Website Design
Website Design

Today we live in a fast paced, give me what I want, society where most our interactions now with brands are online and not in person.  If you own a business and you have a website, then you have already opened your digital storefront.  I get asked a lot, “why is my homepage design so critical?”  In our experience, companies and small businesses alike are unaware of the immediate impact their website has on their business and reputation.  I ask that you look at your own online behavior as a guide.  

Let’s say for example you meet with a consultant or for a potential business partnership.  If you’re interested after the meeting, do you take that person’s word for it or do you look them up on Google/Facebook/Instagram?  If you find them and get directed to a basic and/or outdated website, with an obscure message, and stock photography, how does it make you feel?  Are you still excited to do business with this person or company?  Chances are you’re not and chances are people you’re meeting with draw the same conclusion if “you” haven’t taken the appropriate amount of time to improve or rebuild your own digital storefront.  Today we are defined and accredited by our online reputations and it’s critical that you’re always on top of your own.  Don’t hide from it. 

Here are the 5 key reasons your website homepage design is so critical and some pointers on how to improve each.

Your design represents your service/product

Want people to think you have a shitty product or service- offer it up through a shitty website.  Today’s web browser wants quality and convenience.  We’re not all created equal.  Hire a designer, ask your friends, and take the time to make sure you have a clean design that helps emphasize the quality of your product or service.  We’re all living in the world that Google and Apple created.  Follow their lead and keep your design simple, sleek, and to the point.

Here are some pointers:

  • Make sure your images match your audience.  If you offer products to families, don’t show happy millennials.
  • Don’t use your homepage branding to draw in a new customer type.  Stick to your lane and use internal pages to introduce new ideas and revenue opportunities
  • Be clear about what you offer, but keep it brief.  
  • Make sure your colors match your logo and branding.  People relate to colors and associate brands with colors.  Think about how you’re positioned.

People need to know immediately what your company does

We skim from left to right, we don’t read.  It’s very common for companies to spell out all of their services and offerings right at the top of their homepage.  Unfortunately, when you do this, the main content is typically overlooked.  When people land on your site they ask themselves- 1) Where am I?  2) What am I getting here?  3) What is this going to cost me?  Answer these questions and be concise.  If they like what you have to say, they’ll dive deeper to learn more.

Here’s an exercise to help you improve your visitor’s understanding:

  • Take out a pen and paper
  • On your desktop, quickly skim your website from left to right, write down what you read
  • Now on your mobile phone, quickly skim your website from left to right and scroll 1x, write down what you read
  • Do your notes align with what you want visitors to know about you or your company?
  • Do your notes match on desktop and mobile?  If they don’t, you have some work to do.

Get customers even if they’re not ready to buy

We have experience training and operating fairly large sales teams for some of the Hungry Media portfolio.  One simple concept we always train on is, “never show up to a sales meeting without the contract!”  Even if you’re confident the meeting will not result in a  close, there is always a chance that it will and not being prepared can delay revenue or worse, give your customer a chance to change their mind. 

Every session on your website should be treated like a potential customer ready to buy.  Call out solutions to common problems with your copy and make it easy for your customers to convert to a sale.  Today’s web browser has their payment information saved, their mobile wallet in front of them, and can easily be swayed by shiny objects.  

Here are some shiny object examples:

  • Case studies/Success stories
  • Engaging information/content will encourage users to share your page 
  • Provide additional materials (i.e. downloaded information, videos)
  • Opt-In forms/Lead capture
  • Remarketing (so your brand follows them onto other pages through ads) 
  • New products or limited time offers

Build credibility and trust

Simply put, you have at most, 15 seconds to establish your brand, your product, your credibility and build enough trust to keep your visitor for another 15 seconds.  It’s important that your visitors feel a sense of trust that you can deliver 

  • Create a lasting impression that brings customers back 
  • Case Studies/Success stories
  • Professional design. Quick loading.  Easy to navigate.  No spelling errors.  Ensure links work correctly. (There are websites that will allow you to test these items – Pingdom, Woorank)
  • Videos of products build confidence and trust in the product
  • If you have a great backstory, include it.  This will engage customers and encourage them to purchase.

Control what Google displays

  • Leaving a website stagnate can have search engines rank your page lower
  • https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/03/rolling-out-mobile-first-indexing.html
    • Google mobile first indexing.  IF you have a mobile version of your website, Google will display that on smartphone searches. IF NOT, they will link to the desktop version but it is important to ensure your desktop version is mobile friendly.
    • Test desktop/mobile page to be sure it user friendly for mobile users
  • https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/search-features
    • “search features depend on many factors, including the search device type, location, and whether Google thinks the feature would provide the best search experience for the user.”
    • Determine the type of result you want users to see on Google (though they don’t guarantee it will always show up that way) – result types include: breadcrumb/basic result, carousel,  rich result, enriched search result, review snippet) 
  • Structured data guidelines to control search results view
  • Present your content in a manner that it is readable by crawlers and bots
  • Perform regular content audits to track success (analytics metrics, SEO metrics, sales and loyalty)
  • Keywords are imperative to getting the correct traffic directed to your site.  (This will also affect conversion of traffic to sales)

Want to learn more? Contact us at info@hungrymedia.com

Keeping Control of Your Website
Keeping Control of Your Website

I can’t even imagine, as a business owner, to spend money on a developing your business page only to lose control of your website.  You can’t login, you can’t update information, and you don’t own the domain YIKES!

Obviously, hiring a reputable company is the first step.  A company like, let’s say, HUNGRY MEDIA! (of course you knew I would say that).  No seriously, when you are in the process of working with a web developer, you should have access to your own website.  I’m going to give you some questions to ask as you are going through your process.

Will you be able to access your website?

The answer to this should always be YES!  Being the owner of the website, you should have access to the control panel so you can access your website database.  You should receive a URL, username and password.  Having the FTP server name, address, username and password.  This will get you straight to the website files.  Having a list of other software that was used when they built your website as well as any licenses and fees that are required , which SHOULD mean that you are the person that is purchasing this.  That way, your name is on each aspect of the website and your developer can not steal it or block you out.

So, how do you know if YOU actually own the website?

This should be negotiated before you ever sign the contact with your developer and should clearly be stated in the contract.  You will want to specify that you own the design, content and most of the time, code as well.

Can you buy your own domain name?

Another crucial key is for YOU to buy your own domain name!  It’s a very simple concept… you buy it, you own it.  The developer buys it, THEY own it!  You see the pattern here?  Even though you are paying a developer to build your site, there is still work for you to do if you want to have control of it.

And lastly, will your website be backed up?

Please for the love of all things good in this world, back up your website! If you don’t know how, PLEASE ask your developer to please back up for you and make sure you have access to the back ups (although if you have access to your website, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to do this yourself). 

Protecting yourself with the above steps can help you easily avoid your losing your website, content and all the hard work you have put into  a crucial part of your business. Choosing a web design company that works for you shouldn’t be hard or scary.  Just ask the questions that we recommend!

Have a horror story to share about losing control of your website?  Dealing with a similar problem now? Tell us about it.  info@hungrymedia.com

app development
app development

Have you ever thought about a brilliant idea for an app but didn’t know how to take it to fruition?   The idea of where to start, how to start and who to even talk when starting the process of app design can be daunting.  But BEFORE you talk to anyone, please do yourself  a solid and get a non disclosure.  There are dozens of free ones online (just Google “Free Non-Disclosures”). There would be nothing more defeating than having someone steal your idea out from under you and there isn’t a darn thing you can do about it.

So, let’s get back to the burning question “Now What?”  We have come up with a list of steps that we feel you need to take to get this app launched.

Step 1: Idea Generating

Get yourself a white board and start writing!  Start writing out whatever comes to mind. It could be a list of features, your end goal, your mission statement…just start writing!  It will come to you the more information you have in front of you.  Outlining how the app works.  Really put yourself in your Users shoes and walk through the process.

Step 2: Know Your Audience

Identify your Audience or the User you think can not live without your app.  You need to think about a specific profession, gender, region, age group, income level or industry. Really try to narrow it down.  Create a focus group of this group.  There are plenty of companies out there that will host the focus group for you.  You will want to hire a moderator to host this focus group for you so you don’t sway their decision one way or the other.  Don’t get defeated if the feedback is not as positive as you would have hoped for. Take the good, the bad and the ugly and make your app better!  Who knows, maybe someone will have feedback that sparks a whole new spin on your app. Another smart thing to do is identify your competition.  Go to the App Store and read the reviews and make sure what you are doing is better than your competitor. 

Step 3: Money, Money, Money

Have a clear answer to “How are you going to make money?”  Go back to your whiteboard and look at any and all avenues of how you will make money.  Maybe it’s from a monthly fee system, or add on cost XX number of dollars. Whatever it is, you need to have it clearly set up.  You don’t need technical skills for this, you just need to be the user. 

Step 4: Find a Developer that is Right for You

Interview Developers and ultimately hire Hungry Media!  Each company likes to use what works for them, but our system makes it very easy.  Our approach is simple.  Discovery, Design, Development and Deployment method. 

We will first meet with you to discuss your concepts, must-haves, expectations, etc. in order to identify specs that effectively outline your ideal product. We will discuss design preferences, existing branding elements, and functionality requirements, while also identifying additional specs for Phase 2 development.

The Design step is where our experience pays off!  From detailed documentation and architecture we will design a beautiful, functional interface, and present your brand as a trustworthy authority in its space. Immediately after initial planning is in place and approved by your team, the build begins. Regular meetings will be held to measure progress and manage expectations. Status reports will also be sent weekly to ensure written documentation of project status.


And finally, Hungry Media will provide rigorous testing, detailed QA, and a formulaic launch process to make sure we are putting your best foot forward. Additionally, we stay on through launch to support the work we create. 

If you have an idea for a new app, get a non disclosure ready and give us a shout. We can always be reached at info@hungrymedia.com