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Is Your Website Up to Date?

How long has it been since you’ve updated your website? The branding, design and flow, and content of a website need periodic updates to give visitors accurate information and good user experience. With this checklist, you can diagnose some of the common problems seen on sites in need of updates.

This FREE checklist covers the following:

  • Causes of slow sites
  • Branding consistency
  • Site structure and flow
  • Relevant and useful content
  • And much more!

Is it Time to Refresh Your Staffing and Recruiting Website?

As a staffing and recruiting firm owner, you’re always grappling with major business decisions. From growing your firm through business development to finding the best tools and technologies to help your recruiters fill searches and job orders, there is no shortage of critical issues that require your attention.

For many owners, dealing with all of these pressing issues forces them to put their marketing, and in particular, their website, on the back burner. As a digital marketing agency that specializes in tackling digital transformation for staffing and recruiting firms, we see this critical misstep time and time again. If you want to grow your firm, it’s a misstep you can’t afford to commit.

But how do firms know when their website is due for a refresh? We recently hosted a webinar and published an eBook on this very topic. Here are some of the highlights.

Does the Look of Your Site Feel Old?

In the staffing and recruiting world, a first impression carries a ton of weight. They are plenty of firms out there who can solve the hiring challenges that employers are struggling with, and a bad first impression can send a lead directly to your competition. You should think of the look and feel of your website as the first impression your firm has with a visitor.

So ask yourself, what will a new visitor to your site think of your website? Will they have a positive first experience? Will they be turned off by an outdated, unoriginal, or boring design? If you can’t answer with confidence that a new lead will find the design of your website appealing, it’s time to refresh your site

Related Post: Redesign Your Website? Why You Need to Work with an SEO Firm ➢


How Quickly Does Your Website Load?

In today’s on-the-go, instant-satisfaction world, potential leads will not patiently wait for your website to load. If pages on your site take more than three seconds to load, you have some performance issues that require attention.

Your staffing and recruiting website does not need to be a super-charged sports car with light-speed load times, but if your site is performing like a Vespa, it’s time to refresh your site.

Related Post: 9 Stats That Prove the Importance of Website Design ➢

What Does Your Website Say About Your Firm?

Today’s buyer conducts a lot of research before they deem a vendor worthy of their engagement. That means that they’ll be hopping all-around your website to see if your firm is credible enough to solve their business challenges. Is the content on your site going to accurately demonstrate your firm’s reputation? Or will your content fall flat and send them seeking out another firm?

The content on your site must convince visitors that your firm not only understands their unique pain points but has the ability to solve them. If your content is not focused, aligned with your current business initiatives, and engaging, it’s time to overhaul it and create new, compelling content. 

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Why Design is Important When Promoting your Business

As we’ve mentioned before, in previous blogs, visual content can boost your lead generation conversion rates tremendously. Now more than ever design plays a huge role in promoting your brand.

You’re probably wondering what’s considered “good design” when promoting your business. Good design is functional, communicative, and appealing to the consumer.

No matter the digital platform your brand appears on; your design should stay consistent.

Related Post: Content Marketing: Your 3-Step Recipe for Lead Generation ➢

Drive More NEW Leads

Design and visual drive engagement, which drive more new customers. Nearly 46% of people say that website design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of your brand (HubSpot). Think of design as a first impression during an introductory meeting.

Whether on social media or your website, brand design should grab the attention, especially I to new consumers who haven’t been associated with your company before. Essentially, design could be the determining factor of what drives conversion. So, don’t take it lightly.

Makes Your Brand More Memorable

Think of the most successful brands like Target, McDonald’s, and Apple. What do they all have in common? A well-thought-out design driven by creative vision. You can easily identify their logo, colors, fonts, etc. at a moment’s notice, even when you can’t see the whole logo. Keeping your brand design simple but bold can be very effective.

Design makes your brand more memorable than text does. Specific visuals can help represent your company in a meaningful way that emphasizes your core values.

Related Post: Rank on Google and Bank with Content Marketing ➢

Gives A Competitive Edge

Design is a powerful tool that can give you the competitive edge needed to differentiate yourself from your biggest competitors. Think about a time when you chose a product or service over another simply because its packaging or branding looked better.

Aligning your company brand with your design and creative strategy can help your business gain a competitive advantage and increase engagement. You risk turning people away from converting if the design isn’t well thought out.

As you can see, design plays a significant role in generating the success of a business.

Contact Parqa today to kick-start your branding efforts and align your creative vision with your business initiatives.

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PDF Content Instead of HTML? Just Say No.

Beginning in the 90’s the PDF file type began its rise. When it was created, its purpose was to create a paperless office. A document that could be sent via email, read on any machine and printed locally if needed. While it fulfills that purpose well, it has been overused on various websites. 

Despite its roots and advantages, it’s time to move away from the PDF where digital content is concerned. PDF files have many limitations, both to users and to content creators. The time has come to fully embrace HTML for your digital content, and free yourself from the limits of PDF. 

Related Post: Content Marketing: Your 3-Step Recipe for Lead Generation ➢

A Nightmare for Users 

The first limit of PDFs is usability. Although it was meant to be universally readable that is not the case. For many users who don’t have a dedicated PDF reader installed, they won’t be able to open your content. In addition, PDF’s aren’t optimized for mobile users, which further complicates things for the many users browsing via their phones.  

For users with disabilities, PDFs are restrictive. They are not ADA compliant which in addition to reducing the usability of your website, makes a PDF hard to access for visually impaired users. 

Because of the file format, PDFs are also hard to share. Many sharing options only work on other file types such as .docs and .jpg which means users cannot spread your content organically via PDF. In addition, many business firewalls don’t allow PDF downloads, further blocking your content from its audience. Even if you only consider your users, PDF is not a great option for content format. 

A Headache for You 

On the content creation and marketing side, PDFs have even more challenges. First, PDFs aren’t crawlable by search engines. Your hard work on your content won’t be able to affect your SEO rankings and means you cannot track the performance of your content. 

If you take advantage of email marketing, PDFs are usually not used as attachments in those emails, due to download restrictions and security. During the development process, PDFs are also a headache to design from the start. When they are finished, making updates is slow and requires a new file upload every time a change is made. 

Related Post: Rank on Google and Bank with Content Marketing ➢

The Move to HTML 

If the downsides of PDFs weren’t enough to convince you, let’s look at the advantages of working with HTML.  

First and foremost, your content lives on your website. It is crawlable, shareable, and usable there. You get the benefits of SEO referred traffic. Other metrics can also be pulled from HTML content allowing you to measure reader behavior and nurture leads.  

If you’ve built your website to play nice with mobile users, HTML content that lives on your site is automatically mobile optimized. In addition, there is no need for version control or new uploads as the content can be edited at any time. 

Lastly, you can customize your content much more in HTML adding dynamic content such as videos or animated gifs. HTML content also allows you to link readers to other parts of your site via embedded CTAs. 

I’m not saying that the PDF doesn’t have a purpose. What I’d like to convince you of is that PDF isn’t the right format for your digital marketing content. HTML offers the flexibility and features that you need for successful marketing efforts. 

Parqa’s team of experts can help you make sure your site is optimized across the board. Schedule a call with us today to see what we can do to kick-start your digital brand. 

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9 Stats That Prove the Importance of Website Design

It’s almost 2019 – hopefully you realized that your website, content, and overall design has a profound impact on the perceived credibility and quality of your business.

But just how much does your website’s design, layout, and content really impact your visitors’ experience and their likelihood of purchasing your product/ service?

THE ANSWER: a lot more than you might expect

Why the Design of Your Website is So Important?

Below are 9 stats that prove the importance of having a website that’s easily maneuverable, well designed and laid out, has quality content, etc.

“38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive” 
– (Source: Adobe)

It takes 0.05 seconds for visitors/users to form an opinion about your website and determine whether they’re going to stay or leave. So your website’s content and layout has to entice your visitors enough to want to stay on the site and read/ learn more about your products and services.

“88% of online visitors/ consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.” 
– (Source: The Gomez report, Why Web Performance Matters)

This means that your website has to not only create a great first impression by being easy to read, easy to navigate and appealing aesthetically, it also has to entice visitors to stay on your site by almost immediately answering their questions.

“Judgements on a company’s credibility are 75% based on the company’s website design.”
– (Source: Web Credibility Research from Stanford)

It’s almost 2019, and your website serves as a window into your company, thus it needs to exude trust and credibility. Otherwise you run the high risk of handing your potential customers over to your competitors with better designed websites.

Most often this trust is emphasized on the ‘about us’ page of the company’s website… See Parqa’s ‘About Us’ page

“Users spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content”
– (Source: Eye-tracking study by Missouri University of S&T)

This is not a lot of time to soak in all the written content on your websites homepage.

The key to this is to utilize a concept called “progressive disclosure,” where people aren’t bombarded with content they don’t need right away, but they are still easily able to find it and other information by digging deeper into the website. (i.e. in the main navigation menu)[/vc_column_text]

“70% of small business websites lack a Call to Action (CTA) on their homepage and across their website.”
– (Source: GO-Gulf web development)

A great CTA button can direct users, get them to take a desired action, improve conversion rates, and ultimately help your website achieve its defined objectives.

How are visitors/ potential customers supposed to know what actions you want them to take if you don’t give them CTAs that help them better find what their looking for, or how to find more information?

…. They don’t and they can’t.

Related Post: Mobile Friendly vs. Mobile Optimization: What’s the Difference? ➢

“A study found that, first impressions are 94% design-related.”
– (Source: The Effect of Aesthetics on Web Credibility, Farah Alsudani & Matthew Casey)

“That same study found that 46% of consumers base their decisions on the credibility of a website from its visual appeal & aesthetics.”
– (Source: The Real Business of Web Design, John Waters)

User Experience also plays a role in the effectiveness of your website: Learn More ➢

“47% of website visitors check out a company’s products/services page before looking at any other sections of the site.”
– (Source: KoMarketing)

“44% of website visitors will leave a company’s website if there’s no contact information or phone number.”
– (Source: KoMarketing)

I can’t tell you how many times clients come to me asking to look at their website and give them feedback, and they have no dedicated contact form page, no phone number and/or email address prominently displayed and easily visible/ clickable on their website. And they wonder why people don’t contact them through their website or why their website doesn’t generate leads.

The more time, energy, and money you put into your website, and better understanding the types of visitors that are coming to your site, the harder your website will work for you to generate leads/ purchases.

So, What Does All this Mean?

Your website is a magnet for judgement—and this judgement isn’t limited to the website itself—it carries over into the way users perceive the company as a whole.

All of these stats build on one another, any snag a user/ visitor hits on your website – whether it’s related to design, loading time, content or navigation—can be detrimental to your chances of turning that visitor into a lead/ customer.

“A bad website can greatly tarnish a company’s credibility—but a quality website can help a company extend its sphere of influence and create leads.” – Sweor

The difference between obtaining a lead and losing a lead may be as simple as making small adjustments that change the way users perceive your website the first time they interact with it.

“88% of online visitors/ consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.”


The Truth About B2B Web Design and Why You Should Invest in It

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Your Website’s User Experience: Why It’s Important

User Experience: also known as UX is defined as the overall experience you have when you are using or interacting with something.  Most often we think and talk about this in terms of ‘technical’ devices like smartphones, but the truth is UX is much broader.

In this article we’ll be referring to UX as the experience your visitors have when browsing through and interacting with your website.

“If you can get visitors to stay on your site for 30+ seconds, there’s a good chance they’ll stay much longer on your website — often times 2+ minutes.”

Why Should I Care About My Website’s UX?

plays a critically important role in getting potential customers to spend time on your website, interact with your site and/or complete a specific action on the site (i.e. e-book download, contact form submission, purchase, phone call, quote request, etc). Without a good website UX you’re basically handing your potential customers over to the competition.

You have about 10 seconds to convince a web-visitor to stay on your website.

Even if they decide to stay, they’re still highly likely to leave within the subsequent 20 seconds of their visit.  So your website has to draw them, the content has to get them reading or scrolling through the page, while your CTA’s and other call-outs entice them to want to dig deeper into your site (whether it’s looking at more of your products, services, or learning more about your company).

“If people perceive the opportunity to interact and are confident that the interaction will help them reach their goal, then the probability of interaction is very high, and we will observe focused and intentional interaction.”

How Do I Know if My Website Has a Good UX?

There are a number of ways to tell if your website has a good UX. Below is a compiled list of some of the top UX requirements you should have on your website, why they’re important, and what you can do to improve your website’s UX and increase conversions.

The more ‘yeses’ you can answer on the statements below the better User Experience your site has.

Related Post: Redesigning Your Website? Why You Need to Work with an SEO Firm ➢

  • Your contact form button(s) doesn’t say “submit”
  • All of your web pages have breadcrumbs on them
  • You change the content on your homepage frequently to keep it fresh for returning visitors
  • Your blogs/ news articles are written using the inverted pyramid style format
  • (For service/ B2B based businesses): You have a pricing page or information about your pricing somewhere on the website
  • You have an ‘About Us’ page
  • Your website provides anticipatory feedback somewhere(typically on product category or blog/ news pages)
  • The majority of your site content is laid out/written using short paragraphs and bullet points
  • You don’t use any/ many stock photos throughout your website

A form button that says ‘Submit’ gives users the impression that the form isn’t focused on a specific task.  It also gives off the impression that your website isn’t user-friendly because you’re speaking in a technical way most users aren’t familiar with. If this is the impression they get when they fill out your form, you can bet you’re going to lose a few users.

Use text that is task specific and describes what the person can expect to happen after they click the button, (i.e. “Get Your Results, “Create Account”, “Subscribe Now”, “Register”, etc.)BREADCRUMBS: are little navigational aids that help people visualize where they are on your site, and also help Google determine how your site is structured.

Electronics > Computers & Accessories > Computer Cases

Advantages to using breadcrumbs:

  1. Visitors take fewer steps when navigating from section to section – enhancing user experience (UX)
  2. They clarify site navigation that shows visitors where they are on a site’s hierarchy of pages
  3. Google loves them because it helps it make hierarchical sense of your website structure
  4. They lower bounce rates

Changing content frequently on your homepage is a way to keep it fresh for returning visitors.

The inverted pyramid style:

  • Start with the conclusion
  • Explain the most important facts
  • Write in small chunks
  • Give each new idea its own paragraph
  • Give more background detail after the important facts

Even if you give the whole story away in the first sentence, your visitors are likely to continue reading, because they’re after information and they’re going to continue reading/ skimming the blog/article until they get to the level of detail they want.

(For service/ B2B based businesses)

The lack of pricing on B2B websites is one of the biggest frustrations for potential customers and is likely going to play a role in your business losing a sale.  Studies show that pricing information is 2x as important to B2B purchasers as a contact phone number.

You may have many reasons why you can’t/ don’t want to show pricing information on your site, but regardless of what the reason is, there is a way to provide customers information on your pricing (whether or not that includes actual $$$ values).

Your pricing page/structure should show one of the following:

  • Let visitors use a cost calculator on your site to calculate some sort of hypothetical cost
  • Give examples of work you’ve done and the price for which that client paid
  • Why you can’t provide a pricing structure online?, be specific as to why

If you have an ‘about us’ page, does your content answer “yes” to the following questions?

Does it provide info that helps them understand/ determine if you a good match for their needs?

Does it evoke a sense of trust?

This is one of the most underrated pages on most websites. All too often organizations/ businesses see this simply as a page they must have on the website because everyone else does, but it’s almost never optimized or changed.

The ‘About Us’ page might as well be called the “Can I Trust You Page?”  Visitors/ potential customers need a way of knowing more about you so they can be sure you’re okay to do with business with, or that the information you’re providing is accurate.  They also need to be able to determine if you’re a good match for their needs.

What you should include on your ‘about us’ page:

  • company history (i.e. how long have you been in business?, what’s the story behind the business?)
  • who are some of your clients/customers or typical types of businesses you work with
  • testimonials
  • information about/ links to your service or product offerings

[ANTICIPATORY FEEDBACK: is information provided before a person interacts to help them understand what the outcomes may be.

Visitors/ customers are already overly impatient when it comes to browsing the web, so incorporating anticipatory feedback/ design into your web-pages is crucial. Whether they’re booking a trip or buying a board game for the family game night, the priority is not so much freedom of choice as it is efficiency in arriving at the desired end.

(This helps people avoid interactions and choices that are not going to help them achieve their goals,) and move them quickly and easily navigate through the desired pathway to their destination as quickly as possible.

More is not better when it comes to websites, in fact it’s almost the exact opposite.  As mentioned above your site content and structure should be in a way that answers your visitor’s most important questions, but it should do it in a way that is simple and easy to find and understand.

By focusing your visitor’s attention on what’s important and making it easier to understand means customers are less likely to go to a competitor for the same service.

Tips to help focus your visitor’s attention on important information:

  • use bullet points when possible, as they are easier to scan and read over
  • keep pages clean and simple (don’t overload them with sidebars, forms, etc.)
  • have service pages that describe in detail the different services your company offers

Your visitors should feel like the site is specifically tailored directly to them and not an overall general user type.

(Answer Honestly) Do you utilize stock photos on your site?

It’s okay to utilize some stock photos, as long as they don’t scream “stock photo”

However, studies have found that although the perceived trustworthiness of poorly performing vendors was increased when they used stock photography, perceived trustworthiness of vendors with good reputations was decreased.

If you have the ability to utilize customized photos of your actual office and employees, do so.

naps webinar parqa

Is Your Website Your Best Salesperson?


Join Parqa’s CEO & OWNER, Tony Sorensen, as he explains insights he has learned regarding the website optimization, content marketing, and how important they are in making your website your company’s best salesperson. Some of the topics he will be discussing are:

  • An overview of content marketing and tactics your firm can execute this year
  • Insider information on what clients look for when they engage with your website
  • Tips on how to optimize your website and job boards to attract the best candidates in the industry
  • Marketing tactics you can implement this week to outplay your competition


Parqa was founded with a passion to help staffing firms nationwide take their online presence to the next level and establish branding online. Our agency brings extensive knowledge of the recruiting industry to its search firms clients, and offers digital services, focused on generating new client leads, candidate leads, online visibility, and brand credibility with content marketing. Learn more about driving leads and building your brand online.


Tony Sorensen


Tony Sorensen is the founding visionary of Parqa. As a 20-year veteran and thought leader in the staffing/consulting and executive search industries Tony is an industry expert on a national level.

Tony is energized by the opportunity to pour his knowledge and expertise back into the industry, to help other staffing & recruiting firms find success through proven marketing strategies and tactics by traveling the country speaking at national conferences (i.e. NAPS National Conference, ASA (American Staffing Association), The Pinnacle Society, NYSA (New York Staffing Association), TechServe Alliance, etc. & regularly contributing to well-known industry publications (i.e. EMInfo, the Star Tribune, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, and several others.

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