Avatar News : Internet Marketing from a Kiwi Perspective

June 2013

Written By: Mark Rocket & Katie O’Neill

Published by: Avatar Ltd

Greetings All,
 
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s just Google testing out its latest weird and wonderful scheme over the skies of Christchurch. Soaring at 20km altitude, the jellyfish-like Google balloons are part of a push to bring fast internet to even more reaches of the globe. If you want your website to reach the same stratospheric heights, this month’s newsletter contains an in-depth article on improving user experience. Plus we have our usual range of tidbits, sites of interest and statistics.

User Experience Based Web Design

“User experience” is a phrase that has become increasingly important in all facets of design in recent years. With a recent glut of tablets and smartphones designed for a casual audience, ensuring that any user will be able to understand a device easily and actively enjoy using it is a major focus. The same principle applies to web design, with sites being built to be smarter, more accessible and more “fun” to use. User experience orientated web design often encompasses:

  • An interactive or compelling landing page that offers clear options.
  • A friendlier, more casual tone with less jargon.
  • An emphasis on graphical impact.
  • Simple, clear navigation.
  • Interesting and informative content.

 There are many ways to create a better user experience, but they all revolve around removing obstacles for visitors to achieving their goals on the site and being engaging.

Why User Experience Is Important
If an online customer finds it easy to find all the products they want and more, they’ll buy them. If a reader was able to move from one article to the next without losing interest, they’ll come back and read again. If a visitor found important information right away, they’ll share that useful resource with others. If a potential client thinks your business seems just a little bit more fun and interesting than the others, they’ll choose to engage your services. A better user experience leads to higher conversions, which is the practical root of this new design philosophy.

Many site owners don’t market their site at all and the ones that do often focus the largest proportion of their efforts driving new traffic to their site. Having a website marketing plan in place is crucial, but most site owners often ignore the golden opportunity of being able to relatively easily double or triple the commercial effectiveness of their site without having to generate any additional traffic.

Improving User Experience On Your Website
Many website owners will want to improve the user experience on their site without completely restructuring it. There are some small practical things you can do to improve user experience without going totally overboard.

  • Revise navigation. Tidy up extensive menus with multiple tiers of drop-down options, and if necessary think hard about which pages you really need to link to from the landing page.
  • Develop a mobile site. For WordPress users this can be a simple conversion process to a responsive design model, and the benefits can be huge for those with significant mobile traffic.
  • Identify key information and make it ultra accessible. Do some research and find out what people are wanting to know first and foremost about your business – contact details and location are usually high on the list, but specific details about the product or service may also be common. Ensure that these are extremely easy to find from the very first page.
  • Improve the tone and graphics. Stilted, ultra-professional phrasing and bland stock photographs aren’t always the best fit for your audience. Think about investing in some quality copy that takes a creative risk, or eye-catching graphics that will make your website memorable and easier to navigate.
  • Have a compelling call to action. On every key page of your website make sure you have a clear call to action that encourages, and gives compelling reasons for, site visitors to take the next step you want them to take.

Talk to Avatar if you’d like to discuss improving your web site’s user experience.

Statistic Of The Month

Only 5.8% of Android devices are tablets. That’s according to Google’s chairman, and covers all activations of the Android operating system. So what does that mean for web developers? It serves to highlight the importance of a decent mobile website – conventional site designs are often passable on a tablet screen due to the size, but tiny smartphone screens will make your website cumbersome and deter visitors. It’s not just about mobile devices, it’s about which mobile devices. Use Google Analytics to get more specific data on the types of mobile traffic that are accessing your site.

Tidbits

Google Balloons Flying 20km Overhead In NZ. If they didn’t have the photos to prove it, ‘Project Loon’ from Google would sound like an April Fool’s prank. Instead it’s some seriously interesting high altitude experimentation going on over Canterbury.

Mobile Usage Research.  Research study shows that 68% of smartphone consumer use happens at home – so even if your target audience isn’t always on-the-go, a mobile site could still offer big benefits.

Big Changes In Google For Mobile Content. Google’s announced some changes in rankings of smartphone search results. Ensure your mobile site is doing everything right in terms of redirects and common errors.
 
Snow Fall. A New York Times story about the avalanche at Tunnel Creek. A wonderfully presented piece that embodies what is possible to achieve online when you combine 6 months of writing research and multimedia. Only click this link if you have 30 mins up your sleeve.
 
The Smartwatch. Smartphones too heavy for you? Advertised as the first real “smartwatch”, this device contains WiFi and an Android operating system. Though its functionality is significantly simplified, it’s still a nifty step towards potential future technology.

Sites Of Interest

A selection of sites we’ve worked on recently in web design, WordPress setups and/or web marketing.

Resolve Tax
Experts in dealing with the IRD to resolve tax debt issues and get tax paid off faster.
St Martins School
A primary school located near the hill suburbs of Christchurch. Website contains contact details and info.
DJ Hewitt Builders
An award-winning Christchurch building team with extensive local experience and high standards.
Williams & Co
Specialist house designers and builders, offering house and land packages or custom made plans.
GetAnnuity
Compare annuity programs in the United Kingdom to find the best rate for your future.
Avatar Portfolio
View a selection of some of the
top web design solutions that we
have made.

Cartoon Of The Month

Reprinted With Permission

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