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Your Company's Website – Professional Online Presence

web design and developmentWeb Design and DevelopmentA website image should match a company’s quality objectives to build your company's online presence.

Does yours?

The truth is, a poorly designed website can damage a company’s online presence. More so, your website is your online presence. Internet users expect a reputable company to have a high-quality online presence, reflected in a quality and professional website. Think about it as an electronic business card, or brochure; a first-class website shows that a company is serious and professional. A website that is well presented, designed and developed, will open a myriad of options for low-cost marketing and client acquisition.This is the first segment in a three-part series that addresses the guidelines on how to plan, present and develop your company’s website. The full series includes:

  1. Professional Online Presence
  2. Quality Web Site -- Quality Approach
  3. Website Design, Development & Marketing Aspects

Web DevelopmentWeb DevelopmentYour Company’s Web Site – Professional Online

If your company strives for quality, this should be expressed as much by your website, as it is with your company’s products and services. From now on, consider your website as an extension of those products and services; consider it as your company's online presence. Ask yourself what is important to you, and your customers when it comes to the services or products your company provides? Is it the advantages like quality, performance, presentation and reliability that are offered? Does your current web site reflect this? Revisit your company’s mission statement – is this also reflected in the website?

It’s amazing how many companies do not have a professional online presence, for fear of expense, (in which case, they often opt for a “do-it-yourself” product). A well-developed, well-designed website is not a cost; it’s an investment, and any related expenses will convert into new clients. At present, there are several reputable organizations that will help your company build an effective web site for a reasonable price.

It is proven that R.O.I is quickly met when the website properly addresses your requirements and /or target market. Keep in mind that your website is the least expensive 24/7 (worldwide) salesman that you will ever find.

It’s important to find a team of website design experts who will listen to you, understand your needs, and not only follow your guidelines, but also present you with new options, and suggestions, to increase your sales and customer acquisition. A good team will produce a professional online presence that is in tune with your company’s image, excels in usability and is search-engine friendly.

Online MarketingOnline MarketingOnline marketing for your website is also very important, since your utmost goal is to attract users that search for the products or services you offer. A high-quality website that is lost among search engines, is like placing an expensive ad in a magazine that nobody buys. If Web browsers cannot find your site, they are limited in how they can purchase your product or service. Treat your website as a marketing tool, not only as a source for company information.

Summary: A professional online presence, and a quality website, are the most important investments you will make for your company; it will reflect your company’s image, and the products and services you offer. Seek a website design company that is willing to learn about your company, and its products and services. Get involved in the website development process, and offer your opinion and suggestions – after all, you know your market and your company.

For a free quotation, or more information, please contact us

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Your Website Hurts My Eyes

man with smarting eyesMan With Smarting Eyes7 Reasons to Tone Down Your Advertising

So you're on the computer, as usual. Your eyes are smarting. Your back hurts. You want to jump in the car and sail down the highway with all the windows down and your hair flapping in the wind. But before you call it quits for the day, you have to look up just one more thing. Maybe it is web marketing, maybe you want to buy some artwork to hang in your office. Off to Google you go.

You type in the magic words, whatever they are, and watch as a list of websites flows down the page. You click on the first one, and it's an instant assault on your eyeballs. Ten glaring banners, flashing like Vegas at midnight. One of those annoying hover ads that follows you as you scroll and won't let you read anything until you click the corner. Some sparkly things "snowing" down the page. Frantic messages screaming things like BUY NOW! LAST CHANCE! INSTANT SUCCESS CAN BE YOURS. A picture of a grinning guy who reminds you of your creepy Uncle Lester.

You click away. Not today, not any day. You don't care what that guy is selling or even if he's giving something away, because his presentation is god-awful. Just when you thought you'd escaped the mayhem, a sneaky little window pops up: "WHY DID YOU LEAVE THIS SITE? Please fill out this quick survey!" Are they kidding? You consider typing something offensive in the "Leave Your Comment" box, but figure it will only encourage someone to spam you with unwanted offers.

email popupEmail PopupWe are all familiar with this web-surfing experience. It's downright unpleasant. What's your opinion of someone who pitches their company in such a loud and desperate manner? Do you believe all of their pie-in-the-sky promises? Do they strike you as a company run by people who are intelligent, honest and reliable? Are you going to whip out your credit card because they tell you to?

Of course you're not. Being the loudest, the brightest, the busiest and the boldest may attract attention, but it does not bring sales. That's something to remember when you're creating your own company website. What DOES attract and keep new customers coming back? A simple, tasteful web design. An easily navigable site. Copy that's crisp, clean, and interesting.

Here are 7 reasons to tone down your advertising:

1. Flash is just too flashy. A flash presentation can be creative and unique, but is it really needed for what you offer? Will that kooky winking clown-head in the corner really make the sale for you? Even if you find a really excellent designer, who can put together an incredible high-tech Flash feature, consider the harried web surfer. She's been clicking all day; do you really think she has the patience to stand for one more mini-movie?

too much advertising to enjoy surfingToo Many Adverts to Enjoy Surfing2. Too many messages cancel each other out. Ever try to read one of those pharmacy circulars when you're tired? All of those big red words emblazoned across the page. Headlines crammed in beside blown-out price points and cheap photography. It isn't easy! If you try to cram a whole bunch of words on your website, guess what? Not one of those messages is going to be read, let alone remembered. The eye doesn't know where to look! Try a visual whisper instead of a scream. Make your point as best you can, but take care to leave white space, so the eyes have a resting place where they can digest what you've said.

3. Movement is distracting. Think about the last time you visited a website with "magical stars" sprinkling down over the words. Were you able to read and understand it? Mind the weary web surfer; be kind to his eyes! You stand a much better chance of holding a customer's interest with words that aren't flying off the page, but rather, standing still in one spot, waiting quietly for someone to read them!

click mouseClick Mouse4. The mighty click is all-powerful. You know what it is to be that web hunter. The mouse is in your hand; you're in total control! Now think of that other person palming the mouse, surfing YOUR site. If your website is a frenzy of colour and confusion, all it takes is one CLICK and you're forgotten! Don't want them to click away? Here's how to make them stay. Keep it clean and simple!

5. Your empty promises are lost on the sceptical consumer. Think about your own web-surfing experiences. Did you believe that guy who told you he'd make you a millionaire, if you just SIGN UP TODAY? You're better off being honest and optimistic, than crazed and fanatical about what you can offer your customer.

6. Pop-ups are really annoying. Have you ever been so intrigued by a pop-up ad that you bought whatever they were raving about? My guess is no. Do you appreciate it when you're trying to get some work done on the computer and fifteen pop-up ads crowd your screen and overload your hard drive? I certainly don't! If you don't like such rude interruptions, then don't impose them on somebody else. I don't care how many times that marketing guru tells you it will improve your search engine ranking. Search engine stats might give you exposure, but click rates mean nothing if the customer's not buying.

7. No one reads really long sales letters. Ah, how brilliant of those copywriting experts to convince you that a six-page letter is going to bring in big bucks for your company. Especially if you're paying them by the hour or word! A two-page letter will do the same thing as a six-pager, and more. The 'more' being that it will hold your reader's interest the whole way through. Brevity is the key to great writing. If you can make a great argument in five words or less, you've got it all over the next guy. Keep that in mind before you put the Magna Carta on your web portal.

happy websurfingHappy WebsurfingWant to design and write website content that attracts and captivates? Want to bring your visitors back for seconds, thirds, fourths, and the ultimate purchase? Then keep the above "distractors" to a minimum. Really try to put yourself in the other person's shoes... the one who is searching the internet for what you have. Think about all of those things that prevent you from enjoying your web surfing experience, and then take care to remove them from your own company website! Offer tasteful, subtle design, eloquent headlines, and clear, informative copy. Be honest about what you sell and how it can make a difference for your potential customer. Speak softly, and watch the sales roll in.

For a free quotation, or more information, please contact us today

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Your Web Designer Is Not The Boss - You Are!

web design and layoutWeb Design and LayoutA web designer shouldn’t tell you how to run your business. You need to make sure you find the right designer who understands what you want and can achieve your aim exactly as you want it.

Web designers are experts at constructing and managing websites and can be a great asset to your online business. That being said, there are some webpage designers out there who can get carried away and will try to design a website the way they want it, and not the way their employer asked them.

To ensure you don’t end up with a bossy designer, the following is a basic guideline you can follow to find the right web designer:

Know what you want for your website

How do you want your website to be laid out? Will you be using pictures or other graphics? What do you think would appeal most to the audience you are targeting your product or service to? The last thing you want to do is to seek out a web designer, and not have any idea how you want to build your website. This is how you can lose control over your project and be lured into using someone else’s ideas.

Recommendations:  If you have friends or colleagues who have used web designers, ask them for a recommendation.

designers portfolioCheck Designers PortfolioCheck out the designer’s portfolio

Once you find a web designer you are interested in, be sure to check out their portfolio to see previous work they’ve done. This will help you decide if you think their work is similar to what you had in mind for your own website.

Discuss your project – if you like a designer’s work, tell them about the project you would like to create. The designer should have plenty of questions for you. During this time you can get a feel for their personality and vision, and see if it will mesh with yours.

Request a quote Although web designers may not be able to tell you the exact amount a project will cost, they should be able to estimate a probable cost based on the project description you have provided. A webpage designer doesn’t come cheap, so be prepared for a high price. If for any reason you find the cost is more than you are willing to pay, check out other designers and request a quote from them.  This will help you determine who you should go with, or maybe to consider designing your website yourself if you simply can’t afford it yet.

WebDesignMeetingWeb Design MeetingRoutinely meet with the designer

Make sure you schedule appointments with the web designer to make certain everything is going according to plan. Your website designer should have no problem meeting your requests, or making changes, as long as you are not making unreasonable demands (IE asking them to re-work entire pages without additional pay because you’ve suddenly changed your mind).

Remember, you have total control over the design of your web page, regardless of what your web designer may think. You are designing your page with your customers in mind. Don’t let a website designer boss you around; even if they are an expert in their field. The bottom line is, it’s your website.

Contact us for a free quotation, more information, or to discuss your website requirements

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Why Should You Care About Your Web Site Colours?

white and blue web pageWhite and Blue Web Page**How Colours are Used in web design:**

Demarcates screen elements into groups- You can put a blue background for your navigational bar and white for rest of your page. This tells the visitor that the blue area has different elements and grabs his attention.

You can relate different groups of elements on your screen. If you also want to keep a navigational menu at the bottom of page, you can use the same blue background. This tells the visitor that both blue areas on the screen have the same information.

Highlights information- If you want to make a line of text prominent, you can use different coloured text instead of regular text or use a background for that line of text.

Looks nicer- Colours are always associated with our mood and perceptions. We always feel the colours. Coloured objects draw people’s attention.

Web safe color paletteWeb Safe Colour Palette**One should always use web safe colours?**

Nah... Unless your audience purely relies on 256 coloured monitors. Mostly a remote possibility. You can experiment and enjoy applying colours in your web design. The worst thing that will happen is the colours are shown to its nearest colour on 256 monitors. They won't look like exactly as they look on your monitor.

**What colours are best?**

One cannot say this exactly, because the blue which means professionalism to some, is death to some.

Here are some colours:

To indicate necessary action, use warm colours

Red, orange, yellow.

To provide calm and content feelings, use cool colours

Green, blue, violet, purple.

Green means growth and vitality.

Red means energy and passion.

Blue means intuitive, cool and trustworthy.

Yellow means enthusiastic and optimistic.

Orange means courage and success.

Purple means passionate and spiritual.

Greys and browns seem dull. But they can take on a more cheerful attitude with compliments of red and orange. Emotions like this will help your visitors to associate your site with stableness and confidence.

colour pickerColour Picker**Tips to follow in applying colours on your website:**

1. A white background is always preferable to hold your content. It makes it easy to read, and eye fatigue will be less with a plain white background.

2. To make the things elegant, use one or two contrast colours next to white. Like blue, green, orange etc.

3. Never use more than 3-4 colours on a page.(unless your site goes with graphics or other multimedia themes)

4. Check the colours and it's appearance on different browsers using online tools like- http://www.anybrowser.com/

5. For the background of your web site pages: ALWAYS use a web safe colour as a background colour to your web site. This makes your graphics and text appear on a clean interface on any type of monitors.

6. Download and use this colour picker for your web designs. Easy to use and very good free utility software: http://www.nattyware.com/pixie.html

For a free quotation or more information, please feel free to contact us.

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How Do You Get Folks to Look At Your New Website

website reviewWebsite ReviewI took a look at a new Website recently, in response to a request for a site review on one of my favourite forums. And, while the appearance was pleasing, there wasn't really much there. Too often, new folks to the Internet marketing world make this crucial mistake. They think that if they build a stay at home job website, customers will automatically show up and start buying stuff. When those customers don't materialize, the site owner often gives up and quits.

In order for any stay at home job site to attract quality visitors, there are some things that need to be done. In this article, I will give you a small list of objectives, along with brief hints on how to go about meeting them. If you follow through, your site will advance in the search engine rankings, and before you know it, the visitors will be showing up faster than you can count them.

Search Engines Love Content

Involve yourself in an ongoing process of collecting, and/or producing articles for inclusion on your site. There are many sources of articles on the Internet. Some of them charge a small fee, while others are free. Look for articles that are relevant to the subject of your site, and add them. If these articles are rich with the keywords that you wish to target, so much the better.

You can also write your own articles. This allows you to concentrate on the keywords that you wish to target, and establishes you as an expert in your field.

By adding your resource box, with your URL, to the end of your articles and then submitting them to other sites and Ezines, you can generate additional traffic to your site. More about this later.

Invite your visitors to submit articles to your site for publication. This helps to build visitor loyalty, because everybody likes to see their name in print;)

seo links and optimizationS.E.O Links and OptimizationSearch Engines Love Links.

The second thing that you need to do is exchange links with other websites. Search Engines look to see how many links point to your site, and use this information to gauge the importance of your site. The more links you have, the better, but look for links that add value for your visitors. Make sure that you link to quality sites that are somehow related to what your visitors are looking for. In this way, you will get traffic that is targeted to what you are trying to sell. This will increase your chances of making sales, or signing up affiliates, who have a good chance of being successful in your business.

There are two basic types of links; reciprocal links and one way links. Reciprocal links occur when you trade links with another website. These are important because not only do they help in your rankings, they also generate traffic from the sites that you link to. One way links are a bit different. These are links that point people to your site, but do not point your visitors away from your site. As a result, they are more valuable. Not too many webmasters are willing to give away one way links, but there are a couple of good techniques that you can use to get them.< />

1. Write articles and offer them for publication. You will be pleasantly surprised by the number of sites and Ezines that are looking for quality articles to use for content. By placing your resource box at the end of the article, and including a link to your site, you can generate dozens, if not hundreds of one way links to your site. To find sites that accept articles, simply do a search for 'Free Website Content.' You will find several good sites. Also think about joining the Directory of Ezines. Many of the publications listed there accept articles, and some of them will even invite you to write for them on a regular basis.

online forum platformsOnline Forum Platform2. Visit several forums and bulletin boards that deal with stay at home jobs. Especially, those that are directly related to your field of expertise. Many of these allow you to include your URL in your signature block. By participating in these forums, you will be able to create many more one way links to your site. Just make sure that you offer sound advice, and make relevant posts. If you don't, you could be considered a nuisance or worse, a spammer.

The addition of content in the form of articles, and links to your site should be an ongoing process. If you concentrate on these two things, and continually add to your site, you will not only move up in the search engine rankings, but you will end up with a site that has great value to your visitors. Add to your site every day. Remember, you are in competition with a lot of other related websites, and chances are, they are already doing this.

For a free quotation, or more info, please do not hesitate to contact us

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