How Important is a Mobile App UX Design for Startups?

The dawn of the new mobile age is upon us. Mobile apps are not just darlings of corporate giants in the league of Facebook or Walmart. Any business can capitalize on developing a strong mobile product. As for startups, they can use it as a breakout strategy to increase visibility, reach new customers, spread brand awareness, and establish a potent marketing channel.

However, they often do not even get a chance to communicate the groundbreaking intent behind an app because they do not have the right presentation. Well, that is when user experience (UX) comes into play as a vital component of any app’s success, a natural part of the designer’s workflow. It allows you to keep up the pace and take your business game to the next level.  

Mobile App UX Design for Startups

A game-changer

To really stand out in an overcrowded landscape of mobile apps, you need a unique visual identity. This is a great way for startups to make a stunning first impression and drive engagement. But, to do this, the app has to be created with UX as a focal point, guiding light during the design and development stages. This is a multi-faceted concept that encompasses elements such as layout, colors, sound, brand, text, and interaction, tying them all up into one coherent amalgam. It depicts the reaction and emotion of people who come in contact with an app.

Users in focus

An app is supposed to solve a particular problem or add value to the user’s everyday life. This is the promise you have to deliver on, which is to say that usability (user-friendliness) is one of the main qualities that a successful app needs to ooze. In other words, eye candies account for little when main functions of an app are not easy to accomplish. Therefore, one has to always consider how users will interact with and navigate the digital environment of an app. Nowadays, they tend to rely on functional staples like pop-out navigation bars, so make sure to implement them.  

Success by design

Recent years have demonstrated that if you are on the lookout for ways to turn your app into a business, you must use stellar UX design in combination with other assets.  After all, the success is not guaranteed.  To really yield results, your UX has to be aligned with monetization, marketing, and retention strategies. This requires a sustained and joined effort of multiple departments, including BI, sales, digital, marketing, design, and other teams. It all starts with field research, finding the right market, and becoming aware of what users really want and need.

Pieces of the puzzle

Most often, UX designers focus on creating wireframes and design layout. However, their efforts are not limited to these tasks. It takes much more than cute buttons, vivid colors, and picturesque fonts to hit it big. Ultimately, app design should facilitate, not get in the way. It needs to bring more utility and accessibility, and performance, not impede them. It emphasizes positive sides of an app and delivers real value. What makes a real difference is the smart disposition of design elements: everything must fall together in a seamless fashion and be displayed flawlessly on different screen sizes.

Simply the best

Mobile app explosion has brought a slew of trends into existence and one that towers above the rest is minimalist design. Indeed, in the area of user interface (UI), less is often more. We are talking about sleek and sophisticated solutions that both look good and are easy to grasp, process, and manipulate. Apps that attract armies of fans are ones that are intuitive, feature amazing moving elements, run like greased lighting, and are a perfect combination of amazing UI and UX. They streamline functions and simplify user journey and consequently outperform those that overwhelm and confuse with visuals.

Long-term view

You do not know what works until you try it. In the context of UX, this implies a lot of prototyping and testing. These activities precede coding and have a profound effect on the app’s popularity with the users. Now, one crucial thing to remember is that UX is a dynamic, ongoing process. It is not something you do once and that sit back to reap the benefits. To set themselves for long-term success, developers and brands commit to constantly updating and tweaking their design. Soaking in the user feedback is the key to being able to delight them on a regular basis.

Ahead of the game

There are numerous benefits that stem from a well-designed mobile app, but also many moving parts that make or break it. Though it all, UX is what truly elevates an app and puts your work above a myriad of other products. It lands startups on the map and enables them to make leaps and bounds towards their goals.

So, take your time generating ideas for visual representation. Note that UX design efforts gravitate around the user as the main axis. Invest in UX research. Blend prime usability with engrossing visuals. Set yourself apart from the competition, cultivate customer loyalty, and boost engagement across the board.

Why User Experience Matters and How You Win at It

Your client’s website may be aesthetically-pleasing and ranking on top positions, but does it provide a good user experience?

This is one of the things that digital marketing agencies need to understand and an important task that any white label service provider needs to fulfill. You can’t get away with simply making a website attractive. Your client’s website needs to serve the purpose of their visitors, create an emotional connection when they interact with it, and take them on the journey from being someone who’s simply browsing the website to becoming a customer. And if you’ve done it right, visitors will return to it. More visitors can lead to more business for your clients, and this means plus points for your agency. That’s what a great user experience is all about.

The moment customers lose interest in your client’s website is the moment you should start thinking about changing things up. Not only in how the site looks, but in how it makes visitors feel. Everything you do to be successful in your online marketing efforts must focus on your users. To do that, here are a few things you need to understand first:

User Experience is not All About Usability

“My website has a two-step sign up process that’s easy for visitors to use; therefore my website has a great user experience.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

It’s common for some to think that making it easier for visitors to navigate a website means having a great user experience. But here’s what you need to know about user experience: usability is not equal to user experience. It’s one aspect that affects the entirety of user experience.

To fit usability into user experience, you need to answer the following:

  • Is it easy for visitors to familiarize themselves with the website the first time they land on it?
  • Can users move through the sequence of actions seamlessly?
  • Is it easy for visitors to achieve their goals by using the website?
  • Does the website prompt user recall the next time visitors use it?

If your answer to these questions is “No”, you need to analyze the website’s usability and fine-tune it to provide a better user experience.

Don’t Just Focus on SEO

Because search engines know when you do.

One of the things Google believes to be true is you have to “focus on the user and all else will follow.” And this is why the old ways of SEO—stuffing a page with as many keywords as possible—won’t work anymore. Google knows when you’re just in it for the rankings, not for the users.

This doesn’t mean you’re going to abandon SEO altogether. You still need to optimize your client’s website to be found by customers.

When I say that you don’t only focus on SEO, what I mean is you should focus on an SEO strategy that marries well with user experience. At the end of the day, you need a strategy that brings results and will make your clients happy.

A solid SEO and user experience strategy focuses on: who the target users are, what motivates them to interact with the site, and what their intentions are (or what they hope to accomplish on the site).

1. Knowing who the users are

SEO allows you to drive traffic to a website. But, here’s the catch: you don’t just drive any traffic. You need qualified traffic. How do you go about this? By better familiarizing yourself with who the target users are.

In fact, knowing your users is not just an important step in SEO and user experience design—it provides you with a springboard for your entire digital marketing strategy. You start knowing who your users are by identifying the following:

  • Site usage patterns: Do users have a pattern they follow when they visit your client’s site? Hotjar allows you to check for a pattern that users take when they’re on a website. By knowing this, you can configure your client’s website to match user interaction.
  • First click habit: What’s the first thing they click when they land on the site? If users are able to complete one task after the other from that first click alone, you can discern that pattern and identify more opportunities from it.

2. Identifying their intent and optimizing for it

A sound SEO and user experience strategy is not just about making a website rank, but actually getting users to click. And you do this by identifying the intent behind a user’s query. After all, what good will it do if your client’s site is ranking but isn’t aligned with the intent of their target users?

How do you identify and optimize for user intent?

  • Top queries: If you haven’t dived into Search Console, now’s the time to do it. Looking at the top queries that your client’s site is getting allows you to understand what their target audience is searching for. Once you have a better grasp of this, you can start tweaking on-site elements (well-written headings, CTAs, and Meta tags) to match user intent.
  • Content: As user experience is all about making visitors feel good about the website, having content that speaks to the intent of users is crucial. Think of it this way: when a user clicks on a link and finds that your content doesn’t match their expectations, you’re bound to lose them right from the start. Just like Rand Fishkin said, content that addresses the needs of users shouldn’t get buried under tons of content that’s talking about something completely different from what they’re looking for.
  • Segmented landing pages: You can’t direct a user intending to purchase to an informational page, and you can’t direct a user looking for information to a checkout page—that simply breaks the funnel. When you’re optimizing for user intent, be mindful of where you’re directing users in the website.

The User Experience Journey Doesn’t Always Start from One Point

Most websites are designed with user experience starting at the homepage, and that’s where the problem lies. A user’s initial entry point isn’t always the homepage. If you’ve designed the user experience journey in a way that only caters to the homepage, you’re missing tons of opportunities.

This is where your creativity comes in. You need to map the flow and think of the different ways that will lead users to their goals. Combine what you’ve learned previously – who the target users are and what are their intentions. Using this as a guide, you can then determine the following:

  • Where they come from (can be through organic search results, banner ads, emails, etc.)
  • Where they will land on the website
  • What processes are needed to fulfill their goals

By mapping out the user experience flow, you can fix what’s broken in the funnel and create a solid framework that offers maximum conversions.

Why do we optimize for the best user experience? We go back to the statement: everything you do for your online marketing efforts should focus on the user. It’s not all about the brand, but what users expect from that brand. And brands have the responsibility to meet those expectations. At the end of it, the “me, me, me” strategy isn’t going to cut it if your clients are seeking more attention from their audience.

4 Rules for Better Website Typography

Achieving Better Website Typography

For a long time, when developers and designers were building websites typography wasn’t high up on the priority list. This was due to a number of factors, sometimes it was simply lack of diverse web safe fonts and other times it was adherence to strict SEO (Search Engine Optimization) standards. Now, due to the number of internet connected devices and our ability to ceaselessly consume content, digital mediums require strong typographical sense to convey their content to the masses. Included in this article are 4 hard and fast rules to help your website’s typography provide a better user experience.

Establish a Visual Hierarchy

All design is based on communicating visually and a key component of successful design is always establishing a hierarchy, and web typography is no different. What this means is ensuring that there is an obvious separation in size between headings, subheadings and body copy. Establishing a visual hierarchy allows users to scan the content and find content that interests them quickly and easily. Additionally, establishing consistent design patterns across your site will allow users to seamlessly navigate through the experience without confusion. Creating this hierarchy also has a practical purpose as establishing it using HTML best practices creates an easy blueprint for Search Engine crawlers to work through, helping your website rank higher based on SEO best practices.

Font Selection & Sizing

When selecting your font it is important to consider what fonts the brand uses and if they are available for use on the website. This is because of font licensing, basically when you purchase a font you have either a license for printed materials or for a digital license (which is based on the number of visitors/views, but I’m not going to get into that). If the brand’s fonts are unavailable, Google has a fantastic selection of free web safe fonts for use on websites, and almost any brand’s fonts can be somewhat emulated by something in this library. When fonts are decided upon, a good baseline for your body copy is having it at least size 18px (sometimes as high as 22px, depending on the font), which may seem large, but this helps with accessibility and causes less eye strain.

 Line Measure, Alignment & Spacing

Think of physical mediums that you typically read (novels, newspapers, magazines, etc.). One thing they all have in common is a short line measure. When a user is reading your copy you want them to be able to read it without moving their head at all, and this typically means having roughly forty to sixty characters per line. Additionally, opening up your body copy’s line measure a bit helps users more easily consume your content. Finally, if a chunk of copy is over three lines long, it shouldn’t be center aligned as it makes the content difficult to follow. A final word on text alignment, NEVER JUSTIFY TEXT.

Get Rid of that Ipsum

When designing a website or digital product it is important to understand what the final content will resemble. Lorem ipsum is a great solution for initial concepts, but the longer it stays in the design the more of a pain it is to change out and modify the design based on new content types. Typically, designing without content is never a good idea, it’s hard to predict what could be available in terms of copy as designers are rarely experts in the field their website is typically for.

Websites Vs. Webapps, What’s the Difference?

“Programs and other operating information used by a computer” – that is the definition of the term software, and from that definition comes basically everything that we (as a society) do in regards to computers, hardware notwithstanding. Software is obviously a pretty broad term when it comes defining a digital product and although user experience is not relegated specifically to the internet or applications, this article will focus on defining examples of software that lives on the internet, namely; websites and web applications (web-apps).

Websites and Web Applications

When you are viewing content on the internet through a browser, every single website, page, experience, e-shop and social network can be categorized into two broad taxonomies; Websites and Web-Apps. These two categories of digital products are very similar in terms of appearance and how they are accessed. In fact, if you asked a few different people in the industry you’d probably get more than a few different answers, but generally, the arguments will boil down to this:

  • Websites are focused on being informative.

  • Web-Apps are interactive.

This means that static pages that exist to showcase information that doesn’t routinely change are websites. Think of a local restaurant site that has a menu, store locations, hours of operation and maybe an image gallery, this is an example of a simple website. Take those same restaurant pages and add in some functionality that allows guests to set up a reservation and will hold a table for them (assuming they have means of establishing a deposit) without the customer calling the restaurant, you have a web application. Web-Apps require users to input information and will provide feedback based on that information. Another common example of a web-app would be a simple eCommerce website that allows a user to purchase a product online and have it shipped to his location.

Here’s where the confusion around these terms comes in, as how a user interacts with the digital product is what defines the product itself. For example, if a user is using an eCommerce site as a primary source of information regarding the company (and not purchasing its products), the digital product in question (the eCommerce site) isn’t being used as an application but rather as a source of static information (IE a website). So similar to as how all squares are rectangles but all rectangles aren’t squares; all web-apps are websites but not all websites are web-apps.

While the nomenclature may have little impact on the final designs of the digital product, as good UX design is platform agnostic, understanding what you are building and learning how to communicate these concepts can assist your team in further establishing your expertise in the digital realm and build rapport with your clientele. Remember, half of being a good designer (at least) is being a good communicator.

Hacks to Speed Up The Development of Your Website

6 Hacks to Speed Up The Development of Your Website

When on a tight schedule, developers have to think of a way or two to speed up the development process. You can easily fall into the trap of pushing yourself over the edge to develop that website as soon as possible. Why is it a trap? Because the quality of your code will suffer and if you have to come back and fix something or make changes you will pay your time debt.

Time has never been a friend of developers. If you are a coder yourself, then you know what I’m talking about. But don’t worry. There are ways to speed up the development process, while still delivering quality outputs. Here are the six hacks that will make your website development significantly more efficient.

Don’t Jump Straight Into Coding

How many times have you heard “Planning is everything!” before? You know why? Because a good plan is a developer’s best friend. Before you start working on your website, sit down, get a pen and paper and open Google Docs.

What I’ve found particularly useful is to draw a website layout on paper, with all those divs and menus. Use the Google docs to write down the functionality. This practice will save you a great deal of time, trust me. When you are done, the drawing of your website layout and the document you’ve written will serve as the best recipe from the web developer’s cookbook to follow.

Don’t Code It If Somebody Else Did

You might think that you’ve thought of something original that you have to code from scratch. Whenever you find yourself in that situation, take a breather, and Google it. Developers around the world join communities like StackOverFlow and they talk a lot about their problems and various solutions, and you can use these in your own project. There is no need to do it from scratch.

You will be able to find a lot of working and ready-to-use solutions, ranging from the simplest ones done in HTML and CSS to the more complex ones, such as PHP scripts or Python. This alone will save you countless hours of work.

Become the Master of Your Favorite Tools

The coder is as efficient as his knowledge of the tools he is using. It doesn’t matter if you are using Sublime 3, Atom, Microsoft Visual Studio or Photoshop. If you know all the keyboard shortcuts, you will spend less time clicking and remembering where the option is in the menus.

Your ultimate goal is to become the code snippet master. If you manage to put that reusable code embedded in your editor to good use whenever the opportunity arises, you will become the master of productivity and be able to print out complex web pages in several hours.

While we are at it, let me remind you – all of the editors I’ve listed above come with PHP, JavaScript, CSS, Ruby and HTML snippets. But if you don’t find something that you use quite often, feel free to add it to the snippet manager.

Use CSS Libraries

There is no need to code like it’s 2005. We live in the age of fully-structured CSS libraries. Instead of wasting time styling your website elements from scratch, use the libraries that impact the entire layout of your website. The most popular one is definitely Bootstrap.

Not only will this save you time while you are developing your website, but it will also save you time in the future too. How? You won’t have to come back and make your website responsive, as Bootstrap CSS classes are made to be responsive.

If you need to add animation or hover effects to your website, use Animate.css and Hover.css libraries. In case you are making a website with a lot of elements, consider using CSS grid libraries such as Flexible Grid System and Semantic Grid System. These will all save you a lot of time.

Test for Errors as You Work

How many times have the errors in your code delayed your entire project? This is why someone more experience than you and me came up with “unit testing”. So instead of coding it all out in one sitting, take your time and test every section of your website.

This applies to both the looks and functionality. It’s much easier to fix the problem while you are still into coding that particular element, than to follow the breadcrumbs after you have come near the end of the project. This can be particularly useful if you are coding the backend of your website.

Use Open Source Plugins

Developing a plugin from scratch is a time consuming, if not daunting task. The most popular JavaScript library, which is also free, is jQuery. The jQuery code looks cleaner than JavaScript, which junior frontend developers hold very dear.

If you perform a simple search online, you will be amazed at how many free jQUery plugins there are. If the one you need happens to be a premium one, do your math. If you have the spare time and skill to code it from scratch, why not.

If you are new to web development, the best way to speed up your coding is to practice as much as you can. Invent your own projects and learn by overcoming challenges. On the other hand, if you have some experience, the above-mentioned hacks will most definitely help you speed up the development of your website.

20 Web Design Stats Every Business Owner Should Know in 2018

Web Design Stats 2018

A business website is a veritable necessity today, and you may have been thinking about creating a new website for your business this year. These are some of the top web design statistics for 2018 that could help you to create an amazing and truly beneficial website.

Having a Website

1. As many as 29% of small businesses have not yet created a professional website. –
2. Small businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenue are 30% less likely to have a website than businesses with higher annual revenue. –
3. Approximately half of website visitors are interested in the “About Us” page on a business website, and 65% view the business’s contact information. – Vendasta

The simple fact that your business has a professional website can be a boost to your business activity. For example, a website legitimizes your business to potential customers who are not familiar with it. It also makes your business visible through SEO and provides your contact information in the same way a phone book did a few decades ago. More than that, a website is always accessible to provide information to potential customers even when your office is closed.

User Experience (UX)

When designing a new business website, understand that the user experience that you create is just as critical as the visual identity that you establish online. Your website should be functional and easy to navigate as well as pleasing to the eye. An innovative website will be veritably useless if your customers do not know how to interact with it.

4. The customer experience that you provide will be the most important branding feature, passing both price and product by 2020. – VisionCritical
5. 95% of users indicated that a positive user experience is the most important factor when they visit a website. – Econsultancy
6. Your website’s conversion rate could increase by 200 to 400% with a well-designed interface. – Forrester
7. There is a $100 return for every dollar that your company invests in your website’s user experience. – Forrester

If you are not sold on the importance of investing in user experience, be aware that saw an astounding 35% profit increase after updating their homepage design based on user feedback.

Website Speed

Consumers today want instant gratification when using the Internet, and they can become very frustrated with websites that load slowly. If your website loads too slowly, your users may click away before even seeing your full website design.

More than that, Google uses your website’s load speed in part to determine its ranking. Specifically, if your server takes more than two seconds to respond, Google will reduce the number of crawlers that visit your website. These are a few website speed statistics to focus on:

8. Slow loading times for images cause 39% of users to stop engagement with a website. If delays are encountered during peak traffic times, 75% of users will click off the page and head to competitors’ websites. – Adobe
9. The problem of slow website speeds results in $2.6 billion in annual lost sales. – Econsultancy.
10. 47% of users believe that a website should not take more than two seconds to load. – Akami
11. Your conversion rate can decrease by seven percent if there is even a one-second delay. On the other hand, if you increase load speed from eight seconds to two seconds, your conversation rate could skyrocket by 74%. – Akami

To learn how fast your current website’s load time is, use PageSpeed. This is a free analysis and reporting tool offered by Google, and it provides separate reports for your desktop and mobile users.

Website Design

As important as load time and the overall user experience are, the overall aesthetics are also critical. Users may make a decision about whether or not to do business with your company within less than a second of viewing your website. An appealing website design will encourage your visitors to spend more time browsing it. Take note of these website design statistics:

12. The first impression users have of a website are as much as 94% design-related. – Northumbria and Sheffield Universities
13. A single bad experience on a website makes users 88% less likely to visit the website again. – Gomez
14. 75% of user judgment about your business’s credibility is based on your website’s design. – University of Surrey
15. Approximately 38% of users who believe imagery or layout are not appealing will stop engaging with the website. – Adobe
16. Approximately 55% of users look at lists without bullets, and 70% of viewers look at lists with bullets. – Vendasta

Responsive Design

A responsive website is one that provides the same user experience on any type of device. These are a few statistics you should know regarding responsive design:

17. 90% of consumers use multiple devices to visit the same website. – Google and IPSOS
18. 39% of a user’s time is on a desktop platform, and 61% of a user’s time is on a mobile platform. – Global Mobile Report
19. As many as 74% of users may return to a website again if it is properly optimized for mobile usage. – Google
20. 61% of users may develop a better opinion of a company if its website delivers a positive mobile experience. – Vendasta

The bottom line is that your business can suffer if your website is not responsive on both mobile and desktop platforms. More than that, your website may have better search engine rankings when it is appropriately optimized. This is also critical for a positive user experience and a faster load time.

At first glance, you may think that designing a great website for your business is about having an e-commerce platform or an informative site about your company’s services. While these factors are important, you can see that many elements of website design are critical. These factors can have far-reaching effects on your business’s bottom line.

Elements of An Engaging Website Design

How to Make Your Website Mindful of Your Audience Needs

Crucial Elements of An Engaging Website Design

Most elements of good web design are reliant upon one another. For example, higher engagement and more interactivity usually mean lower bounce rates. Compelling content and visuals translate to higher engagement ratings. Fluid and convenient navigation is conducive to the user experience, encouraging visitors to move around your site more freely. And, of course, all of this is what factors into whether or not your site is successful, along with whether or not your design is a good one for you and your customers.

Customers who are satisfied and enjoy their experience(s) tend to stick around. The longer they stick around, the more they’re willing to buy your products and services. It’s a cyclical pattern that feeds into the success of your business and the growth — or decrease — of your bottom line.

Creating a Website That’s Mindful of Audience Needs

The trick is getting to the point where your website serves your audience efficiently. To build a compelling site, you first need to understand what it is your customers and audience want from you and the experience you have to offer. Then, it’s a matter of delivering, which is never as simple as throwing up a live site with random elements and design components.

How do you get there? To the point where your site is ideally functional so that it’s serving the demands of your entire audience?

1 – Navigational Flow

You know what a sales funnel is, right? Even if you don’t, the concept is relatively simple, and you probably understand the foundation. It’s essentially optimizing the flow of a site, a page or navigational elements so that your users end up where you want them to. More specifically, a sales funnel is leading customers to the point where they either reach out for more information from a sales rep, or they flat out buy a product.

Elements of An Engaging Website Design

Customers get around a site using the navigation. They move from page to page through a concept called the flow, often designed using an initial sitemap. It all ties back into the concept of “navigational flow” or how freely they can move about your online portal. Take a look at how Paris-based Dataveyes presents their site navigation panel and important content.

Step one to ensuring your site needs the needs of your audience is fine-tuning the flow. Can they find your most important pages easily? Are they landing on the right pages or content? How long does it take someone to find what they’re looking for when they reach your site?

2 – Keep It Simple and Responsive

Online users have an eight-second attention span, sometimes even less if they’re browsing on mobile. You only have a small window to hook them and keep them engaged. If you take too long, they’ll leave and may never come back.

That’s exactly why your main landing pages should be simple and responsive. Not just responsive in terms of operation — where they adapt to meet the viewer’s device resolution — but responsive regarding how fast it is to move around and find what you’re looking for.

A viewer should land on your page or site and immediately see what they’re looking for or how to get there.

3 – White or Negative Space

Minimal, understated designs are all the rage these days, and for good reason. Negative space is invariably used not just to make a page aesthetically pleasing, but even to highlight important elements and other content. Don’t clutter your pages with content, visuals, buttons, elements and everything else that goes into a design.

Elements of An Engaging Website Design

In our example from the La Farfalle site, you can clearly see how their use of whitespace works to bring attention to the rest of the page and site content.

4 – Avoid Autoplay Content

Unless the visual content or media you have showcased on your site is innovative, don’t set it to autoplay. The exception would be something like a video background on a page or a catchy animation to start up the experience.

One of the best examples of this is music. When used appropriately, music can add a lot of atmosphere to a site or design, especially in certain industries. But not everyone enjoys loud music blaring through their desktop or mobile speakers. It’s even worse if they’re out in public or somewhere they need to remain relatively low-key. Even more annoying is when a track or video is set to autoplay on a loop. While you’re browsing the rest of the page, it just continues over, and over, and over, and over, and over — you get the idea.

5 – “Above the Fold” No Longer Matters

Keep in mind, putting your most relevant content above the fold is still a good idea. The main reason is that you want your most important and highly popular elements front and center. That said, there’s nothing wrong with putting more content below the fold, especially on mobile. Viewers are more willing to scroll an entire page now, especially since doing so on mobile is carried out through a quick swipe gesture. In fact, that’s exactly why we’ve seen a huge influx in infinite and endless-scrolling site designs lately.

6 – Ask for Feedback

One great way to discern what your audience wants is to simply ask for feedback. You can do this many ways, the most common of which is including a customer feedback page or form on your site. You can also ask regular questions or host polls on social media. Consider maybe even getting in touch with additional design agencies or development teams to see what they’re doing differently.

The reason this is important is because you don’t exist in a bubble. Sure, you may be focused on current trends and following popular design concepts. But just because something is popular doesn’t necessarily mean your audience wants it, or cares for it. Before rolling out new designs, themes or content, get a feel for what your audience wants. Ask them directly and find out how it’s going to impact their experience.

Check out how mindful SincerelyNuts is of their audience’s potential allergies and dietary concerns. It’s

clear they honed and optimized this experience for their customers, through feedback, research — maybe even years of it — and maintenance.

7 – Choose the Right Content

Most site admins and owners assume that text-heavy content is the way to go, but it’s important to remember it’s not the only form used today. Visual content plays a huge role in the current landscape, too, including videos, images, infographics and even live video streams.

You’ll see a lot of marketing teams highlighting the importance of running a company blog or news-feed, and they’re not wrong, but you don’t always have to go the conventional route. Vlogging — or video blogging — is just one incredibly popular medium you can use to your advantage.

Take some time getting to know your audience and viewers and find out what they resonate with most before delivering a steady stream of new content. You’ll quickly find that you’re developing material your viewers actually want to consume, meaning it’s not going to waste. You can thank us later.

8 – Colors

Fonts and typography are a big deal. The layout is a big deal. The visuals and content you choose are a big deal. But none of them have as much impact on the overall feel and experience of your site as the colors you choose.

Choose the wrong background and font colors, and guess what? No one can read your content or web copy. Choose a theme that uses horribly meshed colors, and your viewers will run away screaming. There’s even the opposite problem, where if you choose images that are too subtle and bland, no one will stick around.

To drive the point home even more, look at this study done by Joe Hallock which reveals how people feel about colors. They are actually associated with different character traits, such as trustworthiness, fun and even security.

Notice how Apple uses muted colors for the rest of their site but incredibly vibrant and vivid colors to highlight the products they want to sell.

Stick With Me If You Want to Live

That’s a bit excessive, but your website deserves the best, right? Here’s the bottom line, it all boils down to one question. Do you want to create a compelling and effective website that meets the needs of your audience or customer base? If the answer is yes — and it should be — then following the steps discussed here will put you on the path to success.

How do you build links to your website

How Backlinks Can Boost Traffic to Your Website

How do you build links to your website?

Every online business wants to reach the top and be the best on the market. That’s why the online market is so overcrowded in the first place. Nevertheless, the competition is ongoing and businesses implement different strategies that will help them reach the top regardless. One such strategy is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which helps businesses rank high on search engines and appear on the first page of search results. That way, businesses can improve their online visibility and allow their potential customers to easily find them online.

Link building is one of the most important SEO activities. Even though search engines change their algorithms often, thus changing the rules for SEO, it’s estimated that backlinks still account for around 80% of ranking factors for websites. The main reason backlinks are so important is that they build credibility and reputation of a website they link to; this is why it’s important that they come from reputable sources. Here are a few ways backlinks can boost your website traffic.

Build authority with backlinks
Backlinks are hyperlinks on a specific web page that point back to your website. Simply put, your website will appear on various web pages as a reference for further exploration or as a source of additional information. The more reputable and relevant backlink sources – i.e. websites that point back to you – will provide higher quality backlinks. Many business owners believe they’ll improve their SEO ranking by creating as many backlinks as they can, wherever they can.

However, that’s not the case. In fact, search engines, such as Google, penalize this activity. Instead of spamming backlinks, you should focus on building authority by creating high-quality backlinks. That means you should find websites and blogs that already have good reputation and authority, and are relevant to your niche to create backlinks on. This will undoubtedly build your own authority as you’ll be recommended by reputable sources. Not just that, but the audience on those sources will deem you worthy of attention and will want to check out what you have to offer.

Engage in guest posting
Guest posting on other websites or blogs is a great way to build relationships with popular people in your industry and for creating top-quality backlinks. Basically, guest posting is an opportunity to write and publish articles on someone else’s blog or website. However, you’ll have to find the right blogger or a webmaster and convince them to allow you to share your content.

You could use a reliable link building tool to help you identify prospects that are the most valuable to you and design a compelling outreach message. Furthermore, the content you want to publish has to be high-quality if you want your backlinks to have any real value. That means that the content has to be relevant, creative, informative and entertaining. That way, the audience from the blog or website you’re currently guest posting at, will find your content interesting enough to explore further and even check out your links.

Fix broken links
Broken link building is a great method for creating quality backlinks for your website and for boosting your web traffic. So what exactly is broken link building? Basically, you search for links that are no longer live on websites and blogs that are relevant to your industry and ask bloggers or webmaster to allow you to replace those broken links with links of your own. However, the content you provide has to be relevant to the content that was hosted on the broken link.

That way, you’ll help the webmasters fix their broken links, while you’ll also have an opportunity to create backlinks. Not only will you have backlinks on multiple sources, which will boost your web traffic, but you’ll also find out that it’s easier to fix a broken link than it is to create a new one. For instance, alerting a webmaster about a broken link may take a lot less time to generate a response than waiting for a response to an outreach mail.

Post content on social media
Social media is essential for every online business today. Various businesses build their presence on social networks and publish their content in order to drive engagement in their target audience. However, social links do not account for search ranking factors, but they can indeed boost your website traffic. Creating backlinks on social media can generate a lot of referral traffic to your website, especially if your content goes viral on social networks.

On the other hand, your social profiles do in fact rank in the search engines, so if someone searches for you by name or brand, chances are your social accounts may appear in the search results. Therefore, it’s important to maintain your social activity and publish content that will generate backlinks for your website on social media. Your social links may not influence your search rank, but they’ll definitely get people to visit your website.

Backlinks are one of the most important aspects of every SEO strategy. Not only do they improve online credibility, but they also boost website traffic by increasing the reach and exposure of online businesses. Having high-quality backlinks can greatly improve your business success, not to mention that search engines favor businesses that have quality backlinks as well.

SEO Quick Tips

How to Start a WordPress Blog: Part 6 – SEO Quick Tips

How to Start a WordPress Blog: Part 5 – Choosing Topics

Blog Post Style Considerations

How to Start a WordPress Blog: Part 4 – Style Considerations

Blog Post Style Considerations

Congratulations on making it to Part 4 of our six-part series on how to start a successful WordPress blog! If you haven’t already, please read the first four articles in our series before reading today’s post, during which we review some style considerations to keep in mind when blogging.

Promoting your blog post on social media

How to Start a WordPress Blog: Part 3 – Promoting your blog post on social media

How to Schedule a Blog Post in WordPress

How to Start a WordPress Blog: Part 2 – Previewing & Scheduling Your Post

Rachel Revehl
Copywriter for Go Media
Co-Owner & C.E.O. of Law Firm Ghost Writer

Welcome to Part 2 of our six-part series on how to start connecting with your audience through your brand new WordPress blog! If you haven’t already, please check out the first article in the series about the Technical Requirements you need to fill when writing your first post.

Today, we are going to talk about the steps you’ll take before you launch your blog post into the universe, including previewing and scheduling your blog post.

Preview Your Blog. To see what your blog will look like on the page, look under the “Publish” box at the top right and click, “Preview.” This will open a preview in a new window. Look over to make sure the image looks right, you have links to your byline, your outside credible source, your one internal practice area, your “Additional Resources” and “More Blog Entries” site. Make sure your italicized “tagline” reflects the practice area about which you are writing.

Schedule Your Blog to Post. Under the “Publish” window at the top right, you can choose to “Publish Immediately” by simply clicking “Publish.” Or, you can click “Edit” next to “Publish Immediately.” Once there, you can either backdate or forward date your block to publish whatever day/ time you want. Click “OK” and then either “Publish” (if it’s immediate or back-dated) or “Schedule” (if it’s forward-dated).

A few words about publishing blog posts:

  • Consistently is key! Plan out how often you’d like to publish your posts and stick to your calendar. 
  • More is good. Less is not… Unless the content suffers, in which case, less is definitely better. 
  • Try carving out one day of the week for blogging, then use the scheduling tool to schedule out your blog posts throughout the week or month.

For more tips on blogging, check out this article and stay tuned for next week’s article about pushing your article live to social media. See you then!

How to Start a WordPress Blog: Part 1 – Technical Requirements

WordPress Hacks and Blogging Tips for Newbies

11 WordPress Hacks and Blogging Tips for Newbies

Tools you can use today:

In order to successfully navigate WordPress and reap its rewards, we all need to put the time in. After all, nothing compares to a little patience and perseverance when coming to understand this powerful CMS.

But once you’ve laid the groundwork, there are some WordPress hacks and blogging tips to kick your productivity into overdrive. We’re sharing eleven of them with you today. Enjoy!

Hack 1: Insert Link Shortcut

For years, when I wanted to insert a link, I would highlight my text, head up to the menu bar and right-click on the link option to select the text I wanted to link. Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, there’s an easier option.

When you’d like to insert your link, simply highlight your text and press CTRL + k (on PC) or CMD + k (on MAC) and poof! You’re linked!

Hack 2: Adding Images

Adding media through the “add media” option is an extra step that can be avoided now that WordPress allows us to drop images straight into the post! Having said that, please make sure you have captioned the image and included an alt text, too. Google (and your SEO check) will thank you.

Tip 3: Using free resources.

There are a ton of free resources that bloggers can use when stocking their website with quality content. Photo and other free materials can be found on sites like Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels,, and the Arsenal.

Tip 4: Grammer check.

The Google extension Grammarly is immensely helpful when checking grammar within WordPress. It’s an easy install and will aid you in looking like a grammar snob. (We think that’s a good thing!)

Hack 5: Internal Link Discovery

Want to link past content to the blog post you’re currently putting together? It’s easier than you might have previously thought. Simply highlight the story you’re looking back upon, click on the link options wheel, and search for the past content under “or link to existing content.”

Choose the content you want to link to and you’re done!

Done: Introducing our Watercolor Alphabet Font Texture Pack!

Hack 6: Heading Shortcuts

If you’re sick of pulling the heading option bar down each and everytime you want to change your heading from paragraph to Heading 1 to Heading 2 and so forth, simply learn your heading shortcuts:

Shift + Alt + 7 = Paragraph
Shift + Alt + 1 = Heading 1
Shift + Alt + 1 = Heading 2
Shift + Alt + 1 = Heading 3
Shift + Alt + 1 = Heading 4
Shift + Alt + 1 = Heading 5
Shift + Alt + 1 = Heading 6

Hack 7: Single Line Break

Hate the double-line spacing WordPress forces upon you when starting a new section, paragraph or bulleted item? Simply use the Shift + Enter shortcut in one of these cases and…
Ta-Da! You’ve moved down one single space. I don’t know about you, but my world has been rocked.

Test with Enter >


Test with Shift + Enter

Tip 8: Page Analytics

Get a sense of how visitors are interacting with your blog/website when you download the Page Analytics extension for Chrome. It takes a few seconds to install, and is easy to pop open/hide when you’re in the mood.

Hack 9: Get to work without returning to the post editor

If you’ve exited the post editor and are instead taking a glance at your post in the real world, you can easily make edits, add a new post, new media and more via the drop-downs in the menu bar above the post. (Don’t see the menu bar above your post? You’re likely not logged in anymore.)

Tip 10: Click to tweet

Want to highlight a cool quote that one of your interviewees said? Download a plugin like Click to Tweet so that you can easily post it on any blog post like this:

No, we weren’t sponsored. We just really love this feature.

Hack 11: Creating Multiple Pages

Have a long post you’d like to split into multiple pages? Enter the “text” mode of your article in order to split it up into sections. Decide where you’d like to break your text. Enter “<!–nextpage–>” here.

Here is what will result >>>

Your content here

Stop Everything & Implement these Top 10 Web Conversion Strategies

Top 10 Web Conversion Strategies

Here at Cleveland web design firm Go Media, we’re always being asked what we can do to help a website succeed. Online, success hinges on a very simple trifecta: people must find your site, people must use your site, and people must return to your site. Conversion is about people successfully using your website, and returning again and again to go through an additional transaction or sign-up.

Think about it this way. When you are driving your car, you follow the road. You know to obey predictable patterns like traffic lights and stop signs. On a clear, sunny day with little traffic and some amazing tunes, driving is a breeze. You get where you want to go efficiently and actually enjoy yourself. Now, let’s add in a snowstorm, bumper-to-bumper traffic, a screaming toddler who needs to go to the bathroom “RIGHT NOW,” Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on repeat, no snacks in the car…and no rest-stop signs in sight. We’ve just sucked any possible fun out of that that car.

A website is no different. You want people to get to their destination (i.e. a conversion) as effectively as possible. You don’t want them to turn around mid-way through the ride, and you’d really like for them to enjoy themselves so that they come back again. To accomplish your goal, you need to provide your user with strong, clear messaging and cues. Get them to their destination quickly, with no traffic, snowstorms, screaming toddlers (we do love kids, we promise!), or diversions along the way.

Below are our Top 10 Website Design Conversion Tips:

Cleveland Web Design   Branding Firm

1. Keep it simple.

Remove any unnecessary clutter on your site. Pay particular attention to your form fields–removing irrelevant messaging means your user focuses on the end goal: the sale or sign-up. Please note though, removing fields does NOT mean confusing your user. Be sure to maintain a sense of sequence and order.

Adobe Illustrator Vectors  Mockup Templates  Tutorials    More · Go Media™

2. Be bold.

Make your call to action pop with color and language. “Click here” within the body copy is so…unclickable. “Sign up now” in a red button, “Start free trial” in a green button, “Add to cart”  in an orange button –these are some examples that blow hidden copy out of the water.

T Shirt Design Domination   Thread s Not Dead Book by Jeff Finley

3. Put your call to action (CTA) above the fold.

Users can’t click what they don’t see. Ensure your CTA is easily accessible as soon as your user lands on the page. What if a user isn’t ready to click immediately upon landing on your page? On the off-chance they need more time to digest your information, put your CTA handy for them so that they can click when ready. Try keeping your CTA on the page as they scroll or add another area for a CTA below the fold.mymedhousing

4. Size doesn’t always matter.

Yes, your CTAs should pop. But here’s some news– bigger isn’t always better. There are other elements that contribute to a visual hierarchy, such as product placement, white-space, expectations for where buttons will be on the page, etc. Even if your CTAs are large, if they are hidden or don’t follow the flow of the page, your users won’t know where to click.


5. Say what you mean.

Headlines tell your user exactly what they need to know. You want to use your headlines to encourage your desired behavior on the site. Be relevant, show your value proposition, and be clear. If you can do all that and have a sense of humor, we’re hiring.


6. Be real.

Ditch the stock photos and invest in real people. Consumers want to trust you, and they don’t trust what’s fake. A warning: make sure your photos contribute to your work. If they clutter or confuse your key message, remove them.


7. Be real x 2.

Add video to your site–short video! Explain your product as concisely as you can, because a video can actually hurt you if it is poorly done or is far too long. Remember to be approachable in the video. You want your users to aspire to be you, the you that is holding your amazing product. Bonus points if your video is sharable or you utilize user-created content to highlight your product.


8. You’ve got it? Flaunt it.

Has your company earned an award of any kind? Highlight your awards prominently on your website. Consumers will naturally trust the best in the business.

9. Encourage Trust

Use a security seal if applicable to your business. If a user feels secure on your site, chances are they’ll happily shop. (The keyword= applicable. Don’t just add seals if they aren’t appropriate to your site).


10. Read Tip 1.

A clutter-free, straightforward website is really the absolute best way to encourage conversion. Keep your website’s hierarchy clear, use graphics and/or video to further your mission, and ensure that its easy for your customer to convert.

So there you have it! Follow those ten strategies and you’ll be on your way to website success. And remember, your friends here at Cleveland web design firm Go Media are always here to help create the award-winning websites – then maximize the conversions – we all deserve.