UX and UI design are buzzwords you’ve likely encountered when discussing the latest trends in web development. These terms often pop up in discussions that pertain to improving the visual components and usability of an online platform. While these design types are essential components of a digital marketing strategy, not many people in the digital space can confidently explain their unique functions.
There is plenty of confusion between UX design and UI design. They are two of the most important concepts to know for web developers and digital strategists today. Numerous references can attest to the huge role they both play in the future of website design. Moreover, expertise about UX and UI design are some of the most in-demand skills in the job market today. To stay on top and ensure the success of your digital marketing agency, it pays to take time to dig deep into UX and UI design. Let’s start with breaking down the basics about both.
What is UX Design?
UX, UXD, and UED are all acronyms for User Experience Design. The phrase describes the process of creating a seamless relationship between a customer and a product. It refers to the strategies and enhancements applied to make a product more functional, accessible and enjoyable for the user. Its basic definition proves the theories and principles of UX design are applicable to almost any industry, product or service. In today’s world, though, a UX designer primarily focuses on developing digital products.
What Do UX Designers Do?
Aside from its definition, the job profile of a UX designer can also be ambiguous. People often wonder, what exactly does a UX designer do? A quick look at a job ad for a UX designer will show that it entails much more than tweaking the layout or design of a particular product. A UX designer covers a wide range of tasks such as analyzing competitors, building prototypes and understanding consumer behavior.
The broad range of responsibilities assigned to a UX designer is one reason why it is quite difficult to pinpoint this role. It is a job that overlaps several areas and disciplines. It is a complex and multifaceted specialty that requires thorough knowledge in marketing, savvy skills in designing and superb abilities in project management. Overall, a UX designer researches, tests, implements and evaluates methods that will improve the relationship between the product and the user.
What is UI Design?
UI stands for User Interface Design. It refers to the process of designing the interface of a machine or piece software so it becomes more efficient and functional. A web or mobile application with great UI design has easy-to-use navigational features, is responsive and has high visual appeal. With a good user interface, customers don’t feel lost, intimidated or annoyed when using a digital product. Instead, UI design helps a user gain trust and confidence when using a well-designed and functional product.
What Does a UI Designer Do?
Similar to a UX designer, it is also a bit confusing to define the role of a UI designer because their job also encompasses a wide range of responsibilities. It entails thorough research and testing prior to implementation of concepts and strategies. A UI designer also focuses on the factors that ensure a better experience for their users. However, a UI designer is mostly concerned with improving the elements that a user needs in order to utilize a digital product. These elements can include typography, site architecture or graphic design.
What’s the Key Difference Between UX and UI Design?
Many mistakenly view UX and UI design as one and the same. They both share the same ultimate goal of encouraging patronage and loyalty of users to a product. Even their core definitions have many similarities. While UX design principles can be applied to non-digital products, principles of UI design are exclusive to digital devices and software. One way to draw the line between the two terms is to look at UI as the parts and components of the product that you actually use. Whereas UX refers to the emotions that a user feels while using a product.
You Can’t Have One Without the Other
A clear understanding about UX and UI is important as they are interdependent on one another. You can’t solely focus on UI design without keeping UX principles in mind. Likewise, a good UX needs support from an excellent UI designer. The two must work hand in hand because they are both crucial in developing an excellent product.
Birch River Design Group specializes in helping firms from various industries achieve their digital marketing goals. Our team also puts great attention to detail and effort into every client project. For more information about how we can create a positive UX or UI experience for your target clients, contact us via our form on our website!
The digital arena offers businesses a multitude of ways to market a product and blogging is one of them. Statistics show that many enterprises and small businesses realized this potential and jumped onto the blogging bandwagon. An article that was published in Blogging.org shows that the WordPress platform has around 75 million blogs and websites. According to results from the 4th annual blogger survey, blogging is a creative and cost-efficient strategy to promote a brand or service. According to a survey that was published on Hubspot in 2017, blogging is still a worthy pursuit as it brought efficient results for 84% of bloggers.
But how can one WordPress blog be noticed among so many similar sites in the blogosphere? Starting a WordPress blog is not as easy as picking a platform, installing a theme and writing a few posts. For the most part, consistency, hard work, and optimization strategies are essential to promote a blog that produces strong results. Make your WordPress blog stand out among other blog sites with the following optimization tips.
Choose your theme wisely.
Choosing a theme to install is an exciting part of building a WordPress blog. The WordPress platform made this task easy with thousands of themes to choose from. You can customize your theme so it defines your brand and fits your content. Designing your own WordPress blog from scratch is also an option. Since the theme is like the backbone of your website, take time in choosing one that will help you achieve your blogging goals.
Make it look appealing.
There are several factors to consider in choosing a theme such as the color, appearance, and features. People are drawn to good visuals, so the web design should look appealing and reflect your brand.
Another important aspect you should not forget is the loading time of the theme. A theme with too many features may look impressive but may turn out to be slow-loading. You do not want to lose clients because the content of your blog takes too long to load. Enhance the user experience by picking a theme that loads fast.
Choose a mobile-responsive theme.
With the increasing use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, search engine optimization (SEO) experts also suggest using a responsive theme for your WordPress blog. This ensures that your blog stays user-friendly even when viewed on various devices.
Consistency and quality matters.
You cannot start a WordPress blog and leave behind it. After picking a great theme and choosing the best plugins, you need to fill the website with high-quality content. This means providing unique and useful content that your readers would like to share. Search engines evaluate the quality of a post based on its length so the longer the blog post is, the better. Moreover, you cannot write useful blog posts only when you feel like it because search engines favor fresh content. Blogging is hard work, so take into consideration your schedule when deciding how frequent you should post on the blog. To reach more readers, you can share your blog on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Take it easy with plugins.
WordPress plugins provide web designers, developers, and bloggers with various applications and tools to make managing blogs a breeze. Still, installing just about any plugin you can find is not the best practice. Some plugins can slow down your blog, so install only the necessary plugins. You can assess the effectiveness of a plugin by checking its ratings and reading reviews from past users.
It is best to install plugins that will complement your SEO tactics such as the Google XML Sitemap Generator, an app that helps Google index the pages on your blog. Other useful plugins for SEO purposes include the All in One Schema Rich Snippets and Website Optimizer.
Do you want a well-optimized WordPress blog that can do wonders for the marketing efforts of your firm? This is a challenging goal with the sheer number of competitors out there! To ensure the success of your website, work with a team that understands how to design and customize a blog that impressively showcases your product or service. Our team at Birch River Design Group fits that description to a tee. Contact us today so we can start discussing a plan for your business.
At a glance, search engine optimization (SEO) appears to be difficult and complicated. To achieve a high Google ranking, implementing SEO strategies such as keyword research, content marketing and link building is necessary. Nevertheless, the search engine algorithm posts updates and changes at such a lightning speed that your SEO efforts can become obsolete and useless right before your eyes. Maintaining a high search engine visibility regardless of ever-changing SEO rules can be frustrating.
Yet, a closer look reveals that some SEO elements remain important factors on a website’s ranking despite various updates on Google’s search engine algorithms. SEO experts say that prioritizing these factors in web development will continue to positively impact a site’s success no matter how many updates happen. Therefore, a web developer who wants to shield a website from a sudden drop in traffic and ranking from any future updates should apply these core elements for an effective SEO strategy. Below are some of the factors that should always be part of your SEO efforts.
Create useful content.
Useful content is something that never goes out of style — even in the online world. If you put prime importance on making your business website a source of high-quality content, you never have to be scared of any of the changes that the search engines will roll out. Make an effort to regularly produce content that people cannot find elsewhere or provide an answer to a question that people are searching for. You may need the help of SEO tools such as Google Trends or Google Search Console to determine popular topics. People are bound to share your content and will likely go back to your site if your content is unique andinformationn. Increasing traffic and link building will be much easier, too.
Build good backlinks.
Link juice is one of the factors that search engines use to assess the quality of your website. The more quality links that are pointing to your site, the more link juice you have and you have a greater chance to get a higher search engine ranking (depending on your target keywords). It is important to remember that link building should be done with caution because you cannot just link to as many sites as you want. According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, a site is likely to be penalized for link building practices that are obviously done to manipulate a search engine’s ranking. Links that will complement your SEO efforts should come from authentic and relevant sites. To improve your website ranking, you should also ensure that any internal and external links on your site do not lead to broken or error pages.
Provide title tags & meta descriptions.
Title tags and meta descriptions that accurately describe what your website or content is about will help search engines in ranking your sites. Your target keywords should be present in your tags and descriptions to increase your chances of ranking for a particular term. In a search engine’s page result, users will likely click the website that perfectly describes the information they are searching for, thus improving your site’s click-through rate. To take advantage of the benefits that your website can get from title tags and meta descriptions, remember to abide by the rules set by Google.
Optimize with the user in mind.
Search engines exist to help the users discover relevant content fast. This means that your SEO strategies should primarily be directed with the user and not the search engines in mind. To enhance usability, examine your website and determine the areas that you can fix. Page speed, interesting content and homepage layout are some of the important elements to take note of. If your website is slow, has boring content and the homepage does not readily explain what the site is about, a user is likely to leave your site quickly.
According to an article from Neil Patel, search engine algorithm announces frequent updates to keep up with the changing needs of people. This factor implies that is necessary to watch out for the latest SEO trends to further make your website user-friendly. For example, the forecast for SEO trends for 2019 now puts more importance to voice search and mobile-based search. Therefore, to maintain good standing on Google’s search result, remember to include an efficient mobile friendly version and add a voice search feature on your website.
The core SEO elements listed above have been deemed valuable since the earliest days of search engine history. Yet, their importance never diminished and they will continue to be important determining factors in Google’s search engine rankings. With so many websites being created every day, the competition in the land of search engines is getting tougher. To keep up with the competition, seeking the services of SEO experts will greatly help. Our team in Birch River Design Group offers SEO packages that can greatly boost your visibility on the web! Contact us today to learn more about our professional SEO services!
Ideally, a business builds their website with a list of goals in mind. Firms or establishments would usually target brand promotion and customer acquisition. It will, however, be hard to maximize the advantages of a business website if your online portal looks bland and outdated. It is important to ensure that the website looks smart and modern to enhance customer experience.
To create a positive impact and outshine your competitors, paying attention to the latest trends in website design and development will greatly help.
Go for the clean and minimal look.
Too many colors and content are bound to distract and confuse your audience, and web designers are now seeing an increasing preference for sites with minimalist themes. So in a custom website, you want to display just the basic essentials and remove all unnecessary features. Basic essentials means the website’s goals are clearly displayed on the homepage and the structure allows a user to easily navigate a site. Of course, you want to remove unnecessary features such as irrelevant images and content.
Aside from the aesthetic appeal of a simple and sleek look, a minimal design will also result in easy website navigation and faster page loading.
Pick vibrant color schemes.
Light color schemes are still a great choice because of the bright and clean vibe it evokes. A mostly white background will also draw attention to the products or features that you want to emphasize in the website. Nevertheless, unconventional color schemes are the trend nowadays. So web designers are encouraged to freely experiment with more vibrant and striking color palettes. You can choose the color schemes that best define the vision and image of your brand.
Opt for unique typography and crisp images.
Your choice of font size and style is important because it can make navigating your site and reading your content a lot easier. Typography can also be used to make a statement about your brand or convey the mood of your website. Large and bold fonts are on trend because they are eye-catching. Web developers are also noticing the comeback of the serif font. Meanwhile, some firms may want to use unique font styles as a part of their marketing efforts.
Moreover, people are drawn to beautiful visuals, so your website should provide adequate photography. To use the website to increase sales, it is best to add crisp and clear pictures that allow a user to connect with a product online.
Design with the user in mind.
You want a business website that will improve your relationship with your clients. While it is important to create a search-engine friendly custom website, make sure you do not forget to prioritize the needs of your users. To do this, you can install applications that help with functionality that will ultimately enhance the user experience.
Add slides, illustrations, and videos.
Interesting content will capture attention and help you stand out among your competitors. Illustrations that relate to your brand or slides that contain useful data will give you an edge over others and will encourage your website visitors to visit you again. You can also add a background video about your product lines, company history or recent events.
The appearance and functionalities of your website reflect your commitment to provide quality services. Our team at Birch River Design Group will be happy to create a custom website that will prove to be an asset to your business. Send us an email or give us a call so we can discuss your web design and development needs.
A high search engine ranking can do wonders to the digital marketing efforts of a firm as it is a surefire way to increase web traffic and, therefore, revenue opportunities. This explains why the first page in Google’s search result is a much-coveted spot for all web developers and marketers.
However, people who are new to search engine marketing are likely to be advised that search engine optimization (SEO) is not an area where you can expect immediate results. With this in mind, planning SEO strategies and patiently waiting for positive results which can take several months may sound frustrating. Still, carefully implementing SEO tactics may surprisingly get you ranking in your chosen keywords in no time at all.
Make SEO a Big Part of Web Design & Development
The technical aspects of SEO (or on-page SEO) may seem like a broad topic to tackle but basically, you just want to make it easy for search engines to find and crawl your web pages. To ensure that the overall website design and architecture fit the requirements of an SEO-friendly website, you want to avoid broken links, crawl errors, and slow-loading web pages. Relevant keywords in your URL structure, meta descriptions, and title tags will also improve your website ranking.
Another way to improve website quality is by using (or switching to) the secure version of HTTP which is the HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). To allow users to access your site anywhere and anytime, your pages should also have a mobile version. Using free tools such as PageSpeed Insights, Google Webmaster, and Google Analytics can greatly help in your SEO campaigns.
Take Time to do Keyword Research
If you want to gain clients, presence and availability greatly matter. The way to ensure this in the online realm is through keyword research. Without knowing the right keywords to use in your chosen niche, achieving your SEO goals will be very difficult.
There are many free SEO tools to utilize if you want to improve your Google ranking through keyword research. Nevertheless, purchasing a keyword research tool to discover the best keywords to use will surely be worth the investment. A list of keywords with high search volume is like a gold mine that you can use all throughout web development because it gives ideas of what keywords to input in choosing a domain name, providing meta descriptions, and in crafting web content. Basic guidelines in best SEO practices though says that balance and relevance should be in mind to make the most out of your keyword research. Putting in too many keywords (keyword stuffing) may result in a lower SEO score.
Get Insights From Your Competitors
Competitive analysis is the next logical step once you know the perfect keywords to target. When you check out the business websites that are currently enjoying the spot you are aiming, you get clues on what to follow and avoid regarding your SEO strategies. The insights you will get in studying the approach of your competitors will prove to be valuable in laying out your SEO strategies.
Get Noticed in Local Listings
You are missing big opportunity if your firm is not yet in local listing pages such as Google My Business, LinkedIn Company Directory, and Yelp. You are online because you want to be seen and discovered, you better take advantage of these local directories so prospective clients can easily contact you. It is free advertisement and can improve your SEO score because you earn links in reputable authority sites.
Maintain a Blog with Useful Content
The challenge in SEO does not stop even after landing in the first page of the search engine results. You have to maintain your high web ranking to prevent numerous websites from stealing your spot. One way to keep your site content fresh and relevant is by creating a blog. Regular posting of useful content with the right keywords will help you gain subscribers and will further boost SEO ranking.
Link to Experts & Authority Sites
Search engines determine a page’s quality by the number and quality of links that are pointing to a website. You can request link exchange from experts in your field by manually reaching out to them. Sharing links in social media sites can also be part of your link building strategies.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential in web development because no one builds a website only to have it hidden under thousands or even millions of web pages out there. To enjoy the many benefits that come from having high-ranking websites, firms are naturally on the lookout for the best SEO companies out there.
Birch River Design Group can implement the best on-page SEO strategies so you don’t miss a valuable click. Give us a call today to learn how we can help drive more traffic to your business website!
Firms today are well aware of the importance of having a strong online presence. However, not all websites deliver the intended results. The ever-growing and changing digital landscape is likewise increasing the competition. In fact, the Small Business Digital Marketing
Survey for 2017 report from Clutch, a research agency, reveals that 91% of small business owners plan to improve their websites in 2018.
So how can you create a sleek and impressive homepage web design that represents your business? What are the factors to ensure that a web page is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- friendly? Sound and up-to-date web design and development strategies must be in place to enjoy the numerous benefits of an official-looking online page and to stand out among countless websites out there.
Prioritize Speed and Ease of Use
You are bound to lose sales if your web pages are slow to load and laden with broken links and other technical errors. Page speed and usability are therefore some of the top concerns for a great website. So take time to craft a web page that allows a potential client to find needed information, place orders smoothly, and in less time. Aside from making it easy to navigate your website, fast loading times and good usability are also factors that can help your E-commerce website enjoy a higher search engine ranking.
Make Sure it’s Mobile-Friendly
Nowadays, almost everything can be done with the use of a smartphone so a mobile-ready version of your site is surely a must. More people will get to know your products and services if the website can be easily accessed through mobile devices.
Google even confirmed back in 2015 that searches made in mobile platforms exceed the searches done using desktop computers. If your web page is not designed to adapt to various mobile operating systems, you are wasting a chance to reach out to more consumers.
Produce Quality Content with the Right Keywords
In spite of all advancements happening in the online realm, the term ‘content is king,” still holds true. The need for high-quality content will never go out of style so an effort to make relevant information part of your website services will be worth it.
Nevertheless, even the best content will be worthless if no one can see it so it is a must to follow best SEO practices in content development. For one, doing keyword research to identify high-volume keywords will go a long a way to ease the indexability of content.
Keep Up with the Trends to Outshine Competitors
Just like your actual business, your website should also learn to adjust and adapt to the changing times. So even if your website already looks perfect, it is still advisable to aim for continuous improvement. Study the latest updates from web designers and developers to know what new plug-ins and software to use to be a step ahead of competitors. Some of the latest trends today include installing chatbots, adding audios, and using videos.
Effective web design and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics are important elements if the goal is to successfully build a functional and interactive website that will drive sales and enhance services. A business website also serves as the company’s digital home where they can welcome clients, entertain inquiries, and process transactions.
The said goals are within reach with the help of the Birch River Design Group. We are here to help you build an impressive business website from the planning stage, design process, promotion, and maintenance. Reach out to our staff today so we can take care of your web design and development services needs!
To maximize the benefits of an ECommerce site, it is essential to come up with a plausible marketing strategy that will successfully gain clients and keep them coming back. Consumers value a great purchase experience as confirmed by a survey report published by MarketingSherpa in 2017. Therefore, an ECommerce platform should allow the customers to experience speed and convenience in making an online purchase.
Implement SEO Strategies
It’s not good advice to start a brick and mortar business in a remote location because you want to be found and be of service to as many people as possible. The same logic applies to ECommerce sites. If you want more people to flock to your site and discover what you have to offer, implementing smart search engine optimization (SEO) techniques is the key. Some of the ways to boost organic traffic and search engine ranking is through content marketing and link building.
Invest in Paid Advertisements
Your ECommerce website needs exposure to thrive but getting attention is not so easy when many similar sites targeting the same types of clients. Advertising is essential in any marketing strategy so allocating a portion of your budget on paid ads will give you an edge against others. You can study the various ad networks online such as Facebook Ads and Google Ads to know what platforms will most effectively send visits that will lead to actual sales.
Focus on Web Design & Usability
Visual appeal and easy navigation are some of the basic elements in E-commerce website development. You want to make a good impression so the web design should appear sleek and professional. To convey a trendy and modern vibe, web developers can check out the latest trends in web design. A clear perception of your buyer’s persona can give clues in choosing the right typography and color elements to use.
In terms of functionality, an E-commerce website should have a landing page that showcases the best products and services that the business offer. The whole website should give clear messages and simple instructions so as not to confuse or frustrate the end user. Avoid long and complicated purchase and checkout process as it will surely turn off customers.
Validate Positive Content With Good Photos
Your ECommerce website may be filled with content that praise your products and services but without good photos, your write-up will not be convincing. Quality pictures that highlight the best features of your products have great potential to increase the conversion rates of visits.
A Background Video is a Great Addition
It is a must for an ECommerce site to have a well-written ‘About Us’ page or product descriptions. Nevertheless, everyone knows that it is easier to watch than to read so creating a short video about your business is likely to get the results you need.
Encourage Reviews and Feedback
It’s normal for a customer to repeatedly weigh all the pros and cons before making an actual purchase. For a customer to feel confident about the purchase and to establish trust, a feature that allows clients to post and read product reviews will greatly help.
Take Advantage of UpSelling and Cross-Selling Tactics
Upselling (offering a more expensive version) and cross-selling (offering related products) are strategies that you can use to introduce other services to the client. Sometimes it is difficult to decide on what products to purchase if there are so many to choose from. Implementing upselling and cross-selling tactics can be an effective way to boost revenues because you help clients focus on certain products that will really be of value to them.
Understand Consumer Behaviors With Analytics
A competent web marketer should be able to explain why an ECommerce site is performing well or doing badly. To do so, it is important to regularly monitor and analyze the metrics and data regarding your consumer’s behaviors. By doing this, you can maintain a website’s great conversion rate and apply immediate fixes to a site that is suffering from low visits.
Technology has made the digital world a massive marketplace, explaining the proliferation of online shopping sites. To enjoy the full advantage of having an ECommerce website, you need expert assistance from a team that genuinely wants to see your digital marketing efforts succeed. We are Birch River Design Group— contact us today.
Is your business still giddy from the massive success of your latest digital marketing campaign? It’s surely a feat worth celebrating but with technology evolving at such a frantic rate, your proven strategies today may not yield the best results for your future projects.
The most effective online marketers stay on top of the game by constantly looking out for the latest tools to utilize for their next e-marketing campaign. What are the latest schemes to amplify your social media strategies? How can your content marketing efforts stand out amidst a sea of overwhelming information available on the web? How can you take advantage of the current trends to reach out to consumers and promote your brand?
Voice Search & Smart Speakers Are on the Rise
According to the Voicebot Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report for 2018, there are about 47.3 million Americans that are using smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Echo. Studies also show that consumers enjoy using voice-assistant devices so the industry is likely to grow in the years to come.
The fact that more people are now relying on voice search technology can provide valuable insights that digital marketers can explore. For one, it has the potential to alter keyword research tactics and search engine optimization (SEO) since growing number of consumers are now looking and buying products by talking to rather than typing on a device. Online content with audio versions may also be common in the near future.
Live Videos & Video Content Will Grow Stronger
Facebook introduced live videos in 2016 and statistics show more than 3.5 billion live broadcasts since then. In addition, YouTube says that video usage increases by 100% every year. Obviously, videos make access to information a lot easier and entertaining. The data likewise presents a huge potential for marketers who wish to reach out to potential customers.
Enterprises should consider interaction and relevance as some of the essential factors in plotting strategies for video content marketing for the 21st-century audience. Interactive videos or live streams are said to attract more views than traditional videos. Meanwhile, longer videos would likely bore people so it is advisable to keep content short and specific.
Personalized Content to Drive Better Results
Nowadays, so much is available online that information is usually just a few clicks away. However, people don’t have the time and patience to scour the web. So, the demand for content that provides instant and straight-to-the-point solutions will likely be more appealing than broad topics that cater to a wide range of people.
So, companies that wish to drive more sales and increase profits will benefit from streamlining their content to answer a need of a specific group. Even so, digital marketers should still not ignore the positive impact that evergreen content (or content that offers timeless information) can bring. Utilizing data to personalize online marketing efforts will also encourage people to trust and patronize a brand.
Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots Will Enhance Customer Experience
Artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly making its mark for various industries and the digital marketing arena is no exception. With all the tasks that can now be accomplished by automated bots, digitally-savvy business owners should know how to maximize this technology in improving their systems and services.
Some e-commerce sites today are already using chatbots to provide instant customer support. Aside from being affordable, the powerful software is also easy to install and does not require complex programming. Bots can run 24/7 tirelessly and with fewer chances of error, so it is a great way to enhance customer service and that can lead to more purchases. The AI technology is continuously developing so its presence and application in many industries will only grow in time.
An online marketer can be left behind in the blink of an eye so it is a must to keep up with the newest and upcoming breakthroughs in the digital marketing arena. With adequate knowledge about the key trends in the digital landscape, companies can easily lay out the best marketing plan to gain clients, beat competitors, and boost revenue.
It is also a wise move to work closely with a team that fully understands the importance of keeping up with digital marketing trends such as the Birch River Design Group. Get in touch with us today to know how we can help power-up your marketing efforts