Your company’s website is the most important marketing asset you own, which is why it’s critical to ensure that it looks, functions, and performs exactly as needed. If your site falls short in one or more of these areas, you should re-evaluate your web presence.
In this week’s Smart Spot, Alison shares how to use the Google Chrome Inspect Element tool.
Website usability, also known as user experience (UX), describes the way in which visitors view and interact with your site. Users should be able to immediately recognize the main message of your page, easily figure out how to get from point A to point B and be able to achieve the goal they set out to accomplish.
Watch this week’s Smart Spot for a step-by-step guide on setting up a thank you page in HubSpot.
Traditional website projects usually entail months of extensive copywriting, design, revisions, change orders and…more revisions, all based on what everyone thinks are the right updates for your site.
We’re excited to announce our newest offering at Spot On, the Website Performance Audit.
You’re on the fence. It may not have been that long ago when you were in a similar situation, writing copy, approving designs, testing functionality and chipping away at your yearly marketing budget for a new website design. But as you’ve stayed on top of the latest trends, kept an eye on competitors and helped your company grow, you wonder if it’s time to rethink your most important marketing asset.
So how do you know when it’s time for the overhaul? It comes down to design and structure.
Watch this week's Smart Spot for a step-by-step guide on setting up a landing page in HubSpot, and read on for the play-by-play with some additional tips.
Lately, we’ve been sharing quite a bit about best practices when it comes to website design. From responsive design to building an effective website strategy, these articles have addressed questions and challenges specifically related to design and development.
While not exclusively a web design topic, search engine optimization (SEO) strategy isn’t something that companies should ignore, especially as it relates to a new website design.
Growing up in the 1990s/2000s, I used to watch TV shows where some of the characters had tiny computers they carried around with them. I always thought it was so cool that they could use these devices to talk face-to-face to each other yet be in completely different places! Little did I know that less than a decade later, smartphones–A.K.A. tiny computers that can do much more than just make FaceTime calls–would take the world by storm.
After months of planning, designing, and strategizing your new website, it’s finally ready for development.
Whether working with an internal or external development team, it’s imperative that marketers know about the web development process to ensure it goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. It’s also important to know how to properly communicate with your developer, since coding and technical terminology can often feel like a foreign language.
These days, almost every company down to the smaller mom-and-pop retailers understands that its website is important. For many of your potential customers, your website is your front door, display window, the face of your business, and the source of a crucial first impression.
We’re living in the golden age of technology. Although we haven’t quite achieved the long-awaited flying car, software has enhanced every aspect of our personal and professional lives.
It’s true what they say: Teamwork makes the dream work. Every company’s success is dependent on its people, whether it’s your own team or an extension of your team, such as a web design company with a multifaceted group of hardworking creatives.
In the healthcare software industry - as in any other industry these days - it’s very likely that the first interaction your potential customers will have with your company will be via your website.
Every company approaches their website differently. For some, it’s enough to simply have an updated website design that looks great. Others might feel somewhat lost when it comes to how a website should be designed and organized.
As the central point for all of your inbound efforts, your website should ultimately attract, convert, close and delight potential customers.
After launching a new website, many traditional agencies will suggest you purchase a web maintenance package. A maintenance package means the agency will handle your requested edits later on, so you don't have to make any changes yourself. This may sound like a nice deal, but in reality you will likely end up paying a monthly fee and getting little to nothing in return.
So what is a growth-driven design retainer and how does it differ from a maintenance package?
Sometimes you have to enter the mind of a predator in order to gain a clearer understanding of your own vulnerabilities. If you've ever watched shows like "It Takes A Thief" or "To Catch a Predator" you know exactly what I'm getting at. After this week's most recent ransomeware attack headline it's not hard to see how easy it is to think of malware in the abstract.
Ransomware is just one kind of malware that can impact your business and customers. Malware is a blanket term used to refer to any of the several kinds of malicious software that go after your information, your privacy, and your control. If you want to protect yourself and your customers, it's important to know what they are, how they they work, and their differences.
Our client KnowAtom creates STEM curriculum that aims to engage students as real scientists and engineers in the classroom. The extensive materials they provide allow teachers to spend more time teaching students valuable problem-solving skills, and less time planning. KnowAtom has a proven track record of helping schools all over the U.S. increase test scores and proficiency, so it’s easy to see why they boast a notable 97% customer retention rate.
Why does responsive design matter? More importantly, what is responsive design exactly? Responsive design means that a website's viewing and interaction experience is optimized for a wide range of devices. We have transitioned into a time where most people browse their web on a phone, so it's only fitting that we design our websites with those users in mind. Responsive design isn't a trend or a fad; as devices and technology keep changing, the way we think about web design needs to align with that.
We live in a period of time where everything is available to us instantly. With the tap of a finger, we can order pizza, send an email, and post a photo we took seconds ago. In this digital age, we have some pretty high expectations when it comes down to time.
There are a few things in life that shouldn’t be rushed, however. Redesigning your website is one of them. Your website is your biggest marketing asset as well as the first impression your business gives. Therefore, creating a professional, helpful, and well-designed website is a must. As with most big commitments, the best results are often a product of the amount of time spent. Sure, you can have a website created for your business in as little as a month, but it’s not the same as having a perfectly tailored website.
There’s a lot of pressure in creating a website. It is by far the most important marketing asset in your "toolbox" because it is converting visitors into leads 24/7. As the face of your brand, you want it to be great.
Ask most business owners about designing a new website and odds are you'll see a visible shudder pass from head to toe. Why? Because traditional website redesigns typically require significant costs up-front, a ton of time and energy on the part of business owners and key personnel, and they notoriously run over-budget. Also, there's no guarantee they'll work.
The world of web design and SEO changes at supersonic speed. What was once golden is now tarnished; the rules of the game are seemingly updated at whim.
Do you ever feel like everyone knows something you don't?
You’ve mastered the first step of inbound marketing: increasing web traffic by using great content and a mixture of SEO tactics. Since blogs are often the entrance point to a website for organic traffic, you need to ensure your blog design has the ability to engage and convert visitors. According to Google Analytics, in 2015 blogs had the highest bounce rate compared to all other website pages at 70-98%. So how can you convince readers to stay once on your blog once they’ve arrived, and how do you move them further along the inbound process?
Creating a new website is a bit like an obstacle course. It has its challenges along the way, but the journey can be a blast if done correctly.
When was your last "Aha!" moment? Ours was when we watched Dr. Susan Weinschenk’s 7 Principles that Make Your Website More Engaging video. Dr. Weinschenk makes some interesting and valid points about modern-day user experience. We just don’t browse the web like we used to. Nowadays we’re on a mission to find top-of-the-line information, products, and services.
However, with the amount of websites that are out there now, how do we ever make any decisions?
It’s simple, really. We look for the most engaging, well-designed websites.
Launching a website, whether it’s brand spanking new or a redesign, is a serious undertaking. In fact, organizations are prone to putting off website launches because of the sheer amount of preparation they require.
But perhaps we’re going about website design and redesign the wrong way. There’s a tendency in traditional web design to look at the process as a long-term, but ultimately finite task. This finite nature means that, at some point (and likely sooner than we’d like), the website will become stale and need an overhaul... and then you're back to square one.
The expectations for websites have changed rapidly. What were once Yellow Pages-esque placeholders are now expected to be interactive, perpetually fresh sources of information that are dependable, up-to-date, and on-trend. As visitors, most of us would say that we have those same expectations of the sites that we visit, right?
Traditional web redesign takes months to complete, requires a large budget, and leaves you without a current strategy in place for lead generation while the new site is being built. Even in a best-case scenario you will need to repeat the redesign process within a two-year period; in the worst of cases, the new design will be ineffective at generating leads and demand an immediate redo.
This post is a submission for Website Design in the HubSpot Impact Awards.
Introducing Alden Systems
In 2013, we began working with one of our first inbound marketing clients, Alden Systems, Inc. Alden offers five different asset management softwares, and an array of consulting, business analysis, inventory, and inspection services to the utilities and telecommunications industries. Alden determines the best combination of software and services for each prospect based on their industry, division and specific pain points.
With so much SaaS marketing material out there to compete with, it can be difficult to make your voice heard. To better your odds from your content creation efforts, strive to create evergreen content.
It’s hard to imagine a business that doesn’t have a blog these days. Blogs have become an essential part of the equation to marketing and overall success. SaaS companies, in particular, have the opportunity to use their blogs to leverage their expertise and knowledge-hungry fan base into a lead-generating, engagement-driving machine.
You have a website up and running, and you are now launching your first blog. Congratulations! A website with a quality blog is an enormous strategic advantage when used properly. The internet has become the most common first-effort search for people looking for insider views, tips, and tutorials for their personal and professional pain points, and search engines are constantly on the lookout for relevant resources that can provide solutions.
There are a number of ways sharpen your blog’s competitive inbound marketing edge when it comes to attracting these visitors to your site:
We all know modern day customers tune out of traditional outbound advertising and, instead, tune right into their web-enabled devices to read, share, and enjoy online content. More than just reading, people want to interact with brands and tout their favorite merchants to their friends on the world wide web. They no longer want to have advertisements interrupting their day only to shout messages at them from the TV, radio, or billboards.
The website design process seems so straightforward, yet all it takes is one bad decision to realize how complex it really is. Common mistakes people make when designing a new website include:
- Trying to translate old marketing paradigms into digital, online formats.
- Making "Ranking #1 on Google" the primary goal.
- Thinking a new website is a quick fix to systemic marketing and/or sales issues.
Think about all the times you needed to make a dazzling first impression – job interviews come to mind. Now evaluate the things you prioritized to make that good impression. Odds are they included:
- The way you looked, including what you wore.
- What you said.
- How you said it.
Every time your website visitors stay on a page for longer than 15 seconds, click-through one hyperlinks, or (hot-diggetty-dog!) tap on a CTA, they're voting for you. They're saying, "I liked this and I want more." Each time they bounce off a page quickly, have zero click-throughs, or fail to follow up on a CTA tap, they're saying, "Um, no thanks. I'm not finding what I want here."
As a HubSpot Certified Gold Partner Agency, this is the week we look forward to every year - INBOUND in Boston. This year's conference was especially thrilling for us however as the winner of HubSpot COS Design Award for website design. Selection was based on having the highest score for COS designed websites based on three qualities: Creativity/Design, Content, User Experience.
Thanks to the hard work of the Web Pages That Suck team, we’re never short of examples of truly awful sites:
- Here’s one that instantly alienates. It requires your email address just for the privilege of viewing the homepage. No thanks!
- Go on, we dare you to try and navigate this “artsy” mess.
- And this thing is best described as simply crazy-ugly.
WPTS’s vote for worst website of 2013? Hands down, the crash-prone HealthCare.gov.
When the time comes to consider a web design agency to put you on the track toward inbound marketing success, it’s easy to be swayed by a vast array of digital flash, bells and whistles. But the agency best for you is not necessarily the one scattering around the most pixels. Instead, choose a design consultant based on knowledge of how qualified lead generation works – and how it can work for you.
Keeping track of all the ways a website design vendor's work will impact your business can be a daunting task, but choosing a mobile website design company should never be done without extensive research and consideration. There are countless ways a company that provides seemingly perfect graphic design services can achieve a sub-optimal or even negative impact on marketing strategy—inbound marketing strategies in particular. We'll discuss a few key things to look out for when making your selection.
80% of mobile sites are not productive because the business owner neglects to use best practices when choosing a mobile website design company. Indeed, it's difficult to make an educated choice among providers without knowing the process and steps. Here's a few things to consider;
Frugal business owners often quiz us about essential and non-essential services, and whether to invest heavily in graphic design services, professional web design or optimization. In a nutshell, you’re definitely going to need all of the above and more, yet when starting out there are ways to build a business on less.
Building a Business on a Shoestring
Many businesses with a modest budget find success. The shocking truth is business owners are outsourcing the key aspects of essential services, while performing smaller tasks themselves. Many free online tools have made it much easier for business owners to embrace the DIY route. Of course, there’s always trial and error, but in the end, you achieve your goals with a few adjustments.
The biggest question is where to allocate your funds? If you’re proficient in Photoshop, then it’s a no-brainer, yet most of us haven’t a clue how to customize graphics for greater online presence. On the other hand, any novice can handle basic inbound marketing techniques.
Rule of Thumb: an attractive website has a better chance of captivating an audience. Websites that display a lack of design will likely experience very few return visits.
Advertisements, newsletters and web copy are rarely easy to do or all that great without the help of graphic design services. Design elements can increase leads and boost your success rate by 43%, according to a 3M Corporation study. In fact, according to the same report compiled at the Wharton Business School, 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Design is not mere decoration, but a huge part of our communication. Inbound marketing relies heavily on communication, spreading the word about good content.
Working in conjunction with your inbound marketing content, your website has a job to do – it has to attract, engage, inform and, most importantly, drive action. And while you can’t tell a book by its cover, many would-be clients get a key impression of your business through your website. That’s where graphic design services come into play.
Nobody likes a homely homepage, of course, but good graphic design isn’t just about making everything pretty. The creative services company you choose has to work as an integral part of your team to develop and nurture branding, foster online presence and contribute to SEO results.
Managing a business can be challenging at times, especially when it comes to marketing. Any business owner knows that you need a decent marketing strategy that will not only reach your target audience, but also provides value to them. When it comes to marketing, design services are crucial; business owners in the healthcare industry can especially appreciate the value of a well-designed marketing campaign as they need to be sensitive toward their customers' needs while also ensuring that they are gaining returning customers in the process.
With each new year comes new goals and expectations. One resolution that I would hope all companies, both large and small, would have is to place a strong focus on the value of great design.
If you're currently planning a website redesign, website assets such as content, inbound links, keyword rankings, and conversion tools are critical to a strong web presence. Redesigning to further capitalize on these assets is the best (and only) reason to think of changing your current site.