10 Website Navigation Techniques That Are Leading 2017

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The web designing and developing is engulfed with the latest techniques that are crafted to the challenging scenarios. In 2017, the previously discovered techniques are moulded according to the recent challenges, whereas the creative designers keep on producing innovative features. In this post, I have discussed some of the good techniques that may help you improve your website navigation.

  1. Add a fixed scrolling nav-bars
    The core purpose of adding navigation is to create ease for the end users to commute from one point to a web page to another. Add the navigation menu and keep it fixed for scrolling down the page. It will allow the users to keep an eye on the products and categories, regardless of the web page, they are browsing. It is quite challenging for the mobile users to scroll down, read through the text of a landing page, and keep in mind the category they are in. They are unable to view the nav bar on the product pages on the small screens of their mobile devices.
  2. Mega menus
    Selecting a style of menu for your website depends on the products and services you offer. The mega menu style is quite famous and recommended the most of a news-sharing blog, online magazine, or multi-niche educational hub. Incorporate mega menus on your website if you need to replace the regular menus that expand vertically and distort the view. This technique is quite useful for websites that readily shares informative articles and want the readers to take notice of it.
  3. Universal navigation
    Universal navigation is a form of fixed nav bar that exhibits other products or services the products has to offer. For example, a company that deals with multiple brands and has to promote them equally. With celestial navigation, they can put forth all the brands that belong to their company so that it appears on every page a user visits. The addition of celestial navigation proves fruitful for the eCommerce websites that are dealing with a mega network, and want to attract users to every portion of its website. They need to place such navigation, on every page so that users get to know about all the brands, and consider visiting them too.
  4. Vertical sliding navigation
    The vertical sliding navigation technique is a bit similar to the current vertical tabs, but this works well when perfectly applied. It is suggested to try it only if you decide to go with a full-screen design solution. Coding for a vertical navigation from zero is difficult. And, it is quite challenging for developers to incorporate it into a mobile responsive design. Most of the merchants are not interested in trying things that are complex as it takes more developer’s time and expense. But, being a demanding trend, you can try it for an extended charm and beauty of your website that looks different and attractive than others.icons
  5. Globally hidden menus
    The globally hidden menus are significant in managing the page space productively, whereas most of the users are not entirely aware of this feature. Though the designers must know the hamburger icons that signifies menu with subcategories, due to limited user awareness, they are unlikely to add this type of menu in web design. With the increased number of mobile users and their inclination towards web surfing and online shopping, they are soon to know about the hamburger menu that’s why it is considered to be an innovative trend this year. This technique clarifies the screen by summing up the entire web pages in a single menu, and only appears when the users click or tap it.
  6. Responsive sub-nav menus
    Mobile responsive designing is a need of today. Apart from improving the user experience, it is a ranking signal that tells the search engines, how the design can entertain the users coming through different devices. The responsive sub nav menu technique allows the users to navigate through different products, categories, and CMS pages through an easy to click the drop-down menu.
  7. Appealing Carousels
    The addition of carousels to the home or category page is a useful technique to let the visitors know the latest products, posts, and promotional offers. The appealing carousels offer a bird’s eye view to the users so that they can quickly go through the latest addition to the websites. This feature is becoming mandatory for blogs or websites that are frequently updated with discount offers, new arrivals, and recent news.
  8. Create a table of content
    Most of the educational websites and blogs tend to showcase maximum information on a page. The user may find it hard to know different sections or chapters on a single page. They may not be interested in the starting chapters and would like to just to a topic they need the most. With the help of a table of contents, they can easily navigate through the variety of topics with a single click. Web designs need to consider applying this technique in long articles to facilitate the users in understanding the structure and depth of the content on that particular page.
  9. All-caps Calls to Action
    The goal of every website it to navigate the users to the calls to action, it could be a sign-up, register, subscribe or any text. Keeping the text all-caps is an innovative technique for such buttons correctly if they are placed in either corner of the web page. The users focus the centre or left side of a web page, so if you need to highlight a call to action button on the right corner, it is to capitalise all the text. It is adequate for navigation.
  10. Single-page navigation dots
    Gone are the days when businesses used to create multiple pages and required the users to visit each of them separate to know about the entire website. The small businesses and web applications are turning towards a single page layout, where information is provided at the user scrolls down. To further ignite the navigation, designers can inculcate infuse dots for each page view so that users can easily navigate through the content. It allows the users to find any of the page sections with clicking a dot.

Conclusion

The trends and techniques in the field of web designing tend to change rapidly. The primary cause of subtle change is the result of the increase mobile usage, internet of things, and the awareness among users. These factors are compelling the designers to come up with innovative and result-oriented techniques to create ease and comfort for the end users in navigating a website. The above techniques seem to be quite impressive and may prove helpful for your business website too.



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Simon Walker is a professional eCommerce Consultant with over 7 years of experience. He is currently working for FME Extension & FME Addons, premium Web Development Companies. He is also consulting businesses to help increase their online exposure and conversions.


Elements of Good Web Design for Marketing Purposes

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If you own a small business or offer services of a commercial nature, chances are you have considered taking your business online. Perhaps you have already done this and set up your website in the hopes that clients will notice it and contact you with orders. In today’s scenario, more and more marketplaces are moving online. Brick and mortar outlets and offices just cannot hope to compete with e-commerce. The reach, flexibility, and opportunities that the digital medium offers are unbeatable. Are you satisfied that your website will be able to cut through the competition and grab the attention of your customers? Does your website have those magical ingredients that can turn it into your most efficient marketing tool?

Industry observers note that e-commerce is helping smaller businesses narrow the gap between themselves and the bigger established players. Why miss out on this golden opportunity? This guide is here to tell you why your website should be the focus of your marketing campaign and what the right mix of web design elements can do to completely turn around your game.

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  1. Faster Is Always Better: Who doesn’t love websites that load at lightning speed? Clients have little patience and time to wait for content to load. Optimize graphics for speed and streamline your design by cutting out unnecessary clutter. Resist the temptation to indulge in fancy gimmicks; keep it clean, simple and fuss-free. A speedy site is guaranteed to translate into bigger business for you.
  2. Create A Credible And Professional Look: A purposefully goofy look works in some cases, but unintentional tackiness makes everyone cringe. It can reflect very poorly on your reliability as a service provider. One way to rectify this and create a relaxed, confident look is to add plenty of visual breathing space and make the text easy to read. Also, ensure that you banish click bait and targeted advertising altogether.
  3. Constant Updates: A well-maintained and up-to-date website bespeaks commitment and reliability. Need we say more?
    Security: Assure customers that their information will be kept confidential. If your website is going to incorporate a payment portal, then make sure that it is mediated by a trusted and internationally recognized third-party like PayPal.
  4. Analytics And Search Engine Optimization: Any website should be backed by solid analytics. This is the tool that lets you measure performance based on quantitative indices. What pages draw the most traffic and what sorts of visitors are viewing your site? What are their interests? Having this information at your fingertips helps you tailor your website to target your coveted customer base directly rather than throwing things into the void and hoping that they stick. It is worth investing in a dedicated team to care for your SEO needs.
  5. Compelling Content: Create content that should be able to draw viewers on its merit. If you run a cosmetics business, it could be a very good idea to set up a blog section on your website and invite guest bloggers and industry experts to do informative pieces on a regular basis. Invite clients to review products they love. Introduce videos, vlogs or even contests for readers to participate in.
  6. Leverage Social Media: Following on from the previous point, your website should be closely tied with social media because this is the primary portal through which you can access clients and be seen by them. Video content and customer images can be shared through platforms like YouTube and Instagram to boost visibility, get everyone talking and your website trending.
  7. Create A Mobile Version: Nowadays, most customers are looking to access websites on their mobile phones. Websites not optimized for mobile usage appear shoddy and glitchy on smartphones. This can put off potential clients. Better yet, if you feel the investment is justified, create a dedicated app.
  8. Solid Customer Support: Nothing beats immediate and sensitive customer support. Set up a clear channel through which clients can get in touch to discuss their concerns. Offer consultations through chats. Happy customers will leave you glowing recommendations that are sure to go a long way towards building trust and helping you carve a foothold in the industry. Customer satisfaction converts one-time orders into lifelong relationships.

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We understand that owners of businesses often have a variety of pressing concerns. They may be understaffed and struggling to break even or garner a regular clientele. They may be facing stiff competition in their industry. Amidst these everyday struggles, shelling out real money for stellar web design isn’t on the top of everyone’s priority list. Unless they are backed by a savvy marketing team, they tend to grudgingly fork out the smallest possible portions of their budget for barely-adequate websites.

We are not here to convince you to drop a fortune on getting yourself a great website. A hefty price tag doesn’t equal quality. What you must do, though, is ensure that the task is handed over to a trusted professional with plenty of experience. Smaller web design companies like Hashtag17 are more focussed on individual projects and offer the same quality at more competitive price points. A rule of thumb is to take a look at the company’s portfolio and peruse customer testimonials to satisfy yourself that this is the right choice for you.

The next and most important step in this process is to formulate a plan as to what you want your website to do and communicate. How will it embody your company’s philosophy? If you don’t have a clear sense of how to achieve this, try looking for what you would consider as excellent examples of web design for marketing. Share these with your designer and let them bring your vision to life.


meenakshiMeenakshi is the cofounder of Hashtag17 and coordinates with customers on their projects. She is very passionate about web designing and user experience. She also loves to micro monitor each project the technology team works on and ensures that the company’s clients are ecstatic with the output. 

53 Essential Website Features for Local Business Owners

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A successful business website is not just about great products and services. Many local websites only fail to attract customers because of subtle design flaws that can go unnoticed by an untrained eye. While generic web designing best practices work as a good starting point, to stand out from the crowd, your local business site needs some extra fine tunings.

I work for WebAlive, a web design company and we recently published an infographic that shows 53 essential features for local business websites. I think you’ll find this infographic to be a useful guide for designing or improving the site of your own.

The infographic begins with the crucial advice of having a cc TLD domain for your local business. Then it gives an outline of a conversion friendly homepage, providing a complete list of elements that it should have. Next, it suggests a page by page structure of the whole site, mentioning important elements that those pages should contain.

Apart from the design elements, the infographic goes into some of the technical aspects which will help in SEO and improve your site’s performance. These include the advice of including the Google search console and LocalBusiness schema – a crucial thing that most of the local business sites ignore. It also warns against some of the common bad practices that you should avoid.

Take a look at the infographic below to improve your local business website.

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Does your site have all the essential features mentioned here? Which features do you think are the most crucial for a small local business site? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.

 


Liakat Hossain is a content marketing professional at WebAlive, a company that provides web design, development and online marketing services. He is helping businesses grow with search and content marketing since 2011. Connect with him on Twitter. 

Do You Think You’re Ready for Public Relations?

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Do You Think You’re Ready for Public Relations? Think Again.

This is a question I’ve heard more times than I can count – when is my company ready to kick off a public relations program? First and foremost it’s crucial to understand one thing. Today’s PR industry is changing, becoming even more competitive and demanding than ever before. As the media transitions from print to digital, there are fewer journalists to pitch and more factors to consider, such as content marketing, social media and search engine optimization. So, before making the leap, you need to make sure a public relations program is right for you. Take a look at my top five questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge:

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Do You Need PR?

Time and time again, I’m asked to present PR proposals to potential clients. But more often than not when they have it in their hands they realize, whether due to cost, resources or other marketing projects, that PR is simply not a priority. So, before all else, make sure you define your need for PR and what you hope to achieve. In my experience, you’ll find two primary drivers – the Best Kept Secret Syndrome when it’s time to let the world know what makes you so great and different, and an upcoming major news announcement you want to leverage for ink and awareness. Either way, it’s only once this need and goal are well established that your PR push can actually begin.

Are You Ready to Commit?

Determining a need for PR isn’t the only thing to do before getting started. Public relations is not a one-time play. It’s a strategic program you must commit to if you want to see the high ROI results you’re looking for.

I like to use the analogy of weight loss. Have you ever been on a crash diet? If you do, you’ll likely lose a few pounds. But the second you stop dieting, that weight inevitably piles back on. It’s the same with PR. You can make an impressive one-time splash, with interviews in all the top-tier and trade publications of your dreams, but if you don’t put any more effort into outreach after that point you and your product will rapidly be forgotten – not just by your audience but the media too. In this crazy, hectic world we live in, people need repetition to remember.

Do You Have the Budget & Resources?

A public relations program takes time and effort. So it won’t even get off the ground unless you have the budget and resources to make it happen. Whether hiring in-house or working with an agency, you’ll need to commit a team and funds to the process of PR outreach pitching, follow up, media relations, press release development, media training for your spokespeople and so much more. Without it, your program is going nowhere fast.

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Do You Know What Makes You Different?

If you don’t know what makes you stand out, nobody else will. Reliable, consistent, and most importantly, relevant messaging is the heart of a successful PR program. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you be ready to position yourself to stand out from the competition. Ask yourself what makes your company, service or product different. It can be a spokesperson with the experience and credibility to provide thought-provoking industry commentary or a product that does something new. But defining this differentiator is step one towards PR success.

Is Your Infrastructure In Place?

It doesn’t matter if you have the best PR program in the world, with media banging down your door to interview you. If you don’t have a great website and compelling collateral for your potential customers to find, the brand awareness your outreach creates will get you nowhere. So, before initiating any public relations push, make sure the rest of your marketing, from your website to your brochures to social media and content creation, are on point and ready to generate leads.

Once you’ve evaluated these questions carefully and honestly, you’ll be in a better position to decide if PR has a strategic place in your company. Until then, it’s best to wait on the sidelines until you have the time and resources to invest.

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magnolia-logo-public-relationsFounded in 2006, Magnolia is one of Vancouver’s top B2B public relations & marketing communications agencies. Working with clients across North America, our full-service boutique PR firm of social media marketing, vertical marketing & public relation experts strives to earn our clients’ trust through a relentless pursuit of excellence — in our work, thinking and approach.

5 Reasons Your Website Is Losing Traffic and How to Fix It!

reasons why your website is losing traffic

Your website is the very first impression everyone will see of your start-up or brand. The homepage alone determines if you customers will further explore your website for the products or services you offer. The website design and details play a key role in driving traffic and if overlooked can result in loss of valuable traffic.

Have you too experienced loss in traffic on your site recently in spite of all your marketing efforts? Are you traumatized by the low conversion rate on your site? Well then read on. Mentioned below are top five areas that can be responsible for the loss of attention on your site. Additionally, you can also find the most efficient ways to handle the issue under hand and instantly improve the situation.

1. Lack of Internal Linking

Internal linking is probably one of the most neglected aspects right now. Most of the sites either forget about internal linking or use rich anchor texts for the same. Both of these aren’t good for a site’s ranking. The key to leverage internal linking is the use of descriptive keywords in anchor text. These non-rich anchor texts should give a sense of the topic or keywords the source page is trying to target. This is a slow process and might take around three months to show some measurable results.

2. Cluttered Homepage

Some sites try to give out the maximum information about their products or services on the homepage itself. This creates too many distractions for the visitors, and they ultimately wander into the abyss and lose interest. Your homepage should be a greeting and informative platform that is capable of capturing the attention of users. Keep it simple yet engaging!

3. Basic HTML Designs

In the ocean of professionally designed websites, a basic HTML styled design simply featuring regular text and basic interface can never stand out. It not only irritates the visitors but also raises suspicion over the authenticity of the site. As such it is best to hire someone with professional Web Design Training to complete the job for you. By spending a few bucks initially on website design, you can create a better user experience, which will definitely yield revenue later.

4. Stale, Old Web Pages

Google always prefers to fresh and updated web pages as opposed to the ones with outdated content. Therefore regularly updating the web pages is probably the easiest and simplest way to provide rich user experience and gain better ranking. Keep adding fresh and engaging content, images on your website to so that the visitors stay longer and revisit. Interesting content may even cause the people to share your articles and blogs on social media, which will further boost your website traffic.

5. Effect of Google Algorithm Changes

Google keeps updating its ranking algorithms, which can drastically affect a sites ranking and traffic over-night. You will know if you have been penalized if the drop in ranking is harsh and swift. You can check your site’s ranking on other search engines like Bing or Yahoo to diagnose a Google penalty.

Hopefully, this post will enlighten you about what you are doing wrong and how to reverse it.

Google Changing Mobile Search Algorithm to Favour Mobile-Friendly Websites

Over the past couple of years Coronation Internet Marketing has been stressing to our clients that it’s important to have a mobile responsive website in order to make it easier for potential clients. A mobile responsive or “mobile-friendly” website adapts to the device it is being viewed on. For example, the site will adjust so that it fits on a phone or tablet so that you don’t have to pan or zoom to view the content. Not only does it make it easier to view a site, it also makes it easier for a potential client to contact you by simply tapping a button to call you. They won’t need to memorize your phone number or copy it in order to call you.

We also stressed that Google would eventually change their search algorithm for mobile search so that it would give more love to sites that are mobile-friendly. As we expected, Google recently announced that they are going to expand the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in their search algorithm beginning April 21, 2015. Search Engine Watch even called it “Mobilegeddon“.

From their Thursday, February 26, 2015 blog post on Google Webmaster Central:

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

According to Smart Insights blog post “Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015” the number  of users on a mobile device has surpassed that of desktop users. Plus, Google’s path to purchase report says that search is the most common starting point for mobile research. Their figures show that 48% of people start on a search engine on their phone.

Google Webmaster Tools Mobile Usability Warning Email

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If you have a Google Webmaster Tools account, you will likely receive an email like this one to the right (click the image to enlarge) if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site that outlines your mobile usability issues.

What does this mean for you?

If you want to maintain or have better ranking in Google’s mobile search results, it’s important to get your site changed in order to be mobile-responsive. This could mean a complete website redesign or, if you are fortunate, adapting your current design to be mobile responsive. Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long and watching your leads slip away to a competitor who has a mobile-friendly website.

Watch the video below to see how to easily test to see if your website is mobile-friendly. Or watch on YouTube via the link below:

Test Your Website For Mobile Friendliness