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All about layout

Posted in: Effective Website Design

All about layout wordpress themes Wordpress website theme site professional website predictability page look layout internet users information Good design principle design decision content

Once you decide to use WordPress for your business website, you’ve solved a big part of the “what makes good design” equation.

The next step is to design a layout that is simple and streamlined. You can use an existing WordPress theme (sometimes called a template) or have a custom one designed by a web designer.

A well-designed WordPress business website should:

1. Connect with visitors – make them feel comfortable on the page

2. Present information in a way that guides the eye

3. Help the user find information quickly and easily

All good layouts follow a basic design principle:

Every page should guide the reader’s eye left-to-right, top-to-bottom. The call-to-action – sign up for a newsletter, call, or send an email – should be visible and easily accomplished. Good layouts are also intuitive: This means first-time visitors should quickly understand what your site is selling, and what action they need to take.

Whether it’s your first professional website or if you are updating an existing one, WordPress themes are ideal for business owners in any industry. Basic themes can be further customized so your website is as unique as you are.

Be predictable:

A business website should be easy to scan, with key information placed in predictable locations.

Why is predictability important?

You might think – “Because I am different, I want my website to be different.”

But that’s not a good design decision. Over the years, internet users have come to expect that website pages should look a certain way. When people visit your site for the first time, they orient themselves by looking at the main navigation bar and skimming the content on the page.

If your layout is dramatically different, the user becomes frustrated and leaves the site.

Pair predictability with the intent of your website:

Think of your first-time visitors: What is the first impression you want to create? What kind of experience do you want them to have? Match that goal with a WordPress theme – either basic or customized – and you’ll soon have a business website that generates results.

Share your thoughts on this topic with us. Specific questions? Contact us, we’re here to help.

What is a Mobile Optimized Version of My Website and Why Does My Local Business Need One?

Posted in: Effective Website Design, Increase Traffic to your Website

Smartphones are growing in popularity, and there are now over 4 billion mobile devices in use worldwide. As the technology behind the phones develops, consumers are no longer limited to simply calling and texting. People can now use their mobile phones to access websites, transfer money, and buy products online.

As this shift in buying patterns continues, more and more businesses are choosing to create a mobile optimized version of their website. By providing customers with an easy and accessible way to connect with your business from anywhere and at any time, you can take advantage of the relatively untapped mobile business market.

What Is A Mobile Website?

All standard websites can be accessed via a smartphone, but mobile websites are specifically designed to suit the device’s small screen, slower speed, and limited functions. Mobile sites show users exactly the same vital information, but in a way that it is easier and faster to navigate. By creating a mobile website for your business, you will be able to make the most of the new advertising opportunities that this technology offers.

Since the iPhone was first introduced in 2007, the number of people using smartphones has continued to increase. Studies show that since mid-2011 the average person now spends more time on their mobile phone than they do on their PC. As a result, a more specialized mobile marketplace has emerged.

A mobile website differs from a standard website in a number of ways:

  • Pages are more compact so that they are easily viewable on a smaller screen
  • Websites load faster to suit limited smartphone capability
  • All data is simplified to make it easy to negotiate
  • Flash and other multimedia elements that are not compatible with all mobile devices are avoided

How To Create A Successful Mobile Optimized Website

A typical user spends an average of 77 minutes per day on their smartphone, so creating a well-designed, mobile optimized website can boost your business’s online visibility and yield significant results.

Here are just a few features that a successful mobile website should include:

  • Simple layout
  • One-touch calling
  • GPS-enabled map
  • One-click ordering

The most important difference between a mobile website and a standard website is the way that it is laid out. Your website needs to be easy to read on a much smaller screen. The key design aim is to prevent the user getting lost in navigation.

Here are just a couple of changes that should be made:

  • Remove all non-vital information
  • Limit the number of categories you have
  • Reduce the number of links per page
  • Prioritize links in order of popularity and importance
  • Avoid using forms or tables
  • Fast download speeds

The larger the data size of a page, the longer it will take to load. This is true of every website, but keeping data size low is particularly important in those designed for smartphones. If your website is slow to load, users can quickly get frustrated and move onto other sites. The more pages they are able to view in a set time, the more likely they are to see something they want to buy.

Integrate with map

A wide range of mapping functions can be included as part of a mobile website. The technology is able to alert a customer when they are close to your premises or navigate them directly to it. This feature is particularly useful for small and local businesses that often go unnoticed when standing next to larger chain stores.

Connect with offline media

]Smartphones are carried with people wherever they go, so the devices have an unprecedented ability to connect online and offline forms of advertising. QR codes are scanned by a phone’s camera and will connect the web browser to a specific webpage, such as a landing page or buying page. The code can be added to magazines, posters, brochures, and any other form of print advertisement.

The Results You Can Expect From A Mobile Website

By creating a mobile optimized version of your website, you can increase your sales, boost your visibility, and make a positive difference to your business’s image.

Here are just a few of the possible advantages:

  •  Higher Google ranking
    The higher up that a website appears in search engine results, the more likely it is to be visited by customers. This is especially true of the mobile Internet because scrolling through results on a smartphone can be difficult. Search engines like Google are able to recognize when a person is using a smartphone and will feature mobile optimized websites higher in their search results. Your easy-to-read site will have an automatic advantage over your less up-to-date competitors.
  • Positive customer experience
    Once a customer enters your site it is important that they have an enjoyable experience. If a webpage is difficult to read, then a user looking for specific information will simply move onto a more suitable site. By having a clear and concise layout, you can ensure that each visit creates a positive impression of your business.
  • More sales
    Expanding your website to meet the needs of the mobile market is an ideal way drive up your profits. Making the buying process as simple as possible and reducing the number of steps it takes to get from landing page to purchase is key in maximizing sales.
  • A better brand image
    Having a user-friendly, mobile optimized web page will give your business a contemporary, technology aware image. As mobile websites continue to become a mainstream reality, businesses without them are being left behind.

How To Get Started

Creating a mobile website opens your business up to a huge marketplace that is continuing to grow. However, without extensive online marketing knowledge, developing a successful mobile website design and overall advertising strategy can be almost impossible. Awkward navigation, convoluted design, and unnecessary graphics can all frustrate and put off potential customers.

If you are looking for an easier way to make the most of this emerging technology, an online marketing specialist can help you to create and manage your mobile website. Hiring the services of a professional will not only save you time and money in the long run, but it can also give you peace of mind that your website will be a success.

Susan Rich, Copy-Writer

Posted in: Client Stories

Susan Rich, Copy-Writer

Susan’s Story

I started working with Jocelyn when I hit website overload: Three different WordPress sites, all with a different back-end operation.

Like many solo-pros, I built my websites piece by piece. I had a very distinct vision about WHAT I wanted each one to do – but lacked the programming savvy (and patience) to make it happen. The result was predictable – website mayhem. 

Being a copy-writer (author, public speaker, marketing expert and internet radio show host) I wanted a site with clean lines, simple navigation and a streamlined back-end that allowed me to create pages and update content whenever the mood struck. I’ve been using WordPress for years and would never change.

One website is for my primary business, RichWriting.com. The second is the author platform for my book: Write it Rich! How to write a kick-butt resume cover letter. And the third is for a slowly evolving sideline: Rich&GlutenFree.

What I want people to know is that I work with both business owners and job seekers to help them grab attention, drive action, and get results. Business owners need more clients; job seekers need a job – and I excel at helping both groups launch their get-noticed-now! strategy.

From writing workshops to 1:1 consulting, I’m obsessed with helping every person I work with succeed. That means my professional partners must have the same drive, the same integrity and passion.

Jocelyn Mozak is the ultimate partner for my trio of websites.

Working with Jocelyn was a great experience: She dove into the mechanics of making each site work properly. She created efficiency and continuity – simple changes that make it easy for me to work behind the scenes on all the sites. She updated databases, installed new software and made sure my existing data was safely archived. Jocelyn even worked directly with my website host to address their database problems – an effort completely above and beyond anything I ever expected!

What I love about Jocelyn is her approach to client service: If I’m not asking for updates or tweaks, or lessons in how to use new tools like AWeber, she is pinging me about changes I can make to ensure my users get the most out of my websites.


Why Choose WordPress for Your Website?

Posted in: Uncategorized

WordPress is a platform that is free for individual or business use to create a website or blog. The software required to install wordpress is found at the download page of WordPress,org. Users can install themes to the software to enhance the visual appeal for of a blog or to integrate with an existing site. However, an individual or business will require a web hosting option.

The software for WordPress was developed on an open source platform. This means that the technology is easier for programmers to develop to their specific needs. Software programmers can easily develop themes and plugins that are then offered to users to add to their WordPress installation for free. When a user wants to install a plugin or theme they are not required to learn a programming language.

Individuals that use WordPress can create a simple blog or maintain the content of a website. A standard installation is used to create a personal or company blog. However, the software installed for WordPress should be seen as a platform or a one-stop solution for creating a full website. This prevents the needs to use multiple software programs to maintain a website. A blog can be added as a component of a website and not as the main focus.

SEO optimization is built into the functionality of WordPress. This means that as you create a website it can be easily optimized for search engine results. To do this you need to use keyword friendly names of websites that you create with the software. Users are also able to easily update their site without having to edit the HTML of any web pages. WordPress can be installed and set up on your website within a span of five minutes.

WordPress uses extensions that are called plugins to add functionality to your installation. Plugins used with WordPress are created by a community of developers. You can use a plugin to create a backup of a website or to create a contact form. Users can add plugins to increase the loading speed of web pages in various web browsers. The addition of plugins can be used to add new features to your site or blog without needing to hire a programmer. Search the plugin directory at www.WordPress.org to find many types of plugins that you can use.

If you have any questions about using WordPress for your website, then contact us for more information.

5 Tips to improve traffic to your website

Posted in: Effective Website Design, Increase Traffic to your Website

Businesses today realize that a presence on the internet is mandatory in today’s world of computer technology and cyberspace.  Once businesses have established websites, the next logical question is how can they increase the traffic that goes to that site.  This can be accomplished in a number of ways which will be discussed below.

Make Regular Updates

Regular updates provide visitors a reason to return to your site.  No one wants to return to a site which has nothing new to offer – they have already seen the material.  Adding new content, new designs, and new layouts allows the visitors to see you are willing to update and invest time in providing the readers with new material.  This could be as simple as a posting once a week.

Make Use of Videos

Many people are visual and enjoy watching videos.  Just think about the draw of television.  Upload short video clips to your website.  This can be as simple as a short segment you make with your webcam discussing items that are applicable to your client base.  YouTube can be a host for your video, and you simply need to place a link from YouTube on your site.

Use Good Keywords

One of the most important aspects to increasing website traffic is to look at search engine optimization.  This means establishing a list of keywords which are applicable to your company and by which you want individuals to be able to locate your company on the web.  The second aspect of this is to make sure your site contains those keywords in the correct proportions to allow it to populate near the top of search results.  You can do this by using the keywords in descriptions on your site and by having a blog on the site with entries built around the keywords.  Your site does not have to be totally built around the keywords, but look to use the terms in 3 to 4 percent of the content.

Write Articles

Create articles on topics which surround the aspect of your business and post these articles on other sites.  Add a link to your website at the end of the article.  Individuals will read the article and click on the link for more information.  Once they click on that link, they are directed to your site, and you have just generated an extra hit.

Read Other Blogs and Provide Commentary

Blogs are everywhere on the internet today.  Locate some blogs which include subject matter relevant to your business and your website.   Provide interesting and thought-evoking comments in response to the articles.  Your comments do not have to “sell” your company; you can simply provide a link to your site at the end of your comments along with your name and company name.

Remember, a website cannot have too much traffic.  The more individuals visit your company’s site, the more likely sales leads will be generated from those visits.  It’s basically a law of averages and statistics.  Contact us today to see how we can help increase the traffic flow to your site.

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