Tag Archives: website design

Anne Orfila
Is Your Website Outdated?

Do you want to know a little web marketing secret? 

Websites do age and, in this day and age of rapidly changing web trends, they can become Image via Pixabay.com outdated quicker than the bag of chips in your pantry!

This news is hard to bear especially if you have invested big bucks in building a fantastic website just five or 10 years ago.

How do we determine if a website is outdated? Many website details can point to “old age”, but three key factors are true indicators of whether your website is outdated or not. If you answer “no” to all of these, than the web marketing therapist will prescribe a website overhaul.

If your website is “mobile-friendly” (or “responsive”, in geek speak) this means that your website seamlessly morphs to look good (clear, readable, searchable, clickable) on a laptop, on a desktop computer, on a tablet (i.e. iPad, Kindle), and on any variety smartphone. This matters because most Americans own a smartphone and, even way back in 2015, “more Google searches took place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan”. A “non-responsive” website is referred to as “static” which means that the website stays the same whether it is viewed on a giant computer monitor or a tiny phone screen (where the words are usually so small, they are not readable unless zoomed in). The bottomline: If your static website is not easily and clearly viewable on a phone or tablet – where most Americans are searching – they are going to pass your website by and go straight to a “responsive” website that is more user-friendly.

Flashy, busy websites are yesterday’s news. The trend for websites in-the-now are for them to be simplified, with a clear message and easy navigation. Simple design begins from the first glance – imagery and text that clearly communicates who you are, what you do and whom you serve. The bottomline: When it comes to website design in 2018, less is truly more.

Being able to make changes – easily – to your website is critical. If a price has changed or a product is out of stock or a new service is available, you want your audience to know now! If you’ve got a website provider that makes changes for you – but is unreachable or doesn’t make the edits in a timely manner – or if you login to make your own changes and feel completely overwhelmed, than it is time for an update. Also, Google likes websites that are updated and relevant. Even small changes can mean better SEO from Google. The bottomline: Making changes to your website – whether it is done by you or your website provider – should be a walk in the park, not a run for shelter in a thunderstorm.

When we propose that a website may need some modern day love, we often hear, “Do I really need to update it?” One of the easiest ways to answer this is to do a little self-reflection and ask yourself the following:

  • Do my competitors have newer websites than mine?
  • If I had a storefront, would I let it look dated?
  • How well does my website represent my business?

A dated website can indicate an out-of-date business. With so many choices on the web, a website that doesn’t look current can / will be passed over in one quick click. The bottomline: Your website is a reflection of you / your business / your online reputation so keeping it current is in your best interest.

Wondering if your website is outdated? Our Web Marketing Therapy team is here to help. Contact us today.

Hannah Lansford
Website Best Practices – Evaluate Usability

No matter where you are at in business, your website will always be a foundation to all marketing. First impressions are important – people always tend to remember their first interactions with someone, in real life and online. For most people, especially potential clients, your website will be their first impression of your business, personality, and work. Therefore it is imperative that your web presence is clean, consistent and has a high level of usability.

Web Marketing Therapy helps clients optimize their marketing based on a five-factor success framework. Usability is one of them. Usability can have many different meanings, but today we’ll be covering three attributes of usability and how you can make sure your website implements them well.

Here are three questions to ask yourself while putting a website together (new site or redesign). It will help you make decisions regarding design, pagination, and what content should or shouldn’t be there.

  1. Are there too many words on this page? Every sentence should serve a purpose on your website. It’s very common for websites to have pages full of words that are doing nothing more than taking up white space. In the current day and age, people’s attention spans aren’t very long, and many people do not have the patience to be reading every single word they see on a screen. In fact, when most people are reading web pages, they’re really only looking at keywords, facts, and information, so it’s likely they’re already just skimming through the content anyway. If your website has a ton of extra fluff words, they’ll either a). Close the page entirely or b). Skim too fast to be able to process and see the main points before losing interest. To prevent this from happening, simply take out the needless words! You’d be surprised to see that when you get rid of the extra words surrounding the main idea you’re trying to get across, nothing is lost and people are more likely to be able to find exactly what they were looking for in the first place.
  2. Is my website easily navigable? Like I previously mentioned, attention spans are at an all-time low now that we have high-speed internet almost everywhere we go. People need to be able to find exactly what they’re looking for in less than 5 clicks. This practice will dictate how you decide to split up content into pages and the general organization of your website.Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your users are able to easily maneuver your web space:

    1. It is very obvious what is clickable and what is not
    2. There is not too much clutter on the page that is more of a distraction than it is visually appealing (remember, everything on the page serves a specific purpose)
    3. Use a lot of headings to organize bodies of text. Keep them clear and concise, and close to the text it’s outlining.
  3. Is my website going to be memorable? I spend a lot of time looking at business websites and other content creators’ portfolio sites for job openings and inspiration (that’s actually how I got this job at WMT!). I couldn’t even begin to give you a solid number of how many websites I visit in a day. However, I can easily point you to at least 5 websites that I visit regularly because I know that I will be able to find exactly what I’m looking for with ease. These websites all have one thing in common: a consistent flow of content. All of the page headings match whatever words I clicked on to get there, page content is broken into clearly defined areas and sections, and the text is formatted to support scanning rather than reading. I always remember websites based on their ease of finding information; that was actually one of the first indicators that I had chosen the right university to attend (kudos to Georgia Southern for having such a simple and searchable website)! I researched about 10 schools and Georgia Southern’s was the easiest for me to navigate and find information, and I definitely remembered that when I was looking at programs and applications. Consistency is key in a lot of aspects of life, and your website is definitely one of them too.

Make the web experience for your potential customers and other viewers positive. Many people, myself included, will usually turn away from a company or service if they don’t have a solid website that can tell me what I’m looking for.

The goal of your website should be to inform people and to have them keep coming back.

With the attributes of usability discussed here, both of those goals can easily be accomplished.

Lorrie Thomas
Sometimes A Simple One-Page Website is The Way to Start

Does the idea of building a new website or redoing your current website stress you out a little?

Or, maybe a lot?

You aren’t alone. I’ve been there myself. In 2013, I hated our company website so much, I pulled the ENTIRE site down to provide a blank slate allowing us to focus on a simpler, cleaner website, it was one of the best marketing moves I ever made. Here is a post I wrote about it.  When I have clients in fear of starting or redoing a website, I often advise the same simple solution:

Start with a temporary one-page website.

When I suggest this, I often get responses like: “but what will people think?” “Will this hurt my search visibility?” “Shouldn’t we wait until the whole site is ready?”

If you don’t have a site, having something up is better than nothing. People are searching for your business online, and if you aren’t there, your customers aren’t happy…or think something is wrong.

Especially in today’s mobile-centric web world, you do not need a big fancy website. What you need is something simple, informative, targeted to your demographic and requires little to no maintenance. Why not start with a one page website? Say who you are, what you do and whom you serve. Make sure your contact information is visible, include an image(s) if it helps and have links to your social media. Capture email addresses if you have a good reason to.

Simple information paired with clean design that is on-brand and on-purpose is the best foundation you can have.

For those of you struggling to redo your website, remember that it isn’t just about being on the web any way you can, it is about being on the web in a precise manner that speaks true to your business and your brand. A website doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be!) complicated. A simple one page site has given so many of our clients the opportunity to be seen and heard while they work on the bigger website behind-the-scenes.

And if you are still stressing, reach out. I’m happy to talk with you. I’ve been there. I still remember the stress of yanking my old website, but what a blessing it became!

Virtual marketing hugs!

Identify Your Brand: Katie's Botanical Design

Recently I had the pleasure of working with the uber-talented plant lady, Katie Sorensen of Katie’s Botanical Design, on establishing an identity for her business. Katie’s Botanical Design is a full service plant design company owned and operated by Katie Sorenson. Her ability to transform plants into breathtaking arrangements, living and floral, is a talent to behold. In addition to the arrangements, Katie offers full garden consultations, design services and green maintenance.

As I have discussed before on this Healthy Marketing Advice blog, a brand is an incredibly important aspect of your business or organization. It is the first thing potential clients spot, and although we have been taught not to judge a book by its cover, humans are visual creatures. The look and feel of your organization’s brand is representative of who you are, what you do and whom you serve. So for Katie’s Botanical Design we knew we needed to harness the power of color and design to create a brand that emulated the work she does.

For Katie we worked from the ground up, starting with a logo and moving forward with business cards and finally a simple webpage. We decided on a dual color palette to represent her Katie’s Botanical Design. The combo of crisp, classic navy blue and fresh green offers a particularly sophisticated and modern look and feel. The dual color palette also gave us the ability to be playful with Katie’s cards and we created two versions based on the colors.

Once a logo and cards were established for KBD we were able to focus on creating a simple webpage. KBD is the perfect example of how a simple web presence is better than none at all. Katie didn’t need a lot of content on the web, to start she simply needed her services and contact information available. Now the Katie’s Botanical Garden site can grow with as needed!

Visit the Web Marketing Therapy case study page to read more about Katie’s Botanical Design branding breakdown.

Examples of Katie's beautiful work that inspired her new business identity.

Katie's Bontanical Design consists of a dual color palette. The logos in the different colors can be used as needed

A one page website is perfect for Katie's current needs.

Just like her logo embodies dual colors, so do her cards. The result is strong design message that enforces the beautiful things Katie creates.

Katie Sorensen in a garden working her botanical magic!

"No Bull" Website Building

What is “No Bull” Website building?  Watch this video from a series that Lorrie Thomas put together for  The Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Santa Barbara City College.  This webinar provides a jumping off point for anyone looking to create a website for your business or update your current site.  Lorrie, The Marketing Therapist®, gives you a great Web Marketing Best Practices Check List and tells you how to make the most of each page.  If you are building a website, don’t miss this great webinar!

Part One:

Part Two:

Don’t want to go it alone?

Contact Web Marketing Therapy for a strategy session and make your website a webSOLUTION!