The Biggest Web Design Mistakes to Avoid 

By Steve Hoag

biggest web design mistakes

Web design is a constantly evolving profession. There are new trends and technology popping up with regularity. As things change, it is important to take note of what you should and shouldn't do while designing a website. We are going to focus on what you shouldn't do. For example:

1. Making the design too flashy.

You know what they say, sometimes less is more. Everyone wants to create a website that wows people. That doesn't mean you need to jam pack it with tons of videos, images, and effects. You don't want to be overbearing and make your client's website look like a 13 year old's MySpace page. There's a reason minimalism has made a comeback recently. 

2. Not making a website responsive.

Not making a website design responsive can create a huge competitive disadvantage for any business. Users aren't just using computers to access the Internet. They're using phones, tablets, game consoles, and more. Mobile browsing is exploding in popularity. If your client can't afford a responsive design that's one thing. You should definitely recommend it if they can though!

3. Creating a confusing navigation system.

Having a confusing navigation system is like trying to figure out a terrible map. It can become virtually impossible to figure out where you need to go, and create a ton of frustration for anyone using it. You need to keep the navigation as simple and streamlined as possible. More options can create more confusion. Focus on what is essential for the user, and make important pages easy to access.

4. Using hard to read fonts.

There are some pretty cool, crazy looking fonts out there. That doesn't mean you should use them for a public facing website. Users need to be able to read what's on a web page without having to strain themselves. That means picking standard fonts and colors. That means no wingdings and no neon colored letters. Make life as easy as possible for users' eyes.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Wednesday, April 16, 2014 11:27:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise web design web development web trends website

15 Tips To Optimize Your Social Media Marketing 

By Steve Hoag

tips to maximize your social media effectiveness

Social media marketing is one of the most important components of internet marketing. If it isn't already part of your marketing, it should be. Here are 20 tips to maximize your social media effectiveness:

1. Post regularly.

2. Post when your customers are most active. E.g. 9 am - 5 pm

3. Ensure you have company accounts on all social media channels that your customers utilize.

4. Always respond to mentions, comments, etc.

5. Thank people for sharing your content!

6. Don't only post your content. 

7. Use Google Alerts and custom list searches to quickly identify articles to share with your network.

8. Google Alerts and custom list searches are also useful for finding leads.

9. Ensure that you have a database to store lead information on.

10. Use social media management tools like HootSuite or TweetDeck to post and manage your accounts.

11. Use free or paid analytics tools to track click throughs. Bit.Ly or HubSpot are great free and paid options.

12. Use landing pages and forms to capture leads when people access your content.

13. Adapt your content and messaging based on your click throughs/engagement.

14. Establish which metrics to monitor on your social media accounts.

15. Keep track of these metrics, and create monthly reports to track progress!

 

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Wednesday, April 16, 2014 6:35:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise inbound marketing landing pages SMB social media social media marketing

Custom Web Design: 4 Awesome Infographics 

By Steve Hoag

Custom web design is a great way to build your online business presence. Instead of reading another article on the benefits and features of custom design, we found some great infographics for you! Check them out:

custom web design infographics

 

 

 

 

H/T to CoolInfoImages.com , MediaMarketers.com , Ocean19.com , TheNinjaWeb.com 

 

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Thursday, April 10, 2014 6:38:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise SMB web design web development web trends website

Engagement: The Most Important Social Media Metric? 

By Steve Hoag

social media metric

Social media is a powerful marketing tool. Lots of people and businesses are using it, but many still don't know how to measure the ROI social media provides. What metrics should you be following? Number of followers? Number of re-tweets? Are these accurate performance indicators? Well I'm here to argue that your engagement rate is the best indicator of performance. What is engagement? It's basically the percentage of times that followers interact with your your posts. If you have 400 followers on Facebook, but your post only receives 40 likes, that means your engagement rate is 10%. There are a bunch of websites that will give you a variety of formulas you can use, so we are going to focus on the major conceptual points.

Social media is full of fluff.

Lots of accounts out there have thousands of followers/connections. Unfortunately, a lot of these numbers are full of fluff or people who just want to increase their follower count. Major networks like Twitter have #teamfollowback, while Facebook pages have people who like a brand but will never actively interact with it. Connections like these are more or less useless. 10,000 followers who refuse to engage with your brand is worth far less than an account with 500 followers and even a 10% engagement rate.  As a brand you NEED people to interact with you to gain traction. 

Engagement rate can be directly attributed to how well your content resonates with your audience.

Someone sharing your content, or commenting on a post is more valuable than someone who just glances at it and moves on. The majority of followers will usually be passive and act like the latter. The highest performing brands online are those that can drive interaction, and have a larger proportion of active followers. Engagement rate also is much better at tracking how well your content is performing. You may have 10,000 followers, but what is that worth if you don't track who, or how many times someone is interacting with a certain piece of your content? 

Engagement is useful for identifying and qualifying potential leads.

Which would you identify as a more promising lead? A person who never looks at or shares your content in their newsfeed, or the individual who actively comments/shares/ask questions about your posts? Probably the latter. Your messaging and content are clearly resonating with them more than the first person. The more engaged a person is, the more invested they are in a brand. In marketing that usually means they are the more likely sale.

 

 

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Wednesday, April 9, 2014 11:00:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise inbound marketing social media social media marketing

The Top Social Media and Blogging Infographics of 2014 

By Steve Hoag

2014 has already been a very busy year for social media and blogging so far. Many people are still trying to figure out how to leverage these tools in their marketing. Well we got good news for you! We've compiled some of the top infographics of 2014 for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

social media and blogging infographics

 

 

H/T to Top Dog Social Media , Media Bistro , BufferApp, and Entrepreneur.com for the great infographics!

 

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Friday, April 4, 2014 7:12:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C blogging enterprise inbound marketing SMB social media social media marketing web trends website
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