The Top Web Design Tips and Trends for 2017, Part 2

Web design features and functionality that meets the needs of your business operations and audience

In our last blog, we talked about some of the basic web design trends of 2017. We discussed the User Experience (UX), video content, colors, layouts, and typography. If you missed it, check it out here !

To complete our top ten list, we want to discuss some lesser-known design styles and cover some of the ways that enhanced analytics are impacting the industry as a whole.

10 Web Design Trends and Tips for 2017

6. Tactile Design
Trend:  This trend has been around for a while, but it is still drawing a lot of attention from designers. Tactile design tries to bring the real world to the digital world by using images that present textures and objects that look good enough to touch.
Tip: Stock photos have lost their favor in the web design world. The more original your photos are, the better. Keep in mind that you can sprinkle in tactile details with other elements – for example using a navigation bar that looks like ripped cardboard, or setting animation against a chalkboard backdrop.

7. Material Design
Trend: Originally started by Google, material design has spread all over the internet due to its simplicity and navigational ease. It’s the opposite of tactile design, offering solid, bold colors and easy-to-understand icons in a flat format.
Tip: This design style works especially well with card-style layouts. Although it may seem minimalistic, it’s important to remember that negative space can be very powerful. To keep your material design interesting and unique, make sure that you use custom icons and appealing color palettes.

8. Scrolling
Trend: Many companies are converting their sites to one, long-scrolling page. As more and more users search for content on mobile devices, researchers are finding that people are more likely to scroll than click – thanks in part to seemingly never-ending websites like Twitter and Facebook.
Tip: This is a very new, forward-thinking concept, and your website may not even work with this kind of layout. Many people are still adverse to scrolling, especially on personal computers. But if your marketing to Millennials and Gen Z, you should consider it – as they are all about mobile.

9. Mobile-First
Trend: There’s no doubt that mobile usage is going to continue to increase for the foreseeable future. You may not want to adopt a site that features one long page, but you do need to prioritize how your site will look and work for mobile users.
Tip: While many website templates take responsive design into account, some don’t. If you are using a template for your site, make sure that you understand its limitations when it comes to mobile design. It may be worth paying a little extra to have a custom website designed by a professional firm so that you are certain of your site’s responsiveness.

10. Performance
Trend: Performance metrics and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are impacting web design in an enormous way. Companies can see what works with their audience – and what doesn’t – thanks to analytics tools that drill down to data regarding customer behavior.
Tip: There are plenty of free tools out there, but be careful! Not all analytics tools are created equal; some were developed to be misleading. If you don’t have a certified SEO expert in-house, it’s a good idea to hire an outside firm to track this key information for you.

Not every trend from 2017 is going to work for you and your messaging. Choose a feature that makes sense with your products, services, and audience. And even though we listed mobile-first design lower on our list, make it your priority if your site currently has no responsiveness.

If you think your site needs a little refresh of its own, feel free to reach out to Conveyance. Our designers and SEO experts will build a site that meets the needs of your business operations and audience.

It’s OK to start small; you’ll quickly see how much users appreciate a current, well-planned website design. Give Conveyance a call today!

The Top Web Design Trends and Tips for 2017, Part 1

Not fads but the future of web design …

Web design trends are constantly evolving. As we approach the midpoint of 2017, it’s time to see how things are shaping up for the rest of the year. Some trends have spilled over from 2016, while others are just now beginning to pick up steam. If you already have a website, it’s probably time to think about refreshing it and incorporating some of today’s hottest design aspects. These elements aren’t just fads; they are a window into the future of web design.

10 Web Design Trends and Tips for 2017

  1. User Experience (UX)
    Virtual reality and interactive, immersive experiences are extremely hot right now. It’s all about connecting with your audience and getting them to linger on your website.
    Tip: It’s not yet feasible to bring virtual reality to all of your customers, but it is possible to engage them in a way that mimics it. Try 360-degree videos, 3D visual effects (within a GIF), or conversational interfaces. Parallax scrolling is also a great feature for adding interest and depth to your site.
  2. Videos
    Trend: If a 360-degree video isn’t in your price range, other types of videos can be compelling, too. Users want video content that is short and to the point, but also entertaining.
    Tip: Not all videos have to contain paid actors. Behind-the-scenes clips of your business can be very effective if they are done well, and animated shorts that explain a product or service can serve as an educational tool for your audience. If your video begins to play automatically, make sure that it doesn’t play with the sound on; give users the option to listen on their own terms.
  3. Layouts
    Simple is back “in” again. Powerful images can be seen everywhere above the fold, with wording kept to a minimum. Grid-style “card” designs are also popular thanks to websites like Pinterest.
    Tip: This trend is all about scaling back design in favor of a more exciting UX. That precious real estate above the fold can be treated as a hook – drawing your audience further into your website. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to have an image as your background; sometimes, negative space can be just as potent.
  4. Colors
    Gradients are really big right now, featuring bright, bold colors. On the other hand, there’s also a move toward neutrals. Many sites are toning it down with beiges, greens, grays, and other subdued tones.
    Tip: Try using a gradient over an image – or part of an image – for a cool effect. If you want to try neutrals, think about all the colors that can be derived from nature and use them as your color palette.
  5. Typography
    This trend isn’t a new one, but custom typography still strong in 2017. Forget Times New Roman and Arial! Designers are pushing the envelope to create typefaces that are unique and memorable.
    Tip: Once you establish a custom font, consistently use it on your marketing materials so that customers will begin to associate it with your brand. Think of how successful the Walt Disney Company has been with its typography; it’s recognized all over the world.

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of this year’s trends, we’ll go over some of the lesser-known design elements in our next blog – were you’ll find trends & tips 6-10. Stay tuned to see what would work on your website!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to give Conveyance a call! We’d love to help you reinvigorate your website and draw customers in with a unique UX and stylish design that conveys your company’s message.

Our 10 Favorite WordPress Plugins

What’s a Plugin?

WordPress is one of our favorite website publishing platforms. A lot of people still think of it as a blogging tool, but it’s really more of a content management system, or CMS, for your website. WordPress is intuitive, easy to use, and open source – which means that anyone can build a Plugin or widget to work with it.

There are currently more than 48,000 WordPress plugins from which to choose. Technically-speaking, a plugin is a piece of software that allows you to add some sort of functionality to your website. A plugin could enable you to do anything from format a table to delete comments that are spam. What’s best about plugins is that you can add features to your site without having to complete a tutorial in programming. And, it’s important to note that most of them are available – at least in a basic version – to download free of charge.

Our Top 10 Favorite WordPress Plugins

    1. Wordfence Security – If your website is unsecured, then why even bother working on it? Wordfence Security gives you firewall protection against hackers and even shows you real-time traffic to your site. It also helps to block robots and threats like crawlers and site scrapers.
    2. BackupBuddy – Backing up your WordPress site is essential. BackupBuddy not only backs up your plugins, but it also stores things like your themes, content, and media library so that you can fully restore your site if the unthinkable happens.
    3. Yoast – The world would be a dark and lonely place without Yoast. Yoast goes above and beyond to help you optimize your website for search engines. It does everything from helping you choose keywords to checking your images for alt tags.
    4. SumoMe – It’s always a good idea to build up a loyal website following. SumoMe lets you invite readers to follow your site and supports the integration of contact information with services like Constant Contact or MailChimp – enabling you to make the most out of your connections.
    5. WP-CRM – If you want users to sign up or contact your site, then you’ll want this plugin. WP-CRM is a Customer Relations Management tool for WordPress. It allows you to organize users, manage notifications, and track user activity well beyond the basic functions WordPress already provides.
    6. WooCommerce – People like to buy online. WooCommerce allows you to sell online regardless of whether you’re offering digital content or physical goods. It has payment options and shipping calculators to provide a comprehensive e-commerce experience for your customers.
    7. Really Simple CAPTCHA – When you want to make sure machines aren’t spamming your site, you may want to incorporate some type of captcha into it. Really Simple CAPTCHA works in conjunction with other plugins, like Contact Form 7, to embed a captcha element that is stored as temporary files. While it’s not the most secure option, it never conflicts with other elements on your site.
    8. Slider Revolution – Graphics can immediately pull users into your website. Slider Revolution gives you an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor for setting up an image slider, carousel, or hero scene on your site. It’s a simple yet effective way to make your site more engaging and modern.
    9. Akismet – There’s nothing worse than posting a carefully-crafted blog and then seeing your comments fill up with obnoxious spam. Akismet protects your site from spam so that you can spend your time doing more productive things – like writing quality content.
    10. Easy Table – Sometimes you just need a table to illustrate your point. Easy Table turns data that you type directly into your post into a professional-looking table. It requires no coding, making it easy and frustration-free.

If you haven’t found the right plugin, don’t worry. There’s about 48,588 more to try out if you have the time. If you don’t, then maybe it’s time to give Conveyance a call. We have a highly-skilled team of experts who can help you build a beautiful and functional website for your business. Your perfect site may be just one plugin away from reality.

Impact of Website Redesign on SEO

Consult an SEO expert before doing anything drastic to your website.

Website changes can drastically alter your search engine optimization (SEO). When your site is altered significantly, search engines can get confused because each development platform or content management system (CMS) uses slightly different source code (or nomenclature). When you adjust how pages are named, you can lose all the SEO history and equity you have put into those pages – essentially crippling your SEO and your ability to be found online – overnight.

The most common changes that can impact your site SEO are:

  • Shifting to a new domain name
  • Switching to a different CMS (Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, Expression Engine, etc.)
  • Changing development platforms (Wix, Squarespace, etc.)
  • Conducting a major redesign with all new content
  • Moving to a new web hosting company

If you’re going to change your website, you need an SEO plan.

Any significant site changes require a strategic SEO plan. The more elaborate your site, the more intricate the plan will need to be. You can’t just copy and paste content and expect everything to fall back into place. Moving to a new CMS, for example, is much like moving to a new office space. It seems pretty simple until you realize you need to cancel all your old utilities, set up new ones, pack, move, unpack, clean, and on and on. And no matter how much you prepare and plan, something unexpected is sure to pop up.

Before you go through a website transformation, consider how the change will impact these four areas

  1. SEO Ranking
    No one wants to throw their SEO investment down the drain. You need to know how you are going to save your on-page optimization efforts and notify search engines of your alterations.
  2. URLs
    One of the biggest problems when making adjustments is the impact it may have on your internal and external links. You will need to update your links in AdWords and within any referring sites. Internally, it’s good to use a crawler (either free or paid) to help you create a sitemap of current URLs (and those within any subdomains). Once you know what you have, you can generate a new sitemap that accounts for all your changes. This new map will be extremely helpful when you strategize the 301 redirects you will need to preserve all that valuable SEO site work.
  3. Custom Features
    Things don’t always work from one platform or CMS to the next. Any money you invested on custom features may be lost. If something can’t be salvaged, expect to dish out more dollars to have it reprogrammed.
  4. Responsiveness
    One CMS may be slower than another, or it may not be as mobile-friendly. Remember that search engines take your site’s responsiveness into account when establishing your ranking.

Talk to an expert.

Make sure that you consult an SEO expert before doing anything drastic to your site. With a proper migration plan in place, you can avoid losing years and years of SEO efforts. If you are contemplating some changes, contact us at Conveyance today. We can help you determine what changes are really necessary and then seamlessly guide you through them. We’ll turn that frightening situation into a reassuring, encouraging one.

Website Trends for 2016

Maximize User Experience and Search Engine Optimization

When you run a website, it’s not about keeping up with the Joneses; it’s about keeping up with Microsoft, Apple, and other high-tech companies. Microsoft and Apple not only stay on the cutting edge of all new trends, but sometimes they create them in house. 2016 is the year of opposites, in some respects. Here are the trends you need to know and watch, but remember to choose carefully. Some of these movements can have a negative impact on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or even your User Experience (UX).

Google’s Material Design-inspired Interfaces and New Typography

Isn’t it funny that the more advanced our digital world gets, the more we strive to mimic reality? Google has been pouring over research just to duplicate the look and feel of paper (cardstock) digitally. It’s all about shadows, perspective (remember learning that in art class?), and texture. With the cardstock movement comes new typography. Fancier and more complicated typefaces are appearing to stimulate our eyes. When you combine the Material Design and the typography, you get an experience that is reminiscent of fancy invitations or stationery. Very hipster.

Videos and Animation

In many ways opposite of the cardstock trend, many sites are relying more and more on videos and animation for content. Of course, the two trends can coexist even on the same site, but video and animation engage a different type of UX than that of Material Design. It’s almost like Hollywood is infiltrating the web design world. Anyone can produce a professional video these days. And animation doesn’t mean a feature-length cartoon, it just means movement. Once again, it’s all about the little things to draw a user into your site.

Slide-style Sites and Vertical Patterns is a good example of a slide-style site. Large, even full-screen, slides that move either with a swipe or on a timer are everywhere. The look is clean and engaging. Along with the slides, more and more sites are going more vertical as users are primed to use their mobile devices and tablets just as much, if not more, than their desktop devices in 2016.

Hamburger Menus

Those little menus that look like stacks of meat that became popular on your phone are coming to your desktop. Designers like the clean, minimalistic look that they enable.

Sketches, Illustrations, and Bold Colors

Once again, we go from minimal to the opposite end of the spectrum. Many sites are bringing in artists to utilize sketches and illustrations to enhance their UX. Along with the art comes bold colors. Yes, the ‘80s are back whether you like it or not. In 2015 we saw a trend towards monotone, but 2016 is showing signs of neon and other bold colors.

The one thing all these trends have in common is interaction. The push is absolutely on UX, be it through hit-you-in-the-face colors or cardstock-inspired interfaces. The key is to know your audience and figure out which trends will work for the best user experience.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Convey It – 2016 Website Review

It’s a new year, and probably a great time to take a good look at your web design. We put together a few articles and tips to help you determine if your stacks up to your competition and the industry at large.


Here’s the must-have list …

  • Is your website responsive – looks good on computers, tablets and phones?
  • Is it focused on the trends that are here to stay?
  • Do you have amazing content that engages your viewer and converts them into sales?
  • Is it visually stimulating in the mood and direction your brand is trying to convey?

Take a look at these articles that we’ve put together to give you a website jump start.

Responsive Design Trends

Looking back over the responsive web deign trends that defined 2015, is what they predicted to be true? Let’s go back and see what actually made the cut. This look back at 2015 web design trends is an interesting read: 8 responsive web design trends that defined 2015

Now that you’ve taken a look back at 2015, let’s leap to what’s coming in 2016.  Do you see any trends that you want to implement into your website this year? Web design trends 2016.

Website Content that Sells

Engaging content on your website is a must; you don’t want to bore your viewers with dry content, acronyms, industry jargon and bullet points.  Take a look at these tip for writing better website content: 10 Tips for writing website content

When putting together your website content your ultimate goal in to convert viewers into sales.  Here are 4 “must haves” to make that happen:  Entertain, Educate, Persuade, CONVERT! 4 types of Content that every website needs.

Website Color and Visuals

A lot of designers hyper focus on the visual elements of website design.  Incorporating your brand and style guide color palettes into your design is very important.  Here is an example of beautiful web color schemes: Trendy web color palettes and material design color schemes.



Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Website Bounce Rates Examined

I was going to write about why new websites can display very misleading bounce rates, but I realized I had never covered the Bounce Rate concept before, so I’ll stick to the basics today.

If you already know the term, consider this post a refresher.

A Bounce Rate is a very important metric for website owners. It basically tells you what percentage of your visitors are “bouncing” away after landing on your site (e.g., they just visit one page and leave before clicking on to a second page inside your site). A bounce can occur for several reasons, including:

  • The visitor hit the “Back” button on his browser.
  • The visitor closed his browser.
  • The visitor clicked on one of your ads.
  • The visitor clicked on one of your external links.
  • The visitor used the search box on his browser.
  • The visitor typed a new URL on his browser.

All the actions above would cause the visitor to leave your site. Provided he did any of these actions right after arriving at your site (and before clicking on to a second page), it would be counted as a bounce. In fact the formula for finding the bounce rate on your website is:

Bounce rate = Visits that left after one page / Total number of visits

For example, if during a certain month your site received 120,000 visits, out of which 80,000 bounced after visiting just one page, your bounce rate for that month would be 80,000 divided by 120,000, which equals to 0.66 (or 66%). Notice that you can calculate the bounce rate of your whole website or of single pages inside it.

Obviously the lower the bounce rate on your website, the better, because it means that visitors are engaging with your content and design, and that they are clicking through to visit additional pages on your site.

How do you know the exact bounce rate on your site? A web analytics program will automatically track the numbers for you.

How do you know what your bounce rate should be? Ask the experts at Conveyance Marketing Group.

How do you lower your bounce rate? Engaging content and clean, modern design.

Mobile Site Marketing: Small Screen, Big Impact

Believe it or not, mobile web design is only about four years old; in those four years, mobile has evolved dramatically and become a critical component of the marketing mix.

Mobile is not just for big brands, it is also important for small businesses to create a strategy for how their website functions in the mobile space.

As a small-business marketing agency, we want to see our clients benefit from the same tools and technologies of their larger competitors. Below we have outlined our top three tips on how to make your small business mobile site convey your message accurately and effectively.

1. Define Your Business Objectives

Unlike your website, there is limited space when you move to a mobile device so it is very important to define a couple of top priorities to convey to smart phone users.

Example: Cartridge World
Primary business objective: Saving money on ink and toner cartridges

The leading message conveyed on the Cartridge World website and mobile site is the same: Save Money on Ink and Toner Cartridges. On the corporate website there is more real estate to convey that message and offer interaction points to allow the visitor to experience the savings for themselves.

On the mobile site, you don’t see the complex navigation and other callouts, but the primary business objective is perfectly conveyed. Visitors are not bombarded with too many messages, they are offered one message: Save 30-40% on Ink and Toner Cartridges; and offered two large touch-targets: Find a Store, Calculate Savings. It can’t get much more efficient than that: where you can buy, how much you’ll save.

2. Create a Simple and Unique Mobile Canvas

Don’t make things too complex on mobile unshackle yourself from your web design past. When working with mobile design you are facing two major barriers: screen size and slower network speeds. Mobile design calls for a simplified approach to design, layout, and navigation.

Example: Acumen
Primary business objective: To change the way the world tackles poverty

With less screen real estate at your disposal, you need to choose the placement of elements wisely. A single-column structure with collapsible navigation tends to work best. The single column allows the site to easily scale between different device resolutions and portrait vs. landscape mode. The collapsible navigation takes the single-column design a step further and allows your visitors to access the content they are most interested in.

Acumen uses simple yet strong visual elements to convey their message. The name, tagline and image are the only elements on the mobile landing page. The menu opens to a simplified version of the website’s navigation scheme. This design keeps the file size and load times down. They did a wonderful job of simplifying the message.

3. Provide a Lighting-fast, Exceptional User Experience

Users expect a faster experience on mobile than on a desktop. Mobile offers so many more capabilities to create that immediate, custom-tailored user experiences, such as multi-touch and location detection.

Example: Yahoo!
Primary business objective: connect people to their passions, their communities, and the world’s knowledge

Via their mobile site, Yahoo does a great job at connecting their visitors to their passions, communities and world news. The single column, three-tab collapsible navigation allows Yahoo to deliver a large amount of information quickly in a digestible format.

They have mastered the one-thumb navigation scheme their users can get to the information they want to read in about eight seconds and with a maximum of three taps and a swipe.

The Yahoo business model is based upon membership, but wisely they postpone signup and let people actually jump in and start using their service.

Is a Custom Designed WordPress Website for You?

WordPress is a powerful blogging platform as well as a widely-used content management system (CMS). Chances are that a majority of your favorite news websites use WordPress to provide their readers with rich content. Content publishers such as People, eBay, Mashable, and even CNN use WordPress. But as a small or medium size business, you may be wondering if a custom WordPress website is the right choice for you.

Why Choose a Custom WordPress Website?

Don’t let the list of big business using WordPress scare you off. Managing the content on a WordPress hosted website is an incredibly user-friendly process. Sure, there a lot of bells and whistles that can be added to the front end of a website, but writing and editing can be done quickly and with little-to-no previous experience. This is one of the reasons so many businesses and individuals choose WordPress websites.

Last year TechCrunch, another WordPress website, stated that WordPress powers 14.7% of the top million websites in the world. Also that 22 out of every 100 new active domains in the United States are using WordPress.

Website Design

WordPress isn’t just a great blogging tool. Often a business will have a WordPress website and will choose not to use the blogging features. A WordPress website is fully customizable and can be used to sell products, showcase a service, used for events, etc. This way businesses can have a powerful, high-functioning website that is visible to the public, but are still able to use the simple backend to manage and update their content.

WordPress Websites are the Best for SEO

If you’ve ever wondered why your competitor’s website is outranking yours in a Google search, it’s because they are currently doing a better job with their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO services are extremely valuable, and there are certain websites that handle SEO better than others.

Earlier today, Mashable posted an article detailing which websites are appearing higher in Google searches and WordPress was one of the sites they recommended using. And just how important are SEO services for your business website? The article says that 94% of people only look at the first page of Google search results. If you aren’t appearing high in Google searches, your business is not seeing the website traffic that it should be.

Using a custom WordPress website for your business is an excellent choice; a choice made by some of the biggest companies in the world as well as small and medium sized businesses.

Follow the links for more information on custom website design and SEO services.


Knowing Your Customer is so Important

Knowing your customer is so important … that sounds like a no-brainer right? Well, I have run into so many businesses that just don’t take this to heart – both large and small companies! While you may have thousands of names and contact information to keep track of, your clients only has one – YOURS!

Just today I received a “Pull-Ups News” email from leading manufacturer Kimberly-Clark Corporation. I have to tell you that my kids haven’t been in Huggies Diapers or Pull-Ups for at least ten years. I have actually unsubscribed from this eNewsletter several times over the past ten years too. And, to no-avail … they keep sending me that eNewsletter.

I do recall filling out an online registration form when my first child was born – so I could earn Huggies Points. The Huggies Points promotion was great, but before baby number two was into Pull-Ups, the promotion was all over. Between that time, Kimberly Clark had collected enough information about me to know how many children I had, their ages, their sexes and where they were in the potty-training cycle. You’d think they would know when to stop sending me “Pull-Ups News.”

We have to leverage every customer we have in order to keep our business going and growing. Meeting your customer’s needs is important, but knowing them and what they need is essential. You need to know your customer and what their needs are pertaining to your business as well as they do. People find comfort in buying a product from someone they know and trust … and who knows them!

If Kimberly Clark knew their database, their eNewsletters wouldn’t be landing in my inbox and reminding me of what bad marketers they are!