Importance of Investing in a Fresh New Website

Investing in your website is like investing in your business. It is important to have a fresh, up-to-date webpage in order to attract page views, as well as new clientele. Your website should be a representation of your business. It is one of the first things customers look for when seeking services or products. If a webpage doesn’t solidly represent the business, it can often completely discourage someone. This means losing customers, which is the opposite of what you, as a business person, are looking for. How are you supposed to make a website that works? Each and every website has a few basic qualities to it that make it an effective business page. Appearance, content, functionality, navigation and search engine optimization are all important aspects to consider when constructing your website.

Deciding when to redesign your website is not difficult. Does it still look like it was made in the 90’s? If so, then it is definitely time for a remake! When redesigning your page, it is important to consider a few crucial aspects to website visibility, as well as online marketing and website trafficking.

Websites are meant to be visually appealing, as well as professional. The appearance is meant to attract potential customers, create a positive impression and gain returning visitors. It is east to accomplish, if you can keep the color scheme simple, with easily read text. Including graphics and high quality photos often lends variety and appeals to the user. Finally, keeping the overall page simple lets the viewer focus on the main aspect of the page.

When creating content for your website, remember that you are writing for your viewers. Regularly update any content on the page, you can consider a professional to maintain the content. Many businesses offer downloadable forms, pod-casts ad other information for their users. A website’s functionality is how well it works as a whole. Every hyperlink, contact form, registration, sign up and more should work as it was intended. It should be easy to read, as well as navigate and understand. Some key aspects to an easily usable website are link text, screen resolution and layout consistency. Finally, through the use of search engine optimization, you can easily jump to the top of search engine ratings. Search engine optimization is mostly used in written content, though it is also used through the use of tags and special search words.

You should make sure to include a few pages in the navigation bar. The business should have an about me page, which depicts the history, as well as some information on the types of services or products that you offer. There should be a contact page that includes the telephone and fax numbers, as well as any email address relative to the company. Including a service and products page allows potential customers to quickly locate your wares, allowing them to decide easily if they are interested in what you have to offer. Some businesses like to post their testimonials on their website, allowing others to announce their thoughts and opinions of the company. This helps customers to weed out the businesses that will and won’t suit them.

Overall, creating a business website is really just putting your business online. It is simple, as well as effective for business. You can easily gain more customers, both online and offline, by having a website dedicated to spreading the word about your products and services.

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

Top 3 most important interactive marketing steps a small business needs to take to succeed.

Every small business owner needs to understand that they will have to do what it takes to draw in a new set of customers. If they want their operation to succeed, then owners will need to consider some of the new marketing strategies becoming available to them. It will be surprisingly simple for people to link up with interactive marketing. This strategy is promising to deliver an unparalleled level of support for professionals who want to make the most out of their business strategy. Owners will be able to generate some support for these projects when they want to integrate interactive marketing with their existing strategy.

3. Set Up A Conversation

A hallmark feature of interactive marketing is that it has coincided with major changes in the marketplace. Notably, the market is moving away from a transaction-based relationship between seller and buyer. The market is now moving towards a more conversational approach, which will provide a substantial amount of information to the buyer. Owners should make sure that their interactive marketing approach emphasizes the conversation and draws in support from buyers.

2. Follow Customer Preferences

If owners want to make the most out of their sales, they should try to cater their services to suit the preferences of customers. They can do just that if they opt to effectively utilize interactive marketing. Major companies are now starting to track customer preferences in a few simple ways, providing an important boost to their sales profile. This has enabled companies to actually upgrade the different types of products that they have to offer and market them directly to consumers. People will invariably want to review some of the unique services that they can offer when they make use of the interactive marketing approach.

1. Use Effective Web Design

Web design agencies are increasingly searching for ways in which they can make the most out of their services. These web design teams are reviewing some important strategies that are available to people out on the market. Owners will want to understand more about how having an effective web design can work for their business. This will add to the overall performance that owners can get when they adopt an interactive marketing approach. It may take some time to find a team that has experience when it comes to offering all of these services but it will be an investment well worth the time for business owners.

Ultimately, it is important for owners to review the effectiveness of the interactive marketing approach that they are taking. They may want to get a better idea of whether their approach is working as it should to enhance their web layout. Owners should try to use objective measures to do this. They can evaluate the performance of their strategy by looking at sales data and website viewership. This kind of information can be an invaluable insight as to whether the interactive marketing strategy is working as it should.

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

Why Is Proper SEO Important

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a method used for analyzing websites and pages for discovery and indexing by search engines. SEO can help search engines easily read and index your site using crawling software.

Advertising is essential for business but so is SEO. Advertising can create brand awareness among people and increase your market presence, but there is a good chance that some of your advertisements may go unnoticed or may not reach some potential customers. That is not the case with SEO. With proper SEO techniques you can make sure that your website appears on top of the search results every time a potential customer conducts a search for anything related to your niche.

How do search engines work?

Search engines index and rank webpages with the help of software known as spiders, robots and crawlers. The software scans each webpage from time to time and downloads a copy to the search engine database. The exact method in which the search engines rank and index webpages is a closely guarded secret by the search engine. The algorithms are continuously changed, making them almost impossible to predict. They however reveal certain information in the form of algorithms and analysis of keywords, which can help you optimize your sites.

Using the information provided by search engines, you can analyze and decide different methods that can improve a site’s search engine ranking. Some of these changes may include making certain subtle changes to the content in your website and others may depend on modifying some coding elements.

What to avoid while optimizing your site

SEO can greatly increase your inbound site traffic. The higher the number of different keywords in your content, the greater the chance of getting ranked in search results. That does not mean you should fill your site with irrelevant keywords. This method may definitely increase the traffic to your site but it serves no purpose, as most of the traffic that comes to your site may not be interested in your content as well as your products. Spamming and other malicious methods drive traffic to your site might see your site being removed from the search indexes.

SEO is a very important tool that can help you increase your web traffic and benefit from potential customers. A website without good SEO would be like a shop without a signboard. A good SEO strategy on the other hand can make your website stand out from the crowd.

 

i2i Webmedia primarily serves the surrounding cities and towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, providing website design, website development, SEO and advertising services for Plymouth, Scituate, Hingham, Hanover, Norwell, Weymouth, Quincy and the Boston vicinity.

Do You Have A Great Business Website ?

When building a house, the integrity of the construction is only as good as the strength of its foundation. This is the same with websites. If the design is drab and dated, if the message regarding your products or service does not tie to how it benefits the consumer, then you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to attract new customers.

In our current economic recession, it has become extremely important for businesses to maintain and expand their customer base through well-designed and effective market strategies. You can’t afford NOT to have an extra edge in your business, if you want to maintain revenue and profitability. In the current “online” age, that extra edge is afforded to you by creating a fresh and relevant professional website for your business. The days when folks browsed through the newspapers and magazines or the yellow pages to locate the businesses that would meet their needs are long gone; online search engines have now taken the place of those age old tools, and are used by people to locate the services required by them.

Obviously in that scenario, your company needs to have a significant professional presence if it hopes to gain a piece of the online market. Think about it.  What is the impression you are giving visitors to your site if it looks drab and dated? Also think about you local competition, do they have a website that is fresh, professional and provides consumer benefits in their messaging?

The site is your foundation, social media starts the buzz

Some might argue that simply creating a Facebook or Twitter profile for your company should suffice in this social media centric age. While that is not a bad idea, simply relying on your company’s social media profile is not going to cut it. Social media presence is meant to complement your online presence; it is not the be all and end all of your online strategy. This article and others to come will discuss some additional pertinent reasons that should prompt you to create a compelling website.

Most users who spend a lot of time on Facebook or Twitter, are not concerned with professional networking, rather they spend time on the social network site to connect with family and friends. Your presence on social media channels alone is not enough for drawing in potential customers; rather your profile’s discovery on Facebook and Twitter should serve as a precursor to encouraging friends to share (provide a small promotion) your website link with others so that they might benefit them from your products or services.

Your company’s brand awareness will then expand by your extended network of prospects. However unless you link your Facebook or Twitter profile to a “best in class” website, your prospects won’t be subjected to a professional and effective company branding strategy.  The value proposition of your product or service will be lost to the visitor, who is now off searching and viewing your competitors’ site.

Content Management Systems for Control and Opportunity

A CMS (Content Management System) allows the business owner full editing control of the text and most of the imagery that resides on the website.  Having your website built with a CMS platform is critical initially, in order for you to create fresh new content needed for optimum SEO results. You need control to edit the content you are positioning to prospects and valued customers so that you able to change it on the fly when there is a need to react to the market, with focused attention on what is working in you marketing efforts.

Possibly, you would also be responding with better promotions, more comprehensive detail to products and services etc. Your website is your primary online brochure; it is the face of the company to the marketplace. Having control of the content on your website is the only way to affordably react with information to an ever changing  market, so make sure when speaking to the company designing and developing your website, you include a CMS platform.

 

eCommerce website design trends for 2014

The eCommerce industry has grown considerably over the past few years. eCommerce sites have been greatly dependent on web designs. This year the eCommerce website design trends focused mainly on providing an enhanced user experience across multiple platforms such as mobiles, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs. The designs involved features such as scrollable layouts, responsive sites and fixed navigation sites. While these trends are here to stay and will surely evolve in 2014, there are also certain new aspects that are changing the world of eCommerce website design. Here’s a brief overview of what could happen in the upcoming year.

Integration with social media

The impact of social media on eCommerce also has been huge. The massive reach and potential of social media has always been appealing to e-tailers. It also provides an innovative platform to bring together all aspects of an eCommerce site into a center stage, making things easily accessible to potential buyers. Adding sharable wish lists to your site is one of the best methods to publicize your merchandise while reaching out to a greater audience at the same time. Integration with social media can increase your conversion rates and act as an effective platform for publicity at the same time.

Videos and images

Videos and images are going to play an important role in website design in the coming year. We have constantly seen that the borders and padding that was erstwhile used to distinguish between segments of a page are slowly disappearing and designs that spread across the browser are in vogue today. Also videos and images convey a message quicker than anything else. But there is one downside to using videos and images in website design and that is downtime. A higher downtime can not only wreak havoc on your search engine rankings, but also dissuade users from your site. That will be one area of concern but smart tactics such as saving the images as per your requirements instead of editing them every time through a CSS file can save a lot of sweat. You can also use a single image or video to represent a huge chunk of data and reduce your downtime.

Better processing techniques

Processing the design has also been a major area of concern for designers. It is also important as it provides key information about the expected downtime. Two such per-processors LESS and SASS for CSS are quickly gaining popularity. These per-processors help in efficient management of CSS styling. These tools save the website downtime by providing valuable insights during the design process and also save the time consumed during design process. We could possibly see more such tools being used in 2013.

Importance of minimizing flash on your website

With over 25 million iPads sold since its launch in January of 2010 the demand for the iPad continues to nearly exceed supply. Never before, had any a product hit the 1 million unit mark so quickly. Another Apple product, the iPhone, has sold 109 million units since the device’s inception in 2007.

Nevertheless, an alarming number of web applications and content do not work on Apple’s  iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Despite Adobe Flash being a popular platform used for adding multimedia to web pages, Apple continues not to support Flash on any of it’s i-branded products.

A 3rd party survey of 3.5 million web pages revealed that approximately 30-40% of websites contained elements that were driven by Flash. So, what happens when any of the 125+ million users try to access a Flash website on one of these devices (not to mention other non-Apple mobile devices that do not support flash)? Instead of the website, or the content within, they see an error message. In other words, all Flash content is invisible to these users.

So how does the growth of iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch users and the lack of support for Flash on these products impact your business? If your website was developed in Flash or has Flash elements, your customers and prospects will have a disappointing online experience. Many consumers are unaware of the technical issues between Apple and Adobe Flash and will assume the website is broken.

As US mobile internet usage increases (to over 134 million users by 2013) and number of Apple i-products and other non-flash supporting mobile devices grows, it will be progressively important for companies to update their websites and make them compatible with these devices or risk alienating their customers.

The advent of competitive products from Blackberry, Samsung and others, that do in fact support Flash are out there now.  However 25 Million iPad units and 108 million iphone users is nothing to sneeze at.

 

Is RSS Still Significant?

With Google announcing the demise of Google Reader recently, a lot of talk is being generated about the move to shut it down. While several enthusiasts express emotions ranging from sadness to outrage over Google’s move. Others think that RSS never had a significant role to play online, and that it was about time Google shut it down. However, RSS is still continues to prevail despite all the turmoil surrounding the Google Reader. Some discussion over RSS as a standard continues.

Can Twitter replace RSS?

A vast majority of people are of the opinion that the micro-blogging platform ‘Twitter’ can act as an effective replacement to RSS. This is far from being true in my opinion, simply because Twitter is a web service, and it is not an open standard. RSS, when compared to Twitter, could be like a webpage where anybody could create and host their own personalized feed allowing anybody to read it. This is not possible in twitter as you do not have any control over your feed, and the service does not allow you to host your own custom feeds. In short, Twitter is a closed standard and as a result, it is an unlikely replacement for Google Reader.

Real-time versus time-shift

There is another major issue when it comes to replacing Google Reader with Twitter. While on the outside, both may seem to perform the same functions, they are quite different in reality. Twitter feeds are usually real-time as opposed to the time-shifted nature of RSS. It’s quite difficult  to follow every single tweet all day. Also, it is hard to access an old tweet using twitter. RSS on the other hand, can provide organized information for easy access, at any given point of time. So, replacing Google Reader with Twitter can be difficult. It is better to look for an open standard as a replacement for RSS, since it is the backbone of sharing information on the web.

Importance of Proper Web Design and Development in Marketing

The extensive reach that the internet provides has changed the way businesses operate and advertise their products. The World Wide Web has opened new doors of opportunities to small and medium sized businesses, enabling them to compete with the bigger, well-established organizations. Today, a company’s online presence is not just important, but essential. The website is the company’s point of contact on the Web and reflects everything that the brand is. In this light, we can safely say that the design of the website is an essential element of website development.

Your Website Reflects Your Brand

It is a known fact that a successful marketing strategy is dependent upon creating and projecting an attractive brand image. That brand image, in turn, serves to attract new customers and creates brand loyalty. You must realize that since your company’s website is an online projection of your company itself, it plays a vital role in creating and maintaining your brand image. Now that the customers are shifting their focus mainly to online media, a well-designed website becomes a critical part of your marketing strategy.

 An Effective Channel for Communication

A website is essentially a channel of communication between the business and its prospects, and customers, which makes web designing all the more important. In the digital age, the website is often the first point of contact between the consumer and the business. If the website is shabby and unimpressive, visitors to the site will not take any interest in your offerings. It is important to understand that the website is one of the most effective marketing channels for business, and has the capacity to improve  sales and revenue, provided it is well-designed.

Proper design, and navigation, allows you to present your content neatly and in a readable manner, thus ensuring that the messaging is clearly passed on to the visitors.

 A Properly Designed and Developed Website Can Increase Sales

SEO strategies can improve your website’s ranking on Google, and increase the traffic of visitors to your website. Converting these visitors to customers, thereby increasing sales, is possible only when your website is good enough to retain and convince your potential customers to bring their business to you. An unprofessionallooking website with a vague design will have an underwhelming effect on the visitor and he/she would be likely to click off to a different website.

The short time that the visitor spends on your website is all you have to make a positive impression on him or her. A properly designed website makes a strong impression, marking the beginning of a lasting, profitable alliance between the business and the consumer, while a poor one pushes away the visitors

Web Hosting Trends Seen in 2012

Advanced and ever-changing technologies are pushing the boundaries of web hosting to new levels. As the boundaries are pushed, consumers can take more advantage of emerging hosting models and solutions that uphold their benefits and meet perceived future demands. Here are some of the leading industry trends of 2012 that deserve your attention, and provide clues for the future.

Cloud security improvements

Everybody is warming up to the cloud technology. The Kindle Cloud Reader started the cloud culture and Apple’s integrated cloud has taken it to the next level. Many SMEs are also adopting cloud hosting services to experience a number of benefits. With a sudden rise in the usage of cloud hosting services, the one area that requires attention is security. The security of the cloud service is yet to be perfected. The customers are also raising concerns over the issue and several hosting companies are also addressing the issue with vigor. Cloud-related security concerns are expected to abate in the coming years, as more businesses take to the cloud.

Increasing partnerships and reseller activity

With bigger players like Amazon investing in the hosting industry, smaller players are increasingly exploring partnerships to get their slide of the cloud hosting market. Reseller and affiliate relationships are also becoming increasingly important. Marketing strategies that involve a niche-specific approach (providing customized templates and other add-ons at a cheaper price) are playing greater roles in how the reseller industry will turn out.

Domain changes

The recent domain changes have opened up yet another avenue for web hosting companies. Many web hosting companies are now hosting non-US extension sites right from the registration of the domains. Users today can choose from over 100 different extensions to host their sites instead of the traditional .com, .org or .net.

Mass market hosting

Many major web hosting companies have been offering website building tools for a very long time. But new web hosts in the arena such as Weebly and Yola have completely changed the scenarios with their easy to use free website builders. They mainly concentrate on small and medium sized companies by offering them cheap, simple and easy to manage websites. This strategy has greatly influenced the way in which the web space is being bought.

The trends in the web hosting community are continuously pushing the infrastructure leading to the development of newer technologies. While these trends are changing the way in which companies are offering their services to consumers, the consumers are also adding to the trends with their constant feedback and thirst for a better web building experience.

 

A Guide to Choosing the Right Web Host

The web hosting industry is among the most competitive of industries with countless firms in a cut-throat competition to gain web hosting dominion. So it is quite understandable to be confused when you’re looking for web hosting services for the first time. To make your job easy, we’d like to help you out with some important pointers when choosing a web host.

Beware of host sharks

While a healthy competition is always good for the client, an increased level of competition has pushed several web hosting firms into a range of stealthy marketing tactics to optimize their profits. These tactics are generally aimed at making a customer sign up for their services and later divesting in that service support. Such companies have therefore come to be termed as ‘host sharks’.

But you must also remember that not all the web hosting companies endorse these methods. There are many service providers who have the best interest of their clients at heart. The simplest way to find out the reliability of web hosts is to ask professionals or businesses in your industry or look for authoritative websites that review web hosting companies. Two good ones are CNET and PC Magazine.

Different ways to review the service provider

Reviewing the service provider is critical. Uptime is one of the top priorities of any webmaster when designing a website and a good web host will always provide  excellent uptime assurances for your site (most offer 99% guaranteed uptime).

Watch out for web hosts that provide you with a wide range of solutions in their promotions and ads, but in reality deliver a tiny morsel of the promised services. It is a good idea to carefully go over the company’s ‘terms and conditions’ page, to understand the trade-offs or disclosures, if any.

A browse through the client testimonials can also familiarize you with the host’s level of service. It is also advisable that you contact the company’s sales personnel, quiz him/her about any clarifications you may have, over the phone or via email.

Ask the right questions

When contacting the sales personnel of the provider, it is very important to address your issues appropriately and ask the right question. These questions may vary depending on the type of website you are creating. Usually target any pitfalls of web hosting and also ask about any issues raised by other people that you found in your research. Never forget to ask about the bandwidth they offer. Many companies speak of unlimited bandwidth in their promotions but always remember that there is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. There will always be a clause, which limits the bandwidth usage in the ‘terms and conditions’