Entries tagged with “website design”.

Have you clicked on a link on a website only to get a page with a “Page Not Found” error? Create a custom 404 Error Page for your website and take advantage of the space:

If you have a broken link on your site and a visitor clicks on this link they will be directed to what is called a 404 Error Page. This is a standard page that will let the visitor know that the link they clicked on could not be found. We all know how annoying this page can be. The good news is that there are ways to make this error page work for us.

Although these pages can drive traffic away, we can design them to actually become productive sales tools. Customizing your 404 error page should be a fairly simple process. Check with your host or the program you are using for your site to see how it can be done. Consider the ideas below to change your 404 page from a hindrance to a benefit.

1. Warm Welcome – Add a warm greeting and make your potential customers feel welcome as opposed to chasing them away with a giant “ERROR” plastered across the page.

2. Apologize with Free Gift – Offer them a free gift for the mistake. Add a link going to a $5.00 gift card, a bonus product with order, a free report or ebook, etc. Try to give them a gift that will be beneficial to them and you.

3. Subscription Page – Send them to your subscription page. Be sure to give them a free gift for subscribing. Offer helpful info, needed resources and more in your mailings.

4. Affiliate Product – If you are an affiliate for quality products and/or services, add a link to your affiliate page.

5. Your Product – Redirect them to your product pages. Be sure you have well-designed, easy to navigate product pages.

6. Use a Little Humor – Add something humorous to the page to lighten the mood and make your visitors want to look around more. Use cute, happy, funny graphics to put a smile on their face. Be sure not to cross any lines and be professional.

7. One Time Offer – Give the visitor a special one-time offer. Give them a deal not available anywhere else.

8. SEO Benefits – Design your error page so it is similar to your site’s other pages. Give it a keyword rich title and content. Add your blog/site title. Add a link to your site map or a site search function. It is hard to avoid the error pages so making them work for us is a good option.

9. Main Site Links – Be sure to add the important page links of your site so the visitors will know where to go. Briefly explain how going on will benefit them and what you have to offer.

10. Call to Action – Be sure to add a call to action on this page to instruct the visitor what to do or where to go to next. In the seconds you have to get people’s attention after the error page comes up, a call to action will sometimes make the decision for them.

The goal here is to not let this usually irritating page make your visitors quickly leave your site. Grab their attention with something interesting or entertaining so they will overlook the error and stay on your site. This can lead to more traffic and sales for your business.

“10 Ways to Benefit from Your 404 Error Page” by Terry Seymore in www.sitepronews.com

If you’re not sure exactly how to create a customized 404 error page, contact your web designer for assistance.

You may see the words design and development used interchangeably, however, technically, they are two very different but integral parts of a website.

Website Design is the process in which a designer creates the visual aesthetic of your site using colors, fonts, images, proportion, etc.  This can be done by the web designer or by a graphic designer.

Website Development is the coding of a website in order for it to be displayed properly on the web.  Also, coding for the functionality and useability like navigation and links, a back-end database, or viewing of a flash movie, and for adding tags for search engine optimization.

Some graphic designers may say that they provide web design services, but most will say that web development is not their strong suit and that they actually prefer to just create the design and layout.  Some web designers are not strong in the design side either and will sometimes use pre-designed templates and content management systems to create their sites.

When searching for a web specialist to hire, be sure you understand the difference and make sure they do as well to assure that your website is created correctly and completely.

As a small business in a lackluster economy, making the most of your marketing dollars is critical to your bottom line. Using a local search engine, you can target customers in a particular region while maximizing your marketing investment. Local search is more targeted and less expensive than other forms of online and offline advertising, which can translate into more leads and customers for less money. In addition to offering inexpensive, relevant advertising dynamics, local search also provides an audit trail to measure results, and other opportunities to increase revenue.

Not only will this help consumers find your physical location, but also enhance search results for your business and help keep up with the competition. Build your local listing in all of the major search engines, like Google Local Business, Yahoo!Local, and Bing Local. Simply search for the word Local Business on their main page.


Call me! And I can help you set it up!

Just another way to make sure your business gets shown in search engines

In order to get more focused results from search engines, more people are using longer search phrases to search for what they want. One way to use this to your advantage is by putting more text on your website in the form of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs), targeted at answering real user questions about your product or service.

The detailed question/answer text will give the search engines more content that can be used to increase relevancy of those longer search phrases to your website. It will also allow your potential clients to get to know you better, to learn about what and/or how you do business and help lighten the load on your support staff by allowing the users to help themselves.

Provide your potential clients with a better web experience and put your website to work for you!

Have you ever come across a website that even after you look around at the entire page and you are still not quite sure what to do? Or you clicked on something and you’re not sure how to get back to where you started?

Some people purposely try to make their websites “different” in order to set themselves apart from their competition. Some will attempt to name their navigation links something out of the ordinary like “WooHoo!” instead of “Testimonials,” or others may use images (unfortunately, sometimes totally unrelated to the actual subject matter for that link) that you would need to click on to get to another page. Often, there may be no indication that you need to either hover over or click on an image to make it actually do something. While it may be considered clever, it can sometimes backfire and possibly leave potential clients confused and/or unable to find what they came looking for and they will simply abandon the site altogether.

In planning your website structure, remember to keep it clear and simple. Try to stay with some relatively “standard” wording for your navigation links and make sure that your links are clearly labeled to keep your clients from getting lost or mystified as to what they should do or where to go to find what they want. Make certain that your navigation is on all of your pages. Also, ensure that all of your pages have at least some level of continuity in look and feel so your clients know that they are still on your site.

Avoid mystery navigation, and visitors will be more likely to stay a while and see what you have to offer.