Landing pages are an important element of any business website. Creating an effective landing page that converts is essential to success. Once a person lands on your website, whether it be the homepage or product specific page, how you layout your content is crucial when it comes to grabbing attention and getting people to engage more or to call.

There are several design concepts and ideas to think about when creating an effective landing page. First, landing pages should be intuitive and make it easy for users to take action. Visitors to your website should grasp quickly what they are looking for. Make it clear to people that they are in right place with very strong and relevant messaging above the fold. Online visitors tend to visually scan for information until they find what they’re looking for. Information is best digested in small bites, along with clearly designated headlines to make scanning easy. Indicators with small sections of text are optimal for the layout of a successful landing page. Use clear headers and sub-headers, use easy-to-scan bullet points to explain what they’ll get from the offer, emphasize key points using bolded text or italics, and keep things as brief as possible. People have short attention spans and it is important to consider that when designing your landing page. Try to find a way to strike a good balance of disseminating information with the right amount of text.

Avoid visual clutter.  Images and graphics are good – but too many can be distracting and slow down the load time of your pages. The longer it takes to load your site – the more likely you are to lose that potential customer. Keep things simple, and make sure the images you use on your landing pages support — not distract — the pathway to conversion.

Calls to action need to be part of your layout and need to ‘pop’ off the page. Consider using contrasting colors to call attention to such elements such as “request a quote” or “sign up now.” Make sure it’s easy for visitors to see where they should complete that action.

Be sure to put your brand on top of all pages.  People should know exactly where they are. This is particularly crucial for visitors who come to your landing pages from search and social media – external non-branded sources. Once you’ve decided on placement for your logo, be consistent by maintaining that position on all your landing pages.

Lastly, consider adding social media support to your landing pages. Adding third-party credibility to your content and offers can help boost conversions. For example, you might embed tweets from users who have downloaded your content and said nice things about it, or asking if you can quote someone who left a nice message on your Facebook page. Testimonials can also be effective.

Since landing pages are a key part of a successful marketing strategy and lead generation efforts, every campaign you run and offer you create should be tied to a custom landing page — as opposed to a general homepage.  Keeping the ideas above in mind will help put you on the right conversion path to success.

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Many people who are looking to design a site for their business or themselves don’t have a really good understanding of what it takes to design and build a site. We get many inquiries from individuals and businesses that want to know if something can be done.  Many inquiries are also from those who have started to build a site by themselves or with someone who gave them a really good price and now things are not looking or functioning as they wantSo with this in mind — we thought we would share with you some simple and practical thoughts about web design and development.

Our first insight is that most things are possible given enough time and money. Many people want to design something beautiful and complicated but want it done in a couple of weeks and for little money.  When you’re working with a Web designer to build an e-commerce site, database driven site, or other more involved Web application realize it takes time and more money than a simple web page with text. If you have an idea for what you want on your site, chances are it’s possible to do. But you need to be reasonable in your expectations of what it will take to do it.  Chances are if the estimated price and completion date is too good to be true — it is.  Designing and programming pages is not instantaneous.  Done properly it takes some time and thought.  The more complex the design and functionality of what you are building – the longer it will take and the greater the cost.

Web design and print designs are similar but not the same.  Different web browsers render the same pages differently and often the colors and design might not be exactly the same as the print example provided.  Keep this in mind when trying to transfer print ideas to online.

Try to be as accurate as you can about what you want and your expectations.  Budgets and timelines are estimated on the information provided.  Of course, some of these things may change as you go along, but then it follows that the costs and deadlines may well shift along with these changes.

Lastly, when hiring your web designer it is best to give them as many specifics as possible. This can help both of you focus in on what you like and don’t like in a timely manner. Once you’ve decided to hire a Web designer it’s because you’ve decided to seek a professional to help you get your website up and running. Timely and open communication between you and the person or company you’ve hired will ensure the best possible outcome.

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Flat web design is one of today’s most popular trends in the web industry.  The flat web design style essentially refers to design that eliminates drop shadows, textures and gradient features that have been commonly used in web design for many years.  In flat design, typography and the use of solid colors are featured.

Flat design is two dimensional. There is no attempt to add any three dimensional effects or trick the user into thinking they are interacting with anything else than a flat screen.  In flat design there is a lot of white space and a clear interface created by a grid system.

Flat design is minimalistic.  It relies on visual cues, such as color and typography to guide your users and help them reach their goals. The idea is to remove all distracting design elements and really focus on the content. Without distractions, your attention is drawn to the essential parts of the site. It allows goals to be reached in a shorted amount of time.

Like another recent trend, responsive web design, flat design is easily scalable. While realistic images and other design effects can be difficult to scale, flat design elements like color and typography can easily adapt to smaller screens.  With mobile devices becoming so mainstream – this is almost vital in today’s world.

For example, instead of having a highly designed button, in flat web design a colored link is used. Instead of a background image, a plain background color would be used.  Another example would have different content areas done in different colors so they could be easily viewed across many different kinds of devices.

Flat design is being used more and more. Its simplicity and effectiveness is being embraced by many sites and might well be popular for years to come.

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