These features may be fashionable but do they really help your brand? The latest trends can be a lot of fun to interact with, but they aren’t always the best idea for your end user. In fact certain design elements can even exclude an ever-growing audience of users with unique needs or requirements.
What can you learn from the $2 billion button
Can one button on your website make a $2.4 billion difference? Almost certainly not. But it did for Amazon.com, one of the world’s largest online retailers. The multi-billion-dollar figure is the estimated annual value assigned to Amazon’s patented* “Buy It Now” button. In the late 1990’s, when shoppers were given the option to bypass the checkout form process (with some restrictions, of course), the virtual megastore added a lot of zeroes to their bottom line. Estimates assign a five-percent yearly revenue bumpopens in a new window directly to the Buy It Now button, hence the $2.4 billion figure. The button was so valuable, in fact, that when other retailers tried to copy it, Amazon sued. Brands like Barnes & Noble had seen the financial impact of the quick checkout process and wanted a piece of the action. However, they were thwarted by legal action. As a result, web-based sellers either had to do without or pay licensing fees to Amazon. It wasn’t until late 2017, when the patent expired, that other online retailers were able to legally add the feature to their sites without paying to do so.
This online retail anecdote raises a couple of questions. Are all online forms bad? How many form fields are too many?
The answers? Of course not all forms are bad. In fact, they are the very backbone of e-commerce websites and can be important pieces of the marketing funnel. As for how many fields to include on your forms? That is much harder to quantify. There are hundreds of articles and blogs asking that very question. What is the perfect number of fields to increase conversions? For the hundreds of times the question is posed, it seems there are as many different answers offered. Here’s our answer: the right number of fields is as many – or as few – as it takes. Let me explain.
At uncommn, we’ve found that giving website visitors a quick option to express their interest has generated tremendous results for our clients.
We do this on our websites through quick interest forms. At their most basic, these simple forms require only a visitor’s name, email address, phone number, and their preferred method of contact. Dependent on our client’s wishes, some have opted to include a text box where visitors can request specific information or ask a question; others have a drop-down menu of topics to learn more about. Forms are linked to specific product or topic pages. Users’ submitted information is routed to the proper department and responsible staff members. The entire process takes the user approximately 60 seconds to complete, and it puts the ball in the seller’s court so that they can follow up with answers. Having an established follow-up plan and a team to respond in a timely manner is a crucial element of the forms’ success.
These brief forms have understandably resulted in a substantially higher number of submissions than any full-length applications or contact forms. We’ve also observed a significant number of the submissions coming from users viewing sites on mobile devices. We attribute that to the ease and speed of the mobile-optimized forms and how daunting some online applications can be. Of course, if a consumer has made his or her decision and wants to complete a full online application or complete a purchase, that option is also available.
We work with small business and not-for-profits, so the likelihood of this alternative form option adding billions to the bottom line is low. However, the theory is sound, and the application is clear. Let potential customers reach you in the method that works best for them. Giving them a choice in how they interact with your site shows that you value their time and understand how they think. While we are firm believers in the power of putting data to work in your marketing efforts, you don’t need and shouldn’t try to collect all that information at one time, from the initial touch. Keep the user’s time and their willingness to offer so much personal data in mind when deciding what to ask and when to ask it.
Want to learn more about online forms, digital strategy, responsive web design, or how to make your brand uncommn? Get in touch with us now!
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We’ve Updated Our Terms
You’ve probably seen a lot of emails and website popups about changes to terms of service lately. It seems pretty much everyone has been asking you to review your settings and confirm your acceptance of their new standards. So, what gives?
Blame GDPR. The abbreviation stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. It’s actually a European law that deals with protection and privacy, specifically online and in email. While you may not live, work or do business in Europe, many sites including Facebook and Google, have decided to include the regulations across the board and around the world. As you can imagine, the reactions to the change have been numerous and, surprisingly, funny.
Read more here.
Six Second Ads
What can you do in six seconds?
Reply to a quick text message. Sneeze, maybe even twice. Or capture the attention of an audience with video.
Six second video ads — known as bumper videos — can be a valuable piece of your marketing puzzle. The key is knowing when and how to use them and what to use them with. In a recent “Think With Google” blog, the experts who own YouTube talked about the power of the six-second video as a gateway to other longer form messages.
At uncommn and our sister company, YMC, we’ve used these videos as mini-movie trailers to set up the highlights of a bigger marketing promotion. We’ve also found them useful for promoting credit union events since they provide enough time to get the message across concisely without requiring ‘filler’ or ‘fluff’.
Read more about the power in six seconds here!
Inclusion: The Ever-Growing Trend
Trends come and go, and web design is no different. As web designers, we must think about pushing the envelope and keeping content engaging – requiring us to try the latest and greatest ideas for our clients. Some of the latest trends for web design this year include:
Fun fact: did you know that Eventbrite had more
than 26,000 accessibility events in 2017?
Accessibility is in high demand and that means your site needs to be inclusive to accommodate a wide range of audiences.
So, how do you stay on top of your design game while keeping users with disabilities in mind? Like with most trends, a little goes a long way. While these trends can be eye-catching, they need to be used carefully and thoughtfully.
This means utilizing these techniques in minimal ways. For example, one trendy technique is to have bright colors that flash to draw attention to a certain area of content. This technique would not be inclusive to those who are visually impaired or color blind. Solution? Draw the users eye to areas using subtle animations or images that convey the message without needing content. Remember, your website should be navigable and provide a great visitor experience to as many people as possible, regardless of any hearing, site or cognitive disability.
Balancing cutting edge with inclusive design can ensure that your brand’s message is going to be conveyed clearly while also staying modern. The biggest bonus is that your brand gets to be part of one of the most important new trends: inclusion.
Social Networking Platforms User Demographics Update 2018
The most widely-used social media platform in the US isn’t Facebook. It’s YouTube, a platform used by 73% of US adults and one that has broad consistency in usage across demographic groups. That’s according to a study from the Pew Research Center, which provides some updates on social platform usage.
The following is a brief overview of some of the highlights from the report. For trend purposes, some of the following data is compared with a similar report issued by Pew in late 2016. However that earlier report showed figures among the online population rather than the broader adult population, so the only comparisons made concern differences in adoption by demographic group.
For empirical data on how the adult audiences of these platforms actually is distributed by demographic group (e.g. 23.7% of Snapchat’s US adult audience is aged 18-24 – a true stat), see Marketing Charts’ recently-released US Media Audience Demographics report.
Here’s More Evidence of Facebook’s Struggles with Youth
Facebook use in the US appears to be on the decline, and there are growing indications that its struggles with youth are grounded in reality, not hype. Late last year a study from Forrester Research suggested that teen use of Facebook may have peaked, and the latest annual Infinite Dial report from Edison Research and Triton Digital indicates that Snapchat is giving it a serious challenge among the wider 12-34 market. An early tease of the report showed that the percentage of Americans ages 12+ using Facebook declined for the first time in this year’s study, from 67% to 62%.
What that overall figure masked – and what is apparent now – is that the decline was almost wholly due to the 12-34 bracket. In fact, the percentage of respondents ages 12-34 who reported using Facebook plummeted from 79% last year to 67% this year. What that means is a larger proportion of respondents ages 35-54 (69%) than 12-34 now report ever using Facebook. For comparison’s sake, a newly-released study from the Pew Research Center did find higher rates of Facebook adoption among US adults: 80% among 18-24-year-olds; 82% among 25-29-year-olds; and 78% among 30-49-year-olds.
This article originally appeared on marketingcharts.com.
Uncommn Success: Mobile Loans
We love helping credit unions serve their members with easy-to-navigate, ADA-compliant, responsive websites. It isn’t just a more fulfilling member experience, it can help drive loans for the credit unions. How? It all comes down to meeting people where they are. On their phones and tablets.
The case for responsive websites has been a strong one for years. Almost 95% of Americans now have cell phones with 77% of those being smartphones*. Common sense would lead us to the conclusion that having a mobile mindsight is far from optional at this point.
As our clients upgrade from their old nonresponsive websites to a new mobile-friendly uncommn site, we have heard from many of them that they’ve noticed an increase in overall communication volume and a jump in online loan applications. We dove deeper to learn more about these worthwhile improvements. Here’s what we’ve found:
If you look around any office, classroom or coffee shop, it’s easy to see that desktops and laptops aren’t going anywhere soon. But neither are smartphones. And giving members and potential members a way to learn more about you — apply for a loan on their handheld device — can help drive membership and loan growth, something we can all feel good about.
The Desktop Audience is Still Larger Than The Mobile Audience in the US
Website visits are plateauing in the US – and the battle for visitors is increasingly being fought on smartphones. But despite mobile devices capturing the majority of digital minutes, the US still features more desktop than mobile unique visitors, according to a report from comScore. The Global Digital Future in Focus report examined audiences across 13 key markets. As part of the analysis, mobile unique visitors were compared to desktop unique visitors as of December 2017. Within the US, mobile unique visitors totaled 90% of desktop unique visitors, making it one of only 5 of the 13 markets where the mobile audience was smaller than the desktop audience.
This article originally appeared on marketingcharts.com.
World Wide WordPress
Do you remember fifteen years ago? How about ten? Well, it was the start of something. Something that would one day control the web and the digital world, allowing companies and people alike to market and present themselves with a digital presence. Its name? WordPress.
WordPress has taken over the internet and has given developers a chance to customize their sites in a whole new way. Its Content Management System (CMS) and open source code offers unlimited functionality and opportunity for improvement. What once started as a platform for blogs, is now running 30% of the web. But how has it become as powerful as it is?
As for the other 70% of the web, what does WordPress offer that could convince them to make the switch?
At the rate WordPress is going, only time will tell how much further the successful platform can go and how much more of the world’s websites it can conquer!
Does Your Website Have The “Seven Year Itch”?
It’s been the same-old, same-old for years, and now you’re itching to change your website. Well… as Dr. Brubaker once said, “When something itches, my dear sir, the natural tendency is to scratch.”
The “seven-year itch,” so named in the eponymous 1955 romantic comedy featuring Dr. Brubaker, is the notion of unfavorable conditions over a period of time. Perhaps your credit union or bank’s website is stale or your messaging isn’t yielding the same results.
Truth be told, in the website development arena, it’s more like the three-year itch. Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate. Every day we are “Googling” long tail keywords in search of answers to our questions. And if we don’t find what we are looking for we immediately click off. And this isn’t just about actual answers. Perceptual answers – copy, images, and design – cloud our judgment.
RESPONSIVE DESIGN ALLOWS YOUR WEBSITE TO BE VIEWED ON ANY PLATFORM, WHETHER IT IS A DESKTOP COMPUTER, TABLET OR MOBILE DEVICE. THE USER EXPERIENCE ADJUSTS AND ADAPTS TO THE DISPLAY. WITH RESPONSIVE DESIGN, YOU CAN KEEP MORE PEOPLE ENGAGED WITH YOUR WEBSITE.
When designing your website, consider easy-to-understand modules. Think of each module on your website as a billboard. How can you capture the user’s attention with just a few words? Think about the needs of your audience. Too often we push products or service when we should be considering what people feel (or what people want to feel).
It goes without saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. You should have imagery that reflects you and doesn’t scream “stock photography.” However, quite often we neglect to consider the importance of SEO-rich website copy.
Great copy helps tell a story – one that people want to read and want to relate to. At the same time, the copy should have the right amount of keyword density for search engines. Your copy should never come across as robotic. There is true art in providing compelling copy that is concise and consistent with the right keywords to make your site crawl-worthy with the Google bots.
Finally, before you launch a new website, you must also keep in mind your old site. Chances are, you’ve been building links for the past 3+ years with your current site, and you don’t want those links to be active with your old design nor do you want them to default (404). Before you launch your new website, scan it for 404 defaults and be sure to turn all your 404 pages into 301s, which redirect to new copy on your new site.
Need a new website? We are devoted to building nimble, custom websites for credit unions and community banks. Ready to deepen your connection with members, stakeholders and prospects? Contact us today!