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Using website psychology to maximize your web presence

Whether you like it or not, first impressions matter. When a visitor lands on your website, they form an impression fairly quickly. Is your site effectively engaging your audience and representing your business? This was the topic of discussion during the lunch hour presentation on Tuesday at the Gravitate in Valley Junction.

In the one hour session, Colleen Kinsey, founder and CEO of Kinseyco, gave key tactics on how to create clarity for your customers, allowing you to effectively engage your audience and represent your business.

Here are some of the main takeaways from the presentation:

Be clear and concise 

“Make sure you don’t have your audience hunt for information,” Kinsey said. It should be easily accessible based on what they’re looking for.”

Kinsey recommends using headlines, bullet points, and short easy-to-read paragraphs to allow readers to quickly find the information they’re looking for.

Call to action

A call-to-action (CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a “call” to take an “action.”

“The number one rule of a CTA is to have one,” Kinsey said.

Kinsey says it’s okay to have multiple CTA’s on your website, but make sure to have one that’s primary and prominent and to place it at the top of your website.

Using images correctly

“I see a lot of clients who are balancing between the overuse of images and where images are being underutilized. It’s kind of hard to get that perfect balance.”

Kinsey recommends using images to tell stories and trigger emotions and advises using images that are high-quality and original rather than stock images..

She says that using too many images can be distracting and users won’t know what to focus on. When you have an e-commerce site, however, having more images of the product is always better because people want to know exactly what they’re purchasing.

The trunk test

“There’s no place like home,” Kinsey said. “And that definitely applies to your website.

Being able to quickly and easily get back to the homepage is an important aspect of any website. Kinsey suggests running the trunk test on your site to analyzing how navigable your site is.  Here’s how the test works.

Choose one of your pages at random and print it. Place the page an arms length away and you should be able to easily locate the name of the site and logo, the page name you’re on, and the navigation as quickly as possible.

Watch the video below to see Kinsey’s entire presentation.



Using website psychology to maximize your web presence | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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