Happy Thanksgiving – Coastal web services

Happy Thanksgiving from the web design and sales team at Coastal Web Services! We don’t know about you, but everyone around here is excited to spend time with family, eat too much, and watch some football!

Our office will be closed from Thursday, November 27 through Friday, November 28. We will be back in the office Monday, December 1. If you have an urgent support issue, just email us or use the contact form. We will be checking email in case of support issues.

Contact us

Coastal Web Services
Forest Hill, Maryland
Phone MD: 410.420.9390
Phone CA: 949.682.6346

Advertisements

How Page Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line – Coastal web services

Page loading time is obviously an important part of a website user’s experience. But many times businesses let it slide to accommodate better aesthetic design, new functionality or to add more content to web pages. Unfortunately, most website visitors care more about speed than all the bells and whistles we want to add to our websites. Additionally, page loading time is becoming a more important factor when it comes to search engine rankings.

Coastal web services
Coastal web services

Facts & Stats

73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load.
51% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that crashed, froze, or received an error.
38% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that wasn’t available.
47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.

Source: Akamai.com

Our next blog addresses how to check your web site’s load time, and fixes for a slow website.

Marketing to Moms – Coastal web services

Did you know that busy moms make 90% of their purchases online? MediaPost recently published a roundup of marketing research as it relates to moms.

coastal web services
coastal web services

 48% have used their smartphone to research products in the last week. Can they find your site?
 10% more moms are using tablets; 13% more moms use smartphones – This is more proof that it’s essential that your business website is mobile friendly.
 60% of moms check Facebook multiple times a day (up from 47% of last year) – Facebook ISN’T dead, at least among moms. Consider using Facebook ads to get in front of moms where they spend major time
 68% are following at least one brand on Facebook. Shouldn’t it be yours?
 65% have made a purchase due to a recommendation they saw online – check your testimonials and reviews online to make sure they’re positive. Respond to any negative reviews.
79% of mobile moms use phones in-store [Fierce Retail]
 79% of moms use their phones specifically for in-store shopping
 73% use it to comparison shop in a mass retailer
 35% in a grocery store
 22% in a discount store
 Moms engage with mobile ads more if a coupon is attached – Enough said
Contact Us :

coastalwebservices

Resolve to Update Your Website

new-year

Hope you had a Happy New Year! As a smart business owner, you probably resolved to do everything in your power to increase business this year. One way you can do that is by taking a good, hard look at your business website and asking yourself: Is it time for a makeover?

Enlist some outside help—your friends, family, or even customers or members of your target market that you recruit and pay for their time—to click through your website and give you their feedback. Ask them (and yourself) these questions, and be prepared for honest answers:

Does the website look old-fashioned? You know what I mean. Do you ever go to a business website that still greets you with some message like “Waiting for Flash animation to load” or “10% complete”? It probably makes you think the site hasn’t been updated since the Internet first began.

Does the website have broken links, misspellings or coupons/promotions from three years ago? If so, you’re just being lazy and not checking your website often enough. Update it with the correct information, fix the links and get a proofreader to go over your site.

Does the site take forever to load? Using Flash is one culprit here, but images that are too big can also slow your site down. Consumers are more impatient than ever, and if your site takes more than a few seconds to load they might not stick around.

Is the site easy to navigate? Don’t try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to navigation. Your site should be clear, concise and easy to use, so potential customers can quickly find their way around. Today’s sites are more streamlined than they were just a few years ago, so if your site has too many options, users may get confused. Make it easy for first-time visitors to perform various tasks, such as browsing products, checking out or finding directions to your business.

Does the site have plenty of calls to action? Too many business websites fail to ask users to take action. “Shop Now,” “Check Out,” “Call Now,” “Contact Us,” “Sign Up”—the actions you want people to take may vary depending on what products or service you sell, but at least one such clearly marked button urging action should be on every page of your website. Adding a call to action in the text is also a good idea.

Are the graphics current? Outdated stock photos featuring yesterday’s styles, or fonts or colors that smack of yesterday’s design trends are warning signs that put customers on alert that your business is behind the times. Think white background with red and blue font.

Is the site mobile-friendly? Mobile Internet usage is becoming more popular among customers of all ages, and this trend will only grow as smartphones and tablets become more prevalent. Make sure your website loads quickly and is easy to use on all types of mobile devices, or you might be driving customers away. This is called responsive design.

When it’s time for a website update, Coastal Web Services can help. Contact us at 410-420-9390.

We are a Website Builder and Web Design Company

http://www.coastalwebservices.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/card.pngCoastal Web Services is focused on providing website services coast-to-coast. Our expertise in computer technology, web site development, computer programming, and search engine marketing are focused towards helping our clients develop an ongoing, professional online presence. With over 15 years of experience as a website builder and over thirty years of computer experience, our company can improve your business’s bottom line. Our web company also offers computer training classes to local businesses who want to improve their office’s productivity.

Our web team includes a varying degree of skill sets and age ranges. The team at Coastal Web Services includes a little bit of everything, from the old computer geek to the college-aged techie who lives and breathes the latest technological wonders.

We can help improve your bottom line so call us today to get your business growing!

what your customer wants – coastalwebservices

shutterstock_98959760

Is your small business website and online presence giving customers what they want? According to the 2014 Web.com Consumer and Small Business Perception Survey,
the answer may be no. The survey uncovered a widening gap between how
well small business owners think they are doing with their business
website and how well their customers think the businesses’ use of
technology serves their needs.According to the survey, overall, small business owners realize it’s
crucial to have a business website to make their businesses appear more
professional and to enhance their personal relationships with
customers.  But only half of respondents say their business has a
website. While that number is up 8% from last year, it’s still a
shockingly low number in this day and age.

What’s holding entrepreneurs back from starting websites? Of those
without a business website, 59% say cost is the reason; however, 30%
simply don’t believe it’s necessary for their businesses. But in
reality, the survey found that whether you have a business website is
one of the biggest influencers in whether consumers decide to buy from
you or not. Smart small business owners are focusing not on the cost of
developing a business website, but on the ROI they can get from it.

What do consumers expect from small businesses? According to the survey, the top 5 are:

  • –       56 percent:   Special offers, promotions, discounts
  • –       54 percent:   Basic information (e.g. company information, product information, business hours, contacts, etc.)
  • –       47 percent:   Their own website
  • –       42 percent:    Customer reviews, ratings, recommendations
  • –       34 percent:    Incentivizing, rewarding loyal, frequent customers

If you don’t already have a small business website, consider hiring a
web design company like Coastal Web Services to help you. Working with a
web services company is a smart decision, because working with an
expert gives you more time to do what you’re an expert at—run your business.

10 Ways Your Website is Driving Customers Away

You want your website to draw customers in and get them to purchase your goods or services. But if you’re not careful, your website could be doing just the opposite.

1. Looks old and outdated. Take a hard look at your website. Does the website design look old and outdated compared to other websites in your area of business? Get opinions from a younger relative or customer. It may be time for a website redesign or web updates.

2. Stale information. No edits since you launched your site. If your website mentions a coupon that expired last year, that’s a turnoff to a prospective customer – they probably won’t come back.

3. Pictures are too small. Nobody likes to squint, or resize the screen to see the photos. Consider updating your photos.

4. Text is too difficult to read. If you chose a hard to read font, have colored text on a colored background, or your text is too small, you may be driving people to your competitor. Consider updating your web content at the same time you change to a more user-friendly font.

5. Logo looks like an amateur designed it. Your website design should incorporate your logo, but if it looks unprofessional, that says a lot about your business. Consider a logo redesign.

6. No social media links. Customers love social, and not just your younger customers. A lot of people check out social media to check for reviews of your business, how many followers you have, and more. Take advantage of social media linking.

7. Slow loading web pages. This is one of the most aggravating things for someone who uses the internet to research a product or service before buying. If your web pages are slow to load, most prospective buyers will click back to their search results and move on to the next web site. There are a number of things your web designer can do to clean up your web pages and optimize them for speed.

8. Hard to find information. If a prospective customer can’t easily find what he/she is looking for when they visit your website, unless they REALLY want to do business with you and only you, they will generally leave your site for another more user friendly site. Make sure your web pages say what you do and what you offer in an easily understood manner. Make navigation user friendly, with clear, concise page names and navigation bars and tabs.

9. Obnoxious sound when you open a website. Most people don’t want to hear music or a video the second they get to your site. Some will immediately leave your site and move on to your competitor.

10. Can’t turn off sound when something automatically plays. This is related to #9. If you have sound or videos on your site, make it easy for the user to silence the audio, or let them click on the video to play, rather than having it start automatically.

As we near the end of the year, it’s a good time to take stock of your website, and make some resolutions for the New Year. Contact Coastal Web Services to improve your web site in the New Year.