Tag Archives for " website makeover "

Top 5 Web Design Blunders of 2013

Ugly Site At Brick Road Media 35% of our business comes from Website Design/Re-Design. When we first start discussing a website project the end goal is the top priority . If driving traffic and leads is the number one priority then functionality is the first design element that we will work on . Too many times designers go for high -end graphics and photography but forget the marketing elements that will make the page produce results . I mention this because over 90% of the clients that we consult with have marketing and page conversion at the bottom of their list of priorities . Here are the top 5 design blunders  for you as a budding designer or D.I.Y to avoid.   1. Font is too small- 14pt Font is the new 12pt Font . I often see websites that use font that I have to use the control + key for, and a lot of times they are using this small font in key areas such as contact us page and in areas where the call to action is located . If I can't read it, then how would you expect the older generation who haven't upgraded to a 32 inch LCD panel screen to read your important parts? Go BIG or Go HOME! 2. Home Page is Jammed- You know these pages on talking about. The website that looks like they took the company flyer , brochure , sales presentation folder , and every other piece of literature that is ever been printed for the company and threw it in three unorganized columns with two irrelevant stock images and called this their home page .  Please Please Please avoid this style at all costs . We use WordPress for all of our websites and there are several great theme companies such as Woo Themes, and Elegant Themes that will help with the layout of a good home page . To start you want to make sure that there's plenty of white space , and I recommend that you choose the three most important elements of your business or organization that you want highlighted and start with either a slider or three shadow boxes that link to the information pages about those items . Do not put the information about these items on the homepage !  Use images or icons in a short catchy phrase that will induce the user to click to learn more information . This will keep your home page clutter free , easy to navigate , and most importantly it will keep your user engaged with your website until they find what they're looking for . 3. Forms- This blunder can easily be fixed . Keep your forms to 4 Input boxes or less . There is a time down the road to get your users date of birth , social security numbers , firstborns shoe size, and Rusty the family Dog's DNA profile, but it is not in the first interaction with the user . It is better to start with name, and email and go from there. Statistics will show that your click through rates on forms increases when your fields of input decrease. 4. Contact Page-  This may be more of a personal pet peeve , but it drives me crazy when I landed on a site and find the information exciting enough to want to know more and talk to someone and the only option is to fill out a basic contact form where you know the message is landing somewhere in cyberspace . What tends to happen with me, is I get the reply 2-3 days later and by then I forget what I was interested in or have already went to a competitor and purchased. That is what happens to companies that don't think of being super accessible on the web. The Best way of handling in my opinion is to give as many options to the user to contact you as possible , if such as live chat , e-mail address , phone number , hours of operation , and an expected time frame that their query will be returned . 5. Creativity before Functionality- As discussed above in the introduction you want to decide early in the project what's the main focus is going to be . If the main focus is to drive traffic and leads which is typical for most businesses, then you need to focus on the marketing functionality in the overall user experience. There will be a time and a place to input those sexy icons and that awesome photograph that you are just dying to put in the website somewhere, but trust me on this one, designing a funnel that will drive and capture leads is much more rewarding than having a cool site.  

If you've decided that hiring a professional is a much better idea been designing your new website , you have wisdom beyond your years.

Call Us today at 765-439-4029 or email us at support@brickroadmedia.com

November 30, 2012

The Most Fun We’ve Had Building Local Business Website

J&J Winery and Big Dawg Brewhaus have a brand new home on the web.  J&J is a premiere Indiana winery and the only combination winery and craft brewery in Indiana.

The reason the project has been so fun is we were allowed a lot of creative freedom and were encouraged to let loose on the site for a look and feel that fits what J&J is all about.

J&J Winery Front Page

We were able to add some cool features with their event calendar and reservations due to some very neat new plugins for WordPress which allowed us to incorporate them nicely into the design.

Function and form together:

richmond winery

Another atypical aspect of this build was adding a business-within-a-business page for the Big Dawg Brewhaus.  The brewery got to have its own design on its page (click image to visit):

indiana brewery

For larger re-design projects like this, there are a lot of moving parts.  And when you get to the marketing and visibility campaign, it gets to be even more fun.  When a local business has a rich product line like J&J, the job of marketing is, overall, a lot easier because we have so much to talk about and promote.

J&J has award-winning wines (see video), for instance, which makes social and search marketing easier.  They do all kinds of events throughout the year including weddings, wine tastings, beer tastings, fundraisers, live music, you name it.  Again, all that activity makes for a fun, active marketing campaign, especially through their social networks.

Then, add an award-winning Indiana micro brewery with "buzz" coming in from all over the Midwest about the quality and care that goes into their brews.  The events and announcements that are generated in a year just from the brewery alone make for additional points of engagement with the J&J Winery subscribers and social fan base.

Last but not least is their wood-fired pizza.  From my perspective, having "specialized" in trying any and all wood oven pizzas whenever I have a chance all over the country, J&J Winery pizzas are world-class.

Together, the highlights of this business form a tsunami of good times, great tastes, and beautiful location.

We invite you to check out the site!

December 8, 2011

Before and After: YellowKittySalon.com

She needed some work.  The site had seen better days.  And those days were long gone.

The Old YellowKittySalon.com Site

After some Brick Road Love and Attention...

It really doesn't have to be a major thing for a small business to get a new, updated look.  We often do small projects when we can.  And what's not a big job for us can mean a massive difference for the businesses we work with.  From more customers to better engagement and feedback from visitors to better search engine rankings.

While the change can seem like "magic" it's really just being in the business for over a decade and knowing the latest look and functionality web surfers are expecting to see.

We'll keep posting our transformations so you can get an idea just how much difference a website makeover can make!

Call Jeremy at 765-439-4029 or email us to schedule an in-person, no-cost needs assessment for your web presence!

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