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Web Design

Is Your Brand Boring? Spice it up With These 7 Tips

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Building a strong and interesting brand is important for organizations if they are to remain relevant and competitive. Very few brands get to enjoy a market with few competitors. For this reason, having a bland and boring brand can derail any business no matter how unique their products and services are. Herein are seven effective ways for any business to spice up a boring brand.

Create a bold Mission and Vision Statement

The mission and vision statement is a vital component of branding. Many organizations often make the mistake of having a generic mission statement. A mission statement that is not inspiring and unique will not spark any interest in the consumer base. The large majority of mission statements only touch on making a business successful or being leaders in their specific industries.

This is what the consumers are used to seeing. Businesses should develop a mission statement that goes beyond the business. For instance, a statement that points to making a community better creates a brand that customers can relate to.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is one of the best tools that organizations can employ to develop their brands. Online studies indicate that nearly 80 % of people on social mediums follow at least one brand. This means that people are actually eager to connect with brands they find interesting.

The best way to spice up a brand on social media is through content marketing. Businesses should invest in sharing relevant, helpful and engaging content alongside the usual product announcements and offers.

Utilize Visual Content

While having a website is almost mandatory in today’s competitive markets, this alone is not enough to stand out. It has been proved extensively that people do not prefer being met with boring lines of text when they log onto a website.

Engaging visual content is a key part of web design. Including visuals in shared content can transform an organization’s website from bland to viral in a very short time.

Avoid Placing Limits on the Brand

Most marketers limit their branding efforts to the designated budgets leading to boring brands. Contrary to popular belief, budgets have little to do with marketing success. This is evident looking at the opportunities presented by the developments in information technology.

The trick lies in finding a working angle. More often than not, this is found beyond the products and services a business is offering. It can be a compelling story of an exceptional employee or interesting interaction with the customers.

Know what the Audience Values

As consumers today become more informed, organizations have to develop their brands with their target audience in mind. A brand may seem boring simply because it is aimed at the wrong audience.

Using web analytical tools and direct communication, marketers today can be able to conduct research on what their customers are interested in, their values, trends, and needs. With this information, every aspect of branding can be tailored accordingly.

Embrace Good Design Principles

There are numerous design techniques that can be used to transform a boring brand into an engaging one. These can be used to market even the most generic products and services. They include having a clear and clutter free design, displaying fewer choices, embracing web design best practices, and website optimization to improve the user experience.

Have a Unique Selling Proposition

Many organizations assume that a selling proposition or angle has to be something that has never been seen before. On the contrary, a successful rebranding strategy can be about conducting ordinary operations in different ways. Customers become greater and ambassadors if they have unique experiences.

Developing an interesting brand is not the end game. Keeping the brand interesting makes up the difficult part. As such, brand development should be a continuous process in any organization.

Learn to code: The basics that every site owner needs to know

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Thanks to development in technology and software, today nearly anyone can create and manage a website for business or personal purposes. However, it is not as easy as it sounds.

To be a successful webmaster, a person must get acquainted to web programming languages, the most common and important of which is Hyper Text Mark-up Language (HTML). Herein are several things all website owners need to know.

Publishing information on the web.

HTML is a document layout and hyperlink specification mark-up language that is used to format information and text for the web. It is important for all website owners to note that HTML is not a programming language like Java, Python or C++. At the very basic an HTML element consists of an opening tag () and a closing tag (). The closing tag is indicated by a slash before the tag name.

There are seven basic HTML tags. These include HTML document tags, document body tags, headings tags, paragraph tags, line break tags, horizontal rule tags and comments tags. The tags consist of a tag name and sometimes one or more optional attributes carrying values.

These values modify the default behavior and settings of a tag. HTML elements function to instruct browsers on how to render the content in a website. Today the recommended standard is the extensible Hyper Text Mark-up Language (XHTML).

Additionally, a few HTML elements do not contain anything. Such elements are referred to as empty elements. Empty elements either insert objects such as lines and line breaks or point to a resource such as an image or video.

HTML Coding Syntax

In HTML proper publishing is guided by a set of coding rules. Familiarity with these rules will make coding much easier for website owners. The XHTML tags must always be in lower case. However HTML accepts both lower and uppercase elements.

All the attribute values must be enclosed in double quotes and elements must be properly nested. A nested tag is a kind of tag where an element is enclosed in with multiple tags. Additionally, all empty elements must be closed. Closing in HTML is simply adding a slash after a tag name.

All attributes must be given explicit values and XHTML files should be saved with extension html rather than htm. Either can do but it is recommended to be consistent with the save extensions. HTML can be quite challenging at first but a website owner can learn more about it from free online tutorials, eBooks and coding guides.

Important of learning to code.

It is very beneficial for website owners to learn basic coding. Since Web Pages are built in HTML language, website owners can write this language themselves using a simple text editor such as Notepad.

Learning how to code allows website owners to customize their sites to their preferable specifications. Whenever they need to edit and tweak web pages knowledge of HTML would be handy. Additionally, coding allows website owners to create much neater and cleaner web pages, place links within the web pages and also to repair any broken pages.

Websites need to be continually updated, edited, redesigned and repaired. For any website to grow, be successful and stay that way the website owner definitely has to have some coding knowledge.

Which Colors Will Ruin Your Site’s Chances at Converting Sales

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Today the internet is awash with hundreds if not thousands of business websites all across the globe, but have you ever asked yourself what colors serve to attract clients and which ones actually repel them? It is common knowledge that colors leave a first lasting impression and can subliminally affect how potential clients perceive your business.

It’s therefore important to know what specific colors mean to people and the specific feelings they invoke in them. Statistics clearly show the power of colors on consumers’ minds and how that influences their purchasing power. The choice of colors used on a site can promote or harm a site, inevitably affecting sales altogether. Herein is a list of colors that are likely to lower your sites sales:

1. Blue on a red background.

These two colors are too strong for each other and tend to compete for attention. As a result; they play tricks on the customer’s eyes causing fatigue and irritation. This inevitably causes the customer to leave your site before getting complete information about your products or services.

2. Yellow.

It is a vibrant color that easily attracts the attention of customers, but it’s not ideal as a background color since it can be alarming and unappealing. Since it is difficult to balance these two colors, when used against a red background, it can be very overpowering to the eyes.

3. White.

It is an expression of purity and cleanliness. A good balance of white is needed in a site since too much of it creates a feeling of emptiness and this can be boring to the eyes. When using it as a background, avoid light colors on it.

4. Black.

It should be used minimally and not as a site’s background. This is because it is too strong and has a tendency to overpower every other color on the page including white. Texts on a black background are completely unreadable.

5. Bright Blue.

It is a great color for a website but when used as a background, it can be too strong to look at. The closer to neon it gets, the more difficult it becomes to look at for a considerable period of time. Ultimately, this does not do your business any good.

6. Neon colors.

As much as they are eye catching, they tend to be irritating and they tire the eyes easily. As a result, they end up causing annoyance instead of feelings of happiness that businesses want associated with their products.

7. Jungle green.

This color should be used selectively and definitely not as a background because it is too intense and makes any text on it unreadable. That said, the worst colors to use on such a green background are shades of yellow, green or purple.

8. Multiple-colored boxes.

When many different colors are used together they are unappealing to say the least. They confuse the eyes making readers unable to focus.

When choosing colors for your website, it is very crucial that you consider them very carefully because of the effect they have on potential clients who visit your site. A poor choice of color can leave the client feeling irritated or affect their mood negatively, forcing them to leave your site. The ripple effect is that business sales drop significantly.

What Makes for a Good Logo?

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A logo is an important component of a business brand. It is the visual manifestation of a business and symbolically represents the business values, products and services.

An effective logo is one that invokes feelings in consumers and allows them to instantly associate it with the particular business. For business brands to have long term success, entrepreneurs must invest in their logos. Herein are several vital characteristics that make a good logo.

1. Simplicity

A business or company logo should be streamlined as it makes the logo easy to recognize. Complicated logos do not engage consumers visually and they make it difficult to remember. A simple logo will easily convey a clear message to consumers in an instant.

It makes it easier for potential clients to recall if they are referred by regular clients of the business. Additionally, simple logos are more aesthetically pleasing to a viewer which further reinforces the business image.

2. Uniqueness.

Nowadays, the market is awash with tons of product and service providers. Competition for customers is stiffer especially with the development of e-commerce. With a unique logo, a business has higher chances of standing out among st the competition.

A common place business logo makes customers struggle to associate it with the specific business. Chances are they will mistake it for another totally different business. Moreover, a business brand benefits most from a logo that is distinct among other logos. However, in the process making a unique logo the designers should make sure they do not end up complicating the logo.

3. Versatility.

A good logo should be easily portrayed in all the business mediums without losing the message it is meant to convey. This particularly applies to the graphic design strategy.

Whether on company websites, advertisements, emails, blogs, social media outlets, print outs or videos the business logo should be effective. The colors or taglines used should elicit the same response in the mind of the consumer no matter where the logo appears.

4. Customization.

Ideally, all business logos should be designed with the specific target demographic in mind. They have to relate in a way to the targeted audience. The design, tag lines and colors should be relevant to the business niche. Business owners should factor in the age, gender, income bracket and preferences of their target audience and tailor their logos accordingly.

5. Ability to withstand the test of time.

Consumer trends will always be dynamic. People generally do not have preset purchasing habits. With time, customers change their preferences and how they use products and services. In order for a business brand to stay competitive, its logo should be timeless.

The logo should not weaken the brand due to market changes. Changing a business logo constantly can lead to customer fallout because they no longer associate the updated logos with the original business. To them, businesses without a timeless logo seem like totally new enterprises.

Logo designers should remember not to subscribe to latest designs and logo techniques. Trends come and go, eventually becoming clichés. A good logo should be able to endure such changes, while still portraying the same message etched in the customers’ minds.

Why We Love SEO (And You Should, Too!)

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Essentially, SEO (the common abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in search results using the right content and keywords. The main aim of SEO is to ensure that a website ranks higher on search engines for various keywords. To get to the first page of Yahoo!, Bing, or Google, you need to build your authority within the industry in which you operate.

We love SEO and it is lovable for a number of reasons.

1. It Is both Simple and Challenging

Although SEO looks simple to most people, it can be quite challenging. Basically, when web design and SEO experts design and develop a website, they insert various keywords within the content. As they do this, they format the pages and content in ways that give it a flow for the end user while at the same time is optimized for the search engine bots.

While this may seem simple enough, you need to remember that optimizing a website will depend on your instinct and a number of established paradigms. The search engines change their algorithms so often that today there is no silver bullet guaranteeing SEO success – making it a bit of a challenge.

2. Reliance on Community

Another reason why SEO is fun and lovable revolves around the fact that it relies and is built around a community of web design and search engine optimization experts, users, and website owners. This community has individuals who are dedicated, smart and friendly.

To succeed in your own SEO strategy, you need to understand how to interact with others within your part of the community. This means that you should be able to forge relationships that will yield you high quality back links from other websites and blogs. Start by getting the right web design services and watch as everything else falls into place.

Additionally, you should build a good image among your readers, website visitors and customers. They will share your content on social media, write sterling reviews for you, tell others about you and promote your brand on your behalf. This will go a long way in raising your returns on investment from your SEO efforts.

3. SEO Is a Game Changer

In the same way, websites rely on social media and PPC (Pay Per Click) ads to raise interest, promote themselves and increase their visibility. Digital marketing, as dictated by SEO, works more effectively while remaining affordable.

Essentially, SEO has completely changed the online advertising game. Today, you can get higher ranks for your websites and blogs without having to work too hard or pay too much. All you need to do is focus on the right strategies, work smart and use the best tools to get you on the first page for your chosen keywords. What is more, once your SEO tactics start working, they will continue growing your visibility.

Keep in mind that it will take you some time to build great content, build link profiles and adjust your on-page elements. SEO is a never ending job that much like building and maintaining a website, requires continual effort and attention. In the long run, you will start noticing an increase in the traffic coming to your website.

Search engine optimization is the best and most affordable thing you can concentrate on today. If you own a website or a blog, the most effective, most affordable and most visible way to build your image, get more visitors, and make them perform the actions you require is by using the right SEO tactics. Focus your efforts on SEO and watch as your website continuously ranks higher for your chosen keywords.

How to Sell Your Products Directly From Your Site

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Creating a successful online store is not as intuitive as opening a local brick-and-mortar shop, but the results of an effective online presence can be staggering. You will instantly have access to potential customers throughout the world as well as reduce many of the logistical costs that plague new businesses. Anyone that is ready to jump into the world of e-commerce should keep these few tips in mind to make it as easy, affordable, and efficient as possible.

Domain and Hosting

There are quite a few companies that make the process of purchasing domain names and hosting the website easier than ever. For many small business owners, a prepackaged or template website with a name of their choosing will often be enough to get the process going. More experienced business owners will want to consider purchasing a handful of domain names so that other parties do not buy them up in the future. Hosting can generally be purchased from the same company that registered the domain name. This is also a good time to activate and organize social media accounts.

Shopping Carts

The most difficult part of this process for most small business owners will come down to how payments are made, received, and processed. This is another area where an owner may want to opt for a pre-made business account from a company such as PayPal. These online financial organizations are extremely easy to use, charge little in the way of fees, and often offer support such as customizable “buy now” buttons. A merchant account will also be necessary so that your business can accept Visa, MasterCard, and other major forms of payment. These accounts typically require a small startup fee and will take a small percentage from each payment.

Bringing in Traffic

An e-commerce site will give you unprecedented access to millions of potential customers throughout the world, but it will also increase the amount of competition that you have. Unless you are going to rely solely on word-of-mouth marketing (never advisable for e-commerce sites), you will need to think about optimizing your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making a website more visible to internet traffic. This can become an incredibly complex process, but the basis is simple. The more useful and pertinent your website is, then the more traffic will be directed towards you. You will want to immediately consider starting a blog, linking to your social media accounts, or even paying for some basic advertising at the start.

Build on Your Success

Once your website is up, a merchant account has been created, and you have made that first sale, it is time to start thinking about long-term success. Depending on the industry that you are in, there are a wide variety of other factors that you will need to consider such as how to cheaply ship your products, trademarking, and protecting your website from criminals. Most owners will also want to utilize programs such as Google Analytics to see what is and isn’t working with their business. While online sales may seem impersonal, remember that there is a person behind the computer screen that is purchasing your products or services. It never hurts to send friendly emails or a simple thank you note to turn one-time customers into lifelong clients.

In the end, owners will need to decide exactly how much control they want over their website and how much support they will need. Those that are technically inclined will often be able to cut some corners or manage the website on their own while others will need assistance with graphic design, security, optimization, social media management, and advertising.

5 Crucial Tactics to Increase Your Shopping Cart Conversion

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No matter how life-changing your product may be, guiding the customer to the checkout phase, and then beyond, can be a delicate process. Knowing what to do (and what not to do) along the way is all-important if you want customers to follow through on their purchases. Here are five important tips to help you improve your shopping cart conversion.

Consider Shopping Cart Recovery Emails

An increasingly common tactic among eCommerce sites is to send customers a follow-up email if they leave items unattended in their cart for a certain amount of time. It gives the customer a chance to reconsider their incomplete purchase. It might feel like harassment, but this practice has proven to be surprisingly effective.

There’s a limited window in which this practice will be successful, however; most agree that the email should be sent within 24 hours, and should contain everything the customer may need to assuage any remaining doubts they may have, including a full breakdown of the final price, contact information for your company, along with shipping and delivery estimates.

Improve Your Product Pages

It’s the year 2014, which makes it exceptionally surprising that so many eCommerce sites still use lousy stock photographs and tiny thumbnails to showcase their products. Customers want to see detailed images of exactly what they’ll be receiving, and anything less is going to drive them away.

With that in mind, it’s probably time to invest in some better product copy. Provide photos that show off your products from every angle, including close-ups. Customers tend to be put off by bad product images, and may take their business to another site that stands behind their products with a little more confidence.

Play the Semantics Game

Engaging in a little wordplay might help to influence customer behavior in some subtle, yet surprising, ways. For example: you might consider substituting the phrase “Add to Cart” instead of “Buy.” Both serve as effective calls-to-action, but “Buy” suggests finality; it tends to communicate to the customer that they’re about to be taken to checkout, while “Buy Now” suggests that they’ll be free to continue browsing. Every step of the way, the customer will appreciate assurances that they won’t be hassled for payment information until they’re ready.

Don’t Insist on Website Registration

Forcing prospective customers to register on your site can be a deal breaker. Make it known that registering will bring certain perks, such as the ability to track their order after it’s placed, but it’s a good idea to provide the ability to check out as a guest for anybody who simply wants to make a quick purchase with no strings attached.

Be Honest About Shipping Charges

Nothing will kill an eCommerce transaction quicker than getting blindsided with shipping charges at checkout. Remember to always be upfront about your anticipated shipping costs, including carriers, speeds, and other options. Also, if your shop offers free shipping for purchases over a certain amount, make sure that figure is posted prominently on your site as an incentive.

What tactics work for you? Don’t forget to comment!

Lemon Head Design Receives 2013 Best of Springville Award

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We are very proud to share the news that Springville Award Program has rated us as the top web design and development company in the Springville, Utah region. It’s a huge achievement for us and I take this opportunity to thank our clients, partners and our design and development team for making this happen. You can read more about it here: http://springville.springville.bestofbusinessawards.org/PressReleaseub.aspx?cc=DCX-SP58-G2CC

Why Your Website is Missing the Mark (and how you can fix it!)

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There’s more than one way to gauge the effectiveness of a given website, but arguably the most important is your conversion rate. In case you haven’t heard the term by now, website conversion refers to the frequency with which you visitors behave the way you want them to. This could include purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, registering on your site, and much more.

It might seem like a daunting task, this process of helping your visitors navigate the “conversion funnel.” In other words, they’re brought to your website through various means and you want to lead them through the bottleneck of the funnel towards a conversion.

The good news is that there are a number of ways you can optimize your page to better lead to conversions. Here are three of them.

Make the Most of Your Calls-to-Action

The first and most obvious way to increase conversion is the effective use of call-to-actions. Call-to-actions vary greatly in their appearance and function, but they all have one goal, to lead the user to your desired action.  This can be as simple as adding a newsletter signup or an order button asking users to purchase your product.  One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you want to draw the reader’s eye toward the call-to-action without having it dominate the page.

There is an entire branch of science devoted to the study of colors and their effect on web browsing habits. To subtly draw attention to your call-to-action button, consider changing its color to something that will create an eye-catching contrast with the rest of your site. You could see big gains in your conversion rate with just a simple visual tweak.

Use Eye-Catching Headlines

This can be a delicate balance to maintain. You want your headlines to attract new visitors, but you don’t want to come across as desperate or misleading. You’ve only got a couple of moments to entice a visitor to click on through, which means you’re going to want to think long and hard about what it is you’re trying to communicate.

Generally, you want your headlines to do three things: (1) Be useful, (2) Provide a sense of urgency, and (3) Say something unique. The best headlines are direct headlines, which means they’ll ask (or answer) a question or suggest a course of action.

Make Your Site User Friendly

There’s no quicker way to sabotage a prospective conversion than to frustrate your visitors. With that in mind, make sure you spend the time to ensure that your site works as intended on as many browsers and devices as possible. A big part of this is load times; with more and more people accessing websites on mobile devices, make sure you prioritize which website elements they need to see. Stripping out even a single image can make your page load much faster.

Lastly, ensure that your readers don’t have to work too hard to get their questions answered. Think about what questions or concerns you’d have, if you were in their place, and make the answers to such questions the focal point of your content. 

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