small business - WebSubstance - Web Design and Search Engine Marketing

Landing Page Responsive Design: What If Your Visitor is Using a Smartphone?

With so much business going on over the Internet, companies are rushing to expand and upgrade their websites. But not enough of them are realizing that responsive design is a very important element, and that it has to be applied in practical ways.

Even company websites that do cater to smartphone users might not do it efficiently or effectively.
For example, one of the most important places to have smartphone-friendly design on the website is on the landing page.

Extensive research has found that high numbers of smartphone users are likely to leave a site if the landing page doesn't seem responsive. If they don't see a menu, if they can't click into other parts of the site, or if they have to scroll too much to find key information, they're probably leaving, and not coming back.

With that in mind, here are some specific responsive design elements that companies are now putting into their landing pages, to keep first-time smartphone visitors engaged and coming back.

No-Border Lists

A lot of the practice of making a landing page smart phone friendly involves using the small available space to your advantage. That's why a lot of companies are doing away with the drop-down list boxes that dominated the desktop age, and instead going with borderless lists on one side, usually the left side, of the screen. Getting rid of the need to table a list gives designers a little more space to work with -- and each pixel is important when it comes to smartphone UX design.

Expressive Graphics

On desktops, you have room to tell a whole story on the landing page. But with responsive design in play, that task gets a lot harder.
Many companies are going with a simpler approach, based on the old saying that “a picture is worth 1000 words.” In many cases, we’re talking about creating a simple line drawing cartoon or a vector graphic that shows the value proposition of a product or service. Sometimes the company uses a speech balloon attributed to a cartoon character to try to get some message out without taking up too much space.
These in-page graphics are another way that companies shrink the landing page footprint to make it easier for smartphone users to navigate.

Usable Forms

Web forms are one of the most sophisticated forms of visitor engagement and lead generation that you can find online. But making them fit a responsive landing page can require some unique design principles.
The web form has to fit the small screen of a smartphone, but it also has to be readable. It doesn't take much to make a web form too large to be rendered well on a smartphone screen.

One of the best fixes for this is simple -- companies will take an entire form on a desktop site and split it into consecutive forms of one to three fields per piece. This way, the smartphone user starts out filling out the first few fields, maybe ‘name’ and ‘e-mail,’ and goes to a subsequent screen for more detail, for example, demographics like age and gender and location. Another option, if that’s feasible, is to make smartphone form much simpler and shorter to grab only the essential information.

Responsive Icons

Responsive icons are a huge issue in landing page design for smartphones.

Icon design works differently in a responsive design environment. Icons have to be simple, often with specific small numbers of line contours. For example, a “home” icon, rather than an elaborately drawn house, will be something as simple as a square and a triangle.

All of this design work builds landing pages that will attract and retain smartphone users. Ask WebSubstance about how to create a company website that works for everyone, and for every device. We’ve designers, engineers and consultants who specialize in user experience for smartphone devices. You'll see your brand visibility and customer engagement follow

 

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Why Local Businesses Can No More Ignore Mobile-Friendly Sites

The news is in from business publications, studies and marketing departments around the world. Mobile has taken over.

For a growing number of businesses, it's not whether to initiate vibrant mobile-friendly campaigns. It's when, and how. Companies are jumping on the bandwagon, not just because it's an attractive trend, but because more and more of their customer base is doing business predominantly over mobile platforms. That means if a business doesn't have a mobile-friendly component, it really loses out.

But mobile strategy is more than just building a responsive website. It's more than just making sure that when people look up a business on their smart phone, they get a screen they can read. Mobile-friendly marketing means tailoring what the business does to the mobile interface. Here are some mobile strategies that pay off big in today's smartphone-centric world.

Blogging About Objectives

One way to engage over mobile is to create a blog that's constantly updated, that underscores the company’s goals and objectives, as well as its history, its corporate culture and the biggest things that it has to offer customers. The blog serves a few purposes – it drives reader engagement, and also helps to define the company in a mobile context.

Of course, this blog has to be mobile-friendly. It needs to be designed so that titles and text are easily viewed, and read on the spot. It has to be made so that the smartphone user can click into the landing site, and then into the blog, without scrolling around looking for buttons or menus.

Address Particular Mobile Environments

Businesses have to decide whether they will run their mobile content through the Internet or through a particularly designed mobile app. There are pluses and minuses both ways -- for instance, fewer users may be inclined to put a mobile app on the phone, while anyone can look up a mobile site over their smartphone browser. On the other hand, mobile apps can be more personal and create a ‘walled garden’ for customers. Some experts recommend using both to augment an existing mobile-friendly design.

Leverage Social Media

Of course, a big part of the business mandate for mobile engagement involves social media, but there are particular strategies that are critically important, especially for local businesses.

One excellent example is creating Facebook events. With so many people planning their schedules around their Facebook events, a local business can drive excellent word of mouth and get people in the door, just by creating sequences of well-designed Facebook events that reach out to the community particular ways. This is especially true for food service businesses or other businesses that are public spaces -- where businesses want to drive the physical meet-ups and get people to physically walk into a store or business location.

Alerts

Another way to drive engagement is through a system of smartphone alerts. These alerts can go to an e-mail inbox or, again, through an app. Alerts are often used by local government offices, schools, etc. But they work for businesses, too. When smartphone users sign up, they're creating long-term engagement that's worth it's weight in gold.

All of these and other mobile-friendly strategies help the business to make sure it's not getting left behind in an age where catering to the smartphone user is so important. WebSubstance can help a company to develop a full-spectrum strategy for the web and mobile. We have an excellent track record of supporting companies in their efforts to upgrade their marketing to reach the new digital consumer, and to really compete in tough and competitive markets.

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New Logo for Pro Boats Group

Below is our latest logo revamp for Pro Boats Group in Florida.  We worked back and forth with the client to create a new, contemporary design to represent their business.

 

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Old logo:

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Marketing For Small Businesses

Running a small business can sometimes be very difficult. You want to grow your business so you look at how big names are doing things. However, that might not be the best thing for you. Keeping things simple and straightforward and by offering products and services customers want is what is important.

Read more here:
http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/small-business-marketing.htm

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What Customers Want From Your Website

Think your website has everything your customers want to see and all of the information they need? It is made for them after all. Take a look through this article to read about key aspects your website should include.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207300

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Word Animal Images

Artwork by Dan Fleming, a British/Australian graphic designer

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Vectorization

Converting a hand-drawn logo into a vector image

One of our clients hand-drew her business logo a while back and the format of it was in jpg.  We have suggested to convert it into a vector image by re-tracing the drawing so that the sharpness remains the same regardless of its size. This means that you can print a vector image as small as a penny or as big as a building, and the sharpness of the image remains the same. Therefore, make sure you have a version of your logo in vector image!

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Corporate Photography

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WebSubstance
21800 Town Center Plaza, #266A-281
Sterling, VA 20164
(703) 470-0808
Jenny Le - President
contact.info@WebSubstance.com