Web Design Principles that Boost Engagement and Interaction

Posted on Jun 10, 2015 | 0 comments

Good web design conveys a message without ever saying a word; it either instantly engages visitors or turns them away. When web design works, it pulls your visitors in and makes them feel at ease. Think of your website the same way you’d think of your workspace: Are visitors distracted by clutter and eager to run out of there, or do they want to relax, spend some time with you, and make a purchase? A quick design assessment can help you recognize your visitors’ knee-jerk reactions to your website. Start by reviewing each page of your site, then ask yourself the following questions: What grabs your attention —irrelevant, secondary content, or the clickable link to your best selling product or service? Does the page feel noisy and distracting, or open and inviting? Does it feel cluttered and crammed with too many words, images, and links? One way to avoid distraction and direct your visitors’ attention is to strategically use negative space (or white space) in the design. Great designers are skilled in creatively balancing your need for MORE content with the appropriate white space; however, even the most forgiving design will eventually crumble beneath the burden of too many words, images, and calls to action. To ensure your site’s content and white space ebb and flow together harmoniously, try using the Add/Remove Principle. Here’s how it works: Before you add new content to your site, look for places to remove outdated content to keep things balanced and tidy. Every piece of new content you add to your site is another opportunity for a customer to get distracted. Be sure all additions drive your site visitors to the same end goal or action. Streamlining your content puts you in the driver’s seat. Fewer distractions mean visitors don’t have to figure out what you want them to do on your site. Clicks go up. Purchases increase. Your business grows. We know for non-designers, web design best practices can seem arbitrary and baffling. That’s why we created the Websites That Work Quiz. We want to help you identify the areas of where your website that could use a little support, and guide you to the next steps to take. As a bonus, after you take the quiz we’ll email you tools like the Design Clarity Worksheet to guide you on the fixes your site needs. Web design help is just a click away. Take the quiz to get started. Share...

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Mobile Apps Can Help Companies Save Money, Boost Productivity & Increase Employee Engagement

Posted on May 7, 2015 | 0 comments

  How many times have you tried to quickly find an in-network doctor, only to discover you had to first log on to your employee portal to access your benefits information? When you need your benefits information fast, but you are miles away from your office or can’t remember your log in to the benefits portal, you feel powerless and frustrated. The same frustration arises for your employees every time they hit a roadblock when they need to access their benefit plan information for themselves or their family members. Requiring your employees to rely solely on outdated, cumbersome systems for their benefits information not only chips away at productivity and employee morale, it costs your organization money. Employees don’t want to waste their time—or yours—searching for the details of their benefits coverage when a decision needs to be made in the moment. However, the reality is that employees are often forced to make hasty decisions on unexpected medical appointments, prescription decisions, or urgent care. When access to benefits information is limited to antiquated methods, such as workplace portals, home computers, or print brochures, employees feel disenfranchised and helpless navigating the complexities of leveraging their benefits effectively. The result is often delaying treatment or making costly decisions, such as using out-of-network providers or accepting uncovered services. What your employees really want is an easy-to-use system that they can access anytime, anywhere. Most people already use smart phone technology to access information. Taking advantage of the convenience and versatility of mobile communications is the smartest choice for companies who want to reach their employees beyond the firewall. That’s why we created Mobile Benefits Connection™. This easy-to-use, low-cost solution empowers your employees to make smarter in-the-moment decisions any time they need to use their company benefits. Mobile Benefits Connection is a web-based app designed to function as a simple portal that allows employees instant access to all the important phone numbers, addresses, and websites associated with their benefits providers. CLICK HERE to see Mobile Benefits Connection in action, and to learn more about how this simple solution is helping employees make smarter benefits decisions year-round that save your company money, boost productivity, and foster deeper engagement.   Share...

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Is What’s Under The Hood Of Your Website Harming Your Business?

Posted on May 1, 2015 | 0 comments

If you built your website more than five years ago, and have ignored doing web maintenance or periodic website fixes ever since, chances are your website is outdated and looks a little stale. Rather than open the Pandora’s box that is re-doing your website, over the past five years you’ve managed to make it work through sheer will and determination. You’ve been lucky thus far, however, there are risks in sticking with an outdated website platform for too long. In fact, if you aren’t careful, your website might be an update away from crashing and burning. Here are a few of the common challenges that can result from outdated websites: Information overload – Wedging too much information into a site that wasn’t built to support today’s technology is just tempting fate. One more plug-in might be the very thing that wrecks your site. Unclear messaging – If you stopped thinking strategically about your site content ages ago, and continued adding every new service or offer to your site without deleting or auditing your previous offers, the resulting effect is surely a hodge-podge of information that confuses and frustrates your visitors. Lower search engine rankings – If your site was designed before 2013, odds are you didn’t bother making it mobile-friendly. More than 60 percent of all web traffic now happens on mobile devices. If your site wasn’t designed to be mobile responsive, you’ll begin to pay the price with search engines  Negative brand impression – Be honest: Are you more than a little bit embarrassed because your website looks like it was built in 1999? Remember how proud and excited you were when you launched it? When is the last time you felt confident in your website? If your visitors feel repelled rather than interested in your services when they land on your site, it’s time to get serious about website maintenance. But, before you dive in and start making random updates, we recommend you make a simple plan. Write down a wish list of the top three to five changes that would make you proud to share your site with the world again. Then, reach out and partner with a web developer. Make sure your developer works well with writers and designers, or has a strong understanding of how editorial and design principles impact your website. Clients who enlist our help to manage their weekly content updates, back-end system upgrades, and monthly traffic reports have a strong understanding of what is and isn’t working for visitors to their sites. We help them routinely analyze obstacles and make the repairs before problems snowball into an overwhelming (and costly) repair bill. Websites are a bit like your car: If you don’t change the oil regularly, your engine is eventually going to blow. And the fix won’t be cheap when it does. Chances are your site doesn’t suffer from every website affliction known to man. Most websites just need a few simple tweaks to bring them up to speed and position them to grow your business. The secret is finding the right developer with a customer-focused approach and a mind for marketing. A thorough website refresh not only makes a better brand impression and boosts your confidence as a business owner, it will attract more visitors and engage the ones who click through, comment, share, and buy.     Your website is a key element in your branding strategy; it plays a vital role in building community, wealth, and joy in your business. To find out more about how to use branding to make your business stand out in your niche,...

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5 Reasons Mobile Communications Are Smarter Than Ever

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 | 0 comments

Internal communications isn’t special. Yep, sorry. You’re not special. You are subject to the same challenges and obstacles of any other marketer vying for the attention of your employees. So, what does that mean for you? It means that your internal communications strategy must embrace the same technology and outlets that every other advertiser is using to reach your employees. The strategies and tactics of yesterday no longer apply. The days of the beautifully bound New Hire kit living on a shelf in your employee’s cubicle are behind us. The kits have been replaced with a grab bag of web links, intranet tabs, and emailed PDF’s. If your communications are living behind a firewall, only available on your company Intranet, or getting tossed into the recycle bin with all the other junk mail it may be time to go mobile. Here are five reasons a mobile platform belongs in your employee communications strategy…   Timing is everything. If you’re a good employer, your people get to go home at some point every day, right? So what happens when an employee is off site—whether that’s at home, the doctor’s office, traveling for work, or just working in the field away from a computer? Do they just get a backlog of “important” updates when they come into the office? Or are you able to reach them beyond the office walls with the tools and information they need to make the work and life decisions that impact your business? Thanks to the conveniences of modern technology we have become a culture of instant gratification. The ability to take swift action on important initiatives is a key driver in participation and the ultimate achievement of your targeted outcomes. With a mobile platform as part of your strategy you empower employees to make decisions in the moment as the needs arise so they don’t have to remember to take action later. Credibility is critical. Consistent communication between management and employees is the key to building credible and trustworthy relationships. When you leverage the simplicity and convenience of mobile tools it becomes easier to communicate with employees. When it’s easier to communicate, it happens more often. When you communicate more often the relationship improves. Your employees aren’t the only ones depending on you.  You may never see or even know some of the most influential people behind your Company. They’re behind the scenes, off-site, and they may have never stepped foot in your offices. They’re the spouses, children and families of your employees—and you can’t reach them via all-employee memo or the company Intranet. You HAVE TO go beyond the walls to reach some of the most influential people in your employees’ lives. Mobile platforms make it convenient for your employees and their families to leverage the benefits and opportunities that keep your people safe, healthy and loyal to your Company. It opens a direct line between you and the support system that keeps your people on track beyond the walls of work. Smart phones are the fastest growing platform.  The data demonstrating the furious rise in smart phone usage is undeniable: 91% of all people on earth have a mobile phone¹ 56% of people own a smart phone¹ 50% of mobile phone users, use mobile as their primary Internet source¹ 66% of emails are now opened on a smart phone or tablet² If you’re not on your employees’ smart phones, chances are you’re not being heard by 50% of your audience! Engagement. It’s the holy grail of HR goals. Engaged employees are the drivers of our businesses. They make our lives easier by showing up,...

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