Category Archives: Website Development

Web Design Techniques Proven to Boost Conversions

digital-studentIn today’s day and age, having a website is essential to any business that expects to be taken seriously. Now that the internet has become so prevalent, the reason is obvious: it’s going to be one of the first ways most people will interact with your company. This is especially true for companies that don’t have the resources necessary for more intense advertising campaigns, such as TV commercials or public billboards. Given its affordability and availability, a website is needed for businesses looking for recognition.

Making sure people take your website seriously enough to actually make use of your company’s goods and services is a challenge. Adding to that challenge is the fact that the internet is a huge place, which makes it easy for the voices of smaller businesses to be lost in the surge. However, there are web design techniques that have been proven to boost notability and conversions, and knowing how to use them effectively is a sure-fire to boost your company’s sales.

Grab Attention Quickly
The average internet user actually has a very short attention span. Usually, a decision is made whether or not they wish to remain on a given website within the first five to ten seconds of hitting the landing page, so securing their interest is essential in securing a conversion. Attaining this can be done in a number of ways. When looking at your site, make sure that all the crucial information is visible from the moment the website loads. This means placing things such as contact details, special offers, product lists and taglines within the top third of the page. You should also make sure the right things are prominent to the viewer, but we’ll get to that in a moment. First we’ll look at how you can secure viewer confidence within the first ten seconds of their arrival on your home page.

Use Commanding, Positive Language
One of the most overlooked web design techniques is the use of commanding, positive language. Treat web design like trying to secure a date to the prom or a job at an interview – you must demonstrate that your company is the one the viewer wants, and that it is better than any other rival. After all, if it seems as though your company doesn’t think it’s good enough, then why should any prospective customers think so?
Make use of short, powerful and imperative words. Don’t suggest that your customer should look through your product list, tell them where they can do that. Don’t hint that your staff might have the information your customer needs, tell them that they do. Use words such as “powerful,” “experienced,” “innovative,” “high quality,” and keep the rest of your sentences short.

Positioning is Important
You should also make sure that your company name and logo are in a position where they’re quickly and easily seen. The top left corner is an ideal position, as that’s where people’s eyes naturally drift to when they reach a new page. Make sure it’s able to stand out as well, and isn’t overwhelmed by surrounding text and graphics or fades into the background.

Make sure you have headlines in prominent positions too, and that these headlines are bold and quickly draw attention to themselves. The goal is to get across as much information with as little effort as possible. At the same time, try to avoid obnoxious techniques such as flashing gifs, scrolling banners or loud audio. You want to dominate the viewer, but you also don’t want to overwhelm them either.

Use Pictures of Real People
Humans generally connect better with people than with any other object or species. So when you use pictures in your web design, use pictures of actual people. The reason is partially psychological: people are more inclined to trust other people when they can see their eyes and faces, and this even applies to images in websites. Research conducted by advertising agencies seems to back this up too. The Nielsen Norman Group found that the most effective marketing strategies are plain text, faces, and bodies.

You’ll probably notice that all the landing pages of major websites include photos of smiling faces or groups of people engaged in some sort of activity. This is deliberate, they help improve landing page conversions. See for yourself the next time you visit these pages. Where are your eyes immediately drawn to? Nine times out of ten, it will be towards the photos. It’s also worth noting that the race, clothing or sex of the person doesn’t matter either, what matters is that they’re people.

Keep it Simple
Keep it simple, remember that sometimes less is more. One way to drive down conversions is to overwhelm your visitors with explosive text fonts, too many images and flashing animations. Sometimes the best conversions arise with a single picture and a single commanding message. Sometimes it also helps to leave the visitor with a limited number of choices, such as leaving only one link leading directly to an index page or a sign up form. You want to grab attention, sure, but you don’t want to leave the visitor feeling distracted or confused. Strike a balance between eye-catching and subtle, and you’ll be on your way to boosting conversions in your web design.


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Bypassing the Pleasantries: How Internet Security is Getting Personal

It’s a very disturbing fact that even in 2014, over half of internet users in the UK are still not implementing appropriate web security to protect their data. Maybe people will endeavour to change this attitude when they learn that a massive amount of personal data was recently discovered to be for sale on the online ‘black market’.

How much data? Information from over 360 million accounts and well over one billion email addresses were up for grabs to the highest bidder. When it comes to the web, anyone and everyone is after what they can steal, take or copy.

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What Does It Mean to Be Agile, and Should You Jump On Board?

Agile methodology: it’s a buzzword that you’ll hear thrown around by IT experts. Everyone is talking about “going agile,” but what does it mean—and is it something your business needs to adopt, too?

The Agile method was developed by IT experts interested in revamping project management from the ground up. It is a methodology with processes and guidelines that are intended to directly address the challenges and limitations of traditional IT project management and development.

Rather than working on your IT project in solitary confinement, delivering and implementing it, and then addressing the issues that arise, Agile IT consulting firms embrace constant communication and feedback as the foundation of a project. In Agile, instead of the project being fixed and the timeline being fluid, the timeline is fixed and the project is flexible. Throughout the development process, Agile methodology calls for continuous planning, continuous testing, and continuous integration, so that you’re involved in every step of the development process until the project is complete.

Agile is intended to: Continue reading What Does It Mean to Be Agile, and Should You Jump On Board?


It may be too early to deck the halls with tinsel but if you run an ecommerce business, it’s not too early to prepare for Christmas. Preparation is key for maximising sales over the Christmas period (November to December) so it’s never too early to start getting your website ready. And with many companies starting their Christmas preparations as early as August, it’s highly advisable to get your Christmas preparations underway now if you haven’t already.

Prepare your mobile site

This year the experts are predicting that Britain is headed for its first ‘mobile Christmas’ – where more and more people will do their Christmas shopping on the go using tablets and mobile phones – so making sure you have a good, working mobile version of your site is essential.

Mobile users prefer using websites that are designed for mobile devices so if your site hasn’t got a mobile version, get one. If browsing and making a purchase is easy, users are more likely to buy. A good mobile site means less scrolling and zooming in on small devices – making the overall shopping experience more pleasant.


Basic Information About Domain Hosting

Individuals and companies have domain names that are normally hosted by different hosting companies. The business of hosting domain names for companies and individuals is referred to as domain hosting. A domain hosting company can also host a web site and that is why domain hosting is sometimes referred to as web hosting. It is not possible to identify a web page in URLs without the use of a domain name.

Every website has a unique name that is commonly referred to as a domain name. It is important to register a domain name with a suitable domain registration company and the name should be easy to type and read. The IP address and other website information are normally stored on a Domain Name System server after the process of domain name registration has been completed. All computers connected to the internet can identify all the registered domain names on the DNS server. Continue reading Basic Information About Domain Hosting

Creating a Website That Works for the Semantic Web

Google is changing. Recently, John Wiley, a search designer for Google conceded that around 15% of daily searches on Google are focused on search terms that have not been encountered before by the search engine. This means that a staggering 500 million results a day are being produced on the back of no previous experience by effectively a robot!

Google Matchmaking Services

Google is effectively nothing more than a sophisticated matchmaker. It takes a look at the search, and sifts through options to give what it feels like might be the best answers. There’s no doubt though that this is an imprecise process, and we only have to conduct a handful of searches ourselves to see that we don’t always get the results that we hope for.

The Struggle for Google

If we look at things from the other side though, it’s easy to see how hard things must be for Google. Take for example a producer of running trainers. If you are trying to get noticed on the internet, you have to make sure that people have enough ways of finding your products. This means marketing your running shoes as trainers, sneakers, running shoes, cross trainers, sports shoes and goodness knows what else to second guess how people will attempt to find your products. This doesn’t even take into account the various different types of specific trainers that are on the market, and how each individual might search for them. We’re getting into needle in a haystack territory here, and this is of course a good way to highlight just how hit and miss the whole operation surely is. Continue reading Creating a Website That Works for the Semantic Web

How to Choose the Right Full Service Digital Agency

As with anything in today’s world, choice is something we are not short of.  From clothes and shoes to supermarkets and insurance companies.  And, when it comes to business and digital a full service digital agency like mmadigital is no different.  There is a sea of choice out there when picking a full service digital agency.  And knowing which one to choose is difficult.

Chances are, you are not even entirely sure of what it is that you are after? Do you need a new website?  Do you need help with social media?  How do you drive more traffic to your website?  All of these questions can leave you frustrated.  Especially when you still have your day-to-day job and the running of your business to contend with.

Well, that is where mmadigital comes in.  We know exactly what to do and choosing the right agency is essential.  So how do you know that we are the right digital agency for you?  Here are some top tips on looking for the right digital agency like mmadigital:

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Which Comes First – A Website or SEO?

As an SEO, I can say that in theory website design should include a good bit of input from SEO people. SEO should be part of the entire design process, included along side items like database design, UI design, and architecture choice.

I’d say that in the majority of new websites, especially for companies of any size, this is the case. SEO has earned a spot at the table now that the business drivers realize the days of “if you build it they will come” never really existed. For smaller businesses and business owners who really don’t “get” the web, the sad fact is that usually they will be sold a bill of goods that does not deliver on their wildest imagination.

I can say with great certainty, that as an SEO company in Richmond Virginia, we see more clients who have a website and absolutely no SEO plan than vice-versa. Usually by the time we get the call, the business owner has read about this stuff called search engine optimization and knows that people call it SEO, but other than that they have no clue what to do.

We also get a fair number of client contacts with business owners who have heard of pay per click, and might even know it as search engine marketing or SEM, but again, are at a loss for how to really utilize it.

As a company who also provides website design and development,Three Stone Media LLC obviously includes SEO in our most initial of conversations. Almost all of our competition in the Richmond market does as well. If you are looking in to building a website for your business, or even are looking to do a site redesign, make sure that your development company includes SEO as a topic of discussion from day one and as a major factor in the design.

Retrofitting code and UI for SEO after the fact is costly and can be an arduous process. Of course, we always welcome work like this! 🙂