By now you have probably at least heard of responsive website design. But like many people you may be wondering exactly what responsive design is and why your website needs to incorporate it.
Smart Link Solutions Blog
If you keep up with our blog here, you're probably well aware of the importance of maintaining a mobile-friendly website. Earlier this month, Google rolled out a new update to its search ranking algorithm that deals specifically with mobile compatibility. You can read the full details about it here, but it basically increased the search rankings for mobile-friendly websites and lowered the rankings for sites that are not mobile-friendly.
The field of web design is constantly changing from year to year. What's “hot” today may be gone tomorrow. This is why it's important for webmasters to stay up to date on the latest web design trends, as using outdated elements could send your visitors heading in the opposite direction.
Let’s begin by making an important distinction between “fads” and “trends” as these apply to the design of your new website. A “fad” is something which is cool or popular, something which is here today and gone tomorrow. A “trend” is something which works, is functional, something which engages site visitors and moves them to your designated calls to action, whether that’s making an online purchase, filling in a form or subscribing to an email list, something which will be as relevant tomorrow as it is today.
The company homepage is known for introducing visitors to the website. It is the first page people go when they are browsing the website. Landing pages are known for creating results by telling people about something of interest and how to get it. These targeted landing pages keep it simple and clutter free while sending a clear message. Companies want to do everything they can to create a growing business. One idea to try is to combine the homepage and landing page to get the best of both worlds.
Since the landing homepage is a combination of both it must follow the rules of both. Landing pages are one page that requires action in a few sentences. It must remain one page, have readable font, and a button to sign up or a form to fill out. It has to have the feel of a homepage, so this page must lead to other pages. A great background image/video and a clean navigation bar is a must. The image/video is going to be the one that gives the pop to your page so choose one that is going to be visually pleasing to visitors. The scroll bar must be eliminated to keep eyes on the landing homepage. The result of the merger must be clean, crisp, simple and lightweight. An alternative is to use templates that start off as a landing page but acts as a homepage as you scroll down. This growing trend is a great way to merge both types of pages into one. PayPal, Delicious and Vimeo's homepages are great examples of this.
Creating a landing homepage takes the place of maintaining two pages at once. It will give a pop to homepages that have a high bounce rate. It will give landing pages a place to connect to the company page without floating in a separate and far away page. Both will keep visitors on the page longer than a few seconds. Your website will be better for it.
We work so hard on other parts of the site that the homepage pales in comparison. It's known for its flashy style that gets users talking. Make it more than just an eye-pleasing experience. Use it for conversions, clicks, revenue and creating loyal customers. Convert your homepage into a landing homepage and witness results. Drop the separate landing page and merge it closer to your website through the homepage.
If you need help with a redesign of your home page, call the experts at 248-684-0500 or visit us on the web at SmartLinkSolutions.com
Search Engine Optimizataion (SEO) is a long drawn out term that could be more easily stated as a way of presenting and promoting a website in such a manner that major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. will show and rank the website's content on the first or second page of the search results.
Most people who use the internet will normally use a search engine as their first point of research, so it just makes sense that good SEO is critical to a successful website. Whether you are designing your own website or having it designed by a web design service, there are some general concepts of SEO that could be very important to you.
SEO actually begins with the domain name for your website. The domain name can be very attractive to search engines and you certainly want people to know your name and be able to remember it. Here are some very basic ideas to be considered in choosing a name for your website:
Take a few minutes to write down several words or phrases that best describe the main goal of your business or website. Now start trimming them down and think about what people will enter in the search box to find your site. It is a good idea to search for some keywords relating to your business and notice the domain names appearing on the first page of the search results.
Landing pages can be a very effective way to promote and sell your products and services. But they have to be targeted in order to be most effective. And the more laser-targeted they are, the better.
You're online looking for digital camera. You've already narrowed your search for which specific camera you want and settled on theOlympus Tough TG-2 iHS digital camera. Now you just want to find the best deal on one. So you enter "olympus tough tg-2 ihs" in the Google search box. At the top of the search engine results page you see an ad. So you click on it expecting to find your camera. But, instead of a page showing your camera on sale, you land on the homepage for "Fred's Discount Cameras and Accessories."
What's your initial reaction? Frustration? Disappointment? Anger? Whatever it is, it's very likely not happiness. After all, you were looking for a specific camera. You even engaged in a very targeted search that ended up being a waste of time. How likely are you to search through Fred's website to see if he even sells the camera you want? Not very, I suspect.
Let's analyze this...
Fred, the discount camera guy, created a targeted Google Adwords campaign designed to attract people who are interested in the Olympus Tough TG-2 iHS to his website. He set up the campaign to direct those who clicked the ad to his homepage, rather than a page about that specific camera, if he even has on on his site. He probably also created campaigns for several other popular cameras, all directed to the same place - his homepage.
That's a targeted ad campaign, NOT a targeted landing page. But Fred either doesn't know the difference, or doesn't care. Either way, you're not being served. And neither is Fred, really, because he's probably not making as many sales as he'd like.
Let's engage in a little "what if" analysis...
What if Fred had directed you to the page on his site that contained lots of detailed information about the camera you were looking for? THAT'S a targeted landing page.
And what if there were product reviews from users of this camera? And what if Fred had a deal going where you would receive $50.00 worth of accessories if you bought the camera from him? I think the answers are obvious.
So when you consider including targeted landing pages in your online marketing strategy, think beyond just getting people to your website. Think about how you can make their visit as positive an experience as possible because that's how the win/win happens.
If you'd like help with your online marketing strategy, contact us online or call 866-757-5100.
Whether a webpage is viewed on a phone or tablet, mobile internet is growing fast. Businesses need to make sure their mobile website is fast enough to keep visitors interested. They also have to look attractive on any device. Is there a way to have the best of both worlds: a beautiful design that's built for speed? Yes and here's how to do that.
- The size of files and images are the main reason why a website slows down. If you want the designs reduce the size of the file so it can load faster. There are free and paid programs out there that will shrink the size of files and images without sacrificing quality. What these programs do is compress big files and make them smaller. Remove the big files and add the small one in its place.
- Mobile Websites need to reduce content. There's isn't enough space to show everything that a computer can show, so show only the important information. Remove links outside of the main content area.
- Take that content and turn that into a single layout. Double or triple columns don't work on mobile devices because it looks crammed. Readers will have to zoom in and out of everything they read, and that is time-consuming. Single columns look neater and cleaner. It takes up the whole page so there's no zoom necessary. If there are other information that's necessary (links, other information, etc) add them to the top or bottom of the page. Scrolling up and down is easier for mobile users than zooming in and out.
- Speaking of adding things to the top or bottom, the navigation bar has to be reworked. Don't add the navigation bar at the top of every page. Add it only on the homepage. On other pages add the navigation bar at the bottom. You can still access it, and the bar won't get in the way of content. Add a back button on every other page but the homepage. Consider treating the navigation bar as a dropdown link.
- As far as entering text, cut back on that. QWERTY keys are already difficult to use on mobile phones and tablets, and if it could be avoided it should. For usernames, passwords, and search engines allow users to store information in their account or allow them to use a pin instead of a password.
The average user will leave a website if it doesn't load in three or four seconds. Don't let a slow mobile website stop you from reaching new customers. Contact us for more information on mobile websites.
You may have read here and elsewhere about the growing impact of the mobile segment and how critical it is to have a mobile optimized website. Perhaps you are already convinced but the prospect of making changes to your current site, both in time and money may be keeping you from making a decision. If so, the following information should help you realize that changes to your main site are minimal and that development costs may not be as high as you think.