How to be Sure Your Website is Effective

Your website is perhaps your most powerful marketing tool. Whether your objective is to boost brand awareness or to sell a service or product, effective web design can be the difference between a new lead and a lost prospect. So, if you’re losing visitors within 5 seconds of landing on your site or you’re not ranking highly on search engines, you should take a hard look at how your website is designed and optimized. The following are 5 simple ways of creating an effective website:

  1. Make it aesthetically appealing
    The design and presentation of your website are powerfully visual and visitors are known to make aesthetic judgments of a website in an instant. It takes about 0.05 seconds for visitors to form a first impression of your website. In that lightning-fast moment, visitors’ perception induces different emotions and attitudes towards the content, advertised services/products and the brand.The important question here is – what makes a website aesthetically appealing? Well, here are some things to keep in mind:

    • Use high-quality graphics and high-resolution photos
    • Invest in your own photography as opposed to using stock photography
    • Replace blocks of text with infographics
    • Choose a color palette that has a perfect balance of contrast and harmony
    • Choose a font type and size that conveys the nunace you want your site to engender
  2. Choose a simple design layout
    When it comes to effective website design, simplicity is key. Simple, sleek designs are known to withstand the test of time. In fact, some of the most effective website design layouts are the simplest. Simple layouts are effective in the sense that they are user friendly. This means that they allow visitors to navigate the website easily and to find the information they want quickly.
  3. Optimize it for search engines
    You can have the most aesthetically-appealing and user-friendly website in the world, but if your target audience can’t find it, then all your efforts will be in vain. Therefore, your website should have basic on-page SEO elements that will make it easy to find. The elements that help with website optimization include Meta titles, Meta descriptions, and relevant keywords and phrases. You should also optimize your images, and remove broken/dead links. More on how to SEO your website here.
  4. Use social proofing strategies
    To fully convince new prospects that you are reliable and can be trusted, you must provide social proof that shows that others have been happy with your products or services. There are various social proofing strategies to adopt. One of them is testimonials. Be sure to use real customers and photos, as well as feed reviews from third party review sites to ensure authenticity. In case there are websites or blogs you’ve been mentioned, be sure to provide links to articles with the mention.
  5. Include calls-to-action buttons
    Call-to-action buttons are a key element on a website. They act as a signboard that tells visitors to take a specified action such as ‘Buy Now’, ‘Sign Up’, ‘Download Now’, ‘Join Us’, etc. You can include several calls-to-action buttons on your website if there are several desired actions for the visitors to take.

Creating an effective website sure sounds like an intricate task. Good thing is that you don’t have to do it all. You can delegate the task to a professional. A professional will not only incorporate the latest design trends and coding standards, but will also match the look and feel of the website with your brand. A professional will also know the steps to take to optimize your website for search engine ranking results.

Want help with your website?  Contact UmeWorks in Torrance at 323 638-9328 or info@umeworks.com to discuss your website needs.

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Could Your Business Benefit from Offering Online Appointment Scheduling?

A growing number of service-oriented businesses, such as hair salons, barbers, personal trainers, massage spas and health spas, are utilizing online appointment scheduling and are changing the way they interact with their customers. Because many of these appointment systems are mobile-friendly, people are able to connect with these businesses wherever they already are, providing the 24/7 convenience today’s consumers demand. Allowing your customer to connect with you at any time of the day will keep them coming back.

Depending on your business’ needs and which system is selected, the many advantages of utilizing online appointment scheduling can include the following:

  1. Saving time spent booking appointments
  2. Needing fewer staff members to manage appointments.
  3. Easier management of staff schedules. Booking is real-time and staff is immediately notified when an appointment has been scheduled for them.
  4. Flexibility to choose when to collect payment: upfront collection at time of booking, or after services have been delivered.
  5. Clients are notified of cancellation policies and any fees incurred.
  6. Automated reminders to clients reduce the number of no-shows, which costs some organizations several thousands of dollars each year. By switching to online scheduling, some see a 50% or greater reduction in no-shows.
  7. Business or financial reports can be generated and provide informative data such as the number of no shows, the number of appointments each staff member completes, comparisons of location-to-location productivity, or the number of appointments that were booked because of a marketing promotion.
  8. Be integrated with back-office software to reduce amount of time spent on bookkeeping.

These benefits would be attractive to most companies, and especially to small businesses with limited staff resources. But the positive returns from using online scheduling do not end there.

Businesses will also notice:

  1. More appointments

    • People spend so much of their time online and appreciate companies who make it convenient to do business with them. There’s no waiting, as often happens with phone scheduling and they can book appointments at any time of the day.
    • Integrating your booking system with social media makes it convenient for people to make bookings when they’re already on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
    • Include Customer Review integration to encourage NEW customers to book the first appointment with you online!
  2. Customer retention

    • Encourage customers to return, sooner. Send seasonal deals, or a birthday greeting with a coupon. Set these up once and let them run automatically.
  3. Increased revenue

    • Online booking makes your business available 24/7, allowing you to receive more bookings than you would via phone. You can also offer items your customers can purchase like gift certificates, promotional items or services, while they are booking their appointment.
  4. Increased efficiency

    • The calendar would also show you where there are gaps between appointments. You can utilize the time with special demonstrations or promotions that can be marketed ahead of time.
    • You can also assign resources (like a room or equipment) to specific services to help you prevent duplicate booking.
  5. Lower overhead

    • Fewer overhead costs because the need for a person(s) to handle reservations is eliminated.

Technological advances have changed consumer expectations and customers have become accustomed to getting what they want sooner than later. They appreciate businesses that provide services quickly, at a time or location that is always convenient; positive experiences with these businesses will encourage customers to return time and time again and they, in turn, will influence others to do the same.

Ready to get started with online appointment scheduling for your business? Fill out our checklist and send to UmeWorks to start discussing your business’ scheduling needs.

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