Responsive web design is fast becoming the norm for the business landscape, not a luxury. With the plethora of new businesses entering the Internet landscape on a daily basis, potential customers simply have too many choices to deal with any website that does not present itself in a visually compelling manner.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Put simply, responsive web design is making a website as easy to navigate as possible.
With the advent of mobile technologies on different operating systems, more people are surfing the Web on the go than ever before. Websites without responsive web design will show up in unpredictable ways on these different operating systems. Viewers may not be able to find the information that they need, pictures and text can become mangled and third party applications may or may not show up. All of this can add up to a bad first impression that can quickly become the last impression.
Responsive web design helps the website that you design show up in a predictable way no matter the operating system that it is being viewed upon. This creates a homogeneity that can be controlled in a marketing scheme.
How Does Responsive Web Design Help Business?
Internet marketing experts have conducted studies that compare the number of clicks that a site visitor must perform with the tendency of the site to fully convert the visitor. One less click means a 22% better chance that the site visitor will actually finish the site visit and purchase a product, participate in an information grab or bookmark the page. Responsive web design is one of the easiest ways to reduce this click count and expand the amount of customer conversions that your business enjoys.
Responsive web design allows pictures to resize themselves according to the size of the viewing screen that the website is being shown on. It will also make sure that text and pictures remain in proportion to each other.
Responsive web design helps to ensure that the third party applications that you place in your website design actually show up. If the mobile device does not have compatibility with that application, it will not necessarily affect the rest of the website in a negative way. Some designs can even remove that feature completely from the website so that the viewer will never know that it was there in the first place.
All of these small changes add up to dollars at the end of the day. With responsive web design, you can make sure that the most important parts of your website are easily accessible to your audience, an invaluable tool in ensuring that your sales process begins smoothly.
Michael Wood has written many blogs on the topic of responsive design and regulary contributes to sites such as Web Design Dudes and Web Blogger.
The web design industry is evolving all of the time. Although there is no question that this is exciting, it can also be immensely frustrating for those who work in the field, as well as website owners who have an amazing, innovative site one week, only for a new trend to come along the next and make your pages look like poorly but together, novice pieces of work.
The coming months are set to see even more websites embrace the newest and biggest trends that are available. Check them out, and consider how they could be used in your own design to make your user experience reputation rocket.
While this has been around for many years now, the focus has been mainly on how this makes browsing on a mobile device a cleaner and more pleasant experience. Moving forward, we can expect to see this replicated across traditional desktop sites, too.
In fact, it would not be too much of a stretch to suggest that companies will move away from separate desktop and mobile sites. They will simply invest more in a slicker, responsive site that looks amazing wherever you view it from.
The trend of never-ending pages, or unlimited scrolling, is something that has caught on in recent years. Although social networks such as Pinterest, in particular, and Twitter have mainly pioneered it, we can expect to see it emerging as a tool on sites in all categories.
While it may give your site a point of difference, you should think carefully before using it. Is it relevant to what you do and your product or service, or are you just doing it for aesthetic purposes? Think value first, and as quirky as it is, avoid doing it for the sake of it.
We are coming to the end of a period where plan block backgrounds are the commonly used trend. Don’t photo backgrounds go against all advice in terms of making text clear and not having any distractions on-page, however?
To some extent, they do, although photo backgrounds will tie in with another new trend, which is minimalist, spacious web design. Rather than serve as a distraction, the photo background will be designed to ‘frame’ and emphasise the written content, where the mantra quality over quantity will be taken to the extreme moving forward.
Digital QR Codes
What better way to connect with your customers than by featuring a QR code on screen that, when scanned, will populate a users’ smartphone with your contact details, map location, and perhaps even instantly download your app to their device?
Of course, many customers will be viewing your site on their mobile devices already, but this still represents a great way to grab the attention of those still favouring laptop and desktop PC’s.
It used to be the case that many thought that by having a flash intro, or something else before reaching the actual homepage, we were instantly wowing customers into thinking we had a great site.
Their value has plummeted, however, and as people seek information quicker, expect to see intros of all types disappearing, and browsers being taken straight to what they want.
Include these ideas and trends into your web design in the coming months, and you will find yourself very popular as people find navigating your site a much more uplifting experience.
Robert is a technology enthusiast with a love of online trends, and how services such as managed VPS hosting and others impact on modern web design ideas.
If you are not a content marketer, you are not a marketer at all. This might sound a bit harsh but there is no denying of the fact that you simply cannot have a great online marketing strategy if you are unable to harness the power of persuasive content. With launch of Google Authorship markup, Google too seems to be trying to put more weight on the quality of content as a ranking factor rather than relying solely on links and more links.
As we have entered 2013, movers and shakers of Content marketing world are doing something different; they are moving away from the traditional concept of writing content, sharing it on social media channels and then forgetting about it for once and all. Nope, they are trying to explore a brave new world of opportunities and here are the tricks they have come across in their journey that you should incorporate in your content marketing strategy if you are to emerge as victorious –
Penetrate All Possible Channels
The purpose of marketing is to reach out to as many people and therefore, your brand need to have presence in all popular platforms be it Facebook, Google + or Instgram or whatever it is. However, as you can understand, just having presence is not enough, you have to do more to be able to deliver more value to your targeted audience.
This can be done by recycling your content. Wondering how to do this? Well it is quite easy. Let us imagine for a second that you have produced a great ebook detailing every possible aspect of online marketing. You can publish a great blog post describing how the ebook is going to educate the readers. Or you can make a video from it, design an infographic or create a slideshare presentation from it. In short, you have to use a single resource and then try to make the most of it by recycling the content in different formats.
Think About Partnership
If you believe that your content marketing initiative is failing flat just because you are not getting enough people to actually read the content, you need to think about going into partnership. It is a great idea to go into partnership with sites similar to your niche but you can also go beyond collaborating with only niche sites. You can expand your content marketing activities in places frequented by your targeted audience.
This will help you reach out to those people who might have otherwise inaccessible.
Make the Visitors Engaged
Churning out high quality content all the time is certainly not that easy. And since you are already pre-occupied with other important things, you may not be able to devote that much time, energy and money on this front. So rather than forcing yourself all the time to produce high quality and engaging content, you have to get the members engaged. There are many a big brands, who have done this thing successfully and now, they do not have to think about content creation because the members are doing this of their own.
Do It Regular Basis
I know you have heard this thing many times before and yet just like any other content marketers, you are struggling to produce quality content on regular basis. But sorry to say, there is no way you can escape this. You have to produce quality content on regular basis; otherwise you may end up losing your loyal visitors.
This article is contributed by Michael Evans, who is a leading online marketing strategist and he writes for insidershostreview.com where you can read web hosting testimonial.
The evolution of web design has not been linear as of late, especially with the advent of Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, and others. In its early years, websites were essentially one page introductions to companies. Then products and services were added. Soon, buying through a website became a key aspect for many merchants. After that, white papers, blogs, company news, and increased product information expanded to provide site visitors a more robust site. Many websites owners who were competitive began focusing on SEO and how to get the highest rankings. Sites were scrapped or redesigned as web designers began heralding their services that promised companies and organizations the secret for them to achieve the highest rankings.
Then came the booming social media industry. Now web designers and entities were reasonably forced to implement new strategies that would take advantage of this new medium and integrate social media into their sites. IBM uses the term, “Social Business,” and this is in fact what smart companies are migrating to when considering a revamped website that stays not only at the cutting edge of business, but, more importantly, keeps up with the demands of the public. For a website to maximize its opportunities on the internet, integration of social media and the site design they’ve mastered, must be employed.
But how have social media influenced the design of non-social media websites? To understand that, let us take a walk through social media history first. Then we will look at the present to see how smart website design is now taking its cues from the social media website science.
Social Media Evolution
Social media has evolved as well, and is constantly reinventing itself to meet the demands of users. But before social media became what it is today, Jim Ellis and Tom Truscott created Usenet in 1979 where “users” could post comments or articles pertaining to a specific group or interest. They were the precursors the RSS feed, and have influenced much of what happens today. Bulletin boards followed, and then Compuserve developed the first chat system whereby members could instant message each other. Soon, dating websites popped up and allowed individuals to create personal profiles in hopes of linking up with other people. These may be the first true social media sites. Beginning in 1999, LiveJournal allowed members to update profiles, create groups, and, otherwise, interact with one another. These are now basic elements of many social media websites.
From Mark Zukcerberg’s Harvard experiment to Myspace’s early hold, to the simple development of Twitter, to Google’s foray into this realm with Google+, to Tagged, Meetup, Café Mom, and Pinterest, developers are finding ways of appealing to niche markets or to a broad range of people who want to create their own relevance, make friends, locate information, share interests, develop business, or simply play games.
The Ubiquitous Social Media Icon
Social media icons are illustrated logos of the social media sites they represent. By now, most people know the ubiquitous icons for Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and others. They are placed on non-social media websites for people to share an article, “like” something, “tweet” a comment or a link from a page, or be as a request to follow a company or individual, such as an author, politico, musician, band, or a product.
They are located next to articles, at the top of pages, on a sidebar, or at the bottom of a page. Non-social media sites have recognized the value of allowing their site visitors the option of interacting with their information, company, promotion, or cause. Very few websites don’t have at least one or more of these icons present on their site.
Social Media Website Influences Website Design
As stated above, most websites were informational at first, and then developed into merchant-oriented sites, or ones designed to compel site visitors into a call to action to develop business.
Because of the immense popularity of social media sites and how they allow for personalized interaction with other people, website designers began to notice that there was tremendous potential in borrowing elements of these sites to place naturally into their client’s sites. The familiarity site visitors have with icons, messaging, tweeting, blogging, profiles, relationship development, video, and more, influenced website designers to integrate these elements into many types of non-social media sites for the visitor to engage with the website more naturally. In other words, personalization allows websites to create a bond between the company, entity or organization, more closely with the site visitor, customer, or prospect.
On the search side, social media’s influence on current website development is how Google, and other major search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo!, view and weigh the aspect of social media integration into non-social media sites. Recent Panda and Penguin algorithm changes by Google has dramatically changed the way SEO is done. While the goal of search engines results pages has always been to return the most relevant pages to the searching client, a heavier emphasis on social media integration has been added as it helps provide truer, more authentic results because it demonstrates popularity and trends more easily in an ongoing basis. In other words, effective social media use helps the website owner’s site rise in rankings.
Many websites are now mimicking in many ways the social media site design and layout. Not only are many websites now integrating icons, messaging and more, the feel and look of the websites are evolving. Social media websites live and die on their ability to provide relevant information, advertisements, and unite other members, but, as with something as benign as a restaurant menu, there is an art, and a science, to the social media page layout.
Fewer entities research and develop web page science like social media companies. Where does the eye fall first on a page? Where is essential information placed? How likely is the visitor to engage if an aspect of the site is placed at the top, bottom or side of the page? Consumer, or, site visitor behavior, is tracked closely, creating reams of data to help the site create a more fluid, engaging, meaningful, and compelling. Website design companies have taken notice and piggy back on many of these discoveries and alter their client sites accordingly and appropriately to their demographic.
Doing so allows the website owner the ability to borrow proven results and implement them into their domain making them more appealing, familiar, and easier to use, while creating a better visitor experience. Ultimately, though, it is about developing a call to action, which means something different for every entity and website. Using social media and mimicking aspects of social media site design will undoubtedly influence interaction, create more loyalty with prospects, customers, and visitors, while helping the company achieve its broader goals. Though replicating the design of Pinterest, Facebook, or others, is not being suggested here, wisdom prevails when a website follows many social media website aspects, as it will benefit both them and their site visitors.
The Future of Social Media Influence on Website Development
Branding has always been a challenge for many companies, whether they have large budgets or not. Utilizing social media design elements will allow the website developer the opportunity to help its clients achieve greater prowess in branding their message, products, or service.
As well, we are in the digital age where various forms of media, such as video, smart phone apps, pictures, customer reviews, and more, should be integrated into company websites. People are not only more familiar with these features, they are starting to expect them. Each company should consult with their website design provider to see which of these makes sense to add to their site.
Consumer loyalty is achieved by better relating to the consumer through multimedia interaction and socialization options that appeal to them, allow them to take advantage of opportunities, specials and coupons not available to non-friend members, and make them a part of how the company does business. This encourages the consumer to become a marketing arm on behalf of the website and company. This form of crowd-sourcing helps get company news, products, events, and more out to a larger group of people who may not have either known about them or were not aware of the unique opportunities immediately available. Additionally, Hubspot says that consumers are converted to products and services 71% more than traditional means because they go on the recommendations of trusted friends.
Finally, using aspects of social media in one’s website helps the website owner determine the social value of their website, and gives essential analytics to helps them understand their ROI better.
From newspapers that have migrated to the web to the law firm down the street, interactivity, testimonies, branding, relationship development, and visitor site science are driving them to rethink their websites. Getting the most out of internet opportunities begins with rethinking how the website is designed. This includes social media elements that have proven to influence users. Website design is both an art and a science. Smart web designers will suggest utilizing the elements that make sense for you to achieve your online company goals. The future is here. To ignore these social media trends could leave your website in the wake of those who don’t.
Peter Larson writes about the internet for National News Daily.
Your business has many needs in order to be the most successful business possible. Among the things that you will need to have is a great website. The best website will do many things for your business.
It will help to be your storefront, your marketing campaign, the place for your clients to gather information about your company as well as the way for you to sell to your clients.All of this is important in the modern business world.
Exploring the Benefits of a Digital Storefront
A regular storefront is only accessible to those people who happen to drive past your business. If you do not have a very visible location or you are a start-up without a location at all, it is impossible for your actual storefront to do its job.
The website acts as your storefront. Best of all, with the right marketing, your storefront is visible to more people than just those in your immediate area.
Marketing through Your Website Effectively
Marketing your company is one of the biggest objectives of your website. This is because you will be able to utilize SEO content, pictures and videos to market your company. These are the same things that will help in marketing your website, so you will actually bring in more people than just those that you are already doing business with.
This will allow you to get the kinds of results you are looking for in your website and in the future of your business.
Provide Useful Information to Clients
Your clients want to be able learn about your business, but they also want to make sure that you know what you are doing. On your website, you can provide the kind of information that proves that you know what you are talking about.
This can include articles in which you talk about the kind of work that you do and show what you know about it. The different articles, videos and pictures can help you to display your expertise on the different products or services that you offer.
This will make your clients and potential clients trust you even more.
Sell Your Products and Services
Of course, after everyone in your business has gone to sleep and the business is all closed, the website is still open for business. As long as you are using something as secure as managed VPS hosting, you will be able to provide access to your clients to buy through your website all throughout the day and night.
Managed VPS hosting will allow you to feel secure in taking financial information at all hours of the night through your website because you will have a secure hosting service protecting all of the information from those that would try to steal it from you. Managed VPS hosting services provide a firewall that makes sure you are getting the security and protection you need.
All of these things show you exactly why you will need to have a great website. As long as you are making sure that your website follows these guidelines, you will get even more from it.
This article was written by Robert, an experienced professional content writer that has written an abundance of articles, eBooks and blogs on such topics as business management, finance and economics. Since he is a huge fan of the digital age and the information superhighway, he also enjoys writing articles about such niches as managed VPS hosting, SEO marketing and social media.