Website Design – Mid-West Digital Marketing https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com Thu, 26 Jul 2018 14:20:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 75379469 KISS: Digital Marketing Results Made Simple https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/07/digital-marketing-101/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/07/digital-marketing-101/#respond Thu, 23 Jul 2015 21:26:17 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=3184 When it comes to digital marketing, keep it simple silly. Yes, I realize that the last word isn’t the correct one, but as a mom with two small kiddos, the right word isn’t allowed in our vocabulary. Speaking of children, maybe if we marketers targeted our audience as children, we might see better results! In... Read more »

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When it comes to digital marketing, keep it simple silly.
Yes, I realize that the last word isn’t the correct one, but as a mom with two small kiddos, the right word isn’t allowed in our vocabulary. Speaking of children, maybe if we marketers targeted our audience as children, we might see better results!

In a world where consumers continue to become even more savvy & sophisticated, it’s easy to think that our digital marketing message needs to do the same. While it’s true that consumers are armed with knowledge, it’s also true that we’re all busy and most of us lack focus. This undiagnosed ADD supports my sentiment – keep it simple.

A few places this comes into play in the online world include:

Search Engine Optimization

Obviously clients know the most about their industry and products/services. So when asked what keywords they want to focus on they tend to choose technical & specific names. Depending on your target audience, it’s important to remember that the general public will conduct a more generic search. For example if you sell proximity sensors, research shows that a very low number of people search for that term and it would be more valuable to optimize with a more commonly used term like motion sensors.

Landing Pages

After performing a multitude of A/B tests over the years, we’ve found that the more simplified the landing page, the higher the conversion rates. To take it a step further, it’s important to remember that the smallest things can make a difference.

What does the headline say? What colors and imagery are you using? An interesting fact to share – when using photos of people, eye contact’s not always best. Try to select images where the person is looking in the direction of your call to action.

Web Design

The home page of a website is considered prime real estate and we design it to make the most of it. That being said, cramming in too much information looks disorganized and confuses the consumer. Effective UX Design should ensure all important elements have been included, but laid out in a manner that makes it clear on where the consumer should up get from there.
Don’t get me wrong, marketing on the web is by no means simple, but the marketing message, no matter the medium can be.
Keep it simple silly to avoid the kiss of death.

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Timeless Design https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/04/timeless-design/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/04/timeless-design/#respond Thu, 09 Apr 2015 20:22:20 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=3061 In every graphic design blog and forum I read, the phrase “timeless design” pops up in discussion – usually referring to a classic logo so good that it never needed to be changed, and how if you could distill the qualities from it, you could design your own timeless logo. Whenever I see posts like... Read more »

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In every graphic design blog and forum I read, the phrase “timeless design” pops up in discussion – usually referring to a classic logo so good that it never needed to be changed, and how if you could distill the qualities from it, you could design your own timeless logo. Whenever I see posts like this, I have to keep myself from shouting, because there is one big issue with timeless design:

It doesn’t exist.

“Nothing gold can stay”

Even the most iconic logos of all time have gone through refinement over the years. Coca-Cola’s logo, arguably one of the most well known and appreciated in the history of trademarks, is as good of an example as any. While the logo on their labels from the early 1900’s is certainly recognizable as the same company, it has been continually tweaked and revamped every few years.

Coca-Cola-Logo

It’s also important to consider how often your product changes and is reinvented. Coca-Cola, except for the New Coke/Coca-Cola Classic fiasco, hasn’t changed much as a product for as long as anyone can remember.

Having a classic look is great if your brand relies heavily on nostalgia or a sense of tradition, but more than likely not fitting for a company in a cutting edge industry that needs to convey a sense of innovation. If you were able to achieve a “timeless” logo, would it even be beneficial to the brand?

A logo is only as strong as the brand behind it

Here’s something to think about: would the logos for Apple, or Nike, of Coca-Cola be as highly lauded if their respective companies weren’t groundbreakers in their industries?

Would they be as instantly recognizable if they didn’t have billions and billions of dollars promoting them to the point of pop culture icons?

Make no mistake, they are good designs, but their “timelessness” has less to do with their actual construction and more to do with their product and overall marketing strategy. There are plenty of examples where average, and even poorly designed logos succeed (I’m looking at you, Pirelli), and vice versa, because of the quality of the company they represent. “Timelessness” and longevity is the product of a well-developed brand as a whole, and not just a clever logo.

Alright, so maybe it won’t last for eons and eons, but what can you do to get the best logo design possible for your company?

Keep it simple

If you want to get the longest lifetime possible out of a logo, one of the best things you can do is stick to something simple. “Simple” is a vague concept, but there are definitely a few tangible things to keep in mind: stick to a limited palette of one or two colors. Make sure it looks good in black and white. Limit the number of fonts used to no more than 2. Avoid relying on effects – drop shadows, gradients, strokes, textures etc. While these effects can certainly be used well in the context of a campaign, they’re they’re among the first things to look as time goes on and shouldn’t be a primary element.

Simplicity begets versatility, and versatility means you can adjust to change over time. If your logo looks good regardless of the colors around it, or the images it goes on top; if your logo works just as well on the side of a truck as it does in a magazine ad; if your logo can stand alone as just a mark without your name; if it can be shrunk down to a favicon or blown up to the size of a billboard and still be effective, then you’re on to something. The elements around your logo may change frequently, so if you can find a design that works in a number of different contexts, it’s going to be able to stick around longer.

Don’t blindly follow trends

Fonts, styles, even color schemes (Teal and purple is forever associated with the 90’s for me) can be huge for years, but eventually fall out of favor. Today, flat design, handmade aesthetic, and hipster badges are the cat’s pajamas – but they’re already oversaturated trends. A few of those logos might last down the line, but most of them look indistinguishable from the next.

Rather than riding a wave of what’s cool now, you need something that truly represents your company, and will strike a chord with your customers on a number of levels. Is a brush pen script logo the best thing for your company? It might be, but coming to that conclusion should be based on research, planning, and an extensive ideation process – not just because it looks pretty cool right now. Which leads me to my next point:

Hire a designer at a professional marketing company

Anyone with enough free time can learn to use Adobe Illustrator, and even make things that look pretty neat. But there is large valley between being able to make something that gets a lot of likes on Instagram, and making something that works for your business and gets results. There’s also just as wide of a gap between designing a logo and building a brand identity. One can be done in a day by a single person; the other takes a team of people with the knowledge, skill, and experience needed to do the hours of research, strategy, and execution. But the difference in end result is day and night.

If you’re looking for that team, then look no further. With decades of combined experience in design and marketing we can help your business with more than just a logo – we’ll help you build a brand that lasts.

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What The Oscars Can Teach You About Website Design https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/02/oscars-can-teach-website-design/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/02/oscars-can-teach-website-design/#respond Tue, 24 Feb 2015 21:35:48 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=2999 I’ll admit I am a huge fan of the Oscars and by that, I mean watching the pre-previews that occur about two hours before the red carpet theatrics happen. Yes, E! News is my hot button on the eve of the Oscars and I’m not ashamed to admit it. While watching the all too beautiful... Read more »

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IOscars’ll admit I am a huge fan of the Oscars and by that, I mean watching the pre-previews that occur about two hours before the red carpet theatrics happen. Yes, E! News is my hot button on the eve of the Oscars and I’m not ashamed to admit it. While watching the all too beautiful people in their stunning dresses and handsome tuxes strut their stuff on the red carpet, I couldn’t help but think about how this could translate to website design.

So what do the Oscars have in common with web design and how can we learn from this? Think about why people watch the Oscars and how this is relevant to websites.

You need to be entertained

The Oscars are entertaining and that’s why people watch. From celebrity guest appearances introducing the awards to musical performances, there is an abundance of entertainment. Translate this to your website and think about what tactics will entertain your visitors. It could be through imagery, video, custom design, color or anything that creates a “wow” factor.

You need something nice to look at

You want to know what everyone is wearing and let’s face it, the fashion is to die for and not to be missed. Give your website some fashion sense and make it appealing to your visitor. Guaranteed they will stick around a lot longer and check things out if the design is on trend and nice to look at.

You need a reason to come back

The extravagant event may be long past, but in the nether regions of the fashion world talk of who wore it best/worst, after party shenanigans and other gossip tend to crop up days, if not weeks later. What are you going to do on your website to give your visitors a reason to come back? Try a blog, newsletter, video or even a tool or app they can use and chances are you will have a steady stream of returning visitors.

 

 

 

 

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Your Business Identity When Building a Website https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/02/business-website-branding/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/02/business-website-branding/#respond Tue, 17 Feb 2015 18:39:20 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=2994 If I had a dime for every business that hashed out its identity or business plan during instead of before the website development process, I’d be a rich woman. Secretly, I think it would be kind of refreshing to kick off website plans by asking the client: Just who do you think you are? Don’t... Read more »

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If I had a dime for every business that hashed out its identity or business plan during instead of before the website development process, I’d be a rich woman. Secretly, I think it would be kind of refreshing to kick off website plans by asking the client: Just who do you think you are? Don’t get me wrong. I love our clients, and I don’t like confrontation. But the answer to that question is incredibly important to successful website development. Great websites come about more easily for businesses that have a solid idea upfront of who they are and where they’re trying to go.

Business-website-brandingi-identity-Crisis

Copyright 2009 Helga Weber

 

Know thy business before you start building thy website.

My experience is that many business owners don’t even realize just how schizophrenic they seem as they work out what they want their website to be and do. Revision after revision after revision eventually fleshes out their true identity: We’re remodelers. I guess we’re builders, too. No, wait, we’re actually mostly remodelers but we work with builders. But we also do roofing. Actually, we mainly do roofing. But we’re going to start getting into vinyl siding this summer. Wait, scratch that. Can you add a section on basements? And mold remediation? We’ve decided to change our business name from Toilets Forever to Castlemakers. Never mind. We’re going to spin off the toilet side of the business and create a new business focused on remodeling. But only commercial remodeling…

We don’t tend to hear all this information at one sitting. It tends to arrive in fits and starts, like little revelations, well after copywriting, design, and programming are underway. So, in a very real way, the business’s image, brand, plan, model, or other foundational pieces are being created on the fly. When a business hashes itself out in the midst of website development, there are far more potholes in the development process, and so the process slows. The business’s identity crisis hobbles creativity, raises costs, delays launch, and can leave all parties feeling frustrated.

There is no surer sign that you’re having a business identity crisis than a third, fourth, or fifth round of substantial revisions 80 percent into the development process.

Some clients decide during the development process that they are trying to be too many things to too many people. Some realize they need to create separate spin-off businesses. Some even change their business name to better reflect what they do. While it’s wonderful to see them figuring out who they are, I must say that there’s a reason the website developer’s office isn’t furnished with a psychologist’s sofa. There’s a better time and place to resolve this stuff.

As a full-service marketing firm, Mid-West Family Marketing helps businesses resolve their identity crises before website development. It’s an efficiency that pays off in spades.

When authors submit a book proposal to agents or publishers, they have to boil down hundreds of pages into a paragraph-length synopsis. In theory, business owners need to be able to do something similar for their business. They need to have clarity about their business. And it’s best to get that clarity before trying to create a new website. So, let’s return to the question: Just who do you think you are?

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Are Image Sliders Killing Your Website Conversion? https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/01/image-sliders-killing-website-conversion/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/01/image-sliders-killing-website-conversion/#respond Tue, 27 Jan 2015 21:45:23 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=2935 Love ‘em or hate ‘em, sliders are found on a majority of websites these days and are not going away soon.  Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean your website has to follow suit.  Consider what the slider accomplishes in the grand scheme of your site in order to impact visitor conversion. Is... Read more »

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Love ‘em or hate ‘em, sliders are found on a majority of websites these days and are not going away soon.  Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean your website has to follow suit.  Consider what the slider accomplishes in the grand scheme of your site in order to impact visitor conversion.

web-design-website-layout-slider-shutterstockIs Movement Really That Great?

Movement on a website can be cool or it can be distracting. In the case of the rotating slider, it can easily become distracting and thus be ignored. It takes control away from the user and undermines their ability to find what they are looking for. It can detract from your most important message and cause visitors to leave your site.

Trying To Please Everyone

Sliders represent a way to communicate a lot of information in one modular area. It’s easy to get carried away. Develop your home page around a content strategy and place the most important message here. The slider area should not be used as a catch all and if that is your only goal, rethink it.

Strategy vs Bells and Whistles

They’re not just pretty things to look at. Sliders can be effective if you have a good strategy. Instead of putting up random images and text, create a few compelling calls to action that are relevant to your visitor. Slow down the slide speed and provide intuitive navigation so your visitor doesn’t have to hunt to get back to that last slide or move forward to the next offer.

So, how do you know if your site needs a slider or not? There’s no simple yes or no answer. When developing your website, don’t design it around a slider. Design it around your brand and the message or offer that will convert your visitor.

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