Hello Bar is a free attention grabbing bar that sits on your website directing visitors to take action. Use the bar to get instant attention, display and convey important messages and information, and get clicks to deeper pages of your website through an effective Call to Action.
This tool is free to try and I’m going to show you how.
The Hello bar works by displaying a bar across the top or bottom of your website, which may include a message, a link or a message and a link used in combination. Once installed, upon loading your website the bar will pull download revealing a customised message of your choice.
Small Businesses using the Hello Bar
www.ankyaustralia.com.au – This is an example from an online retailer in Australia who sells outdoor clothing and riding apparel & equipment.
www.popthreads.com – They sell and showcase clothing and apparel from other sellers, and are currently using the Hello Bar to get people to read their blog.
www.atlanticgems.com – Atlantic Gems are a jewellery website using the Hello Bar to tell people about their Christmas opening hours and availability.
Possible Uses of the Hello Bar
• Tell people about Promotions and Sales
• Tell people about new content
• Inform people of your seasonal opening hours
• A change of offices or a new telephone number?
• We used the Hello Bar to highlight and promote new publications we’d written.
For the technically minded
The Hellobar is a free plug-in, go here to start using it.
Mock-up a demo
They have a button that will make it very quick and easy to see what the toolbar would look like when being used on your own website, so don’t be afraid to try this out—it’s not actually making changes to your website.
Enter your page URL or website address in the box illustrated below and click on “Reload Demo”.
How to get Started
Installation is straightforward, you simply need to copy and paste some code onto your website within the portion of your page.
Even if you use a CMS like WordPress you can get this up on running on a single page without having to change any core templates, although this would be necessary if you wanted this to appear on every page.
It will automatically generate the code you need to display your own bar on your website.
Click on the “Embed” button to generate the code for your bar.
Monitor how effective the bar is on your website
The Hello Bar records use statistics taht you may be familiar with. They include how many times the bar has been shown to somebody (Impressions), how many people have clicked on your hyperlink (Clicks) and how likely they are to click (Click through rate.)
This information tells you how successful the bar has been at getting people to go to the page you link to.
Best Practice Use
Things to do:
- Make your message short, clear concise and to the point. Making something long and difficult to understand will risk you frustrating the visitors of your website
- The Hello Bar can be customised to make it less obtrusive.
For example it’s possible to add a short time delay that prevents the Hello Bar from being the first thing somebody sees. Telling people about your Christmas opening times is probably of secondary importance to that of your main images and marketing messages.
- Do change the fonts and colours to match the tone and branding of your website.
- Do use the Hello Bar sparingly. It is possible to go over the top with adding superfluous functionality to your website.There has been a heavy trend in websites recently using overlaid light-boxes to ask people to leave feedback or take an online survey before they’ve even gotten through the door of your website. Do you remember what the web used to be like before pop-up windows were condemned? Don’t annoy your visitors or create unnecessary barriers.
Things to avoid
- Don’t use the Hello Bar in combination with other widget bars, because your page will start to look crowded and it will impact negatively on your sites’ overall design and user experience. I would like to suggest this website as an example of what not to do.
- Don’t waffle. You have a limited character limit, so it might help to imagine you were writing a tweet. Present one clear message and one clear and obvious link of importance.
- Don’t continue to display out of date messages. The bar can be switched off when you need.