Billboards are rarely compared to websites, and for good reason. However, they do have one thing in common: user/viewer attention span. Twenty-five percent of all users will exit a website if it doesn’t load within 4 seconds, similar to the 2 seconds a viewer has to see a billboard. The book “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug discusses reasons why people will exit out of your website—namely, a lack of engagement.

Do your users “Get It” at first glance?
Your company ID or logo and main message should be the first thing that a visitor to your site sees. It should be so readily visible that it passes the squint test—identifying this information even while squinting. No deducing, guessing, or even thinking should be required by the user.

People are in a hurry
Users are in a hurry when searching the web. Users often scan the information, rather than read large bodies of text. That is why bulleted information and bolded text can be used to your advantage. Also don’t be afraid to bold content text as well.

-When wording navigation items, people don’t want to think about each link. Therefore, if you want people to click on the jobs page, make sure the link doesn’t say “employment opportunities” but rather “jobs”.

-Another way to keep people’s interest is keep main text top heavy. Essentially, this is including important text first rather than “Click Here To…” before the important text.

Easy ways to fix your website
-Get Rid of Content
Including more visuals, and less text will always keep your user more engaged.

-White Space
If your homepage doesn’t pass the squint text, making items bigger won’t always do much good. Creating space around the main call to action or main headline will help to improve visibility.

-Use Headers and Bullets to Make Skimming Easy
Bold headers and clear bullets draw the reader’s attention directly to the information you want to highlight. This makes skimming much easier to do and allows them to quickly decide what information they will read.

-Take Yourself Out Of The Equation
By thinking what the customer wants to find out, you can identify the most important information to include ‘above the fold.’

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It seems as though many small business owners have the mindset of “If you build it they will come” in regards to website traffic. Essentially, a website’s success is subject to the sales generated from its visitors, as well as an ongoing interaction with current customers. This list of tactics and suggestions will help you put your best foot forward when it comes to your online presence.

To start interacting with customers on your website, you first need to create a reason why a user would give you their email address in order to start interacting to your clients and/or potential clients. Ideas to gather email addresses and information include sponsoring an online sweepstakes or coupon giveaway where users can opt-in by signing up on your homepage.

Website owners can also collect contact information when visitors are converted into customers. If you are active on social media sites, you can prompt visitors to ‘like’ your Facebook page or follow you in Twitter. Once you have a ‘like’ on Facebook, you are in. Your posts will show up in their feed and you are then able to create a dialog.

When it comes to interacting with your customers, WordPress plugins are useful items.

Here is a list of my top five:
1. Mail Chimp Mail Plugin
Once you gather your email addresses, this is the best way to connect with customers.

2. SEO Ultimate
Using multiple plugins for SEO can be annoying. With this plugin, it includes a 404 monitor, file editor, meta editor and linkbox inserter.

3. Flare
Flare is a share bar that includes many social media links. This is a great way to incorporate social media, but unfortunately it doesn’t incorporate the design of the icons into your website design. We can help with that too!

4. Wassup
This plugin is similar to Google Analytics but real-time stats without using Google Analytics.

5. Thank Me Later
When someone leaves a comment on your blog, this will automatically send a follow up email thanking them. This improves the interaction between the company and the customer.

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Welcome to my design blog. Here I will keep you updated on the new trends and changes to the design industry. My focus is to create effective marketing materials and to maximize brand recognition in the mind of the consumers. Future posts will involve these ideas of philosophy, therefore creating multiple discussions.

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