all the entire site is very nice.
I want to discuss one important facet of the site and that is its typography. Designers and developers often underestimate this skill.
Type size: I found your type size to be a bit small for my taste especially since your text does not go beyond the fold. My recommendation is to raise the pt size at least 1px but two might work as well.
Type color: The white on grey in the header is a poor contrast and black is grey is fair. What works is the maroon on grey contrast for the headers, which reads very well. I would suggest revising the color scheme for readability.
Text links: Use standard non-stylized web links. I suggest keeping links underlined and a shade of blue. Also use visited link style.
I also think you should revise your banners on the right side. There are no visual clues to let a user know to click them. Actually the only banner (bottom) that wasn’t clickable had an arrow, which usually indicates navigation.
On the home page i would try to break it up a little, create visual interest with maybe a linebreak and font size.Maybe adding a backround table behind text in white with black font so what you are saying stands out more. The same for your services page, highlight the services, maybe putting a desription under each highlighted service. I like the art layout on right side. You offer a great service that comes from an educated and talented team who is experienced and professional. Make sure this comes through boldly on your site. The portfolio page is great! As is your work.On the contact page the Name text for the name field gets cut off. I have read your posts and visited your web site and you are a very talented business woman. So Be Bold, show it off!
Great design overall...
But my concern is whether or not people will know what you do. It wasn`t until the end of the 2nd paragraph that I realized the purpose of your site. Can we assume that people who visit your website will read down to the 2nd paragraph?
Is it safe to say that most people will click away within seconds if they feel they`ve landed on the wrong site? After reading the first 2 sentences, I would have seriously thought I was at the wrong place if I was looking for web design or marketing services.
I looked at your blog and you have some great articles their and some great headlines...consider putting some of the headlines in that space on the right side and link it to the blog...
I`d work on a better headline and paragraph intro...at this point, it looks like the other hundreds of thousands of web designer/marketing websites.
Also, theres absolutely no call to action. IF they read the entire homepage, what are they suppose to do next? If they wanted to get an estimate/quote, how would they do it? Most of them won`t pick up the phone to call you....most won`t email you... Why? For fear of getting on the phone and being `sold` something.
When many people go to the store and they`re approched by a salesman (or woman), when asked for help, most say they don`t need help...only to ask later...
The same applies here. The prospect wants to be in control. Should they decide, allow them to fill out some type of quote request form...providing you with the basic information you need to know so you`ll actually know what they `want`, so you can communicate their `wants` back to them.
Realizing that most aren`t going to pickup the phone or email you, then you gotta modify your strategy. I assume prospects searching you out `need` and `want` your services. The copy on the site needs to talk to those desires, not about your philosphy or concepts on where the web should be going. They want results and they want it yesterday. They want to make money and get more customers.
You communicate very well in the copy, but at the end of the day, the #1 question a visitor who lands on your site will ask themselves is "What`s in it for Me?" and right now, the content on the site does everything else but answers that one simple question.
Based on what I concluded from reviewing your website, you appear to have a company similar to the one I started in the early 90s - a full-service marketing services firm catering to new and small businesses. You can handle everything a small business needs in the way of marketing - from website development to print maketing materials and you`d probably handle a trade show if I asked you to and even produce some T-Shirts for me if needed. It`s a wide menu of services. And many new and young small businesses need this kind of assistance.
Since I started my marketing services firm before the Internet, we did business the old-fashioned way. When the Internet came along, I learned HTML code and build some early sites for customers. Early adopters did well, they have revised their sites over the years, and thankfully, I realized I had no desire to stay abreast of coding and decided to leave that to the young whippersnappers of the world. I never even created a website for my own company. Didn`t feel the need - have more business than I can handle. But I did keep up with the Internet and the technology and still do today (the Internet is a big part of how I help clients succeed) and work with many associates that do this type of work because it is a big part of any marketing plan ... but it is not an "end all" solution. Websites and Internet marketing are pieces of the bigger marketing plan and great tools.
You are a business-to-business company. As Cartess states so well, there`s a lot text on your site and no call to action. Most of what I read on your site is what I would expect to see in print brochures that one might give to potential clients as a leave behind.
The Internet is a visual tool. Samples and portfolios work well to show potential customers what you can do for them. Although you come across as a full-service marketing firm, the emphasis seems to be on web design. You have some website examples, but not many (maybe you don`t have many and this is OK). I would suggest you send visitors to your customer`s sites via a new browser and don`t let them leave completely.
How about some print samples? Or case histories of how you helped clients?
One area I will disagree with Cartess on is his suggestion for a form for the potential client to ask for a quote. I don`t believe, based on my experience, that you can do a very good job quoting blind on the kind of projects you offer based on a little info from the client through a web-based form. You need to talk to potential clients. Ergo, you need clients to contact you or ask you to contact them. Maybe they do give you an overview of what they are seeking help on, but the goal should be to talk to them.
I seek out new creative solution-oriented people a lot. New projects bring new challenges. Since I am a one-man firm now, I depend on a lot of people to help me. When I find these people on the web, I look for examples of their work. I am looking to be WOWed.
I find many of these people simply by looking at the bottom of good websites I review and discovering who built the sites - then backtrack and find the firm responsible. Most of your client`s sites have a link at the bottom of the home page that send me to your your site. This is viral marketing. Once I visit, reel me in. I wasn`t reeled in.
Follows is a sample of a company that I believe makes a good connection. This relates to some work I do in the automotive aftermarket.
Visit www.ketone.com. I discovered this site doing some research for a project I am working on. I liked the site. Wanted to know who produced it and/or developed it. Scrolled to the bottom and followed the link. Found the development company. Once there, easily reviewed many sites they have done.
I usually don`t find partners/asociates by seeking these professionals through their own websites - in other words, I don`t Google web developers. I usually find these people by backtracking from the type of sites/work I am seeking. If I like the end-results, I want to know the people behind these sites that WOWed me. Let your customers` sites do the marketing for you.
Most times working backwards is helpful to me. Maybe I`m weird. But the system I use to find people like you starts at the end game - the work produced by people like you. It has worked for me for years and I know others who seek help in this manner.
I know you are a one-woman show working from home based on some other entries on other posts. I know what you are going through ... been there, done that. You may be to spread out. You may be offering too many services. Focus on your passions.
A "perfect" website, alone, will not make your company a success. Make it the best tool it can be .. but not the only tool you use. Satisfied customers are your best marekting tool. Exploit this tool in every way possible.
Colors are fine, layout is fine. Not to my taste but then I prefer web sites with ten words or less on the landing page. The code validates ... which is always a good sign. You could improve the copywriting. It`s hard to determine what you offer and that makes it hard to know if your business has a relevant product/service. It`s very focused on what you "do". [At least it doesn`t start with "Welcome!"]
1. Why are you marketing? [As opposed to just selling?] Are you marketing for visibility, information, etc.? What`s the goal? Marketing is actually less about the customer and more about the business owner reaching clarity with respect to purpose, product, position. Communication *is* about the prospect, but most attempts at communication will fail unless the business owner has reached total internal clarity about their products/services.
2. Why is your product/service relevant to your prospects? [Not why is it relevant to you, forget about your reasons for relevance and focus on why your product/service is relevant to a prospect.] Again, the marketing process should help you arrive at an understanding of why your customers think your product or service is relevant. Marketing isn`t about the customer, it`s about the business. Marketing should train a business to communicate effectively.
3. How do prospects know that your product/service is relevant? Suppose you have an incredibly relevant product/service. How does your prospect know this? They can`t read your mind, they can only read your marketing communications or listen to your voice. What are you saying, what are you trying to say? Try and reach clarity first. Maybe you have, I can`t read your mind either, so I wouldn`t know. But successful marketing always starts with clarity.
I wrote a post on copywriting:
[Keycon has numerous great points. Cartess as well.]
CookieMonster - Thanks for thr bracket comment Always enjoy reading your communications.
Nikole, CookieMonster is a wise man and his blog is an excellent source of outstanding marketing advice. Unsolicited advice from me ... follow his blog on a regular basis.
Some specific copy evaluation:
Landing Page Word Count: 212 = book report territory
LET`S DO SOMETHING NEW
[What does this mean? Is doing something `new` of any practical value to your customers? This heading is not properly focused ... it should focus on what you offer. Which is? Increase heading size.]
Let`s stop with the lies, hacks and magic tricks. Let`s rebuild the web with standards to make it user-friendly and accessible to all. Let`s use social media and internet networking to create an open dialogue with customers. Let`s bring value back to the customers by providing information before our sales pitch. Let`s empower the customer and make the internet a better place for all. Let`s bring back ethics, integrity, and honesty. Let`s pursue something worth feeling passionate about.
[This sounds like a speech. Every sentence begins with "Let`s". It`s sort of confusing in a sense. Isn`t this the sort of speech that you might give to your employees and not the customers? In addition, this paragraph goes all over the place, but let`s make a map just for fun.
I don`t know about you, but I cannot understand this many concepts all at once. The ideas [which I call "dots"] are not properly connected. EX: How does providing information before a sales pitch bring back value to the customer? I don`t get it. ]
NHG Consulting was founded on the idea of continually moving forward, using technology to propel us professionally and creatively. We set out to be leaders in our industry, and have clients that want the same. We provide our clients with innovative solutions delivered in a budget-conscious and timely manner. In keeping with the collaborative spirit of social media, we have created lasting relationships with business partners and our clients as a way of utilizing the group`s knowledge to benefit all. We deliver web, print and marketing services to small businesses that were previously only available to larger corporations.
We can help you realize your business dreams by providing...
[The information in the second paragraph belongs on your About page. Not on the front page. It doesn`t really say anything valuable in terms of what you offer. It`s also full of cliches and worn out ideas. While there isn`t anything wrong with cliches and worn out ideas, it does not speak to your creativity, and people tend to roll their eyes when they read cliches like "We set out to be leaders in our industry", and "innovative solutions", and "collaborative spirit", and "lasting relationships", and "realize your dreams". If you want to see whether or not an idea is a cliche, google the phrase.
However, the last sentence of the second paragraph is COMPLETELY and UTTERLY EXCELLENT in concept and almost as excellent in execution.
We deliver web, print and marketing services to small businesses that were previously only available to larger corporations.
That should be the only sentence on the landing page, and it should go below the heading. Because this is SO crystal clear and obvious. Below this sentence you should include images/links to your customer sites.]
Your landing page follows the pattern of most businesses: it`s been written for the owner and not the prospect or customer. This is information that is reflective of your concept of your business, which has very little importance to a customer.
If you are a marketing operation, you have to remember: good marketing starts at home. If you offer marketing services, then your own landing page needs to reflect your abilities as a marketer ... or prospective clients will spend four seconds reading and then hit the Back button.