In your personal life, you may have been told that what other people think about you doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, you don’t get that luxury in the business world. Your business’s reputation is everything when it comes to various aspects of your business and the level of success you enjoy.
When you think about first impressions, you probably think about the impression consumers get when they first walk in the door. Most of the time, though, that isn’t the first exposure they have to your business. Odds are they probably found you online first. They’ve probably gotten a feel for what your reputation is before they visit you, which will heavily influence their perspective of your business. As Vonage points out, once they visit, you’ll be dealing with confirmation bias, which can be very hard to overcome. Make sure your reputation is in line with the impression you want consumers to have.
Word of Mouth
What consumers think of your business matters, and how they vote with their wallets decides whether or not you stay in business. Word of mouth travels faster than ever, thanks to the internet, allowing people to tell the world what they think of your business simply by leaving a review. According to Podium, consumers trust insights from their peers more than any other source. If you want to influence the reputation you gain by word of mouth, make sure you respond to reviews. This gives you some degree of control over the narrative and a way to both build and protect your reputation.
Attracting the Best Talent
Your reputation matters to more than just potential customers. If you want to attract top talent to come work for you, you need to cultivate a business reputation that people want to be a part of. Consider the values your company espouses. People want to be proud of where they work and what they do for a living. Make it easier for them to feel that way by carefully selecting the values your business stands for and building a reputation worth being proud of.
The reputation your business has matters. It influences the first impression consumers form about your business, is easily impacted by word of mouth, and plays a role in how readily you can attract the best talent to work for you. If you want to be successful in business, work to cultivate a positive reputation that you can use to attract customers to you and keep them coming back again and again.
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Why Your Business Reputation Matters
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Today we’re taking a look at 2021 web design trends. From web templates and themes, to code and plugins, and even stock images and footage to deck out your site, everything you need to streamline your creative process is at your fingertips.
A white background has been considered standard to ensure readability in clean, minimal, web design but designers are increasingly using dark mode – a setting that allows the user to switch the background from light to dark – to increase contrast and make neons and pastels really pop. But this web design trend is about more than simply boosting the visibility of various creative elements. Studies show that dark mode is easier on our eyes because it reduces blue light exposure and glare, plus it can save battery life on the user’s device. As a result, many sites allow visitors to customize the user experience with the option to toggle between dark and light themes.
MIXED MEDIA ARTFORM
Anything goes when it comes to this mixed media web design trend. The practice of layering and arranging photographs, illustrations and handwriting has been popular for decades, and now this artform has entered the digital realm. Collages allow web designers to draw on a range of aesthetics and creative effects to get their message across. Like the mishmash of vintage diagrams and old-school photographs that so perfectly promote the quirky and casual atmosphere at Athens’ City Circus hostel. This cut-and-paste trend can celebrate a DIY look and feel but it can also be used to create a modern portfolio that offers a collection of carefully curated snapshots. Not surprisingly, the scrapbook look and feel also appeared in the round-up of 2020’s hottest Graphic Design Trends.
Love it or hate it, there’s no ignoring anti-design. Inspired by the recent resurgence of brutalism, this controversial style subverts traditional design rules and embraces elements that some may deem ugly – like clashing colours, asymmetrical layouts, mixed fonts and layered imagery. With its warped title text, harsh shapes and a combination of regular and italic body copy, it's sure to pique the interest of the visitors to your site. If you’re keen to breaking the rules this style may be for you.
Stripping down web design to its most essential elements, minimalism continues to catch our eye with the use of simple shapes, uncluttered text and empty space. Proving that less is more, a minimalist site with maximum appeal, works with a blend of monochrome and bold color. The sleek, paired back design allows the screen-width imagery to shine, placing the focus on the creativity of the work, over the design of the site. Try out this trend for yourself to make monochrome imagery and a structured layout sing in perfect harmony. This style celebrates usability and functionality - another trend we’ll touch on later - with its easy-to-read typography and responsive design. For such an unassuming aesthetic, minimalism is taking the world by storm.
This year, web designers invited us to stop and smell the roses with sites that draw inspiration from the great outdoors and the natural world. Influenced by an increased focus on sustainability and environmentalism, organic design features earthy colors, natural shapes, raw organic textures, floral flourishes and sweeping landscapes. This style also gives a nod to the collage trend we covered earlier.
ILLUSTRATION AND HAND DRAWN
Similar to organic design, hand-drawn illustrations can add real-life appeal to the digital realm. Wave goodbye to the unattainable beauty ideals and unrealistic lifestyles of stock photography, and display humanity and authenticity in illustration. A great example of hand-drawn illustration in web design is from AHM. They bring a human element to their health insurance products through the use of quirky cartoons featuring relatable scenarios and humorous scenes. Hand-drawn elements work in a variety of contexts, like the coffee beans, latte art and cups. This theme also plays on our last trend, organic design, with its neutral colours and natural shapes. If you’re feeling inspired to put pen to paper, or stylus to screen, now is the time to take this trend for a spin.
FUNCTIONALITY, INCLUSIVITY, AND ACCESSIBILITY
As more and more brands and businesses have come to realise the importance of providing an effective online experience, increased functionality has become a key aspect of web design as users are looking beyond what your website says to what your website can do.
But it’s not all about fast load times, mobile responsiveness, and fancy features, it’s also about inclusivity and accessibility. Incorporating elements such as strong color contrast between text and backgrounds, straightforward copy, and easy-to-spot buttons can really help.
MOTION AND INTERACTIVITY
Time to get a move on, with our next web design trend. Motion and interactivity are breathing new life into static web pages, such as the roll-over effects.
In this case, user interaction triggers motion on the page, which is both surprising and engaging. There are thousands of customizable animated graphics and moving elements you can use to attract your user’s eye.
If you’re obsessed with structure and symmetry, then this trend is made for you. Geometry begins with a simple grid and, in 2021, we’re set to see plenty of stripped-back geometric styles (which borrow from the minimalism trend). More complex geometric patterns composed of polygons, diamonds, rectangles, and triangles have been popular on the web for a while now, but recently we’ve seen more modern elements like 3D shapes and floating or rotating geometric objects popping up in web design.
WEBSITE COACH ACADEMY by Crawford Designs.
From time to time, we all need a helping hand. And, thanks to our new Website Coach Academy, you don’t need coding know-how to create a professional website. Our new Website Builder Course is fast, code-free and fully flexible, offering professional layouts and limitless customization. This makes it super easy to get a website up and running in no time!
It is an online course that walks you step-by-step to create your perfect website with the help of a professional website design coach.
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Head over to our FREE Website Prep Course that gets you ready to build out your business website! It's a free course that is less than 30 minutes that helps you to prepare everything you will need to launch a brand new site! Click here to learn more and to register.
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2021 Website Design Trend Roundup from Crawford Designs.
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Create a page/blog on these sites and add your links!
2. Video Sites:
Upload videos to these sites and add your link in the video descriptions or your profile
3. Answer Sites:
Answer questions related to your niche with a link to your site added.
4. Photo Sites:
Add links to you profile and image descriptions.
5. Site Allowing HTML Profile Links:
Create an account on these sites and add your link to the ‘Profile’ section.
Don’t Assume Any Backlink is a Good Link
One of the main goals of guest blogging is to improve your site’s domain rating. That’s really only possible to do if you’re getting a digital endorsement from a trustworthy website.
It used to be that all backlinks were considered good backlinks. Years ago, you could secure a bunch of backlinks from sites known as “link farms,” as well as directories and internet forums, and you might be seen as an authority.
That isn’t the case any longer. Google and other platforms have changed the way they categorize reputable websites so that not all backlinks are created equal. In other words, you shouldn’t write content for a site that’s seen as spammy or low-quality and expect to see positive ranking results.
Be sure to conduct thorough research when vetting potential link-building opportunities to ensure the site is trustworthy and relevant to your content. Your goal should be to build a backlink profile filled with reputable websites; quality is definitely better than quantity here.
Are you looking for a way to grow your business? It would be best if you consider investing more in SEO strategies. Search engine optimization can help your web content to appear on the first page of Google and other search engines online. Organic search has proved to be a vital referral source for many businesses out there.
Backlinking is one of those critical factors that can positively impact your organic search ranking. A backlink is a link created when one website links to another. Search engines such as Google usually use backlinks as a ranking signal. If your content has several backlinks, it will be noteworthy. If these backlinks are of high quality, your site will rank high. Here are the reasons why backlinks are a must for SEO ranking:
1. Increased visibility
As mentioned above, backlinking improves search engine ranking. Therefore, if your content has backlinks, be sure that most people will see it online and click your site. With more visibility, small businesses will grow as they will have more clients in the long run.
2. Helps to build your brand authority
Linking your web content to popular websites will ensure that your SEO efforts bear fruits because you will build brand authority. Just like Google looks at your links as a good indicator that your site provides useful information, your clients will see it as a good indication that your brand is the best out there. You will attract more customers to your small business.
3. Enables you to get referral traffic to your site
You will note that not all site originates from a search on Google, Bing or even Yahoo. By including backlinks on your web content, you can be sure that you will enjoy more referral traffic, which implies that people will click on your content links and be taken to the linked content online.
4. Long term directory
By linking your web content to reliable sources, you can be sure to get more traffic now and in the future because the internet has become a significant source of data for many online users. For instance, if you include high-quality links today on your web content, you will get more traffic now and even five years to come. That aside, you will continually get more customers to your site and thereby foster business growth.
5. Helps create new relationships
The moment clients read good content online, they might be eager to know the source of the content. Thus, it can make them join your newsletter and even follow you on social medial. They can also read your blog and then bookmark it or even subscribe to your RSS feed. It has worked well for many business people out there.
Businesses who include backlinks on their sites will get more traffic and even get more conversion rates. This can boost business growth and make them achieve their goals in life. Consider backlinking for SEO today for guaranteed success in your business.
Bryy Herrera is a local Memphis SEO consultant in Tennessee who helps small businesses grow and reach their business aspirations.
Get More Leads And Sales More Often With Our Website Homepage Formula.
Part 1: The Hero Image Section
The first and main top section of the website is where you instantly tell people WHAT PROBLEM YOU SOLVE. Keep it short, and directly to the point. The point of this "above the fold" section is for your potential client (lead) to say "this is what I'm looking for!" You want people to know quickly, exactly what it is that you do, and how you can solve their pains and problems.
Part 2: Call To Action
You want to be able to give your website guests a free gift, in order to offer them a sample of your expertise and knowledge. Start a conversation, offer them a free gift, in exchange for their contact info. But make your action very clear. Ask for the viewer to do 1 thing, and 1 thing only, otherwise known as your "CALL TO ACTION". Give them one juicy button to click with a promise of something valuable in return.
Part 3: Client Testimonials
Prove to your viewers that what you say is true. Show them that people are willing to vouch for you. Showcase your happy customers, and display the results of those that you've helped achieve their goals. Focus on the value that you've supplied.
Part 4: High-Value Content
Add a few cornerstone posts/stories to your homepage as a way for your viewers and potential clients to learn more about you, and how you can help their business.
Part 5: Keep It Simple
It is very important to keep your site very clear on exactly what it is you do, who exactly you can help, and a simple way to navigate around the site to learn more. People are searching through your site to find out how you can help them and make things better for their pains and problems.
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1. Publish Quality Content on a Regular Basis (No Cheat Days!)
Try to provide something valuable, something meaningful, something you think can really help people. This will ensure that you publish quality content. Quality means meaningfulness.
2. Send an Engaging & Consistent Newsletter to Promote Your Content
The focus of your newsletter will be crucial to how engaging it will be. Keep it simple, keep it catchy. Include User-Generated Content. Connect to trending topics or events. Use social media as a teaser. Be consistent but provide something unique.
3. Use Storytelling
Stories can captivate your audience, evoke emotions, and improve your conversion rate. Build your stories around specific keywords (High Volume, Low Competition)
4. Make Internal Linking a Must for Each & Every Piece of Content You Create
Internal links are links that go from one page to a different page on the same domain. They are commonly used in main navigation.
These type of links are useful for three reasons:
5. Switch Your Site to HTTPS
This is the secure version used to send data between a web browser and a website. HTTPS helps prevent intruders from tampering with the communications between your websites and your users' browsers. Intruders include intentionally malicious attackers, and legitimate but intrusive companies, such as ISPs or hotels that inject ads into pages.
6. Invest the Time into Video Creation
Videos are a great way to generate leads, drive website traffic, and build brand awareness. Consumers like videos because it's easy to digest, entertaining and engaging, and marketers like it because it can give a potentially huge return on investment (ROI) through many channels. Video is also very accessible to anyone with internet access, both to watch and to produce.
7. Develop a Wide Range of Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address or other contact information. Lead magnets usually offer a piece of digital, downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, report, eBook, whitepaper, video, etc. These are very effective in reaching new leads by offering a sample of your products and services.
Branding plays a pivotal role in determining the long-term success of a company. Without effective and relevant branding, appealing to your target audience becomes very challenging, if not impossible. Understanding why good branding is more important than you think can go a long way toward improving the next marketing campaign you launch for your business.Makes You MemorableGood branding helps to make any business more memorable, regardless of its purpose. Effectiveness and consistency in branding can help others to better remember the purpose of your business and brand. It can also make it easier for them to recall your logo and its meaning. When you consistently utilize the same logo, branding, and color scheme while promoting your brand, it's much easier for your products and the message you want to convey to remain memorable and relevant in your consumers' minds.
Helps With Customer Relationships
Building customer relationships is essential for any business or brand, regardless of its size and the surrounding competition. Studies show that existing customers spend more than new ones, which is why the retention rate of your consumer base matters so much for your business' success. Proper and effective branding goes a long way when it comes to building trust and loyalty among your customers. A greatly branded product or business is much more likely to stand out and appeal to prospective customers.
Makes Advertising Easier
When your business is properly branded, it is much easier to launch advertising campaigns and strategies that prove to be successful and engaging. Once you are familiar with the audience you want to reach with your brand's overall image, aesthetic, and the message you want to convey, launching campaigns that deliver the results and conversion rates you have in mind become much more plausible and viable in the long-term.
Once you have developed a branded message that is relevant and resonates with your audience, it is much easier to launch digital marketing campaigns using search engines, social media platforms, or even third-party publishers and advertising companies.
As new methods of marketing and advertising continue to evolve and roll out, standing out among your competition matters even more. Good branding that is engaging, meaning that it's relevant and interesting to your target customer, can help to set your business apart from even the toughest and most successful competitors in just about any market.
To truly stand out and make a lasting impression among an online audience, keep the demographics you intend to reach in mind at all times. Spend time researching your current competition as well as top-performing brands in the market for similar demographics as you. The more familiar you become with competitors and their online presence, including their use of an official website and social media accounts, the easier it will become to craft unique and original content for your own brand. Understanding your competition and market is imperative before you can begin to expect followers, sales, and success.
Create a Unique Image for Yourself
Creating a unique image for your business and brand is essential in today's online and highly competitive world. Without a unique and interesting image for your brand to truly set yourself apart, it can be difficult to assert yourself in any market, even if you do not have a major competitor to defeat.
If your brand appears too similar to other competitors, too boring, or irrelevant to your audience, you may miss out on the opportunity to appeal to prospective customers or online visitors. Always consider the age range, gender, and location of the users you are interested in reaching when developing your brand's logo and image, especially if you are doing so to appeal to a specific area or region throughout a country.
Some examples of companies that have utilized their brand's image to their advantage include McDonald's, Nike, Starbucks, Dior, Gucci, and even store-brand names, such as Walmart's Great Value brand. When you think of these brands, you may have the ability to instantly recall the logos, colors, and overall aesthetic or style of the brand and business itself. Brands utilize uniformed fonts, colors, and imagery to help individuals to better remember and recall their brands at a later time. The more memorable your brand and business is to your target audience, the more likely they are to return to your business in the future or spread the word of your business and brand to their own family members, friends, and social media circles.
Branding is one of the most important elements involved in building a successful business. Whether you are building a local business or a new startup or expanding an existing corporation, you can't place too much importance on branding. With proper, relevant, attractive, and engaging branding, you can utilize your brand's image to garner attention, attract new followers, and ultimately, see more sales and revenue.
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If you’re looking to hire a website designer for your next design project, be sure to do your due diligence and watch out for these 3 things.
Website Designer Tip #1. The Price is Right.
Warren Buffett, who is widely considered one of the greatest investors of all time, states that the most important thing when it comes to thinking about money is "opportunity-cost".
What is opportunity-cost? When looking for a website, think of it like this. “I have this money. I can do one of many different things, including getting a do-it-myself site, hire a website builder near me, hiring someone overseas, etc. And then out of all those decisions, which one will bring me in the most net profit overall?” That’s really the way you should be thinking about hiring a website designer. What’s the best overall net profit on all the different options available? Sometimes when you go the cheap route, you’re really losing a lot in terms of potential net profit. Does building a DIY website, truly save you money in the long run, if when you launch, it does not bring in new leads, customers, and sales.
Sure you could try and build a website on your own. There are templates out there, and cookie cutter site builders that get you started. But truth be told, just like trying to assemble furniture, you’re not a professional furniture builder, and therefore the quality and the product is not going to be as good. And that metaphor applies to website design. Most people are not professional digital marketers or designers or understand SEO, Keywords, Metatags, user personas, or how to get traffic, or any of these details that a professional website designer knows. And so, not only are you using all of your time to build the website but then you’re not getting as high-quality an output and return on investment as you would if you just hired someone who did that full time.
So, when you work with an experienced local web designer, you’re paying for a higher quality version of the same thing. Someone who knows how to code better, someone who understands design, marketing, and search engine optimization, and that’s what you’re buying. You get what you pay for.
One thing I would suggest when it comes to choosing a website designer is to focus on the results. At the end of the day, “do you like the work?” Do you like the quality of their portfolio? You are looking for a final result that will represent your company and bring in more leads and sales. Trust your own judgment. Trust their customer reviews.
Website Design Tip #2. Get a Good CMS.
A CMS stands for Content Management System; software to manage and update your website. Wordpress and Weebly are both a CMS, and there are thousands of different CMS's out there. The one thing to know is that not all CMSs are the same. The "behind the scenes of a website is called the backend of the site. This is where you can edit the site within the content management system. Most people, when buying a website only think about the front-end; the site's appearance. A CMS creates ease of use, and reduces the number of hours and frustration it takes to edit and manage the website. Most current CMS systems use WYSIWYG editors (What You See Is What You Get) which utilize a drag-and-drop type of program. A good CMS allows you to update the images, titles, descriptions, and many other pieces of the puzzle eith ease.
Local Website Designer Tip #3. Research Their Portfolio.
Check out their online portfolio samples, and also look for testimonials and client reviews. Look them up on Yelp, Facebook, Google Reviews, and LinkedIn. See if people are saying nice things about them, or if anyone is saying anything particularly bad. Most importantly ‘do you like their work?’ As well as, look at their work on mobile. A lot of people don’t take the time to think about what their site is going to look like on mobile. Responsive sites (websites that look great on all screens) are very important!
Just as you wouldn’t trust an obese personal trainer, you should probably never trust a designer with an ugly or outdated looking website, or an SEO expert who doesn’t rank well on Google. For example, we rank on page one on Google for “Gettysburg Web Design.”
Ready to Hire Someone to Make a Website?
So, if you’ve made it this far, then you’re probably thinking “I need someone to build my website for me.” So, I’d like to make you an offer that you can’t refuse. Simply request a time for a FREE consultation before you sign or pay for anything. We'll come to your office, free of charge. We simply ask a few questions to learn more about you and your company, and dig a little deeper into your online business goals. There is nothing to sign, and no credit card information is taken. So, if that sounds like something that might be of interest to you, click here and choose a time that works for you.
In 2020, an online presence is crucial for any business, even for local brick-and-mortar companies that don't conduct via an online storefront. Studies show that 97% of customers search for local businesses online, while 94% of B2B buyers research companies online first.
Whether you are creating a new website or updating an older site, you must keep these design principles in mind: