Web/Print Content - 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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Are You In Control Of Your Web Project?

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Are You In Control Of Your Web Project?

Before going forward with any kind of web site creation, expansion or renovation, businesses should always understand the details of a web design or web hosting contract. Without this kind of due diligence, planners can get some very unpleasant surprises along the way.

One of the biggest examples of this relates to the use of domains that provide Internet locations for web sites. Domains are the real estate of the Internet, and just like in physical real estate, there's a lot of value floating around individual domains, domain names and addresses.

The Hosting and Domain Name Agreement

In general, a company has a hosting contract for a web site which governs where the web site data is kept, and how it is uploaded for end-users. Then there's a separate contract for the domain name, for the “address” of the web site.

Companies can administrate these details in-house, or farm them out to a third party hosting or design service. But when a company loses control of these vital resources, headaches can happen.

Holding a Domain Name Hostage

One of the biggest problems for client companies comes up if they want to change the domain name or location of the site later in the process, or when they need to review their domain name. Many domain names have to be renewed an ongoing basis, or they will be lost. So when client companies go to check on domain name status, they may find that those domain names have been bought, not by their companies, but by the hosting company. And this is where things get tricky.

Some hosting companies actually have strings attached to their hosting and design agreements. They may not agree to release the domain name to the company, or to give the company access to manage it. This may lead to the loss of the domain name, and the client company may have to go shopping for another.

WebSubstance Policy

At WebSubstance, we feel that this kind of “hostage-taking” is really unprofessional and an improper relationship between the design and hosting firm and its clients. Instead of giving our clients extra work, we help them, by joint-managing the hosting and domain name policies. But we also leave the keys on the table for you -- at any time, our clients can take control of these agreements to switch them to other providers or do anything else that they want.

Here, you'll never have to worry about getting taken advantage of with a bait and switch contract or any other kinds of situations where you don't have full access to the domain name or project. This is a basic and essential part of any good contract between the design and hosting firm and client company, so when you're in the market for Web services, don't forget to check on how you'll have access to your domain name and other aspects of the project moving forward.

Contact us now for your next project!

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The Impact of Compelling, Original, Quality Content

Across the Internet marketing world, companies of all sizes are trying to figure out what really works on the web.

One thing that’s emerging, as a common philosophy and something that’s also borne out by numbers, is that creating intriguing, substantial web content is a way to get real brand visibility, and keep people coming back, to eventually buy.

The Content Philosophy

More business leaders are experiencing a ‘conversion’ from the days of the average, keyword-stuffed, short SEO post, to a new vision of ‘real pages’ that make sense and that readers connect to.

Contently, an engine for brand content serving many established blue-chip companies, is pushing this idea, but firms like this one are not alone. They’re joined by some household names in evangelizing about good content and how it works. For example, Contently’s Ritika Puri interviewed Pinterest head of content strategy Tiffani Jones Brown, the idea of high quality content as a “prime mover” of e-commerce is something that emerged as a main theme.

Doing the ROI

Yes, but what will good content really get me? How much does it help?

Those who are reading up on the value of content strategy are finding that it’s not all airy, spun-sugar stuff, but relates to real numbers. Contently also provides articles showing real, concrete ways to get content marketing ROI, for example, assessing the numbers of seconds a reader stays engaged in a first site visit, and how that corresponds to a conversion down the line.

WebSubstance: How We Can Help

Our team at WebSubstance understands the power of getting good content on the page. We can provide our clients with content marketing that works in the specific ways that entrepreneurs are talking about.

Along with comprehensive web design, we can add feature content to your site that represents something “readable” – results that readers want, not just empty stuffed shirts.

Let us become a partner in building your web site from the ground up, not just to get landing pages in place or showcase a corporate logo (although those things are important too) – but to start creating a conversation that, in the parlance of marketing heads around the world, will ‘bring all the customers.’

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Displaying Text on your Website

When designing a website, a lot more goes into displaying the content than you might think.  We do not simply copy and paste the text into the website.  If we did, it would look something like this:

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We display the content to make it attractive, easier to read, and stand out.  As you can see above, it is difficult to find what you are looking for.  The image below shows the same content in a much better way.  The information is easy to find, is visually appealing, and the content is popping off the page.  It is worth any extra time to display content this way because it changes the whole look of your website and keeps readers on your page.

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Fonts and Colors on your Website

When we design websites, we like to keep them looking clean. We don’t want pages to be cluttered by several different font styles and colors. When a website has those elements, you often have a hard time focusing on the content which is the reason why you are there. So make sure you have a select font that is easy to read, it will make all the difference in the world.

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Always Check the Links Within your Website

You are browsing a website and see a link to a page that looks really interesting to read. You click on it and you are directed to an error page. Nothing is more annoying, right? When maintaining your own website, we recommend that you keep a document on your computer where you can save all of the external links you have posted throughout your website. That way you can easily check them and update them as needed. It will keep your readers happy and save you from scrambling to fix them at a later point in time.

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Importance of Converting Graphics to Vector Images

Tip: When you are sending out images, such as business logos, to be printed for marketing materials, make sure you have the graphic converted to a vector image. This will allow you to enlarge the image very big (think the side of a building) and still have it look very crisp. Using files such as JPEGs limit the quality when it comes to large prints. So be sure to always check your file type before sending your images out.

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Corporate Photography

Contact Us

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