Small business owners know that content is vital for increasing reader engagement, encouraging customers, and pushing people through the sales funnel. That being said, even the most interesting information in the world won’t do well if it’s on a poorly designed website.

There are specific design choices (like white text on a black background) that discourage readers by making the viewing experience unpleasant or even uncomfortable. If you want to build the most beautiful and effective site possible, follow this list of dos and don’ts.

Website Design 2017: Dos

Crafting a page for the internet isn’t like writing a paper for school or college. Our expectations have changed over time, and now it’s very easy to spot websites that don’t meet these requirements. Any time you’re building a page you should:

  • Pay attention to your color palette. Remember, warm shades like red and orange are exciting. They can call for action or bring memories of sunshine and summertime. High-energy companies, such as a skateboard retailer, will likely enjoy brighter hues. Cool shades often are more sophisticated and relaxed, and may be better suited for a site with a more casual nature.
  • Include images. People are naturally drawn to graphics and pictures, especially when greeted by forward-facing models. High-quality pictures are visually stimulating and help keep viewer attention.
  • Follow the F pattern. The top left corner of your page will get more attention than anywhere else. Our eyes scan in an F pattern, meaning we read the introduction then browse for the information we’re after. Well-designed websites will always take this into account, even when publishing blogs and product pages.
  • Balance content and white space. Too much content is glaring and overwhelming for your viewers. Make sure there’s enough white space to give their eyes time to adjust. At the same time, look for a balance between your elements. While people spend more time looking at the top left, they still favor symmetrical designs for everything but text.

Faux-Pas to Avoid

There are plenty of simple mistakes people make every single day. When you’re building or renovating your site, make sure you avoid:

  • Amateur images. Nothing will make your site seem outdated faster than poor quality or badly manipulated photographs. Watch out for pixelation, displeasing colors, stretched proportions, and shoddy layering techniques.
  • Outdated designs (i.e., WordArt). At one time, these options were the first choice for sprucing up a grade-school presentation. Today, they have no place on your site. You’re better off having no graphics at all than building a site that looks like a third-grade project.
  • Excessive advertising. Spam and popups are everywhere, and if your website resembles either of these in the slightest, people will be quick to turn away. If your viewers can’t tell the difference between your content and an ad, you’re in trouble. Some consumers will avoid a website forever if they see too much advertising.
  • Too many graphics. High-quality images are good, but blanketing the page in text bubbles and small pictures is not. When the page is too busy, it will feel overwhelming and spammy. Every image should have a specific purpose – don’t slap it on the page just because you can.
  • Jarring colors. Bright shades can be a wonderful tool to set the mood for your website. Unfortunately, they can make or break you. When your colors are too bright, they can be downright painful to view on a screen, plus they are distracting and unprofessional looking. Keep things simple and try not to oversaturate.
  • Bogged-down load times. Flash was the most interesting way to interact through your site at one point, but now people are focused on speed. Try to avoid software or huge videos that take too long to load. Your viewers could get bored and leave before the page fully loads.

Crafting a beautiful website is important, and not as difficult as it may seem. Keep these guidelines in mind and you’ll be able to build the prettiest online platform possible.

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

Common SEO mistakes to avoid – Creating an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for your business’s website is a must if you want to establish a solid online presence. While this concept is nothing new, it is often overlooked by businesses. They resort to crude SEO practices that, far from being efficient, actually get their website into hot water with major search engines. With that said, you need to avoid falling victim to these common SEO mistakes.

You skip the keyword brainstorming phase

This is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make in your website creation plan. By not spending time on researching relevant keywords from the start, you are missing out on the opportunity to potentially generate a large amount of traffic. Without a comprehensive keyword list in hand, you will find it hard to add more keywords as your website grows and gains more authority.

Your content has too little or too much text

There’s no fixed formula when it comes to the length of your content – the number of words can vary greatly depending on your audience and the type of your website. The general rule of thumb, however, is to write content that is valuable for your visitors. Make sure your pages only contain relevant information, and don’t try to cram text just to put more copy on the page, because search engines will have a hard time identifying relevant content.

You’re using black-hat SEO techniques

It may be tempting to go after cheap practices that promise quick results, also known as black-hat SEO techniques. These methods include keyword stuffing, hidden keyword text, link buying, and so on. Some of these techniques may actually work, but only in the short run. Search engines are aware of black-hat schemes, and are continuously improving their algorithms to weed out websites that don’t abide by their guidelines to deliver the best user experience. So it’s best to focus your efforts on building a clean and stable SEO strategy.

You’re expecting quick results

Success doesn’t come easy in the SEO world. Ranking high in search results necessitates spending a substantial amount of time and effort. Don’t expect to earn a position on the first page of search engines immediately or overnight, because it will likely take months to see results. Be patient, and focus on creating great content and abiding by SEO best practices.

You’re not using blogging as a strategy

Most businesses don’t really have the chance to update their website often. Why? Because they can’t really update their “About Us” or their service pages as frequently as they would like – so their websites are just going to stand there dormant and outdated. The problem with this is that search engines don’t like inactive sites. If you have a blogging strategy, however, you have the opportunity to add a page, or pages, to your site at least once a month, if not once a week or better yet daily! The more new pages you add to your website, the more chance you have of getting higher rankings, which translates into more traffic and more leads.

Your website has an inefficient structure

Without a good website structure strategy, you’ll have a hard time trying to organize new categories, as well as information and promotional pages. Having a bloated and scattered site structure won’t do you any good when it comes to SEO, because you’ll only make it harder for visitors to navigate around your website.

You’re not going responsive

Search engines are now taking responsiveness into account when determining rankings. A responsive website adapts its page layouts to fit all screen resolutions and sizes, whether it’s being viewed on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. You can greatly enhance the user experience and decrease bounce rates (the percentage of visitors who leave the website after visiting only one page). So if your website is not mobile-friendly, then it’s time to seriously consider a responsive design.

There are so many factors involved in search engine rankings, some of which are beyond your control. The important thing is to avoid making these SEO mistakes, and you’ll be on your way to online success. Want more SEO tips and techniques to add value to your business? Get in touch with our experts today.

As we all spend more and more time on the Internet, business web presence is becoming increasingly important. And having a website is not enough anymore. If you’re not converting visitors into customers, your competition is likely snatching them up instead. So how can you create a website that converts and leads to greater profits? Here are five tips to point you in the right direction. Here the website conversion rules you need to know:

Make it mobile-friendly

These days, more and more of us are surfing the web on the go – via smartphones, tablets and laptops. And if you want a piece of this traffic, you need to make your design responsive to all mobile devices.
To give your visitors an enjoyable mobile experience, make sure your design adjusts to fit the screen of any device. Additionally, all elements of your website – pages, resources, actions, and so on – should be easily accessible. If they’re not, visitors will quickly become frustrated and click away to a competitor. And really, who can blame them? You’d probably do the same.

Make it easy for customers to contact you

That means displaying your phone number in the upper-right corner of every page, and providing a simple, easy-to-find contact form. While some people prefer not to list an email address for fear it will be picked off by spam robots, it can serve as another contact option for those who hate web forms. Whatever you choose, the two main ideas are options and ease. Give your visitors a choice, make it easy, and they will come.

Keep it simple

Have you started to notice a theme here? If you haven’t, it can be summed up in one word: easy. In today’s fast-paced world, people are busy. They don’t have time to navigate a complicated website, dig through dozens of pages to find a contact number, or try and figure out what it is that you’re selling because your mobile site doesn’t display content properly.
So when it comes to design, simplicity just makes sense. To produce the content of a simple website, every page, word, and image you create must have a singular purpose: to get visitors to contact you. Don’t waste time distracting them with excessive information, stupid games, or flashy animations. Instead, have a nice clean layout so they can understand what you’re offering quickly and can contact you with a click.

Include personal photos whenever possible

Say you have to choose between services offered by two different websites. They both sell the exact same thing, and the sites look virtually the same. The key difference is that one uses real photos of the owner and his or her staff, while the other uses generic stock images of business people. Assuming images from both sites are of the same quality, which one are you more likely to choose? Undoubtedly, you chose the real people.
So next time you have to choose between stock images and shooting real photos of you and your staff, invest some time and money in quality pictures taken at a studio – it’ll be worth every penny.

Move social media icons to the bottom of the page

Everyone loves throwing social media icons on their websites, and it’s not a bad idea to show your credibility. However, if you put these at the top of the page, your visitor is more likely to click on them immediately. Sounds cool, right? Wrong. When this happens, you just created an exit for them to leave your site and never return – we all know how easy it is to get distracted on social media. Instead, place your social media icons at the bottom of the page in the footer. Remember the goal of your website is to convert. If your visitor leaves before they get a chance to explore your services, content and offering, you’ve lost them before you ever even had them.

Want more tips and news about the web? Looking for a dependable IT provider? Get in touch with us today.

Published with permission from SOURCE

You never get a 2nd chance to make a first impression.

Its the first place potential customers, employees or investors will go to learn about you, your company and what you represent. In a few short seconds visitors to your website size-up your image, make a judgment call, and either engage or move on.

Search engines and potential customers look for impact from your website in two major areas: Relevance and Trust. Building both can drive your credibility and your business forward. Begin by asking yourself a few key questions:

  1. Why do we have a website?
  2. What purpose is it supposed to serve?
  3. Do people immediately “get” what our business is all about, what we value, and how we’re going to solve their problem?

Recently a business owner came to GCInfotech looking website optimization. He envisioned a more intelligent, user-friendly and feature-rich website that would engage and convert more potential customers. He also wanted the ability to manage his website’s content and structure so that he didn’t have to spend money every time he needed to make a change or for ongoing maintenance.

Our development team worked with him to convert his flat HTML-based website into a robust user-friendly Joomla-based content management system (CMS) that was SEO ready and could be customized to meet his exact specifications. We migrated the current content from his previous website and incorporated exciting new functionality like an advanced product search and virtual facility tour that help visitors get the answers they need quickly and efficiently. We developed a two-hour training program to train select employees on how to change content like text, links and images, as well as make simple modifications to a page’s layout and structure so they had the power to manage the site on their own.

Your website is a strategic part of your business.

Even when you’re not at work, your website should be helping your business grow. Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.


What It Is and How to Avoid It.

Browser hijacking is one of the Web’s ever present dangers. It’s a type of online fraud that’s generally used to force hits to certain sites of a hijacker’s choosing. Chances are high that most internet users will be subjected to this practice in some form. A hijacker uses malicious software to change your internet security and registry settings to gain control over what and how your browser displays web content. Combating it can be tricky because it’s not necessarily a virus or adware, so software monitoring programs will not always suffice.

Signs that your browser might be hijacked…

  • Home Page has changed unexpectedly
  • Internet settings have changed and you can’t seem to reset them manually
  • New or unrecognizable links in your Favorites
  • Inability to navigate to certain websites such as anti-spyware and other security software sites
  • A new toolbar appears in your browser
  • An endless barrage of pop-up ads
  • Rerouting of URLs to other dubious websites

Precautionary measures you can take…

  • Use common sense. If a pop-up ad asks your permission to install an executable file, don’t accept it unless you’re absolutely certain of what that program entails. Make sure you have all the latest security packs and patches from Microsoft.
  • Run your anti-virus program regularly and set it to auto-protection. Heighten your internet security settings and add the sites you regularly visit to the list of ‘Trusted Sites’ so they aren’t affected. Consider changing your browser; many of these malicious programs are specifically designed for Internet Explorer and won’t execute on other browsers such as Mozilla.
  • Prepare an ‘emergency kit’. Free utility programs like Hijackthis or CWShredder are effective at removing malicious code while other programs like Ad-aware and Spybot remove Trojans and can help you recover your system.

GCInfotech can help you take the appropriate preventative measures to protect yourself from the dangers of browser hijacking.