Monthly Archives: user experience

New Website? 4 Things to Consider Before You Go Live

Whether you’re building a brand new site for a soon-to-be launched business or revamping your existing website with fresh content and design, chances are that you already know how vital your online presence is. The web is often the first place that potential customers or prospective clients will go to find information about you. And since you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, your website is not the place to take shortcuts or rush to launch.
We’ve helped 19 clients launch or revamp their websites this past year. And while we would love to say it was all rainbows and unicorns, that would be a total fantasy of, well…rainbows and unicorns. Instead of keeping all of the valuable wisdom we gained to ourselves, we like to share the love. In that spirit, here are four common problem areas that businesses run into when launching a website. Eliminating these issues can really have a positive impact on both SEO quality and the visitor experience.

1. The more options for engagement, the better for your website.

The whole point of a website is to showcase (and sell) your brand, products, and services. With today’s pressure to market visually and simply, businesses can sometimes forget one of the basics – How can someone contact you to learn more? You want your website to generate leads, so you need to provide multiple touchpoints. The most effective touchpoints we recommend during the website design process are:

  • Spread multiple contact forms throughout the site – not just at the footer or on the contact us page.
  • If you have an active social community, include direct links in the header, blogs and articles, and on product and services pages.
  • Offer email sign-ups throughout the site with details about email frequency. Once a month typically performs better than weekly on B2B sites.  

2. Don’t let your images drag your website down

When you update your website with large, attractive images, the design team loves it. Executives love it. Visitors love it too. Who doesn’t love it? Search engines.
Optimization for speed is key for Google rankings, which we all know is one of the primary end goals of a website. What most people don’t know is that the compression tool in Adobe isn’t enough. Your development team should be using other methods to optimize the file sizes (for an average size decrease of 25-30%), to essentially increase your site speed. Studies consistently find that most visitors will bail on any websites that don’t load in 2-3 seconds. Website speed can make or break user engagement (and ultimately revenue), so it’s worth spending the effort on optimizing your images.

3. A mobile-friendly website is a must-have.

When a website ignores mobile users, it will diminish its ranking, visibility and usability. With just 10.6% of web traffic coming from non-mobile devices, gone are the days when a mobile-friendly wordpress template does the trick. There are occasions when the template you bought and paid a company to customize will work, but often the out-of-the-box “stack” simply doesn’t cut it. Don’t be afraid to question and change your mobile site. You might not need all of the content. Or you may want to rearrange images and text for easier readability on mobile devices. A truly mobile-friendly site should go beyond the standard responsive queries to consider the mobile site experience per device.
4. Be ready to learn and teach

At the start of a website rebuild or redesign, everyone is excited and positive. However, when reality sets in, the process can turn into a struggle for every pixel space. Decision-makers don’t all have the same experience or understanding; technical or design team members want to stick to a specific set of rules, and the company may even struggle to define the goals and priorities for the new site. We like to apply a variation of the 5 Whys technique, which is commonly used in process improvement exercises to find the root of any problem or unexpected situation. When a major change pops up, ask why it’s needed or why the change is important. After asking why five times, you’ll get to the cause of the change and uncover some really great solutions to consider along the way. The process is also an effective two-way learning experience: we learn more about the company and the company team learns about the best practices and benefits of the solutions proposed.

If you’re building a new website or thinking about redesigning your current site, contact On Advertising. We have the expertise you need to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible – rainbows and unicorns sometimes included.

A mouse hoovering over Google security button

Google and SSL Certificates in 2017: Why You Should Care

As several high-profile hacking incidents made news the past few months and with hackers even inspiring a popular TV show, cybersecurity is becoming more and more important. To improve security for its users, Google recently announced that starting with the release of Chrome 56 early next year, any website that does not have SSL will display an “insecure connection” error message. If you’re not familiar with this terminology, SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s the standard technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This secure link ensures that any data passed between the server and browser remains private. Google will start with sites that have fields to enter a password or credit card information,  but throughout 2017 will expand to include websites that have paid for an SSL certificate or used Let’s Encrypt to get a free certificate. Eventually, Google will label all HTTP pages as non-secure, and change the HTTP security indicator to the red triangle they currently use for broken HTTPS. …

Fast Food Service Provider Marketing

Over the years as we’ve grown and worked with clients to build a digital presence, one of the things we’ve heard is how our team provided insight into marketing data, not just the data itself. I use the word “insight” for a reason. Data from marketing channels, for many, is like eating out. Small bites of info may be better for some while others need a full course meal. In the spirit of combining two things I appreciate, food and data-driven marketing, I’ve started leading our team to an approach of providing sit-down service during our discussions with certain clients versus providing a fast food service approach. Got your appetite ready? Let’s go. …

A line of Olympic runners

Olympic Success: A Marketing Team’s Version of Reaching the Podium

It’s been an amazing couple of weeks, watching athletes from around the globe compete at the Olympic Games in Rio. One day, we’ll be able to tell our grandkids we were there to watch (on a tape-delayed basis, of course) such record-breaking feats of athleticism as a kayak capsizing after hitting a sofa in the water, and Ryan Lochte and three other athletes dodging the Zika virus but not being able to avoid being robbed at gunpoint. Oh, and we heard that Michael Phelps won a few more gold medals for swimming.
The team of world-class digital marketing professionals here at On Advertising have a few thoughts about the Games, and how they relate to the services we deliver to our clients. …

A smartphone with email marketing on the screen

Is Email and Email Marketing Dead?

When a newspaper (remember those?) printed his obituary after rumors he had passed away, 19th century writer Mark Twain famously quipped, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
The past few years, many obituaries have been written for email and email marketing. Some people are saying that social media is to blame, as millennials prefer to communicate in 140-character bursts on Twitter and via pictures shared on Snapchat. These “experts” are saying that because people aren’t using email, reaching consumers with email marketing is also dead. …

A video camera capturing media coverage for a business

Tools To Help Your Business Get Media Coverage

In our last blog we told you about a couple of tools to keep your eye on in 2016. Along those lines, we now want to share some tips that could help you grow your business this year. We recently read an article that listed resources available to entrepreneurs for better media coverage. While most were geared toward making it easier for a small business to operate on a day-to-day basis (like Asana and Google Drive), some of them stood out because they promise to help businesses do something that used to be left to experts: obtaining media coverage.