How to Maximize your Website Footer

site_footer Sometimes the first place people look for information on your website is the last place you think about. In particular, I’m talking about your page footer.

The page footer is that part at the very bottom of your web page: but it shouldn’t be the last thing you think about as far as site design goes.

You don’t want to clutter your main site navigation with too many pages, so consider the footer a good place for some of that additional information. With the CityMax.com website builder, you can quickly and easily add the same footer to all your site pages, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
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Advanced Design Tip #1: Intro to Call to Action Buttons

Due to popular demand, today we kick off a new series of posts: Advanced Design Tips with Joe Deobald, Brand Manager and Creative Director at CityMax.com.

Call to action buttons: Let your visitors know what’s important

Congratulations! So you’ve finally got your site up and running. You’ve added products and great SEO content, and you’re ready to launch your site. You even have a great offer that you want your site visitors to buy. With Call to Action Buttons (CTAs), you can literally guide your visitors that awesome deal on a hand bag, or to join your special newsletter.

First off: let’s talk about what a CTA actually is. Simply put, it’s a button that tells the user to perform an action like “Buy this now!” or “Learn More…”
Before just throwing any old button up on your site, you need to plan it out. You want it to grab their attention – not just with a bright orange or green, but the text needs to be short, descriptive, and entice them to click. You want to tell them what to expect once they click the button: you need to build trust. Think about the questions and expectations your visitors will ask before making the decision to click. If it’s a free trial, then put that in the CTA.

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The old wives’ tale that size matters isn’t a stretch in this context. For website design, the larger the element is, the more important it is. This is a main focus on your website. You need to figure out exactly how important the action is, and design your buttons accordingly.
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5 Secrets to Great Website Design

Web-design-tipsGreat website design doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, simplicity can make a small business website much more effective as a sales tool than a site filled with crazy fonts, music, and flashing images. A clean and straightforward website makes you look professional and trustworthy.

Here are a few “best practices” for design to keep in mind as you review or make your own website:

Be Consistent
Pages that vary a lot in design can be confusing for customers, even sometimes making them think they’ve jumped to a new website. Examples of things to keep consistent: fonts, colors, image sizes, buttons.

Make it Easy to Scan
Attention span is short online and if your customer can’t find what they’re looking for quickly they’re likely to leave your site. Use “easy-to-read” fonts and make important information more obvious with images, bigger text, or colors. Align text to the left and use bold headlines to describe what paragraphs are about.

Use Whitespace
Whitespace, or empty space, makes your website easier on the eyes and helps your visitor sift through your content more easily. Break up large blocks of text into smaller paragraphs with whitespace in between. Also leave a bit of space around your images.

Consider Your Customer’s Setup
Remember that your visitor may view your site with a monitor that’s much smaller or bigger than yours, which can affect how your pages are displayed to them. By setting the page width to a common size, like 760 pixels, you make sure that your content doesn’t get stretched and hard to read.

The BIG GOAL is to Educate
Your customers come to your site to learn about you and your products, so remember that when you’re tempted to get carried away with your designs. Reserve your creative flare for less information-centric parts of your website, like the header or sides.

Following these web standards doesn’t mean that your website will be boring or just like all others out there. There is a lot of room for creativity, it just needs to be in the right places. Remember that your message is what’s important and if your visitor is distracted by glitz and glitter, they might not ever really connect with what you’re trying to say.