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Designing a Website for Your Ideal Customer

Posted in: Effective Website Design

Designing a Website for Your Ideal Customer

Is your website bringing you the business you need?

So, who are your customers? This may seem like a silly question. However, I do not want you to focus on the breath of customers your serve. Instead, consider the ideal customer you want to reach. 

Imagine your perfect customer just walked through the door. 

  • Who are they?

  • Why are they coming to you today?

  • How will you solve their issue?

Once you know who your ideal client is, you can design your website to serve them.

Share you thoughts and experiences with us.

Effective Webpage Design

Posted in: Effective Website Design

Effective Webpage Design work Website Design Platform website visitor site page information Effective Webpage Design Design client business action One of the most important things to remember when your designing your website is to remember first and foremost, that it’s not about you, it’s about your client. Instead of broadcasting all the wonderful things you do, speak to the emotional needs of the client.

In addition, there are many structural things you can do maximize the effectiveness of your web page’s presentation. Starting with …

Make your page scan-able

1-2-3 Format

People do not want to read paragraphs, in fact most individuals when they’re online don’t read, they scan.  It is your job to create a format that is very easy for them to scan, especially on your homepage. Typically, I recommend homepages to be constructed using a 1-2-3 pattern. First, use color as the headline, second add some opening text, maybe two sentences, and then follow this with a list of bullet points. Each bullet point should speak to a different need that a client might have and link to the appropriate page inside your site that meets these needs.

Lists

Remember, the visitor doesn’t want to know about all the widgets you have for sale. They want to solve their problem and therefore they will scan for familiar keywords and use familiar navigation tools to find their solution. This is where the bullet list comes into play. By using bullet points, they can easily find what they want and immediately be linked to the information needed without having to read through irrelevant data.

Simplify

The best thing to do is sit back and ask yourself, “If I could only share one thing with a visitor on my website, what would it be? If I could only share two things, what would it be?”, and build your website in this manor, only stressing your most important business attributes. While you may offer a number of services and/or products, you don’t want to overshadow the core business because you’ve cluttered your website with everything that you do. Keep the website and its navigation clean. Make it easy for your visitor to find what they’re looking for.

Connecting pages

Let the connecting pages tell your story and help your visitor understand more about how you can solve their problem. These pages are intended to give your visitor a more in depth solution and ways in which you can help them. 

Repeat

As you move down the page I would repeat the pattern of color header, followed by a few lines of text and again a bulleted list. Pictures also make a nice way of breaking up the text and keeping the page interesting as well as invoking emotion. Much like a headline can be eye catching, the combination of the right wording and a strong image can create a mood and a point that will make your page far more effective.

Use familiar navigation terms

You want to have only five to seven words along your navigation. More than that gets very overwhelming to the visitor. I realize this can be a challenge for business owners, especially when they’re young in their business, as they want to broadcast absolutely everything they do. Don’t get too clever with your navigation. Keep it simple. Home. Blog. Products. Services. About Us. Contact Us. Portfolio. These are all keywords that people are used to looking for when seeking specific types of information on a website.

Don’t make your visitor work; instead lead them to action

One of the general rules of website development is to never make your client work. You want to make sure your contact information is all over the place. If they’ve decided at any moment that they want to reach you, do not make them work to figure out how to get in touch with you. Have that information very available on every page. Also, when clients hit the end of the page, don’t leave them hanging. Take them to the next step, whether that would be an invitation to contact you or an invitation to check out something else out on your website. You want to be guiding them every step of the way. 

Contact us

Share your thoughts on this topic with us today. Do you have a specific question on the topic that wasn’t answered here? Email us directly, with your specific question. 

When to Update your Website

Posted in: Effective Website Design

When to Update your Website

I am often asked the question of “How long will my website last?” Put another way, “How long will this investment last?”

Ideally, you want to be updating your website every two years.

Why? Well, the reason is simple. If your business is growing and maturing, it means that you’re constantly, and in many ways redefining your business, right? It’s not that you or your business has changed, but you are solidifying your focus as the market shifts. The products and services you offered two years ago matched the market for its time. In the same respect, your website that was built two years ago was designed for the vision of your business two years ago, which since then has probably fallen out of step of where your business actually is and where it’s headed. This brings me to my next point.

You want your website to reflect where your business it going, not where you are today.

Here’s what I mean:  Your website needs to be in-line with your marketing plan and you need to grow into it. Lets say that you want to handle higher client volume, or perhaps higher-level clients than you are today. Your website shouldn’t appeal to the customers that you have today, your website should appeal to the customers of the future. If you simply have a website that looks good enough for your clients today, but would not impress them two years from now, you’re never going to reach your goal. Instead you need to look the part. Present yourself in a manor that attracts your ideal customers of the future.

Utilize the power of your website to increase business sales and be sure it’s updated every two years.

Contact us

Share your thoughts on this topic with us today. Do you have a specific question on the topic that wasn’t answered here? Email us directly, with your specific question.

Jackie’s story in her own words

Posted in: Client Stories

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon Jackie Hooper is a public speaker, author and creator of www.wouldhavesaid.com, a place where she posts letters written from anyone to anyone and portray a variety of emotions. She released a collection of those letters in book-form called, “The Things You Would Have Said”.

Jackie loves to help people find their voice. She’s drawn to those who feel unsure about where they stand or what they have to offer, helping them recognize and believe that they matter, discovering their strengths, and believing in themselves, especially when it comes to their role in relationships.

WordPress.COM: Great for personal blogs, not for business

Jackie’s WordPress Story, in her own words.
I tried to make a website on my own using the free WordPress.com blogging service. Unfortunately, after spending a lot of time trying to figure it out I realized that what I actually needed for my business was a website with an integrated blog, not just a free blog.  I needed the ability to customize the look of my site, to optimize it for SEO, and to be able to integrate any plugins I needed; WordPress.com was just not going to cut it.

I started looking around for a website designer and found Jocelyn’s website. I contacted her, and immediately knew that she was a really good fit for me.

Mozak Design: Empowering the client

Jocelyn is a wonderful teacher. At some points I was frustrated, but in a good way.  I would ask her a question and in addition to answering my question she would make me a video or send me a link on how to do it. She said to me once that she wants to empower her clients to do this on their own. This was huge – to learn how to do all these things myself. It’s great that she’s excited to teach others how to do these things for themselves. She even made a page with all the video tutorials so I can go back to them if I do ever forget something she said. Especially with the kind of learner I am, her walking me through the process on video was a huge help. I now feel that I really am able to manage and update my site when I need to.

Coaching and looking at the big picture

What I really loved about Jocelyn was that she helped me with my website. She was a really great sounding board and coach. I came to her saying that I wanted her to replicate the site I had created on WordPress.com but on my own hosting where I could completely control the SEO and design. If I had just gone to someone else and said “Please just replicate this site”, they would have done it without question and then I wouldn’t have been happy with the end result. Jocelyn guided me through the process pointing out where my initial design would and would not serve me in the search engines. To me, website coaching she did was as important, if not more important than the actual website design work she did.

The website I had made was a picture of me in the center with a little tab at the top.  I had seen a website like this and I was trying to be artsy with it.  When we talked on our first call, the insight she provided was invaluable.  The homepage, she explained, is key to search engine optimization and to visitor engagement. While a graphic might be nice, if you make your visitor have to click just to be able to get to a page with information you run the risk of losing them because you are making them work too hard to learn about your services.

Jackie’s story in her own words work website visitor site search engines picture Mozak Design com client business

She started asking me big picture questions like, “what’s your goal with this, what do you want clients to see right away?”  I think just talking through it all made me realize I didn’t just want a giant picture of me on the front but I needed to provide some content. So in a really subtle way, she said the way I was doing it was ok and then did a great job leading me in the direction I wanted to go. I feel that every question I had, she really gave me great answers and guidance.

Throughout the process, we joked because we both emailed each other tons of times back and forth and that was exactly what I needed. She gave such great attention to me and she would respond so quickly either with an email or gave me a call. In moments where I felt frazzled she would work right there with me and didn’t make me wait around.-

Would I recommend Mozak Design?

Absolutely!

Blog Posts: Getting beyond the blank page

Posted in: Blogging Tips

Blog Posts: Getting beyond the blank page writing programs uncomfortable flashbacks subject rundown publishing software post page itunes idea headline Good client blog app Got a subject? Got a point? Got a headline?

Good! 

Now all you need to do is write! 

If your like me this is where the system breaks down. I hate staring at a blank page. I’ve found my self doing anything just to avoid facing that empty page.

For me it is a mental block. So what to do?

Here are some approaches I’ve used that have helped me push through:

  1. Pretend you are writing a client or friend.
    How often do you get stuck writing an email to a client or friend? Probably not very often. So rather than telling yourself you’re writing An Article (which can sound intimidating and overly important), just pretend you are simply communicating this information in a email to someone you know.
    You can even do this inside your email program. Put your headline in the subject line, keep your point and call to action in mind, and begin writing. When you finish, you can cut and paste into WordPress, edit a little as needed, and you are done.
  2. Speak it.
    When I just can’t seem to tackle a blog post, I’ve learned to grab my iPhone and head outside for a walk. I launch the microphone app and start talking. Again, I often like to pretend I am simply explaining my point to a friend. Usually by the time I finish my walk I’ve fleshed out all the parts of the blog and am ready to transcribe. 
  3. Create an outline. 
    Pretend you are back in school. First, write your title. Then list 3 or 4 main points you’d like to make or examples you want to include. After that simply start turning the points into paragraphs of bullet points. Before you know it, your post is done.
  4. Just write.
    Take a seat, start typing, and see what comes out. Don’t edit yourself until you’re done. Then go back and reformat, tighten, cut, and expand where needed.
  5. Get help. 
    I often find that even with these methods I’d still rather be doing laundry then sitting down and typing. So I’ve learned to enlist the help.
    Many of my blog posts would not be in existence if it were not for my assistant Kate. She is the “friend” I write to via email or speak in my microphone to. Kate takes my ideas and begins shaping them into a post. Then, when the post comes back to me to review, it may not be done. But, the page is no longer blank! I can begin adding, deleting and changing it as I see fit.  

The barrier has come down. The page is no longer blank!

I hope these approaches help you to move beyond the blank page when writing blog posts. If you have a method that works for you I’d love it if you could share below in the comments.

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