Your trusted design resource

Pat Creedon of Pat Creedon Design, Inc. helps businesses set themselves apart through branding and graphic design.

Say you want to up your game in your business. You will try out different sales or marketing techniques. But no matter what, you should relook at your branding to make sure it showcases the quality that you offer your clients in your products and services!

Don’t rely on what you got by on when you formed your business, unless you were the rare entrepreneur that took their branding seriously right from the start. If not, if you rushed to grab something for a logo due to a deadline you had, or you went online and quickly found someone but may never be able to find that graphic designer again, then you need to up your branding game if you hope to grow your business.

A good way to do that is to find a trusted design resource such as Pat Creedon Design. We are based in Fairfield County, Connecticut and work with clients throughout the U.S. You can rely on Pat’s expertise based on 20 plus years working with major consumer brands to help your business  stand out.

Contact us here and get started today. You’ll be happy with the quality of branding results you’ll get with great logo design and graphic design services that will set your business apart!

We are also offering a free digital analysis to help you see how you are doing online! We just need your website address. Contact us to get started.

Four Reasons Your Website Isn’t Working For You

You’ve invested in a website and yet never see much in the way of return on that investment. Maybe it’s because the website you have is falling behind in four key areas. When you consider there are over 1.8 billion websites out there it’s vital to stand out any way you can.

1. Mobile-It’s Major

You may be surprised to find out how many people view your website on the small screen of a smart phone. Have you looked at your site on your own smart phone lately? How does it look? Do you need to do a lot of scrolling or enlarging to read anything? If so, that’s a fix you need to make. Here are the steps:

  1. Make note of what’s hard to read or involves too much effort on your current site.
  2. Change to a newer theme that’s mobile-enabled.
  3. Check it again.

Also look at the images. Do you have to squint to see what they are? In the example here I found my logo and header that look great on my vast computer screen are so small on a mobile device that I needed to upgrade. I’m taking care of that in my new website — coming soon!

2. Load Time

Your website needs to load very quickly or you may be losing customers. I know I get impatient with slow loading sites and I’m sympathetic to the reasons it happens. It’s poorly optimized images that slow things down. Or too much unnecessary code behind the scenes. The fix is:

  1. First see how long it takes to open your website when you have cleared the cache (if you visit it often). 
  2. If it takes more than 10 seconds then either remove some images or make them smaller in kilobyte size.
  3. Check it again. 
  4. If that didn’t help it may be the code and for that you need a knowledge of HTML. 

3. Optimization

This topic involves several factors. There’s keywords that people are using to search for businesses like yours. If you don’t have enough of them you miss out. There’s backlinks to relevant content and the authority that can bring to your site. If you guest post occasionally you can add those links for instance. The call to action can be a way to optimize as well. It should be prominent in lots of places. To fix:

  1. Act like someone looking for you and see how the words you use rank then incorporate more of the better ones.
  2. Link with relevant websites that make sense for your business.
  3. Make sure to have a strong call to action like “Schedule an Appointment” or “Get on a Call“.

4. Content

If your website is collecting dust in some corner of the world wide web it may be time to add content! It’s not as hard or time consuming as it sounds. Just looking around and making some of the above adjustments can help search engines notice you again. And that’s really what you want. It’s often called SEO but that term can be off-putting sometimes. I’m all in favor of people hiring us to get their Search Engine Optimization (I partner with various experts in that area) but if you have a limited budget then just update your content regularly. To fix this:

  1. Open a document and pick a topic that you know about that can also help your clients.
  2. Write and edit and check the facts and find images until it looks good enough to publish.
  3. Do this once a month or more.

Conclusion

These are four reasons why you are not getting traction from your valuable piece of the web In other words, why your website isn’t working! If it feels daunting to tackle these four suggestions on your own we are happy to help. Get a free analysis of your current website with just your url. It’s easy, personalized and may even be a game changer! 

7 Steps to a Better Website

Whether you are meeting clients online or in person. Whether they found you through a referral or a talk you gave. One thing is sure, they all looked you up on the web first. Therefore, you need a website that keeps their attention, explains how your firm is just what they are looking for and shows them how easy it is to work with you. Follow these seven steps to make your website more effective at getting clients!

1. The Header

People judge whether you offer something they want in the first 3-5 seconds. You need a clear message. Make it simple enough to be understood in those few seconds!

Do it by just answering these 3 questions:

  1. What do you do?
  2. How will it make your client’s life better?
  3. How do they get it?

Have a clear Call to Action (CTA) such as “Call Now,” preferably in a button. This can even replace the Contact in the navigation menu. These all should be “above the fold” as they used to say in the newspaper world. Remember papers? I do. I used to deliver them on my bicycle as a kid! Now, of course that refers to the area of the website that first appears, before scrolling down.

This site immediately describes what they are (a financial group). They tell how they make their clients’ lives better and there’s a number right there to call as well as a Contact Us button.

Website sample clearly stating what they do: financial services.
Website sample clearly stating what they do: financial services.

Below is a site I worked on before I understood how much more effective it could be. The before is nice in that it has my client’s calming brand colors. After we redid the website recently it is able to deliver a better call to action while also enabling the viewer to get a sense of who they would be working with and how she can help. 

Website that could do better for the client.
Website that could do better for the client.
Website after it was revised.
Website after it was revised.

Notice how we made it very easy to get in touch by putting the phone number in the upper right. There’s another CTA after the quote describing how she serves her clients. Though this site is for a Therapist the same applies if you own a financial firm.

2. The Stakes

On the Home page you can describe what could be lost if someone doesn’t work with you. Put loss-aversion language here like the frustration they’ll experience, etc. Motivate to action by asking the types of things you’ve heard from clients that caused them to call you in to help. Say things like, “Are you worried about…?” Or “Are you frustrated by…?” In the example below on an insurance firm’s site it’s described in a paragraph citing statistics like 17,ooo are forced out of the workforce for a prolonged period of time (hence the need for insurance).

This website explains the stakes of not purchasing insurance.
This website explains the stakes of not purchasing insurance.

3. The Plan

Have a 3-step process that is simple and tells what the client must do to get what they are now convinced they need. Even if more steps are involved no need to overwhelm them with the details here. It can be something like:

  1. Get an estimate.
  2. We do the work.
  3. You get this benefit when it’s done!

The below website has a clearly spelled out process and shows the happy clients who have used their services. Another example shows a way to do it without literally numbering the steps. However, it does give them as:

  1. Schedule a free consultation (by using the button).
  2. Complete the included form.
  3. We will reach out to you shortly.
This website has a clear plan to follow.
This website has a clear plan to follow.
This is another example of a plan to follow.
This is another example of a plan to follow.

4. Show Value 

Here’s where you talk about the value, they will get from hiring you. Use visual language and be as specific. Describe the benefits, i.e., “The process is easy”; “We incorporate your unique needs/vision;” “We are able to work remotely.” 

The below example shows the benefit of financial success in the image and describes it as well.

A website describing the benefits which shows their value.
A website describing the benefits which shows their value.

5. Address Concerns

This is where you overcome typical objections by stating the top reasons people don’t hire you and the reasons why these fears are unfounded. Be empathetic and show you understand. In my case it might be that I know design may be an area you can’t relate to and that you have had a hard time getting creatives to understand your needs. I can explain how I understand financial branding from years of working closely with those in the industry. Therefore, I can help you get back to what you do best and take that design burden off your plate. 

The website in this sample has a listing of why you might want to choose IAA.

This section addresses concerns.
This section addresses concerns.

6. Free Offer

A great way to offer value right away, before anyone takes the leap of hiring you is to have a pdf available to download for free. It’s said that each email you collect is worth $20 so offer something that has at least that value. Create an enticing title that makes them want to know more, as in the below example “8 Pitfalls to Avoid…” Or, “6 common mistakes financial planners make.” If you want subscribers to a newsletter, make sure you explain the valuable tips or news they will get, maybe showing past issues with topics of interest.

Having a high-value free offer adds trust.
Having a high-value free offer adds trust.

7. The Rest

Here’s where you put the extras like a hiring link, map, locations, disclaimers, etc. There should be a CTA here as well as in most of the other sections. 

The rest can go on the footer and elsewhere.
The rest can go on the footer and elsewhere.

These 7 suggestions may not be necessary for every website but for a lot of businesses this list will help you grow. Test them out with some type tweaks and see how they work for you! 

The websites in this post were all created by Pat Creedon Design, Inc. and/or her web design and development partners.