Web Design Notes: Slideshows Add Functionality and Feature to your Website

Web Design Notes: Slideshows add functionality and features to your website

You’ve seen slideshows a million times, but do you realize how important these slideshow images are to feature content and products on your website?

What is a slideshow & why should you add one to your website?

A slideshow is a group of images or text statements that are displayed across your website in a manner that allows them to attract attention. They are normally larger images that display across the page and will switch out every so many milliseconds.

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Example of a slideshow above

Simply adding a slideshow that moves on your page, catches the human eye. By catching the eye of the website visitor, you now have their attention which allows you to say to your visitor “Hey, look at this cool new product!” or “We have a sale going on!”… or whatever you’d like it to say.

By adding a slideshow to your web pages, you are effectively telling your visitors what is important for them to look at, and what is important for you to communicate to them.

Popular ways to use an image slideshow on your website:

  • Promote a product, either new or sale item
  • Promote a sales or service promotion
  • Direct the visitor to important information or company alerts
  • Feature an article or showcase expert content that will provide information, like a blog or technical guide.
  • Showcase a design portfolio

Slideshows allow you to showcase your products & services, as well as content a visitor may be interested in.

A slideshow on your website homepage or shopping cart attracts visitors and directs their attention to what you want to promote to them. You will normally see an immediate bump in your website traffic to those products or pages, and hopefully, if you communicate it properly, a bump in sales.

Contact me and let’s start making your website the best it can be by adding a slideshow to promote your products, services or content.

Contact Lisa Caterbone, Digital Marketer in Las Vegas

3 Things Every Business Needs To Start A Website

Website Design and Hosting in Las Vegas, NV

I get a lot of clients who have never built a website before. They don’t have any idea of where to start and they need some advice on how to get their business online. They normally have been referred to me by one of my clients who feels confident referring them to me because I’ve helped get their business online. It’s always an honor to be referred and it’s one I do not take lightly.

The normal process for me to help my customers is to schedule a call or meeting and find out about their business. I then walk them through the basics of what they will need in order for them to have a website.

These are the basic items any business needs if they plan on having a website. I won’t go into too much detail as I will save that for a later post, but just knowing up front what the important items are to have a website for your business is the first step, and if this helps to guide you on your journey, I’m glad to have helped.

3 THINGS EVERY BUSINESS NEEDS TO START A WEBSITE:

When you decide you need a website for your company there are a few key items you will need to do before you can ‘open for business’.

1. BUY / REGISTER A DOMAIN NAME

The domain name is the ‘address’ to your business web site. If you comparing a website to a house, the domain name would be the address, i.e. 8000 Badura Ave. In the case of a website, it would be netmouser.com.

Domain names should be easy to remember and identifiable. Many times I consult with my clients and tell them to think of any of the following ideas:

  • Your company name
  • Your business products and services
  • Keywords that you identify your business with
  • Your location
  • Combination of any of these ideas above

If you own a business that provides trophies and awards, you may want to include keywords in your domain to capture the searches for people looking for trophies or awards. However, there are so many businesses that handle this service nationwide, so you may want to narrow it down by including the city or your business name. For example, one of my clients provides awards that recognize outstanding achievement to schools, businesses, etc… Their company name is Desert Wind Engraving & Awards. When you hire a professional digital marketer like me, I will do a domain search (similar to a business name dba search) that will show me what domains are available that may match your business, business products or services and / or location. I give you a listing of these domains available at the time of my search and we go over what we think will be best for your business. In the example above, we chose the business name ‘Desert Wind’ with a keyword ‘Awards’ so their domain name is DesertWindAwards.com.

Try thinking about your business, your services and products you offer, along with your location and then go to Netmouser’s Domain Registration service and try some domain name searches to see if there is something available that you like. If so, register it and that’s the first step to take in creating a website.

2. WEB HOSTING

Going back to the example of comparing a website to a house, the web hosting would be the land or foundation you build your house on. You can’t have a house without land to build it on, can you?

Web hosting is the ‘space’ you need to build your website. This ‘space’ is a virtual space that resides on a physical web server in another location somewhere in the world. There are different types of web hosting plans based on what your needs are, where and who you host with, but the main thing you need to know is you will need a web hosting plan. Netmouser has dedicated servers we use to host our client’s websites. When you hire me, I will set up all of your website hosting needs for you so you don’t have to worry about it. Web hosting plans are essential, and without it, you can’t have a website.

3. WEBSITE DESIGN & PROGRAMMING / CODED PAGES

Now that you have your ‘address and land’ for your website, you actually need to build or construct the house… in this case your website. To do this, I will create a custom design for my client and then code it out using programming language that displays on the web. We upload the files to your web hosting plan and then, when someone types in your domain name (or address), your website is displayed. Without the coded files, you just have a blank virtual space.

When you are ready to create a website, it’s best to hire a professional digital marketer so you can insure the website is coded properly and with marketing principles for SEO (search engine optimization) so your site has a better chance to be indexed in a search engine like Google when someone is searching for your products or services.

SUMMARY

These are the three required items you NEED to start a website. There are more items that we will discuss in the near future that make your website structure and marketing efforts more effective, like SEO, shopping carts to sell your products, videos, etc… but for now, these are the three basic items you need to get your business on the web.

CONTACT ME

If you need help with your company website, please, contact me! I love helping companies set up their businesses online and would love to speak with you.

Contact Lisa Caterbone, Digital Marketer in Las Vegas

4 Website Content + SEO Ideas You Can Do During The Coronavirus (Covid-19) Downtime

Bored? Check out these 4 Website Content & SEO Ideas to do during the Covid-19 Downtime

These content marketing and SEO audit ideas can help to make a few hours (or days) go by, as well as help your search engine ranking pages.

We all know that the Coronavirus threw us a curve and forced us out of our normal routines, creating havoc on our otherwise organized lifestyles. I know some of you may have had to temporarily close down your businesses as we await the ‘flattening of the curve’ and our Governor’s issues to re-open. During this downtime, one of the best things you can do is take a look at your current website’s content and make some easy tweaks that can help your overall SEO strategy and SERP’s (pages displayed by search engines in response to a query by a user.)

  1. CONTENT UPDATES TO YOUR PAGES
    This may seem like a daunting task, but you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be if you just sit down and tackle it. Click page by page on your website and look at the copy on your pages. Look for the following:
    • Make updates to existing copy if outdated.
      Everyone’s business changes throughout the years. If you haven’t taken a look at your content to make sure it’s updated with your current business goals and services, now is a great time to make these content updates.
    • Website Structure and Navigation
      Look at the navigation links from a potential visitor’s point of view. Does the way you display your linking structure make sense and is it easy to navigate your website? If not, make some changes. You want the user to be able to come onto any page and know exactly how to get the information on the next pages they want to view. It sounds silly, but sometimes what seems obvious to you is not quite so obvious to a visitor.
    • Check all your outbound article or content links to make sure they work and are going to the right places.
      When you link to an outside website, it normally means that you value their content and want the visitor to also get value from that source. Many times a business will change their website and pages and links that were on the old site could change. If you are linking to any outbound source, click the links in your content and make sure they still go to the pages or information you want to share. If not, go to the outbound site’s website homepage and find the new link, or remove the link altogether if it no longer exists. Broken links can be very frustrating for both website owners as it looks like your site is not working properly, and visitors don’t like to waste their time clicking on links that go nowhere.

  2. ADD IMAGES TO YOUR PAGES FOR DESIGN + SEO
    Adding images to your text heavy pages can help break up the monotony of the text, and can also be a great value to your SEO. Many business owners don’t realize that adding images to your site can actually enhance your SEO. Images are helpful because they add the ability to capture attention and you can add key SEO information to the code of the website that directs search engine bots like Google and Bing, the ability to know what that image is. Remember, searchbots can’t read a picture, but they can read text. By adding SEO code to your image, you are providing valuable content to searchbots to know what that image is and the context of the image on the page:
    • Alt-Text: Alt-text is shortened for Alternate Text. It is an attribute for an image in HTML that is used to help searchbots know what your image is so it can better crawl your website and know your relevant content information. It’s also helpful for sight-impaired visitors and is used by screen reading tools to describe the images. One other key value to Alt-Text is it will display on your page if an image fails to load on a visitor’s screen.
    • Image Title: An image title attribute is shown with the image, normally when you hover over the image as a tooltip.
    • Image Caption: An image caption will display publicly to your visitor and can provide you the ability to detail what the specific photo is and who is in it.

  3. RE-FORMAT YOUR PAGE LAYOUTS TO INCLUDE BULLET POINTS AND NUMBERED LISTS.
    A page full of words without any images and formatting display options like bullet points and numbered lists may have great, important information, but… when you change the layout and make it easier to read, people may ‘stick around’ longer and read your whole article. Visitors normally like to skim a page and read ‘chunks’ of information.

    Give the visitor an ‘easy to digest’ page layout; they will read more and become more familiar with your business or service because they read more of the content.

  4. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CLEAR CTA (CALL TO ACTION) ON ALL YOUR PAGES.
    In marketing you have what is called a CTA or Call to Action. The CTA is an item or event that is designed to influence your visitor to complete an action. CTA’s can be many things:
    • You may want a visitor of your ecommerce store to purchase a product. A Buy Now button or Add to Cart button is a call to action.
    • Asking a user of your website to contact you is a CTA.
    • If your business relies heavily on someone filling out a contact form to engage, make that contact form stand out on the page as a call to action.
    • If you want the phone to ring after someone views a page on your website, add a phone icon to the page with your phone number and make it a clickable link so that it rings your business when they click it.
    • If you have a new product and you are wanting to entice users to learn more about it, add a video to your website as a call to action to learn more about the product. CTA’s are vital in getting visitors to do what you want them to do when they visit your website.

      CTA’s are best done when they are clearly defined and laid out on your page.

Need help with your content marketing & SEO? Call me or fill out my contact form. I’d be happy to work with you and develop a marketing strategy for your business website.