Michael Luchies

Why Your Website Design Isn’t That Important

There aren't many things that surprise me in today's social media-enabled world, but I found myself speechless (which isn’t done easily) after talking to Mavidea Web Designer, Michael Guarienti.

We were discussing business websites and how companies can get the best website while taking their time and budget into consideration. "All things considered, your business website design isn't that important," Michael said.

What!?

How could a web designer say that design isn't that important?

Function over Beauty

Before going too far into the belief that design doesn't matter at all, let me clarify something as I understood it from Michael. The design of a company's website matters A LOT, but it's the functionality of the design that matters more than the bells and whistles attached to it.

Like the classic acronym KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid), sometimes it’s better to go simple than over-complicate things, including website design. It’s hard for me to accept the fact that design for a website is more about being simple than it is cutting edge, but we build websites for a specific audience – our customers.

Think of your website's design as the frame of a car. It can be state-of-the-art and truly one of a kind, but if it's too unique to function and no one can use it, then it's completely useless.

The design allows the website to function, but it's the content that drives the website and will determine how far it can go in accomplishing your goals.

It's All About Content

When a customer searches online for a product that your company offers, your site's design will play a very small role in how well your company ranks on Google for that product. It's the content within your website that will determine how well you rank (along with your SEO efforts). Once someone visits your website, the design does matter, but only in guiding your visitor to the right information, which will hopefully lead them to make a purchase or contact you for more information.

Your website design should function smoothly and carry visitors to the important stuff - your services/products. A well designed website is one where the design is fluid, modern, and delivers customers to their destination without any glitches.

Homework:

  1. Ask a friend or colleague to visit your website - afterwards, ask them if it was easy to navigate, how long it took to load, and did it give a good first impression of your business.
  2. Google a few of the primary services you offer - do you rank on the first page?

If those questions received less than positive answers, you need to reevaluate how functional your website design is and if there is too much emphasis on design, and not enough on the content.

Ready to take the next step and see how Mavidea can build a better and more effective website for your business? Schedule a short call with us today.

 

Posted in General Information, Web Design & Marketing Services | Tagged , , , , | 1 Response
Kim James

Champaign Heating & Air: Before + After Website Design by Mavidea

About Champaign Heating & Air: With over 40 years of combined experience on staff, Champaign Heating & Air is proud to serve Central Illinois, including the cities of Champaign, Urbana, Savoy and surrounding areas. They specialize in residential home comfort solutions, commercial heating, air conditioning, ventilation, refrigeration, and draft beer systems.

ChampaignHeating

Before

Champaign Heating & Air has been a part of the Mavidea website family for several years. We designed their previous website in 2013, and it was time for a redesign!

Technology is moving fast, Google is constantly changing their algorithm, and the growth of mobile is staggering. That's why we recommend sites be redesigned regularly (every 2-3 years) in order to stay inline with technology.

Specifically, a mobile site has gone from a "nice to have" a couple years ago, to a "must have" today. If you don't have a mobile site for your website, you need to call us today!

Take the mobile test - open your website on your mobile phone, do you have to squint to read the content? Or pinch the content to enlarge it to read? If so, your site is NOT mobile friendly.

Champaign Heating_Before

After

Their updated website includes branding elements such as the red and white swoosh through the homepage that is similar to their logo.

Also, we used a homepage image that shows a family enjoying the comfort of their home. This is the best way to communicate what your services are about to visitors! Most customers do not care what model air conditioner you carry, they only care that you can provide them cool air to enjoy in a comfortable home.

Their website is responsive and mobile, is built on WordPress, and includes ongoing support and maintenance for all creative/technical needs they have.

Mavidea websites are zero down with zero startup fees.

Our monthly website packages are the entire package! They include your website design/development and the ongoing support each month. NO SURPRISES and no hidden costs.

Desktop & Laptop

champaignheat_after

Mobile Website Design

Responsive Design

 

Do you need a new website? Don't wait any longer - get a quote today from Mavidea.

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Jason

Why Ranking 1st on Google Isn’t Enough: Small Business Website SEO

There’s no feeling like being in first place. Being in the top spot in Google, Bing, and Yahoo! searches doesn't just feel good, it pays. The top spot on Google gets approximately 33% of the clicks for a particular search.

As it should be, a lot of importance is put on being in the top spot, or at the very least, being on the first page. After all, less than 10% of people searching in Google even click over to the second page.

In other aspects of life and business, once we reach a goal, we don't have to do anything else in order to get the benefits from it. For example, if you're working to pay off a credit card, after it's paid off, you don't have to keep making payments. With SEO, the work doesn’t stop after you’ve made the top spot, and here are three big reasons why:

Competition

Imagine you’re running a 5k and first place pays $10,000. You’ve trained for months and need the money to put your oldest child, Frank, through college. After just over two miles, you’re in first place, and as you look behind you, you can’t see any of your competitors. Do you stop and start walking, or do you keep running full speed with the belief that your competitors are coming up fast? Of course, you keep running so little Frankie can go to college.

Because the first position on Google is so valuable, your competitors are constantly running right behind you. Their business may even depend on getting there, which means they are highly motivated to find some way to beat you. You will always need to defend your spot at the top.

Search Engine Updates

What Google and other search engines want from you and how they value your site are ALWAYS changing. In the first three months of 2017, there have already been four major updates. All it takes is a small change in how they rank sites or what they accept or penalize, and your site could be knocked off the first page entirely.

External Factors

Your ranking largely relies on things that you can’t control. You can always work to improve your SEO, but you have no control over external links, how Google ranks websites, and how your target market is searching and clicking on search engine results.

The websites that link to your website, for example, impact your search rankings. You can influence their decision to add one of your links to their website by working with them and providing them value (like writing a great article their readers want to read). What you can't do is control how they manage their website, add and remove links, and how they go about their own SEO efforts, which will impact yours.

Because of external factors like links on other websites and search engine updates, as mentioned above, you can lose ground when you’re standing still and not even realize it if you aren’t continuing to work on SEO for your website.

Stick With It!

About four years ago, I was told by a great client, "We're at #1, and we think we are wasting our money." I was sad to see them go and explained that even without our help here at Mavidea, they would need to keep up their SEO efforts.

We did continue to work together, but it was after a costly year where they fell off of the first page of search results for several of their keywords because they stopped all of their SEO work.

It’s okay to adjust your approach once you've reached the top spot, but you can’t just stop. Nothing in search engine optimization is "set it and forget it." Your efforts need to be constant if you want to stay at the top and enjoy the benefits that come with sticking there, like visitors and sales.

Are you in first place and would like some help making sure you stay there? Or maybe you're getting close, but need a little extra help in getting to #1. For a free 15-minute strategy call, send me an email with a link to your website: Jason.Lerblance@mavidea.com

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Jamie Warmbir

This Week’s Ransomware and How to Protect Yourself

There was another major ransomware released this weekend called Wanna Cry.

As long as we continue to use computers and technology we will all have to deal with these threats to our businesses and organizations.

There are two key elements to being protected:

  • Technology systems
  • Human intelligence

Technology Systems

The basic technology systems are security software, automated patching, and backup systems.  With these in place you are protected and poised for rapid recovery from the unknown.  For Mavidea's IT Services clients you enjoy this posture of protection and preparedness.

Human Intelligence

Human intelligence is just as important if not more so than the technology systems.  Current threats seek to catch users unaware with legitimate looking email communications.  One wrong click can make for a very bad day.

The Origin

This current ransomware, and I expect, future variants, originates in email with malicious website links or infected PDF files attached.  Once initiated the ransomware encrypts your data, requests payment, and replicates across your network.  The Wanna Cry ransomware has been disabled but others will follow.

My recommendations to you are:

  • Establish a healthy skepticism to emails from unknown senders
  • Establish a healthy skepticism to emails with unexpected attachments
  • Establish a healthy skepticism to emails asking you to follow links
  • Work with a reputable IT Services firm to be secured and prepared

If you receive a seemingly legitimate email from an organization that you are familiar with asking you to follow a link to your account, don't use the link.  Go directly to the website of that business and log in as you typically would or call their customer service line.

Perhaps you are sent an unexpected attachment, seemingly from a known contact.  Inquire with the sender about what they sent and why.  It's better to be safe than sorry and a few extra minutes spent cannot compare to the multitude of costs recovering from ransomware.

Email

Email continues to be a prime method of infection.  Be cautious, thoughtful, and overly careful when clicking links and opening documents from your inbox.

Be well,

Jamie Warmbir
Director of Client Happiness™
Mavidea

Protect your business today - email adviser@mavidea.com or complete our contact form to start your business's security plan.

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Michael Luchies

Spring Cleaning: 8 Super Quick Website Updates You Need To Make Today

Put your winter jacket back in the closet and get outside to enjoy the weather – spring is here! You can't drive a mile without seeing people jogging, biking, and even sunbathing if you're close to a university like we are here in Bloomington/Normal, IL.

Like the sun coming out in spring and people flocking outside, your website can bring out new customers with a little spring cleaning. Here are eight things on your website worth cleaning up today.

404 errors

Errors on your website lead visitors to dead ends and hurt your chances of ranking highly on Google. Run a quick error search on your website on a site like brokenlinkcheck.com and replace or remove broken links.

Website content

When's the last time you took a look at your about page? If you can't remember, it's probably time to update. Take a few minutes to read through each page and make changes as needed. If you want to check your site for spelling and grammar errors, copy and paste your text into Grammarly. And if you need help sprucing up your site's content, consider working with a copywriter.

Forms

The forms on your website, from newsletter signup to contact and quote request forms, are what converts a visitor into a lead or customer. But, you have to handle this process carefully. Simply forgetting to email someone back or waiting too long to respond can ruin any potential benefit you would've gained.

Review the forms on your website, who is handling, how you're responding, and any related statistics. A small change here for the better could have a big impact on your business since many potential customers get lost in the shuffle of a poorly executed form process.

Update your email subscription list

Your email list needs to be updated to add new subscribers, remove incorrect email addresses, and to see what's working and what's not. Depending on the software you use, you can see when and why people are unsubscribing and make changes to grow your list. And if you have a few extra minutes to spare, send an update to your list to share any valuable information with them (discounts, blog posts, etc.).

If you don't have an email list, consider creating one to engage visitors with your brand. Check out MailChimp or Constant Contact to help manage your email list.

Change passwords

Don't get hacked! Take 5 minutes to change your passwords and make sure they are unique. Whether online or offline, keep your password information in a secure place. Consider using a password management tool like LastPass.

Remove ghost town social media accounts

A ghost town platform is a social media account that you rarely or no longer use. If you haven't posted on your company's Facebook or Twitter page in months, it's better to remove the account than leave it up without any posts. If you do plan to start posting again, take a few minutes to make a post on each channel.

What year is it?

"Copyright 2012." Have you scrolled to the bottom of your website lately? Take a quick look to see what year is listed at the bottom of your website in your website's copyright. This should be updated yearly.

Pics

Don't let outdated pictures of you and your team or old stock images send the wrong message. Look at the images on your website as if you're a new visitor, and update these based on what best appeals to your customers.

Refresh your website with Mavidea – we're here to help. From full website redesigns to refreshing the look and feel of your online presence, Mavidea can help you bring in more visitors and convert them into loyal customers. Email adviser@mavidea.com or fill out our form to get started.

 

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