Non-for-Profit Website

I created this website for a non for profit organization. This organization helps older adults transition to new jobs. Additionally, the organization also offers Alzheimer’s training for caretakers and professionals who interact with people who have dementia.

Furthermore, training and course materials can be downloaded on the course pages. Payment is made through Paypal.

Finally, the donation buttons are seamlessly integrated into the website.

This website is 90% completed.

COLORS AND WHAT THEY MEAN TO THE DESIGN OF YOUR WEBSITE

HOW WEBSITES CHANGE OVER TIME ACCORDING TO NEED

Two years ago, my client Andrew Swan Ph.D, asked me to put together a website for him with the sole instruction that it was to be IBM blue. I went to work immediately. However, when Dr. Swan began using his website this winter, the blue was the only element that remained. The images, content, and design features were changed to reflect his current status and career direction.

NEW

andy new 2 (2)
andy home page 2

OLD

andy page 1

ELEMENTS OF A GOOD WEBSITE DESIGN

Before embarking on a color scheme you must make sure your website will meet the following criteria:

-It needs to be responsive, that is, that it looks and functions equally well / the same across all devices.

-It needs to be fast loading- a page should take no longer than three seconds to load.

-It needs be user friendly – designed in a logical and easy to navigate manner

-It needs to be appealing visually to your ideal customer-and you need to know who that is.

PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOR

Today I’m going to discuss the psychology of colors, which has been developed, refined, and tested by the advertising industry for decades.

The following is an explanation of colors, the demographic to whom they appeal, and their positive and negative connotations.

Red: Excitement, passion, stimulates the appetite / negative: anger, rage

Orange: Creativity / negative: superficiality

Pink; Love, femininity, nurturing / negative: immaturity, neediness

Purple: Beauty, royalty / negative: immaturity

Blue: Security, trust, reliability, loyalty / negative: conservatism, coldness, fear

Green: Health, harmony, nature, holistic matters, relaxation / negative: materialism, selfishness, envy

Yellow: Warmth, positivity / negative:  impatience

White: Cleanliness, safety, space / negative: coldness, illness

Brown: Grounded, stable / negative: boring, old-fashioned, cheap

Black: Authority, power, intellect / negative: depression, negativity

Grey: Neutral, practical / negative: detached, indecisive

Each of these colors can have a wide range, for example red  – maroon, crimson, scarlet. 

Quiz:

  1. Which color would you use to promote fast food?
  2. Which color would you use to promote corporate business?
  3. Which color would you use to promote beauty products?
  4. Which color would you use to promote eco-products?

Easy, right? Now:

  1. Which color has the most appeal to teens?
  2. Which color has the most appeal to men?
  3. Which color has the most appeal to creatives ?
  4. Which color appeals most to women over thirty-five?

Still with me?

  1. Which color is universally hated?
  2. Which color do women loathe?
  3. Which color looks cheap?
  4. Which gender prefers bright colors?

Not so intuitive! The answers are: 9. Brown 10. Orange, especially burnt orange 11. Orange-except that young creatives love it.  12. Men

When choosing the color scheme of your website, think about the meaning behind colors. Please don’t do what a recent client did and ask me for a brown and orange scheme -one that was geared towards redefining careers after age fifty. Thankfully we settled on tasteful greens

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Now, let’s go back to my client who wanted IBM blue on his website. So how do we decide on a color palette that works with IBM blue? Remember the color wheel we studied in primary school? Here are a few options:

  1. Yellow
  2. Orange/ cantaloupe
  3. White
  4. Grey
  5. Green
  6. Various shades of blue: light blue, grey –blue
  7. Turquoise
  8. Red

This is a business website, so immediately we can eliminate orange, green, and turquoise.  Let’s consider other shades of blue. Keeping the site monochromatic could work, but after we tested it, the result was dull and staid.

White, of course, is like a crisp dress shirt that would complement a navy blue suit. But too much white and blue and the site comes across as sterile ( See my previous post about color ). Instead adding a soft grey to the background results in instant elegance. How can we punch it up? Red? Too garish. Yellow, possibly, but Gold is even better. Going from yellow to gold is like going  from a wholesome Swedish flag to something much more refined and elegant, something which connotes success and wealth, because the color gold represents gold, after all.

In case you don’t recall primary art theory,  here a few definitions, so that you will understand how colors work together

– Monochromatic – shades or tints of one color.

-Analogous – tones or tints that are adjacent to your main color -e.g: Blue, blue-green, blue violet.

-Achromatic – grey, white and black.

-Complimentary – opposites, e.g: blue and orange.

-Split compliments – instead of the opposite color -a  shade next to it – e.g: IBM Blue and gold.

-Diad – two colors that are two colors apart on the color wheel  –  eg: blue and green.

-Triad – three colors each equally spaced from each other.

-Tetrad – four or more colors on the wheel.

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One thing to remember that unless you are designing a website for children or a fast food restaurant  you should go a bit greyscale on all your colors. Pure hues are too garish, too childish, and unsophisticated. Adding a touch of grey adds elegance, sophistication and is visually much more appealing.

Hue = another word for color

Tint = color+white

Tone = color+ grey

Shade = color + black

BACKGROUND / WHITE SPACE

Remember the early days of the Internet when you would run across pages that displayed content on patterned backgrounds or just as bad have white colored fonts on a black background? Don’t be tempted to get too creative. Let your images provide the color and your text be easy to read. The question is-do your website pages necessarily have to be white?

Sometimes white can be too harsh and elements get a pop from being on a slightly colored background. There will always be a tint that is slightly more saturated than white within your chosen color. For an example see this chart. if you need to go even lighter you can choose tints of the light hue color see chart II.

Or you can work with the palest shades of complimentary colors, greys and so on.

I hope this has been helpful in helping you think about how your end user will perceive your website and which colors you might use to appeal to them and make them stay on your pages.

EVERYTHING REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAXIMIZING THEIR INTERNET PRESENCE

I have a confession to make. When I was practicing real estate, my marketing plan consisted of passing out my cards, sending out postcards, doing floor time, cold calling, and praying for referrals. This was in the earliest days of the Internet, a medium which intimidated me but which changed the nature of real estate forever.

Flash forward to my current profession, that of web designer, content creator, and social media marketer. I’m going to give you a few straight facts that pertain to your Internet branding because these are things I wish I had known while I was practicing real estate and that would have made a significant impact on sales.

If you are one of the few top agents who can afford to work by referrals alone, you need not read any further.

YOUR INTERNET PRESENCE

Whether your client demographic is the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, or Millenials, the statistics indicate that over 44 % of consumers began their initial search online. That percentage increases drastically among younger generations. All consumers profiled have come to expect photos, detailed property information, interactive maps and neighborhood information to be available in their searches.

Realtors cannot afford to ignore the Internet, so let’s take a look at how to maximize your online presence.

ZILLOW GROUP

Love it or hate it, until Google changes their algorithms to favor local over national listings Zillow and its ilk are going to get top ranking in any search. We all know the information Zillow provides is inaccurate and that Premier Agents pay hefty fees to dominate zip codes. So what you should do? If you choose to have anything to do with Zillow, maximize your profile. Your biography needs to stand out above the competition and grab consumer attention. One of the most common complaints I hear from people is that Realtor photos are out of date. It affects your credibility when you are using photos from years ago, so please update them. Clients are going to see you in person eventually, so be upfront and authentic from the start.

COMPETITION

Your website and social media pages are part of your brand. Your brand is what distinguishes you from the competition. It doesn’t matter how knowledgeable, skilled, or great you are if people can’t find you and read about the services you provide.

WEBSITES/ COMPANY AND PERSONAL

Company website

Your brokerage house provides you with a generic page, but what happens if you leave that particular company? Moreover, why would you want to be lumped in with every other agent in your firm? Sadly, I have noticed that many agents don’t even bother to develop their profiles on company pages. When I ask them about it, they claim they work exclusively through referrals. That statement alone makes me wonder how many chances to connect with potential clients (who might otherwise contacted them if more information were available) they have missed.

Personal website

Your own website makes you stand far above the competition. One of the top agents in my town, Evanston, ranks on the front page when I Google ‘Evanston real estate brokers’. I happen to know he is great because I once did a difficult deal with him. Now, imagine you are a stranger looking for homes in Evanston and his very attractive website appears directly underneath the Zillows and local Brokerage houses. He’s not competing against those sites, he’s competing against the other Realtors in our town. How does he achieve rankings, aside from having a numerous listings? I’m certain that consistent blogging over the years has boosted his ranking considerably.

Blogging: by using pertinent keywords and giving valuable information to sellers and buyers in the areas you cover, you can reach that coveted front page ranking over time.

SEO Optimization: again keywords, links, and blogging all contribute to your ranking. See my blog post 8 CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THINGS SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WEBSITES

WHO SHOULD YOU HIRE IF YOU OPT FOR A WEBSITE:

If you go for a big company that specializes in developing Real Estate sites, this  might happen:

  1. They will make a big deal out of SEO and charge you for it. SEO is not difficult. It doesn’t require a mastermind. It takes a bit of effort to Google what keywords consumers are entering when they look for your business or service and apply them to the back end of your website. What you need to spend money on is great writing or content, as it is termed nowadays. On page SEO, your story, the emotional connection you make with potential clients, and the valuable information you provide to them is much, much more important to have. If you do that, you will see that search engines will rank your website higher – and that will create more visibility.
  2. Despite the fact that they are using their own templates, you will wait in queue for months prior to getting your website.
  3. They will make a big deal about IDX Features. This is a simple plugin that takes a few minutes to install and gives your visitors access to to the MLS and allows them to see your past sales and current listings.
  4. Analytics- this is a tool to measure the effectiveness of your website and how much traffic it gets. For the purposes of real estate, you might simply want to see how many visits your website receives daily, how many page views, which pages get views, and then track how many of those visits convert to calls. Here are also plugins which will make that information visible to you -and easy to understand- on the back end of your website.
  5. Content -As I mentioned already, good content is critical. You only need to read reviews of the big boys to see how troublesome getting well -written, personalized content can be.
  6. Your website might look generic.

GOOGLE BUSINESS LISTINGS

List your business with Google business- go to Google Business and follow the easy steps to list your business locally. You can link to your company page if you don’t have a website, but make  sure your page is developed. Your name, phone number, and address will now show up when a potential client is looking for local Realtors.

SOCIAL MEDIA

You need to pick a couple of sites you will be active on, so that you don’t over extend yourself. Remember you can link Instagram to Facebook and Twitter; or LinkedIn to Twitter to get more traction for less work. Additionally the posts on your website can be automatically shared to any social media that you choose to be on.

FACEBOOK

Social media has tens of millions of users and you could potentially get in front of consumers easily making use of it. Facebook is dominant and many small business people have created Facebook business pages. However, with the algorithm changes Facebook has rolled out, organic, that is unpaid, reach has fallen to less than 1% of a page’s total fan base. So does it pay to invest your time in creating a page?

I think it does. You needn’t spend hours on it, 3-7 posts a week is sufficient for your purposes.

What you need to know:

Consumers will judge you by the number of fans you have. Never purchase fake fans. T- If having a large but relatively un-engaged fan base is important to you, there is a way to grow your local fan base quickly and inexpensively. If you go global with your first ad set before switching to local zip codes, you will be getting local fans for much less money per like.

Organic

You can schedule Facebook posts in advance. Posts should be visually attractive and informative with no outbound links. Additionally, you should upload videos directly. Do not link to Youtube. You will probably not get much business from organic posts any more. However, Facebook ads are relatively cheap compared to print media and you can target consumers by special interests or demographics.

Paid Ads

You know Facebook collects our data. Now you can use that information to place inexpensive ads increasing your visibility in the zip codes and to the demographic that you want to target. Keep in mind that advertising is an art, not a science. Don’t get fooled by slick marketers. Just because they succeeded with certain campaigns does not mean that they will know what to do with your ads. Trial and error is key, though there are a few tips you should know about prior to posting an image, such as choosing colors that stand out from the blue feed and human faces that express emotion.

LinkedIn

Here’s where you can go organic. I know hundreds of Realtors. Only one uses LinkedIn to post regularly. Think of it as a moving billboard where your name is seen repeatedly. Don’t just post your listings or tips on how to prepare a house for sale. Anyone can Google that information. Look for or write very short informative articles about what is going on in your area. New restaurants, new business, a local ordinance, concerts or social events-the public will love you for being helpful and come to see you as a local expert. Then you can show your listings off, but do it occasionally without bombarding the feed.

FUNNELS

A funnel is what you will use to build up your email/client list. It consists of your ad, then a free offer, such as 10 tips to Winning a Negotiation Every Time. The interested party will have to give you their name and email to get your booklet. You can then follow up and nurture the relationship, for example, with weekly e-blasts or a newsletter giving out more information that is helpful.

REVIEWS

Reviews are critical to the health of your business. Ask your past clients to leave reviews on Yelp, Google Business Pages, your LinkedIn page, or your Facebook Business page. Put those reviews on your website, as well.

Tip: For Yelp reviews to show up and not be grayed out, the reviewer must have left previous reviews.

I hope this has been helpful. If you would like to schedule a meeting with me and get started developing your Internet strategy, please message me or give me a call.

8 CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THINGS SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WEBSITES

NAVIGATING THE INTERNET

As a small business owner you are probably consumed by the demands of your business and have little time to think about your on line presence. If you are like 60% of small business owners, you do not have a website at all. If you are one of the 40% who do own a website, it is highly likely that your website has outdated features. This is short a non-technical guide to understanding which features are critical to maintaining a competitive edge in today’s marketplace.

MOBILE BROWSING

Mobile browsing, particularly from phones is growing at a phenomenal rate. Over 60% of all consumers are conducting searches from hand held devices. That means your website must function as well on a phone as it does on a laptop or a big screen. If it is configured for mobile devices, it will also rank better on search engines.

You may have heard the terms mobile friendly, mobile optimized and responsive, but what do they mean?

  • Mobile friendly: A website that displays between devices. However, though Google might deem it friendly, it may not appear so to users. Because it was created to be viewed from desktops it will appear as a miniature version of itself on phones, but the fonts will be too small to read.
  • Mobile optimized: A step up, the site will not just be a tinier version of the desktop site. The site will reformat itself depending on the device, resulting in simplified navigation, larger graphics, single column display, and thumb friendliness. In other words, it won’t look like your desktop site.
  • Responsive: A wonderfully flexible website that completely re-orientates based on the screen size of the device and looks great from all angles. Hence, the term responsive-it responds to the screen size. Ideally, this is what you want to have in order to create a great user experience. And, perhaps, Google will prefer this format in the long run and rank the sites which utilize it higher.

GREAT DESIGN

What does that mean? A well-designed website today will be responsive, easy to navigate, will have great content, and will download quickly.

  • Structure: The structure of the website is key. Nowadays, a website page fills the entire screen. As our eye moves from left to right and downward, the website should logically comply with this movement. The site should display your/company name, what you do, and your telephone number at the top. Your pages will also be displayed here, as well. As the user scrolls downward information and visuals –that is- content-is displayed. As we scroll further we get into the footer where business hours, maps/directions, a call to action, social media buttons, and other information can be displayed.
  • Simplicity: Of equal importance is avoiding visual clutter. Remember the 90’s when backgrounds were busy,  there were multiple columns on a page, and white fonts on black backgrounds reigned? Do you remember how hard that content was to read?  Simple, clean design with a lot of empty space is what users want to experience now. As a side-note, splash pages, so beloved by architects, artists and photographers are hated by the public.
  • Images: Studies have shown that people respond better when people’s faces are featured in images. There are multiple ways of using faces to humanize your business, sell your product or services, and direct the flow of content. While you should not use stock photos to represent your office or staff, stock photos can be used to great effect in many instances to enhance the appeal of your website.
  •  Color: There is a whole psychology of color that has been well researched by advertisers, with each color having both a negative and a positive connotation. However, it can be often misused by designers who do not understand the nuances of its application. For example, white connotes purity but can also indicate sterility. Blue is used to connote trustworthiness and stability but can also come across as cold and indifferent. Think of medical practices you have Googled. Do they bring to mind hospitals and frightening procedures or health and healing? Green, on the other hand, is associated with health, vitality, holistic medical approaches, and nature.

CONTENT

Consumers are coming to your website for information. Nowadays, they scroll until something catches their eye. This why your content needs to be tightly written, well organized, short, and to the point. To guide consumers, the headlines need to be pertinent, and because we are moving to a post- literate image rich society, the visuals need to enhance the text.

Some key features consumers are looking for:

  • Strong headlines
  • Fast answers
  • Short content
  • Images/Video
  • Personalized content/stories, which will humanize you and your business.
  • Testimonials
  • Contact forms

BLOGS

As a small business owner, do you need a blog? You may, depending on your goals:

  • If you are looking to improve your rankings on Google and appear on the coveted first page then great content and regular posts will be a necessary addition to your website.
  • If you desire to build authority and position yourself as the go- to expert in your field and stay ahead of your competition.
  • If you want to engage your customers, attract new ones and gain their business. Statistics show that websites with blogposts attract six times as much business as those without. However, you must have over 400 posts to get to this position.
  • Long tail search queries- We know you are Joe the Chicago Plumber but when people Google- How to unplug a stopped up drain-will they be able to find you among the field of competitors without a helpful blog post or how- to video about unplugging a drain?

Some things to know:

  • Google is phasing out keyword stuffing. Therefore, you won’t need to reiterate that you are a Chicago based plumber in every paragraph.
  • However, you will need to keep abreast of analytics since they are constantly changing. For example, Google is now looking for posts of 1000 words or more, mistakenly equating length with quality, instead of search intent and how well the question is addressed.
  • If you hate writing or don’t have time for it, you can create video content, a podcast, or hire a writer to do it for you.

BEAUTY AND INDIVIDUALITY

Do you remember those blue and white medical practice websites I mentioned previously? Did you notice that all the medical in your search sites look more or less the same? That is what can happen when you use an agency that exclusively specializes in one field. You often get the same template and a bland design that doesn’t take into account your individualized personality, business, or practice. How can you expect to stand out among the competition when your website looks like everyone else’s?

Your geographic area, user demographics, service, and message needs to be presented with intelligence and purpose. Focusing on what you do and the segment of the population you do it for is critical in creating a stand-out website. Great thought must go into choosing images, tone of voice, colors, and other features that will contribute to achieving your own goals and those of your customer or client.

SEO-SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

SEO consists of all the methods you can use to increase the visibility of your website. Some will be written behind the scenes, and some are seen upfront. 60 to 70% of all searches are organic, that is, not from paid ads, which makes SEO important.

What you need to know:

  • Keywords: SEO keywords are the words or phrases describing your product or service.  They make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. Your keywords need to match the phrases that consumers will be using as closely as possible when they conduct searches.
  • Meta descriptions: These are the behind the scenes description that summarize the content of a page for search engines.
  • Content: Content consists of the information you have on your website about yourself, your business, your products/services etc. The key to creating appealing content for users is to make it short, informative and visually attractive. Authenticity is a big buzzword in content. In other words, be who you are and use your authentic voice to help consumers find what they are searching for.
  • Link building:Through links, search engines can analyze the popularity of websites and pages based on the number and popularity of pages linking to them. As a small business owner, you will be aiming for local popularity to elevate your rankings. For example, if you are Joe the Plumber, a link from a respected trade magazine about plumbing matters or home improvement is weightier than a link from a site about hair styling, even though Joe may have done a great job unclogging the drain.

BRANDING:

Have you ever seen web designers who offer branding as part of their services? They seem to think that creating a logo for your business amounts to branding. Nothing could be further from the truth. Starbucks did not achieve fame due to its logo, but because of the ambiance of its coffee houses and the way they altered the perception of how coffee should be drunk. Granted having a good logo helps brand recognition eventually, but it’s the way you consistently market your business or product that makes the logo recognizable.

MARKETING STRATEGY/ SOCIAL MEDIA

You need to be able to steer consumers toward your website. To that end you need a funnel. Simply put, this is somewhere where consumers will see your brand consistently. Depending on your budget, this could be simple or elaborate. The name of the game these days is giving away valuable content rather than advertising.

What you need to know:

  • Trade magazines, local newsletters, or papers can all function far better and more consistently than referrals for your business.
  • Social media- paid for ads and organic content.
  • Email lists-where you consistently send out helpful content and broadcast specials.
  • Podcasts
  • YouTube videos

I hope this has been a helpful, easy to understand walk through the elements that consumers are demanding today, which can help your business thrive.

VALUE, MARKETING, AND YOUR WEBSITE

IN BUSINESS, MARKETING IS HOW YOU PRESENT YOUR OFFERING TO THE WORLD

Your website and social media presence should be two of the chief components of your overall marketing strategy. Both function to create the first impression you make when a potential customer is searching for a service or vetting you online. First impressions are formed in seconds, so you need to be competitive. In fact, you need to outdo your competition.

Before you begin the process of marketing yourself and thinking about the overall look of your website, you need to think about value and your value proposition.

MARKETING AND VALUE

The four types of value in marketing are:

Functional Value: The solution an offer provides to a consumer.

Monetary Value: The price someone is willing to pay relative to the perceived worth of an offering.

Social Value: The extent to which owning a product or engaging in a service allows the consumer to make a statement relative to others.

Psychological Value: The extent to which a product allows consumers to express themselves or feel better.

WHAT IS YOUR VALUE STRATEGY?

In regards to your business, how do you want to set yourself apart from your competition? These are some possible methods:

-Niche marketing

-Communication

-Service

– Offers

-Reviews

WHAT IS YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE?

What do you do that is unique to your industry?

Please don’t be like one of my Realtor clients, who said, ‘I do the same things everyone else does.’ You may follow a similar process or give a similar service, but playing up your unique strengths and gifts allows you to work them into your value proposition. In this case, the Realtor was a gifted negotiator and we were able to emphasize that by showing concrete examples of her past successes.

WHAT IS YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION?

The combination of goods and services you offer. To deliver value to your customers, you must consider your total market offering:

-Superior product

-Excellent service

-Expertise

-Reputation

HOW DO YOUR CUSTOMERS DEFINE VALUE?

Service? Competitive prices? Reputation for reliability? Quality? Luxury? What are they willing to pay for your services?

HOW ARE YOU COMMUNICATING VALUE ON YOUR WEBSITE?

-Are you engaging your customers?

Methods of engaging your customers include giving them a great user experience. The way to create this is to develop a framework that is logical, coherent, and easy to use. Navigable top menus, all information such as phone numbers, business name, and the nature of your business must be located in the top third of the page.

Middle of the page-your story and other relevant information about your business

Bottom of the page-reviews, blog.

Footer, all necessary contact information, map, and other nifty add-ons like video content, calendars, social media feeds and sharing icons etc.

-Another way to engage your customers is to know who they are:

Do they live in a specific geographical area?

What demographic do they belong to: income, sex, age etc.

Are you appealing to particular professions?

You will then design your website to be relevant to those categories. For example, a website selling t-shirts to young women in their twenties will have a far different design than one selling luxury clothing to women over forty-five.

Many people in my industry focus on the technical aspects of web design, such as functionality and ranking through SEO. One thing they rarely address is the visual appeal, beauty, and overall design of a website. Anyone with a moderate amount of technical skill can put up a website but it takes research, a comprehension of color theory, art history, consumer habits, and real world business knowledge to understand how to appeal to an end use consumer.

Are you telling your story?

Consumers want stories. Tell them how you created your business or product, why you want to serve the public, what makes you passionate about your field, which obstacles / hardships you have overcome, and what makes you special.  You want your customers to create an emotional connection to you.

What you can do for them

It’s all about the consumer. Are you going to help them get the results they want? Use concrete examples and don’t be shy about talking about your past successes. 

WHAT METHODS DO YOU USE TO GET YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS?

Blog – no keyword stuffing-search engines are getting smarter. Small business owners have been told they need to write blog posts in order to rank. It’s imperative to use longtail keywords, especially in paragraph headings, but what really counts is your originality and the quality of your posts. You must deliver useful information. Google, confusing quantity with quality, is now promoting 1000-1800 word posts for ranking purposes. Reader’s eyes glaze over at 450-700 words, so make sure you have organized your thoughts into coherent paragraphs with good headings for those who skim to find relevant answers.

Video content – we’re moving into a post – literate society. Many consumers would rather watch than read, so you must include video content. If you are too inhibited to get in front of the camera,  embed content relevant to your industry. Just make certain that you are not violating copyrights.

Page content – useful information expanding on that page topic, from 350—700 words.

WHAT IS THE USER EXPERIENCE LIKE ON THE WEBSITE?

Do they love the website, linger and examine your pages or do they move on rapidly? 

You need to be aware of what is going on behind the scenes and then tweak content to get better results.

-Are you pushing their hot buttons?

A hot button is a cue that triggers an emotion in a prospective buyer that causes that person to buy a product. It is imperative that you present your product and speak directly to a consumer’s needs in terms of his or her personal buying motivations.  This is the psychological aspect of your marketing.

Realtors are masters of this kind of talk –home, folks, value, safety, schools, family, exclusive…

I remember paying a fortune for Yves St Laurent cosmetics when they first came out. Where his lipsticks better than a less pricey brand? Probably not, but the packaging was amazing. It made me feel elegant, sophisticated, and attractive. The packaging and scent made me think the product was special, better than a lesser brand, and therefore I valued it more. The luxury market understands this concept very well, whether it’s a car, clothing or a parcel of real estate, i.e. the consumer thinks they are more worthy because they can own valuable items.

CALL TO ACTION

Are customers taking the actions you want them to take when they use your website?

Giving you their contact information in exchange for something of value like a newsletter or a discount so that you can begin a dialogue with them 

Calling you for a consultation or more information

Purchasing an item

INTEGRATING THE LOOK OF YOUR WEBSITE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES.

You must have a strategy. Do not post randomly and sporadically. To develop a relationship with your potential customers, your posts and ads must be visually appealing and informative.

Be a teacher. You are teaching the public about your business while providing valuable information.  You are also resolving their potential problems.

If your website has a certain look, let that look reflect in your posts.

Lastly, share your posts across your social media pages. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram appeal to different audiences, but with a few tweaks you can re-purpose the same content across the board. Or choose the one that makes the most sense for your business. If you are a psychologist giving relationship advice, YouTube is a much better platform than Instagram. If you have a message for business people, then use LinkedIn to  publish articles – but then share them on other social media and remember to redirect people to your website.

To create the best website and social media presence, you must consider your overall value proposition. Please don’t hesitate to email or call me for more information or a free consultation. 847-372-8781

Realtor

A genuine pleasure to work on, this site was created for a real estate broker who takes her own photographs. Because of the fine quality of the photographs, I was able to develop image rich pages complete with slideshows, which showcase these extremely attractive homes. Since this broker works in the gently rolling landscape of northern Illinois, I wanted to create a bucolic park-like backdrop focusing on natural colors and highlighting the stunning landscaping surrounding her listings.

This IDX site was fully optimized for user friendly searches and was mobile responsive.

 

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Medical Spa

I created this site for Refine Medical Spa. Besides extensive drop down menus describing all services and therapeutic modalities, I focused on creating image rich pages which showcase a diverse client base featuring videos, and before and after photographs.

After researching many medical spas and plastic surgery websites, I decided on a clean, elegant and warm presentation, suited to the urban and sophisticated nature of this medical spa. The tones are warm, complimenting skin colors, the product descriptions are clear and replete with examples. However, I stayed away from overloading the pages with text and imagery.

The site was fully SEO optimized and is responsive across all browsers for cell phone, tablet, laptop, and full screen viewing. Additionally, I had full creative license in choosing the images and writing the copy, including the blog posts.

Please click on the image to see the full site.

Integrative Medicine

I created this site for the Center for Integrative Medicine. I focused on showcasing soothing, healing imagery and used easy to understand explanations of the medical modalities featured in this practice.  I then created a slideshow of the office, doctors, and staff going about their daily routines and serving patients to demonstrate what an actual office visit might look like.

The site is fully SEO optimized and is responsive across all browsers for cell phone, tablet, laptop, and full screen viewing.

Recently, one of the owners decided to update the pages herself, nullifying the original design. 

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Please click the image to see the site

Business Strategist

This site was for a client who is in the rapidly developing field of knowledge management. I researched many knowledge managers and their websites to discover how they present their services before embarking on this project.  Sadly, I found their sites to be visually discordant and the text difficult to comprehend.

The challenge then was how to present the relevant information in an understandable and accessible manner. Beyond that, there was the issue of choosing images which were both attractive and pertinent to the subject.

The client requested IBM blue as the basis for the site. I made the background pages a pale grey to harmonize with the blue and then chose images, which would both convey information and humanize a poorly understood field. Additionally, the site is fully SEO optimized and is responsive across all browsers for cell phone, tablet, laptop, and full screen viewing.

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