Thursday, May 27, 2010

Things You Should Avoid When Designing a Website

Being a web designer/developer for over a decade, I have seen everything when it comes to website design “The good, bad and ugly”. Designing a website that produces results takes a lot more than just a good looking site. It is the combination of visual appeal and all the things going on behind the scene that make the difference between success – and failure.

11 tops mistakes made – when designing a website.

Think about your target market – who are you building this website for – you or your clientele. Make sure you target market will be drawn to the design of your website, not be repelled by it. If they don’t like what they see – they will be gone before they read the copy.

  1. Are you designing your website when you don’t have a clue? If you are not a “designer type”. Hire someone to design a really good looking site – do not throw up something that looks amateurish.

Leave it to the experts – at least the initial design and implementation. Looking professional is one of the most important things you can do. It doesn’t have to cost you, an arm and a leg – this is your business. Always remember, first impressions are lasting impressions.

  1. Optimize your images so they load fast and look good. If a web page takes more than 15 seconds to load – the visitor will be gone. In fact, Google (just this year) is ranking websites on how fast they load, so be aware. Another tip, do not compress your graphics to much – it will cause them to look pixilated and unprofessional.
  1. Make sure your navigation is direct and straight forward. It should take no more than 3 clicks for your visitors to be able to get to anywhere they want to go on your web pages. Make sure your navigation is direct so people know what pages they are accessing.
  1. If it takes longer than 4 seconds for a visitor to understand what your business is – then you are in trouble. A visitor does not really care how wonderful you are in the beginning. They are usually looking for an answer to a problem or concern. You need your home page to be direct and to the point – providing your visitors with “what is in it for them”.
  1. Use a font that is universal. Did you realize if you use a font that is unusual in the body of your website – it will not show up on a computer that does not have that font? It is replaced with another font that may not look the same as yours? This will cause you website to look a lot different than you think it does, this can be a major problem. Tip: Verdana is an excellent choice when putting in your page text – it was developed for easy reading on the internet.
  1. Do you have color derangement syndrome? Don’t let it happen to you! If you do not have a clear color pallet, you have multi-colored text and mismatched shades of color on your website – your website looks terrible. A good rule of thumb is to stick with 3 complimentary colors, unless you are building a tribute to the 60’s psychedelic generation! Make sure you have the proper “RGB” colors. There are so many websites that can show you complimentary colors and different color pallet you shouldn’t have to stress, you are not on your own.Not all colors look the same on all computer monitors so be careful.
  2. Make sure your website designer knows how to SEO your website. What is SEO? It is search engine optimization, not all web designers are created equal – find one that will optimize your website so that search engines can find your website and place it on the top of their directory. Not everyone has tons of money to advertise – and this is one thing all good websites should have – proper optimization.
  1. Have a way to collect your visitor’s information (often called an auto-responder). You need to capture the names of people who come to you website – how are you going to contact them otherwise? Most people who go to a website do not buy the first or even second time they visit. If you offer them something of value for just an email and name, they are motivated to sign-up for the free information or gift. You then have permission to contact them when you have new information – a special or something of value to tell them about.
  1. Do not develop you website using the latest and greatest programming language (unless you need it). A simple. .html web page is perfect for 90% of businesses. You can add other programming language elements right in the web page – you do not need to spend a fortune (and it does cost a lot more) to get a web site developed. Make sure the person you are working with isn’t pulling your leg when they suggest you need a fancy, smancy website – that in the long run, will not give you what you are looking for, but will drain your bank account.
  1. Splash pages may look cool but are they practical? I am a designer and love the look and feel of a beautiful flash page. I like the movement in the design – but a flash interface or splash page is not picked up or indexed by search engines. Getting exposure everywhere you can on the internet should be one of your top priorities. Tip: Placing elements of flash in your website gives you the same beautiful look and feel without compromising your valuable marketing opportunities.
  2. Have a good analytics program to monitor your website. My favorite is Google analytics the code is free and all you have to do is register and place it on your pages (or your webmaster does). Once the code is placed properly you will be able to see who accesses your site, how long they stay, what pages they go to and much much more. One of my favorite things to see is from what parts of the world my visitors come from - it is fabulous!

If you have any questions or I can be of service don't hesitate to email or call! (801) 910-4825

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Providing Creative Solutions and Valuable Results

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Squeeze Page or Landing Page, What is the Difference?

It can be very confusing – you hear about landing pages and how effective they are – then it is squeeze pages, and what they can do for your business.

The terms are used interchangeably but are they really the same?

The answer is NO - there is a difference.

Squeeze pages and landing pages have some similarities but the goals are different for each one. Once you know the differences you will be able to decide, which will help you achieve your goals the fastest.

Squeeze pages – usually consists of one web page. Its primary purpose is to collect information (usually email addresses and names) of people that are interested in a product or service that the business is offering.

A squeeze page is only effective if you are giving away an item that is of value to your target market. This can be an e-book, a report on a specialized “niche” market, video or a combination of these things. Once the form is filled out, the names are put in a data-base for future use.

Using an online auto-responder is extremely valuable, such as Get Response or Kick Start Cart (for affiliate account cannot be beat). This prevents emails you send out as being seen as spam. Once you get a name in the system, you have permission to send them additional information, you can automate your marketing campaigns as well as send out “email blasts”.

These leads are your target market and once they sign-up you know they are interested in what you have to offer. Your database is gold, and you do not want to share it with anyone. You will need to reassure your recipients that you will not sell or give away the information without express permission.

Once the person signs up for your free product – you will then be required to get them the “Free Product” the 2 different ways to pass on the information are:

First you could have an automatic message (thank you letter) go out with a link, so they can download the freebie from an email.

Second choice, they can be redirected to the download page – at the same time a letter is sent out thanking them – and giving them some more valuable information about your business (through use of an auto-responder).

Landing pages – are sales pages, you are offering a product or service that the person will pay for. A landing page will generally consist of not only sales copy, but testimonials of satisfied customers. It is best to have pictures to go with the testimonial’s, this lends credibility to your claim.

It helps to have bonuses to go along with the purchase of your item.

A successful landing page has a sign-up so you can capture the name and email of the person purchasing the product (using an autoresponder).

Once the person signs – they can then be redirected to the order page where you can use a free service such as Paypal to take credit card information. Once this is triggered you will then have an email that goes out to the person with the free downloads.

A landing page can have many levels, you can have a page redirect to up-sale more products or if they try and click off the page you may have a pop-up that offers a smaller package for sale at a bargain price.

Another technique is selling a small priced item and when people click on the link you offer them more items for a few dollars more.

There are many variations to the theme and if you start looking at links that are trying to give away things or sale items you will be able to really see the dynamics that goes into each of these items (landing pages and squeeze pages).

These types of pages are extremely successful but really depend on you. What you are offering, how you are marketing and the quality of your offer. The copy has to be customer centric (meaning: what will it do for them). To be effective in the long term you must be sincere in believing in the value of your merchandise and advice.

Success is really just a matter of hard work, learning and perseverance! So follow you dreams, never give up and don’t ever stop learning….

Pamela Jacob – Artista Design

Providing Creative Solutions and Valuable Results…

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Still Don’t Blog? You Have Got to Be Kidding!

Initially I was resistant to doing a blog – after all what would I say and how would I be received. Would people be interested in reading about experiences – really? And how would it help my business grow…

This was clear back in 2007 – and it was in the midst of blogs taking over the internet – social media sites were barely in their infancy.

I had plenty of work but I wanted to reach a larger audience – and I really love helping people succeed so – I jumped in.

In the beginning I envisioned my blog to be a series of articles about what you need to design an attractive website, market it, optimize it etc. It has become so much more than that. A client or potential client will email me and ask me a question, or I read something that sparks a view/reaction in my mind and I write about it.

This information is something that has proven to be invaluable to my readers – this type of pertinent information you may not be able to find so easily in a structured article. This type of information gives you the nuances that make a business successful… I am telling you this because so many times people don't start blogs because they genuinely assume they have nothing to say – well if you have nothing to say then I suggest you don't even start your business until you understand it fully. And once you understand your product/service then you will have tons to say on the matter.

On top of that – if you have been in business for a number of years you will have experiences that will prove to be important for all business owners regardless of what they are providing to there clientele.

Blog's are powerful connections for your business.

In developing this blog I truly found out why blogs are so powerful when promoting business. It gives you credibility – it allows people to see you are who you say you are. It is true that you need more than a blog to be successful. You need to ping your blog – you need to submit to blog directories, and most of all you need to know what you are blogging about!! Search engines love blogs because it gives them new fresh material all the time and that is so important when trying to stay on the top of search engine listings.

You would not believe the customers that I have acquired because of my blog.

I have people contact me from all areas of the world, literally! They have read my articles – and sent me emails. Hired me to do websites and consulting contracts for them. Simply because they became familiar with whom I was – and respected me as a professional. They would probably have never contacted me or hired me – with out knowing my essence and knowledge.

As I always say there is so much to know and then so much more…

That is the one thing, I love about my business – I am here to help businesses de-tangle and understand what they need to do to have a successful online business.

Website being so important is the foundation of your business – blogs are essential in marketing your expertise and creditability…

Don’t be timid – jump in and start blogging. What better way to make a name for yourself and your business.

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

"Creating the Image You Need, To Attract the Customers You Want!"

Providing Creative Solutions with Valuable Results...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Don’t leave it to chance analyze your website NOW!

If you have been on the internet for any length of time I am sure you have heard of Google analytics – and if you haven’t then there is no time like the present to learn how to use it.

This amazing tool will do everything from telling you where your visitors are coming from, what nation, what search engine, what web page. How long they stayed on your site, if they are a new/unique visitor and so much more.

One of the best things about this tool, You can use it for free – you can access it from the internet and even run reports that can be emailed to you or your client (it will come as a .pdf document).

It has graphs and even a global map, when you go over your particular map you will be amazed to see where people are accessing your website from.

I have people in Africa – Europe and everywhere in between accessing my site.

The benefits I have outlined are just a few of the statistics you can get when using Google analytics – I am scratching the surface, – you can set goals and look at many more details.

You do have to sign-up with Google to be able to apply it to your web pages, if you have a web person who has built your site you will need to have them apply the Google analytics code to the back end of each web page you want indexed.

If you are one that does your own design then follow the instructions that Google gives you – but once again you do have to register to be able to use it. No one, but the person who has your login and password can sign into your account, or access any of your analytical data.

If you don't have it on your website already you are crazy not to get it. Once the code is properly place, it will take 24 hours to start collecting data. Then just access it through your login and start tweaking your pages accordingly to get amazing results!

To register for this free service go to:

If you are serious about your business don’t wait a second longer, get it, apply it, use it!

If you have any questions or your web person has gone missing. This sadly seems to be a phenomenon these days – contact me. I will help you succeed in this awesome online world!

Pamela Jacob – Artista Design

Providing Creative Solutions & Valuable Results