Orange County Website Designers | Orange County SEO | WordPress Website Design Tustin, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Seal Beach | Orange County SEO Firm http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com Fri, 27 May 2016 07:46:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.3 How to Use #Hashtags http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2016/02/how-to-use-hashtags/ http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2016/02/how-to-use-hashtags/#comments Thu, 18 Feb 2016 12:30:12 +0000 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/?p=9577 Hashtags are a largely misunderstood and yet excessively used component to almost all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, and more. Hashtags are an incredibly important tool for marketing your business, acting as a key driver of online engagement when used successfully.

So what is the best approach to using hashtags? What’s the best strategy to integrating them into your business campaigns to help you generate results? We’ve outlined some great tips to help your business leverage hashtags and create more successful social media posts and campaigns.

  1. Categorize the Message of Your Business

Hashtags are ideal for organizing content so that people can easily find posts related to a particular topic they’re interested in. When you create a social media post, use hashtags to brand, categorize, or further describe and show the value of your message. For example, if your post relates to #business, #beauty, or a #sale, include the hashtags. This is critical in promoting the content of your business.

You can categorize even further by adding tags such as #marketing, #B2B, and even give particular posts their own unique hashtag like #AOMtips for posts that relate to a certain subject or event.

  1. Extend Your Reach

On top of defining content, hashtags can also extend your reach. They act similarly to SEO keywords, except that the hashtags you should use are already popular and well known to an audience. When you use hashtags that are frequently searched, it will increase the likelihood that your posts will appear in hashtag searches and reach more people.

You can also measure the popularity of trending tags by looking in the social media platform you’re using, like Twitter and Instagram. This is a great way to help you choose hashtags for your business. Think of it as finding a starting point to identify the best tags to include in your post.

  1. Starting a Topic Trend

Hashtags are an excellent way to get creative online, giving business owners an opportunity to start something unique with your audience that is specifically associated with your business or message. When you choose to develop a hashtag trend, it’s important to stay consistent and relevant with your overarching goal. Or, alternatively, you can use pop culture references and align them with an aspect of your business. This technique is a great way to demonstrate that you are connected to your audience, and will help to keep you relevant and on their minds. 

  1. Use Hashtags based on the social media site

It may sound like we’re going against common sense, but hashtags are most useful when they aren’t overdone. Too many in a post will make it look like cluttered spam, which deters people from paying attention and could even cause them to unfollow your business. We recommend using only 1-3 hashtags per post on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.  Instagram and Facebook are exceptions to this rule.  Engagement has actually been shown to decline for Facebook posts that use hashtags according to a recent study.  Additionally, Instagram uses hashtags heavily and the magic number there seems to start at 5.

Ultimately, hashtags have become an essential aspect of social media campaigns and strategies. They organize your posts and make certain topics easy to find, while also providing you a soapbox for particular things that people are already interested in and searching for. They can even help you start trending topics online, giving your business the opportunity for increased followers, leads, and sales. Best of all, this great little social media tool will help your business stay relevant and accessible!

If you’re interested in creating successful social media campaigns but don’t know where to start, The Art of Online Marketing is offering a free consultation to help you get started. Call us today at (800) 764-8528.

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Why Are WordPress Plugin Updates So Important? http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2016/01/why-are-wordpress-plugin-updates-so-important/ http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2016/01/why-are-wordpress-plugin-updates-so-important/#respond Tue, 12 Jan 2016 04:48:24 +0000 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/?p=9552 Have you ever seen a notification in the backend of your WordPress website that an update is ready for one of your plugins? Or maybe you see several updates, or a lot? Do you let the numbers increase steadily, and simply ignore them for fear of messing up your site? After all, these little plugin updates can’t be that important, can they? Wrong! WordPress plugin updates are needed to keep your website safe and secure, patch bugs, and provide new features and functionality. In fact, if you aren’t updating your WordPress plugins, your website is extremely vulnerable in a very big way.

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WordPress plugin updates are most often issued to fix security issues in the software, making the updates integral to keeping your website safe from hackers. Over 85% of hacked WordPress websites have not been updated, leaving them predisposed to attacks and malware. If your WordPress software isn’t updated frequently, your site is practically guaranteed to be hacked at some point. This is because hackers and other malicious groups keep track of vulnerabilities in the software, which they begin to exploit as soon as they discover it. That’s why it’s so vital to update a plugin as soon as one is released, to keep your site safe.

And not only does hacking result in losing valuable content and prospects, you can even lose your spot in search engine rankings! Google actually looks for websites with malicious code and de-indexes them. This is great news to the rest of the world, but if a hacker puts blacklisted code in your site, you’ll be stripped of your Google ranking and prospects will have a much harder time finding you online than before you were hacked.

If you’re afraid that updating a plugin is going to break your website, this is a valid concern. Some updates aren’t compatible with an existing theme or plugin, resulting in issues and messed up coding. WordPress doesn’t provide an easy guide or method to updates, so it can be scary to click that “update” button when you aren’t sure how it’s going to turn out.

But, it doesn’t have to be that scary, and updates are still a necessary part of having a website. One thing you can do is simply back up all of your data every time you update a plugin, and you’ll have a cushion if anything goes wrong. If you don’t have the time or expertise to update your WordPress website yourself (it’s okay, that’s most business owners!), The Art of Online Marketing has a variety of maintenance plans to take care of your WP updates and backups for you. To ensure that your website and search engine rankings stay safe and at optimal performance, call us for a free consultation today at (800) 764-8528.

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Why Your Business Should Be on Instagram in 2016 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/12/why-your-business-should-be-on-instagram-in2016/ http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/12/why-your-business-should-be-on-instagram-in2016/#respond Fri, 25 Dec 2015 07:53:35 +0000 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/?p=9446 Instagram has made incredible strides as a social media dominator this year, having transformed from a trendy hangout for teens into a promising networking site for businesses. It has grown to 400 million active monthly users, and an impressive 34% of all US Internet users use it. Those US users alone spend 12 billion minutes a month on Instagram!

If you’re looking to market your business, you should definitely be interested in the opportunity to establish yourself on this amazing image-centric website. What’s more, these statistics aren’t the only compelling reasons why you should be on Instagram in the New Year! Let’s look at what Instagram really has to offer your business.

  1. Instagram is beating out Facebook AND Twitter in brand engagement.

    A recent report has revealed that while brands tend to have a larger following on Facebook and Twitter, it’s their Instagram that has the most engagement. What makes Instagram so successful? The fact that it centers around visual content, which leads us to the second reason you should be using Instagram…

  1. Instagram puts emphasis on visual content first.
    Visual content is the most successful content today. Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t make it easy to upload images since it takes up part of your already-tiny character limit. Meanwhile, Facebook puts the text before the images and makes viewers wait for the visual instead of offering the instant gratification they crave. With Instagram, the visual easily takes center-stage and it doesn’t limit your picture dimensions either.
  1. No need to worry about character limit.
    While visual content is the key, it’s also important to describe it with words. Unlike Twitter, Instagram has a robust character limit of 2,220. And as we mentioned above, Instagram puts your text below the image so that views don’t have to wade through it first.
  1. Instagram won’t hide your content with algorithms.
    A huge drawback of using Facebook for your business is the ever-changing algorithms that work against you getting your content in front of people. It isn’t enough to just post content on Facebook and expect engagement. Organic reach has been declining, with a greater emphasis on promoted posts. Instagram does not utilize algorithms to limit what users see. If someone follows your business, your posts will appear on their feed.
  1. Instagram uses #hashtags and other unique features that get you found.
    Instagram has several tools that are great for marketing. The Explore feature helps users find relevant content based on the current trending hashtags, as well as what followers are currently “liking”. While Twitter allows you to look up hashtags, Instagram has streamlined and improved this feature. Meanwhile, the Search function can help you discover what content is performing well in areas you’re interested in.
  1. Instagram was born on mobile.
    90% of all US mobile users spend time using Internet on the go. Instagram was designed as a mobile app, making it the most successful social media app today. Mobile use is only increasing, so if you want to increase your mobile presence for 2016 you should establish your business on Instagram.

Instagram is an incredible social media platform that has easily evolved beyond our expectations, and we see it only growing stronger in the New Year as it continues to make improvements and grow. It already offers an array of valuable features, and has proven itself to be a competitive networking platform even compared to the giants of Facebook and Twitter. If your business isn’t on it already, we recommend getting an account and including it in your marketing strategy for 2016.

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Your Marketing Planning Guide for 2016 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/12/your-marketing-planning-guide-for2016/ http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/12/your-marketing-planning-guide-for2016/#respond Fri, 04 Dec 2015 05:19:05 +0000 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/?p=9340

If you’re like so many businesses today, you haven’t started planning your marketing strategy for next year. Don’t start off the New Year making such a huge mistake! Too many people get so far behind in their marketing planning that they end up in a panic. They find themselves with no new leads or customers to support their cash flow, and then they throw together plans to try to solve a now-dire situation. But, this doesn’t have to be you.

In the spirit of the holidays, The Art of Online Marketing is offering you a gift for being part of our community. We are giving you a simple-to-follow Marketing Planning Guide, and all you have to do is click the button on this page to get your complimentary copy now. You’ll also have the opportunity to schedule a free consultation with our team to review your plan.

In this Guide, you’ll find everything you need to help you get next year’s marketing strategy crafted, organized, budgeted, and scheduled.

Don’t wait until January or February to start working on this like so many people do, and then end up scrambling in frustration and desperation because your business is slowing down horribly in the 1st quarter. Start next year off with a strong plan in place to make sure you generate more leads and more business right from the beginning of the New Year!

Download the FREE Marketing Planning Guide
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The Mobile Micro-Moment Has Changed Digital Marketing Strategy Forever http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/10/the-mobile-micro-moment-has-changed-digital-marketing-strategy-forever/ http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/10/the-mobile-micro-moment-has-changed-digital-marketing-strategy-forever/#respond Wed, 21 Oct 2015 06:49:18 +0000 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/?p=9331 Every day, mobile devices are becoming less of a luxury and more of an extension of ourselves that we can’t live without. We rely on our phones to wake up in the morning, remind of us our calendar schedules, communicate with the family, and even get in an extra five minutes of work when we wait in line or stand at the ATM. Meanwhile the rise of mobile consumerism has revolutionized the world of marketing, and if businesses don’t keep up they’ll be left in the dust of their competitors. That’s where the mobile micro-moment comes in.

As consumers, we’re bombarded with pesky ads and marketing messages more than ever before. So what do we do? We tune them out! Mobile devices let us engage online on our own terms, which means when we aren’t looking for ads we feel like they’re more annoying than helpful. That’s why context is key when it comes to marketing on mobile.

Micro-moments are the small spaces in between when consumers are open to marketing influence. It’s when they want some help with informing their choices or making decisions. In other words, micro-moments are when consumers search their mobile device thinking, “I want to know”, “I want to go”, “I want to buy”, and “I want to do” moments. If your business wants to cash in on these moments, it needs to:

  1. Be there – Anticipate and prepare for the micro-moments of consumers in your industry.
  2. Meet their needs – Be relevant for what consumers are looking for in the moment.
  3. Be fast and efficient – Mobile users want a quick and smooth experience. Don’t keep them waiting with a slow mobile site or a shopping cart with too many steps.

Micro-moments are your time to shine as a business. They are the mobile opportunity for you to be there for a consumer who’s looking for what you provide, and to fill their need without time to waste. For more information on micro-moments, check out this helpful resource. And if you’re looking for help on how to take advantage of these mobile marketing gems, we’re offering a free consultation! Call us today at (800) 764-8528.

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41 of the Best Sites for FREE Stock Photos http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/10/free-stock-images-41-of-the-best-sites/ http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/10/free-stock-images-41-of-the-best-sites/#respond Mon, 12 Oct 2015 06:02:47 +0000 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/?p=9293 The perfect stock photos for your website, blogs, and social media posts are out there… but it can be a daunting task to find them. What’s worse, it can be EXPENSIVE. Due to legal issues and monstrous penalty fees, you don’t want to just use your favorite images from a cursory Google image search.

So, how do you find beautiful stock images without the often outrageous prices? Turn to websites with FREE high quality photos!

Below, we show you exactly where to find them.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of websites where (at the time of compiling this list) you can get gorgeous stock images that in most cases charge no royalties or fees (although in some cases, you will need to give attribution to the photographer).

Bookmark or favorite these websites and never worry about expensive stock photos again!

  1. BigFoto
  2. Crow the Stone
  3. Cupcake
  4. Death to the Stock Photo
  5. Designer Pics
  6. Epicantus
  7. Foodies Feedspic2
  8. Free Nature Stock
  9. Free Stock Image Point
  10. GetRefe
  11. Good Free Photos
  12. Gratisography
  13. ISO Republic
  14. Jay Mantri
  15. Jeshoots
  16. Life of Pix
  17. Little Visuals
  18. MMT
  19. MorgueFile
  20. Moveast
  21. New Old Stock
  22. Photo
  23. PicJumbo
  24. PickupImage
  25. Picography
  26. Pixabay
  27. Plixs
  28. Public Domain Archive
  29. Re:Splashed
  30. RGB Stock
  31. Skitter Photo
  32. Smithsonian
  33. Snapwire Snaps
  34. Splitshire
  35. Startup Stock Photos
  36. StockVault
  37. StokPic
  38. Travel Coffee Book
  39. Unsplash
  40. UPICM
  41. Wylio

If you need help with your web design or if you have any other online marketing needs, The Art of Online Marketing has you covered. Call us today for a free consultation at (800) 764-8528.

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Key Features of Successful SEO http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/09/key-features-of-successful-seo/ http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/09/key-features-of-successful-seo/#respond Mon, 28 Sep 2015 09:03:15 +0000 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/?p=9225 Is your website a needle in a haystack buried among the trillions of other websites fighting to get people’s attention?

If so, we’ve put together some info to help you understand some of the aspects necessary so you can get your website found online with Successful Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO isn’t just about keywords or mobile optimization. There are several key features to consider when forming an SEO strategy that’s going to succeed and get you the search engine rankings you need to stand above your competition:

kf-21. Time on each page
Average time on page is the average amount of time that your website’s visitors spend on a specific page. This is a good metric to see if your website visitors are actually reading your content.

Search engines use this metric of average time spent on each page when figuring out your website’s ranking. There isn’t necessarily a fixed number as to how long you want visitors to stay, but we have found at least 2 minutes per visit has been helpful. This is sometimes referred to as “Dwell Time”. It can become even more important as a ranking factor if a visitor has left your competitor’s site quickly and then come to your site.

2. Bounce rate
Bounce rate is simply the percentage of website visitors who only viewed a single page on your site, and who stayed on that page for less than 30 seconds.

If you have a high bounce rate, it may not be just your content that needs improving, but your SEO as well. Things to consider for your bounce rate and SEO include relevant keywords, titles, and page descriptions throughout your website.  If people land on your page and find something different than what they were expecting, too short, or not compelling, they are likely to “bounce”.

3. Number of pages viewed
The number of pages viewed is what signifies the quality and/or relevancy of the content your visitors are finding what they’re looking on your site. For example, if most of your visitors leave your website after only viewing one page, it could indicate that there’s an issue with your content. On the flip side, if they’re visiting too many pages before they reach your final conversion page, the process is taking too long.

One of the hallmarks of good SEO is your number of inbound links. If you have a healthy amount of inbound links to a diversified group of your website pages, you will have a proportionately good number of pages viewed.

kf-34. Load time of website
Site speed (also called page speed) refer to how long it takes your website to load.  This plays a huge role in search ranking algorithms. If your page has a slow load time (longer than 1-2 seconds to be safe), search engines can crawl fewer pages, which negatively affects your indexation and rankings.

Page speed is also essential to user experience. Pages that take longer to load will have higher bounce rates as well as a lower average of time spent on the page because visitors won’t wait long for a page to load… they just move on. Websites with long load times will almost always have a poor conversion rate.

kf-45. Amount of content
Size actually does matter when it comes to your amount of web content. However, it’s probably not in the way you think. More words don’t automatically rank you higher, but rather, more content DOES give you more opportunities to rank. What does this mean? Essentially, that you can integrate keywords more often when your page has 500 words as opposed to just 50.  Additionally, more content is likely to keep someone on the page longer if it is if high quality and relevant to the topic the website visitors is interested in.

6. Relevancy of content based on keywords
There are certain areas on your website where your keywords should be located for maximum relevance. It is basic SEO strategy to include your target keywords in these places:

  • On the page, in the body of the content (at least a couple of times but not so much that the text becomes uncomfortable to read), as well as, for example, in the title tag, the H1 and 2 headers, and the image names and alternative text.
  • Inbound links that point to the page should have keyword anchor text, but this text needs to be a low percentage of overall anchor text. It is wise to keep it under 5%, and to make sure the rest of your anchor text is branded, uses your URL variations, and also uses other texts such as “click here”, “visit our website”, etc. This is absolutely paramount if you do not want to get tangled up in Google’s Penguin filter.
  • Keywords need to be placed in areas of high visibility, such as the headline tags, in-document jump links, and image alt attributes.
  • In your URL slug.

Essentially, your target keywords should be included in any place that you have the option of using them!  However, you must also avoid keyword stuffing.  More as, overuse of a keyword on a page will result in Google realizing that you are just trying to rank the page and this could hurt your overall ranking significantly.

7. Recency of content
Websites with the most recent and up-to-date information on a specific subject rank higher on search engines than websites with older or outdated information.

From an SEO standpoint, this basically means that in order to rank higher on a search engine, you need to make sure that your content stays fresh and updated constantly, otherwise, it could be overtaken in the ranks by websites with more recent content.

8. Interlinking between pages on the site
kf-5
Internal links are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on that same domain. They are typically used in the main navigation.

Internal links are vital to both visitors to your website and to search engines, both of which will use them to navigate around your pages. If you want good SEO, you will need to create internal links for search engines to crawl as well as for your visitors to use.

kf-69. Mobile friendly
When your website is mobile-friendly, it means that visitors using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have an experience that is optimized for their device. Website design, website structure, page speed, and other elements all ensure the quality of a visitor’s mobile experience.

Search engines, especially Google, now prioritize mobile-friendly websites in both mobile searches and desktop searches. If your site doesn’t have mobile optimization, you’ll be penalized with lower search engine rankings.

In order to create a successful SEO strategy, you will need to consider all of these elements and build a plan around them. If you’re interested in achieving high search engine rankings that give you the boost you need to beat your competition, the Art of Online Marketing can help. Call us today at 1-800-764-8528 to schedule a free consultation!

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What Pages Does Your Site Need to be Successful? http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/09/what-pages-does-your-site-need-to-be-successful/ http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/09/what-pages-does-your-site-need-to-be-successful/#respond Fri, 18 Sep 2015 06:51:17 +0000 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/?p=9084

When thinking about building a website, you need to consider what pages will help you achieve your company’s goals. Here is a comprehensive list of the pages that your website may want to include depending on your anticipated website visitors and what you are trying to achieve with your website:

  1. About: A page that provides background info about an individual, company, or organization so people understand the credibility and authority of the company.
  2. Mission: A page where you share what the company mission is. This allows people to see your purpose, and feel like they are buying something greater than just the service or product.
  3. Team: A page sharing images and bios for the members of your team to help visitors feel like they know you more than just seeing who works there. (People buy when they know, like, and trust you) and you can build authority/trustworthiness on this page.
  4. What to Expect: You can make the first visit to your business easier on new clients by outlining your intake process and what they can expect. This helps you appear more convenient and accessible to your website visitors.product-service
  5. Products/Services: The products or services you offer and how you can help your visitors find the results they are seeking.
  6. Cart: If you have a shopping cart, don’t forget to include this page and the icon in the upper right of the website so people can quickly find and access it when they are ready to complete their purchase.
  7. Pricing: If possible, include the price of your products/services, even if you can’t be specific such as simply offering a range of prices. This will make your business seem more transparent and trustworthy.
  8. Guarantee: Offer a guarantee of some sort, whether it is about the quality of your products/services or a concrete money-back offer to help visitors feel safer and more confident purchasing from you.
  9. Return Policy: If appropriate, include a page that talks about your policy on returns, restrictions, etc. to answer these questions on your site rather than having to go through customer service.
  10. Reviews/Testimonials: You want to showcase the positive things your customers are saying about you. 3rd party reviews add social proof that you deliver what you promise and provide some comfort to others that they are making a good decision when selecting your company for help or a product.
  11. FAQs: This page includes a list of questions that visitors may have about your business, products/services, policies, and more. This makes it easy for both you and your website visitors to find the information they’re looking for fast and immediately, rather than having to contact you. It can also help overcome potential objections by handling them right there on the FAQs page.
  12. Gallery/Portfolio: This page includes images and possibly short descriptions of the finished work you’ve done to show visitors what you’re capable of and really wow them!
  13. Blog: Blogs are an opportunity to keep your site up to date and relevant with information about your business, your products/services, industry news, and more. Blogs add value to your site by offering more than just your products/services, and also give you a way to tie in your social media, search engine optimization, and email marketing efforts.
  14. Articles: This page includes helpful and insightful articles written by you or a third party that makes you more than just a business, but a credible information hub for visitors, prospects, and current clients.
  15. Newsletter: This page includes a sign-up form for your newsletter, where you explain that you will be sending free updates, tips and tricks, industry news, special deals, etc. so you can market to your list and build a relationship.
  16. News Room: This your opportunity to speak to the media and the one place it is okay to brag a bit about how cool you are! Your newsroom is where you can post links to news articles that feature you or your business and press releases about your accomplishments and your business accomplishments.
  17. Partners: To appear more credible, include a list of your partners to let visitors know the great businesses you work with.partners This page has the added bonus that your partners may do the same for you, which helps increase traffic to your own site!
  18. Industries Served: This page lets visitors know the types of industries you specialize in helping build authority in that niche.
  19. Events: Quickly and easily inform visitors of upcoming events, allowing you to give your events more exposure.
  20. Forms: This page includes any necessary forms online in a PDF format, or format they can fill out online allowing visitors the convenience of filling them out at home or online.
  21. Case Studies or Testimonials: Social proof of your ability to generate results. Increases your credibility and trustworthiness as a business.videos
  22. Videos: Including a page with helpful and informative videos about your business is an easy way to capture audiences and grain credibility, trust, and a loyal following – which you can then use in marketing such as sharing videos on social media, email campaigns, etc.
  23. Resources: The content for this page varies depending on your business, but you can include a list of helpful non-competitive third-party websites that could add more value to your visitors’ experience for things that your business can’t fulfill.
  24. Specials: Attract more prospects and increase your sales by including a page that lists your current specials or deals.
  25. What’s New: This page is where you can post updates for your business, team, products/services, and even exciting news for your industry.
  26. Survey: Gather helpful information from visitors by offering surveys about what they’re interested in. Share live results for the survey after they complete it on your site.
  27. Quizzes and diagnostics: Interactive quizzes and diagnostics can help prospects understand more about their current situation and why they may need to access your products or services.
  28. Contact Us: Let visitors and prospects know what phone number, email, and address they can contact you at to make a consultation, appointment, inquire about more information, etc. Without contact info on our site, you’ll have a hard time converting!
  29. Directions: Make the lives of your visitors easier by including directions on how to find you.direction
  30. Privacy Policy: This is the page where you need to outline how any information you collect will be used and if it will be shared or not. This will reassure visitors to your site that their info is safe, and will help build trust and credibility by being transparent about your policies.
  31. Site Map: A site map shows visitors how the site is laid out and which sections are where. This makes your website easier to navigate.
  32. Terms of Service: This page discusses what the terms are that someone accepts when they use your website or engage in a business relationship with you.
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How Color Affects Your Website http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/08/how-color-affects-your-website/ http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/08/how-color-affects-your-website/#respond Mon, 24 Aug 2015 05:28:02 +0000 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/?p=9047

A great website design is so much more than just delivering content and making it look good. When visitors come to your site, they immediately produce a set of feelings about your website and your business. The type of feelings they produce, positive or negative, are entirely in your hands and should be taken into consideration when designing content.

You might think about the color of your website in terms of how they look together and whether they’re generally appealing, but color actually has a lot more to do with what your visitors think about your site and the actions they take, than you might realize. For instance, take a look at these statistics:

  • 93% of consumers place color and appearance above other factors when making a buying decision.
  • 85% of shoppers state color as the primary factor in their decision to buy a product.
  • Brand recognition, which links directly to consumer confidence, is increased by 80% when the right colors are used.

Cited from: http://www.businessinsider.com/psych-101-for-your-website-the-color-factor-2011-7

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In order to create A visually effective website that plays into the psychology of your visitors, you need to understand how different design elements and how we use them affect the mood, attitude and experience the visitor will have while browsing your website. These are the issues you’ll need to keep in mind if you want to create a visually engaging site that encourages visitors to return.

Choosing the right color palette for your site is essential to communicate your message, brand your product or service, and, if you are an online business, sell your products. Everyone has favorite colors, but how those colors are interpreted may vary from culture to culture. Color communicates far more than most people realize. Choosing wrong colors can be a disaster for your website.

Before selecting colors for your website, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are your site’s potential visitors?
  • What are your products or services?
  • What are your site’s key objectives?

marketing-strategyYour visitor demographics can also make a difference in how colors are perceived. Young people are drawn more to saturated colors than adults, who may find them garish or offensive. Strong color contrasts can also drive older visitors away. While young people may respond positively to new color trends, these fashionable colors can be overused and go out of style as quickly as they appear. Text and background color choices also affect readability, which can be an issue for older visitors and those with visual impairments.

 

SO WHAT DO COLORS MEAN AND WHAT FEELINGS DO THEY CONVEY?

neuronsIt’s important to know what specific colors mean to people. It’s been shown that certain colors invoke specific feelings in most people, here’s a general of list what colors can mean and convey to your visitors:

Yellow: Youthful and optimistic. Use it to grab attention. Usually not good as a background or primary site color.

Red: Energy. Creates urgency and increases heart rate. Good for appealing to impulse shoppers.

Blue: Creates feelings of trust and security. This is why many banks use it in their logos or marketing. Navy or dark blue is used to market to the budget-conscious.

Green: Gives the impression of wealth. Relaxing and easy-going. Teal can be used to appeal to people on a budget.

Orange: Aggressive and excitement. Good for calls to action and impulse buying.

Pink: Feminine and romantic. Used to market to women and girls and traditional buyers.

Black: Powerful and sleek. Use it to market luxury products and appeal to impulse buyers.

Purple: Soothing and calming. Often used to market anti-aging products.

COLOR IMPACTS BUYING DECISIONS

Many studies have found that what your website visitors see when they come to your site, from overall design to the colors used, really does make an impact on whether they buy from you.  It’s a common mistake to use a color because you happen to like it or to “dress-up” your site without any thought to your site’s objectives. Here are several mistakes commonly made in selecting website colors:

Mistake #1: Colors that are selected conflict with your brand, service or products.

If you have a well-known brand like Coke, you can use bold colors like ‘Coca-Cola red’ as much as you want without concern. However, very few companies are in the unique position where the brand name is more powerful than their brand color. Less well-known businesses should carefully consider the colors they choose for their logos and website.

warm-coolCertain colors work well with specific types of businesses. For example, warm colors, such as reds, yellows, and oranges, can work well for food sites and restaurants that offer spicy fare.

Colors in the warm range can also be effective in selling products associated with sun, passion or sensuality.

Creams, whites and dark brown colors can be used successfully on websites that sell chocolate products.

Cool colors, such as blues and greens, complement outdoor products, airlines, medical services, law firms and intellectual content. These colors can reflect trust or a relaxed attitude. As one study has noted, “… the color blue has a relaxing effect on the nervous system, and has shown to increase productivity when used as a background color. However, don’t use blue in your color scheme if your product is food-related, as blue is a natural appetite suppressant.”

Mistake #2: Your web site uses saturated background colors that fight with your site’s content and make it difficult to read and navigate.

backgroundcolorIf your site uses product pictures or headlines with important messages, you should always chose a desaturated background so the images will ‘pop’ or ‘stand out’ on the page.

A saturated background will dominate your page, causing both the content and images to be lost. Not only will your content be hard to read, your pictures will lose their effectiveness and your site will be difficult to navigate.

The colors of your product pictures and key messages should always be more highly saturated than your background colors. Keep in mind that graphics and areas on your site with the most saturated colors will attract the visitor’s eye first.

For example, black and white text appears differently on saturated versus desaturated color backgrounds. White text has more ‘pop’ on a saturated background while black text is more readable on a desaturated background. White text on a desaturated background ‘shouts’ less, as well.

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Mistake #3: Your website uses too many colors.

Color harmony is the most important criteria when selecting colors. We recommend selecting a moderate number of colors. Four or five colors at most (plus black and white). Too many colors create disorder and can distract the user. You should also take into consideration the shade of the colors you choose. They should complement each other or even be from the same family to have the smoothest viewing experience.

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Access free color palettes at: http://www.color-hex.com/color-palettes/

The internet is a colorful place, and there is a lot that can be accomplished by using color in the right way, at the right time, with the right audience, and for the right purpose. So, now that you’re aware of how color can affect the success of your website, what do you do about it? Here’s some tips on how should you go about implementing these ideas:

  • Test several colors. Despite what some may say, there is no right color for conversion text or a button. Try a green, purple, or yellow button. Explore the advantages of a black background scheme vs. a white background. Find out which works best for your audience and with your product.
  • Don’t just leave color choice up to your designer. Color is a conversion issue, not just an “Oh, it looks good” issue. Color aesthetics is not everything. Color conversion effects are important! You should be heavily involved in the color selection of your landing pages in order to improve your conversions.
  • Avoid color overload. We’ve just finished telling you how important and awesome color is. Now, you’re going to go out and color something. But don’t go overboard. Reign in your color enthusiasm with a whole lot of white. Too many colors can create a sense of confusion.

Using the right color in your website design is crucial and using the right color based on what your specific audience will respond to increases the likelihood of them doing what you want them to do. If you understand how color psychology works and which color fits your audience you’ll be one step closer to having a successful website that operates at an optimal level.

Contact the Art of Online Marketing today at 800-764-8528 for a consultation on your website and ways to improve your visitor’s experience and conversion rates!

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The Business of Facebook Video Calls http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/06/the-business-of-facebook-video-calls/ http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/2015/06/the-business-of-facebook-video-calls/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:00:43 +0000 http://www.theartofonlinemarketing.com/?p=9015 Did you know that Facebook now lets you video call right from the instant messaging chat frame? This cool new feature will be great for your business, because you will no longer have to navigate away from Facebook’s social platform if you need to make a video call. Let’s say that you send a quick instant message to a client or colleague, but for some reason it becomes hard to get the point across via text or the subject becomes broader than it was initially and you need to get on an actual call to make some clarifications. Instead of going through the hassle of opening up Skype or Google Hangouts, you can now simply start a video call on Facebook with the press of a button!

You can video call directly within Facebook, and you don’t have to download any additional plugins or programs. The feature works with Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera, so either make sure you’re using one of those browsers or that you install one. All you need to do is click on the video camera icon in the upper right hand corner of a Facebook conversation (see pictured above) and start your video call! You can even enjoy all of Facebook’s other features, including the regular chat, while you’re on the call.

As with all online video modules, you and your partner will need to have webcams and microphones. If the camera isn’t wanted, you can simply disable it at any time and switch to a voice-only call. The video call records the time and date of your call, which is listed conveniently in your ongoing message history. The call itself, however, does not record nor is it saved. If you want to record or save the video call, you will have to use additional software. An important thing to note with Facebook video calls is that there is not yet a group call feature – it will only work if the call is one-on-one.

As Facebook continues to grow and expand its features, we think it’s safe to say that you should look out for even more from the behemoth social media network in the future.

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