mobile websites

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.

If You’ve Got a Good Website Recipe, Don’t Go Mobile from Scratch

“Go mobile friendly” sounds liberating. Untethered from the desk and free to roam the world, while staying connected to what matters.

To a business owner with an old website, however, “going mobile friendly” sounds more like ulcers and headaches.

Just a few short years ago you had a great website: convincing copy, killer graphics and it actually brought in new business… but now, it’s obsolete…

We feel your pain.

It’s the story of many of our new clients. They LOVE their website, and still aren’t completely sure why they need a new one, but Google has spoken. And mobile is mandatory!

You Don’t Need to Start from Scratch

Even though it’s true you need to go mobile friendly with your website, it doesn’t mean you need to start over again. If you’re happy with your current site, all you really need is a mobile website conversion.

At Chroma Sites, we help businesses go mobile friendly by providing mobile conversions that include all of the latest website features and technology, at typically less than half the cost of a redesign.

Regardless of what’s already built-in to your existing website, we will build you a mobile-ready and Google-friendly presence that includes ALL this:

  • the best content management system on earth, WordPress
  • a business blog with all the bells and whistles
  • interactive social media sharing buttons
  • a super-simple contact form tailored just for your business
  • a design that looks a lot like your old website on desktops and laptops (only better)
  • new mobile layouts, designed specifically for tablets and phones of all sizes
  • all of the same pages, posts & menus
  • and everything else that comes standard with every website we build

Don’t Start from Scratch. Go Mobile Friendly the easy way

Untie your website visitors from the desk and watch your business soar!

Talk to us about a mobile conversion of your website…

The 3 Types of Mobile Conversion. Which One’s Best?

It’s been a month since Google’s mobile update, but the frenzy surrounding this important algorithm change is still piping hot. At this point, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re probably convinced it should be, and soon.

Trying to figure out the best way to get your website converted into a mobile-ready platform can be very confusing. So, I have prepared a quick summary of the 3 most common options for a mobile conversion… and how to choose the one that’s right for you.

A Quick Intro on Mobile Conversions

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that there is a difference between a “mobile redesign” and a “mobile conversion”. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that you are relatively happy with the content on your website and how it’s structured. In other words, the only thing we need to tackle right now is your website’s lack of support for smartphone viewers and the chaos Google’s latest algorithm update has caused. Okay… let’s do it.

The Mobile Plugin

The mobile plugin is the quick ‘n dirty way to get your website mobile-ready in a hurry. If configured properly, it should help you pass Google’s inspection… but that’s about all it’s good for.

The big problem with mobile conversion plugins is that they provide a hideous, non-customizable and irrelevant website to your visitors. So, while they may be able to find your website on their phone, they’re also likely to leave very quickly if they can’t find what they’re looking for.

Plugins offer no branding, no page layouts, boring navigation… and some will even hide your pictures.

If you just want the cheapest option, this is the one… but remember you get what you pay for.

The Mobile Redirect

A mobile redirect is really just a fancy way of saying “a separate mobile website”. For many big companies, and especially companies that specifically target mobile users, this is an ideal solution.

In short, a separate mobile website allows you to tailor your browsing experience specifically for mobile visitors. They are often designed to load as fast as possible, which means eliminating extraneous information, graphics, and even pages that might slow things down. Some mobile sites go so far as to ditch all but the essentials, leaving only directions and a phone number. Not a happy sight for the millions of Americans who ONLY browser the web from their phone.

This type of mobile conversion isn’t for everyone. In addition to rethinking your entire website just for mobile visitors, you’re left with a-whole-nother website to maintain and keep current.

If you have a good amount of money to spend, and can spare the time to make sure it’s done right, this might be the option for you. If not, move on.

The Mobile Responsive Design

If you’ve been looking into mobile lately, you’ve definitely heard the term “responsive”. Greatly simplified, a responsive website is one that automatically adjusts to the type of screen it’s being viewed on.

Ever evolving technology and 2015 software allows us to hide and rearrange elements on a website to fit on any size mobile device, beautifully and naturally. From the smallest Blackberry, to the biggest phablet, to the newest iPhone… sections of your website gracefully re-stack themselves to fit the page!

A responsive mobile conversion has a few major advantages over the other two.

1. You only need one website.

The site that visitors see on their phone, is the exact same website they see on their computer. It may look a bit different (as various elements are are sized specifically for smartphones), but any changes you make will appear on both mobile and desktop versions. Your website is always up-to-date, with the latest blogs, prices, events, news… and everything else.

2. Mobile visitors have access to everything.

As I mentioned before, many mobile websites only include the bare essentials. Responsive websites give mobile access to everything on your entire website. And, as more and more people are browsing the web exclusively from their phones, it’s crucial that you keep those visitors in mind.

3. Custom mobile designs actually look like your desktop website.

Branding is a tremendously important aspect of an online web presence, and few things exemplify your online brand like your web design. Responsive websites are designed to use the same designs, colors, elements, fonts and styles on both the mobile and PC versions. What that means is that your website actually looks like it was built for your business

The vast majority of mobile plugin and mobile redirect sites are built from plain looking, boring templates, that makes your mobile website seem like an afterthought.

We can show the world your website as it was meant to be seen. And, you can have a quote in less than a minute.

 

Convert, Then Conquer: Start with a Mobile Conversion

Rarely is it more apparent that your website needs a redesign than when Google releases one of their “massive updates”. It happened again two weeks ago and businesses around the country are paying the price. Any website that is not considered “mobile-friendly” by Google, is now being punished by the search engine.

I can’t be completely furious with them… whenever Google does something like this (i.e. change their algorithm), we get super busy. People from all over pour in, desperate to redo their website.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s great for business… but really tough on our schedule.

But all of those redesign requests got us thinking…

People are coming in, not only to get themselves off of Google’s blacklist, but to reorganize and re-strategize their entire web presence.

Normally, we wouldn’t think twice about doing an entire redesign all at once. But, with so many people coming in to get themselves new websites, we just can’t take them all on right now.

So, like I said, it got us thinking… What if we didn’t have to do an entire redesign right now, but could get old websites mobilized before it’s too late?

It seems like a no brainer. We can get the new websites up quickly, with the same content and a similar look. But, it will be mobile responsive, which means it looks good on everyone’s phone and, more importantly, it will pass Google’s mobile-friendly test!

So, we started offering mobile conversions.

Later, after the dust settles, we’ll help you think about any new ideas you might have for your website and how to approach a full redesign.

But right now, you need to go mobile… Convert the website now, conquer the redesign later.

I guess that’s it… If you’re interested in a mobile conversion, give us a shout.

Is your website is mobile-friendly? Find Out Instantly »

Are You Ready for #mobilegeddon? Mobile Websites are Now Mandatory!

The latest search engine ranking algorithm from Google is being released today… and it will have a massive impact on millions of websites, for companies both big and small.

Is Your Website Ready? Test it here »

This is a logical next step for Google. About 60% of all web browsing is now done on a mobile phone or tablet, so it makes sense that mobile optimized sites should rank higher than their outdated competition.

According to a Google Blog Post:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

Some Important Notes on #Mobilegeddon:

1. The ranking changes will only be affected on mobile devices. This means you won’t see any difference when you check your Google rank from your computer.

2. The algorithm will specifically punish websites that are not mobile friendly. This means that if text is too small to read, buttons are too small to be clicked, or if your layouts get really crowded on a smartphone, you are likely to be reprimanded.

3. This will be a massive ranking overhaul, affecting more than just small businesses. In fact, a few days ago, Business Insider put together this fun little list of major brands that are likely to be affected.

4. All this hype makes for some enjoyable drama, but it doesn’t have to be a #mobilegeddon disaster. The truth is, all of these issues can be fixed with a responsive website, even after you lose your rank. If you don’t know what responsive means, you can easily test your website by clicking the button below. If you already know you don’t have one, get yourself a responsive website quote from us in about 5 minutes.

Test if your website is responsive…

How do you know if you have a responsive website?

When we talk to people about how to improve their websites, one of the first questions we ask is whether their website is responsive. Many people say “No, that’s the reason I’m coming to you.”

Sometimes, we’ll ask it and people will say: “I’m not sure, how do I know if I have a responsive website?”

We take them to their website and show them how their website (usually) doesn’t “respond” to different size screens, making it hard to read for visitors on different types of devices. In most cases, you can mimic this functionality by resizing the browser right on your computer. If it’s not responsive, you can see that the website doesn’t restructure itself, and usually results in the right side of the website being hidden, hanging out past the right edge of the window.

It’s something that’s really easy to determine… if you know what to look for…

It got us to thinking, there’s got to be a way for people to quickly see whether they have a responsive website, and what it means for their visitors. So naturally, we took to Google to find out…

What we found was a tool that does just that! It shows you how your website appears on different size devices, from smartphones, to tablets, to laptops and full-size desktop computers.

See for yourself! Test if your website is responsive…