Category: Websites

What Marks a Business as Untrustworthy Online?

Are you a business owner who sees great value in building a reputable online presence? If so, here are four strategic tips to check your online presence and ensure your brand is recognized as the reputable, quality business that you want to provide to your customers.

Check for Spammy Links

Spammy links are defined as links that add no real value to the viewer’s experience. Websites can be guilty of this when they buy links from a link farm or exchange links through link wheels and low-quality press-syndication schemes. Instead, build creative content that people will want to share with their followers, and watch the natural links pour in.

Design a Trustworthy Site

There are several ways that your web design can be seen as untrustworthy by visitors. Having a wall of text saying nothing is one of them. Not having enough white space or too much white space makes a page look bad in a viewer’s eyes. Pages without clear intent also fall into this category. While your viewer may never see it, Google will greatly penalize sites with hidden messages. Suffice it to say, bad web design hurts your business. Instead, take the time to create beautiful web pages that add real value to your target customer’s knowledge.

Avoid Using Similar Names

Some businesses try to trick people by borrowing more successful business’ names. This is a bad idea as you want to only be responsible for your own reputation. Additionally, it’s best if people remember the great experience that they had with your company instead of thinking that it was your competitor who delivered such excellent service. To avoid any mix-ups, buy all website domains that sound a lot like your own so that others cannot claim them in the future. Do the same with any social media accounts that are similar to your company name.

Stay Away from Questionable Reviews

Google now requires that all their posted reviews come from real Google accounts. Nevertheless, many websites continue to post fake reviews. Use a plugin to allow your reviews to show directly on your website. Respond professionally to all reviews, and watch them accumulate. People are more willing to forgive a negative review if they see that you have responded professionally and are taking steps to correct the situation. After all, they realize that you cannot please 100 percent of people all of the time.

Examine your website to make sure that you are not guilty of any of these mistakes. By avoiding these practices, you can help your company to thrive.


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6 Popular Website Design Tips for Better Ratings

Website creation is more exciting than ever as creators benefit from a constant stream of new approaches to building an incredible website. Although there are many competing approaches to web design being featured on a broad range of sites, there are many common elements we can identify to find the best design techniques available for creating a highly rated website today.

Emphasize Mobile Compatibility

In 2018, more people are searching the internet with mobile devices than on desktop computers. This means that designing a highly rated website includes building it with mobile viewing as a primary concern. Emphasizing collapsible layouts, minimalist designs that look better on a smaller screen, icons explicitly designed for mobile use, and choosing images and illustrations that will still be easily recognizable on smaller displays are all essential parts of modern web design. The keyboard is no longer the primary tool used by people navigating the internet; touch-screen icons have to be easy to use and interpret to pull and retain mobile customers.

Related: StatCounter | Mobile and Tablet Internet Usage

Let Custom Illustrations take Center Stage

Popular websites today heavily emphasize the creative use of custom illustrations. Storytelling through illustration can be used to emphasize the voice and culture of your brand in a way that is more compelling than an about-us page or a detailed explanation of your companies values. While text is still the primary way to communicate with the viewer, reactive animated illustrations make your website fun for the viewer to interact with. Most importantly, illustrations, more than photographs or other more complex images, are more easily scale-able to mobile platforms because of their relative simplicity. Utilize illustrations to break up the visual field and stand out from the crowd.

Related: Web Designer Depot | The Use of Illustration in Web Design

Design Beyond the Grid

Minimalist website design layouts of the near past made tremendous strides toward eliminating unnecessary and distracting features from older website layouts. This was partly achieved with the creation of grids that helped simplify and define the functions of each element of the page. While this approach did a lot to modernize and declutter websites, the reliance on grid structures often made sites feel impersonal and sterile. The human element was lost. Today’s best sites incorporate design that hasn’t abandoned the grid but isn’t restricted by it either. Modern layouts utilize overlapping elements and organic shapes to create personality and uniqueness.

Related: Creative Bloq | The Designer’s Guide to Grid Theory

But Don’t Go Overboard

After luring viewers in with SEO and creative marketing, professional sites must effectively accomplish their business objectives without making a bloated site that turns off viewers. An emerging solution is the use of AI and business intelligence to create data visualizations in real time that can quickly communicate information to the consumer in creative, visually appealing ways which effectively funnel consumers into transactions with minimal real estate. That means that there shouldn’t just be sole focus on attracting new clients, but to create a usable and effective website while integrating brand and company identity into it.

Related: TechEmergence | 6 Examples of AI in Business Intelligence Applications

Form Follows Function: Great sites Emphasis Usability

Creating a site with high usability means building it with the user’s needs in mind at every stage. In a modern context, assuming mobile compatibility, a usable site has several other distinct characteristics. It is accessible. Emphasizing SEO and social media tools brings your site to viewers. The tools on your site should be intuitive and easy to learn.The purpose of each page should be clear and should be a part of your marketing funnel. Your site should create a sense of authority, trust and be relevant to your audience’s interest.

Related: InBoundREM | Best Realtor Websites

Break Up the Monotony With Creative Multimedia Utilization

Not long ago, it was common to see websites with long, uninterrupted blocks of text as the primary feature of each page. Websites were divided into clear sections that separated images from stories or comment sections. Modern sites use a multimedia approach to break the visual monotony of sites. Think of this as topically relevant commercial breaks strategically placed inside your content to keep viewers engaged and interacting with your content. Images, videos, illustrations advertisements should be strategically placed within web content in a way that still supports the overall goals of your site.

Related: Louise Myers | Multimedia Content

Approaches to website design are affected by trends in the market just as much as any other creative enterprise. The design philosophies that worked in the past might produce a dated result today. By incorporating one or several of these design philosophies, we can help you create a website that is modern, fresh, and that people will love to visit.

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Websites that Work (for You!)

Websites that Work (For You!)

Websites that work. It’s our mantra around here lately.  We see a lot, let me repeat, A LOT of websites that don’t work. And by work I mean, do your work for you. Convert customers. Make sales. Book appointments. Make sales. Talk to customers. Make sales. Capture leads. Make sales.

Appearances Only Go So Far

You don’t have to tell us. Business is tough. And if you own your own business, it’s even tougher. There’s not enough hours in the day. We do it too. We use our website to book appointments. We use Messenger to talk with customers. Don’t get us wrong, we love people and we love to talk to people. We simply need our website to do some of the work. We made a huge investment in our website; now we expect it to do some of the work.

The appearance of a website only goes so far. (As in life! :)) And at some point your website needs to work for you.  Websites are built to promote a business, showcase products, highlight special promotions, communicate with customers and in some cases provide password protected content.

Looks Will Fade. Your Website Needs to Work.

Beyond the content, the images, the search-friendly page names, is your website doing it’s fair share of the work? Think about it. If you had the privilege, (and by privilege I mean are old enough to remember), of buying traditional advertising a few years ago, you expected the promoted sale to be a success. You expected customers to be aware of your promotions. You knew you were successful when the neighbours mentioned they heard you on the radio (on the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs?!). Now don’t misunderstand, looks and appearances will get you going, but sooner or later, looks will fade and now you need a site to do its share of the work and carry on its share of the conversations (with customers).

The Ultimate Google Listing Guide to find more Ready-to-Buy Customers.

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A Website is Your Storefront

What’s changed? Well first, how much advertising reaches each of us daily has exploded. Advertising content comes at us from every possible direction. Our brains have learned to selectively tune it out to protect our heads from exploding! We naturally block out the information that is not of interest, and have heightened awareness for the ads that are of interest. (Ever notice after you buy a new car, that everyone is driving the same car? That’s heightened awareness.  Read on if you want to see cognitive dissonance used in a blog post too!)

Second, just because we build it, doesn’t mean they will come. Baseball dreams or not, building a website is the same as opening your storefront. A website is not just part of doing business; it IS your storefront. Just as you need your lights on, and doors unlocked for customers to enter, so to do you need your website up and running. There was a statistic reported by Google a few months ago claiming customers trust businesses with websites 70% more, than those without.

Listen to Your Website

Many customers come to us saying, I built it, where are they? (customers). Those businesses are posting content to social media and are unable to determine if Followers are customers.

A website that works, pulls it’s weight. It’s one that tells you about your visitors. Tells you where your website users come from (ie how they find your site). A website that works can tell you where your visitors live, their age, gender and even their interests. Websites are very telling when you put them to work.

Let your website do some of the heavy lifting for you. Not sure how? Start with our free assessment of your website and online properties and finish with a detailed plan of action to set you on a path to a website that works.

We Create Websites that Work

When it’s time to tune-up your website or create a new one, we can design a website to meet your business goals and your budget. Your website is a strategic tool to grow your business, promote your products and services and communicate with your customers. As the largest marketing store in Saskatchewan, we provide straight-forward prices, all-inclusive services and no hourly fees or up-charges.

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H1, H2 and H3 Tags…Exciting stuff!

Teach a man (or woman!) to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.  This quote from 1885 holds true today; even in our world of technology.

Today, we would say, “Empower a business owner to succeed and her community will thrive.”

Google indicated late in the fall, search trends are changing. See below to understand how your business may be impacted.

  1. Consumers are searching for the “BEST” product and/or service within their search terms.  Sell coffee?  Consumers want the best coffee.  Sell cars?  Consumers want the best cars.  Sell insurance? Consumers want the best insurance product.  You get the idea.
  2. Near me. Consumers want to find businesses in close proximity to where they are when they search. Restaurant, clothing, service-based businesses. Everyone is impacted by the near-me search.

Consumers are searching for the “best” product and service in all search categories.  This trends towards consumers seeking the best, means business owners need to continue to put their “best” foot forward in promoting their products. No one person or business can be the “best” at everything.  Knowing your customer and knowing your products or services is key to being able to engage with your customers.

Business owners can ensure their business is included in search results for “near me” by keeping business listings up-to-date, and creating as many listing as they can manually sync. Alternatively, there are a variety of listing sync services available. These services keep 100’s of listing sites up-to-date with the most current hours, address, sales, menus, services and specials. If “near me” is a relevant search for your business, a listing sync service can save you hundreds of hours throughout the year. Watch this quick video to learn more about how listing sync works.

Thanks for reading!

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The Ultimate Google Listing Guide to find more Ready-to-Buy Customers.

Get your copy today!