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Five Signs Your Website Is Letting You down and Needs Work

First impressions can mean the difference between a thriving or struggling business. People turned off by what they see or experience won't become customers. This is universal regardless of your location, be it Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, or anywhere else in the world.

 

A run-down building for example, will most certainly turn away customers. While this is, or should be obvious, the same applies to business websites. People won't do business if they feel uncomfortable, and a website that seems "off" will have this effect on your visitors.

 

Here are 5 signs your website needs work:

 

Missing Images

 

A website that has a missing-image icon conveys an impression of neglect. Multiple missing images leave the impression of a ghost town that "tells" people that nobody is home. Visitors aren't likely to purchase from such a site any more than they would from a store with broken windows. Missing images are either caused by missing image files or changed image file locations.

 

Broken Links

 

Broken links are online dead ends that usually lead to a 404 or not found error page. They give the impression of a non-functional website. Like the missing image, either the destination doesn't exist anymore, or its location (address) has changed.

 

Website Doesn't Render Properly on All the Popular Browsers

 

If you've only viewed your website through one or two web browsers, you may be in for a shock after viewing it in other popular web browsers. Parts of the site may not fit together, content or navigation bars may extend beyond the boundaries of a web page, and raw HTML code may show. In addition to making the site look rundown, some people may think the site is hacked or has malware. This can happen when using antiquated code or code that's too cutting-edge.

 

Average Visitor Stays Less Than 20 Seconds

 

When viewing your web stats, a high traffic figure means few if any visitors stay around long. The less time spent on your site, the less likely a visitor will convert into a customer. If most people won't stay longer than a few seconds on your website, something is driving them away. Before doing any more online marketing, you should get to the bottom of this issue.

 

Cookie Cutter Website

 

If too many websites are using the same template or theme as yours, you aren't visually differentiating your business from your competitors. Rather than being an interesting online destination, it will seem like just another generic website.

 

Make the most from your website by giving it a much-needed tune-up. For help with your web design, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

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Does it Work? How Case Studies on Your Website Build Customer Trust

There is nothing better for your business then a firsthand review from another satisfied customer. Case Studies are a great way to showcase the success that another customer has had with your product. Here are some tips on how to craft a winning case study that keeps new customers pouring in.

 

Use Your Ideal Customer to Profile

 

First, you'll want to contact a regular customer who is extremely satisfied with your product or service.  The key here, is that you want a customer excited about sharing their success. Ask for their permission to profile their success through a case study that you can share on your website.

 

What Was the Problem?

 

Once you have identified your ideal customer, you'll want to outline in detail the specific problem they were facing before purchasing your product or service.  Go into detail about the "pain" they were experiencing before they found your company.  This will give future customers a chance to truly see if and how you can solve their problem also.

 

How Did You Solve It?

 

The second item will want to address is how your product or service solved their problem. Showcase exactly what you did. You also want to showcase the results of your solution.  What great benefits is this customer now receiving as a result of what you have to offer?  

 

Format

 

Traditional case studies are documents that you provide on your website for customers to download.  Why not take a different approach and do a video or a blog that highlights this information?  The important thing is that you want to provide an enriching experience for a potential customer.

 

A great Case Study provides detailed and tangible evidence of your product or service.  Taking the time to craft a solid Case Study goes a long way towards getting your product into the hands of new customers. At REM we show case studies of our customer's sites on our work page as well as write blogs highlighting featured companies. If you are in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge or Guelph and surrounding areas, give us a call and we can show you what WebWiz@rd can do for your companies success.

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Happy Easter 2017

Wishing all of our valued clients a safe and happy Easter!

 

 

REM will be closed Friday April, 14 and Monday April, 17.

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When a Good Website Goes Bad. Top 3 Website Mistakes That Destroy Your Credibility

How customers view your website determines how they will view your product. Failing to ensure your website is of the highest quality possible could destroy your credibility.  Below are 3 ways in which you could be damaging your relationship with your customers.

 

Failing to Brand Properly

 

Logos, colors, slogans etc. are all things that play into your company brand.  It's what sets you apart from the competition.  It represents what makes your company unique and memorable to your customers. Your website should match your brand to give your company an overall "polished" appearance.

 

Not User Friendly

 

Unusual fonts, an odd color scheme, and text size will make it difficult for a customer to read the information on your site.  Try to stick to standard fonts.  It's tempting to shrink the font size to squeeze as much information on the page as possible.  But who cares about the content if it is too little to read?

 

Overly Focused on SEO

 

A cluttered website loaded with a bunch of keywords that are there merely for the sake of SEO makes the site seem forced and unnatural.  The customer wants to know that you care about them, not your Google rank.  Focus on providing rich quality content and attract the customers who will keep coming back for more.

 

Our innovative, powerful and easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) WebWiz@rd, allows you to take the time to ensure your website represents your best work. Pay attention to the details and make sure your customer knows that your company cares about your image.  It goes a long way to building those lasting relationships, that ultimately help ensure the success of your business.

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Are you ready for a website redesign?

Let's face the facts--without a well-designed, user-friendly website, it is nearly impossible for a business to be successful. This is especially true for small businesses, which rely on gaining new customers and growing exponentially. The Internet is changing every day, and chances are, your website needs a functional makeover. If you are not sure whether or not to take the plunge into website redesign, read on to see if your website is truly up to date. Here are some signs that your website needs an overhaul.

 

Your website is not responsive.

 

A responsive website is one where a site looks equally as professional on a phone, tablet, or computer. You have seen non-responsive websites; the ones where the font on your phone is so tiny that you cannot read the content. Now more than ever, people are using their phones to look up businesses, so a responsive website is essential for generating sales and growth.


Your website is disliked by your customers.

 

The simplest way to find out if your website is up to par is by asking your customers. They will have the best insights into how simple, elegant, and informative your site is.


Your website is less user-friendly than your competitors.

 

Sometimes you don't even need to ask your customers; you can just look at your competitors. If their sites have tools or information that yours doesn't offer, updating your website could be a key factor in matching or exceeding their sales.


Your website views are not proportional to your sales.

 

If your website is not getting many views but you are still selling lots of product through word-of-mouth, that means that the marketing problem is with your site not the product itself. Making your website user-friendly can enormously spike your sales even if the company is already doing well, so it is worth figuring out why no one is visiting your site.


Your website lacks up-to-date content.

 

The purpose of a website is to inform the customer about your company and encourage them to buy from you. Sites that lack aspects of this are automatically put behind; adding a blog, online ordering, or an information page will increase your views and revenue.

 

Companies at the forefront of the business world are the ones that utilize technology to the fullest. If all of the Fortune 500 companies have polished, modern websites, why should your small business be any different? The key to growth in today's society is constantly adapting to the newest technology. Making a better Internet experience for potential customers is well worth the time and money of a site redesign. Call us today to find out what REM can do for you.

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Signs Your Website Needs Work

You've got a website. The entire world can see it. Whether you're located in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge or Guelph or you're a site owner from any location on our planet, your web design is on display for all the world to see. We'd like to suggest some signs that your website needs work so that you can present the best image possible to the world.

 

It uses flash

 

The online world is going mobile. However, flash isn't supported on iOS devices like iPhones iPads or iPod Touches. If your site doesn't speak effectively to the iOS world, a significant segment of the Internet, you're using bad web design that's outdated.

 

It displays stock photos of people

 

Stock photos of people look inauthentic. People immediately spot them and unconsciously judge them as phony. They reflect poorly on your content. Don't use stock photos of people and risk receiving the suspicion they could cast on your site.

 

It's showing too many ads

 

The goal of ad design is to integrate with your web site. If ads are cluttering your webpage, eliminate them. This is especially true if they are ineffective ads or low-converting ads. Let your web design flow unobstructed!

 

Long paragraphs present a wall of text

 

Website visitors in 2017 are scanners. Use bullet points, lists, bolding and images to help them find the information they seek quickly and easily. Long, unbroken "walls" of text are a visual turnoff in today's web design.

 

If you're near our Kitchener office, do visit us and discuss your web design. We welcome site owners from anywhere in Southern Ontario, call or email us to set up an appointment to talk about your site. Customer support is our number one priority. Let us help you make your website reflect you at your best in 2017!

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Why mobile should be your first choice when it comes to your business' website

When it comes to web design, mobile should be your first consideration. Smart phones are everywhere these days. More often than computers, mobile devices have become the first choice for viewing websites. A web design that is mobile friendly can have a profound impact on website traffic. 

 

Being Mobile Friendly Can Help With SEO

 

It's pretty straightforward, websites that are optimized for mobile use receive a higher priority from Google. If your website is not mobile friendly, then you are going to struggle when it comes to search engine optimization. Don't be left behind, ensure that your website is ready for mobile use.

 

Being Mobile Friendly is More Convenient

 

From a customer standpoint, consider how you would feel if a website was not mobile friendly. In the on the go world we live in it's just more convenient to use your phone to look at websites. A website that isn't mobile friendly will have less likelihood of being viewed.

 

Everyone is Doing it

 

Perhaps the strongest argument for mobile friendly websites is the simple fact that everyone uses a smart phone. Why would you not want to have the general populace in mind when considering your website. It just makes sense. 

 

Here at REM Web Solutions, we can explain how mobile first can really give you the advantage in your web design. We service Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph and surrounding areas. Please contact us if you have any further questions. 

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Why Do I Need a Web Designer? Comparing Custom Website Design vs. Templates

Entrepreneurs and business owners understand the importance of having a website. However, many ask themselves where they should begin. How do they compete while providing the best return on investment? Regardless, there are advantages and disadvantages to both custom website design vs. using templates.

 

The debate over using a custom website design or a template is very common. Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all right answer. You must evaluate the advantages and disadvantages for each, and choose what is best for you. Here are some elements to consider.

 

Budget - We have all seen the commercials offering to get your business website designed for $1 or even free with a hosting plan. You can then build your website using a predefined layout and options. Initially, this looks much cheaper than custom website design. However, if you need changes, the cost to add functionality and usability can end up costing more in the long run.

 

Branding - When you choose a free or low-cost template design, it is common to expect restrictions, co-branding, or advertising conditions. Your website's main purposes are building your image and growing awareness. Custom website design gives you full control to highlight your company, products, and services.

 

User Experience - Website usability is extremely important. Visitors, leads, and customers must be able to easily navigate your site and find the information and products they need. Templates, while sometimes visually appealing, often miss the mark on usability. The user of your website must be able to easily learn their way around and achieve their goals.

 

Scalability - Templated website design is intended as a one-size-fits-all solution. While elements and plug-ins are often available, they can cause slower website reaction times. On a low traffic website, there is rarely a problem. However, a better option is forecasting future visitor growth and needed functionality.

 

What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of custom website design vs. templates, or need more information, please contact us.

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What’s Wrong with Using Design Templates?

3 Things That Can Go Wrong

 

Should you use a pre-made website design template? A drag-and-drop website editor sure seems to make things easier. However, easier does not mean better. Here are three things that can go wrong when using design templates.

 

It Leads to Poor Branding

 

Using a pre-made template will reflect very poorly on your brand and is a disaster for your marketing efforts. Some templates have literally been used by dozens of thousands of people. The more popular they become, the more recognizable they are. If you want to stand out, you need to have a unique website.

 

You Are Stuck in a Box

 

With design templates, you are stuck in a box. Most templates have extremely limited design features, with a built-in menu, header, and widget structure. If you want to, for example, create a slideshow menu, sidebar, or header, you will have to upgrade to a more expensive template -- which will still be quite limited.

 

You Can't Improve Customer Experience

 

Ideally, you want to be able to streamline your visitors’ experience on your site. For example, if you want to direct them to a landing page, you need to be able to customize your site in such a way that gives them cues to go there. You will need to constantly tweak your site so that the user experience improves. If you are using a pre-made template, you will be extremely limited in your ability to do so. You also need to make sure that your website is mobile friendly, something that many templates lack.

 

We service Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph and the surrounding areas. Visit our site at remwebsolutions.com or call us at 519 884-4111 to arrange a demonstration of what we can do for your business to set you apart from your competition.

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Does Your Website Help Your Business? 5 Signs Your Website Needs Work

You have a business in either Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, or Guelph, and tried your hand at web design. Unfortunately, the website hasn't brought in new customers or increased sales. What went wrong? There's more to web design than merely building a website. Its design should reflect the fact that people will use it. You want their experience to be pleasant and convenient. For troubleshooting purposes, here are 5 signs your website needs work:

 

Your Website Loads Slowly

 

People have busy lives and they don't have the time to wait for slow loading web pages. The one advantage that print media has over many websites is that it only takes a second to turn a page. Too many web pages take longer than 5 or even 10 seconds to load. While some people will wait for a single slow loading page, they won't have any inclination to explore multiple slow loading pages. Two important factors affecting web page speed are its design and the server that hosts the website.

 

Your Website Isn't Search Engine Optimized

 

To get search engine traffic, your web pages should use keywords in the content, and in their titles. Keywords also help in your image descriptions. The URL of every page should contain legible words, some of which are keywords. You should also work in different but related keywords into your content.

 

Your Web Design Has Navigation Issues

 

Your navigation system should follow standard conventions so that people can navigate effortlessly without having to think too much. Place navigation links along the top and/or sides of each page. People should know exactly where they are and be only one click away from the home page. The navigation should be logical and make sense.

 

Your Web Design Doesn't Quickly Tell the Visitor What You're About

 

The visitor should know within a few seconds of landing on your website, what your business is about. Sometimes the name of your business makes this apparent. If not, your home page should have a simple statement near the top of the page that draws the eye. Don't leave this to a logo or picture.

 

Your Web Design Uses Harsh Colors and Difficult Font

 

A red background with blue font creates instant eyestrain. White or yellow font on black backgrounds also make for difficult viewing. There are many bad color combinations. Fortunately, you need only use black or gray font on a white background. Although there are other workable combinations, the conservative black/gray font on a white background will always work. Make sure the font type and size is easily legible.

 

If you require help with your web design, contact us. We design websites that improve business. REM Web Solutions serve Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and surrounding areas.

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