5 Ways To Improve Your Website

We tend to get involved in the details about SEO and changes in technology, but there are plenty of basic pieces of advice that need to be given if you are going to have a successful website. When it comes to your desktop or mobile website, there are things you can do that will help you to improve your site and get a bigger return on your investment. The best part is that not all of the ways to improve your website require a degree in computer science.

Listen To Your Customers

It is important to invite and encourage feedback from your customers on how you can improve your website, because those are the people most immediately affected by your website changes. There are plenty of ways to get feedback from customers, but being interactive on the company blog tends to be the best way. When you instigate conversation with your clients, you will get valuable information about your website.

The most important pieces of information you will get often involve features your competition's website does not have that your customers insist they need. If you really want to bring in the web traffic, then start offering your customers the ability to do things they cannot do with the competition and you will be way ahead of the game.

Watch The Competition

If the competition is rolling out new features on its website, then you should consider doing the same thing. Monitoring the competition allows you to not fall behind in the race to win the hearts and minds of web traffic. When you combine monitoring the competition with enacting changes recommended by clients, then you will see your retention rate soar.

Watch Television And Movies

Have you ever noticed how much cellular flip phones look like communicators from the television show "Star Trek?" Some of the most significant advances in the world of technology have come from copying the things that engineers have seen on television shows and movies. If you see something on television or in a movie that you feel would improve your website, then talk to your Internet marketing partner about making it a reality.

Go Outside Your Industry

Companies that sell sporting goods tend to monitor other sporting goods websites to find the inspiration for new ideas. But there may be some very cool things going on with online greeting card websites that could make your sporting goods website better for your customers. When you are looking for ideas, always branch out and take in inspiration wherever you can get it.

Listen To Children

There is nothing more interesting than listening to the unfiltered imagination of a child. Get your kids to look at your company website and ask them what types of features they would like to see. Once you get past the need for more puppy pictures, you may be surprised at the real ideas you find.

Developing and maintaining a website is a creative process. Inspiration for creativity comes from all around you. While your Internet marketing partner is working diligently to keep your website competitive within your industry, you can provide some good ideas for new features by looking for inspiration in your everyday life.

Five Web Design Trends To Look For in 2014

We’re not much for wish-casting here at Tom&Co., but hey – why not put some skin in the game and take a chance by making some bold predictions for the next year? Now mind you, these are trends, not fads as trends tend to stick around while fads are only hot for a few months at a time. We’re talking things that are emerging and should continue to experience success for some time to come.

Let’s dive right in…

Typography will be more of a thing

We love ourselves some typography and it’s great to see more designers experimenting with it now more than ever. We’ll make a bet that you’ll see more fonts that feel like they can stand on their own two feet rather than just being a small piece of a big pie. That mean a lot less Helvetica and a lot more dynamic, compelling designs and fonts.

RIP, Sliders

If you asked us what the biggest emerging trend in web design would be today – it’d be the death of the slider. What we’re beginning to see is hero areas moonlighting as sliders and allowing you to mouse over certain design elements and navigate a website that way. Sliders are fun and sure – they’ll be a thing for a little while longer, but they’re also on the clock. We think hero areas will be the new trend.

 More mobile

I know, we’re SO going out on limb here. And while you’re sneezing thanks to our sarcasm, please sneeze knowing this is really an emerging trend that’s going to keep on emerging. With responsive web design emerging as standard-issue for any web design. In fact, mobile designs are increasingly becoming the norm. Everyone’s consuming content on the run, so be prepared to make the mobile jump if you haven’t already or risk getting left behind.

Video beats text

Video’s been emerging for a long time, but when you think about it – it makes sense for it to start to take over for copy. I mean – why would you read anything you can’t already watch, right? Truth be told – videos are becoming easier to produce, easier to share and are taking half the bandwidth they used to So yeah – move over words and make way for video.

Less complex color schemes

We ARE talking design here, so we can’t talk design without talking about color, right? We predict that in 2014, we expect most leading websites to only employ one or two colors in their design. In fact, most sites now are being launched with little to no color at all; instead opting for simple white and black while adding only a few hits of color to add drama and impact. Talk about the right way to garnish your website!