How to Transform Your Contact Page Into One of the Most Valuable Pages on Your Website

By | Marketing, Online Marketing, Web Site Design | No Comments

online-formWhen done correctly, a simple contact form that captures your visitors interests can turn into one of the most valuable pages of your website.

Why You Need a Contact Form

The contact form, also known as an inquiry form, is designed to capture the interest of your visitor and will allow you to prioritize and research the lead once you get the form information.

Most out-of-the-box contact forms have just a few fields and lack compelling information to encourage the visitor to complete the form.

Where to Link the Contact Form

As a best practice the contact form should linked on the main navigation. It should not be buried as a sub-menu item under the About Us page or any other page. Most importantly, it should be linked with an action button from your main services or product pages. The benefit being, while the visitor is on a page of interest, they are visually encouraged to go to the contact page. See example below.

Designing Your Contact Page for Results

I hear many clients claim “no one will ever fill out a form”. That is totally untrue. We live in a 24 x 7 world, and prospects, at all hours of the day, what to check that one item off their list. That item might be inquiring about your products or services.

Here are a few tips to consider when designing and creating your contact form:

  1. Provide at least one introductory sentence to the form. Tell your visitor why they should complete the form and what is the benefit to them.
  2. Reassure them the form is quick and easy to complete and information will not be shared.
  3. Ask the most important qualifying questions; Name, title, company, email, phone, website, area of interest, timeframe and budget. These important fields should be required and not optional.
  4. Don’t bother asking how they heard about your company.
  5. Don’t include too many open ended questions, where the user has to type an answer.
  6. Utilize drop-down choices or radio buttons to speed the form completion process.
  7. Keep your form to 10 fields or less.
  8. Generate a friendly Thank You page that will tell the visitor when you will be getting back to them.

Integrate Your Contact Form

You can easily set up Google Conversion Tracking on your contact form within your Google Analytics. This will allow you to measure how many forms have been completed and the source of the visitor.

If you are using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System to track leads and sales activity, the form results can be integrated into the CMS. Web-to-Lead forms efficiently simplify the process of capturing visitor information from your website and getting it directly into your CRM system. This insures accuracy of lead information, speedy follow-up and eliminates having to re-keystroke lead information.

Good design along with careful selection of the form fields can make a big difference both to the user experience and your company’s bottom line.

Four Telltale Signs Your Website is Hurting Your Sales and What You Can Do About It

By | NJ Web Design, Web Site Design, WordPress | No Comments

Original article authored by Barbara Zaccone was published in the Summer 2016 Issue of the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO) Bottom Line Newsletter.

Website salesPoor First Impressions Lead to Visitors Abandoning Your Website

Visitors abandon websites for any number of reasons, including poor design, outdated content, crazy colors, poor quality images, images that don’t relate to the message, and of course, content (messaging) that has visitors guessing about what your company offers. The list goes on and on—but to keep things simple, let’s focus on the top four telltale signs that your website is hurting your sales.


Website Suffering From Old AGE

Let’s start with the most basic question: How old is your website? If it’s five years or older, you’ve already crossed over into the “my site is hurting my business” zone. So much has changed in five years. Just think of the cell phone you were using five years ago (hint: slide out keyboard or Blackberry). Besides, in April 2015, because of a strong mobile marketplace, Google announced that search results on mobile devices would favor mobile friendly websites. Now mobile friendly websites are getting the attention they deserve. If you are not sure if your site is mobile friendly, give it the ole Google mobile friendly test.

THE FIX: Build a new website and make sure it’s mobile friendly.


Cluttered Home Page

You know what a cluttered home page looks like when you land on one because you want to get out of there—fast. So, if your home page contains 10 or more tabs, call out boxes, small pictures,
lots of text, side bars, sliders with buttons, and way too many choices—this is a sign of an old and cluttered website. Because too many choices confuse visitors, they’ll hit the back button. Today’s style is modern, clean, and uncluttered. Large meaningful images should complement the content. For easier home page navigation, cut down on the number of tabs and choices. Today’s sites are lean and mean, and the eye is always drawn to a clear CALL TO ACTION.

THE FIX: For a cost-effective and professional design, you can choose from hundreds of popular WordPress premium themes. A theme can be customized by a professional developer, giving you a site that is true to your brand.


No Social Media

You can argue until the cows come home that you don’t feel social media applies to your business, or you don’t have the time to do it. But businesses are run by people, and people spend more time on social media then ever before. Social media influences buying decisions, broadens your reach, and is an important part of your overall online presence. If you don’t have any social media sharing icons or feeds on your website, here’s what it says about your business: “Don’t connect with us. We are unapproachable—not friendly. There is nothing new going on in our company. We have nothing to share. Leave us alone.”

THE FIX: At a bare minimum you should have a company LinkedIn profile. Then, depending on your audience, pick one or two other platforms. Top choices include Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and Instagram. Go narrow and go deep.


Imagine what a professional, lean, clean, and mobile friendly website can do to add credibility to your organization and showcase your capabilities. A different user experience could get that phone ringing. There’s no better time then NOW to get started.

WordPress Site Maintenance

How to Maintain Your WordPress Website. What You Need to Know.

By | WordPress | No Comments

Once you are up and running with your WordPress website you’ll need to determine routine maintenance tasks needed to keep your site running at optimal performance. You can use the list below to get started.  Your decision should be based upon your availability, technical expertise, comfort with WordPress and budget. Typical maintenance tasks include:

  • Proactive WordPress updates
  • Proactive WordPress theme updates
  • Proactive WordPress plugin updates
  • Testing
  • Changes to content and image galleries
  • Performance optimization
  • Technical support
  • Security

For worry-free maintenance and support, many organizations choose to have their website professionally managed.

Benefits of a Professionally Managed WordPress Website

Peace of mind is the #1 benefit. Knowing that someone is watching your web site and taking care of it, while you are running your business. Benefits include:

  • Peace of mind and hassle free.
  • Best prevention for getting your site hacked.
  • A functioning website.  A broken site looses revenue.
  • Speed up your site
  • Increase search engine traffic.  A broken site hurts traffic and search engine ranking.

WordPress Managed Services

If you think of WordPress as a cloud based solution, you can easily understand the benefits of outsourcing support and upgrades.  Popular business cloud based solutions include Quickbooks Online, Salesforce, Google Analytics, FedEx, Adobe Creative, Dropbox and more.  These application services remove the business owner or manager from the day to day maintenance of  the application. According to Business Insider “Companies today use on average 16 cloud apps at work”.  So WordPress managed services are like any other managed service solution.

BZA’s WordPress support services can eliminate site maintenance burden. Not only will this save you time and money, but you’ll have a quality website that represents your business. The result _ giving you more time to focus on your business.

The best time to get started in now. 

BZA Launches WordPress WooCommerce Website for Artifacts by Design

By | Ecommerce, WooCommerce, WordPress | No Comments

Artifacts by Design, ceramics studio run by Peter Syak, produces gallery-quality Raku, custom-made ceramic tiles, functional tableware, pots, bowl, wall plaques and more . In addition to selling his Raku works of art, Syak also offers hand building and firing workshops at his studio in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

BZA built the Artifacts by Design website on the popular WordPress platform. We selected WooCommerce, which is built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress. WooCommerce currently powers over 37% of all online stores.

artifacts-hp-whole

BZA provided personalized training on the WordPress and WooCommerce admin dashboard that allows the client to update the product catalog, process orders and print shipping labels.

Be sure to check out his amazing artwork at Artifacts by Design.

BZA guided me through the process of developing a drop dead gorgeous site and made my work look fabulous.  _ Peter Syak, Raku Wizard

 

BZA Launches Ecommerce Website for Petunia Peacock -Vintage Chanel Jewelry

By | BigCommerce, Ecommerce | No Comments

Lori Frances, owner of Petunia Peacock turned her passion and love for vintage Chanel Jewelry into an business.  As a collector for over 10 years, Lori is a expert in acquiring and selling authentic vintage Chanel jewelry.

After extensive research Lori hired BZA to build to build an commerce website that would allow her customers to securely purchase jewelry within her collection.  As her collection is alway changing, it was important that Lori be able to update inventory in real time.  BZA provided personalized training that allowed Lori to easily update her online collection of jewelry.

Petunia Peacock BigCommerce WebsiteBuilt on the BigCommerce platform, the site is mobile friendly and has many features typical found on enterprise solutions.  BZA is an authorized BigCommerce Partner.

About BigCommerce

BigCommerce is the leading ecommerce platform for fast-growing and mid-market brands. According to analysis conducted by market research firm Ipsos, online stores built on BigCommerce grow approximately twice as fast as the ecommerce industry average. BigCommerce’s cloud-based platform enables merchants such as Dorco, Gibson, Martha Stewart, Saint Heron, Toyota and Travelpro to cost-effectively grow their businesses with more traffic, higher conversion and superior performance. BigCommerce supports clients from its headquarters in Austin, Texas, and offices in San Francisco and Sydney. For more information, visit BZA.com.

Four Easy Ways to Find Inspiration for Your WordPress Blog

By | Blogging for Business, WordPress | No Comments

It’s not alway ease to come up with news and blog content that is going to be interesting to your readers. Many website owners feel they have little to share.  With these four simple tips you’ll be on your way to developing great content in the least amount of time.

Facebook Feed

Your Facebook feed is packed daily with articles and content that is relevant to your business (because you’ve selected people and organizations to follow).  As your feed passes by day after day, notice how you can never find a post that was once there? Now, when you find a post that might make a great article, you are going to hit the little arrow to the upper right of the post and hit Save Link.  In no time you will have a collection of topics that you might want to write about.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free online clipping service that allow you to monitor topics (via keywords or phrases)  that are of interest to you on the web.  Instead of having to scan the Internet for new and fresh ideas you’ll find that inspiration for new blogposts right in your inbox.

Google News

Let’s say there is a new development or technology in your industry and you want to know how others are reacting for your inspiration. Instead of just searching in the Google search box, search News, Search Tools, and select your time period.  The example below shows the news list results for Facebook Live over the past week. Which actually might be one of my next blog posts.

Industry Events

Trade shows and conferences are a great resource in which to obtain relevant topics in your industry. If you can’t attend a conference, review the agenda and workshop titles and descriptions to get some good relevant article ideas.

Barbara Zaccone Featured in MidJersey Business Magazine

By | BZA News | No Comments

Barbara Zaccone, President and Founder of BZA,  was recently interviewed and featured in the March 2016 issue of MidJersey Magazine. The article “Success Factors for Women in Technology Careers” highlights the career paths of six New Jersey women.

MidJersey Magazine is the magazine of the MidJersey Chamber of Commerce.  With over 1,000 member companies, the Chamber represents a workforce of more than 90,000 employees in the Central New Jersey area.

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Click to View Article

What is Wrong with the PowerBall Website? Everything.

By | NJ Web Design, Web Site Design | No Comments

By Barbara Zaccone

You would think that with over a Billion dollars in the kitty, PowerBall.com web site would have a modern look and feel along with a few bells and whistles.  But this web site is stuck back in the 2010. You might not think that is not very old, but just think of the cell phone you had five years ago.  The powerball.com web site goes against every best practice rule for web site design.

PowerBall-website

What You Can Learn What Not To Do From the PowerBall Website

The site is not mobile friendly.  It is unimaginable that a site this popular is not optimized for mobile devices and only shows a desktop version.  Quoted from their website “Powerball.com is best viewed by Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox using a screen resolution of 800 x 600 or higher.”  What about Google Chrome?

Remember the days of splash pages?  To get to the web site home page you have to click through a splash page.  That is so very 1999.

What about scrolling text.  Back in 90’s, to get a message across you would use scrolling text.  Well you can find that today on the powerball.com web site. With some many options that grab user attention like video, engaging graphics and transition sliders, there is NO reason to use scrolling text.

Confusing user interface. A good website design provides concise information and guides the visitors through intuitive navigation.  The powerball.com web site is all over the place. The visitor is blinded by so many options, it’s enough to give you a headache.

Lack of hierarchical navigation for ease of access to information.  The powerball.com home page center section contains a series of 12 equal size boxes.  What’s important? What’s priority? In addition to there are 28 home page clickable options.

Overall Poor Design.  What gives this site away is the use of backgrounds and gradients.  Back in early 2000 these were all the rage. We have gradients in the main navigation tabs, gradient site background,  gradient scrolling text background, main header pattern background and finally we have pattern backgrounds behind some of the home page center boxes. It all adds up to _________.  You can fill in the blank. A better option would be to utilized the most popular flat design style which is clean, uncluttered and the gold standard among industry design professionals.

Last and Final Pet Peeve. When was the last time you were on a reputable company website and you saw a banner ad?  Why does powerball.com need advertising revenue of their website. Crazy.

There is so much more I could add to the list.  But I think the major points above should get the point across. Good luck to all that will be in tonight’s drawing.  Feel free to share you thoughts.

Why Your Competitors Don’t Want You to Have a Blog

By | Blogging for Business | No Comments

fish2Your web site is up and running and you are proud of your accomplishment. You never thought you needed a News or Blog section on your web site because not much changes in your business and the 10 plus pages you have says enough. But your competitors think differently, they are blogging weekly, writing news articles, tips, case studies and more. They also happen to rank higher than you in Google. Let’s uncover why.

Once you understand how blogging can help your business, you can make an informed decision on whether or not to use content marketing as a business growth strategy. Blogging is content marketing. Here are the top four reasons why blogging generates business growth:

Increased Exposure – Do you want a 10 second commercial or a 30 second commercial?

A typical business website (excluding e-commerce) has between 10 and 15 pages. Each page is indexed in Google and has a chance of coming up in a search result. Want to double your chances? Double your content. Develop a content targeted blog or news post with topics and queries that would be of interest to your audience.

Self Promotion

With the right blog posts and articles, you can proudly demonstrate your expertise. You attended a conference, you shared an article, you received an award, you share a customer story, you solved a problem, you got certified, and the list goes on and on. Your blog is the perfect repository for all of the above.

An Easy Way to Get into Social Media

Does the thought of having to do social media shut your creative thoughts down? No worries, one blog post can easily be promoted on multiple social channels. The link to your blog post can be promoted on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin with a simple copy and paste. Make sure your WordPress blog is configured with a social sharing widget so visitors can share your post. Do this and you just hit the EASY button.

Email Marketing Content

You asked me to do social media and now you want me to send out an email campaign? More work? Fear not. Your one blog post that is on the website, and has been promoted on social media, is now going to be sent out to your in-house email list. Teaser copy in your email campaign links to the full article/blog post on your web site. Your productivity just skyrocketed.

In Summary

If you do it right and publish articles on a regular basis, content marketing can drive more traffic to your web site and turn visitors into customers. If you are too busy to take advantage of content marketing, let BZA help you.  Contact us today.

Zaccone to Speak to Non-profits on Creating a Great Web Site Experience

By | BZA News, NJ Web Design | No Comments

JFImagery_BZaccone 002Barbara Zaccone, President and Founder of BZA LLC will be speaking at the Community Works Princeton Annual Conference on Monday, January 25th at Princeton University. Zaccone’s topic will discuss how non-profits can increase the performance and functionality of their website. Participants will learn how to create compelling content that drives web traffic, set goals and measure results, increase donations, turn emotion into action and much more.

Each year Community Works Princeton Conference is attended by more than 400 people representing 200+ organizations. The organization serves a large diverse non-profit and volunteer community in Central New Jersey. Princeton Community Works enables non-profit boards, staff and volunteers to work together more effectively by networking, developing skills, and raising community awareness.

For event registration and more information visit the Community Works Princeton website.