10 Website Design Tips for Your Business

10 Website Design Tips for Your Business

Your 2015 business plan should include evaluating your website. It is the foundation to all of your online marketing.

Since you only get one chance to make a good first impression, it is critical that some thought is put into the design of your business website.

Today, more and more people will visit your website prior to stepping foot into your storefront or before picking up the phone and calling your business. If your website is poorly designed, chances are that you have lost a few potential customers already, potentially forever.

So what constitutes a “good” design when it comes to a website?

Here are 10 factors that contribute to having a professionally designed website that will convert leads and generate profits:

1. Make Sure Your Site is Easy to Navigate

Always keep the navigation of the site in mind when having your website designed. Your business website should be easy to get around and you should quickly be able to find the information that you are are looking for. It should be clear-cut on what customers need to do – people hate to waste their time trying to “figure out” a website. Your navigation menu should also be highly visible on all pages.

TIP: Avoid using too many main menu and sub-menu items on the navigation bar. This becomes too cumbersome on mobile devices.

2. Use Professional and Clean Color Schemes

The colors that are used to design your website should reflect your business but also be professional. Keep in mind that some colors will look different on various browsers, so choose colors that will look the same across all platforms. It is okay to be creative when it comes to your color schemes as long as they go well together and properly represent your brand.

TIP: Avoid using metallic colors online. They appear flat and discolored on web platforms, causing a disconnect with your branding and color scheme.

Resource: http://paletton.com/

3. Avoid Loud, Hard-to-Read Fonts

Make sure that you choose fonts that are easy to read. Again, some people will be using smaller screens than others and some will be viewing the website from mobile devices. If you use fonts that have bright colors and unique styles, some people may have a hard time reading them. While they may look great to you, they may become challenging for your visitors to comprehend the overall message. Being able to read the content on your site is crucial, so it is best to choose more traditional fonts. Utilize 12 pt or 14 pt size font for the body of your text.

TIP: While handwritten fonts are all the rage in design right now, the legibility of the font is poor. Stick to Serif and Sans Serif font families for the most effective font style for your site.

4. Make Your Site Easy for Visitors to Use

Along with having easy navigation, make sure your website is user-friendly. When someone visits your website they want to find out how your business can help them … and they want to find out now – not five minutes after searching your site for the information. Is your site user-friendly for those with limited computer skills? Is your contact information up-front and center or is it hidden on random pages where no one can see? Keep all of this in mind when designing your website if you want it to convert.

TIP: Minimize your menu bar through drop-downs. Keep the menu bar to one bar across the top of your website and utilize drop-downs under your menu tabs to help users more narrowly target what they are searching for without overwhelming them.

5. Place a Strong Call-to-Action on Every Page

Your call-to-action must be in a highly visible place on your site, preferably above the fold. This is the most highly visible point of the website without users having to scroll down.

Not only that, but your call to action needs to be in several locations on your site. Utilizing graphic image CTA’s is very effective and catches your readers’ attention.

Do you want your visitors to call you? Do you want them to come in to your business? Do you want them to watch an online video? Whatever you want them to do, tell them exactly that and tell them how to do it. Be sure to include your phone number in the header and footer, an email form, your address with a Google map, or whatever addition contact information they may need to get in touch with your company.

TIP: Never display your email on your website…there are robots designed to scrape emails from websites and are usually sold to spammers to email unsolicited junk mail.

6. Integrate Social Media Icons

Today, every business should be using social media.

With that being said, all your social media profiles should be accessible from your website. For each social media platform that you have an active profile on, add the icon to your website with a link to your profile and encourage people who visit your site to follow you on these platforms. This helps to increase your overall web presence, as well as gain new social followers, increasing your potential sales and profits.

TIP: It is one thing to have a social media presence, but another to be active on it. Be sure to frequently update your profiles on all platforms for maximum benefit.

Resource: If you are using WordPress as your website platform, here are two plugins to install Social Media icons on your website:

Social Share Button

Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons (Ultimate Sharing)

7. Make Sure Your Site Doesn’t Have Hang-ups

Having a reliable website that loads quickly is a must for any business these days. So when you are designing your website, make sure that you have a reliable host.

Also avoid an over-abundance of photos and videos as they can cause even the most reliable websites to run slower. It is okay to have videos and photos – just monitor the amount and their impact on your website’s performance.

Resource: If you are using WordPress as your website platform, here are two plugins to help speed up your website:

W3 Total Cache

Smush Image Compression and Optimization

8. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

When designing a website, always make sure that you are keeping mobile devices in mind. Millions of mobile users now surf the web on their mobile phones, accounting for 60 percent of search traffic. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you could be losing a lot of potential customers.

When your site takes forever to load or requires a lot of scrolling around, your visitors become frustrated and leave. It is also important to avoid Flash on your main website. Flash will not work on any Apple products so if you must have Flash on your main website, make sure that you create a stand-alone mobile website without Flash for the best results.

TIP: Most sites that require Flash have a landing page that appears on mobile devices that notify you of a redirect or provide you with an option of desktop- or mobile-friendly sites.

Resource: If you are using WordPress as your website platform and your theme is not a “Mobile Responsive” theme, there is a plugin to help make your site mobile friendly:


9. Provide Valuable, Quality Content

Simply having a visually appealing website will not cut it. The information that lies within in the website needs to be valuable, helpful, and entertaining to your visitors. Most importantly, focus on providing content that shows how your business can help your target audience.

TIP: Use Google Alerts to find relevant topics and have them delivered to your inbox. Use these topics as content generators and put your own spin on topics of interest to you and your consumer base. By generating content about topics in your own voice, your business becomes and aggregator of relevant and timely information. Your customers will consider your website a valuable resource.

10. Perform On-going SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is necessary for every website. When designing the website keep SEO in mind at all times. SEO covers a wide range of methods and strategies, but when it comes to “on-site” SEO, be sure to include page titles, meta tags, and H1 and H2 tags. SEO helps Google and the other search engines rank your webpages.

Resource: If you are using WordPress as your website platform, use these plugins to help you in optimizing your website for the search engines:

Yoast SEO

Google XML Sitemaps

There are a lot of important factors to consider when designing a website. Having a professionally designed website that is working towards generating new business is the first step in grabbing the attention of your consumers.

Do you want a website that will generate profits instead of costing you money every month with nothing to show for it?

We specialize in helping businesses connect with consumers by having a strong, profitable website. Schedule for a free, 30 minute no obligation consultation!


20 (Free) Plugins Your Business Website Needs Now

WordPress has made website creation easier than ever. No longer do you need to understand HTML, CSS, or any type of code – simply install a plugin and your website can be anything you want it to be.

But in the big world of plugins, it’s hard to determine the best ones for your site. Should you only use free plugins or are paid ones worth the investment? Will the plugin do what it says it will? Will you risk crashing your site? Or will a plugin mess up your code?

No need to fear. We researched some awesome plugins and here are 20 plugins that are worth your install and implementation on your website today.


1. Digg Digg

Display your social media icons easily and functionally for your users.


2. WordPress SEO by Yoast

Installing an SEO plugin is essential for your website. This particular plugin installs within your post creator and enables you to choose keywords and add custom titles and descriptions.


3. Hello Bar

This banner bar goes along the top of your pages. Test A/B CTAs, power words, collect emails, and more.


4. Disquis comments

Manage comments through this easy and pretty comment system. Installs right into your WordPress and makes managing spam and responses a breeze!


5. Pin It Button for Images

Pinterest is getting bigger and bigger in website referrals. Why not encourage your users to pin your images to link to your sight? It’s just an install away.


6. Editorial Calendar

Manage all your posts and schedules quickly and easily in one location through the Editorial Calendar plugin. Drag posts around to reschedule and manage other users schedules, as well.


7. WP Hide Post

Hide a post through a simple click. This may be beneficial to help hide RSS feeds or on main index pages for content you want to use for specific purposes that may not be beneficial for your immediate audience.


8. Scroll Triggered Box

If you use Buffer at all, you will notice that when you scroll on a page, a box will pop up. Use as a great call to action and help increase your user engagement through is free plugin.


9. MyTweetLinks

This is kind of cool – enter a quote or soundbite into the post editor and it will generate tweets that users can tweet if they liked the post at the bottom of the post page.


10. Filament

Manage several apps – including Google Analytics for your website – all through this one simple plugin dashboard. Worth a try if you are running several apps on your website.


11. SumoMe

Help your users share content they like on your posts. Do this through images or highlighted text.


12. Click To Tweet

Allow users to tweet quotes or soundbites through pull quotes on your page.


13. WooDojo

Dress up your post pages through nifty side bar additions and creative flair through widgets. Definitely a step-up from standard theme-created sidebars.


14. Jetpack

Get analytic reporting without having to go anywhere else but your website dashboard. In addition, get 33 other tools all bundled together in one useful package, including things like share tools and related posts.


15. upPrev

Showcase related posts or any post you want within the sidebar of your posts. Takes the guesswork out of WordPress linking your posts.


16. Custom Login

This one can be just for fun – personalize your login page with fun images (or professional) by user.


17. Contact Form 7

Create a solid contact page for your business – an essential part of any professional website.


18. Slideshow Gallery

Display your images in a creative a eye-appealing manner through a slideshow option. Easy to insert and runs with shortcodes.


19. Thank Me Later

No longer worry about getting back to your commenters in a quick response time. Let your website do that for you! Set up to have your website automatically email commenters a thank you upon submitting a comment.


20. GTMetrics

Look at how you site is performing… not from an analytics point, but from a speed point. See where your site is slowing you down to help improve user experience.



Still unsure the best way to manage your plugins for your website. Let Maximize help you today by contacting us w

WordPress Tips and Tricks for Any Type of User

WordPress Tips and Tricks for Any Type of User

Whether you are a sound WordPress user or a novice just jumping onto the online media train, WordPress is a great solution for business websites. Offering free and paid themes with easy customization methods, you can make your website unique to your audience all with a few simple clicks and a couple of short codes.

However, we might think we know everything there is to know about WordPress or may want to know more. Here are just a few tips and tricks we can offer about how you can maximize your experience through WordPress for your business.

Understand HTML vs. WordPress shortcodes

Depending on your level of experience in web design, you may be someone whose mind can operate in HTML, CSS, and JQuery. If you are not one of these people, this is where WordPress has figured it out for you. Through introducing shortcodes, designers with limited knowledge of coding can turn any webpage into a custom work of digital art.

Since most themes come with their own set of shortcodes (and often a link in the toolbar to use these), we won’t spend a ton of time talking about individual shortcodes. Just know that to access these, you will often find a button in your toolbar on your Add New Post page to insert a shortcode wherever your cursor resides.

On the other hand, you can do some editing through HTML in the text editor option on the Add New Post page. Just select the text editor tab on the top right of the edit box and have all your visual edits rewritten into type. This may be confusing at first. A few quick coding hints:

<br> or <p> act as breaks or paragraph inserts.

<a href=””> is a link for an image or a website.

<em>,<strong> are types of font styles (italicized and bold).

Most things like videos you will insert through Youtube can be done through the text editor option by selecting the share button on Youtube and clicking the code option, copying the code, and pasting it where you want the video link in your coded text. There are several other advantages to working in the text editor, but if you work better with the visual tab, use it first for laying out your page and the text editor for tweaks in page layout.

Schedule posts so you don’t neglect your site

In the hustle and bustle of business, it’s easy to forget your website posts. Spend one or two days a week creating your content for your site and schedule it to post periodically throughout the week. Then you do not have to think about creating content every day.

When a post posts to your website, you can also link your website to your social media to push out posts as they publish. You can do this through settings.

Optimize search through URLs and Page titles

Search engines are only computers, which means they are programmed to only look for certain things when asked to perform a search for content. What you need to take away from this is to be mindful of word use in your page titles and URLs to increase your search optimization.

For instance, keep your titles short. Search engines are notorious for overlooking long titles, so try to keep things short and to the point. In addition, nix words like and/or/a/the and other short words from your URL to help shorten it and make it more easily searchable. Try to do all of your permalink and title editing before your page goes live to help with disabling broken links, a publisher’s worst nightmare. An easy fix: using the WordPress Permalinks built-in field at the top of your editing page to tidy up links before you publish.

Utilize WordPress Editor

More than likely you will be spending the majority of your time here. So here are some of the best practices for using the editor to its greatest potential for your site:

Use Spellcheck

This is already a part of the editor if you choose to use it. You can manually select it before you publish or turn it on full time while editing.

 Remove Formatting

This is essential when copying text from one location to the other since it can ruin your entire page layout. Simply highlight the copied text and click the Remove Formatting button in your Kitchen Sink (or toolbar).

Shift +Return

This creates a line break as opposed to a paragraph break, especially helpful for keeping header and body content close together.

Back to shortcodes

This is where you will find all the shortcodes you could possibly imagine. Look in your Kitchen Sink for help, or know these to give you a quick upper hand in editing:

Control + b= bold

Control + i= italics

Control + u= underline

Control + 1= heading 1

Control + 2= heading 2

Control + 3= heading 3

Control + 4= heading 4

For more keys, click the help button in the text editor (denoted with a question mark) and select the “Hotkeys” option.

Warrant Authorship within a post

Be sure to effectively attribute authorship to posts when publishing them on your site. Who actually wrote the article? This can be easily done through the bottom post plugin titled author. Select the drop down menu to indicate who should be labeled as writing the post. We also recommend assigning writers for your company attributes that Google will recognize and attribute your content to your blog/website. You can get instructions on this from Google: ——> link to https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2539557?hl=en

Search your library more effectively

Can’t remember if you wrote about SEO or the benefits of blogging last month? By searching your library, you can just enter in a key word to see if you did. How can you more effectively search your library? Go into Settings > Media > uncheck “Organize my posts into month- and year-based folders.”

Clean up the overall look

Keep your homepage clean and tailored by introducing a landing page to your site. This page should be engaging and appealing to customers and offer a call to action to help draw them in to lock them into purchasing your product or service.

In addition, do not clutter your homepage with a bunch of recent posts, videos, photos, links, or sidebar. This clutter can be distracting to customers, even overwhelming. Keeping it neat and tidy to your absolute minimal needs and adding call-to-action buttons to redirect them on your site will be all you need to help direct them around the site.

Tag your photos, too

Photos can support your SEO strategy if you name them according to your keyword strategy when you upload them to your site. Don’t forget to add a title to them when you upload them to your WordPress site. Don’t make it too generic though. If the post is about Facebook Analytics, title your photo accordingly, such as “ten-things-you-did-not-know-about-facebook-anayltics.” Also add that alternate text to your image as well. This is what they will see when they scroll over an image, in case the image is not present.

Don’t forget about the footer

You may think no one ever scrolls down to the bottom of your site, but this is just as important an element as the rest of what you are offering. Include copyright information here or information about who owns the site. You can also include links to important pages here.


Using all the tools WordPress has available for you is what will get you off on the right foot with your customers. Need help figuring out the inner workings of your WordPress site?
Contact Maximize today and let us help you take your WordPress site to the next level of success.

3 Benefits to Having a WordPress Site

Getting a website started can seem overwhelming. You might think it’s complicated or will take a large investment of money. WordPress makes it easy and cost-effective to build a website that does everything you need it to. Here are three reasons why having a WordPress site is good for
your business:

1. WordPress sites can save money

WordPress has a variety of tools that make it easy to maintain your website. Their use of themes, easy updates, plug-ins and widgets, and SEO-friendliness make it easy for even a beginner to maintain a website.

A fully coded, custom-designed HTML website can be costly. When you create a site in WordPress, you are given a seemingly endless amount of themes to choose from for your site, and they cost a lot less than a custom HTML site. There are themes to fit every business and industry, and the themes themselves are customizable.

WordPress makes it easy to update your website. If you find yourself needing to change an image or post an article, you can do it yourself. This means you won’t have to turn to a web designer every time a change is needed.

It’s easy to add plug-ins and widgets to your WordPress site. This is great for things like Google Analytics, web advertising, and social media integration.

Because WordPress is SEO-friendly, it requires less time and money to gain the online exposure you want. Once you have selected the best keywords for your business and your target audience, it’s easy to incorporate them into your content and update them if needed. You’re also able to add titles and descriptions when uploading images, which also supports your
SEO efforts.

2. WordPress sites can increase brand awareness

There are many features WordPress has that can help increase your brand’s online visibility. By utilizing these, you have a greater chance of your brand reaching more people.

You know blogging plays an important role in increasing your brand awareness, but how do you get started? Blogs are built into the WordPress platform, so no need to look any further! This makes it easy to create and share awesome content.

It’s easy to connect your WordPress site with your social media accounts. Even though your WordPress site is strong and search engine-friendly on its own, it’s good to connect your site to your social media platforms to gain more exposure. This allows you to share posts and pages on your site with your social media audience.

WordPress also makes it easy to customize your site to fit in with your branding. Your themes, colors, and fonts can all be customized to represent your brand.

3. WordPress makes capturing leads easy

WordPress allows you to capture the information you want from people visiting your site, turning them into leads. You want to make sure you get certain information like their name and email address so you can follow up with them.

It’s easy to add forms to your website, allowing you to capture their information and provide them with an offer in exchange for their information. This makes it easy to gain leads from your WordPress site, and turn website traffic into prospective buyers. Once you know they are interested in what you have to offer, it’s easy to continue to share your awesome content with them via email.

Are you ready to take your business’s website to a whole new level? Contact our team and let’s discuss how Maximize can help you expand your online reach with a customized WordPress website tailored to your brand!