4 common website design myths

Lightning never strikes the same place twice. Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis. Mac computers are immune to viruses. All of these statements have one thing in common: most people believe them, but they’re simply not true. When it comes to creating a website, it can be just as easy to succumb to common website design myths. With this week’s post, we aim to reroute you back on the path to stellar investor website design and point out common mistakes along the way.

 

website design myths 1

MYTH NO. 1: All of your website’s important information should appear ‘above the fold.’ That is, you should be able to see it all without having to scroll.

FACT: The fold does not exist.

‘Above the fold’ used to refer to the upper half of the front page of a newspaper. Literally the part that appeared above the fold. Apply this to the internet and we’re talking about anything on a webpage that is visible without having to scroll. In the early days of the internet, users weren’t used to scrolling, so website designers adhered to the trends to make sure viewers didn’t miss important info. It’s intuitive: what’s at the top of the page is what gets the most focus. People won’t think there’s anything below the fold, so they won’t know to scroll. Right?

Not so much. The fold died long ago, particularly when mobile was born. Websites crossed over to mobile, and smartphone apps were introduced, so we came to rely on the constant swipe of the index to bring a constant stream of new information to our fingertips. We became conditioned to scroll, so now we’re used to it. This has translated back to desktop—Apple even dropped the scroll bar from the side of your browser. Why? Because the fold does not exist.

In reality, we spend most of our attention below the fictitious fold (a whopping two-thirds), because we now intuitively scroll on websites, regardless of the device we are using. As long as your investor website design invites your viewer down-screen, you can trust that’s exactly where they’ll go.

 

website design myths 2

MYTH NO. 2: All content should be on my homepage.

FACT: Packing your homepage with a barrage of information will make most users bolt. With a homepage, think welcome mat as opposed to full-blown surprise party. This is your first impression. Your storefront window. Your launch pad into another dimension. Your gateway to the next frontier…

Okay, you get it. Don’t load your homepage with text-heavy paragraphs and long-winded explanations of what you’re all about. Do show this through eye-catching images and punchy headlines. Straightforward statements that sum up your vision and your industry chops are more likely to entice viewers to scroll and click their way through your site.

A homepage is like the cover page of a third-grade poetry booklet: a collage of snapshots of the stunning work held within its pages, not a down-to-the-syllable summary of each poem. Investors will seek out the information they need; all you have to do is guide them there. These are the companies we think do this best.

 

 

website design myths 3

MYTH NO. 3: As long as it works on desktop, the website is good to go.

FACT: The majority of investor website traffic comes from mobile sources, making this one of the most damaging website design myths of all. Whether on a tablet or a smartphone, more and more people are using their mobile devices as their primary access point to the internet. With the ever-changing release of new screen sizes, transferability and adaptability are the keys to accessibility when thinking about investor website design.

Being optimized for mobile covers more than just being easy to read. The layout needs to function, downloadable content should be easy to access, features have to load quickly, and e-newsletters need to adapt. The majority of consumers will move on from your website if it doesn’t operate well on mobile. Let’s make this a priority.

For more hard stats on the importance of mobile optimization, see this post on our blog. For tips on creating the best investor mobile experience, click here.

 

website design myths 4

MYTH NO. 4: A great design is all people want.

FACT: Bells and whistles do more to distract than attract. In other words, less is more. Highlighting your company’s strengths through simple, compelling images will get your story across more effectively than a visual overload of design elements.

Content is actually more important than design elements. Think of it this way: at a restaurant, outstanding service goes a long way to make up for bad food, but bad service can almost always kill a good meal. Same goes for your website: killer content will hold up a not-so-solid design, but an overactive design won’t make up for poor content. When content comes first, you will attract investors to the points you want to emphasize without over-doing it with design.

Want to know more about how to channel your content on your website to make yourself a major player in your industry? Download How to establish yourself as an industry thought leader though your website. 

 

Conclusion: Be simple, be accessible, be successful.

It doesn’t take much to create a website that will draw investors in and keep them there, as long as you do it right. Here are the key takeaways from what we’ve discussed to avoid succumbing to website design myths.

  • Stay up to date with user trends and how they interact with websites and access content
  • Increase the reach of your site through mobile optimization
  • Resist the urge to plaster your site with over-the-top visuals and bright fonts

How your information is delivered is just as important as what you’re delivering and falling victim to website design myths can derail you from reaching your final vision for your site. By following these points, you can bring what counts to the forefront: what you stand for, what you can accomplish, and why you’re worth the investment.

 

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How mobile optimization affects website traffic: INFOGRAPHIC

Introduction: what affect does mobile readiness have on real website traffic?

We’ve been writing a lot lately about how having a website and investor section that’s optimized for mobile is beneficial for you and your investors. We’ve talked about making sure the email signup process is easy, any buttons are simple to tap, and presentations interactive on mobile. But how does mobile optimization stack up when looking at actual numbers? We were curious to see how two of our clients’ website statistics would change if we looked at one that was mobile optimized and one that wasn’t.

 

We analyzed the mobile website statistics of two of our biggest clients

Both are public companies and both are in the same industry. However, one company has a completely mobile optimized website and investor section, while the other company does not. Our goal was to find out how mobile optimization affects website traffic. Today’s infographic below shows our findings!

 

how mobile optimization affects website traffic

Conclusion: these gaps will only increase

If you read our mobile usability statistics blog a few weeks back, you saw that we’re moving even closer to a mobile-first world. The expectations for a mobile user experience are only growing: more and more people have negative opinions of websites that don’t render well on a mobile device. This infographic shows, with real numbers, how mobile optimization affects website traffic and affects the amount of time investors are spending on websites.




How mobile optimization affects website traffic




Mobile websites vs responsive design

Introduction: Google is making a fuss about being mobile optimized (and for good reason)

Do you remember Mobilegeddon? It was the Google update released last year that favoured mobile optimized websites over ones that were not. We’ve written all about it here. If your company’s website isn’t mobile configured the way Google wants, then you won’t show up very high in mobile search results. In order to make the mobile cut in Google’s eyes, you have two choices. And that’s where mobile websites vs responsive design come in. These options are the two typical types of configuration that will boost your website’s mobile-friendliness.

Want exact steps of how to get mobile-friendly? Download The Ultimate Mobile Optimization Test to see if you are good to go with Google.

 

mobile websites vs responsive design

What is the difference between mobile websites vs responsive design?

Mobile websites

A mobile website is a parallel website created just for mobile phones and tablets. Both the content within the mobile website and the website address (URL) will be different than your original website. Usually, to avoid confusion with your original URL, a mobile website looks like “www.m.company.com”. The great thing about mobile websites is that you can select specific content to only be shown to mobile users. For instance, if a large section of your corporate website won’t apply to those viewing on a phone, or if you have a corporate video that isn’t optimized, you can select which pieces to remove. This is also possible with responsive design, but that may require a website redesign.

mobile websites vs responsive design

 

Responsive design

A responsive website ‘responds’ to the device you’re using; whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or on desktop. Due to the flexible format and design, the site’s content automatically resizes itself to work seamlessly on the screen on which it’s being viewed. Responsive design, while it may require a redesign before you get started, ensures that your site stays on one URL and updating content is easier to implement.

mobile websites vs responsive design

Which one should I use?

When it comes to mobile websites vs responsive design, both get you a ‘pass’ from Google. However,  Google prefers responsive design and so do we. Why? Google gives a lot of reasons, and you can read them all here. Here’s why we recommend it:

  1. Responsive design makes sharing content across different devices easier since the URLs stay the same.
  2. Any content changes only need to be made in one place, so there’s less risk of duplication.
  3. It’s probably just smarter to go the way Google recommends if you’re trying to ensure that your website is favoured on Google’s search engine.

 

Conclusion: choose one and get started

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to start mobile optimizing your website if you haven’t already. We’re moving to a mobile-first world, and you don’t want your company to be left behind. A recent study by Google showed that a third of all internet traffic now comes from mobile devices, and that number is increasing every day. Seem overwhelming? Don’t worry, because we have a complete mobile optimization checklist. See if you pass Google’s test, and if you don’t, we’ve provided a list of steps to ensure mobile optimization. Download the checklist below!





mobile websites vs responsive design




5 ways to create the best investor mobile experience

Introduction: how does your investor section look on mobile?

This week, we’re analyzing five different ways you can make your IR corporate site easy to view on mobile for your investors. We’re using General Electric’s  investor mobile experience and investor relations website as a shining example.

Learn the basics of mobile optimization and take a do-it-yourself mobile test to see if your website passes. Download The Ultimate Mobile Optimization Checklist. 

 

 

investor mobile experience

 

5 tips to provide a great investor mobile experience

1. Include an “Add to Calendar” function for your next event or presentation.

This is a simple enough trick that will definitely get you ‘ease of use’ points and boost the investor mobile experience. Help investors stay up-to-date with your next event such as a shareholder’s meeting or live webcast by including an ‘Add to Calendar’ component which sets the reminder in your investors’ personal calendars.

 

investor mobile experience

2. Stick with the navigation that everyone knows, but have fun with it.

GE’s mobile investor experience perfectly blends new mobile optimized navigational elements with the classic logo in the left of the screen and three line bar on the right (hamburger button, for the design-savvy lingo.) In this way, they impress investors with new scrolling features and an interactive mobile side bar, but don’t lose the audience who isn’t ready for this new type of functionality. While General Electric experiments with the mobile platform and what opportunity it brings, they also understand that keeping with the elements everyone knows ensures a smoother transition and better experience.

 

investor mobile experience

 3. Keep the email signup form on every page

General Electric’s investor relations section features a banner that sticks to the top of the page, no matter where investors are on the website. The banner says ‘sign up for GE investor newsletters and alerts’. Clicking the banner reveals an easy input email sign up. Because this banner stays always at the top of the website, investors don’t have to click through to the contact form.

investor mobile experience

 

4. Focus on the downloads that investors look for the most

General Electric’s feature page on their investor relations section makes for a great investor mobile experience. Easy access buttons feature the most important downloads like the latest CEO letter including an interactive annual report, as well as the 10-K summary CEO Letter. Including the most popular investor downloads on the front page of your investor section ensures that the investor mobile experience isn’t spoiled with visitors searching through pages to find your presentation.

 

investor mobile experience

 

5. Give each section its own flair

An important element to consider when optimizing your corporate website for mobile is how the design on the smaller screen will affect the investor mobile experience. General Electric distinguishes each area of their investor section with a coloured overlay over photography and different icons. Incorporating unique design elements to each section of your website will help with mobile navigation. Just be sure that everything matches your overall brand.

 

investor mobile experience

 

 

Conclusion: think of ways to ‘wow’ them with the mobile screen

Mobile optimization and thinking of the investor mobile experience shouldn’t be considered a burden. Think of it as a new platform in which to impress your audience and make your investors’ lives easier. Take a look at General Electric’s 2015 annual report, that’s also an interactive mobile experience, from your own smartphone and see how they’re incorporating the latest design trends, multimedia components and visuals to engage their audiences and bring their investor strategies into this new mobile facing world.





The Ultimate Mobile Optimization Test




Mobile usability statistics that all public companies should know

Introduction: Time for a statistical wakeup call

Being optimized for mobile is more crucial than ever for public companies hoping to gain more investor attention. Here are some mobile usability statistics we’ve found from around the web that speak directly to public companies. More and more people are switching to a mobile-first reality, and you need to create a mobile strategy now so you’re not left behind. It’s 2016, and mobile needs to be a top priority for all public companies when thinking about their investor communication strategies.

Learn what steps you still need to take with your own website by downloading our free Ultimate Mobile Optimization Test. 

Mobile usability statistics: investor interaction

1. 68% of investors look at investor related content throughout the day on their mobile device. Source.

mobile usability statistics for public companies

Takeaway for public companies:

Your investor focused materials need to be fully mobile optimized. And we don’t mean simply being easy to read. How easy is it for investors to download corporate presentations, your latest quarterly numbers, or to request more investor information from their mobile phones? These mobile usability statistics prove that a large crowd of investors are accessing company informaiton every day while on their smartphones.

 

 

2. 94% of investors are Apple or Android users. Source.

mobile usability statistics for public companies

Takeaway for public companies:

Go where the fish are biting. Concentrate your mobile optimization efforts for iPhones and Androids. As of 2014, only 4% of investors are Blackberry users. Don’t spend all your efforts trying to look perfect across every possible platform.

 

 

Mobile usability statistics: email

3. 65% of total email opens occurred on a mobile phone or tablet in Q4 2015, compared to 54% in Q3 2015. Source.

mobile usability statistics for public companies

Takeaway for public companies:

More people are opening their emails with mobile devices. This statistic shows an over 10% jump in one quarter. Does your company send email communication to investors, such as press releases or a company newsletter? If yes, is everything fully optimized for mobile? Are you sure?

 

 

4. 70% of consumers delete emails immediately that don’t render well on a mobile device. Source.

mobile usability statistics for public companies

Takeaway for public companies:

The mobile usability statistics don’t lie. If you answered no to the above, then you’re losing a big audience if your emails aren’t rendering well on a mobile device. The last thing you want is frustrated shareholders who are deciding whether or not your company is worth their time.

 

 

Mobile usability statistics: accessibility

5. 66% of smartphone and tablet users are frustrated with the page load times. Source.

mobile usability statistics for public companies

Takeaway for public companies:

While a beautiful mobile website design is important to engage your users, more importantly to note is if the page loads fast enough on a mobile device. If you’ve incorporated a cool load-in effect on the homepage of your website, but it takes over 3-5 seconds to load on mobile, it won’t be worth it. After all, Kissmetrics states that if your page load time is over 3 seconds, that’s too long for almost every internet user.

 

 

6. 83% of consumers will either stop engaging or attempt to switch devices if the links and buttons don’t function well on mobile. Source.

mobile usability statistics for public companies

Takeaway for public companies:

If investors can’t easily click your download links to corporate presentations on their mobile phones, they most likely will stop engaging. If they can’t figure out how your email signup works on mobile, then they won’t sign up.

 

 

Conclusion: Get ahead of the competition and get mobile optimized

The above mobile usability statistics all show that more and more consumers are jumping on their mobile devices to consume content and make business decisions. It’s time to assess your mobile readiness strategy, not just for your website but for all your digital marketing and investor initiatives. An investor’s experience on your website should be seamless, no matter what device they’re using while viewing content. Further questions? Download our eBook about easy ways to get a mobile-friendly website and take our mobile optimization test to see how you’re doing!

 

 




mobile usability statistics




The best mobile investor relations websites

Introduction: Investors are looking at you on mobile.

The best mobile investor relations websites are the ones that will capture the most investor attention. The IR App, with IR Magazine, surveyed 300 institutional investors at the end of 2014 about their mobile usage. The survey found that 83% of investors rely on mobile when it comes to their work, and 68% of investors look at IR related content on their mobile device. For a more in-depth look about investor mobile usage, download our ebook about 9 tips to improve investor communication with your website. But this week on the blog, we’re singing the praises of the best mobile investor relations websites. We take a look at companies from all sectors, including resources, biotech, and manufacturing. Each of these IR websites follow best practices and make accessibility and investor communication paramount.

the best mobile investor relations websites

5 of the best mobile investor relations websites

1. Amcor – visual and easy to follow

Amcor’s ‘Amcor at a Glance’ overview page in their investor relations section offers investors the most important statistics and information about the company in visual and easily digestible pieces. Their mobile IR section utilizes data visualization to really drive their points home.

best mobile websites for investor relations

2. EXL – dedicated investor website

EXL’s dedicated investor website is eye candy. Their mobile focused investor section is even better than on desktop screens. The website is beautiful to look at and even simpler to use.

best mobile investor relations websites

3. Barrick Gold – easy access to company reports

While Barrick Gold’s investor section isn’t as dazzling as EXL’s, they rely on investor accessibility with easy to read objectives for the company followed by a section of download links. Each report is readily available for shareholders to look through.

best mobile investor relations websites

4. Biogen – scroll through the latest webcasts

Biogen’s investor relations section begins with their objective and easy to use buttons for requesting further information and signing up for company alerts. Their latest webcasts can also easily be accessed on scroll.

best mobile investor relations websites

5. Critical Outcome Technologies Inc. – investor connect

COTI comes from our own wheelhouse, and is a site we’re very proud of. The mobile-friendly investor overview section features investment highlights, easy investor connect opportunities through email signup and an easy path to the company’s website awards.

best mobile investor relations websitse

Conclusion: get mobile-friendly and stay current for investors

If your investor relations section, or IR website, isn’t mobile-friendly, you are losing a serious audience. If an investor tries to access your corporate presentation or latest quarterly numbers while they’re on the go, your IR section must have clear pathways to information. Don’t make the process more difficult with small text, buttons that can’t be pressed, or necessary public company materials stored away in the basement where no one can find them. Do follow the examples of the companies above and see how each industry uses the best mobile investor relations websites to their benefit.

 





9 tips to improve investor communication with your website




How to get a mobile-friendly website

  • Background of Google’s latest mobile-friendly update and how it affects you
  • What it means to be mobile-friendly
  • The pros and cons of mobile sites vs. responsive design
  • An easy 8 point checklist to see if your website is good-to-go with Google

Highlights from guide:

  • The background of Google’s newest mobile-friendly update and how it affects you.
  • The pros and cons of mobile sites vs. responsive design.

Forget Zoom Navigation & Prioritize Mobile Optimization

With global smartphone sales growing every day, we always tune into the latest tech trends, and thrive to break the barriers of viewing a website on a mobile. So, how do you optimize your website for mobile and make it easy to navigate? Here’s what you need to know:

Use bigger fonts, more white space and buttons that are easy to tap. That’s because 49% of mobile users hold their phone with just one hand. So whichever mobile optimization you choose, keep this in mind when you’re making decisions on the design.

A fluid layout means that the width of your website is set to a percentage rather than a fixed number. This simple approach will allow your website to expand or shrink to adjust to whatever screen the viewer is using.

A single-column layout is a simple mobile-friendly website designed specifically for mobile browsers. It saves investors time and gives them quick access to key data without any zoom navigation needed. We call our unique version of this layout, Mobilize, in which content updates in between mobile and full website are done automatically.

A responsive design is similar to the fluid layout idea except it provides a much greater flexibility. Instead of just resizing the frame of your website to fit the screen, the content also resizes to fit. So literally, your mother website will be presented in an optimized layout regardless of what device is being used.

This is just a very brief summary of the possible mobile optimization options for your website. With mobile marketing exploding and smartphone sales booming, it’s inevitable that websites need to be optimized to expand their reach across all devices. Give us a call to speak with our tech professionals if you want to know more, we’re always here to help! @BlenderMedia