Welcome to Rachael’s Blog! Take a walk through the world of web design with me. I am a Business Development Associate at Ventura Web Design and Marketing. Trying to gain an understanding of web design can seem complex, but I’m here to break it down for you. Whether you are a recent college graduate like me, or someone who is trying to understand the basics of the e-commerce/web design industry, my goal is to help you succeed. I am hoping my weekly postings spark some conversations between us about web design!
Watch as our two favorite teams battle it out. Our Las Vegas Ventura Team will obviously be cheering for the Raiders, while our Tampa Ventura Team will be cheering for the Buccaneers.
We are excited to see which team wins this crucial battle. Both teams need this win, so it’s sure to be a great game. To add some fun to the competition, we will offer 25% off your first month of VIP Support Services if Tampa Bay wins, or 25% off your new website or website redesign if Las Vegas wins.
* Offer valid on new contracts only. Must be signed and paid in full prior to Oct 30, 2020. VIP contracts must be Advanced level or higher, with minimum 6 month commitment. New websites / redesigns must be at the Enterprise level, $15,000 or higher.
Did you know your Facebook page could be one of your best tools for increasing your revenue? With the proper relevance and frequency of your posts you could tap a whole new market you didn’t even know existed!
47% of users expect a maximum loading time of two seconds for an average website. In the day and age where everything is instantaneous, it’s unlikely users will wait for a slow website to load. They will go back to a search engine to find a faster one. This blog will cover the 10 factors that could be slowing down your website loading speed.
This is usually the top culprit of a slow loading web page. When uploading a high-resolution image (which is always advised) and then scaling it down it causes your web page to be large and thus take longer to load.
To combat this use JPEG images as opposed to PNG or GIF, as JPEGs have a smaller file size. Never use files that have a file size of 1 MB or more.
If you have a slow website or are just curious to test your site’s speed there are websites that will analyze any link and tell you where slowdowns may be coming from.
In case you’re not a tech guru we have multiple staff members that know how to perform these functions. Contact us or visit us online to learn more about our web design services.
Everyone remembers or knows Adobe Flash because it was that popup that used to came frequently in the past when you were trying to surf the web. Flash always seemed like it had to be updated, didn’t it? Well, that’s likely because it did. As websites advanced the Flash version had to be updated and now it could be the culprit of your own slow website.
Flash is somewhat outdated now and can be causing your website to slow down. You can either perform an audit of your Flash content to see what you can eliminate or simply start using HTML5 to speed up your site.
To reduce these requests try using Sprites to reduce HTTP requests
Caching is the process of storing data so at a later request they load faster. This takes the burden off the server so it doesn’t have to process the same information multiple times.
Using browser/HTTP caching and server-side caching will improve your site speed tremendously.
When your website has excessive styling or white space these things can cause unclean code. Removing these unnecessary things can compress the code, and thus reduce load time.
Not zipping files
If you haven’t already, enable gZIP on your website.
Too many ads
Ads are great for extra revenue for many sites, but it’s not worth compromising site load speed. More ads mean more HTTP requests, especially for media-rich display ads.
To reduce clutter and improve site speed reduce the number of ads.
Not using a CDN service
A CDN service is a network of independent servers deployed in different geographic locations. They are designed to deploy information from the closest server from the requesting user. These can dramatically improve site speed.
If all of the above options have been exhausted. It could be that you are using a bad hosting service. A bad host can cause your website to load slow.
Try switching hosts to a company that provides site speed support or optimized speed within their hosting bundle.
Your website home page should entice viewers to buy from you or work with you. People make very quick judgments when viewing a site…about a two-second judgment to be exact. So, implement the five things covered in this blog to convert web traffic into revenue.
Clear and concise messaging
People spend 5.94 seconds looking at the main page of a website so its important to have a clear and concise messaging to get your point across.
It’s best to have one main focal point on the page with easily digestible text…chunky paragraphs are a major no-no.
Every website main page should contain:
- What you do
- Why you do it
- Benefits of your business/product
- Hours of operation
- Contact section
- Call to action
Some may think its better to give people 20 options as opposed to a handful of options. While it may feel contradictory, it’s actually better to give people just a few choices.
Hicks Law states that the more choices a person has the longer they will take to make a decision.
This is not what you want when someone visits your site. You want to convert that visitor into a customer, therefore, giving them fewer options to pick from is better since the longer it takes them to choose an item the more likely they will be to second guess the purchase altogether and leave the site.
How many clicks it takes to complete a task and how easy options are to find are two factors people look for when browsing sites.
Make your site easy to browse and buy from. Minimal things to click on the homepage is usually best. Here’s an example of CarMax’s homepage.
The page tells you what they do, has a large call to action button, and quality photos.
Use photos to enhance your page
As shown in the example above good photos are crucial to people’s perception of your business and what you do. Avoid using stock images, as it seems impersonal and makes a customer less likely to trust you.
Your images should be high quality and compressed or zipped files to prevent the page from lagging when loading.
Provide proof for your claims
Provide reviews of past customers on your website. As people, we are more likely to follow the crowd so posting other satisfied reviews will make people more likely to choose your business. Providing reviews shows you can back up claims or provide a quality product or service. Let’s use our website as an example. We have put reviews on our website to back up our claims.
After reading this do you think your website could be spruced up? Contact us and we can handle redesigning, rewriting, and reworking your website so it can effectively grab the attention of potential customers. We have two locations to serve you. Contact us by phone in Tampa at (813) 556-7990 or in Las Vegas at (702) 515-2057. You can also contact us online.
What’s a pillar page and why should every website have one? This blog will discuss pillar pages in-depth, from what they are, to why you should have one, and how to create one. Keep reading to find out how they can help your business build credibility and improve relationships with current and future customers.
What Is A Pillar Page?
To put it simply pillar pages are web pages that contain information about a specific topic with relevant subtopics on it. These subtopics are clickable hyperlinks within the text body that will transfer someone to various pieces of content. For example, let’s say your topic is about the mechanics of baseball. You would have subtopics underneath baseball for subjects related to baseball like how to pick the right equipment, how to catch a ball, how to hit a baseball, etc and within those text bodies on the page, there will be clickable links to other more specific pieces related to the subtopic.
Your main topic should be a popular keyword. This will drive traffic to your pillar page via clicks. This keyword should also be mentioned in the image alt text, h1 tags, URL, and title.
Here’s an example of a pillar page for more context. There is body text about the main topic with a clickable link to a more detailed piece of content about fonts, logos, and colors.
When Should You Create A Pillar Page?
A pillar page should be created when you have enough content on the topic that you can flesh it out. Pretend you know nothing about the topic, would you be able to go to your pillar page and learn enough about the topic to have a comfortable conversation about many facets of the topic. If the answer is yes, then you have enough content for a pillar page. If the answer is no, create additional pieces of content with the intent of publishing that information on your pillar page.
There is such a thing as a 10x pillar page. What do you ask is the difference between a regular pillar page and a 10x pillar page? A 10x pillar page simply means your pillar page is 10x (10 times) better than the best pillar page on the chosen topic. This is the ultimate goal when creating a pillar page.
What Is A Pillar Page Good For?
A pillar page can serve as a landing page for a specific topic you’re trying to market. They are beneficial for email marketing, webinars, or paid ad purposes.
Creating a pillar page not only makes you seem credible but people will use you as a resource for that topic.
Steps To Create A Pillar Page
- Choose a topic
- This should be broad but not too broad
- Choose your subtopics and write them or repurpose them from your old content
- Add hyperlinks where relevant in the body text
- Build your pillar page
- Share your new awesome content!
Outsource Your Website Design And Pillar Page Creation
How Long Should A Pillar Page Be?
A pillar page should have body text ranging between 2000-5000 words. The text should relate to the main topic, but it shouldn’t go fully into detail. That’s what you have the hyperlinks to other content you’ve created for.
Extra Features To Add To Your Pillar Page
This is a bar that appears on the page under the URL that shows a reader how far they are into the article.
Last updated line
Let your readers know how up to date their content is by updating your pillar page with a description saying when the page was last updated
Offer a PDF download of the pillar page
This creates a document someone can print or easily email or share on social media.
Include a video at the top of your pillar page. Videos are the best way to intrigue readers and keep them on your page.
Table of contents
This can be at the top of the page or on the side of the page as the reader scrolls through. This is designed so a reader can easily know what section they’re on as well as skip easily to sections they would like to read.
Format your pillar page in small snippets
A wall of text is extremely daunting and disinteresting to a reader. Make your content more appealing and digestible by keeping the text chunks between 2-4 sentences, using bullets, or numbered lists.
Include a ‘back to top’ button
No one likes excessive scrolling. Make it easy for readers to get back to the top of your page with a clickable ‘back to top’ button.
Contact Us To Design Your Pillar Page
Gain email subscribers, market your self using paid ads, and present yourself as a thought leader with a pillar page today. If you need help designing a professional pillar page we can help you with that. Contact us online or by phone. We have two offices to serve you. The Tampa location phone number is (813) 556-7990 and the Las Vegas location phone number is (702) 515-2057.
Abform Workwear is the leading supplier of OSHA approved safety gear, fire and flame-resistant workwear, uniforms, and more. They’ve been in business since the early 80’s and continue to serve as many industries as possible. They offer a wide variety of products for shoppers and need to make sure their customers are satisfied during every step of the online experience.
Before Abform Workwear’s Design Overhaul
Abform Workwear wasn’t able to easily maintain their website and online store because of proprietary software. Proprietary software can be expensive, typically there isn’t a lot of room for customization, and developer support can be difficult to reach or even disappear should the developer go out of business.
Updates were challenging as they didn’t have access to contemporary and updated editing tools. They didn’t have the support or dedicated team they needed to give their customers the experience they deserve.
This is why they decided to work with Ventura Web Design & Marketing for their website needs. As a premier web design company in Tampa Bay, we went to work on the aesthetic, functionality, and ease of use of their website. We aimed to improve the site’s navigation and make it easier for customers to find the products they’re looking for. We also wanted to curate a bright, open style while also staying true to their brand and look professionally sleek.
After Abform Workwear’s Redesign with Ventura Web Design & Marketing
With our VIP support, team of specialists, and experience, they get the assistance they need with Ventura Web Design & Marketing as an active extension of their team.
Their website now features a brighter color scheme using a non-proprietary platform. Abform Workwear and our team is able to maintain their site easily and frequently. We worked on their navigation and homepage, graphic design, and updated their product categories. The before (left) and after (right) transitions can be seen below.
Abform Workwear’s Home Page
We rebuilt their site keeping in mind standards for mobile website design and desktop capability. Their site was also analyzed pre-launch for SEO, and optimized accordingly.
We continue to provide them with top-level assistance including regular SEO updates to keep their site visible to their valued customers. As a Tampa Bay web design company, we are dedicated to transforming and improving every aspect of your website and digital presence. With locations in Las Vegas, Nevada and Tampa, Florida, we have you covered regardless of where you’re located. Contact us today for a consultation.
At the start of November, I can’t help but think about all of the wonderful holidays to come. Annual days set aside where family and friends come together to laugh and share updates about their lives. Eventually, we all get asked one or two questions that we dread because we already know exactly how the conversation is going to go. The question I have to prepare myself for is: So, what exactly do you do?
Every year when my aunt Ethel breaks out this gem again, I have to remind myself that design as a whole can be broad and most people may not fully understand the value that a good designer adds. Allow me to break it down:
A graphic designer or graphic artist is the creative entity on a team. They develop a wide variety of materials, using their creativity and unique skill sets, to help sell a product or service, while also contributing to the development of the brand’s identity.
My usual follow up explanation to this is to point to some nearby object or advertisement, and describe the ways in which a designer was involved. For instance, a car – almost the entire population drives them and we see them everywhere on a regular basis. Design made whatever car you’re picturing right now the way it is. A team of automotive designers created the exterior aesthetic of the car as well as the interior elements that enhance the passenger’s experience inside the car. A separate team of designers developed the advertisements to help sell that car. This team likely worked across multiple platforms and mediums including printed ads in magazines and on billboards as well as digital ads seen on social media and television. Most likely additional designers were involved outside of these dedicated teams to provide materials like business cards for the salesmen that sell these cars or flyers for savings events.
Now let’s really answer the heart of my family’s favorite question: what do I do?
I work as a website designer while also providing collateral for social media and print materials. My main focus is to provide the best user experience in the most aesthetically pleasing way. Keep in mind all of the functionality on any given website – there can be many moving parts and elements to keep track of. Do you want a pop-up window for a newsletter sign up? Do you want your customers to have a photo gallery to look through? How will these elements contribute to the look of your site and get people to interact with them? Internet users value the experience and design of a company’s website more than ever before. In fact, 75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design1.
When you take a hard look at what I really do, it boils down to this: I help companies make money and connect with their customers so they can build relationships that help them keep making money. A good designer is just as important as a good salesman because both help sell your product.
1Sweor. 27 Eye-Opening Website Statistics: Is Your Website Costing You Clients? Source
Email marketing has proven to be the most effective form of marketing for businesses. The average return on investment is $40 per $1 spent (!). Compare that to $17 per $1 for Keyword Ads or even $22 per $1 with SEO.
Emails can do amazing things. They can get you more sales, bring more people to your site, or keep in contact with your fans.
We believe that using the internet should be easy. That’s why we work tirelessly to review heat maps, analytics, and other website data that helps us make good decisions when building websites.