Why is User Experience Important?

User experience is key to keeping good traffic flow and to make sure the users spend more than just a minute on your website. Websites should be a place for users to feel welcomed, comfortable and find valuable information about your business and services. Four questions that you should ask yourself are as follows:

  • Does my website load quickly?
  • Do I have good responsive design?
  • Do I have redirects or redirect loops?
  • Is my site aesthetically pleasing?

How Quickly Does Your Website Load?

Having a website that loads quickly from the point the link to your website is clicked to the point at which it loads, is a very important factor to keeping positive user experience. Studies have shown that if a websites loads slower than 3 seconds, you could have up to 40% of the users abandon your website.

Search engines will actually penalize your organic search result rankings if users are bouncing from your website to others will more valuable and relevant information.

There are many reasons you may have a slow load time. One of those reasons would be that your website could have un-optimized images. It is important to optimize any image to get rid of the extra data that might be contained within the image file; be sure you’re using the right image-type (JPG, PNG, GIF, etc.). Additionally, a slow loading speed could be because of excessive JavaScript and CSS files that can be condensed. Some of our favorite recommended plugins to install on the content management system, WordPress, are Scripts to Footer, Minify JS and Super Cache. Read our post discussing the Do’s and Don’ts of Images.

Do You Have Good Responsive Design?

Responsive design is defined as having a website design that will automatically fit the screen of any device that the user is using, whether it is a laptop, iPad, Smart Phone, etc. According to some studies, 2.87 billion people are currently using a smart phone. Many users enjoy having the freedom to view websites on their phone. If a website is not mobile friendly, the user then has to zoom in to read information about the services your business provides. Without a responsive website, you may find your bounce rate has increased and your organic rankings have decreased. Overall, it is important to have a website that will be user-friendly on any device and not just on a computer screen or smart phone screen.

Do You Have Redirects?

Redirects can have a negative impact on websites but they could also have a positive impact. When a user clicks on a link, they expect to be on the same website that the link displayed and not redirected elsewhere. Redirects could be positive as well if it is an updated version of the previously existing page. If you’re redirecting to another website, adding a notice to explain the reason for the redirect could help the user.

Is Your Site Appealing To The Eye?

Having a site that is visually appealing will enhance user experience. You want the user to remember how it looks and trust your business. The majority of users tend to choose a more appealing design over any bland, neutral or outdated design. An appealing website could also convey emotions. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” With images on your website, you can trigger many different emotions such happiness or even sadness. Memories could also be triggered and the user would remember the website that awoke those memories that were pleasing. Read our post about color psychology.

The users of your website should feel comfortable and be able to trust your business’ website. A responsive, appealing and quickly loading website with any required redirects will provide your users with a great user experience.

@advanceddigitalinc | #ThrowbackThursday

For today’s 12 Days of Christmas post, we’d like to do a true #ThrowbackThurday and share with you what you may be missing if you’re not following Advanced Digital Inc. on Instagram!

What is #ADTipTuesdays? Every Tuesday we share a web design, search engine optimization, marketing or social media tip with our followrs. We have many more up our sleeves for the new year so make sure you follow us to keep up to date!

Our Weekly Tips

You can see all of the tips we’ve shared so far below!




10 Favorite Resources

As 2016 is quickly coming to an end, the Advanced Digital Inc. Team thought we’d share with you our Top 10 favorite resources of the year. These range from specific articles that spoke to us, to tools that helped us create some of our web design projects this year and achieve our search engine optimization goals.

1.) Smashing Magazine’s post from August 17th Photoshop Etiquette For Responsive Web Design is one of our favorite articles from 2016! For almost 10 years, Smashing Magazine has provided quality articles and resources for programmers and designers.

2.) Dreamstime is one of the many stock photo resources our team uses. Conveniently, customers are able to either purchase subscription packages or pay by the photo.

3.) By using Lynda, our team is able to expand their knowledge, learn additional skills. As SEO is constantly evolving and there are many layers involved in it, it is important to keep on top of skill-sets.

4.) We all have our routines and our Friday’s usually start off with a White Board Friday video from Moz and a cup of coffee. Each video is packed with great tips for our search engine optimization team. One of our favorites is 8 Rules for Choosing a Domain Name.

5.) Keyword research is a large part of search engine optimization and one of our favorite tools to use to help with this is, Google Keyword Planner. If you’re planning on running an Adwords Campaign, all of your keywords can be saved to use at a later date.

6.) With over 1,000 fonts to choose from, Google Fonts make choosing fonts and pairings easy for all of our web design projects.

7.) Adobe Color has analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary, compound, shades and custom rules available. Easily create a custom color palette for your design or marketing materials. Check out our blog post from October on Color Psychology!

8.) GetHub is a large depository for programmers. The open source community allows programmers to contribute their skills, follow other projects and more.

9.) Bootstrap is our favorite way to program responsive websites for all of our clients. The easy framework is set up with 12 columns that collapse for tablets and mobile devices.

10.) Lastly, WordPress is our choice for a content management system. With 1,000’s of plugins and themes available, this content management system is customizable to any business and is perfect for our clients.

Do you have a favorite resource? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow us on social media!

The Importance of Hashtags

Welcome to Day One of Advanced Digital’s 12 Days of Christmas Blog Series. Every other day, from now until Christmas Eve, you can expect a new post spanning many topics from Search Engine Optimization, to Web and Graphic Design as well as some Marketing information. We hope you join us this December!

We kick off this series talking about the importance of hashtags. Whether you love them and find yourself using them in your every day life for every one of your social media updates just because they’re fun, or you hate them as you don’t see the point in them: there is no denying that hashtags are an integral part of using social media.

Hashtags are utilized on many social media platforms in this day and age. From Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to Pinterest, Google+, and Youtube, the likelihood of you running into a piece of content without hashtags is very slim. But why are they important and what benefit do they bring to your business?

When clicking a hashtag on any of the aforementioned platforms, you’ll find many other public posts that include the same hashtag. For example, we use “#ADTipTuesday” on all of our Tuesday tip posts throughout our social media platforms. Not only will hashtags provide users with content relevant to their search, but it allows customers to track a specific news story or event easily.

The Do’s and Don’t of Hashtags

DO Keep it Relevant. There are many generic hashtags that receive a lot of views, and while it may be tempting to tack on a tag or two to your post in hopes of getting a little more traffic, consistently doing this can set the precedence that your brand cares more about the number of likes rather than the quality of content and conversion.
DO Research Your Brand Hashtag. Research the hashtags relevant to your brand. Has the hashtag been used previously? Is it going to help get your brand seen on social media? It is important to keep these stats in mind when generating content and choosing hashtags on your platforms.
DO Be Mindful of the Platform. You may notice Facebook posts have less hashtags being used, however Instagram and Twitter uses them more frequently. It is okay to have personality when using hashtags! A photo of a cup of coffee may have the tag, “MondayMotivation” or even “InstaGood”.
DON’T Tag Full Sentences. It is important to tag only relevant keywords in your description or comments. Tagging full sentences, while quirky or fun between friends in conversation, can become a nuisance or hard to read in a professional setting..
DON’T Over Do It. As mentioned previously, tagging relevant keywords is going to help your impressions and conversion. Choose the keyword phrases that fit the message of your content. You may track or use 30 hashtags, however, they don’t need to be used all at once.

It is important to be consistent with your brand hashtag across all social media platforms you use. Users should be able to hop from searching your brand on Instagram to Google+ and still find the same quality of content.

Follow us on Instagram for additional 12 Days of Christmas!

Back to Basics: The Best Social Media Platform for Your Business

social media platform linkedin on computer monitorAs mentioned in our “Social Media’s Importance in Your Business” article, social media allows you to expand your audience, improve customer service, establish trust with customers and increase your organic search engine rankings. As social media becomes increasingly important for business, you may be trying to decide which platform is the best for you. While it is important to cultivate as many avenues for customer engagement as possible, it is even more important to start with the platform(s) that would most align with your business needs.

Facebook: By using Facebook your company is able to answer any questions via messages or comments. As an incentive, you may offer specials for users that like your page or provide reviews. Users tend to use Facebook to look up a company and will follow brands they’re loyal to. Facebook now allows the ability to leave up to 5-star reviews which many use when doing their research for a certain product or service.

Twitter: Twitter allows you to offer easy customer support (in 140 characters or less) or via direct messages. Stay up to date on specific trends in the industry and drive traffic to specific pages on you website. Don’t let the limited character count sway you from not using this platform. Utilizing url link shortners (such as bit.ly or goo.gl) allows you to save on character count space.

G+: Before Google+ for businesses, Google Places was extremely limited on what you would be able to do. The days of only being able to add business hours, categories, contact information and location are long over. With Google+, businesses are able to add photos of their business, services, products and location. Reviews left by customers are not able to be removed, however you can reply to them which would show other potential customers that you are involved in your customer service.

LinkedIn: This platform is mostly for business to business services. With LinkedIn your business is able to improve its reputation, create visibility to businesses and generate leads.

Instagram: Instagram is perfect for businesses selling products or services by using photos. While building your portfolio with photos or videos (up to 60 seconds), create your own brand hashtags and engage with your following. Tip: Add your hashtags in the first comment of your post and keep your photo descriptions clutter-free!

For more information on this topic, read our post on why social media is important to your business. And follow us on our social media to keep up to date with our newest content!

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