Catherine Stone

10 Ways to Improve Your Website Promotion Strategy

Think About a Visitor Conversion

Website visitors don’t mean much if they don’t convert to actionable leads before they leave. Figure out what needs to be accomplished to improve your website promotion and how to make it happen. Revisit this game plan every few months, fine-tuning the approach to maximize results.

Blog Post Writing

Blog Post Creation & Writing

A thoughtful, well-crafted blog post captivates readers and encourages them to share it, browse the rest of your website or subscribe to future posts. If you don’t have the time, energy or finesse to write your own blogs, find a professional who does it for a living.

Blog Post Optimization & SEO

Blog Post Optimization

Whether you choose to write your own content or have a professional write it for you, be sure to fine-tune the message and add some great visuals. Write an irresistible call-to-action and optimize the post for social media and search engines. Then, it’s on to promotion.

Blog Post Syndication on Social Media

Blog Post Syndication on Social Media

A billion+ users means that no other form of marketing has more potential than social media. When publishing a blog, post links and carefully crafted messages to your social media profiles. Syndicate these posts over the course of a few months to maximize exposure.

Website Promotion on Social Media

Website Promotion on Social Media

In addition to your blog posts, be sure to also promote the other content on your website. Determine the most interesting and relevant aspects of your website, posting links to those pages, pictures and unique messages on social media, throughout the month.

Twitter Engagement

Twitter Engagement

Some people see Twitter as weird and confusing. But people who do use it, see it as THE place to get their news, entertainment and education on a daily basis. Follow people, favorite and retweet relevant third-party content to grow your audience to continually expand your exposure.

Sponsored Social Media Management

Sponsored Social Media Management

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow companies of all sizes to expand their reach by sponsoring posts. Optimize your budget, target the right audiences and manage your best performing ads to continually increase the quantity and quality of leads through your website.

Website Optimization & SEO

Full Website Optimization

To take full advantage of the search engines, your entire website needs to be meticulously maintained, by targeting optimal keywords for your business. Update outdated information and continuously improve the SEO titles and tags throughout your website, to increase your organic, search engine visitors.

Keep an eye on keyword SERP tracking, keeping you up-to-date on the overall visibility of your website.

Local Search Optimization

Local Search Optimization

If customers actually stop by your store or office, perhaps the most important form of marketing is local search. Apps like Google Places, Apple Maps and Yelp all collect information from different sources to display the most relevant places to their users. Keeping those sources consistent and up-to-date can be a nightmare to handle on your own. Get a professional to help and get back to what you do best.

Landing Page Development

Landing Page Development

Keeping your website current with new content is as important for your visitors as it is to the search engines. Consistent blogging plays a big part in that, but more is always better. New landing pages, with specific, sales-oriented messages, can focus your visitors, priming them to become actionable leads and customers. Every few months, create a beautiful new landing page, based on the marketing concepts you’ve already developed through the blog.

HTML Email Publication

Email Publication

Email marketing remains a cost-effective way to promote your business. Implement website strategies to grow and nurture your list of customers, prospects and influencers. Design a standout, branded, mobile-responsive email template and blast your latest blogs every month, keeping YOU at the top of everyone’s mind.

Learn about our booster services to keep your website working hard.

It’s Website Design Update-Time for Your Business

Is now a good time for a website design update? If you have asked yourself this question more than once, the answer is probably yes!

Take a look at the image above created by one of the world’s largest Tech Firms about 10 years ago. Looks like an antique, doesn’t it?

You may think that we are just another pushy website design company that wants everyone to get a new, website design update for their business every few months. This is simply not true. What we do want is for businesses with solid marketing goals, to consider a website design update every three years. Unless, of course, it’s an antique business that wants to intentionally appear outdated and old fashioned.

Don’t get me wrong. I love antiques. I love the whole idea of the historical conservation of beautiful objects, but even an antiques dealer needs to display their items-for-sale in a way that potential buyers can appreciate the fine details.

3 Signs of an Old Website

Does your website still display Flash®?

This Adobe product used to be hugely popular among website designers for animating the homepages of websites. but today, Flash is not supported on many mobile devices. This means that when your website is pulled up on a phone, for example, there may be a big, fat hole right in the middle of the page where the Flash document is supposed to be.

Do your visitors still have to download content?

Do visitors need to view important information about your business in a PDF rather than viewing it on a web page? This makes them go through extra steps to read what should be available at the click of a mouse. No need for a long explanation here. In this age of viruses and hacking, no one wants to download anything they shouldn’t have to.

Is your website built using tables?

We have all been on those websites that display tiny boxes filled with mice type and unreadable content… usually in neon colors with uneven borders. (see the image at the top of this page)

Tables are the once-popular, but old fashioned way, of building websites. They are inefficient, inappropriate for designing mobile-responsive websites. Today’s website platforms, like WordPress, enable designers to display content in a way that pleases the eye of the visitor on whichever device that they use. More importantly, a modern website pleases the eyes of Google, which looks at your content and decides if it’s worth ranking highly… or even to display it at all in their search engine.

So, is it time for a website design update?

While you can be a seller of old things, your website should be a new thing. It has to be mobile-friendly, load quickly, accommodate video, play nicely with social media, and generally go with the flow of today’s fast-paced, web-based world.

Call us for a website strategy session

Google, Amazon & Chroma Sites Enter the Home Improvement Market

4 Website Launches Meet the Demand of Growing Trade Businesses

This past year, Chroma Sites launched a new batch of home improvement websites for some very successful home improvement firms. These companies represent a small, but important, segment of the huge residential home improvement industry. We are proud to feature them in our portfolio.

With the likes of Google and Amazon jumping into this lucrative fray, we thought you might like to see some of the features we add to our websites in order to help our own home-service clients grow their businesses. With Google and Amazon making it easier to find these types of businesses, we’re here to ensure that these websites convert customers.

“After months of speculation, Google has entered the home services market, by making it easier for homeowners to find plumbers, locksmiths and handymen without ever leaving the search box.” Geekwire 

Here are just a few of the home improvement websites we launched in 2016.

Let us know how we can help with your trade business in 2017.


1. Stepney Hardware

Home Improvement Websites for Hardware Stores

Stepney Hardware is one of those old-fashioned, service oriented hardware stores that hard to find. Located in Monroe, CT, they draw locals from all over Fairfield County who don’t want to shop at one of those big-box stores.

Stepney’s previous website was 10 years old, and the owner decided to upgrade his online presence for their many lines of products, including high-quality grills, a full line of Benjamin Moore paints, and so much more.

We built Stepney Hardware a brand new, responsive, home improvement website with separate pages for each product category. We also integrated an e-commerce shopping cart connected with their distributor so that customers could also shop online. Now, the store doesn’t have to worry about shipping and credit cards. This feature adds an extra revenue stream and allows them to compete with much larger stores without having to carry inventory. This home improvement business website is clean, yet personable, allowing customers to learn about Stepney in a relaxed and friendly way.

Go visit Stepney Hardware in Monroe, CT. Ask for Dave Otto and tell him we said hi!


2. SunShine Floor Supplies

One of our many Home Improvement Websites for Business

Sunshine Floors is Connecticut’s best source for wood flooring and associated products like stains and tools. They carry a prestigious line of fine wood choices for today’s modern homeowner or commercial space.

Sunshine Floors came to us because they needed a new, responsive, home improvement website to showcase and sell their 1,000+ products. We launched the shopping cart first so that the online business sales could move forward and optimize quickly in the search engine shopping feeds. Then we were able to go back and refine the actual look and feel of the website. Based on the preferences of their most discerning customers who love good home improvement websites, we are told we did a good job

Give Sunshine Floors a call next time you need premium flooring and supplies. Ask for RT and tell him we sent you.


3. R. Piro Electric

Home Improvement Websites

R. Piro Electric, are master electricians, and a website client, who offers electrical services for both businesses and the home improvement markets, at great rates. For the very best in maintenance, installation and upgrades. Piro’s team has an excellent reputation and always gets the job done right the first time. Generator installs, wiring of appliances, electrical panel upgrades and so much more… They do it all!

Rob Piro came to us for help with their first website, and we started from scratch with great enthusiasm. Content, messaging and graphics had to attract a very high-end customer base in Fairfield County, CT. The website had to highlight their good taste in lighting design and installation, as well as the more technical back-end services required to make everything light up reliably. We added a clean gallery of their projects, obvious links to review sites like Home Advisor and a capabilities panel that will grow with them. This website is responsive too, All home improvement websites need to be mobile friendly, of course, because most customers now find service providers, like electricians, on their phones.

Give Rob Piro a call for expert electrical service.


4. Paintcraft LLC

Home Improvement Websites for Business

PaintCraft LLC has in business since 1972, in Danbury, CT, offering painting and decorating services for homes and businesses. Based upon their exceptional and professional service, they plan to be around for a very long time. PaintCraft has also established great and long-lasting relationships with many colleagues in the trade services arena.

Paintcraft came to us for help with their second website in a decade, but we decided to start from scratch with a brand new look and gorgeous project galleries. They had wonderful photos of their past commercial and residential work but no place to showcase them… until now. We added a page for testimonials (obviously important for any painting company) and created unique design elements to differentiate them from all the other painters in the world. Creating a mobile-friendly website was also important because many contractors and homeowners now find home improvement service companies on their mobile devices.

If you need a room or an auditorium painted, give Bill Shea a call.

Let us know how we can help you with your home improvement business!


2017 Brings Cheer… and a Spectacular Website Design Portfolio

See Our Website Design Portfolio

Website-design-portfolio

Love From Our Customers

“Chroma Sites fit all of our needs…They gave us peace of mind and were a pleasure to deal with.”

– Roger Liefer
Liefer Properties

“The Chroma Sites team did an awesome job spending time to understand our key objectives and worked well with our marketing and wholesale gas division staffs to deliver a fantastic final product.”

– Mary Sonatore
Consumers Petroleum

“Chroma Sites immediately understood our vision for a website and didn’t disappear when the project was completed. They are always available when we need to make small changes or have any questions.”

– Lisa Lewis
Cooper Mulch
Call Us for a Strategy Session
203.292.3605

The Other 5 Second Rule: 10 Website Homepage Essentials

There are two, totally different, 5-second rules. One applies to dropping food on the floor and the other is the most time a visitor will stay on a bad website homepage.

We always ask our new website clients this question. “If you only had 5 seconds to grab someone’s attention on your website homepage before they click back, what would you want them to see… and do next.” 

This question stumps them every time. Please reread it to see if it stumps you.

Modesty aside, we usually know within 15 minutes of speaking with a new client what’s needed to improve their homepage’s visitor retention. Here’s our own current checklist in case you want to make sure your homepage has chops.

Your Brand Identity: A Website Homepage Essential

We recommend a high-res, up-to-date logo or font-treatment to identify your brand right at the top. Crisp and sharp. A well designed logo is obviously important but so many of them are over-designed, left over from the 70’s or both. And don’t display a blurry, repurposed version of your logo and expect your business to be perceived as cutting edge.

A Phone Number

If you want people to call you, this obvious feature should be prominently displayed and have easy-to-read numbers. This is especially important on mobile devices, where the phone number is linked so visitors can click-to-call instantly.

Nice Navigation

Navigation is not the place to be super creative. It should be clean, functional and highly visible at the top of the home page. Keep your navigation organized in a way that people normally think and really makes sense for visitors in a hurry. Trying to find elusive information that you have cleverly hidden on your website will make visitors bounce from your homepage faster than a hungry kangaroo.

A Hero of a Headline

Your website needs to tell visitors what your business offer is all about and needs to do this in a few, very well-chosen, words. Easier said than done. Simple wording will do the trick, but it’s incredibly important that your words are descriptive, relatable and say exactly what you are selling or offering. If possible, touch a pain point or hint at an emotional desire. Put your headline in a nice BIG font that fits your brand and is easy to read. Designers call it an H1 and it should be at least twice as big as normal text. If necessary, hire a professional copy writer.

You can’t please everyone but research shows that if you know your target audience and can come up with a headline that pleases a mere 30% of your website visitors, you just may end up with some solid sales!

Sub-heads with Oomph

Your sub-head should complement your headline with a few words of highly-descriptive copy. Don’t go off on tangents trying to explain everything. Focus on telling them why your offer solves their problem. They are the only ones still listening to you… so speak to them with honesty and integrity!

Make your sub-heads just a little bit smaller than your main headline. We designers call them H2s or H3s. These larger fonts work well on mobile devices because those tiny screens are hard to read!

The First Call-to-Action

Think of your website as a funnel that you want visitors to dive into head-first. You’ve already gotten them past the headline and sub-headings. Now you need a few, above-the-fold CTAs (Calls-to-Action).

Why? Because easy-to-see CTAs are like GPS directions to the rest of your website. You’ve invited them on this trip and if don’t tell them where to go, they won’t show up at your door wanting to be your next customer.

All your CTAs should be noticeable, attractive and contrast with the rest of your page. It’s a very fine line between noticeable and a screaming. A clashing color might frighten away your precious visitor.

Keep it simple. Only a couple of words are needed. “Call for a consult”, “Get a free ebook”, “Sign Up Now”. That sort of thing.

And be kind to your mobile users. Make your CTA button just big enough to tap with an index finger. Keep the button far from anything else so fat-fingered visitors don’t push the wrong button, get frustrated… and leave.

Eye-catching Imagery

Research says that most people are visual thinkers.

It’s true. Many of us, me included, relate better to images than we do with words. Photography and videos that explain an offer are ideal. Stock photos are good too (they’re way better and cheaper than they used to be), but there’s still a lot of cheese out there, so stay away from those generic ones. If you can afford to hire a photographer or videographer, go for it, but be sure to choose someone who understands your goals, has a reputation for being easy to work with and has a portfolio you like.

Only use high-quality images and be sure to reduce their file size or else mobile users will be crawling through your website. Also, make sure you add alt text to all your images which is imperative for good SEO.

Last-Chance Call-to-Action

Okay, so your site visitors have passed some tests. They like your headline, they relate emotionally to your sub-head, understand your description and are madly in love with your visuals.

Obviously. they did not click on your first CTA because they wanted to keep reading. Now they are confident they are on the right website homepage and are ready to engage with you. It’s time to give them a second chance to win! They may not become a direct sale immediately, but if they provide you with their personal information in exchange for tailored answers to their questions, then you have a real lead.

The Features, Finally

The benefits of your business certainly come with features, but all of your features don’t need to be on the homepage. Some website homepage designers use a features button to lead an interested visitor deeper into the website, but a few of your most desirable features, below the fold on your website homepage, can spark some major interest. Keep the words simple, and use graphics, as usual.

Boast Your Success

You are a winner and your customers love you. Make sure you show credentials and awards if you have them, but showing off how your customers think of you is way more powerful.  Link to reviews, ratings sites and include relevant testimonials wherever you can. Prospective customers will imagine themselves as one of your happy customers and, as an added bonus, your existing customers will love that you published their words on your site.

In Conclusion

In addition to well-written content that outlines and touts the benefits that your business can provide to new customers, making sure you include these elements can lead to a beautiful, functional and effective new website homepage.

I Think You’re Under-Complicating This! The DIY Website Dilemma.

Building a DIY website is tempting. But before you embark on this journey, please read my take on this seemingly inexpensive road.

For the moment, the internet is a very chic place to hang out. Your social life is at your fingertips and your spending craves are satisfied in seconds. From job searches to social media groups chatting about cat hair-dos… it all seems so delightful. But, as we all have experienced, these highly-public tubes are often complicated to navigate, filled with icky bugs, viruses, hackers, thieves and dark roads that should not be traveled.

Websites, on the other hand, are private and controllable. Having your own website is like having a kingdom surrounded by high walls to protect all the bustling things going on inside. It’s all yours and as a website owner, you can climb your highest tower and shout to the whole world who you are, what you do and why everything will be perfect when they shower money on your business. No one can shout back unless you want them to. The only thing they can do is leave; a DIY website owner’s very worst nightmare.

Learning to build websites is a full-time job (and you already have one)

We love building business websites. It’s an honest living that helps entrepreneurs and business owners boast proudly about what they offer. Or what they sell. And, as our chosen profession, learning how to build intelligently was well worth the time as now we are building many of them. Because of our education in the field, we can face ourselves in the mirror each morning and call ourselves professional website designers without cringing.

Think about it. How much time have you spent learning new things in your lifetime? I don’t know about you, but everything I know had to be learned, by me, first. No one else has ever offered to learn things for me so if I want to stay relevant, and competitive, the learning will never end.

Now, for most of we humanoids, the learning process is exciting and makes us feel happy and accomplished. It’s an endorphin thing but, because there are so many things to learn within our own field of interest, it might be wise to let others handle certain tasks. This is especially true when something only has to be done once or twice, like sewing a wedding outfit… or building a website.

Things you will forget when building your own website

The inbound marketing methodology, which today is widely seen as the best way to find new customers on the internet, requires that every business has a “really good website destination”. Websites are the hub of successful internet marketing. They are usually the first and last stop before making a big purchase or commitment. It’s the place where we make up our minds to spend our hard-earned money.

There are many little pieces that go into building a good website and doing a good job on these individual elements, such as content writing or picking visuals, is extremely important. But making sure that all these elements function holistically, and show up at the right time to convince a customer, is a tricky proposition and takes experience.

This careful placement and timing will determine how well a website will look, feel, react, interact, inspire, motivate, and, finally, close the deal. So, why is it that so many businesses still turn to their newest, least experienced employees and tell them to go build a website on GoDaddy or Wix?

Why do some business owners try to do it themselves?

DIY website businesses think they are saving money. Really?

I get it. It’s tempting to tell a bored intern to “go build us a website”. Young people must be technical geniuses, right? Well, they might be, but without a solid understanding of website strategy, the kid might actually put up a website that chases customers away.

Then there’s the entrepreneur who enjoys the challenge of learning new things. But when it comes to IP addresses, domain names, pings, hosting packages, registrars without phone support and server crashes, the thrill might be short-lived. Getting a link to actually go somewhere is an amazing high, but understanding the psychology behind a visitor’s click, or figuring out why everything on your mobile device version is gigantic, can be frustrating and a complete waste of precious, entrepreneurial time.

When it comes to websites, “okay” is a four letter word

There is no getting around it—a website built by an amateur will look amateurish. With mobile-responsive designs and ever more elaborate desktop layouts there is too much that can go wrong, too much to troubleshoot, and too much at stake to settle on a website that’s just okay. Is “good enough” how you think about the rest of your business?

We seem to do our best work for companies that are not startups. They typically have 5-50 employees, know who their customers are and have solid, achievable long-term goals. If you’ve been in business for a few years and aren’t still bootstrapping your budget from the change jar, don’t waste your valuable time on something you know nothing about.

Invest in a professional website designer and leave the minutia to the pros. You won’t regret it.

Save your valuable time and money! Call Chroma Sites Today.