WordPress vs Wix, Which Website Platform Should I Use?

The power of technology is that websites are much more accessible to business owners than they have been in the past. Previously, it required understanding HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, etc. to build even the most basic website, let alone something creative, or more robust. However, with WYSWYG (“what you see is what you get”) platforms such as Wix, Square Space, GoDaddy Website Builder and more, creating a website is much more attainable for smaller businesses and those just starting up.

Having a website for your business is a given, it may just be a ‘brochure’ style site, to give your brand a sense of stability; it may be a lead generating or marketing website to grow your business; there are multiple paths it can take. The question really becomes, what does your website need to do for your business?

Websites of the Past

Officially, I’ve been a website designer for 14 years, unofficially, it’s been more like 22 years since I built my first website when I was 12!

I remember the painstaking hours learning to create the most basic of HTML commands and was so excited when CSS came out! Essentially, HTML is like the bones of a house and CSS is like the design (paint, furniture, interior decorating) etc. It made the code cleaner and easier to read. PHP was the bane of my existence for a while, and coding to suit Internet Explorer when every other browser worked just fine!

Luckily, life is much easier now! For one thing, I have the experience and knowledge built up to tackle any of these, and for the other, platforms are much friendlier to work on.

Website Platforms: WordPress vs Wix

My two recommended websites for clients often boil down to either WordPress or Wix. There are other platforms, and I have worked on them if the need required it, or if the client had it set up already, but these are the most robust of all the options in comparison to ease of use for my clients.

What They Are

WordPress is an extremely robust, open-source platform that has hundreds of thousands of features (plugins) that can be added to it to include all sort of functionality. It is also easily custom coded to suit the needs of your marketing and website requirements.

Wix is a user friendly, proprietary software that allows a lot of flexibility and creativity within their platform. It also has added plugins to improve functionality.

In terms of design, both are very flexible and capable of creating a unique design with creative elements and/or animations.

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Pros & Cons of WordPress & Wix for Your Website

WordPress

SFJ Pharmaceuticals WordPress Website Design Auto Pro Detailing WordPress Website Design Wallbeds n More WordPress Website Design Thrive Support Services WordPress Website Design

 

Pros:

  • Robust, able to customize, can be designed to suit any layout
  • Can be either mobile-friendly (have a mobile version of its layout) or responsive (resizes to suit any screen size)
  • Easy to customize for Search Engine Optimization
  • Thousands of prebuilt Themes (templates) that can be modified for easy installation
  • Connects to Google Analytics, etc. for analytics & tracking

 

Cons:

  • Prone to attacks by hackers (because it is open source)
  • Steep learning curve for clients who want to maintain their own website
  • Needs to be updated regularly (due to the hacking concerns)
  • Requires database/PHP updates
  • Need to build the framework, meaning takes longer to build the platform,
  • Prebuilt Themes may have unknown security holes

Wix

Otis McAllister Wix Website Design Alyssa Williamson Wix Website DesignMarilyn Jaeger Skincare Wix Website Design Century Forest Management Wix Website Design

 

Pros:

  • A proprietary software, so highly unlikely that it will be hacked
  • Mobile-friendly website where you get to design the mobile layout
  • Relatively easy for clients to maintain after being built
  • WYSWYG style design – you design the layout and the system creates the correct code
  • Search Engine Optimization features
  • Connects to Google Analytics, etc. for analytics & tracking
  • Start with a template

 

Cons:

  • Not a responsive design
  • Code can be a little clunky as it is based on your design
  • Features are limited to what the platform allows – limited customization of features
  • Not as robust for Search Engine Optimization

How to Choose Your Website Platform

Choosing the best platform for your website comes down to what you want it to do, and how often you will be updating it and maintaining it.

I work with clients to discover what they want their website to accomplish and then brainstorm the best solutions for them. Each business is unique and each website is as well! I would love to talk to you about your options and help you create the right website for your business.

2 Ways to Get Customer Calls from Your Site

get-more-calls-from-website-marketing

Does your business growth depend on getting calls from new customers, yet your phone has been silent lately? It can be discouraging to not receive those calls from your website that you’ve been waiting for, so we’re here to help you solve that problem. Maybe you are getting calls, but they’re not the calls you want and don’t turn into business leads. These two marketing tips will help with that, as well.


Getting customer calls from your website has everything to do with your website design and content.
Here are two ways to drive traffic to your website and increase business calls!

  1. Make your phone number visible and put it on every page.

If you want customers to call you, make it is as easy for people to contact you. In our experience, when our clients come to us they often put their phone number and contact info just on the Contact page. This can hurt your business because people don’t want to have to search through your site to find what they are looking for, so make it easy for them.

Place your phone number on every page of your site, and make it stand out visually. Also, think about users who are using mobile phones. When users are looking for a service or product through their smartphones, the business with the best mobile-friendly website will get bring that user in.

Already have your number on your site? Awesome, you’re ready to take your website a step further and turn your website traffic to leads. Download our 25 Website Must-Haves to see other ways that you can ensure your website leads to new customer calls.

  1. Know your customer base and what they want.

Businesses are switching to inbound marketing tactics because they are effective compared to old school marketing, such as cold calling. The key to creating a great business site is by understanding your customers and clients, knowing what they are looking for, and catering your website to them. Get inside their heads and understand the words they are using to search for your services.

Once you have this point down, it will impact everything that you do in terms of marketing. So how do you go about that? Start by brainstorming and jotting down clients that you want to bring into your business. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team:

What customers have we had in the past that remained loyal?
What type of customers have the resources to help our business meet our goals?
Who do we enjoy working with?

When working on our marketing, we used Mindmeister to create a visual word map of industries and clients that we want to reach to increase our customer base. From this word map, we then narrowed down our industries to specific buyer personas (a.k.a. customer persona or customer profile).
As defined by Hubspot, “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”

Developing a detailed persona to market takes time initially, but is worth the investment and will save you time in the future. You’d be amazed at how your business grows when you are saying exactly the right words to appeal to your clients. If you’re not sure where to start, contact us today to get help developing a buyer persona that will suit your business. Once you have it established, you can then focus your web design, blog posts, and social media marketing to target this persona.
When your website is designed well, it will work for you and bring in those calls you are waiting for! It will help you to establish trust with website visitors from the start and turn them into business.

website design bay area ca

How To Use Your Website to Convert Yelp Traffic Into Customers

“We have awesome Yelp reviews from your customers, yet our website is not converting. If I’m getting so much traffic from Yelp, why are we not getting calls from new clients?”

Where’s the disconnect?

We come across these situations often at Designflair, so don’t worry – we’re here to show you how you can convert your Yelp traffic into potential leads and grow your business. Great Yelp reviews are a fantastic way to bring people to your business, and that traffic often clicks through to your website. We’ll explain the process to turn that website visitor into a loyal and satisfied customer.

Visual Appeal of Your Website

When you’re thinking about Yelp reviews, your business’ website probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but the two very much work together. The design, visual appeal, and functionality of your website is absolutely crucial to gaining leads for your business.

To see this connection, it helps to get in the mind of your potential clients… Say you’re online searching for a specific business and you come across one on Yelp. You click on their business and see they have good reviews, so then you click on the website to reach them. It doesn’t load right away, and you get some sort of spinning icon. You decide to stick out and wait, but when the website loads, it’s hard to read the font. The design is clunky and you have to resize the page just to find any information out about the business. How frustrating! You give up and go back to Yelp to find another site.

The above example is a site that is not mobile friendly and it’s likely you have unfortunately had these negative experiences with poor web design. This is actually a common issue with restaurant websites. I search through Yelp and find one that has 4 star reviews, yet when I go to their website I can’t find what I’m looking for. Maybe their menu isn’t available at all, or is hard to read. If I can’t find the menu, I definitely won’t show up there. Their contact information may be hard to locate or have outdated information about their business.

Web design is the bridge between your Yelp reviews and growing your business. An example of a business that makes this connection easier, is one of our clients Birk’s Restaurant in Santa Clara.

What do people want on a restaurant website?

  1. Look at the menu.
  2. Find the location.
  3. Reserve a table

In order to bring in business, it’s vital for people to be able to see their menu and make reservations right from their phone, tablet, or desktop. We ensured that Birk’s menus were easily viewable from any device; here’s what their menu page looks like from a mobile phone.

mobile website birks restaurant

The navigation is clear and user-friendly. You can easily find their phone number and make a reservation right from these web pages, as well. You’ll see that their website is just as appealing and easy navigate from a desktop. The reservation tab is available on every page of the website.

web design bay area

An appealing website isn’t only important for restaurants. No matter what industry you are in, you want your business to be easily found and stand out amongst competition. We’ll share a few ways you can make this happen.

Provide Valuable Content

Once people are redirected from Yelp to your site, the information must be valuable to them and intrigue them.

One way to do this is by showing your work. Do you provide services where you can show a transformation? Including before and after photos of your work on your website is a great way to delight people who are visiting your site. Not only are good quality photos visually appealing, but they also allow people to trust your business by seeing your work.
California Dent Works relies on their website to to showcase the quality of their work and help clients understand what is truly involved with paintless dent removal. This meant that their new website design needed to focus on having an easy way to bring attention to their portfolio of before & after images.

photo gallery web design pleasanton

When designing their website, we made sure to place a gallery of their photos right on the home page. This adds visual intrigue, increases their credibility, and clearly displays their services. Before and after photos can be beneficial for many industries including trade businesses, beauty services, and designers. Whether you’re in the automotive industry or creative industry, including photographs of your work online will grow your business!

Another way to turn website visitors into business is by providing an easy call-to-action. In the inbound marketing methodology, this is part of the convert stage where you turn visitors into leads.

inbound marketing methodology

photo: Hubspot
A call-to-action (CTA) can be done in many ways, but it must draw in the person visiting your site. A great way to entice a visitor is by providing an offer in your CTA, such as a white paper or a free e-book. Quicksprout’s blog is filled with great CTA’s – they are visible, concise, and valuable to the reader.

call to action web design bay area

photo: Quicksprout blog

Having a call-to-action makes your website to the work of generating leads for you by getting that valuable contact information from your visitor. Ready to incorporate one into your site? We can help you decide where on your site to place a call-to-action a create an effective, appealing design.
Yelp should be utilized as a way to showcase your business and generate leads. Are you doing your part to draw in customers from the large number of people that are searching through Yelp?

website design bay area ca

 

3 Ways to Reboot Your Brand: Branding Inspiration for 2016

We all know that the start of a new year in our calendars is the time for new things. While you’re thinking of new workouts to try and new clothes to buy, the new year is also a time to give your business a fresh look.


Here are practical ways you can give your brand identity a boost in 2016. These brand reboots will help you start the year with a bang and give you momentum for the next twelve months.

Logo Redesign

A great logo is the centerpiece for great branding. A logo redesign can mean a totally new, or a slight tweak that makes your logo even better than before.

Take some time to evaluate your business’ logo. Is it effective? Do your customers recognize it? Does your logo speak to your company’s values? Let the answers to these questions guide the changes that you make to your brand.

Here are some great examples of effective rebrands from the past year.
Spotify got a new brand look in 2015 that finally matches how “loud” it is as a company. The NY design firm, Collins, created a new look for Spotify that allows them to publish an array of content with a cohesive look.

spotify_branding_livermore

The redesign works so that Spotify release new music with a streamlined look, using dual-toned photographs of artists with geometric shapes. The logo is now presented in vibrant colors that allow it to stand out when placed over any image or graphic. This consistent look is also noticeable in their playlists.

Another major logo change came from Google. Their update included a simplified look of their logo and a change to certain actions, like Google talk. Great branding utilizes responsive design. This rebrand creates a unified user experience whether it’s from a laptop, smartphone, or desktop.
A lesson to be learned from this example is to explain why your business made changes to your logo. Google announced the changes they made in a detailed blog post, which adds credibility to their brand and demonstrates authenticity. Seize the opportunity to engage with your audience by sharing your motives behind a logo redesign.

New Social Media Platform

Branch out and expand your business’ online avenues.
According to B2C, “Facebook video is now king” for the new year. If you’re planning on spending time and money on marketing efforts in 2016, Facebook can be a great platform when using a targeted strategy. If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your business, make one now. The new year is a perfect time for launching a new social media platform for your business.

If you already have a Facebook page, familiarize yourself with ways to show your brand online. A way to make social media marketing practical is to schedule time in your week to create posts in advance. You can future date posts by utilizing the Publishing tools. Want more tips for using Facebook for business? Social Media Examiner offers tips for Facebook visibility that will help you make sure your posts don’t get lost in the endless Facebook feed but instead get engagement from your audience.

What other social media platforms will be popular in 2016? Social Media Week forecasts that businesses will branch out to Instagram and Snapchat, utilizing them as branding tools. At Designflair, we recommend using the platforms best suit your business. It’s also smart to take a look at your competitors and see how they are reaching out to clients and customers. You want to stay ahead of the game, so branch out in your digital engagement in 2016.

Website Layout

A major player in your brand identity is your website. It’s such an important piece because it utilizes your logo, employs your tone, and features your brand colors. Your website is often the first impression people get of your business and is an ongoing reference point.

This past year contained many web design trends that we are now familiar with. One popular web design trend included the long scroll layout. An article from Awwards on web design trends mentions, “The technique works especially well for sites that want to lure users through storytelling, and you can still mimic a multi-page site by breaking the scroll into clear sections.” Some of the web design trends from 2015 are likely to stay because they are effective for users. While web designs come and go, it’s important to ensure that your web design looks great and is functional.

Just as with your brand’s logo, you can evaluate your website in preparation for the new year. The key is to choose a layout that suits your business and the content you create. Do you have a trade business? Make sure your contact information is very clear and easy to find. Are you a photographer? Showcase your best work in a photo gallery. Is your navigation user-friendly? Consumers and users are very critical of websites today and want them to work for them, which is why businesses must invest in a well-designed site. The new year is a great time to roll out a new website design for your business.

Design, branding and marketing go hand-in-hand. So as you’re thinking about your business goals in the new year, consider what design changes will benefit your business. Branding is very exciting and we hope you feel inspired. How can we strengthen your branding? Take a look at the services we provide, and set up a meeting with us today!

 

3 Common Website Mistakes You Could Be Making


In our last blog, we discussed how to develop your brand voice as a business to speak to your customers. Your business’ website is one major platform to utilize and establish your brand voice; your site is the main way people learn about your business.

In our experience with designing websites, we’ve come across some common mistakes. We’re here to help you avoid these and make sure your site is functional, friendly, and engaging. There are few worse things than a bad website… well, maybe a bad cup of coffee.

Lacking Content

Many of us have encountered websites that were lacking content. Either the information is hard to find or it may not be there at all. If you don’t have content on a web page, wait to publish it until you do. It makes your website appear unfinished if your missing information or if the information you do have isn’t what people are looking for.

In order to prevent this, create content before you begin creating your website or certain pages. You want to make sure that you have content for every page on your site and that it’s clear what each page is about.
Quick tip: Struggling with where to start? Content Marketing Institute offers some content templates and checklists that can help you get the ball rolling.

Outdated Information

Speaking of creating content, making content for your website is an ongoing process. Make sure that all the information on your website is up-to-date. Go through your site monthly and make sure your links are working. Are you offering new products or services? Make sure to include those on your website.

Some common pages that people often neglect are the About Us page, Contact page, and Blog page. One way to prevent outdated information is to have one person who has a weekly task of checking your site’s content.

Quick Tip: Do you have a website page about your team and employees? Make sure everyone is on there. Get creative with your About page. One way to do this is tell your business’ story. How did you start? What drives you as a business?
We recently updated our About page to include Pinterest boards about each of us here at the Designflair team. It’s a way for our clients and future clients to learn more about us as individuals and it adds a visual element to a page that already had text content. It leads people to our Pinterest account, which we keep updated with pins on branding, marketing, and design.

Web Design Livermore

Harmful, Quick Tactics

Don’t do something just to do it – it will hurt your branding and your business. One example is writing unhelpful blog posts just to get content on your site. This is where people tend to use shady keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing may increase traffic to your site, but once people arrive they are likely to realize that your blog isn’t actually informative. Marketing experts over at Hubspot wrote a brilliant and hilarious post, How to Write a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Blog Post. Reading through this article will help you know what to avoid when writing for your blog.

Another example is putting information on your page just to get it out there. There may be times when you have an urgent message that needs to go out to your clients and customers, however quickly posting it on your site without considering the layout and design is dangerous. Putting word content on your website, blog, or social media accounts without being fine-tuned will look unprofessional and unfinished.

Quick Tip: Before you publish any content, get an extra pair of eyes to look over the work. It’s worth the extra time of proofreading to catch any mistakes before your content goes live. Take time to ensure the content you are creating is consistent with your branding, helps your clients, and is informative.

Don’t lose credibility for your business by making these common web mistakes. What types of errors have you encountered when surfing the web? Let us know if there are any common mistakes out there that we missed.

Limited Marketing Special

For the next 2 weeks (until 12/18/15), we are offering end of year marketing packages. We’re eager to help our clients succeed through effective marketing! Commit to investing in your business now with our holiday packages and choose to:

  • – Schedule your strategy session immediately
  • – Schedule to start a plan to start in the new year

Contact us by December 18th to receive this marketing package deal!

Template Websites v.s. Custom Websites: How to Choose the Best Web Design

Websites are such an integral part of our daily lives now that we don’t even realize how often we visit them. Consumers use websites for socializing, finding out information, researching products, and finding out about businesses. A recent statistic reports that “The average internet user spends around 4 hours and 25 minutes using the net each day (Wearesocial.Net).” When visiting a site, we expect it to work for us and deliver the information we are looking for. (And it’s very frustrating when it doesn’t do that.) Therefore, a great website must be functional and attractive.

Businesses are dependent on websites to grow and use them as a means to keep current clients updated and to also reach potential ones. It is vitally important to have a website that works properly and has engaging information; you want people to be able to easily find your website and stay on it once they do. A great website is an effective way to generate leads for business and establish your brand identity through online avenues. More and more platforms are becoming available to the business owner to make it easier to create their own website. The real question is… should they?

There are now so many options available to the business owner looking to create a website that it can be confusing. What is the best way to build it? What elements should be on the page? What technology or platform should it use? How will you know that it is built to best practices? We are here to help you navigate through the options of websites and help you determine what would be best for you or your business.

Custom Web Design

A custom website is one that is built entirely from the ground up using a custom design that is then turned into a website through custom programming. This can be as small as a freelancer who does it all themselves, to a company with a combined design and programming team, through to an agency that has teams of people on the whole process. It all depends on the size of the site and your website needs.

Here are the benefits of custom website design:
> Custom web designs are the way to go if you want more freedom for customization. Since custom designs are completely built from scratch, there is complete flexibility in terms of the design and layout of your website. Marketing elements can be positioned on the website to fit exactly where they can have the most positive impact.
>If you want a website that is completely unique, a custom site is the way to go! This goes hand-in-hand with the point above. A custom website will allow you to have a design that stands apart from your competitors and is built uniquely to suit your brand and your website needs. It also offers greater flexibility to change and alter your website as your business grows (with proper planning).
>A custom website is also great if you already know exactly what you want. If you already have a plan for your website, a custom design will ensure you get just that and be able to implement the features you want. It’s like making cookies from scratch; you get to decide exactly what ingredients go into a custom site.

Some downfalls of custom websites:
> Since custom sites require more work in terms of development, they cost more up-front. However, if you take into considerations the benefits of custom web design, then it is usually worth it in the long run.

Custom Website Case Study

A website that we created for one of our on-going clients speaks to the flexibility that custom web design allows. Birk’s Restaurant needed a site that people could visit to find out who they are, see their menu, and make a reservation. They came to us wanting a website that was very image-focused. They had an idea in mind of the design style that they wanted and shared this with us to provide inspiration for their own unique site.

photo 

By creating a completely custom website, we were able to integrate images that showcase their restaurant and their renowned dishes of steak, seafood, and other cuisine. In the layout of the website, we also ensured that valuable information was easy to locate. The menu and the Open Table booking system are available on every page. They specifically wanted the food images to appear uncovered by website text so we cust coded the site to ensure the images are front and center with content just a click away.
So custom design results in a unique site that is tailor-made for you. However, it may not be what you’re looking for and a template site is the better option for some.

Template Web Design

Some benefits for going with a template web design are:

> Template websites tend to be on the cheaper end. Many people go this route because they are more affordable when first starting out or putting their toe in the water to test a business idea.

> They are easier to launch in a shorter amount of time because the framework for the website is already there and usually it just requires the entry of content and images.

> Template sites are easier to update for people who are unfamiliar with web development. For example, WordPress is a common route for businesses because they are then able to update the content manually and easily and have a flexible platform that can grow with future use.

On other hand, here are some things to consider when going with a template design:

Templates are limited in terms of functionality; you need to be okay with working within those limitations.

Templates may sound simple but no matter how simply they are laid out there are always unforeseen issues that appear in the implementation process and actually require quite a bit of extra development time.

Some platforms offer limited SEO capabilities or require additional fees for SEO capabilities.

The main point is to be sure to know your needs before you choose a website.

Template Website Case Studies

Template Horror Story

We had one client purchase e-commerce template site and asked us to then set it up. Since the system was not intuitive, we spent hours of extra time customizing the layout. Upon completion, we discovered that the template purchase process was so extremely clunky that it actually repelled clients and no orders were made online. It would have been more successful to build an e-commerce template, instead of working with the one they had purchased. An initial consultation allows us to discuss what website  options there are and prevent possible obstacles such as this.

 

Template Success Story

A client came to us with a limited budget but needed to get a website up and running so that he would have a web presence to be found online and to direct customers to so that they can learn more about the products he offers. With a limited budget, we were able to get basic information and product information on his website so that people can now find him and he has a basis for future marketing activities.
If you’re unsure of whether or not you should get a custom website or a template website, you are not alone. Most of our clients don’t know what type of site they want when they come to us, and that’s okay! Let us help you figure out what type of website would best suit your business and it’s needs.

3 Crucial Characteristics of Stunning Web Design

As we spend more and more time on the web, the importance of great website design becomes apparent. Website design is particularly crucial for businesses and companies who need a site to communicate to their customers. We’re going to discuss what elements make for beautiful and functional website design and look to modern and innovative sites for some examples.

Seamless Colors

Color usage is an aspect that can make or break a website design. One should be very selective when picking colors and the ones that you do choose should be cohesive. Consistent colors throughout your site allow you to maintain your brand identity. One way to take the colors above and beyond is by choosing ones that break the mold, or draw attention to themselves. Going with colors that have high contrast can be one way to achieve this. On the other end, some sites effectively use only two colors (or even one color in different shades or tints) with only various tones and shades to create a simple and clean look.

The website for the snack delivery company NatureBox uses a seamless color scheme that matches their brand identity. Notice the consistent colors in the icons below. The color tones also nicely compliment the photographs they use to feature their product.

NatureBox Web Design

The Parallax Effect

Movement in general has become popular on sites across the board, and a very popular current trend is to use moving graphic elements, called Parallax. The Parallax Effect is one particular example of website design that prevents the site from being static and boring. This effect is when elements in the foreground move faster the background. It creates depth and movement.

Charity:water’s website is superb because it is so engaging for the user. (Note: They have temporarily put up a new homepage for the Nepal relief fund.) The immediate homepage contains a video behind text explaining how to support the company through various campaigns. As you scroll down the site, certain elements move or change colors. These design elements are visually appealing and prompt the viewer to take action and navigate through the site.

CharityWater Web Design

About half-way down the page, you get to “Step 3” – how to support. The balloons shift back and forth, leading you down the page. Once you get to “Step 3” the map slides slightly left as if coming into focus with the blue marker directly on place. They also have a call-to-action right there on the page; “Ready? Get your campaign started!” It’s a brilliant use of design that makes navigating through the site easier.

Large Images

Using impressive photographs has been a trend for a while now in the online world. It’s worth mentioning though because it’s a trend that should continue. Images are so effective in web design because they communicate a message quickly and elicit a strong response. They can be used to show what your business does, for example, and supported by descriptive text for those who have longer attention spans. The sites above utilize photographs throughout their site.

Photos are an effective way to give the viewer’s eyes a break from sections of text. 

J.Hornig Photo Web Design

Here we have a website for an Austrian fair trade coffee company called J.Hornig (or JOHO). Their use of photographs is seamless, contributing to a clean look. The images with text serves as links to other pages of their site, where one can learn more about their business and “direct trade” coffee they offer. The fact that they don’t use stock photos also conveys their unique brand message. Photos serve as a means to demonstrate the authenticity of a business.

Great design allows your website to work for you. It satisfies your customers when they can easily find information. It will make people want to frequently come back and visit your site. This is a compilation of great design tactics for websites, however these design elements are only truly effective if they are implemented properly.

At Designflair, we have an impeccable eye for web design. There is a lot of work that goes into creating a beautiful site, that is functional and mobile friendly. Ask us for more information about our web design services today!

What is SEO?

What is SEO? How does SEO help my website?

Have you heard of SEO and yet you’re unsure of what it really means? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the development of traffic from search engines such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo. Whenever you do a web-based search, there are thousands of wheels that are moving in the background to bring you results. Mathematical algorithms determine which sites appear at the top for your particular search results; SEO is the on-going strategy that uses knowledge of these algorithms to gain higher search rankings through the correct keywords. Companies and businesses want to be easily found online through search engines so that they are found by potential customers searching for their services. SEO is a vital part of any business marketing strategy, which is why there is so much talk about SEO these days.

“SEO” may be tech jargon, yet it is something you should know about if you have a website. We promise, SEO is truly not as intimidating as it sounds and we’re here to give a quick overview.

According to Google, they make over 600 improvements to their algorithms for SEO yearly. Google is constantly changing and fine tuning the algorithms they implement, which is why no one can truly figure out how to “work the system.” (Sorry, I know this still sounds intimidating – hang in there!) In fact, faulty tactics such as keyword stuffing can result in a site getting penalized or lower rankings. These kinds of strategies are also called ‘Black Hat,’ whereas authentic strategies of SEO are referred to as ‘White Hat.’

It may be impossible to predict the outcome of SEO due to its complexity, yet there are correlations that can be discovered. What we do know to be true is that the content a site contains is connected to the traffic it receives. Search engines are going to give higher rankings to sites that have quality content, workable links, and less junk (such as advertisements). The creators of search engines understand that people do not want to see sites stuffed with keywords, filled with ads, or containing shallow content. The best way to increase traffic on your site and improve your search engine rankings is by looking at your content. Write your content for your human readers, not the robots that crawl the internet.

“Google wants to make its users happy by delivering the content they are looking for. While there are many strategies and ‘White Hat’ tactics to improving search engine optimization, the overall strategy should be to provide valuable, quality content that people want to read so that they visit your site and spend a good amount of time looking around” says Designflair owner, Alyssa Williamson.

If you are looking to sustain your business, a genuine approach to SEO is best. So what is quality content? Google gives higher rankings to sites that it deems to be relevant to a search, trustworthy, and credible.

Create content that is…

  • Relevant – What questions do you commonly hear from clients? How can you educate your ideal clients about your niche?  Publishing content online that people are looking for  will increase the number of potential clients visiting your site. You can include keywords within your content in an authentic manner.
  • Updated – Constantly updating your site with fresh information will boost your search engine ranking.
  • Workable links to trustworthy sites – This is also referred to as “link building.” Think of your website as a college essay. What are your sources? Include links throughout your site that take people to reliable sources. This doesn’t mean you should hyperlink every word possible. Instead, think of what information will be beneficial to those viewing your site.

At Designflair, we will take a look at a company’s website and examine how effectively your site is working for you. We work with clients over the long term to ensure their business success. Need help improving your website and social media platforms? Want help updating your blog in order to gain clients? Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you get more leads on your website!

Building a Creative About Us Page

Remember the last time you worked on your own website? Maybe you created your own content, spending hours trying to convey your services in a way that would appeal to your customers. Or maybe you hired a copywriter to get the words just right – creating the message with an insider’s knowledge but an outsider’s point of view. This is always a long and thoughtful process but the hardest page is often the infamous “About Us.” This is the part of your website or blog that can easily be overlooked and is the most daunting to fill out. Creating an “About Us” profile can be as uncomfortable as describing your strengths in an interview. Fret not, we’ve got some experience with this and we are here to give some pointers.

Quality Content

First, develop your content.

Content should be informative but also compelling to read. Dry and wordy text will win you no points – you might even have to earn clients in spite of it.

Be sure to include accurate, quality information. Go beyond explaining who you are, but also inform people about the why of your existence. People do business with people, especially those that have values or motives that they are passionate about. Why you do business will tie into the benefits that your services provide to the end customer. Yes, the “About Us” profile is about you, but thinking of your audience will help you figure out what information to include.

If your website is for a store, restaurant or business where clients visit, then that location should be clearly displayed. You may even include directions or a Google maps plugin. Are your viewers familiar with your business, product, or service? If not, briefly explain what you offer. Providing links to resources or internal site links are ways to give information without adding too much text, answering your readers questions. Are your readers concerned about philanthropic efforts? The “About Us” is where you get to brag about what charities or organizations you support. Thinking about your audience will determine what goes in your “About Us” page. Fine-tuning the information you include will also make your mindfulness evident to your viewers.

Basically, simply state the who, what, where, why, and how of your company. Don’t forget contact information! Surprisingly, people mistakenly tend to leave this out.

As far as how the information is displayed, you get to be creative.

  • Lists. Using a bullet-point list to display your information and services is simple and sweet. A way to get creative here is by adding a quirky or unique fact about yourself or your company. Keep your list relevant to your company and a few points will suffice.
  • Infographics. An infographic is a creative way to tell your story. Of course, this takes some design experience. Bellroy makes wallets and shows their products in a unique infographic. This is just one aspect of their multimedia “About Us” page, which also includes a video and professional photographs.
  • Video. Many non-profit organizations and companies are now using videos to explain themselves. If you do include a video, make sure it’s fairly short (no longer than 3 minutes). Include some text along with the video for those who are seeking additional information.

In order for the “About Us” page to serve it’s purpose, it should look great and convey information quickly.

Impactful Images

Let’s be honest. Attention spans are getting shorter by the minute. Keep this in mind when building your page, as the “About Us” section can end up being very text heavy. To prevent this, add a stunning photograph to grab attention. Inc.com is a reputable company that uses many photos in their “About Us.”

  • Use real photos. A word of wisdom, do not use stock photos. Although they may look great and are readily available these days, use a photo you (or a professional) took to demonstrate authenticity. People visiting your site want to know about you. Use a real, eye-catching photo displaying who you are or what you do.
  • Show the “How”. If your company or business involves a process, show photos displaying that. This demonstrates that you are genuine and reputable.
  • Group Photos. If you have a large team or group of staff, show everyone! This allows people to put a face to the name.

Up to Date

There’s nothing worse than having outdated information in your “About Us” section. As your company grows and business carries on, add new information.

  • Add testimonials. A written response from a previous client makes the “About Us” section feel less like a sales-pitch and adds credibility. Testimonials are also an important aspect of building customer relationships. Don’t be afraid to ask clients to write testimonials. These stories will demonstrate to customer satisfaction.
  • Social Media Links. Links to other sites will allow visitors to gain new information. Microblogging sites, such as Twitter, lend themselves for quick updates. Be sure to make these sites accessible in your “About Us” profile.
  • Staff Bios. Give viewers a glimpse behind the scenes. Adding profiles about new employees is another way to keep your “About Us” fresh. Check out Charity Water’s site as an example.

People head straight to the “About Us” section of a website to discover who you are. Be confident, clear, and creative in displaying information about your company. You don’t want the content of your website to be overlooked. At Designflair we work hard with our clients to ensure they are well represented online.

Creative About Us Page Examples

Creative About Us Page Design

The Kyan About Us page highlights each person on the team in a creative and engaging photo. Some show their pets or personalities. It makes them seem more approachable.

Wunderkinder - Great About Us Page

Wunderkinder has a much larger team but they still show a headshot of each individual to create a sense of connection.

Need assistance with your website? Inquire about our website design services by filling out our Designflair contact form today!