Blog Category: Websites


2015 Website Best Practices: Responsive Web Design is No Longer Optional

By Keela Greenlee,

Website best practices and responsive web design

Most businesses have a functional website where customers and leads can find out more about their brand. However, not every website has what it takes to successfully compete in the online marketplace. The best way to ensure that your company’s website doesn’t turn away a huge portion of its visitors is to follow the latest best website practices and develop a more responsive web design.

 

Importance of Responsive Web Design

Though responsive web design may have once been optional for businesses, this is no longer the case. In a previous blog post, we discussed how the recent Google algorithm change impacted company websites by placing mobile-friendly sites higher in search engine results page rankings. Not only can a responsive web design help you increase your SERP rankings, but it also helps you provide a better user experience (UX) for mobile device users, which in turn increases their time on site and conversions.

 

Best Practices and What to Avoid

Here are some important things to keep in mind when developing a more responsive web design:

 

  • Provide users with a mobile-first design – 64% of American adults have a smartphone, and many of these users are accessing the internet mainly from their mobile devices. Starting with these users in mind will not only help improve mobile users’ experience, but will also improve the flow of desktop UX.
  • Optimize the accessibility of your website – Part of creating an effective, optimized website is developing a UX that includes support for people with disabilities (enlargeable fonts, clear images, etc.).
  • Use web-specific fonts – The list of web-friendly typefaces has grown, so you can still design with great typography and not worry about unsupported fonts. See Google Fonts.

 

Here are some things that you should avoid:

 

  • Flash player requirement – Besides not being supported on iOS devices, big Internet players like Facebook, Mozilla, and Google are also limiting or eliminating Flash’s impact.
  • Autoplay – Autoplaying videos or audio on your website is a nuisance and can turn visitors off.
  • Click-thru content – You probably hate having to click constantly to get to the next page of an article or other content as much as your visitors do. Focus on good long-form content instead.

 

If you need help making sure that your website is effectively converting your potential customers, our web design specialists would love to talk with you. Contact TN Media in Nashville, Tennessee for a free website consultation today.

 

  Filed under: TN Media Blog, Websites
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The Best Way to Adjust to the Google Algorithm Change

By admin,

Asteroid impact

Mobilegeddon began on April 21, 2015 when Google updated its mobile search algorithm to reward those companies that have created a better mobile user experience with a mobile-friendly website. This Google algorithm update has caused many companies to panic as their web traffic numbers decline. The best way for your business to adjust to this Google algorithm change is to ensure your website’s design and user experience are optimized for mobile devices.

What the Google Algorithm Change Means for You

The Google algorithm update places mobile-friendly websites higher in mobile search results than websites without a responsive design. This means that if your website is not optimized for mobile devices, then you will be less visible in these searches. With about 60% of online traffic coming from mobile devices, this could have a significant impact on your web traffic and sales.

Adjusting to Mobilegeddon’s Changes

In order to adjust to these changes and improve your web traffic, your company will need to improve its website so that it has a more responsive design. A mobile-friendly website has:

  • An easy-to-navigate conversion process – the mobile user should be able to make purchases and book appointments in just a few clicks.
  • Content that can be viewed comfortably – the content on your page should be able to be viewed and read without scrolling or zooming.
  • A format that fits multiple devices, including tablets – tablet users spend over 50% more than the average smartphone user, so it’s important that you also optimize for these devices.

Making improvements to your website can seem like a daunting task, but in the end, the time and energy spent is well worth it, as the Google Algorithm update has made it all but mandatory for companies to improve their mobile user experience.

Does Your Website Have a Responsive Design?

If you have recently seen a decline in the number of visitors to your website, this could be the result of the Google algorithm update. The professional website design team at TN Media in Nashville, Tennessee can help you get those numbers back on track by creating a mobile-friendly, responsive design for your website. Contact us today for help with dealing with the Mobilegeddon aftermath.

  Filed under: Google Adwords, TN Media Blog, Websites
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What makes a website great?

By admin,

Great Websites Image

What’s wrong with my website? It looks great!

As professionals, we spend time, effort and money ensuring that we look the part of a professional.  A well-fitted suit and neatly pressed shirt go a long way in the first ten seconds of a first impression. It says, “I am going to handle you Mr. or Mrs. customer with the same care and effort I spent prepping for our appointment today!”

The internet or more specifically your website is no different than the situation I have just outlined above. The same impression a visitor gets in the first ten seconds of their time on your site can make or break you. In fact, this statistic is so important that Google has a name for the visitors leaving your website in less than eight seconds: bounce rate. If you cannot hold the attention of a prospective customer for more than eight seconds, it’s going to be hard to convince them that you will go out of your way to service their needs, will do it for a competitive price, and there are 12 of their friends that are screaming from the roof tops, “You are the greatest they have every seen.”

Also like the example in the opening, your attire not only needs to be clean and pressed, but it must also be functional. If you were a roofer, it makes no sense for you to be wearing leather soled shoes. They are slick and lack the function needed to do the job. In almost every website analysis I have done in the last several years, the most common mistake made is to forgo function for aesthetics. This is a critical error.

I recently read a very large audit where nearly four million websites were audited for basic components needed to turn a website into a selling machine.  Here’s what they found:

  • 26.4% [of SMBs] cannot be found in online searches because their websites earn a Google Page Rank of zero or have no Google Page Rank
  • 94.5% are not mobile optimized
  • 91.2 percent lack a Facebook widget (e.g., “like” button)
  • 94.6% lack a Twitter widget (e.g., “follow” button)
  • 83.6% lack a Twitter link
  • 93.7% do not display a contact email address
  • 49.4% lack a phone number on the home page
  • 94.6% lack a shopping cart, prohibiting them from transacting business on the website

To further elaborate, searchengineland.com published a comprehensive report outlining exactly what users are looking for when searching on your site.

1. Obvious contact information
-I want to see the phone number right away…on every page.
-I want to see your street address…on every page.
-What can you do for me?
-Why should I choose you and not your competition?
-What makes you better than your competition?
-Don’t make me guess if you’re offering me a good deal.
-Don’t make me hunt for the information I want.

2. A description of products and services offered

3. Unique selling point and/or offer

4. Specific product/service details and pricing

5. A site designed to show me what I want to see

Doesn’t this make logical sense? If a visitor comes to your site and it is clean and neat and they have a clear understanding of what you do and where you do it, isn’t the money maker in this scenario the PHONE CALL?

How are you going to book that appointment if they cannot find your number? Keep in mind that consumers are lazy. And not only are they lazy, they are inundated with creative marketing trying to distract them from things they want and need. Why should your business suffer because someone else just made it easier for them to spend their money?

Questions to ask for your own website self evaluation:

Is your website driving leads?

Do you have the phone number in BIG BOLD type at the top right of the page?

Do you have the address and phone number listed on every page?

Do you have a contact us form on your website?

Have you integrated Facebook and Twitter within your website?

Is your website clearly stating what you do and where you do it?

Have you listed the payment methods you accept?

These are just a few, but the critical ones. If you need some help or consultation, we are happy to go through a more detailed evaluation. Give us a call at 1-888-352-8616, or use our online form to set up a consultation.

  Filed under: Websites
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Beware of Free Websites

By admin,

That free website comes with a price.

Beware of the Free Website I’m sure you’ve heard somewhere along the way, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it is.” And unfortunately with websites, this is also the case. You’ve probably seen advertisements and commercials with do-it-yourself and drag and drop free websites. Oftentimes, these are “packaged” with SEO services or “get found on the web” advertisements. But the truth is, these two don’t mesh well together. But we’re here to debunk the myths. It’s not as easy as they claim.

What’s in it for them?

Most free website companies aren’t really free. The websites don’t cost money to build because you do all the work. The company just wants you for the hosting fee, which is where they make their money. They can also tack on hidden fees and add-ons that don’t offer much value.

A lot of free eCommerce website platforms also take a percentage of everything you sell. And in an internet driven marketplace, where you have to compete on price, this tactic hurts even more.

You don’t own that free website.

Yes, you built it. But you used their framework to produce it. If you decide you want to move it somewhere, you can’t. The only option is to rebuild it on another platform, which can be costly.

Free websites are not customize-able.

Yes, you can change the colors. Yes, you can move things around and edit text. But you really don’t have the ability to change all of the small details that can really make a site shine. Also, as you grow and want to add to your site, these platforms most likely won’t support it.

Free websites are an SEO nightmare.

I know these free websites come with packages that make the promise: “Get your site found on the web.” But if it were that easy, there wouldn’t be companies continuously optimizing, changing and staying up-to-date to keep their clients ranked. There are more than 200 metrics that are measured to determine ranking and no one (but Google) knows how much weight is given to each one.

The bottom line.

Web design companies and firms exist for a reason and prices for professionally designed websites continue to drop. If you just need a site and don’t care if anyone ever finds it, go ahead and throw one together with a free platform. But if you are serious about building a site, one that doesn’t have limitations and sets your business up for future success, stick to hiring a company to build your website.

TN Media is headquartered in downtown Nashville, Tennessee and offers website design services for all budgets. Give us a call and we’ll help you find the right solution for your business.

Talk to a Strategist Today

  Filed under: Websites
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