How to Get People to Interact With Your Business Website

Websites like Facebook and Twitter have made it easier than ever for your business to keep in touch with customers. And while the Internet is a vast and scary place, it’s also a very useful tool we can use to our advantage. In today’s society, if you’re not online, you’re missing out on potential customers every day! Here are some best practices for getting people to interact with your website.

1. Make it Attractive

Your website should be professional looking and easy to navigate. You don’t have to break the bank to hire a designer, but you want your site to look good. While flashy graphics may look cool, they don’t convert well or help you attract customers. A simple design that’s easy on the eyes will make it easier for your customers to find what they are looking for. Making it attractive creates trust right away.

2. Establish an SMS Blast

With an SMS blast service, you can send texts to your customers. While most people associate this with news alerts, they can also be used for other things. This is a great way to remind customers of sales, contests, or any other special offers you may have. You can also use text blasts as a notification service so that when you have new products and services available, you can let your customers know immediately!

3. Social Media Integration

This is the most common way businesses keep in touch with their clients. If you haven’t already, you should create a Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn account for your business. The most important social media to focus on is Facebook, which has the largest audience and can help your business grow.

4. Update Regularly

You need to keep in mind that your website is a representation of your business. If it has not been updated in over a year, then people will think your business needs to be updated or relevant. You should update your site frequently, so people don’t feel like they’re visiting an outdated front page. For instance, post your pricing on the blog and your Facebook page if you change your pricing. You don’t have to update every week, but keep it fresh for your customers.

5. Offer Special Offers or Promotions

There are many different ways you can offer special deals to your customers. You can offer discounts on items and coupons or even give away free products as prizes on your website. You can even offer a small percentage of your total order regardless of size. For instance, you could use your website to offer a 20% off coupon to a customer that buys two items. Offering promotions like this allows you to reach out and interact with customers while they’re online.

6. Send Out Emails

Without email, Facebook and Twitter would be boring and useless, IMO. By sending out emails to customers, you can remind them of upcoming sales or specials that are coming up in the future. You can send out an email newsletter to inform them about blog posts you wrote or any other news regarding your business that you think is relevant for their customers.

7. Sign Up for Social Media Alerts

Many people use social media alerts from companies to stay updated on their favorite websites and blogs. You can sign up for these alerts by sending a direct message to the company account. With this service, you will get a notification via email when your company’s Facebook, Twitter, or other social media account publishes new content. Just make sure you have the proper permissions to use the service.

8. Offer a GIFT CARD

On your website, you can offer a gift card for specific items, such as spa packages or gifts from your business. Gift cards hardly cost anything to administer, and many people like them as gifts. It’s been said that if you give someone a gift card for their birthday, they’ll be more likely to come back for future purchases rather than receiving cash as an individual gift.

9. Share Useful Resources

One of the best ways to grow your customer base is to provide helpful tips and resources on your website. Suppose you have customers looking for information on using something in the industry or have a question about the content on your site. In that case, getting that information out there ASAP is important. Not only will it give your customers more knowledge and make them more loyal to you, but it’ll also look great on your website and show that you’re an up-to-date business.

Conclusion

The Internet is a great way to stay connected with your customers, but small businesses need help to keep up. By following the best practices above, you will get more visitors and customers on your website. When potential customers visit your website, they should get an experience that will help them make a purchase decision faster.

UI Trends That Will Not Be Going Away Any Time Soon

Your user interface (UI) can make or break your website or app. It only makes sense that developers constantly try new tactics to improve experience. Trends have a tendency to come and go, but some stand the test of time and stick around for years.

What Is the Future of UI Design?

Although UI design has changed drastically in the past five to 10 years, there are still some workflow issues that need to be addressed. For example, code and design sometimes don’t work together as well as they should, slowing down developers and creating design snafus.

Zippia estimates there are around 7,714 UI designers in the United States. As more people throw their hat in the ring, new trends emerge. Knowing which ones to stick with and which ones are passing trends isn’t always easy.

Here are some that just make sense for UI design and won’t be going away any time soon:

1. Dark Mode

Dark mode has been around for years now, but it keeps gaining popularity. The darker design not only is visually appealing but it reduces drain on the battery. Since many people use their mobile devices to browse the internet, it’s vital to offer little things that create a better user experience through the UI. Dark mode accomplishes improvements in battery life and viewing.

Even if you don’t love the look of dark mode, you may want to embrace this trend for the improved UI.

2. Drag and Drop

One area a lot of developers run into trouble with is drag and drop zones and creating a workable UI. For example, if it isn’t clear what can be dragged and dropped, then the user may feel uncertain about working in the environment of any software you create.

Let’s say you have lists with movable parts. How does the end-user know which parts are going to move into which columns? You can do things such as color-code boxes with where they can be dropped. Drag and drop isn’t going away anytime soon, but there are still a lot of limitations in creating them and a lot of bugs you’ll need to work through.

3. Micro-Interactions

Engaging site visitors is vitally important in a crowded marketplace. Advanced micro-interactions add high value to a website or app because they pull the user in and have them complete tasks that keep them engaged along the way. Think of adding features such as slideshows, buttons that change color as the cursor hovers over them and so on.

4. Mobile First

Already, mobile traffic accounts for more than 50% of all internet browsing around the world. If you aren’t designing for mobile first, you may miss out on a lot of opportunities to engage users. The way an interface works on mobile can vary greatly from the way it works on a desktop due to size and responsiveness.

You want to ensure buttons are easy to click, forms simple to fill out and any other interactions will work on a small screen.

5. Metaverse

Something we expect to see more and more websites embrace in coming months is the metaverse. This is a virtual reality world where users engage on headsets. However, expect phones to become more and more capable of offering virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences.

Your UI must be ready to jump onto this trend, particularly if you’re in the e-commerce stratosphere.

More UI Trends on the Way

As technology changes and trends come and go, pay attention to the ones that make the most sense for your industry. Which ones are beneficial to your customers? Focus on building a highly usable, pleasing experience and you’ll gain customers and loyal fans for your efforts.

Author Bio:

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.




4 Great CTAs We’ve Seen on Landing Pages this Year

Calls to action (CTAs) are arguably the most important component on a landing page. They drive users to take action, help improve your conversion rates and grab attention. If your CTAs hit all the high points, you’ll find you have more business than you can handle. When they don’t, you may flounder a bit.

You work hard to drive traffic to your website and find new leads. You want your website to engage visitors and collect information from those who are truly interested in buying from you. CTAs are a big part of the sales funnel and help take your users on a journey toward becoming clients.

What Is an Effective CTA?

Insider Intelligence recently reported a prediction that e-commerce sales will reach $1 trillion by the end of 2022 in the United States alone. The pandemic forced many people to shop online. Some decided they loved it and have never looked back. COVID-19 accelerated how fast e-commerce grew between 2020 and 2022, but it shows no signs of slowing.

An effective CTA includes the following:

  • The right language. Use “I” or “you” to grab attention
  • Action verbs
  • Short and to the point
  • Colors that grab attention
  • Contrast with the rest of the page
  • Placed in the perfect position so the user finds it easily. Usually, this is above the fold.
  • Big enough to see
  • Adapts well to mobile devices and is easy to tap with a thumb on a small screen

The clickthrough rates of CTAs vary widely by industry. It’s next to impossible to nail down an average. Your best bet is to compete against yourself, tweaking and changing until you hit a rate that makes you happy.

One way to gain inspiration is by studying how other brands created highly successful CTAs for their landing pages. Here are four we think you’ll find intriguing.

1. The Budgetnista

Source: https://thebudgetnista.com

The Budgetnista, Tiffany Aliche, utilizes a striking CTA on her website. First, it is at the very top of the page, in the slot where most readers look first. She starts with a question that reads, “How good are you with your money?” She then invites the user to take a quiz and in exchange, they get something in return–a financial wellness score.

Finally, the CTA button is a vivid yellow, the only splash of that color above the fold. It is a large button and uses the words “Click Here to Start.” We don’t always love the words “click here” for CTAs, but it works in this instance because of the other text surrounding the button. The page provides that rules are made to be broken.

Tip: Place your CTA in a location where the user is most likely to see it and click it. If you’re offering something free, putting it at the top of the page works well. If you are asking them for something, such as to make a purchase, you may want to place it further down the page so you can convince them first.

2. NoRedInk

Source: https://www.noredink.com

NoRedInk shows off how to use a CTA if you’re offering something to your site visitors in exchange for their contact information. The focus is on what they’re going to do for the user rather than just to grab an email address. The user sees the clear advantages to trying out the platform for their students.

The site then uses the word “Free” in the CTA so that users are enticed to sign up and learn more. The idea is that once you get leads to try out the platform, they’ll want to utilize the many advantages of it and sign up for a premium account.

Tip: Offer your users something in exchange for their personal information.

3. New Balance

Source: https://www.newbalance.com

New balance does something pretty interesting on their landing page. Rather than try to collect buyer information or offer them something, they share their life philosophy about the importance of conversations. They celebrate diversity with a look at black women in particular.

Not how they talk about some of the typical conversations one might hear and how women should support each other. They then add a CTA button titled with a single action verb. It reads, “Explore.”

The CTA button itself is transparent in the center, showing the background with a red outline and red text. The button itself isn’t very attention grabbing, which puts the focus on the text above it and the video playing to the right.

When one clicks on the button, they get stories about real women, the company’s philosophy and the things they’re doing to celebrate diversity.

Tip: You don’t always have to sell something to utilize an excellent CTA. Sometimes you can share important or trending information about your company or the world.

4. Tenzr

Source: http://tenzr.ouiwill.com

Tenzr keeps things pretty simple. There aren’t a lot of different options on the page. Their goal is to filter down visitors to those truly interested in getting digital therapy for carpal tunnel and similar issues and signing them up.

Because their goal for the landing page is hyper-focused, there is an image, headline and a CTA button to the top right titled “Start Now.” They don’t spend a ton of time explaining. If you need that, you can scroll down. They get right to the point.

Tip: You don’t always have to explain everything up front. Sometimes people just want the solution and need to know how to get started. Keep it simple and drive traffic straight to your CTA.

Test Your CTAs

The best way to improve your CTAs on your landing pages is by split testing them. Change the color and see how users respond. Try different wording, placement, colors and surrounding images and text.

Ideally, you’ll consistently tweak your CTAs until you hit the conversion numbers you desire. It takes time and effort to come up with the perfect CTA for your landing page, so never stop trying new things.

Web Design Tips to Lead Visitors Through the Buyer Journey

The buyer’s journey isn’t always a straight path. Site visitors might start later in the process than you’d expect, jump around, skip steps and take a winding trek along the way. However, you can lead visitors through the sales funnel. Your online customer journey can be improved and turned into a positive force for conversions.

Forrester recently reported how drastically buying behavior changed during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. The 2021 B2B Buying Study found a 59% increase in how many interactions buyers prefer now compared to two years ago. People expect you to anticipate their needs and plan for a positive customer experience (CX).

Users want more engagement and guidance in moving from point A to point B in the buying process. Consider these web design tips to lead your site visitors from browsers to leads to buyers without missing a beat.

1. Know the Stages

The first step to improving the buyer’s journey is understanding the stages a customer goes through. The first stage is awareness, where they’re learning about your brand. They then research, consider, decide and hopefully return.

One buyer may have heard about your product from a friend and even seen it in action and might skip right past the awareness section of your site. People come to your website at different stages, and some may need more time in research while others go right to the decision stage.

Offering separate landing pages is the No. 1 way to ensure your site visitors get what they need no matter where they are in the journey.

Source: https://www.creditcanada.com

Credit Canada taps into the online customer journey and gives people the option to jump right to a free debt assessment or learn more and watch a video. Someone landing on the page in the awareness stage will choose to gather more details. On the other hand, if they’ve already decided to try the service, they can hop right to sharing their information.

2. Understand Your Clients

Knowing your buyers’ preferences lets you use the language and triggers they need to move forward regardless of the phase of the journey they’re in. For example, a young single male won’t have the same concerns as a father of three children.

If you’re selling an alarm system, the father will care about his family’s safety. The single man may be concerned about his pets or belongings. The focus is a tiny bit different, depending on the demographics of your target audience.

Take the time to create buyer personas to ensure you’re using the right tone and emotional signals.

3. Choose Power Words

Some words trigger users to take action. Start with strong action verbs that explain the next step you want the site visitor to take. However, you can also focus on words with additional pull, such as “free” or “trial offer.”

People often want to try things before buying them or gather information without feeling obligated to sign up. The language you use to push the buyer through their journey signals the benefits of choosing your brand over a competitor.

Source: https://www.rollguard.eu

Rollguard features some language to help move users through the process. Action verbs such as “Learn,” “Start” and “Configure” all pull the user into the journey. It also uses the verb “Order” combined with “Free Samples.”

4. Tap Into Keywords

Speaking of words, tap into the power of using certain keywords and phrases your buyers are likely to search for. The page they land on should be geared toward those specific keywords. If you sell those alarms mentioned previously, you might use a keyword phrase such as “the best alarm system to protect my family.” You would then share content that explains how to do so.

Make sure any content you add to your page offers value to the user. If someone seeks solutions to keep their family safe from burglary, fire or other events, they want some answers and not just a big sales pitch.

5. Cut Clutter

You want to hold the user’s attention from the minute they land on your site. One of the best ways of doing so is getting rid of anything you don’t need. Each page on your website should have a specific purpose, and every element needs to point the user toward a goal for the page.

The homepage should move the user to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. Someone may already be aware of your brand and simply want to find the CTA button and move on to the next step. You don’t want to waste their time with a lot of bells and whistles. Make it simple and keep the traffic moving along.

People are busy. They don’t have much time to waste and will want to move on without missing a beat.

Source: https://www.depop.com

Depop serves either buyers or sellers. Its goal is to get people to sign up to do either or both. The site offers some clear CTAs pointing the way to download the app or sign up in the moment. Users can browse via their search bar, but Depop prefers to get them on the platform fast and get things moving.

Use Good Design Practices

The best way to get people on your page and keep them there is to use solid design practices in the first place. You can then tweak things to make sense for where your site visitors are in the buyer’s journey and move them along with CTAs and words.

6 Key Components of an Effective B2M Website

A business to many (B2M) website must serve multiple functions and reach two distinct audience types. Juggling the different users and meeting their needs isn’t easy, but it can be done quite effectively with a little forethought and tweaking.

According to Internet Live Stats, there are 1.87 billion websites in the world. While they aren’t all active at the same time, and some simply park on top of other domains, you’re still competing for customer attention with a ton of other pages. Spending a little time on site renovations will pay off with more sales.

However, what works for one business model may not work for the next. The needs of your buyer personas are unique to your industry and perhaps even your company. How can you ensure your B2M website is effective for your users?

1. Find Common Elements

What are some of the needs and values your business and consumer customers share? Perhaps they both like quality products that stand the test of time. Maybe they have a need for speed. Perhaps you solve a similar pain point for both, but on different scales? Look for the similarities and showcase them on the main pages of your site. Think about the values all your customers care about.

When you land on the Chase.com website, you’ll see an option for personal or business options. As you browse through different offers, such as checking or savings, you’ll see a comparison of different types of banking accounts. Since many B2B clients might also want a personal account, shifting back and forth between the options is a matter of clicking a tab at the top of the page.

2. Segment Your Audience

How well does your navigation work to get your users to the section related to their needs? When serving both consumers and other businesses, it requires a smart and streamlined navigation to get the user from Point A to Point B without any detours.

Consider separating your site into two parts or more. When people land on your home page, do you direct them to the next step or do they feel lost? If you aren’t sure, hire some testers to go through your site and point out any weaknesses.

3. Choose Relevant Images

Be cautious not to focus on photos of only one type of work you do. If you serve consumers and businesses, your images should reflect how you help both. If you direct someone to a page specifically for companies, you would focus on pictures to relate your ability. However, if the page serves both B2C and B2B, you must mix things up.

Note how ADCO Garage Doors highlight images of modern homes, traditional homes and commercial spaces. By varying the photographs, they show they’re capable of a wide range of styles and options. The landing page speaks both to homeowners and business owners.

4. Check Your Headlines

The first impression a user has of your site is often via the headings. When they do a search, they’ll see your heading in the SERPs. They’ll also see it when they click and land on your page.

Do your headlines effectively pull in both consumers and businesses? How can you tweak them to make them work better for all your buyer personas? If you separate your site into pages for both B2C and B2B, then you should have varied headlines for each.

5. Revamp Your CTAs

Does your CTA make sense for both segments of your buying audience? If not, either separate out the landing pages further or tweak your CTAs. Run the words, color, placement and size of button through the filer of your buyer personas.

You may need to adjust the language or colors to better meet the psychographic profile of each customer type. Don’t be afraid to segment your pages even more if it means you can create a more personalized experience for your users.

Lamps Plus serves both commercial spaces and homes. Rather than trying to come up with separate CTAs for the landing page, they create a bright box to highlight a current sale and invite all users to “Shop Sale.”

Business owners and consumers want to save money on shipping and costs, so the CTA works for all segments of their audience. They get a bit more specific on product pages, depending on the offer.

6. Study Heat Maps and Traffic Patterns

What do users do when they actually land on your page? You can track the journey of a business owner as they stop by your home page, click on the business section and move through your site. Where do they linger? Is there a point where the majority bounce away? What can you improve?

Once you know where users linger and convert into customers, it’s easier to repeat those elements and delete clutter that isn’t serving your needs.

Experiment and Test

Every effective B2M website has some of the components above, but what works best for your site is dependent on your individual customers. Try different tactics and test each one via A/B or multivariate testing to see what performs for your business.

Try different colors, segments, language and images. Offer incentives to entice people to sign up for your mailing list. Experiment and see what works best. Once you have an idea, it’s much easier to repeat those efforts and grow your business into a B2M powerhouse.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

How to Design a User-Focused Hero Image

A hero image should grab the attention of site visitors instantly. However, it’s easy to get so caught up in using beautiful images and grabbing attention you forget to make sure the photos are user-focused. Each hero shot should serve a specific purpose and meet customers’ needs.

According to Netcraft, the number of websites is constantly in flux. The billions of domain names don’t truly reflect how many live websites there are at any given moment. For example, the internet gained 6.28 million sites in May 2021, but also lost 4.87 million domains.

If you want to be certain your hero image hits on all the points needed for a potential customer landing on your website, follow the tips below to ensure you’re selecting the right layout and options for your users.

1. Show the Product

One of the top ways to focus on users is by using your hero image to highlight the product site visitors want to see. If you’re an e-commerce store, you’ll need to choose a category or share new arrivals.

On the other hand, if you sell a service, you can show the product in action or offer a before and after side-by-side. Think about what you’d most want to see if you were the customer. Put yourself in the user’s shoes.

Ditto Residential is a real estate firm with a focus on revamping and creating healthy, beautiful spaces. To show some of what they offer, they use a hero shot of one of their luxury living spaces. The photo helps people see their overall design concept and get a feel for the light airy look to their style.

Another advantage to the placement of their hero image is they can swap out the look for one of their other properties. If they notice a sudden uptick in consumers looking for larger homes, they might highlight an airy space, for example.

2. Choose Stellar Typography

Your hero image should capture the user’s imagination, but you also need to think through the headlines and other details on your page. To enhance the user experience (UX), choose a color and font size that stands out from the background.

Choose the hero image that allows your text to show up. You may want to overlay a solid transparent color over the entire photograph or choose a different picture with some darker or lighter areas where text will pop.

3. Gain User Trust

Your hero image can go a long way toward showing you’re knowledgeable and trustworthy. Choose an image if your technicians in the field or some other expert insight no one else provides. When people think about your product or service, you want to be seen as the go-to authority.

D.E. Gemmill chose an image of their traffic control marking experts hard at work. The employees look capable and the photo also highlights the brand’s equipment. The truck moves off to the left of the screen, creating a sense of motion and work ethic.

4. Choose High Quality Images

You may know the exact photograph you’d like to use, but when you blow it up to full screen width, it’s a bit fuzzy. Always choose sharp, high-quality photos over anything else. You may need to reshoot the photo in a higher resolution, or go with a completely different selection.

At the same time, you must optimize pictures so your site loads as quickly as possible. Use a high resolution, but compress the image. Test your pages load times to ensure your speed is up to par.

5. Add a Video

A still shot grabs interest, but a video hero image tells an entire story. You can share moments of action, inspire users with what they might gain from a product and set a unique tone for your site.

As with any image you choose, make sure the footage is relevant to your industry and your business in particular. Ideally, you’ll hire a videographer to shoot and edit a clip to use in the background of your website’s header.

Ag America offers lending to farmers. They take a moment to highlight some of the hard work farmers do in a day, showing tractors, a farmer walking the field and a close look at crops. Their target audience will see they understand the business at hand and be much more likely to trust the company with their business.

6. Remember the CTA

Your call to action button (CTA) must stand out against the hero image. You can choose the most interesting photograph in the world but if you don’t ask users to take the next step, you risk losing them to the competition.

First, your CTA button should be a color varying from the rest of your color palette. Many companies use a vivid orange, red, blue or green for their CTAs. Second, you should tweak the size, position and language on your button to see what performs best with your target audience.

Test and Retest

Try different images, headlines and CTAs on your website. Conduct split testing to see what performs best with your audience. Even a change of the wording on your CTA can make a difference in your conversion rates.

Try different options and test after each change. Over time, you’ll find the perfect selection for your users. If you want your site visitors to respond with action, you must tweak every tiny aspect of your page, starting with your hero image and moving on to what sits atop it.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.