What is Responsive Design?

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According to the research firm Gartner, tablet shipments have seen a significant increase between 2012 and 2013 (120 million units to 202 million units – up approximately 68 percent), and it expects them to see an even bigger growth between 2013 and 2014. Additionally, traditional PC shipments are forecast to total 305 million units in 2013, a 10.6 percent decline from 2012.

So what does this mean for your Omaha business’ website? It means it must better adjust to these devices for a more user-friendly experience. The solution for this is responsive design, and more than ever before this is a needed solution for websites. We must begin to think beyond the desktop and craft designs that anticipate and respond to your users’ needs.

solutions-responsive-banner-artResponsive design allows for a website design to resize, or adjust, based on a devices’ resolution. The best way to understand it is to see it. Recently, our team at JM built a responsive design for the Siouxland Chamber. Flexible images and fluid grids size correctly to fit the screen. Because of a change in user trends we are now designing for a medium that has no fixed dimensions, a medium that can shape-shift to better suit its environment.

Responsive design is about seamlessly displaying content across multiple platforms and helping businesses build more attractive sites to increase their sales through a better user experience. Our Omaha design and development team are ready to assist your Omaha business in updating your website to include responsive design. Each year, mobile and tablet users will increase and your website needs to be conducive to these visitors.

Basics of Website Marketing

Let’s say you’ve already contacted JM Web Designs and our team has worked with you and your Omaha business to build a beautiful and functional new website design. Now what? It’s time to use this powerful tool to market your company effectively and efficiently.

Many companies build a new website then struggle with next steps. Business owners anticipate that a new website will market itself and leads will come pouring in. Well, this is just not the case. In order for a website to work effectively as a marketing tool, it must be marketed.

You can begin with a few easy steps that will ensure your clients, prospects and those you contact on a daily bases know you have a company website. By adding your website domain to an email signature, voicemail recording, business front door, business card and brochures you’re marketing your business and your website.

One potentially powerful way to drive business to your website is to run a TV or radio commercial that mentions your website. Many Omaha businesses choose to purchase a specific domain to track the ad’s success through Google Analytics. For instance, if you are a local Omaha contractor your domain might be www.companyname.com, however you might run an ad using www.omahacontractor.com. This will point to the main company domain, but you would be able to track how many users typed in the domain from your advertisement – therefore, tracking the visitors from the radio or TV ad.

A website is a great way to brand a business. It should reflect a company’s atmosphere – as a brick a mortar store would – portrays products and services through quality images, and speaks to the company and its employees’ credibility. Marketing your website is a great way to market your entire company and increase your bottom line.

Using Google Analytics to Track Website Success

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Our team at JM spends a significant amount of time consulting Google Analytics. This is a powerful tool we include in each website, which helps measure the success of a website’s design, content and layout.

Analytics provides a detailed account of users – where they live, how they found your website, what devices they are using and what pages they visited. Here are some ways you can use user trends to determine the current quality of your site:

–?????? What geographical location are your visitors primarily from? If you are a local, Omaha business it would be ideal for your visitors to be from Omaha or the surrounding area. If your users are coming from San Francisco and you’re a local Omaha business, maybe you need to reevaluate your website’s content, page titles and Google places account.

–?????? How did your visitors find you? If your users typed in your website URL directly into the browser, this indicates excellent brand recognition. This is particularly helpful when using a specific URL for an ad campaign. Using a specified URL for an ad campaign can help you measure its success.

–?????? What devices are your visitors using? As technology rapidly changes, tracking the devices which your visitors are using is valuable knowledge for getting to know your target audience and for making sure your website is user-friendly for those devices. If high traffic volume is coming from a mobile device, it’s best to evaluate how your website functions within that particular resolution. JM recently started offering responsive design services to ensure your website is user-friendly across all devices.

–?????? What pages are users visiting? Google analytics goes into extensive detail about where users are going on a website. It shows top pages, how long users stayed there and what they clicked while on a given page. This information will help you assess the quality of information on your site. Is it informative? Interesting? Are users appropriately following the call to action (meaning where you would like them to go and how you would like them to make contact)?

This is just the beginning of what Google analytics can offer. Our team can not only install analytics on your website but help review the data and analyze action items to ensure your website is reaching your target audience.

 

Keeping Your Website Updated

A website is one of the most powerful marketing tools a company can have. The key to producing results with a website is to USE IT. So how can you use your website; transforming it into a prospect producing, sales driven marketing machine?

The best way to attract prospects and drive sales and service through a website is to keep cms-wysiwygit updated. There are the obvious items, which include updating service and products as they change, updating employees as they come and go and updating website images (especially on the homepage) for a change of scenery. Content management systems (CMS) make website updates incredibly easy and user friendly. Text and images on a website can be swapped out in a matter of minutes with this powerful tool. Today, we rarely build a site without a CMS because our web design clients want the ease of updating the website themselves.

One area that is often forgotten on a website (which is often the most important) is the blog. Blogs serve multiple purposes. The first is to keep customers and prospects updated on your company, on your industry and to provide education to the consumer. If a website never changes or has new content, why would a user return? Think about the perception of your company a prospect will have if they see your last blog article was posted 2 years ago.

The second purpose of a blog is to gain organic search engine optimization (SEO). At JM, blog-categories-tagswe utilize WordPress for our CMS, which includes blog integration. The WordPress system is not only easy to update, but is also equipped with powerful SEO tools for success in the search engines. When posting a blog you can integrate search keywords into the posts, categories and tags to create a more powerful keyword presence. The key to this is posting consistently!

If you are not able to manage your own website content, you are missing out of a powerful marketing tool. If you can update your website, but do not have the time, we would highly encourage you to hire someone to update it for you. At JM we offer blog writing services, website copywriting services and SEO packages for both local Omaha businesses and national companies to help keep your website updated and search engine friendly.

Giving Prospects a Compelling Reason to Believe

With an ever-increasing amount of competition, for many businesses, the Internet is a difficult place to stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re business is a local Omaha company or nation-wide, competition in the search engines can be tough to overcome. What will cause a customer to give their businesses to your company over your competitor? There are several key items to implement into your website can in order to give prospects a compelling reason to believe your company is the best.

One of the first items on the list should be, of course, a beautiful and functional website design. Your website should depict the same atmosphere as an inviting and friendly storefront. With less than 30 seconds to capture a user’s attention, inviting graphics, quality images and a clear call to action on your website can invite users to learn a bit more about your product, services and people.

The most powerful way to gain prospects’ business is through providing a dramatic difference. Through design and content, show what sets your company’s services and products apart from your competition. Often, a company’s dramatic difference is its people. By showcasing a talented and dedicated staff with a prominent mission statement and values they all adhere to – your website has a greater potential of reaching your target.

Giving users a compelling reason to believe your company is the right choice is a key component in turning prospects into customers on the web. So, first things first – upgrade your website design to reflect a welcoming store front. Then, partner a great website design with showcasing your dramatic differences and you may see real success in a competitive online marketplace.

Website Tip: Making a Website Personal

At JM, we often design and build websites for local Omaha companies who have a great product and staff, but have no photos of projects, services or staff for a website. Today, I’m going to talk to you about making a website personal.

Small businesses, especially in this economy, need to set themselves apart from their competition. With Internet ranking Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as one of the highest forms of gathering prospects, the importance of a personalized website is vital to a business’ prospect building and overall survival.

The first step is, of course, an overall website design that accurately reflects a company’s atmosphere and culture. We help our customers accomplish this through a thorough process of interviewing our clients and getting to know their company and future goals.

After the design is done, it’s time to plug in quality content (which we’ve already discussed here) and personalized images. High quality images of a business location, products, finished work and employees are important in building rapport online. The web design style lends itself to large images and minimal content. A picture is worth a thousand words and a good quality image speaks volumes about attention to detail.

At JM, we often run into this comment from business owners: “I don’t want my picture on the website.” Did you know that the “About”/”Our Staff” pages are the most visited pages on a majority of our websites? People want to see who they are doing business with, read about their credentials and family. Many business owners don’t think prospects care – but they do! Analytics don’t lie, and ours tell us that people care.

We do, also, realize that you may not have the equipment to take beautiful photos or the gift to write detailed and personal biographies about your employees. But we do! If you don’t feel as though your website is personal enough, let us help you change your online image.

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