Tag Archives: SEO

The Heroes Within: Why Hero Banners can Save Your Target Audience from Boredom

The Heroes Within_Why Hero Banners can Save Your Target Audience from Boredom

Having a business is a commitment made long before we created our own brand. Why? That’s because before creating the brand itself, we must plan everything from the start; what steps do we need to take? What are the important elements that can help in running a business? How do we keep the business running smoothly? Yes, keeping a business is like guarding kids so that they won’t disappear on us. For that reason, many business owners take those important elements in developing a business very seriously. One of them is having a website. Nowadays, the majority of businesses use websites to increase their credibility and work performance. Are you a business owner? Or are you someone who works for a business? Keep reading if you need to know more about this in this article!

The use of a website is not a common thing anymore when it comes to business, because a website is important in many ways, as using it can help with so many things as well. First, with a website, people can see how reliable your business is, and with a website, it can also help with SEO process which can let you be more visible on the internet so that your target audience can find you. That being said, having a website alone doesn’t mean the task is miraculously done. There are also essential elements that can create functional and good quality website that can boost its performance. One of them that will be discussed today in this article is web design. Web design will basically determine how your website looks like and how it can impact your sales. With trends increasing, one more trend can save the day; hero banner.

What is hero banner and why does it become the “it”?

When you visit a website and you see a large centred image right below the navigation bar, it is most likely that the website you are visiting is using a hero banner. Hero banner is basically a large image with high quality resolution that is placed right at the centre of the webpage intended for “centre of attention” purposes. When users are visiting your website, it is common for them to get bored after some time, for that reason, the large image can somehow generate at least the feelings of wanting to stay longer browsing your website. Here are the reasons why hero banners can become the hero of your website.

Hero banners can give a sense of validity and reliability

Using a hero banner that includes real people photos or visual content with high quality can give a sense of legitimacy and reliability. However, don’t use stock photos that will likely give you completely opposite results. Something like this can become a good example for that.

web design tips

Or you can also go with this.

web design tips 2

Hero banners can evoke emotion

If your website is about charity event, using the right image as the hero banner with the right content writing can also evoke emotions from your visitors. Below is the example of the positive impact of a donation expressed in one single high quality image.

hero banner tips

Hero banners can build trust

You can boost your business credibility by building trust with a message included in a large image of a hero banner. That message would be nothing if not followed by a hero banner that will boost the value of the message. See the examples below.

hero banner tips 2

web design idea

Hero banners are great for increasing conversion

Simply put, hero banners are more engaging than its predecessors. It is because most people are highly visual. That’s why having high quality imagery at the top of your page can help create a positive first impression. If you do it well by directing visitors with the right message, you can:

  • Help a visitor intuitively find the desired content on a website
  • Give a visitor more control over what is being viewed
  • Provide complete content so that visitors can find it easily

The bottom line, hero banners are highly captivating.

Being the first thing to be seen by visitors when they are accessing your website, hero banner has chances of enhancing everything on the website just by one look at it, making it almost impossible for visitors to leave your page right away. If you are a business owner thinking about making a website for your business, it is highly recommended for you to include hero banner for your website design. Not only will it entertain people who visit your website, but it also gives you the positive impact on your business, as it can increase your popularity as well as build trust between your business and your potential customers. If you need more information about web design, feel free to contact us and our team will be ready to help you.

Sign of the Times: When You Should Redesign Your Website

Sign of the Times_ When Should You Redesign Your Website

It’s immensely hard to keep up with the rapid pace of development in technology. Moore’s law, the assertion made in the 70’s form Intel’s co-founder Gordon Moore that the number of transistors inside an integrated circuit would double every two years, has been proven true in the last 4 decades or so, with Intel themselves finally putting the brakes just a couple years ago. In layman’s terms, Moore’s law states that technology advances at an exponential rate, instead of going 1-2-3-4-5; it goes 1-2-4-8-16.

Here’s an illustration. Say a 20-year old college kid from 2018 is transported back to the 1998. See how well he could cope with a 56k dial-up connection, no WhatsApp, no Maps and music that only came in discs. Now take a 20-year old college kid from 1998 and transport him back to 1978 and see how he’d do. Sure, adapting to DOS instead of Windows might take some time but all-in-all; I’m willing to bet he’s coping much better compared to the one from 2018.

Moore’s law from the perspective of web development

In the world of web development, which hadn’t even properly existed 2 decades ago, the rate of progress is just as rapid. First, we’ve got simple static webpages, then as functionality get added into the web, the term web application entered our vernacular. Palm and other personal digital assistants included a native web browser in their repertoire but it wasn’t until iPhone 3G came out with Safari on board that mobile web browsing was finally considered seriously.

In the last few years, we’ve had responsive web design and progressive web apps emerging as more proof in how the mobile web experience has emerged as the primary platform. Even though the world hasn’t fully adapted to this trend yet, our tech overlords have begun implementing VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) into the web with the goal of further enhancing the mobile web experience. This begs the question, just how often companies have to redesign their website to keep up with this?

To update or to redesign?

What’s broken can always be fixed, but what’s fixed will always be broken. Very zen-like isn’t it? What this means is that even though you can update your website as often as you would to keep up with the latest development, at some point you’re going to have to pull the plug and start over from scratch. Some changes are so fundamental that it’s more efficient to head back to the drawing board instead of adding more things to your current website.

The problem is, knowing precisely when to redesign your website is somewhat of a puzzle. Website redesign takes an incredible amount of work and even if you have the best of intentions, it is rarely, if ever, taken well by the users. It can be slightly disheartening to see that your meticulously planned redesign is responded with a Change.org petition from your users asking you to reconsider your design.

Times you have to consider a redesign

While the word redesign itself implies an aesthetic rework, a web redesign isn’t exclusively about looks. Google for example still uses the same basic aesthetics they’ve used in the last 15 years or so but the results page have gone through a lot of changes, additions and other improvements compared to the one I used for homework in middle school. In fact, there are other times that signify when you should redesign your website, as detailed below:

  • Due to technological progress

Some technological advancement is mainstream enough for the public to recognize. Some, while bringing much-needed improvements into how website works, are strictly limited to lines of codes. VR and AR are examples of the former while things relating to Javascript, like React and Node, are examples of the former.

Just because they’re not immediately visible to the naked eye though, doesn’t mean they don’t warrant a redesign. The under-the-hood improvements they bring are usually useful enough to at least consider a redesign.

  • Your website pales in comparison to your competitor’s

Either aesthetically or functionally, if one or more of your competitors’ website has started to outshine your website, that’s your cue to start considering a redesign. If you’re not in the habit of checking your competitor’s website, then you might want to start now. I’ve heard cases of businesses not taking seriously the importance of checking your competition before it’s too late.

For an actual case study, look at what happened to car manufacturers in America. They haven’t paid much attention to Tesla in the early years and now Tesla’s network of electrical charging station, the aptly-named Supercharger, is the envy of the industry. Website redesign takes time so the cost of not realizing just how far ahead your competitors are in front of you is going to get amplified.

  • Due to increasingly critical feedback from users

If you’re not receiving any feedback at all, have the non-technical member of your team/company or anyone else you know who’s not as technologically savvy to test your website and act as some sort of a beta tester. It is important you hear some feedback from someone who isn’t part of the industry as they are a rough representative of the typical user.

  • Your website stops working properly

This is pretty obvious but if your website starts showing broken image icons instead of the actual images, then it’s time to consider a redesign. That’s the downside of constantly updating your website, the underlining code would just get stressed to a point that it would start to slow down and eventually stops working properly.

  • Your business has experienced some recent growth and/or changes

Case in point, Netflix. Netflix started in the late 90’s as a DVD rental business but then pivoted into a video streaming service back in 2007 and now regularly makes their own films and series on top of acquired programming. Obviously, when you switched from mailing DVDs out to your customer to a YouTube-like service, your website is going to need rebuilding from the ground up, which they duly did.

One last thing to note, a website redesign has to be properly planned. Even after the design and development process is done, do not implement this right away, publish it locally first and have your team works out all the kinks before going publicly live. Take note of the case of Microsoft and their problematic Windows updates. One of their recent updates apparently bricked some customer’s PC, forcing users to rollback to previous version of Windows.

Perpendicular Search: The Difference between Horizontal and Vertical Search

Perpendicular Search_The Difference between Horizontal and Vertical Search

Do you remember how Google was way back in 2004? I still do. The internet was still relatively new to my 14-year-old self back then that I still somewhat vaguely remember how Google search engine results page (SERP) look like back then. It was a couple of years after my family switched to a proper broadband connection after years of intimate struggles with dial-up and thanks to my sterling grades at the time, I was finally given a computer of my own.

Horizontal and vertical search

Right now, when I type in the word ‘Mission Impossible’ into Google, the SERP will be populated by a smorgasbord of different types of content. The right hand side is filled with what is known as Google’s knowledge card, displaying details about the first film in the series such as posters and screenshots, synopsis, cast members and other relevant search queries. The actual SERP lists Wikipedia and IMDB entries on the film and the series as a whole, news updates on the new Mission Impossible: Fallout film and trailer for that same film, plus suggestions at the bottom for other Mission Impossible films, films featuring Tom Cruise and other action films.

Had I typed in the exact same word on Google 14 years ago, all I’d get would just be articles. Wikipedia entries and IMDB entries and maybe the Rottentomatoes page of the first film would pop up in the results. If I want to look up some images on the film, I’d have to switch to Google image search and if I want to see a trailer for the film, I’d have to pop over into YouTube. Google and search engines in general have come a long way in the past 14 years.

This current version of Google search engine that we have right now uses what is called a universal or horizontal search. It pulls in contents from across all four corners of the internet, blending web pages, images, videos, news etc to provide you with the most wide-ranging result possible. The Google search from 2004 uses what is now called a vertical search, in that it only covers web pages while image and video search is covered by Google image search and YouTube. Understanding this difference and how to utilize it is crucial in understanding how SEO services work.

The universal reach of horizontal search

It is referred to as such because horizontal search is wide-ranging but shallow and would cover any topics relating to your search query. All of the major search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo, fall under this umbrella. Generally, when someone is starting the search process for a particular object/subject, a horizontal search engine is what they start with. A horizontal search won’t always give you the answer to what you’re looking for but they can always be relied upon to point you in the right direction.

The laser-like focus of vertical search

In contrast, a vertical search is a narrow but deep look into a subject by limiting coverage into a single type of content, website or even a geographical region. There are a huge number of examples for a vertical search engine. YouTube and Vimeo for videos, Google image search for images, Google scholar for scientific journals and the search function in Amazon are several examples. If a website has a built-in search function then that particular site could qualify as a vertical search engine. Due to the specialized nature of vertical search, this is usually employed when a user already knows what they’re searching for.

So, which to optimize for?

In short, both. Using Google as an example, the SERP would display local search results depending on the query, which means that if you optimize for Google you can kill two birds with one stone, optimizing for both horizontal and vertical search. The tricky thing is in dealing with specialized websites as depending on the field of business, there can be a lot to choose from. For food alone for example, you’ve got Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor and even Facebook in addition to Google reviews. You have your work cut out to maintain your presence across all of those platforms.

E-commerce is where things might get a little complicated. Due to the sheer number of items available in those sites, retail giants like Amazon with their own search algorithm and SEO methods. When you start peddling your goods across different retail sites, optimizing for each would be difficult so focusing on a select few or even just one is advisable. If you operate your own website on top of that, you’re going to have to decide which takes priority in your SEO efforts.