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“A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words” – So Make Sure It’s a Good One

How the graphics in your web design can make or break your business

When you look around society today, you can’t help but see images, colors, logos, badges and other similar advertisements all over the place. There is a very good reason for this. It’s because visual appeal is what first catches customers’ eyes, and businesses of all types are catching on to this fact. Graphic design is undoubtedly a huge component of a company’s brand and marketing strategy. Designhill.com  describes graphic design as a “crucial tool that makes sure that you communicate with your people in an efficient manner. It serves to deliver your message to the target audience in an aesthetic way.”

The use of graphics not only adds visual interest but when it is done well, it helps communicate your message without needing to overuse words and muddy up your page. Plus, successful graphic design will deliver a message quickly. This way people who are clicking through pages can better understand what your company does at a glance, instead of first having to take the time to read a bunch of words.  Your graphic design is your “hook.” If successful, it should catch people’s attention and reel them in to learn more.

Graphics also help create a cohesive appearance, which can make the navigation of your site a lot easier for users. When your website is pleasant to look at, easy to navigate and information is a breeze to find, you’ll get customers who stick around longer. The graphics are like your front door, and your goal is to make people want to knock and enter.  Forbes.com points to a study that showed 94% of comments regarding why users mistrusted websites were related to the design elements of the site and only 6% to the actual content. This definitely shows that the visual components of a website’s design hold a lot of weight when it comes to making an impression.

So, when it comes to the graphic design of your website, you may want to keep these quick tips in mind to ensure you are using it to your biggest advantage:

  1. Don’t Be a Show Off — As tempting as it is to show off how much you know about graphic design and the neat trick you just learned, if it doesn’t fit or serve a purpose, then it doesn’t belong on your website. Remember, the idea is to help communicate your message to customers in an “efficient” way. If you learn some new techniques, that’s great, but save them for a time when they will make sense and be functional. Otherwise, they’ll just be confusing.
  2. Don’t Supersize It — Nowadays everyone seems to be in a hurry. Doesn’t it feel that way? When people go online they expect quick answers and often want to check out things in a matter of seconds. So, a web page that loads slowly and/or incompletely is going to just cause people to abort their mission and click elsewhere. Overly large images will cause a sluggish pace that people just don’t have the patience for, so pay attention to the size of the images you choose.
  3. Don’t Steal Focus —  When you go to a restaurant, you’ll often find that certain menu items have a box around them.  This is leading you to the products that provide the highest profit margin to the restaurant.  Similarly, you can use your graphic design as a way to help direct people’s focus to where you want them to look. A good design will help lead people to the content you want them to see and point them in the right direction. On the flip side, don’t make elements of your design so over the top that they have the opposite effect and draw focus away from the real content.
  4. Don’t Be Obnoxious — You can definitely go too far when it comes to graphic design. Images and other elements that are overly artistic, cutesy or bright might be fun or eye-catching at first, but if splashed all over your site they can become very overbearing and make people cringe. Keep your choices purposeful, attractive and balanced to make a good impression, and make sure they will appeal to your target audience.  For example, comic book characters probably won’t be the best idea if you’re catering to 65-year-old women.
  5. Keep Colors in Check — In addition to not getting overly obnoxious with your images, make sure to follow the same rule when it comes to color. Glaring colors can be a huge turn off to viewers. Color also has a very big psychological impact. The choice of color alone can make all the difference in a customer’s decision to purchase a product. According to smallbiz.com, 93% of customers say they focus on visual appearance. Use this to your advantage when choosing colors and select the colors that help evoke the feelings you want your customers to have when they are viewing your site. For a list of which emotions different colors are associated with, look here.
  6. Use the Right Tools — If you are tackling your own graphic design, then don’t make things hard on yourself. There are a multitude of options out there to assist you in making strong design elements for your website, including sites like Canva, and online talent pools like Fiverr and Upwork. Take the time to get familiar with what is available to you and to learn how they work. If you are able to use a tool effectively, it makes the job easier. Check out these reviews of some graphic design programs to find one that will be a good fit for you.

The visual appeal of your website is a major, if not the biggest, factor when it comes to the effectiveness of your site to drive people towards your business. Be sure to give your site a review with a critical eye geared towards the graphic design and see if it’s meeting the above tips. If you find it falls short in some areas, make sure to do a revamp. Have others give your site a test run as well to get their honest opinions about their reactions to your site.

Not sure if your website is maximizing its potential? Let us help you evaluate the effectiveness of your web design and make sure that it is working for your business at maximum capacity. Be sure to check out our other blogs for ideas on how to brand and market your company and build your web presence. We’re here to help you attract customers and grow your business!

The Top 5 Ways that Your Website Might Be Misleading Them

Customer churn, or customer attrition, are two of the many names given to what happens when you lose specific customers for whatever the reason, who no longer use your services or engage with you.  This is a problem that businesses suffer from often, and no business is exempt — no matter how big or small.  Perhaps even worse than losing a customer who has used your products or services in the past, is losing an individual who was at one time interested in your business but never became a customer at all.

Whether your customers are not returning or are not converting, the “why” is likely the same.  Customers may not understand your business, what you do, how you help them, and why you can be valuable to their operation.  Some of that miscommunication can come from emails, in-person meetings, or a variety of other forms of customer communication.  However, it’s extremely likely that some of it (particularly with individuals who never contacted you in the first place), was from your website that failed you (and them).

Here are some of the ways that your website may be misleading potential (or existing) customers:

  1. Customers believe that you do not offer the services they want

Customers may believe that you don’t offer the services that they’re looking for if they can’t quickly find them on your website.  Not only should you make sure that each and every one of your services is readily apparent, but you should make sure that SEO (search engine optimization) is in place for each of your services.  Yes, SEO really is that important.  You can do this by ensuring that you are using keywords that people looking for those services are searching for.  You should also consider having a separate page for each of your services.

  1. Customers do not believe that you are a one-stop shop for their needs

Customers may not readily see the services you offer, including your other services related to their original needed service. They may assume that it would be easier to go with another company that can meet all of their needs in a one-stop shopping experience.  Make sure that customers know the comprehensive list of services you offer. One option is to have each of your services mentioned (with a checkbox) on the inquiry form.  Another is to add hyperlinks to and from each additional service from the individual service pages suggested above.

  1. Customers believe that you are too expensive (or more likely, too cheap!)

Customers may see your website and believe that you are too expensive based on your color choices, logo choices, and level of elegance on your page. While you want your page to be representative of your brand and the people that run it — you don’t want it to be misleading.  While it’s never okay to be sloppy, for example, or to have typos — it might be a bit overkill to have an extremely expensive website if you’re selling very basic and affordable services.

Or, if your target market is luxe and high-end, you probably want to avoid bright colors like neon yellow or patterns like polka dots.  Click here for a blog about colors and what they can mean for your brand.  You should also keep in mind that customers often equate quality with expensive.  So if you’re trying to decide between pricing levels, you should probably err on the higher side.  It will only help you.

  1. Customers believe that you are not approachable

Is there a contact form on your website?  Is it hard to find or hard to follow?  The length of time that it takes a customer to figure out how to get in touch with you is directly correlational to how approachable they think you are.  And also how receptive they think you’ll be when they need you over the course of your contract with them.  Be sure your website clearly communicates the various ways they can contact you and gives them a welcoming feeling.

  1. Customers believe that you are not the best at what you do

Do not assume that a customer will know that you are good at what you do.  Especially if they’ve never worked with you before.  And while it may seem artificial or uncomfortable to toot your own horn, it’s necessary, especially when marketing to prospective clients.  You should prominently display any awards that you’ve won, certifications that you or your associates have, and testimonials and/or logos of clients that you’ve pleased along the way.  Make sure to have a place or form where customers can review you. And use a regular system to get those up there as well.

You can never have too much information singing the praises of your company.  Also, having a well-maintained blog or newsletter articles that are published frequently on your website lends credibility to your business.  It’s a really important thing to do– and it’s so easy, you just have to do it!

If you feel that any of these potential issues may be at play with your website, you can benefit from a website review. This can help you figure out what the issues are and make sure that your customers know exactly what you can give them – – and take you up on it!

A solid website is one of the most important, if not the most important, assets to a company.  Regardless of the size and strength of the business, everyone needs a website whether they’re a child selling hair ties or socks out of their parents’ basement, to a Fortune 500 tech company. Unfortunately, not everyone knows the proper way to set up an efficient website.  Here are some of the top website mistakes almost every company makes, so you can avoid them on your next web redesign:

Top website mistakes almost every company makes:

  1.   Having A Website That’s Too Cluttered or Too Confusing — How many times have you gone to a website to find a very specific piece of information only to give up after twenty minutes of frustration from not being able to find what you were looking for?  Chances are you probably googled it and found a competitor that had the answer you were looking for.  If someone feels like they’re a secret agent trying to get into mission control when all they’re doing is looking for your hours of operation or price points, this is a sign that you need a new web design.
  2. Not Knowing Enough about SEO and What It Can Do for You — SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, has become a really hot topic lately, especially for companies that try to sell you web design services.  Unfortunately, not a lot of people actually know how SEO really works.  It’s up to you to make sure you’ve maximized your search terms, keywords, titles, and meta-titles on every single page of your website, or that you can find someone who can.  At Komaya, this is absolutely something we can help you with, so if you get stuck, don’t hesitate to contact us.
  3. Not Having a Clear Call-To-Action or Way to Buy — Someone can come to your website and think you’re the bee’s knees, but that doesn’t mean anything unless there’s a clear call to action or way for them to buy your products or services right there, on the spot.  People are often impulsive buyers and will talk themselves out of a purchase if they have time to think about what else they can do with those finances.   If you sell goods and services, there needs to be an extremely prominent way for people to add to their cart on the main page, and if you have a different type of service, there needs to be a clear call to action (follow us, join today, etc.) in an equally prominent place.
  4. Not Encouraging Interaction from Clients and Consumers —  Chat rooms can be a really good call as they allow consumers to interact directly with the “powers that be” of a company, and it really makes people feel like their voices and suggestions are heard.   Forums are also a really nice way for people to be able to leave their thoughts and opinions on a product.  You’ll receive a couple of bonuses for doing this as well.  For starters, you’ll receive free feedback on your product (without having to pay for testing or a consumer panel).  Additionally, if people start to interact with other consumers within a forum space, you’ll find that they check in more often on your site for follow up responses.
  5. Not Capturing Information from the Customer to Continue to Follow Up — Speaking of follow up, one of the biggest mistakes you can make in any business model is not following up with your consumers.   A lot of times, someone will check out on a business website and enter their credit card information, receive their package, and never hear from the company again.  You’ll want to make sure to record customer information for future use.  You can also have a subscription box on your homepage that someone can use to fill out their name, e-mail address, and possibly even a phone number to sign up for some kind of freebie (or discount code) that you have decided on in advance.  This way, you’ll be able to subscribe them to your offers, and mailing list, and you may even be able to send them a survey asking for feedback on your new and improved website.

 

The internet is an essential business tool, and there is nothing more valuable than your website. 81% of shoppers will research a product online before buying it either online or offline. If you can provide that research on your website and demonstrate you sell the product/service – you’ll be in a better position to attract customers to your website.

Of course, the results your website deliver are limited by its functionality and the user experience. While you can adjust your business’ website every so often, sometimes it’s better just to update the whole site.

To know when it should be completely updated, here are a few indicators to look out for.

1. Your website is too slow

Online consumers want a fast website. If it takes longer than a couple seconds to load a page, most visitors will have shut down your page and looked elsewhere. Slow websites could be due to anything from the server to the page size: but ensuring your website is optimized is a good place to start.

2. You haven’t updated it for a few years

Technology is always changing, and so are consumer expectations. If you haven’t updated your website for two or three years, then you are probably behind the times. Your site may not work well on the newer browser versions, there might be undetected security threats, and consumer expectations and behaviors continue to change. At the very minimum, do a website refresh every five years, although shorter intervals are better due to the speed of change.

3. It isn’t mobile optimized

Mobile technology has changed the playing field. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, then you could be losing on search rankings and customers. In the USA, 71% of time online is now spent on a mobile device. As soon as you’ve optimized your website for mobile, it can improve your traffic by 200%.

Conclusion

Your website is a valuable tool. But if it isn’t fit-for-purpose for the current digital trends then it is just an expense for your business. Ensure your website is updated so it can improve your business’ success online and help you achieve great things.

When was the last time you updated your website? Is your website optimized for mobile?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Your website is vital in today’s online world. 81% of your potential customers will research your brand and products before they buy, and if you don’t have a quality website, it can limit your conversions.

The design of your website is critical to your conversion rate. A poorly designed website has been shown to negatively affect the opinion of your website’s visitors.

Bring In the experts

While designing a website and getting it online is no longer a challenge, getting your design perfect for consumers is. Most website agencies will agree that poor user experiences are the number one weakness for their clients.

Experts can elevate your website’s design so you can see better results. Normally, they can help you with three aspects:

  1. Page Design
    Expert website designers can help you create a site that matches the typical behaviors of internet browsers. For instance, heatmaps of where visitors read the most on a web page can be used to place important information in high visibility areas.
  2. User Experience
    Creating a website with a great user experience is challenging, and most customers will abandon a website without a good experience. Two such examples are when websites take longer than a couple seconds to load or when the website messaging is unclear. With the growth of mobile browsing, the user experience has become even more important.
  3. Search Results
    Search engine traffic should always be a primary concern for your brand’s website. There are 40,000 searches every second on Google, with most users coming to websites directly from a search engine. A good website design should provide you with a solid SEO foundation, using appropriate content and keywords, helping search engines and users easily discover your brand.

Conclusion

Your website is a major sales tool for your brand. While building a website in-house is possible; it doesn’t always yield the best results. Instead, consider hiring a professional website designer to give you the best chance of online success. Check out our website review FAQ to learn more.