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topofmindmarketing web design trends for 2019

Thinking about a New Website? Design Trends 2019

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I’m working with a client whose website is 15 years old. Unlike us, websites don’t improve with age. The biggest problem, of course, is that a 15-year old site isn’t mobile friendly in our mobile-mad world.

My client is well aware of this, of course. But a new website is always a major initiative, and there are often bigger priorities. The fact remains that a website is where people go to learn more about you, and it’s hard to overestimate the power of a website as the cornerstone of your marketing strategy.

If a new website or a site refresh is part of your 2019 marketing plan, here are some design trends:

1. Speed

Users now expect a site to load in two seconds or fewer; they will abandon a site if it takes three seconds or more.

2. Flat design

Look for clean, minimalist flat design. Flat design helps a site fulfill speed requirements that search engines love. It helps hold high SEO value and gets rid of clutter. Think bright colors, clean and crisp edges, lots of open space, simple imagery and sans-serif fonts.

3. Mobile first search

In 2015, the number of mobile searches overtook those from desktop computers. The result? Mobile has had a huge influence on website design. Meeting the demands of mobile users will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

4. Broken-grid layout

Grids have been used for decades on webpages, newspapers and ads for content alignment and consistency. You may not see grid lines, but someone used a grid to develop the layout. Now asymmetry and broken grids are gaining popularity. Look for unusual placements, layering with different colors and textures, repeating irregular patterns, use of white space and creative typography.

5. Shapes

People associate thoughts and emotions with shapes. Rectangles represent stability, circles are unity and triangles are dynamic. Creative use of particular shapes or combinations of shapes can be used to influence user emotions or feelings. Shapes help draw attention to those parts of a page that you want your visitors to notice.

6. Single-page design

These websites are one page rather than multiple landing pages arranged in a navigational hierarchy. The downside: In terms of SEO, it’s harder to rank for particular keywords and other advanced SEO techniques. The benefits: Pageless design scores big when it comes to load time. They also look great on every browsing device, are scalable, easily managed and have high conversion rates. They’re great for pop-up businesses and those with limited budgets.

7. Micro-animations

Micro-animations direct us through tasks as we interact with digital products. Examples? We fill out a form and we’ll be presented with a little animated checkmark to reward us for successfully completing it. We see and use these every day on both desktop and mobile. In many situations, they’re replacing those annoying captcha screens.

Is a new website in your 2019 marketing plan?

Questions about about platforms, content and making the most of your marketing budget! Give me a call!

A dated website may benefit from a makeover or reconstruction rather than starting over with a whole new site

Dated Website? Consider a Facelift

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As websites have moved toward responsive design, many of my clients are confronting the harsh realities of creating new websites. In many cases, these sites have content that is no longer representative of their businesses. Their images are irrelevant, often small thumbnails, the navigation clumsy. But starting from scratch and building a new website is always a major initiative; it can be expensive and time-consuming.

Happily, there may be a relatively simple solution

If your site was built in WordPress, in many cases we can simply apply a new design template to the existing site that can achieve a complete transformation. I just finished a project that included this kind of facelift, giving a website a new lease on life and dramatically extending its shelf life.

The client is a husband-and-wife team of smart, savvy business brokers with 50+ years of collective industry experience and a high customer-service ethic. They had a canned website—the vendor provides content and infrastructure, but gives them a lot of latitude for customization. The content feed is very good, but my clients have never taken advantage of it (the last post was in 2013) or done much customization.

Their old site was becoming a liability

My clients are not marketing people, and they launched their site without really giving much thought to SEO, their marketing presence or how the site would look to a prospective client. They were relieved to get the site launched and be able to put their business broker hats back on.

But now they recognized that their site was becoming a liability; they were missing opportunities to generate new leads, and they asked me to help them update it. This was a simple project, and happily, some easy changes have made a dramatic difference. It showcases my clients as industry experts, has good navigation and increased SEO value.

We made changes that help showcase their industry expertise

  • Identified lively new images that are representative of their potential clients and updated the homepage slider, adding visual appeal and energy to their site.
  • Rewrote their bios to showcase their wide range of experience, using their keywords throughout.
  • Developed case studies that showcase my clients’ high level of customer service and expertise negotiating leases, dealing with government agencies, performing market analyses and business valuations.
  • Updated testimonial page so endorsements are fully fleshed out and attractively displayed on the page.
  • Turned name of company into a logo/tagline with use of a more stylish font, creating a more distinctive marketing presence.
  • Fleshed out Yoast plugin on backend to increase SEO value.
  • Added calls to action on all of their personal pages, making it easy for a user to contact them for more information.

None of these efforts by itself was complex, difficult or time-consuming, but collectively, they helped update a website that was uncompetitive. If your site is not generating leads, rather than a whole new site, this kind of makeover might be a solution for you. Contact us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re SEO and content marketing experts.

 

FAQs are back for a reason--easy to create, repurpose and they're great for search.

FAQs: They’re Back and They’re Powerful

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I remember the first-generation websites that we all had a lifetime ago. They were clunky and slow and had way too much poorly written content, bad navigation bit-mapped images. They also invariably had FAQs because we really didn’t know what else to include. I’ve hated FAQs ever since—I’ve always associated them with those crappy websites.

But I’m seeing a lot of FAQs these days and I like them because they’re complete workhorses. They can be repurposed, they can improve organic search rankings, and they can even be used in your AdWords campaigns. I just used these very effectively on a recent project, and they were the perfect solution—consolidating potential questions about key company services on a single page.

Key benefits of FAQs

1.FAQs can be repurposed for e-newsletters, blogs and social media

What I love most: FAQs are easy to create. They’re cost-effective content for small businesses—the crisp format means they can easily be created by in-house teams without extensive review and approval cycles. Best of all, FAQs fill a need. I love the way they can ask a question and answer it. At their best, FAQs are problem solvers, crisp, quick and succinct.

What I like even more, since I want to get as much mileage as possible out of everything I write, is that FAQs can be repurposed.

  • E-newsletters.Extract a few of the FAQs and feature them in your monthly newsletter. Ask the question, provide a brief answer, then link to your website with a Read more methodology where your audience can find out more information.
  • Social media.This is really a no-brainer. Repurpose a single question/answer on your social media sites. Be wary of lengthy posts—people are much more likely to read short and accessible posts. Edit the text or think about Asking the question and providing a link to your site with the answer.
  • Print collateral/data sheets.If you share pdf files about your services, a nicely formatted, branded pdf file of FAQs is a great addition. Selected items from your FAQs are great additions to brochures or other print collateral.

2. FAQ pages can help with organic search rankings

FAQs are workhorses when it comes to Google organic search. By using keywords in each Q&A, then linking to their corresponding product pages where you more fully develop the description, the FAQ model nearly automatically optimize themselves for search. And because they offer useful information, they can help build links over time.

 A page of thoughtful FAQs becomes a hardworking asset

FAQ pages are the unsung workhorses of content and search marketing. While any company can create and benefit from FAQ pages, they’re particularly beneficial for small manufacturers or other small companies looking for a way to quickly and easily explain what they do and answer potential questions about their operations. Easy to create and repurpose, they provide a lot of bang for your marketing buck.

Are you struggling with your content marketing program? Talk to Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and content marketing experts.

Do You Really Need a New Website? Maybe Just a Facelift Will Do . . .

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Do You Really Need a New Website? Maybe Just a Facelift Will Do . . .

You may be looking at your tired old website and think it’s the end of the line. But I just finished a bizreadybrokerslittle makeover—think of this as a facelift–for a client’s website, and it made a dramatic difference, giving it a new lease on life and a much longer lifespan.

The client: BizReady Brokers, a husband-and-wife team of smart, savvy business brokers with 50+ years of collective industry experience and a high customer service ethic. They had a canned site—a marketing company provides content and infrastructure, but gives them a lot of latitude for customization. The content feed is good, but my clients have never taken advantage of it—the last post was in 2013–or done much customization.

Later caught up with them, and their site was becoming a liability

My clients, Bob Heger and Lee Sheaffer, are not marketing people, and they launched their site without really giving much thought to SEO (search engine optimization), their marketing presence or how the site would look to a prospective client. They were happy to launch their site, relieved to be able to put their business broker hats back on. There were some problems, but they would deal with these later.

They knew their site was becoming a liability, and they asked me to help them update it. This was a simple project, and happily, some easy changes have made a dramatic difference. An irrelevant site with outdated content is now accessible, compelling and informative. It showcases Bob and Lee as the industry experts they are, has good navigation and improved SEO value.

Here’s what we did for BizReady Brokers:

  • Identified lively new images that are representative of their potential clients.
  • Updated homepage slider with these images, adding color, energy and movement to their site.
  • Rewrote their bios to showcase their wide range of experience, using their keywords throughout.
  • Added an About page that describes BizReady Brokers—another page of content to increase SEO value and highlight Lee and Bob’s services.
  • Wrote Working with BizReady Brokers page—using several case studies to illustrate how Lee and Bob work with their clients, showcasing their high level of customer service and expertise negotiating leases, dealing with government agencies, market analysis, business valuation, etc.
  • Updated testimonial page so testimonials are fully fleshed out and attractively displayed on the page.
  • Name of company turned into a logo/tagline with use of a more stylish font, creating a more distinct marketing presence.
  • Fleshed out Yoast plugin on backend to increase SEO value.
  • Added calls to action on all of their personal pages; updated contact page, removing outdated Google map.

We’re all delighted with the way this website turned out. I knew from my quick initial review that it had “good bones” and would, with very little effort, become a site that would work well for BizReady Brokers.

If your website is flirting with irrelevancy, an update, rather than a whole new site, might just work for you. Contact us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re SEO and content marketing experts.