of all donors check out your nonprofit’s website before donating, and therefore you should tell them why they should give and what impact it will make. And, you should do it quickly, before they change their mind. Share your mission clearly and succinctly and make it actionable!

“Feeding Children, Growing Community”. This isn’t just a catchphrase, and it’s not just a mission statement. Seeing this tagline immediately informs the user that they will find compelling information on what your organization is about, how they can help and who is being served.

4: Use Compelling Imagery

Design controls what users see and how they process your content. Compelling imagery can mean many different things based on your audience but it’s critical for driving users to important content.

  • Infographics are fantastic. They allow you to visually show all types of content – from stewardship to impact to mission fulfillment to campaign progress – unmistakably and concisely. They are attractive and engaging, which are two key elements to successful imagery on any website.

  • Engage with eye contact. Photography that uses eye contact will allow you to make a personal connection with your user. Personal connections, trust, and emotional engagement are keys to fulfilling your mission! Which would better share the amazing impact Habitat for Humanity has on the community – an image of five volunteers building a Habitat Home with their backs to the camera? Or the eyes of the man for whom the house was built?

  • Share real stories of impact. Sharing stories of how others are affected by your work, your outreach, and your mission will build credibility and encourage empathy.

5: Ensure Ease in Navigation

If your users can’t figure out how to find the information they’re after, it might as well not exist.

  • Provide multiple interaction paths – not everyone accesses information in the same way, so make sure key content is accessible multiple ways – navigation, search, calls to action, etc.

  • Test yourself – Access your own site in different ways, see how easy it is to find key content, and adjust accordingly.

  • Two clicks or less for key tasks – (Hint: Effective nonprofit websites follow the two-or-less rule.) If not, revise your structure. You can’t have two clicks to everything, but you can prioritize and make sure key tasks and content are the easiest to reach.

6: Include Clear, Bold Calls to Action

Without a strong call to action, it doesn’t matter how brilliant your content is.

  • Remove all obstacles to action. If someone clicks “donate now,” they should not be taken to another landing page with all of the ways they can give. Effective nonprofit websites take people directly to the donation form where they can give that gift!

  • Provide both tangible and intangible options: Please give 10 meals to your community today; please give $10 today.

  • Calls to action should be clear and compelling.

  • Never say “click here.”

7: Showcase Your Stewardship

At least 60% of donors will visit a nonprofit’s website before donating. Create a strong presentation to show what impact they will have if they participate.

  • Show the impact of the support visually through infographics.

  • Be transparent – share your annual report and show how much of the support goes to the cause.

  • Say “thank you.” This seems simple, but it’s often forgotten. Your website is a great place to say it publicly.

8: Keep Content Fresh

People in general have incredibly short attention spans. This is even more relevant on the internet where information is constantly available.

If you don’t consistently update your content, people will assume that either you don’t have anything new and important to present or that you can’t be bothered to put in the time or energy. Neither of these are good scenarios, both of which could cause them to forget about you and never come back.

Fresh content is crtically important to driving traffic to your nonprofit website.

  • Utilize automatic feeds.

  • Add dates to content posted to the home page.

  • Gather user-generated content via blogs, forums, or posts and let your audience help keep content fresh!

9: Be Social

More and more, people are looking to engage with organizations through the various social media platforms. Utilize this direct communication to help promote, engage and provide a constant source of dynamic content

The world of social media is changing. It’s not enough to have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. The real power of social media is in harnessing its viral capabilities as an integrated channel with reach beyond the limits of your database and lists.

  • Incorporate social sharing on your site. It will contribute to website traffic and brand exposure.

  • Tweet, blog and post. Often. Make it a priority.

  • Use the Facebook and twitter widgets to pull social posts to your website for fresh content and relevant, engaging activity.

10: Provide a Personal Touch with Multimedia

Your users’ preference for consuming content varies, just as their browsing and navigation styles do.

  • Allow users to consume information in multiple ways – video, imagery, text, interactivity, and audio.

  • Invest in interactive design elements like virtual tours or maps – it helps bring a personal touch to your users, even through the web.

Why User Experience Matters to Marketing

Why User Experience Matters to Marketing

More Than Design

User experience, also known as UX, is made up of many moving parts that allow it to positively impact how users feel when they visit your website.

Without a positive user experience, your marketing tactics can be affected, so it’s important to understand what exactly makes for a great UX design.

In this post, we’ll look at the various elements that great UX includes and how UX impacts your marketing goals and strategies.

Successful UX Elements

UX is about more than the design and colors of your site.

Positive UX incorporates many factors, including value, usability, functionality, adaptability, navigation, and design. Each of these elements contributes to how functional your website is to users.

Value is determined based on whether or not potential buyers can easily see the benefit of your products or services. Your website design should clearly communicate the value of what you offer to visitors on your site.

Usability refers to the structure of your site and how responsive it is. Your site should be designed in a way that addresses your customer’s needs before they even realize they have them.

Functionality is a large part of UX because it ensures everything on your site makes sense. A potential customer should never have to ask themselves what the purpose of something on your site is.

Because we live in a world where people are constantly using their phones and tablets, adaptability of your site to any device is significantly important. The content on your site and its performance quality should be consistent whether the information is accessed from a desktop, iPad, or smartphone.

Navigation is about creating a layout that minimizes the number of clicks it takes for people to find things on your site. Users should not have to click more than two or three places to get to what they’re searching for.

The design of your site should draw visitors in without distracting them from your content. The goal is to grab their attention by creating an aesthetically pleasing design, without making them forget why they came to your site in the first place.

Return-on-investment (ROI)

Your ROI increases significantly when you invest in a strong, worthwhile UX strategy.

  • For every dollar invested in UX, there’s $100 in return – that’s an ROI of 9,900%.

  • In 10 years, a $10,000 investment in design-centric companies would yield returns 228% greater than the same investment in the S&P.

  • 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience.

  • ESPN.com profits increased 35% after they listened to their fan base and incorporated suggestions into their homepage redesign.

So, if good UX increases your sales, what does UX mean for bounce rates?

Bounce Rate

Does UX affect the bounce rate on your site?

You bet it does.

UX done well can decrease bounce rates significantly for your website! The numbers speak for themselves:

  • 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor because of a poor customer experience.

  • 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load.

  • 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.

  • Time.com’s bounce rate dropped 15 percentage points after they adopted continuous scroll.

Design

Throw a few colors you think are nice on your site and you’re good to go, right?

Not quite.

The design of your site should be well-thought out and researched to see what people respond positively to. Design goes along way; just let these statistics sink in:

  • First impressions are 94% design-related.

  • 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.

  • Judgments of website credibility are 75% based on a website’s overall design.

  • 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the layout is unattractive.

Mobile

People are constantly on their phones. Which means it’s a high possibility when they access your site, it will be from their phone.

Not having your site optimized for mobile may seem like no big deal, but the reality is it can make a huge difference. When a site isn’t mobile-friendly images become distorted or don’t appear, text is either too small to read or doesn’t fit on the screen, and information becomes difficult to find.

Optimizing your site for mobile matters because:

  • 74% of people are more likely to return to a site when it is optimized for mobile.

  • 67% of mobile users say they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service when the site is mobile-friendly.

  • 61% of consumers have a higher opinion of companies with a positive mobile experience.

  • 52% of customers are less likely to engage with a company because of a bad mobile experience.

Are you doing UX successfully for your site?

In order to market your business successfully and accomplish your goals, user experience is a major part of the equation.

If you found this infographic helpful or have any UX tips of your own, let us know!

Don’t forget to share this infographic and remember to consider the various elements of UX when building your site!

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