web design

75 great promotional words to use

75 great promotional words to use  |  Hue & Tone Creative

The words you use have a direct impact on the actions people take. They’re the difference between someone looking at your advert and thinking “hmm, sounds interesting” and “wow, I’m going to give them a call right now.”

Needless to say, every single organization out there is striving for the latter. 

Take a look at this line for example:

  1. Start earning money today

  2. Start making money today

Both deliver the same message, but the second is more impactful. Why? Because making money sounds simpler than earning it, and in a dog eat dog world where everything’s about maximizing profit - easily, that’s exactly what people are after.

Boosting your conversion rates really could be as simple as tweaking the odd word here and there, so, let today be the day you go through your websiteoffline collateral and online adverts and see where you could be making the most of stronger alternatives.

 

Words that create reassurance

If you want to convert a prospect into a customer you need to give them a reason to believe what you’re saying and trust what you’re selling. So, here are some words that incite just that:

  1. Promise

  2. Guarantee

  3. Risk-free

  4. Unconditional

  5. Proven

  6. Tried and tested

  7. Protected

     

Words that create a sense of urgency

Whether you’ve got a promotion that’s due to expire or you just want to encourage your audience to buy now, these words will give them a nudge in the right direction. One thing worth mentioning though is not to over-use these kinds of words, if you do, over time, they’ll lose their effectiveness. 

7. Now

8. Last chance

9. Flash sale

10. Call today

11. Quick

12. Expires

13. Soon

14. Immediately

15. Hurry

16. Ending

17. Going-fast

18. Limited

19. Last

20. Don’t miss out

75 great promotional words to use  |  Hue & Tone Creative


Words that promote ease

People are busy. They don’t have time to faff around and they want products and services that make their life easier, so let them know yours does just that with words like:

21. Easy

22. Simple

23. No-fuss

24. Hassle-free

25. Smooth

26. Painless

27. Straight-forward

 

Words that invoke value

As a society, we’re a demanding bunch; we don’t just want ease, we want value for money and deals too. You can cater for all these needs with words like:

29. Bargain

30. Free

31. Discount

32. Freebie

33. Sale

34. Value

35. Save

36. Buy one, get one

37. Elite

38. Premium

39. Effective

40. Popular

41. Market-leading

42. Best-seller

 

Words that give off a personal touch

People aren’t naive. When you send out a promotional email they know they’re not the only one on the receiving end of it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make it personal. Here are a few words to achieve this:

43. Invite-only

44. Hand-crafted

45. Just for you

46. You told us

47. We thought you might like

48. Thank you

 

Words that offer exclusivity

It’s a time-old problem, people want what they can’t have. As soon as we know something’s off the table we want it more, and the same goes for the world of business. Make your products and/or services more desirable by saying things like: 

49. Secret

50. Rare

51. Few

52. Limited edition

53. Unique

54. Select

55. One-off

56. One of a kind

57. Sought-after

 

Words that promote luxury 

If you’re offering something lavish and your target market’s after the finer things in life, here’s how to up-sell what’s on your shelf:

58. State-of-the-art

59. Luxury

60. Finest

61. Delux

62. Plush

63. Magnificent

 

Words that inspire 

Saying your service’s ‘really great’ is hardly inspiring, is it? You need attention-grabbing words that motivate people to want to take action, like:

64. Mind-blowing 

65. Incredible

66. Remarkable

67. Life-changing

68. Amazing

69. The new way to…

70. The new you

 

Words that create curiosity

Finally, if you want to pique people’s interest, stop them in their tracks, and lure them into what you’re saying, start with:

71. Introducing

72. Coming soon

73. Did you know…

74. Discover

75. Stop 


Hue & Tone Creative: Campaign experts

So you’ve got the promotional words you need, but do you know what to put before and after them to make your next campaign really work for you? No? Don’t worry, we can help with that. Get in touch at hannah@hueandtonecreative.com or (336) 365-8559 to see how.

How to write a meta description that gets clicked

Be bold and stand out from the crowd with a good meta description.

Be bold and stand out from the crowd with a good meta description.

When you’re creating an email campaign you probably put a lot of thought into your subject lines, right? Because you want as many people as possible to open them.

Well, when you write a blog post or product page, do you put just as much effort into your meta description?

No? Then you might as well just tell organic visitors to check out the next search result down.

What’s a meta description?

A meta description is a snippet of text (usually around 155 characters) that appears below your page’s title in search results. It advertises the content on that page and it’s your chance to tell people why they need to click through to your site - and not your competitors. 

Time and time again though, people leave their meta descriptions down to chance, banking on Google picking a killer excerpt from their page. But, if you want to smash your SEO targets, that just won’t do. 

A properly put together meta description can:

  • Improve organic click-through rates

  • Increase SEO-lead visits

  • Reduce bounce rates

  • Support conversion targets

How to write a click-worthy meta description

1. Keep an eye on your length: Make sure all your important information is in the first 155 characters. After that, there’s a good chance whatever you write will get truncated and no-one will see it. As with any type of writing, short, snappy and to-the-point wins every time.


2. Inspire action: Let searchers know what they’ll walk away with if they enter your site by clearly communicating key benefits and inducing a sense of urgency. 

For example, if it’s a blog on ‘Why meta descriptions are important’ don’t just start summarizing the page’s content, dive straight in with the benefits, a bit like this:


Increase your organic traffic, leads and conversions today by understanding and implementing the power of your page’s meta descriptions.

 

3. Include a call-to-action (CTA): Remember, your meta description is your sales pitch for the page it’s linked to, so make use of CTAs like you would with any other type of advert. Phrases like ‘learn more’, ‘get it now, ‘come on in’, and ‘try for free’ ought to do the trick.


4. Use relevant keywords: Don’t go keyword crazy by adding keywords into every other word because you think keywords are the answer to your keyword problems. See what we did there? Keep it natural. 

Generally speaking, Google’s more likely to use a meta description that includes text that matches all or part of a searcher’s query. 

As an added bonus, they’ll also highlight corresponding keywords making your listing even more compelling, like this:

Meta-description-bold-keywords.png

 5. Make sure it matches your content: Luring people into your site with misleading meta descriptions won’t work; Google’s smarter than that and they’ve been known to penalize people for it.

It’s not just for Google’s sake though. Enticing visitors in under false pretences will just irritate them and result in more bounces straight back out as soon as they realize they’ve been taken for a ride, and that won’t do your reputation any favors.


Hue & Tone Creative: greensboro graphic design

If you know what you need to do but you don’t have the manpower to do it, we can help. We’re pros when it comes to creating copy and design that converts. Get in touch with the team at (336) 365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com to take the first step.

Everything you need to know about your site’s bounce rate

Don’t let people say “peace” to your web page.

Don’t let people say “peace” to your web page.

Your website traffic isn’t quite where you hoped it would be. You were way off last month’s email sign-up target. Your conversion rates are looking a little lackluster. And your blogroll of posts just isn’t getting read. Sound familiar?

When numbers aren’t being met most people jump straight to loading more money into PPC or churning out an extra email campaign a week. But have you ever tried putting the spotlight on your bounce rate? 

Get this metric right and you’ll set yourself up for the ultimate business journey: more traffic > more conversions > more money. Get it wrong though, and you may as well just point your visitors to your competitor’s site.


What does bounce rate mean?

The term bounce rate refers to the number of people who enter your site - either from Google, a social media ad, email campaign or otherwise, and exit before exploring any of your website’s other content. 

For example, someone types “real estate advice Greensboro” into Google. They land on a blog about house-hunting tips. After they’ve finished reading it, they hit the back button or close out of the browser without clicking through to any others pages. They’ve ‘bounced’ right back out.

Now you know what it is, to help you keep your bounce rate low and conversions high, we’ll be looking at:

  • How it’s calculated

  • How to find it

  • Analyzing your data

  • What a high and low bounce rate means

  • How to improve your numbers

  • Tracking your progress

So, let’s get started.

How is bounce rate calculated? 

The formula’s simple: the number of one-page visits on your site divided by the total number of visitors.

For Example: Yesterday, 2,000 people landed on your website’s homepage. Of those visitors, 700 left without interacting with any other of your site’s pages. Your homepage’s bounce rate would be 35%.

How to find your bounce rate

You can quickly and easily access the bounce rate of any or all of your site’s page on Google Analytics. Here’s how:

  1. Sign-in to your account and select the site you want to look at.

  2. From the homepage, you’ll see your site-wide bounce rate straight away:

3. To delve deeper and see your bounce rate for individual pages, head to the menu down the left of the screen and go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages / Content Drilldown / Landing Pages. Once you’ve done that, you should see a screen a bit like this: 

Google-Analytics-site-pages.png

Within here you can start to get specific and fiddle with things like the date range, acquisition type, URLs, device, browser, location, gender, age, and more.

For a really detailed look at all the ways you can slice up your data, check out this in-depth guide.

bounce_t20_x6KY7l.jpg

Diving into the stats

Numbers are only the start of what you need to know — once you’ve located your bounce rate data, you need to root around to discover some trends and see what is and isn’t working for you. When you’re investigating your page numbers, ask yourself things like:

  • Does the time of day impact bounce rates?

  • Do certain sections of the site receive higher bounce rates than others?

  • Does social media traffic receive higher bounce rates than organic?

  • Are there any on-page patterns across low-performing pages?

After you’ve armed yourself with this type of intel you’ll be ready to start putting plans in place to boost your numbers - but we’ll talk about that in more detail a little later on.

What does a high or low bounce rate mean?

What constitutes a ‘good’ bounce rate varies from industry-to-industry and site-to-site. Here’s a rough guideline of what’s accepted as the norm though:

Type of website: Benchmark average bounce rate %

  • Content websites: 40 - 60%

  • Lead Generation: 30 - 50%

  • Blogs: 70 - 98%

  • Retail Sites: 20 - 40%

  • Service Sites: 10 - 30%

  • Landing Pages: 70 - 90%

 

And here are some figures by industry:

Bounce-rate-by-industry.png
 

High bounce rates

Generally speaking, high bounce rates aren’t great. Think about it, if you were consumed by something you’d seen or read on someone’s site, you’d probably poke your nose around a few more pages, right? Well, that should be the aim of every single page of your site, and a high bounce rate could be a sign you’re not delivering. 

If you’re not sure where to start looking, here are a few things that could be contributing to your numbers:

  1. Slow page load times - according to research, a two-second delay can equate to a 100%+ increase in bounce rate.

  2. You’ve provided the visitor with everything they could possibly want and need on that one page alone. To see if this is likely to be true, check out the ‘Average time on page’ stats.

    If visitors have spent a decent amount of time on the page (say a couple of minutes) then they probably did spend the time needed to digest everything and get what they need. If it’s low though, say 10 - 15 seconds, they probably didn’t get past the first paragraph.

  3. Luring people in with misleading title tags and/or meta descriptions and not giving them what they’re actually looking for.

  4. Technical errors. If a visitor lands on a 404 page, for example, there’s not much encouraging them to stick around.

  5. If the content on your page(s) is weak people will bounce straight back out and look for a stronger alternative - which is why quality is so important.

  6. Poor user experiences (UX) can also be a deterrent. Whether you’re bombarding visitors with adverts, pop-up surveys, and/or subscription options, or your navigation set-up isn’t intuitive, both will make it harder to keep people on your site.

Low bounce rates

While low bounce rates on the whole are a good indicator your page(s) are performing well, if it’s suspiciously low (say 10%) it could be a sign there’s a technical error - usually, duplicate analytic codes are the cause.

What are duplicate analytic codes? 

Basically, this just means you have two sets of the same code on your site which results in two page view requests. The effect is Google Analytics then thinks two separate actions took place, disqualifying it from being called a bounce. 

Of course, you should celebrate successes and take credit where credit’s due, but just remember, if something looks too good to be true, it usually is.


How to improve your bounce rate

If you’ve identified a site-wide or specific-page problem with your bounce rate, here are 10 tips to give it a nudge in the right direction.

  1.  Make your content more readable by looking at things like your font, paragraphs, and quantity of text.

  2. Don’t bombard people with interstitials. They’re irritating.

  3. Make your next desired action glaringly obvious. If visitors can’t see your call-to-action, they’re unlikely to click it.

  4. Take a look at your design and branding. If your site looks naff, people might assume your brand’s naff.

  5. Target the right keywords and write compelling - and accurate - meta descriptions. If you’re enticing the wrong type of organic traffic to your site, it’ll instantly impact your bounce rate.

  6. Revisit your email, social, referral etc. databases, and make sure you’re attracting the right visitors. You can have the best website in the world, but if you’re not reaching your target market it won’t work.

  7. Take whatever steps are required to reduce your page load speed; people don’t have time to sit around and wait.

  8. Make sure every single element of your website oozes quality. If it’s not adding value, get rid of it.

  9. Set any external links to open in new windows to minimize the risk of visitors not returning to your content.

  10. Invest in a mobile-friendly site. Desktop versions can be a pain in the ass to navigate around on mobile, and that’s a one-way ticket to losing visitors. 

  11. Introduce relevant landing pages that target high volume keywords. According to a study by HubSpot, companies with 40+ landing pages earn 12x more leads than those with five or less.

Track your progress 

Last but by no means least, don’t forget to track and analyze any changes you make. This will help you further hone in on what does and doesn’t work – then you can harness what you learn to improve other pages of your site.

 To keep your analysis orderly, it might be worth setting up a spreadsheet and recording things like:

  • The URL of the page(s) you’re working on

  • Bounce rates before any on or off-page modifications

  • The date any changes were made

  • What changes were made

  • The bounce rate after your tweaks - just make sure you leave yourself a meaningful amount of time to get a true picture of whether or not it’s helped

 Try not to get too caught up on industry averages either. When determining what success means for you, keep on top of peaks and troughs and focus on your trends over time.


Hue & Tone Creative: Marketing for Greensboro and Beyond

Need some support with your site’s bounce rate? We’ve got you covered from every angle. Get in touch with the team at (336) 365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com to see how our design, content, and campaign services could help. 

4 common web design mistakes - and how to fix them

You can have the best product on your shelves, the best customer service around, the best words on your webpages, and the best advice on your blogs, but, if your website’s design isn’t up to par it can all fall flat. 

Getting your website’s aesthetics just right can be a tough nut to crack - especially if it’s not your area of expertise. Small mistakes here and there can wreak havoc with your conversion rate. Many of these web design blunders are easily avoidable – or can be quickly corrected. 

4 Common Web Design Mistakes -- and how to fix them  |  Hue & Tone Creative

All you need is the knowledge about how to correct them, and then you can get your design quickly back on track. If you’re not sure where you might be going wrong, here are four common mistakes we come across and how to overcome them:

1. Hidden contact details

Getting people to land on your website is one half of the battle, getting people to take action is the other. So, make it as easy as possible for visitors to find your form, email, or number.

All too often, organizations leave their contact details buried in their footer or three links deep into their navigation, making it hard to get in touch. 

The fix: Task someone who doesn’t know your site inside and out with tracking down your contact details. If they report back it took them more than a second or two, it’s time to look at your placement. A couple of easy-to-see suggestions include: 

  • At the top right of your main navigation bar, so it’s instantly visible on every page

  • Within your main navigation bar, clearly labelled - something like ‘Contact us’ or ‘Get in touch’

2. Cluttered pages

4 Common Web Design Mistakes -- and how to fix them  |  Hue & Tone Creative

The phrase “less is more” couldn’t be more true when it comes to designing a clean and easy to navigate web page. Lots of sites out there are guilty of cramming each and every page with images, buttons, text, and widget – but all these elements are competing for your visitor’s attention and can quickly become overwhelming. 

People don’t know where to look, what to read, or what’s most important, and they certainly can’t skim your content - all of which can be a big turn-off.

The fix: Go through your website page-by-page and really question what the value of each element is. If there isn’t a motivation behind a certain element, go ahead and remove it. Once you’ve whittled your on-page items down to the essentials, start strategizing about each page’s hierarchy. Make sure you’re incorporating clear call to actions and plenty of whitespace.

Shameless plug: hiring a designer might help with this.

3. Fatal contact forms

Complicated contact forms can be fatal to your conversion rates. If you’ve got lines and lines of fields to fill in, there’s a good chance your visitors will take one look, race to the back button, and exit your site altogether. After all, time is of the essence for everyone on your website or social media. 


The fix: Similar to your site’s pages, go through all your forms field-by-field to see what info is and isn’t needed. For example, you probably don’t need a prospect’s address until they’re further down the funnel – so don’t ask for it, because it could deter people from filling out your form.

In most cases, we recommend keeping forms to just a name and email address. Often, even just an email address field will suffice. 

By the end of this process you should be left with concise, tidy forms, and a clear plan for your data collection strategy.

After some extra advice? Here’s more on how to design a user-friendly form.

4. Absent search boxes

Quick tip: Another quick and easy workaround could be Google Custom Search.

If your site’s relatively big (more than 10 - 20 pages including regular pages, products, blogs, etc.) it’s probably a good idea to add a search box. It makes your site easier to navigate and ensures people will be able to find the content they’re looking for. No more worrying about people leaving the site because the blog post they were looking for was buried in your archives! 


The fix: The solution will depend on your CMS. Some will have a search box feature built-in for you to download, but for other platforms you might have to source a developer to help create a custom one. 


Hue & Tone Creative: Your Website Design Expert

If you’ve not got the time or experience to give your website’s design the attention it needs, then we’re here to give it the TLC it deserves. To see what we can do for you, get in touch today at (336) 365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

Inbound marketing: 8 tips for design that converts

Inbound marketing: 8 tips for design that converts  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Are your inbound marketing efforts failing to secure the numbers you projected? Are you confident in your concept and scratching your head to figure out where it’s going wrong? Well, perhaps it’s time to look in the direction of your design.  

Design possesses the power to convert spectators into engaged customers. It’s the first and last thing people see when engaging with your business. And it should be a key focus when working to increase your conversions.

So, without further ado, here are eight design tips to give your numbers a nudge in the right direction.

 

1. Hick’s Law

Hick’s Law is a popular theory that suggests the time it takes someone to make a decision is directly proportionate to the number of possible choices they have. So, in Layman’s terms, the more options you give your visitors, the less likely they are to perform the desired action.

To implement this theory, take a look at your site’s design and structure and ask yourself (and honestly answer!) whether you’ve got too much going on. If the answer’s yes, see how you can hone things down to give consumers one or two key choices. 

 

2. Don’t be afraid of white space 

To a degree, the phrase “less is more” couldn’t be truer. Don’t cram your designs with color, text, and imagery out of the fear of being ‘bland’. White space can contribute to clean and clear designs that emphasize the content you want visitors to focus on… which, in turn, increases conversions. 

 

3. Choose your colors carefully

Color can evoke emotion. Emotion can result in action. Action can result in conversion. Use contrast to ensure your text, headlines and call to actions stand out, and experiment with your color choices to see which returns the best results.

 

4. Remember the 8-second rule

It’s true what they say, the human attention span is less than that of a gold fish - a mere eight seconds, in fact. That means you’ve got limited time to grab a visitor’s attention. 

Think about using: 

  • Large and snappy headlines

  • Eye-catching imagery

  • Clear call to actions

  • Power words

  

5. Use real faces

Using natural imagery and real people can improve your brand’s authenticity and in turn portray you as more trustworthy, human, and familiar. 

If you’ve got an ‘About us’ section with a breakdown of your employees, put a photo of them next to their bio. And, instead of buying stock photos for everything, consider organizing a photoshoot that shows off your product or office. 

 

6. Quality is key

Poor quality pictures don’t make a good first impression. They reflect badly on your brand and lead onlookers to associate the quality of your imagery with the quality of your product or service - after all, if you can’t master your pictures, how can you follow through on the other things your website promises? Now we know that’s not necessarily true, but it’s a conclusion people can jump to.

If you’ve got pictures on your site that are pixelated, distorted or just plain tacky, it’s time to go ahead and replace them.

 

7. Optimize your forms

Having trouble designing a form that converts? We can help with that

When it comes to conversions, your formsare key – because it’s where the action takes place. So, don’t let yourself fall flat at the final hurdle. Keep your form simple and concise, include a clear CTA, make sure the fields are clearly labelled, and use a large submit button.

To see where there’s room for improvement, we suggest trying out some A/B testing (more on that here).

  

8. Don’t leave out your logo

This one might seem obvious, but it’s not unheard of for people to overlook the most obvious element of their website.  

Whether it’s a landing page, flyer, brochure, business card or online ad, you need to always include your logo. That’s how you reinforce your branding for people – and while it doesn’t have to be the focal point of your page, it does need to be strategically placed so people know where they are and who’s talking to them.


Hue & Tone Creative:

Feeling like these design changes are outside of your expertise? Not to worry, that’s where our creative team comes in! To see what we can do for you, get in touch today at hannah@hueandtonecreative.com

12 tips for picking a good URL

Lead your website visitors right where they need to go…

Lead your website visitors right where they need to go…

Picking the perfect URL is a pretty big deal. It’s your online identity, it’s got to fit your business, and it’s got to be easy to find and promote. Not to mention, if you change your mind down the road it’s going to be a pain to go back and undo.

So, to make your future easier, here are 12 tips to help you settle on a good URL the first time around:

 

1. Make it easy to type

You want it to be as easy as possible for people to type your domain name into their browser, hit enter and land on your site. If it isn’t, you run the risk of losing potential visitors. So, try to avoid the use of slang (using ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ for example) or words with various spellings (like express and xpress).

 

2. Keep it short

Tying in with tip number one, keeping your domain name short reduces the chances of people mis-typing or mis-spelling it. Plus, long and complex URLs can be hard to remember, and you want people to remember you, right?

 

3. Watch out for bloopers

Here’s a prime example for you: penisland.net. The company’s called Pen Island, but we don’t need to tell you what the domain name can be interpreted as… 

The moral of the story: always check for embarrassing double meanings before you buy your domain.

 

4. Insert keywords

Try to include keywords relevant to your business. For example, if you’re a door repair company, you might want to register for a domain along the lines of doorrepair.com or doorreplacements.com. Keywords not only aid your organic efforts, but they just make sense to your customers.

 

5. Geographic targeting

If your product or service operates on a local basis, consider tying this into your domain name too. Sticking with the door repair example, this could mean having a domain like: vegasdoorrepair.com or doorrepair.vegas. Again, this makes your domain easier for people to find and remember.

 

6. Avoid numbers

Numbers can be easily misunderstood. For example, a numeral number 5 could be misplaced with a spelled out number five, and vice versa. 

woman-using-smartphone_t20_AeLxr0.jpg

 7. Skip the hyphen

Try to stay away from using hyphens, too. They can be forgotten about which, you guessed it, makes your website more difficult to be found. 

 

8. Do your research

The last thing you want is a legal battle on your hands, so make sure you research your chosen domain name to make sure it isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company.

 

9. Don’t gloss over your extension

When we say ‘extension’, we mean the end bit of the url, like .com, .net, .org and .info, for example. Here’s a breakdown of how each is typically used:

  • .co - an abbreviation for company, commerce and community

  • .info - informational sites

  • .net - technical, internet infrastructure sites

  • .org - non-commercial organizations and non-profits

  • .biz - business or commercial sites

  • .me - blogs, resumes or personal spaces

Don’t be afraid of straying from the standard .com. It’s by far the most popular, but because of this, it can be tough to get your hands on a short and memorable URL that isn’t already taken. The key to choosing one that’s right, is making sure it’s relevant.

For example, if you’re a non-profit organization, it wouldn’t make sense to opt for a .biz extension. It might throw visitors off the scent and make them less likely to remember your link.

 

10. Buy back-ups

Everything up until now has been centered around building a URL that’s sheltered from being misspelled. But, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so it could be worth registering misspelled versions of your domain too, so people still make their way to your site anyway.

 

11. Bat off your competitors

Stop your competitors from stepping on your toes by purchasing similar domains to your own and redirecting them to your primary URL. For example, if your domain is doorrepair.com, you might also want to consider owning:

  • doorrepairs.com

  • doorrepair.biz

  • doorrepair.net

  • doorrepair.co.uk

 

12. Check its history

And finally, using sites like who.is and WaybackMachine, check out the domain’s history. After all, you don’t want to be associated with something that has a shady past.


Hue & Tone: Let us help you with your website

Brainstorming, agreeing on, and purchasing your domain name is the first half of the battle... building a website that converts is the other - and that’s where we come in. To see how we can help, contact our team at (336) 365-8559.

8 elements of a great economic development website

8 elements of a great economic development website  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Creating a strong online presence for your development project allows you to widen your reach and share information with interested people and businesses. In addition to capturing the essence of your city or surroundings, your website should also follow a few marketing best practices in order to enhance your effectiveness. 

The things that make an economic development website great are the same things that make any website a dream: intuitive navigation, on-trend branding, and clear messaging. But what else can really help your website stand out from the pack? 

Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to overhaul what you’ve currently got, here are eight useful tips to help you get the most out of your economic development website.

 

1. Make your mission clear 

If you want to stand out, your mission needs to be clear, inspiring and distinguishable from the competition. The overarching goal for any economic development campaign is to connect with prospective companies about why you’re a good fit for their company.  

To lure potential job creators to your area, you’ll need to thoroughly develop your mission statement and make sure it’s clear who you’re targeting, how your site or area will benefit them, how you plan to engage them, and what the next steps will be. 

 

2. Show off your support

No one does economic development alone –chances are you have a handful of partner organizations and public or private financial backing. People should easily be able to determine who is involved with your project, and what portions of the project they are involved with.

However, just adding this information to your website isn’t enough –you’ll want to keep people updated as your project progresses. It can take years for a project to go from the idea stage to groundbreaking, and staying active on social media or sending out a monthly newsletter can help keep people bought in to your project. 

 

3. Use statistics sensibly 

If you are using statistics to support something you’ve said or to support the value of your mission, make sure they’re up-to-date, accurate, and applicable. If you try engineering semi-relevant stats to fit your message, you’ll just end up confusing your audience. 

 Use tailored statistics and use them sparingly to make the most impact on your audience. 

 

4. Disclose individual contacts

Don’t use generic email addresses like info@mywebsite.com or contact@mywebsite.com. Potential site consultants will want to be able to do research on all parties involved and want to know they’re about to build a personal connection with someone. 

We suggest including the name, job title, email address, contact number and photo of each of your employees.

 

5. Stick to the three-click rule

You might have lots of really great content on your website, but if your visitors can’t find it, it’s not going to be doing you any good. The less clicks visitors have to make the better!

As a general rule, you don’t want to make pertinent information further than three clicks away from any given location on your site.

 

6. Don’t cut corners on imagery

The look and feel of your online presence is clearly important –but it’s not just about branding. When you’re choosing your imagery, don’t cut corners on the quality. 

There will be times when you’re selling a vision for a mid-construction project, which means you may have to use stock photography. If that’s the case, look for images that feel authentic. Try to target stock images that all have a similar style so that your site looks cohesive. 

If you’re in the early stages of a project, we suggest incorporating lots of placemaking imagery to give prospects a better sense of your community. Photos of lively town centers will help balance out the sterile feel of elevation drawings and floorplans.

 

7. Boast about your buy-in

If you’re in the early stages of a project or are searching for an anchor tenant, community buy-in matters. Showing off major backers will definitely turn heads -- but if you’re stretched for valuable web content don’t limit yourself to just the big names. 

Consider compiling a semi-exhaustive directory of all the small businesses and civic leaders who are engaged with your project. Pull quotes that highlight public support to convey a feeling of success…before you’ve even broken ground. 

 

8. Keep it fresh

Keeping your stats up-to-date is one thing, keeping the rest of your content fresh is another. When a project is in a construction lull, or you’re waiting for permits to come through, it can be easy to let your content get stale. 

To make sure you don’t fall into a rut, we suggest putting together a content calendar together that highlights key developments for the next year. This will help you brainstorm relevant content for the down times and force you to think outside of the box. Just be sure to keep revisiting your content calendar as construction schedules change! 


Let’s get into business: together.

If you need a partner to help you optimize your website, help you develop a campaign, or maintain your social media efforts, get in touch at 336-365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

12 tips for a successful webinar

If done right, webinars are a great way to engage your audience, add credibility to your name, build meaningful relationships, and raise your brand awareness. But if things go poorly, you’ll be funneling a lot of time and energy into a failed presentation. 

Not sure what “getting it right” looks like? Well, we’ve put 12 tips together to help guide the creation of your webinar.  

12 tips for a successful webinar  |  Hue & Tone Creative


1. Make sure the speaker’s engaging 

If you’re expecting your audience to tune in for 10, 20, 45 or 50+ minutes, make sure the person delivering the webinar has a voice for it. You need someone who has an enthusiastic tone and, most importantly, is clear with their delivery. 

 

2. Sound out the sound quality 

There’s nothing more annoying than trying to intently listen to something that’s too quiet, keeps crackling, or has irritating background noise behind it. Do a few test runs before you go live so that you can ensure your sound quality is top notch.

 

3. Don’t forget about the design

As with any collateral you produce, your webinar slide design needs to be high-quality and on brand. Use easy to read brand typefaces, don’t cram too much on one slide, and don’t go overboard on graphics or photos. 

 

4. Analyze the length

There’s no golden rule when it comes to the length of your webinar. If you’ve got past recordings to learn from, see what time people tend to drop off and take it from there. If this is your first ever webinar, we would suggest never going over 60 minutes. 

 

12 tips for a successful webinar  |  Hue & Tone Creative

5. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

No matter how confident you are with your delivery skills, always do a test run. Fine tune the order of the slides, practice tongue-twisting lines, and work out all the glitch with your transitions –it’s better to work these things out now rather than later.   

It’s a good idea to have someone sit in on the practice run too - their fresh perspective might help you uncover issues you hadn’t previously picked up on.

 

6. Keep it conversational

Unless you’re delivering your webinar to robots, keep it conversational. It’ll make it easier for people to keep up with and digest, and itwill bring that all-important human element to it.

 

7. Introduce Q&As

Allowing a forum for Q&A’s is a great way to involve your audience, keep them engaged, and provide them with key takeaways that are tailored to them. 


8. Speak in second person

Refer to your audience as ‘you’. This’ll help submerge them into what you’re saying, build interaction, and make the entire webinar feel as though it’s being delivered to them on an individual level.

 

9. Bring it to life

Refer to real-life experiences throughout your webinar. In doing this, you’ll instantly make the information more relatable –and, the power of storytelling often makes details easier to remember.

 

10. Keep mobile in mind 

When you’re doing your test run, bear in mind that people might be watching your webinar on either their desktop, tablet, or mobile. So, make sure it works and streams easily on all types of devices. 

 

11. Your personal plug 

Don’t forget to mention your product or service at least one point - after all, the goal (whether now or in the future) is a sale. Just make sure you don’t go overboard. If your pitch is toosales-y you run the risk of listeners zoning out.

 

12. Don’t forget time differences

Last but not least, if you’re targeting people from different countries or time zones, factor these variances into the date and time you’re hosting your webinar –no matter what you’re sharing, people probably won’t wake up at 2am to see it. 


Hue & Tone Creative: Marketing for Greensboro, NC and beyond

If you feel like your webinar isn’t connecting, we can help you take your content to the next level. We can work with you on every marketing project, no matter what the format. To get an idea of what we can do, see some of the projects we’ve worked on in the past or get in touch.

Web Basics: What is web hosting?

Web hosting. We hear those words a lot, but how many of us actually know what it is? Well if you don’t, then look no further. We’ve cut out the jargon and waved goodbye to all that techy mumbo jumbo as we take a quick look at the basics of web hosting. 
 

What is web hosting?  |  Hue & Tone Creative


Web hosting vs domains

When it comes to web hosting and domains there can be a bit of confusion between the two. We like to break it down like this: 
 

Web hosting: This would be your house, because it’s the space where everything is stored.

Without web hosting there wouldn’t be any websites. It’s the physical location that your website (and everything it entails) sits, and it ensures that your site maintains a sturdy connection to the internet -- without that connection, people are unable to access any of the files on your site (which, in layman’s terms, means you have no website!).

Some examples of web hosting companies include InMotion, 1&1, HostGator, GoDaddy, Wix and Weebly.

 

Domain: This is the equivalent of your address, because it’s the location your host can be found.

It’s not a physical entity, it’s just the series of characters that make up your site’s unique location. So, the same way you’d enter an address and ZIP code to get to your end destination, you enter your domain name into the search bar to get to your website.

Some of the most popular domain name providers out there are GoDaddy, Hover, Dynadot, Google Domains and Namecheap.

 

Where should you buy web hosting from?

When it comes to choosing the right web host for you, there are a lot of solid contenders out there. To help you along your way, here are the top five as rated by the experts over at Techradar.


Web host

InMotion

Voted

Best overall shared web hosting

Selling points

Wordpress hosting, business hosting, web design services, and 24/7 US-based support

 

Runner-up overall shared web hosting

Baremetal servers, free SSL certificate, secure hacker protection, and email marketing

 

Best ‘cheap’ option on the market

Unmetered bandwidth, unmetered disk space, money back guarantee (45 days) and $150 search credit

 

Good all-round service

SEO services, free domain, database backup/restore, and unmetered bandwidth

 

Wordpress’ #1 preferred partner

Unmetered bandwidth, WooCommerce hosting, Free domain, 24/7 US-based support


What does all that terminology mean?

We just threw a bunch of terminology at you -- but since this is a beginner's guide to web hosting, let's go ahead and break it down: 
 

Bare metal servers: The term ‘bare metal’ refers to a hard disk, and so a bare metal server is when a computer system or network’s virtual machine is installed directly on to hardware.

SSL certificate: In its simplest form, an SSL certificate is a public-facing, digital document that tells people a site is secure. It also lets you know that the company that says they own the website you're accessing legitimately owns it. 

Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the amount of site content and visitor traffic a server can transfer in a certain amount of time.

Unmetered bandwidth: A hosting plan with unmetered traffic. The price you pay each month does not depend on the amount of traffic (data) sent to and from your server during the month

Unmetered disk space: Disk space is the amount of data you can store on a web server. The amount of disk space you need will vary depending on the size of your site. Similar to unmetered bandwidth, unmetered disk space means you are given an unlimited amount of disk space. 

SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the online practice of increasing the amount of traffic you get through to your website via organic search results, like Google. Some hosting companies offer services to help you improve your SEO.

 

Questions about what any of these terms mean? Leave them below in the comments -- we'll be happy to help clear up any questions you have! 


Hue & Tone Creative: Web Design Services

Once you've secured your domain and hosting, let us help you bring your site alive with a great design and intuitive user experience. Get in touch today to see how we can support your website’s set-up.

5 things we need to know before designing your website

5 things designers need to know before designing your website  |  Hue & Tone Creative

You want a brilliant website. We want you have to a brilliant website. But, to make that happen, there’s the small matter of distinguishing between what you think you want and what your business really needs.

Before we get going, here are a few quick facts for you. Did you know:

  • 38% of people say they’d leave a website if its content/layout was unattractive?
  • 94% of people gave poor web design as the reason for mistrusting or rejecting a website?
  • 46% of mobile users face difficulties interacting with a web page?

If anyone who’s reading this post doubts the importance of a good website, hopefully we’ll be able to clear up any confusion!

Whether you’re looking for a brand spanking new website or a revamp of your existing site, here are five things we need to know before helping you embark on your web design or redesign.

 

1.  What's the purpose of your site?

There’s a reason we’ve started with this question: it’s probably the most important one. Why? Because your end goal will heavily determine your website’s look, feel, navigation and layout.

Is your aim to sell a product or a service? Or both? Are you B2B or B2C? Are your offerings low or high value? Or do you exist to ply people with knowledge and information? Are you on the web to raise awareness? Or are you after a personal portfolio? There are endless options. All we need know is which goal is applicable to you – and the more specific the goal the better.

 

2. Who's your target audience? 

Your audience and their persona also play a large part in engineering your website, and this is where collecting data comes in handy. Examples of persona information include

 

Need help building your audience personas?

We've got a blog for that

  • Age bracket
  • Employment status
  • Living arrangements
  • Education
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Salary
  • Online behaviors
  • Pain points
  • Motivators
  • Personality traits
     

All of these elements (and more) will influence how people interact with a website and what makes them tick, which is why it’s essential the behavior of your ideal end user is incorporated into your design.

 

3. What kind of content will you be using?

You can’t have design without words, right? So who’ll be writing those words: you or us? If it’s us, do you have tone of voice guidelines? 

And, do you plan on having a blog? Try and think of the long game for this one. Even if you don’t think you’re in the position to have one in the immediate future, is it in the pipeline? If so, it makes sense to factor it into the design stage from the get go.

 

4.  What kind of branding do you already have established?  

If this isn’t your first stab at a site, it’s likely you’ll already have some form of branding guidelines established – for both your on and offline brand elements. So, the question is, are there elements of that branding you’re adamant on keeping? And if so, why? We need to know the why to help us build a robust picture of how you want your brand to look.

What have you learned about your existing brand since you started using it? How are customers responding – good or bad? Knowing this will help us to make any necessary tweaks to your branding so you can reach your maximum potential. 

Bonus question: If we’re making tweaks to your branding on the website, do you also need help updating things like your emails, social media, brochures, and letterhead?

 

5.  Do you have any no-go's?

Whether it’s from an old website of yours, your competitors’, or the local store you buy your groceries from -- are there any color palettes, page layouts, fonts or image styles you absolutely do not like? If so, let us know! 

This’ll help us to build only the elements you like into our wireframes and reduce unnecessary back and forth. The end result? You get your polished, finished product as soon as possible!


Hue & Tone: Your Greensboro Marketing Team

Know your website needs improvements, but not sure what they are? Need a fresh set of eyes on your content and design? Give us a call. We're here to help you with all your web and graphic design needs -- no matter how big or small.