Venturing Beyond the Fold in Web Design, Exploring New Designs

It’s time to have the talk- yes, the talk about scrolling. Everyone does it. You do it. We do it. Your grandmother does it. We all scroll through web pages- especially if we love the content. One of the biggest concerns brands have regarding their website is content exposure. The big question is, “Are visitors scrolling through my website or just glancing above the fold?”

Scrolling is Habitual

Today, scrolling down web pages is second nature to many computer users. [quote] Apple felt so confident in this statement that they removed the scrollbar from their recent Mac OSX update.[/quote] Scrolling plays a key role across all social media platforms. The 1.82 billion social users prefer to expose themselves to more and more content by scrolling through feeds. Sites that have parallax scrolling features have the cleanest conversions in terms of usability across desktop and mobile platforms.

Exploring Below the Fold

Back in the golden age of print media, newspapers would be folded in half on newsstands, and the top half was designated for the juiciest news to a grab reader’s attention and the same goes for websites. The information you want your audience to see should be placed at the top of the page, but it is important to follow certain design principles to keep visitors intrigued to keep scrolling for more. Major brand website’s like that of Burberry have less content above the fold to encourage users to venture beyond the fold by use of its alluring hero image. CX Parners notes: “ The screens show two different design treatments for the hero slot on the homepage. The surprising thing we have learnt was that actually having less above the fold (one large content block as opposed to 2 smaller ones) encouraged exploration below the fold.”

Less is More

Adopting a cleaner and simpler style, such as parallax scrolling, will not only make your website better-looking, but it will also assist in positioning your brand as modern, up-to-date, and innovative. If users visit your site and are curious in the content you have above the fold, they will scroll away. However, to ensure website visitors are doing what you want them to do, be sure to follow design principles including less is more, avoid horizontal lines, and avoid in-page scroll bars.

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Looking to optimize your site layout? Let BIGEYE improve your website to be even more user friendly! Contact us today, and we can guide your vision toward success!

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The Importance of the Role of Design in Marketing

I recently subscribed to an email list for a friend’s business. But, when I saw the first email newsletter, I found myself very uneasy. The business deals with photography and design, and yet the email that landed in my inbox was a bare-bones, plain text email. You’d think someone like that would put more care into the message he’s trying to convey — maybe I need to tell him that the team at our Orlando marketing agency has a few ideas to help him understand the role of design in marketing.

Now, in marketing, each of us has our strengths. I understand that a copywriter at our Orlando advertising agency shouldn’t necessarily be counted on to design a document, or a strategist doesn’t need to know a ton about website development. But I do think design should permeate through all areas of business.

It’s important to have consistency in all brand assets. This doesn’t just mean print ads, but applies to internal and external marketing tools including sales decks, memos, website design, social media and, as you saw above, the email experience. The goal here is to make sure you’re telling the same story across all platforms. This will make it easier for people to identify your brand, and they can then follow along for the ride when they see your emails or your Facebook posts. And, it just looks nice!

Thinking about my friend’s photography business, he probably has a number of excellent assets to help sell the story of his business. He’s asking people to spend a lot of money to use his services, and while having an email signup list is a great first step, that list also needs to reflect the essence of the brand he wants to create. A plain text email? I see plain text emails all the time. What I want is for you to really wow me! Use these visual techniques to help entice me to choose you over competitors.

[quote]BIGEYE created a responsive web design for Arsenal Venture Partners that produced the ideal interaction they were hoping for. Check it out![/quote]

Your website should be a reflection of your business. The assets you put on your site and photos that you choose are all ways you market yourself, so it’s important to take care in what you’re presenting to the world. This even goes into the user experience of the site – you need to make sure that if you have a shopping cart feature, it’s easy to use, and that if you have a ton of content on the site, it’s easy to navigate. For some reason, people tend to overlook these essential aspects in trying to design websites —but these days, you can’t afford not to think about them because they translate to real ROI.

Recently, I heard about the Barbarian Group, an innovation agency in New York highly focused on design. True to the brand, when they moved to a new office, they emphasized the importance of design. As such, they created a massive single sharable desk as a place for people to keep ideas flowing. It’s a testament to the fact that design truly permeates every aspect of the business – even in the workplace setup.

The team at our Orlando marketing firm knows the value of design, and would love to help you create and execute design-oriented marketing strategies. Contact us to set up an appointment to learn about how we can help you!

4 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Improve Your Website Experience

For business owners who have never used Google Analytics, the breadth of customer data available can seem overwhelming. However, Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. It allows marketers an in-depth perspective of how people are using a company’s website, which can lead to much broader implications for branding, SEO strategies, Google AdWords strategies and homepage insights.

I recently had a client who was interested in a homepage redesign. From the outset, it was clear to me that his business’s marketing team didn’t fully understand the relationship between marketing and website development. After looking at his webpage analytics, I realized a homepage redesign would be crucial to his business’s success. His site was not optimized for mobile, even though 50% of his website visitors came from mobile devices. The site experience was very targeted for the male viewer, even though nearly half of his page viewers were female. And, perhaps most shockingly, his page loading speed was 12 seconds, far higher than the 2-3 seconds it should take to access a page for the first time. That offered a terrific insight as to why his page bounce rate was over 86 percent, in spite of the interesting, relevant content posted on a daily basis. Armed with this knowledge, we knew what steps to take in creating a website that would result in a better user experience.

[quote]If you want to know whether your webpage is effective, Google Analytics is quite simply the best place to start.[/quote]While there are entire webinars dedicated to successfully using Google Analytics (I suggest checking out Google Analytics Academy), the team at our advertising agency in Orlando can suggest a few things to check immediately to help garner insights about your business’s performance.

 1. Bounce Rate

The bounce rate indicates any time a site visitor looks at only one page before leaving the site. If your business’s homepage is experiencing a high bounce rate, it’s important to try to figure out why. It might be that your site isn’t optimized for the mobile or tablet experience, or that you aren’t offering clear calls to action that would encourage people to continue exploring the site. A web tool called Optimizely allows businesses to quickly and easily test homepage elements to try to improve these metrics.

 2. Average Visit Duration

Again, if people are coming to your page but not staying on very long, there may be a problem with your landing page experience. However, it may also be that there is a mismatch between the content that is driving people to your site and audience’s actual interests. For example, a “clickbait”headline will succeed in getting more people to your site, but people will leave quickly if the headline isn’t supported by interesting content.

 3. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate metrics offer insight into the number people who visit your website, against the number of people who actually “convert.”Conversions typically apply to e-commerce purchases, but can also measure the number of people who sign up for your email blasts or the number of people who book a reservation using the website. If these numbers are low, you may wish to test the effectiveness of various calls to action, play with the visual imagery or experiment with different types of content marketing.

4. Behavior Flow Report

The behavior flow report presents a visualization of how website users navigate from one page or event to the next. This report provides insights into the content on your site that’s driving engagement, and also helps identify potential content issues. Use the segment drop down to segment traffic and better understand how those segments flow through the site. You’ll see how search traffic (for example) flows differently through your site than mobile traffic. The dimensions drop down allows you to narrow results by referral source or medium, and even shows flow from specific keywords. This feature can help identify how visitors from a particular keyword engage with and convert on your site. Data geeks unite around the behavior flow report – it’s a gem.

In need of some expert Google Analytics expertise to ensure both an increase in website traffic – and an overwhelmingly positive user experience? Contact us today for a consultation!

7 resort marketing tips to help your bookings skyrocket

In the era of the internet, it’s easy for the most amazing resort experiences to get lost in the endless stream of advertising and digital content. With so many resort options, resort marketers who truly want to break through the noise have a variety of tools in their arsenal to help them make the most of their advertising dollars by helping them recruit the customers — often times customers who become repeat visitors, coming back again and again, year after year.
Here are seven resort advertising tips – courtesy of your friends at BIGEYE – to help your bookings skyrocket.

1. Invest in search engine optimization

In a highly competitive space like the resort industry, it is important to ensure people can actually find your business in the midst of all the other websites out there. In this industry in particular, tailoring your website’s content to make sure your site appears in organic search is a great way to attract attention to your site.

2. Experiment with Google AdWords and Facebook advertising

AdWords is a great way to give your business an extra boost in terms of search. Marketers can set their own rates and can also bid on keywords. By using such a service, marketers can experiment with images, call to actions and landing pages when testing on Google AdWords. This type of advertising can sometimes takes a little experimentation to get it just right, but, if it makes sense for your business to try it, AdWords users often experience excellent results.

Similarly, Facebook Ads allows users to select keywords and set rates for their campaigns. Facebook also offers hyper-targeted approaches, offering ads targeted directly at users based on their interests (i.e., travel, leisure) and location.

3. Optimize your webpage

If you’re still working with the website someone designed for you in 1996, chances are your page isn’t optimized for the web. In terms of optimization, there are numerous approaches. One is to design the site for SEO purposes, so that it appears highly-ranked in organic web searches, but sometimes this isn’t the most visually-pleasing approach, and may result in high bounce rates. Therefore, experimenting and testing items such as the placement of a call to action, the page aesthetic, and placement of keywords and phrases can help you nail down what works best for your site visitors.

Also, be sure to optimize your site for mobile and tablet experiences using responsive design. In doing so, you can create an easy-to-use site that looks good no matter what platform.

4. Collect email addresses, front and center on your homepage

Email marketing is here to stay, mainly because people who use it see results. They’ve found they’re able to reach their users directly in their inboxes, which is a great way to keep users up to date about deals and happenings at the resort. Implementing an easy email collection box is a great way to increase the number of people who see your email blasts.

5. Optimize your emails

Optimizing your email experience will improve the number of people who click through the email to the site. Even factors such as the subject line and the time of day they receive the email can have a major effect on whether people take the time to look at them. Then, once they do open the email, what do they see? If the content isn’t optimized for mobile and tablet devices, users could decide not to view the email if it takes too long to load or looks garbled.

6. Invest in customer service

In the digital age, customer service and marketing are inextricably linked. A happy customer is the best marketing tool your resort can have, as that customer is likely to share their experience with their friends or on social information sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Make it easy for the user to provide feedback and to talk to a real person when they have questions or suggestions for improvement.

7. Try ad retargeting

Once a person does visit your page, they may be interested initially but could get distracted from the ultimate goal of purchase as they move on to other items. A relatively new technology called retargeting uses the viewer’s browsing habits to store information, allowing brands to position their ads in front of the user at a later date on a completely different website. The idea is that the person may be inspired at that later time to purchase the good or service they’d only thought about before. Resorts can capitalize on this, as it often takes people some time to decide they want to book a vacation, and retargeting can help put the experience right in front of them, over and over again.

Taken together, these resort marketing factors can ensure more visitors come to your site and spend more time there, which will inevitably result in more bookings. The team at our Orlando marketing agency thinks that resort marketers that are already taking these steps to improve the booking experience are at a distinct advantage, as is reflected in higher booking numbers.

Contact us today and we can help you implement a number of these helpful tips for your resort!

Why Your Brand Should Consider Using App Development

It’s a new year, and people around the country are working hard to keep their resolutions. Be it trying to smile more, have more fun or save money for that big vacation, resolutions are typically admirable goals that, if reached, can grant more positivity and joy to a person’s life.
At our advertising agency, we think one of the most awesome things about living in a world of smartphones and digital technology is that there are tons of apps to help us reach our goals. These are apps that help us manage our budgets, our fitness goals and our work-life balance.

The great thing about the digital economy is that marketers are able to use app development to find creative ways to tap into these tools to help integrate digital products with their marketing strategies. When brands pick up on a need for their audiences, they can effectively develop apps to help provide a service while also marketing their own brand.

Take, for instance, Mint, which is a great tool for helping budget and save. Because it is able to provide a useful service to users, it can also strengthen its brand by partnering with major banks to help provide recommendations and advertising. Anyone resolving to save money in 2014 can use Mint to help plan for the future, and can also get tips on personalized banking options and experiences.

Those who’ve resolved to lose weight this year can use help from a number of apps, but none is as highly regarded as the Nike Fuel Band app and it’s partner device. Nike, a company once known only for its shoes, spent significant time and money on research and development to become a lifestyle brand. In doing so, it created a device that acts as a pedometer that syncs with a smart phone app, allowing people to easily monitor their progress and share with friends. This innovative technology goes far beyond what a shoe company has to offer, but at the end of the day, more people working out also equals more shoes sold by Nike. Plus, that doesn’t include the massive amounts of data Nike is capturing about its users. This is why Nike will remain a leader in the athletics and fitness space for a long time.

[quote] Want to check out a success story in the mobile app market? BIGEYE teamed up with The Daily Mom to develop a unique and sophisticated app that reached the Top 25 Downloads Position on iTunes. [/quote]

Finally, there are numerous apps that help people with education. For instance, language companies like Rosetta Stone compliment their foreign language programs with immersive apps. In doing so, they not only provide a service to their users, but are also accessible to beginners who might be interested in partaking in the full program at a later date, but for the moment simply need to learn where to find the bathroom.

Take a tip from our brand marketing agency: Marketers should look to this these inspirational ideas for app utility to figure out what kinds of apps might help their users and their audiences. Doing so not only acts as great marketing, but also helps provide a service to users. In turn, those new products can help the brand grow into something bigger than itself.

In search of a little more expert advice to strategize app development for your brand? Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

How Website Optimization Can Help Grow Your Business

Remember the first days of the Internet, when it felt as though every single person had a Geocities page, full flashing graphics and crazy clip art-inspired interfaces? This was in an era when search engine technology was miniscule, which most of us now rely upon.
In this day and age, there are many more options for businesses to build impressive web pages. But all the features in the world won’t necessarily make for a better website: the key lies between optimized design and optimized content. The team at our Florida marketing agency is ready to break down ways for business owners to do both – here, BIGEYE brings you a few thoughts regarding web optimization, and how it can help grow your business:

Website optimization:

Designing a great website requires a calculated mix of graphic design and user experience design. Most companies that have great graphic teams may be lacking in the UX department, meaning that even if a website looks beautiful, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to navigate.

One solution to this is to enact user testing on your website, both throughout the development process and periodically after the site launches.[quote]Google Analytics offers powerful tools to help track users’ behaviors once they reach a website.[/quote] A high bounce rate may mean that your Google AdWords strategies are misleading, or that your site takes too long to load. Business owners can also test website functionality by asking about user experience through survey data or even informal questioning. Collecting qualitative and quantitative data as to friction points can help business owners find ways to ease user concerns. Some small businesses note massive increases in conversion to sales after installing quick and easy fixes such as a call to action on the front page or seamless shopping cart functionality.

Business owners can also optimize their websites using tools like Optimizely, which helps facilitate A/B testing to see which website designs work best within a given user base. Additionally, data mined using Moz can help boost the SEO ranking of your website through design optimization in accordance with Google’s search algorithm.

Content Optimization:

Even the most beautifully designed website isn’t going to gain search engine traction if the content isn’t optimized. Website content optimization doesn’t just depend on the actual text on a website, but also is contingent on metadata, tags and a whole host of other facets that content writers can read about at Moz.

The number one rule of SEO website optimization is to avoid tactics that seem slimy, such as linkbaiting practices and poor-quality, keyword heavy content. These will seriously damage SEO rankings, and it may take a long time for a domain name to recover after losing rankings due to bad practices.

Companies can also improve SEO rankings by blogging. Focusing on a few keywords and posting about relevant topics pertaining to that field can give companies even more opportunities to appear in organic search.

Site content is just the start of search engine optimization; Moz and a host of other companies offer packages to help optimize the backend of your website using a variety of tools and facets, many of which are updated frequently to reflect constantly-evolving search engine ranking algorithms.

Our Florida ad agency hopes you can use these tools to help optimize your site to get more money for your dollar. While website optimization in some cases may be a large investment, it can have a major payoff when it comes to the bottom line.  For more information as to how your business can optimize its website, please contact BIGEYE’s Florida advertising agency.