How to Position Yourself to Get More Web Design Clients

 

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How do you position yourself to get more clients?

What is the biggest need of a web designer or any business?

Is it better design or marketing skills? These are important, but in order to be successful and profitable, you need clients for the long term.

So how do you do it?

Our guest for today, Philip Morgan, gives expert advice how to do that. Philip is the CEO of Philip Morgan Consulting, a firm that helps web agencies and development shops get more leads, and provides an effective content marketing plan. He is also the author of The Positioning Manual for Technical Firms, a guide to help you get better clients and higher rates.

In short, if there is someone who can give you great insights about getting web design clients, Philip is your go-to guy. And here are a few of those golden nuggets to help you succeed as a freelance web designer.

Position yourself specifically

Having a different skills gives you an advantage because you have different things to offer to your clients. On the other hand, it can also be a disadvantage because you can lose your focus and spread yourself thinly. Philip suggests that if, for example, you have 10 different skills, don’t try to market all of them. Instead, focus on one or up to three and market them. In short, being a jack-of-all-trades will do you more harm than good if you want to attract more clients.

Speak to one audience

Speaking to different kinds of audience is already scary enough, but speaking to an audience with different interests and wants is much scarier. You simply don’t know how you’re going to please each, and you don’t know how to meet each need. Therefore, it is very important to find you specific client in order to focus, specific experiences, and develop skills. It is even much better if you focus on a specific niche.

Provide solutions

Understanding your skills is good, but it is even much better to understand how your skills fit to the needs of your clients. If you don’t know how to do this, you will never be able to provide an effective solution. Aside from this, it will save you time because you will be able to find what type of clients complement with the skills and experiences you have.

Positioning yourself is a process

Getting in the position of success takes time. Although there are some exceptions, no one gets successful during the first time. Even global brands have to undergo the process step by step to get into where they are now. Getting this fact straight gives you the motivation to keep trying when things get tough. Skills can certainly take you places, but patience will keep you going.

Conclusion

It can be quite difficult to position yourself to get clients as a web designer, especially if you are just starting. However, even the most seasoned web designer has a hard time to effectively market himself or herself. This can change when you also change your perspective about yourself, your skills, and your clients.

Now Watch The Full Interview

If you want to hear more in-depth information about what Philip Morgan shared, you can watch the video:

More questions about positioning and getting clients? Leave your questions in the comment box below.

Learn how to get clients with Philip Morgan

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15 Websites that Use Typography Correctly

Typography is one of the core design principles, which can make or break your website design. Despite the limitations we still have when it comes to creative typography layouts, there are already a lot of resources which give you a massive range of fonts to choose from for your design.

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For this article, however, we will not only present you a list of fonts, but also websites who have been exceptional in using typography. We will discuss a bit of typographic details and where you can get these amazing fonts.

Readymag_Tour

Readymag (readymag.com)

1. Readymag

The website combined Nobel and Avenir, two similar sans-serif fonts. Combining two similar sans-serif is a big no-no in web design, but Readymag seems to know what they are doing by setting Nobel only at large sizes and using it as a display version of Avenir. It’s unusual but it works.

Get Avenir here

Get Nobel here

proxima

Few (few.io)

2. Few

You will know right away that Few is a website made by developers by looking at its overall design. Typography-wise, they’re able to effectively combine another uncommon combination – Grad and Proxima Nova, both designed by Mark Simonson.

Get Proxima Nova here

Get Grad here 

Concrete_Matter

Concrete Matter (concrete-matter.com)

3. Concrete Matter

Concrete Matter is an Amsterdam-based online store which sells gifts for men. They have used FF Super Grotesk and the more playful Rooney for their product description creating the feel of professionalism without being overly strict.

Get FF Super Grotesk here

Get Rooney here

Atlantic_Records

Atlantic Records (atlanticrecords.com)

4. Atlantic Records

Atlantic Records does not just produce million-dollar music, but also have a great website. Using two common fonts, Futura and Georgia, they used and transformed them into something awesome.

Get Futura here

Get Georgia here 

Mr_Marcel_School_Madrid

Mr Marcel School (mrmarcelschool.com)

5. Mr. Marcel School

Sofia looks like Futura on first glance, but it is less geometric and more playful on a closer look. It was used perfectly in this website which offers art classes channeling fun and precision, which is art.

Get Sofia here

Elena_Mora

Elena Mora (elenamora.com)

6. Elena Mora

This website uses only one type of font, Benton Sans, to complement its minimalist theme. It works great and speaks volumes.

Get Benton Sans here

UNION

Union (union.co)

7. Union

Union does it best by combining a heavyweight and a lightweight. The big, bulky Proxima Nova contrasts perfectly with the thin and small Kulturista. You don’t often see Kulturista used on the web as much as slab serifs, like Adelle, nevertheless the effect is classy and serious, like someone who means business.

Get Kulturista here

Get Proxima Nova here

Alexander_Engzell_Blood_Sweat_and_Awards.

Alexander Engzell (engzell.me)

8. Alexander Engzell

Alexander Engzell uses Rimouski, a rounded geometric font, for his personal portfolio. The strangely slanted characters reflect his creativity without going overboard. Set on a minimalist theme, it looks clean, creative, and professional.

Get Rimouski here

2015_06_10_11_01_39_Home_ThinkBlink

Think Blink (thinkblink.nl)

9. Think Blink

On first glance, it looks like Think Blink used Neuron Angled, but you will see a more squarish sans-serif typeface on closer look. Set on a black background, the company’s tagline become more noticeable combining Pancetta Pro, which has a semi-closed aperture and pillow-shaped terminals, and Acto to convey their dedication to that motto.

Get Panchetta Pro here

Get Acto here

2015_06_10_11_35_44_Dishoom_Bombay_Café

Dishoom (dishoom.com)

10. Dishoom

The combination of Ataxia and Cheltenham Old Style reflects the Indian cuisine – conservative and filled with age-old traditions. Using Ataxia makes sense since this typeface supports many languages and old style numbers, while Cheltenham adds a subtle depth to it.

Get Ataxia here

Get Cheltenham Old Style here

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World Baking Day (worldbakingday.com)

11. World Baking Day

The website combines two rounded sans serif type faces – Mentone and Museo Sans Rounded. The subtle difference between these two type faces is perfect reflecting the fun and quirkiness of the site.

Get Museo Sans Rounded here

Get Mentone here

2015_06_10_12_51_10_Digital_Marketing_Agency_in_Edmonton_Kick_Point

Kickpoint (kickpoint.ca)

12. Kickpoint

Kickpoint used Maga throughout its website in different colors and sizes to convey its message. Set on a red background, the overall design is very effective in getting your attention.

Get Maga here

2015_06_10_14_32_25_The_Office_of_Jason_James_Designer

Jason James (jasonjame.es)

13. Jason James

Jason James’ portfolio is adventurous enough to use different types of font, but with amazing results. In the introduction itself, it combined three different types – Brandon Grotesque, Calluna, Brandon Text – set in gray, white, and navy hues. Each creates a beautiful balance without going overboard.

Get Brandon Grotesque here

Get Calluna here

Get Brandon Text here

2015_06_10_14_58_45_A_Social_Shopping_Platform_The_making_of_Krush

Teehan and Lax (teehanlax.com)

14. Teehan and Lax

Teehan and Lax know what they are doing when they combined thick and thin type faces with beautiful storytelling. They used the magnificent Craft Gothic for the thicker and bigger font, while they use Mangan Nova for the smaller and thinner one.

Get Craft Gothic here

Get Mangan Nove here

2015_06_10_15_15_39_Aria_Studio

Aria Studio (ariastudio.com.hk)

15. Aria Studio

The slim Adobe Jenson Pro font looks crisp and and exceptionally good against the site’s video background. The four, large words are also links to navigate the whole website.

Get Adobe Jenson Pro here

Conclusion

These websites show the role of typography in the overall design of a website. Be adventurous and creative, but exercise moderation when using fonts. Don’t be afraid to mix and match like some of the examples above, you might be surprised what you can come up with. Most of all, look at the whole design and not just the pieces and how each of them fit in the puzzle.

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10 Things You Can Do to Get Your Clients on a Retainer

Most web professionals would agree that getting short term projects that don’t last anywhere longer than four months is leaving money on the table. With all the opportunities that comes along with web design projects, you can maximize on clients big time by learning the right practices and mindset.

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Would you believe that just gaining two clients in one year can set you with work for at least three years?

I never thought it was possible when I started as a freelance web and graphic designer some seven years ago. I was always on job sites constantly searching for a job order for a logo design project or a web/UX/UI design project that could get me work for another week or so.

That was over five years ago, and I’ve only had three long-term clients since then, but with those three clients, I’ve officially let go of bidding wars, invoicing marathons, and referral fee frenzies. I’ve saved up to 40% of my time, and earned up to double what I used to get before.

What was my secret?

Here are ten practices that I started with and built and mastered on how to get and maintain long-term client relationships.

relationshipnottask

#1. Think relationship not task

The biggest thing for me was changing my mindset. I had to stop treating my clients as job orders, and see them as people who had expectations, dreams, and disappointments. I mostly work with tech start-ups without enough money to hire someone with a full time salary, but could pay a smaller amount for retainers.

At the course of conversations with these tech start-ups, I stopped seeing them as cash cows and saw them as people with a vision, and a hunger to get their idea off the ground. They were passionate and hopeful, and I was their key to seeing their dreams come to pass. When I realized that and started acting that way, they would open up to me more and when it came to end the project, they just wouldn’t let me go! Because I had become a part of their dream.

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#2. Offer business solutions

Clients don’t want a website. They don’t want a logo. They don’t even want a UX/UI plan. They want a means to get their goals met, and you are there to offer them a chance to grow their business. If a health and fitness guru comes to you and asks you to make a website for them, offer them online presence to get their advocacy out. If a chef comes to you and asks for a logo for his restaurant, offer him a place in the hearts and minds of his customers that will make his brand trustworthy.

You are not just a designer. You are a consultant. If your clients fail to see that, 95% of the time it’s because you may have failed to communicate that well.

bigproject

#3. Don’t get intimidated by big projects right away

The minute I heard the budget that first long-term client of mine had, I jumped off my seat both ecstatic and horrified. It was a big project, heck yeah! But it was also a big project (Oh crap). I wasn’t sure if I could handle building three projects (POS, Website and social media plan) all at once, but when we started discussing the possibility of cutting it up into phases, it seemed more doable.

Don’t just drop a big client just because they’re big. Get them because they’re big, and then delimit and plan.

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#4. Connect with and outsource other freelancers

Daniel Pink, in his book Free Agent Nation, talks about how the freelancing world has now become a web of creatives who can work together. If ever you do get a big project, and it’s just something you can’t do all on your own, connect with other creatives to help you out. I once got a big project to build a local legal resource online (much like Lexis Nexis), and they needed multiple creatives to go on the job.

So I connected and got help from an assistant designer and web developer. Those guys work with me until now on the same project, and I closed that deal two years ago. I now got the opportunity, not just to provide work for myself, but to provide work for two others as well. Plus, we launched that product straight away, and it’s now all over the country earning millions!

results

#5. Deliver results

Clients will trust you if you get them the results they need. When you work on a project either short-term or long-term, always think of how you can get more subscriptions, hits, traffic, leads, even profit for your client. If you cannot promise them that then they might as well hire someone else who can do that for them. However, if you do provide them that then you could be their ticket to building an empire out of their business, and of course they’ll love you and outsource all work to you.

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#6. Offer content creation

Today, a website is next to nothing if it has no content. Content is the best form of virality and marketing today, especially in the online community. This does not just pose as a responsibility for you, but also as an opportunity to work with them long-term by helping provide content for their website. Get a few friends together to get some videos, articles, podcasts and whatever content up for your client, and charge for it. It’s just value for value.

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#7. Offer Social Media Management

Social Media is a whole new industry by itself, but one you can easily get into. Social Media advertising is a $24 Billion industry providing traffic for over 34% of businesses worldwide. It involves a lot of marketing and strategy, which you (once you adapt a business mindset) can really grow and thrive in. If you can sell your services online, you can definitely sell books for a publisher, or tacos for a restaurant franchise on social media.

Not offering social media management is you leaving money on the table, not just for you but for your client as well. When you make your clients your friends, you do everything in your power to make them successful. Help them with social media for a fee, and that will most likely happen.

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#8. Build integrity and value

I started off with hourly rates and learned the hard way that it was bad practice. It encouraged my clients to take advantage of the fact that if they needed to save money, they could cut me off the monthly budget because if I didn’t have to clock in hours, they didn’t have to pay me anything. Charging a retainer reminds your clients to maximize what they’re paying you to do and run to you when dollars aren’t coming in. Again that’s your job- provide solutions for your client to bring in traffic, subscriptions, leads and sales through that website they paid a lot of money to you to make.

Charging a fixed retainer also puts an expectation on you. A retainer is a challenge to stand up for your integrity. You can’t just bill a monthly fee and hide away in some wifi-less cave until the next bill. You have to deliver on your promise to give results. But also be aware that a retainer is not an excuse for your client to call you at any time of the day to have you work 20 hours straight on some email optin idea for their site.

They wouldn’t expect that from an in-house employee, and they shouldn’t expect the same from you.

coffee

#9. Bring your clients out to coffee

I’ve always seen it as a good practice to meet up with clients to just chat. I know bringing them out to coffee isn’t always a feasible thing especially when you get remote clients. But for those that you can meet up, you should meet up with them. Once a year, I fly out to Manila so I can have a coffee meeting with two of my clients just to discuss dreams and goals for their business. I always walk out of that meeting with an agenda and three-month plan for some new campaign or project.

greeting

#10. Greet them on special occasions

Again, I can’t stress this enough – your client is a person, not a bank roll. You have to be friends with your client on days apart from billing day. They will trust you more for it, and they will value you more for it. It’s not buttkissing, it’s not politics. If you build relationship just for that, you’re missing the point. Business is about people coming together to come up with solutions for people. Plainly put, business is about people and relationships. Not money, not mergers, not acquisitions, not seed funding.

What about those difficult clients from hell that are the devil incarnate? I promise to write about them in the near future, but one thing I can assure you is that you can still be friends with them. Everyone needs friends.

Conclusion

Out of all ten practices, you can forget them all and not apply some. But this one thing you cannot forget if you want to stop leaving money on the table and start getting long-term clients. It’s all about relationship. Your client is someone who needs you, and you can build trust and results for him or her.

Also, if you want to learn three more awesome practices, you can go here to watch three fool proof practices from the master of web design business himself, James Richman.

Don’t leave money on the table. Build relationships and build trust, and your clients will hire you out for the long run.

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The Power of Simplicity for Web Designers

Learn the Power of a Simple Life from Joel Zaslofsky

How powerful is simple?

Does your life feel like an endless To-Do list where a new task pops-out after you finished one?

Work, family, business, even gadgets seem to clamor for our attention. Even when armed with the latest tools to keep life uncomplicated, the opposite is happening and there’s no time to slow down.

Will it ever change?

Joel Zaslofksy says yes it is possible to simplify life and take time to smell the flowers. What more, he also tells you that slowing a bit more will not jeopardize your career.

Joel Zaslofsky used to work in corporate America and was one of the rats in the endless race to fame, money, and fortune. On top of that, he was addicted to World of Warcraft, which took most of his waking times when he’s not working.

However, his wife announcing the birth of their first child made him stop and evaluate his life. He asked himself if that was the kind of life he wanted his child to have. His answer and his evaluation of his life made a 180-degree turn and eliminated the things that complicate them.

Defining Enough

Simple living does not necessarily mean that you only have the bare necessities in life. Rather, it comes from the concept of “enough.”

What is enough for you? How much money is enough? How many things are enough? When do you say you have enough relationships?

Is your life better or worse when you strip yourself of some things? Answering this will give you a clue of what is enough for you. It will also help you eliminate things that are not necessary in your life.

Need Vs. Want

“There are things I need to abstain from.”

These are the first words Joel uttered as he explained his difficulty of applying moderation to his life. He simply didn’t know how he could do that because he was given to extremes.

The answer was to test his assumptions – Is life better with or without this? Surprisingly, the answer oftentimes is life is better without most of the things in your life right now, whether they are things or relationships.

What Simplicity Can Do

Ken Segall, former Creative Director of Apple, said that “Simplicity is the ultimate competitive weapon.” No one can attest to those words more than web design professionals who know that what works well in design isn’t something complicated but simple.

In our lives, simplicity benefits us in so many ways – it increases our self-awareness as well as our ability to be grateful, even with the little things. Moreover, simplifying things make us content with the relationships we have rather than getting happiness from the things we can get.

Conclusion

Simple is powerful because it makes things easier and clearer. It also lessens the time we spend on things making us save more than waste more. Steve Jobs said that when you say no to a thousand things, you innovate. So learn to simplify and innovate to become more capable and highly efficient.

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10 Website Conversion Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Ultimately, every website has a goal, whether it is to get more sales, downloads or subscribers, it’s function is to convert a visitor into a subscriber, lead or customer. Optimising website’s conversion rate can significantly increase return on investment (ROI) on your marketing efforts.

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What is conversion and why you should care about it?

Conversion is a process of changing or causing something to change from one form to another. In marketing language it’s turning visitors into customers. Important metric in measuring conversion is conversion rate.

Conversion rate = the percentage of visitors to your site who take action you desire them to take, whether that means filling in their information to become a lead or buying a product or service to become a customer.

Many factors contribute to a successful or unsuccessful conversion rate. In this article I am sharing top 10 website conversion mistakes and potential solutions to fix them.

Website speed test by Pingdom analyses how your website loads from different places in the world.

Website speed test by Pingdom analyses how your website loads from different places in the world.

1. Slow Loading Time

Good conversion rate is closely tied with great user experience, usability and accessibility. Loading time is one of these crucial factors that may lead your users to abandon the site even before seeing it. In the information-overload-age we live in, it’s absolutely necessary to cut down the waiting time as users are more impatient then ever before.

If your page takes more than 3 seconds to load 4 out of 10 of visitors will abandon it not even seeing it.

“After 3 seconds, 40% will abandon your site.” – Lara Hogan, Engineering Manager at Etsy

Fix: Design for Performance

Optimising your website for all browsers and for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets will naturally increase your conversion rate. Invest in a good hosting service they will ensure that your information loads quickly. Make sure that all pages on your website load properly and that all links work.

  • Pingdom Website Speed Test – tool for testing the load time of any page.
  • Compressor.io – compress and optimise your images up to 90% in file size reduction.
  • TinyJPG – compress JPEG files with a perfect balance in quality and file size.
  • WP Smush – WordPress plugin designed to reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO.
  • MaxCDN – content delivery network provider that emphasises reducing latency of rich-content delivery.
  • CloudFare – another content delivery network that automatically optimises the delivery of your web pages.

Lara Hogan, Engineering Manager at Etsy shares valuable tips in her keynote on Speaker Deck. I’ll quickly summarise it for you to take immediate action:

  • Optimise images and use as little graphics as possible as it adds to the loading time.
  • Cut down the number of typefaces you use, are different fonts you’ve chosen help make a conversion?
  • What metric are you hoping to improve with sliding carousel?
  • How will images you use affect the page load?
  • Which font weights (if any) do you really need?
  • What can be repurposed?
Tesla has been clearly working on making that first impression an incredible one.

Tesla has been clearly working on making that first impression an incredible one.

2. Bad First Impression

Visitors form an opinion about your website in less than a second, research conducted by Google reveals that visual content is perceived in milliseconds and form general opinion of your website.

“Users perceive and form design opinions even in 17 ms.” – Research conducted by Google

Fix: Define Style Guide

Make sure to avoid outdated design. Stop chasing trends as trends come and go and leave you in a potentially risky situation where your brand might look outdated.

Establish brand style guide by choosing color palette, typefaces, spacing rules, brand voice to unify your future design outputs. Style guide will ensure that you are consistent across different channels, including your website, email and social media.

Duolingo is a perfect example of a clear and prominent call to action (CTA) button.

Duolingo is a perfect example of a clear and prominent call to action (CTA) button.

3. Unclear Call to Action (CTA)

Website’s function is to ultimately serve as a communication or presentation tool. It’s by no means an end product so you have to define its main action user can take which is widely known as a call to action or CTA. Lack of clear call to action button on a website wastes opportunity of turning visitors into potential subscribers, leads and customers.

Fix: Be Prominent

The success of your website is highly determined by the conversion rate and prominent call to action goes a long way ensuring that visitor sees it and has an urge to take action. When it comes to purpose of your website, you basically have three strategic options:

  • Sell products or services
  • Generate leads
  • Establish credentials and build authority

Very simple but golden rule can be applied here. K.I.S.S. – keep it simple, stupid. Make your content easy to understand and provide obvious next step you want people to take.

Be bold and straightforward. Make your CTA as obvious as you can. create an attractive, easy-to-see button to advertise what you have to offer, and be sure to place it prominently.

sdvsdv

Spotify has a super clear unique selling proposition, “Music for now.”.

4. Too Many Features

Vague unique value proposition (USP) and lack of clear target audience can seriously ruin your business at any stage. By pleasing everyone you will end up serving no one and will ultimately fail. Many beginners don’t know how to package their product or service so they make it look good for as much people as possible. It’s totally wrong.

Fix: Define Your Target Audience

Sit down and get to know your user, define your target audience and build a typical user profile also known as user persona. Design for your end user and focus bringing value for your customer. Do not provide features to please everyone, provide just as much as needed to provide value.

Check out this guide on Entrepreneur on defining unique selling proposition.

Unsplash provides stunning high-quality stock photos for free.

Unsplash provides stunning high-quality stock photos for free.

5. Low Quality Images

Imagery is one of the most used asset in website design and no wonder why picking great imagery can make or break your conversion rate. Cliché looking and studio-shot stock photography has been around for too long and industry disruptors like Stocksy, 500px Prime, Offset have succeeded due to the fact that people are seeking for genuine looking imagery.

Fix: Use Brilliant Photos

There are numerous of websites that provide free stock photos that don’t suck. Unsplash, Death to the Stock Photo, PicJumbo, Jay Mantri, just to name a few. Simply by utilising these natural looking photos you will instantly be perceived as more welcoming and trustworthy brand as your website will not look that generic. Check out my list of 15 Best Free Stock Photo Websites.

Groove has been growing their user base mostly by driving quality traffic to their valuable blog.

Groove has been growing their user base mostly by driving quality traffic to their valuable blog.

6. Mediocre content

Mediocre content is one of the things that doesn’t attract traffic. Lack of great content on your website will lead to lack of potential leads or customers so try to rethink your content strategy and focus on quality. Listicles and simple roundups don’t add much of a value to your audience as they can probably find the same thing elsewhere.

Fix: Serve Your Audience

Invest time and money in producing a superior content, even if you will be posting less frequently you will still be targeting right people and achieving a better conversion rate.

There is no tool or strategy that will make your content get shared and consumed if it doesn’t provide value and genuinely serve a certain audience. Consistently create helpful and engaging content related to your business and keep showing up over and over again.

Buffer has grown mostly because of their kick-ass content strategy. You can simply copy their model and process of creating content and implement it into your strategy.

Check out the The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post: The Data on Headlines, Length, Images and More by Buffer’s Kevan Lee.

Swipes use top rated reviews and press mentions to create a trustworthy brand image.

Swipes use top rated reviews and press mentions to create a trustworthy brand image.

7. A Lack of Proof

People buy from people or organisations they already know about. When starting out it’s incredibly hard to be perceived as trustworthy and get these first customers without having big names associated with your brand. However, not providing any social proof goes against you.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” – Warren Buffett

Fix: Provide Social Proof

As humans, we’re constantly seeking for approval or reassurance from other people before we make a decision or invest our trust in something. Make sure to provide some proof of what you’re preaching. If you are just starting out you can utilise following:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Quotes
  • Case studies
  • Social media shares
  • Press appearances

Even writing this article I am backing up my decisions by linking to other articles, quoting research results and using quotes from famous people such as Warren Buffet.

SquareSpace has a nice, mobile-friendly website with a clear call to action button.

SquareSpace has a nice, mobile-friendly website with a clear call to action button.

8. Failure to Optimise for Mobile

It’s the middle of 2015 already ignoring responsiveness is simply stupid. Responsive design is a must, not a nice to have anymore if you don’t want to lose potential customers and money. According to Business Insider, the number of people using mobile devices outstripped people on desktop computers in 2014.

“The number of people using mobile devices outstripped people on desktop computers in 2014.” – Jim Edwards, Business Insider, April 2014

It is a big fact to skip when designing your website strategy and should definitely consider providing an engaging website experience for your visitors as they move from one device to another.

Fix: Rethink mobile strategy

Human behaviour has changed significantly since mobile devices entered our lives. People use their smartphones or tablets in their beds, on the go, even in the bathrooms. Start with mobile-first approach and then expand to desktop.

If you don’t have budget or time to rethink your whole strategy for mobile make sure you set aside resources to optimise for mobile devices as soon as possible as it may have already affected your traffic. In April, 2015 Google rolled out mobile-friendly update, that simply put favours mobile-friendly websites by boosting the ranking of pages on mobile search results.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool – This test will analyse a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.

9. Ignoring A/B Testing

You can’t simply assume something, build it and expect people to like it. However, this is how many people think and build their businesses. You have to be very critical with every decision you make and back everything up with data. You have to continuously test website elements like the copy, buttons, colors, and format to ensure that everything your website employs is working towards your overall goal, not against it.

Fix: Run Regular A/B Tests

By conducting regular A/B tests, you will get rid of the assumptions that comes with optimising your website for the user. There are numerous blogs that share best practices on running effective tests and dozens of tools that can help you with that. I’ve written earlier about automating your website conversion and mentioned quite a lot of tools you can utilise.

“The biggest mistake is to make an assumption without data – either basing a decision on a personal belief, or assuming that a part of the process is ok, without seeing the data to prove that.” – Al Mackin of Formisimo

However, it’s important to keep in mind that you should only focus on altering one element at a time to avoid clouding the validity of your results. For example, If you want to compare the performance of two headlines, don’t change anything else on the page but the headlines to ensure clear outcomes.

Wake has extremely clean layout and uber clear navigation with prominent call to action.

Wake has extremely clean layout and uber clear navigation with prominent call to action.

10. Confusing Navigation

Navigation on your website is the only way to reach your products or services once visitor opens it. Too many options can paralyse the visitor to take an action and will frustrate them that will eventually end up in abandoning the page. Using slang or technical jargon in your navigation doesn’t help either, it has to be as clear and as obvious as possible so visitors can quickly find what they need. We’re all busy, right?

Fix: Review Information Architecture

Review your whole information architecture and determine what are the most important parts you need to link to. Eliminate secondary and tertiary options as they just create bigger mess and delay user making a decision. Keep menus simple and clean, use understandable wording and once again, test.

Here are some practical ways to improve your website’s navigation:

  • Keep it consistent across every page and homepage.
  • Obvious navigation titles. Use simple and straightforward language to avoid interpretations.
  • Include search. People search a lot, make sure to implement search feature into your navigation.

Conclusion

Conversion optimisation is a long and never ending process that requires a lot of research, hypotheses and tests to see positive results. I hope the top mistakes I’ve identified will help you avoid wasted time and money on your marketing campaigns. I’d like to hear your thoughts and experiences on website conversion optimisation.

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Easy Steps How to Stay Fit as a Web Designer

Learn How to Stay Fit as a Web Designer from Brandon Epstein

How do you stay fit as a web designer?

Getting clients is not the only challenge web designers face, but also how to stay fit.

Most, if not all, web designers have a hard time staying fit, let alone get up from their chairs when working on a project. If you would sum up a web designer’s life, most of their lives revolve around the table and in front of the computer.

But what if you can change this?

Yes, you can actually motivate yourself to take a break from that project you’re working on and will yourself towards being healthy and fit. All it takes is put some element of fun and you’re set.

Brian Epstein of Zen Dude Fitness talks about how this can be achieved and maintain a balance between work and fitness. When you visit his website and look at his well-toned body, you can’t help but envy him and think that it’s easy for him to talk about his things. However, when you read more about his story, you will see his journey and transformation from being someone who didn’t care about his health and body to someone who values health and fitness.

So how did he do it? Read this article and watch the accompanying video interview with Brian to know more about it and change your life.

1. Gamify

Gamification is a marketing strategy where you apply game design techniques and mechanics to engage and motivate people to continually achieve more results. This concept of game does not only apply to marketing, but also to staying fit. When you include the element of fun in even the most difficult task, you will find yourself more willing to do it because it ceases to become a task but just another game.

2. Simplify

Let’s be honest: One of the main reasons why a lot of people get turned off with health and fitness is because of too much information. People look at all these fitness and diet plans with all the complicated steps and requirements; therefore, instead of being motivated, they shy away from it. This is a natural reaction – people don’t want complicated things.

3. Adjust

There are many kinds of diet – high-fat, high-protein, etc. However, you are not everyone so if a high-carb diet works with 35 to 40 percent of people, it does not necessarily mean it will also work for you. Same way goes with other types of diets.  So the best way to do when it comes to food is remember three things:

  • Understand that calories are king. – How many calories should you take in order to maintain or lose your diet? There’s a great tool here which you can use if you want to know exactly about your calorie intake.
  • Get the right macro-nutrients distribution. – You should be able to get the right percentage of fats, proteins, and carbs.
  • Eat the right forms of these macro-nutrients. – It’s eating from the specific food list to help you sustain your energy and not crash.

You have to understand that what you eat should not just affect your body alone, but also your mood – how you feel and how productive you are.

There has been a lot of studies about flow states, which is your ability to lock in on something with a feeling of energized focus and you are able to perform your best mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. We will be able to achieve these flow states when we take care of our own body, eat the right food, and exercise properly.

In fact, studies show that CEOs who get into these flow states are five times more productive. So when you take a break from work, eat the right kind of foods, and exercise, you have five times more productivity when you get back to work.

Just imagine the great return of investment it has for you as a web design professional.

 

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