Inbound marketing is a set of marketing tactics and techniques concentrated on utilizing content relevant strategies to current and prospective purchasers and then pulling them toward a business and its products.
A dominant characteristic of it is that inbound marketing isn’t just one tool, one technique or even a single campaign. Rather, it is a group of on-going activities that, when completed successfully, create highly visible scalable revenue driver.
In recent years, there was a big shift in consumer behavior. Almost 80% of Americans shop online, and the rest of the world will soon follow. People purchase things through their smartphones more and more. Such trends mean that the eCommerce world is becoming more accessible, faster, and takes place over a broader variety of platforms and devices. The final conclusion is that inbound marketing is the one marketing approach that empowers eCommerce businesses to scale engagement with prospective and current consumers. The goals of inbound marketing include:
- Increased number of visitors.
- Bigger lifetime value.
- Increased average order value.
- Increased conversion rates.
Want to know how to plan your inbound marketing strategy? Read on and find out!
Set up your website
Selling anything online start with a place to sell it – your eCommerce website. If you are going with bare essentials, you can sell from marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. Here, all that you will need is to create a profile. Their only disadvantage is that you won’t be able to accurately track conversions and build your own brand.
For high-quality hosted eCommerce platforms, you can use Shopify, Wix, Weebly or Squarespace. Other than that, you can set up your own eCommerce website with WooCommerce or WordPress.
All aforementioned options can give you a nice technical foundation with quick, easy setup. They will also enable you to incorporate a customized design – “theme”. Themes enable you to have a website that looks good and acts fast, while you don’t have to spend months of effort and large sums of money on building them.
Developing a store on an already established platform allows you to implement a unique and easy-to-build design.
Organic search and search engine optimization
While there is a broad range of paid traffic, a successful SEO strategy is always a pure win. Yet, most website owners fail to realize the sheer amount of traffic that Google organic search can create. It just needs to execute in the right context.
Google processes over 63 thousand searches per second on a daily basis. For the majority of queries, most of the clicks go to organic results. Everyone knows that AdWords campaigns for commercial keywords are quite costly. That’s a price you don’t have to pay when you rank in the organic results.
SEO consists of three parts.
Part one – Technical SEO. This one is all about ensuring that search engine bots/web crawlers crawl through and index your website appropriately. About not having numerous duplicate contents. If you choose a platform like Shopify or a self-hosted store with WordPress, these problems will be already solved for you. Different platforms may still need an SEO technical audit.
Part two – Optimization and on-page content. Here, it all about targeting the right keywords and making sure that your website is created in a coherent way that search engines and users visiting your website understand. Its crucial components are keyword research, keyword mapping, title tags, and meta descriptions. For an eCommerce website, you can create different pieces of content that will bring visitors, like purchasing guides, How To’s, Product comparison or Category pages.
Part three- Off-page factors. In this part, we need to get a link, while understanding that not all links are equal. Black-hat tactics, like purchasing links will actually harm your SEO efforts. High-quality links placed on websites with authority or that are popular are a dominant factor for increased visibility in search results.
If SEO has its place in inbound marketing for eCommerce, social media platforms stand in its close proximity. These platforms are a part of the initial phase where you’re attracting people to your website and convert them into leads. You get to talk to millions of people, without needing to pay a dime, and even if you want to work with affiliate sites you can find the best Affiliate marketing strategies 2020 in this site online.
Besides attracting new people, social media are an excellent way of promoting your brand, interacting with any potential customers online, and most importantly, building your brand’s authority. Another way of building a brand’s credibility is through using phone systems for small businesses.
Almost every human on this planet has a habit of calling a company whenever they have an issue or a question for it. A big part of your inbound marketing strategy is creating an image of your business that says – I’m reliable, I have credible information you can trust.
Although social media experts try to make it all sound like rocket science, it actually isn’t that hard. Know where your audience is. You don’t have to omnipresent on just about every social media platform. Concise and direct interactions are where the magic happens and you build relationships with your audience.
Choose a single or two that will impact your audience, sales, links and brand awareness. Automate other profiles to save time and set up alerts to “listen” when not actively participating.
Now you need to create high-quality concentrated pages to receive sales. In addition to your About page, Home page, and Privacy page, you will need landing pages.
Landing pages aren’t complex – they are just places where visitors can land and make a purchase. Nobody cares about or even looks at your homepage. A homepage is for people who already know your business and are just navigating around.
Landing pages are for potential or returning visitors to land on and convert. Before creating all other website pages, you will need to develop focused landing pages that sell a single or all of these things:
- Offer specific – Such pages are about the product info. They might be just a product page, but also a category or specific landing page for a bundle. The end-goal here is selling to people at the very bottom of the marketing funnel – where customers are most likely to convert.
- Persona specific – That is all about the product benefits to those that you sell them to. Again, they might be a product page, a category page or a specific landing page for a bundle.
In conclusion. Remember that every part of this strategy needs to be measured, interpreted and analyzed in order to increase its effectiveness. There are numerous ways to gather reports and filter your visitor data. Google analytics is one of the ways, that lets you combine data into a single-screen layout that show the varying degrees of visitor marketing data and depth of the sales funnel.
Planning to redesign your website?
Well, it must be all because you want to altogether upgrade your website up to the next level. In fact, the website credibility judgments are 75% depending upon the overall aesthetics. This clearly indicates that the design and functionality of your website are the two significant factors which have a lot of importance.
Now, when it comes to curating a website redesign strategy, it can’t be an easy feat. There are some crucial aspects that you need to consider which make a lot of sense. You need to keep these things in your mind to assure that you are ending up with a successful website building. In fact, there are some prevalent stats and facts which depict the same. In this piece of writing, you can take a glimpse of all of that.
1 -Different age groups will react differently to different content, layout, and aesthetic choices. You all are aware of the fact that it is recommended to use smart content for contacts in varied lifecycle stage. However, if you have a target audience of different age groups, you should explore more about how you can customize what’s on your site as per the age group. This is how you can make use of an age-responsive design which is turning heads since 2017.
2 – According to Adobe, it has been noticed that 39% of people will not communicate with a website if images are not loading promptly. So, make sure that you are accommodating the right images with the right loading speed to give your website a swift touch.
3 – It is a proven fact that the average human attention span has got reduced up to a great extent. It was around 12 seconds in the year 2000 which has declined to just 8 seconds now. So, make sure that you are keeping the loading speed of your website fast enough such that your users don’t have to keep hunting for the information that they need. This is one of the crucial things that you should remember while redesigning your website.
4 – Make sure to include exit intent pop-ups to increase your conversions, even if you think that your users hate them. All that you need to do is just utilize exit intent pop-up rightly; you will end up offering your visitors something really valuable. The way in which companies are using exit intent pop-ups is upgrading with each passing day. So, make sure that you are rightly adapting with that.
5 – Research says that the forms are way too boring to be incorporated into a website. If it is not done properly, they can be the biggest loophole for your website. While you design forms for your website, you must have a clear idea of which fields to include and which information to mainly incorporate.
6 – It is evident that when you design something beautifully, two-thirds of people would consume that better rather than plain content if they are provided with 15 minutes of time.
7 – Studies show that people are too visually driven when it comes to exploring a website. So, don’t present your users a wall of plain text and rather give a strikingly curate website to attract maximum traffic.
8 – It is a proven fact that users form an opinion about any website within just 0.05 seconds. So, you should remember that first impressions are important. Thus, make sure that your website pages are the perfect amalgamation of easily readable content, relevant imagery, and consistent branding information.
9 – The statistics say that 44 % of website visitors would not prefer scrolling a company’s website anymore if there’s no contact information or phone number available. This is all about trust and credibility. People are unlikely to explore a company’s website anymore which they don’t feel can be trusted. Hence, while designing, you must have thorough contact information on your website to ensure that it comes up to be a buzzing one.
10 – It is true 70% of customers can learn about a company through their blogs in spite of the ads. It is the foremost reason why you should consider the blog section as a priority while redesigning a website. Further, 31.1% of internet explorers consider any brand’s blog section to be the second most impactful factor when it comes to making a purchase.
11 – When it comes to internet users, the majority of them use mobile phones. In fact, 52.7% of global internet users explore the internet via their smartphones. And if only the US is considered, 75.1% of internet users use mobile phones to access the internet. No wonder, more and more people are using their phones to surf the internet. So, when it comes to website redesigning, you should consider mobile optimization as one of the integral factors.
12 – Speaking frankly, it is calculated that any website owner have just 10 seconds to leave an impression and interpret to his/her users what they can get out of the website and company. After this time, the audience will not wait and just leave. Therefore, if you think that your website is not capable of expressing its integrity within that time period, you need to consider the elements like value proposition, navigation, and initial content on your main pages.
13 – When you have got a specified group of people as your target audience, people who fit in that geographic location will be having more urge to see what you are offering, especially if you are using their language. Hence, while redesigning your website, you must completely understand your buyer persona and resonate with them. It will definitely fetch you more click-through rates.
14 – 69% of marketers believe that dynamic and personalized content makes their website worthy. Rather, only 5% of them think that they are of low importance. Thus, it probably makes sense to incorporate customized content in your website while redesigning to ensure that you give your audience a tailored experience.
15 – There was a study conducted by Fortune 500 websites. It showed that 63% of them accommodate content above the fold, 50% specify a scrolling content window of some sort, and another 63% make sure to use high-end images that connect with users better with the average loading time by 6.5 seconds.
16 – It seems like the change in a website bounce rate can increase up to 4% when a page takes more than 4 seconds to load. This rate can jump up to 150% if a page takes more than 8 seconds to load. Therefore, while you redesign your website, keep this thing in mind and make your website an easily loadable one.
17 – As per the statistics, they are 22% of marketers who believe that they are efficient enough when it comes to responsive design, 29% of them think they have an average level of experience, according to 23% of them, they haven’t yet accepted this reality well, and the rest of 4% say that they are hopeless.
Summing This Up
Well, these are the most effective stats and facts which ensure that redesigning your website is a strategic approach. Don’t forget to keep these aforementioned things in your mind while you think of renovating your website for the next time and that’s it!
Author Bio:- Maulik Patel is Founder & Director of Click Matix. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. He is an expert in web marketing, search engine optimization, social media, affiliate marketing, B2B marketing, online advertisement of Google, Yahoo and MSN.
Ecommerce keeps flourishing. Research predicts that it will reach $4.88 trillion by 2021.
This sounds impressive, but what does this mean for you as an online retailer?
Well, the growth of ecommerce means greater competition. So, to stay relevant in the fierce SERPs, you need to invest in a solid SEO strategy and keep revising it to see what works or doesn’t work. To increase your rankings and gain users’ trust, you cannot afford to make any mistakes.
Here are a few common SEO oversights you should avoid.
Building a Website with Difficult Navigation
As an ecommerce website, you have thousands of pages to manage.
For instance, google site:amazon.com and you will see that there are 167,000,000 results. Even though Amazon is not an example of the most beautiful website in the world, you must admit that it’s easy to navigate.
Once you visit their site, the first thing you will notice is the intuitive search bar that even lets you browse products by different departments. A search bar is an inevitable element on any user-friendly ecommerce website, as it gives customers an opportunity to find the desired product faster and finalize the purchase.
Each product category has lots of filters, helping you refine your search by featured brands, packaging options, average product review, price, seller, availability, and so forth.
Their menu bar is also divided into sections that are further branching into more specific categories. The majority of your customers (especially those that haven’t made the buying decision) will use your menu to familiarize themselves with different products and compare them. Precisely because of that, you first need to write informative and descriptive menu labels that will help visitors find a product faster.
You should also simplify your menu and reduce the number of menu items to improve user experiences. Too many options can be overwhelming, distracting a customer from what they’re looking for. Simpler menus are also important for your SEO efforts.
Namely, those pages you link to are passing some SEO value. Therefore, if you’re linking to less relevant pages instead of focusing on the most significant ones, you won’t be able to maximize your traffic. Logically, your goal is to increase the exposure of those pages relevant to your customers.
Not Targeting the Right Keywords
Many online retailers forget what their priorities are when conducting keyword research. Namely, they spend too much time looking for popular search phrases relevant to their products that they forget to focus on search intent. Namely, your goal is to understand your searchers’ needs and know what kind of result they expect to see when they google a certain keyword.
This is particularly important now that voice search is exploding. Statistics say that 41% of adults perform at least one voice search each day, while this number is expected to jump to 50% by 2020. This is one of the numerous trends impacting the way we optimize our ecommerce sites.
First, voice search triggers the growth of local SEO. For example, 22% of customers perform voice search to find locally-relevant businesses. So, let’s say you’re targeting the Gold Coast market. In this case, including local keywords containing “Gold Coast,” creating local content around these keywords, and building links on local sites will increase your rankings and help you generate more qualified leads.
With the rise of voice search, you don’t have to spam your content with exact-match keywords anymore. Voice searchers use natural language and conversational phrases when interacting with search engines. For example, instead of typing “gold coast shoes online” into the search box, they will ask something like “What is the best online shoe store in Gold Coast?” You get how this works.
This is why you should start combining traditional keyword research tools with some additional resources like Q&A sites, social networks, or forums to understand your customers’ needs and expectations. Consulting SEO agency from Gold Coast may also be a wise move. As they understand your local market, they will help you align your keyword optimization and off-page SEO tactics with search intent.
Not Creating Authentic Content for Product Pages
One of the most common mistakes online retailers make is simply copying product descriptions from the manufacturer’s site to their product pages. This is bad for your online presence for a few reasons.
First, by simply copying content instead of creating your own, you’re missing out on an opportunity to stand out and emphasize the benefits of buying from you. Original product descriptions are highly engaging and persuasive, building trust with your customers and having them complete the purchase faster.
Second, search engines won’t be able to differentiate your content from the one on similar sites, which may impact your rankings and overall page visibility. Google won’t have a reason to index your content if it already exists on similar sites.
Finally, you may even get penalized. If your product descriptions are the same or similar to the content that already appears on another website, Google will observe it as duplicate content. Assuming that you’re trying to play the algorithm, it will penalize you.
Not Using Schema Markup on your Product Pages
Google is getting smarter each day, but it’s still unable to understand non-textual pieces of content. This is where schema markup steps in. We can define it as a language Google crawlers understand and use to get the information about your content. With its help, you will be able to explain the purpose of your content, including your email, phone numbers, price data, product types, ratings, descriptions, reviews, and so forth.
In other words, schema markup is a great way to get your content indexed and ranked higher in the SERPs. Above all, it gives you the opportunity to appear in featured snippets and put your products in front of the right customers. As such, it can have a massive influence on your organic rankings, clicks, and even conversions.
Not Increasing User Experience
You cannot expect to have a poorly-performing website and yet boost conversions. Only by making your visitors happy and building trust with them will you be able to turn them into paying customers. And, here are a few steps to take:
- Make your website responsive. We’re living in the mobile-first era, when providing outstanding, cross-channel user experiences should be your priority. Simplify your checkout forms and ensure all links work from mobile devices. Also, pay attention to how your content looks and feels on mobile devices.
- Invest in an SSL certificate. Google has started marking sites with HTTP as “not secure.” No matter how sophisticated your encryption tactics are, if you don’t have an SSL certificate to back you up, your customers will still see this warning. Unsurprisingly, this may make your ecommerce site less professional, impacting the time people spend on your website, as well as their engagement and conversions.
- Add security badges. Apart from HTTPS and mobile-friendly forms, security badges are an important element of the checkout process. They prove that your customers’ data is safe with you, inspiring them to choose you over competitors.
- Boost your website speed. If your site doesn’t load in less than 3 seconds, most of your customers will kick it without taking the desired action. So, to speed things up, compress your images, invest in the right CDN, minimize overly complex animations, minify the website code, and find a reliable host to ensure your site loads fast.
Not Inspiring User-Generated Content
Awesome website performance, gorgeous product photos, and high-quality descriptions are important, but they’re not enough to convert a visitor into a customer.
Did you know that most of your customers don’t trust branded content? Instead, 84% of them rely on online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
This is exactly why you should allow customer reviews and ratings on your site. You shouldn’t be worried about negative user reviews hurting your brad reputation. Namely, some recent statistics say that product pages with diverse ratings drive more sales than those with stellar ratings only. This is also an amazing opportunity for you to provide exceptional customer support, help them fix specific problems, and turn them into satisfied users.
Asking loyal customers to write testimonials and publishing them strategically on your homepage or product pages is also an amazing way to demonstrate your trustworthiness. To make these testimonials even more relatable, include a customer’s photo, as well as their full name and even a job title.
Sure, just like with the content you create for your product pages or blog, you also ensure that these reviews are accurate and helpful. For example, you could let users rate peer comments according to their relevance. Amazon has introduced the amazing option that allows users to sort reviews by “the most helpful” ratings.
Over to You
If you’re making some of the abovementioned mistakes, don’t be desperate. I’m sure I’ve never landed on an ecommerce site that has no SEO issues. Your goal is to identify the main problems in your SEO strategy and stop wasting money on them. This is how you will improve your online presence gradually and I hope these tips will help you.
As increasingly available information makes it easier for businesses, graphic designers, and web developers to create more efficient and striking websites, a large number of professionals are providing ever-more innovative platforms for their clients and customers to use online.
Mastering the essentials of web design can take time, of course, but the benefits of top-tier web design to Google search result placement and customer conversion rates can be truly outstanding: A good website in 2019 doesn’t just look great, its custom design will also turn site visitors into long-term customers.
Here are just 5 website design tips that can help your business achieve stunning results, and why they might just make 2019 a banner year for your company.
1. Hick’s Law
For many web designers, the question of how much content to include on a website is a considerable one: Keep site design too simple, the thinking goes, and a customer may not understand what the website is intended to do or where essential information is located in a site’s architecture. Make a site too complicated, and users may become bogged down by the sheer number and variety of choices that they will encounter.
Web designers often deal with this question by employing Hick’s law, which says that the more decisions a person must grapple with, the longer they will take to make a decision.
Named for the English psychologist W.E. Hick and his studies on the way in which people make choices over a given period of time, the law is now used to determine everything from website design principles to Fortune 500 marketing strategies. By using Hick’s law, you will be making it easy for customers to choose and purchase the products or services that your company provides.
To implement the principles of Hick’s law, try streamlining your site to include only the most relevant information that customers will need to choose a product or service. For a site like Google, whose customers simply want to search for websites, that can mean a minimalistic approach that includes a simple search bar, an easy-to-load graphic, and a plain white background.
For Amazon or eBay, employing Hick’s law means breaking down products into specific categories so that site visitors do not become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available to them.
2. Responsive Web Design
As an increasing number of mobile app-based businesses such as Instagram take the online marketplace by storm, more and more business leaders are wondering if they should emphasize the development of a mobile-based app platform over a traditional website.
Of course, there are certainly benefits to both paths, but there are some seriously compelling reasons to move a business forward with responsive web design as a priority.
One such reason is that many customers prefer websites over having mobile apps for every single store. More often than not, the question of whether to shift a company’s focus towards mobile app development or put primary web development effort into creating a dynamic website is largely a question of what goals the company aims to achieve in the long-term.
A business that shares user-generated content or links customers to service providers (Uber being a prime example) may find that a mobile app is an optimum platform for achieving their aims. A site that provides extensive information about products or services such as Amazon might delegate more time to maintain a responsive website that automatically scales elements depending on what platform the user accesses it from. It will display more information on PC, and less on the phone to ensure intuitive navigation and ease of access.
3. Content Placement
It is no secret that great site design draws more views from potential and actual customers and that these views can benefit a company’s Google search rankings. So how exactly does one create content that attracts customers while keeping such information visually appealing?
To answer this question, we can actually draw on aesthetic principles that have been around since well before the great Renaissance artists codified concepts of design beauty that we still use today. These principles can be broken down into three main categories: F-shaped pattern design; Z-shaped pattern design; and the Rule of Thirds.
The F- and Z-patterns central to graphic design are fairly simple concepts and relate to how information in visual design can be connected by the “direction” of elements within a visual composition. In fact, you’ve probably seen these design elements every time you’ve accessed a major website or mobile app: Most news websites use the “F-shape” design element by framing information through a headline, sub-headline, and sidebar to the viewer’s left, letting the eye rest on the strong “F” shape created by the lines of text.
The Z-pattern involves a similar design concept to the F-pattern: By drawing a “line” at an angle across the “frame” of a website from the right side of a top border to the left side of a lower border, a viewer’s eyes will naturally be drawn to new information in the lower right-hand field of their vision. This is why so many sites place important links such as purchase buttons on the lower right-hand side of a website screen.
One of the most important elements of visual design in history, the Rule of Thirds states that the human eye is attracted to visual compositions that are divisible by thirds. Most of us actually encounter this rule at any time we see a great painting or watch a movie.
At its heart, the Rule of Thirds is what enables our vision to feel “at rest” when viewing a piece of visual art. Something about the use of design divisible into three parts connotes a feeling of balance in the viewer, and such divisibility is a powerful tool for web developers and graphic designers to use.
4. Security Measures
One of the most important ways for web designers and company to build trust with potential customers is to use cutting-edge security measures to protect customer and client information. In 2019, companies need to be their customers’ first wall of defense from identity thieves if they want to take their business to the next level.
Indeed, whether customers are simply providing their email addresses for company newsletters or are using credit or debit cards to purchase a product or service, make sure that your site design includes a good security apparatus to protect customers from identity thieves. The right security measures can truly strengthen long-term customer relationships in a way that few other elements of site design can!
5. The Right Colors
If you’ve ever spent time on Instagram, you know that a major component of the effective graphic design is the use of the right colors to convey a company’s core message and philosophy. A business like Playdoh (@playdoh) creates a graphic design twist on an old children’s favorite with their Instagram account by employing strong primary colors evocative of childhood wonder and playfulness.
To convey a sense of strength and teamwork, on the other hand, the Nike Instagram account (@nike) employs simple reds and blues to suggest self-confidence and achievement. When choosing colors to accent your web design, try picking shades that match your company’s or client’s core values. The right color design will really impress customers and take your site to the next level!
For these reasons, striking the right balance with web design can increase customer conversion rates in ways that few other initiatives can. Whether it’s via the implementation of Hick’s law or by striving to protect customer information from identity thieves, good website design is sure to bring more site visitors into the fold of long-term customers and clients. And that is truly web design at its best!
Go Media is so honored to have had the pleasure to work with Rock Medical, the premier Orthopedic Consulting Team here in Northeast Ohio, on their logo and website design.
Over the past 16 years Rock Medical has served it’s mission while building from a company of one to over 35 sales and support consultants. While Rock Medical has grown, they had out grown their brand image. Rock Medical came to Cleveland web development and branding firm Go Media to overhaul their brand, marketing materials and website. It was our great pleasure working with their president Tom Ramsay on crafting a contemporary brand that properly reflected their technological sophistication and “surgeon first” company culture.
Because of Rock Medical’s reputation & established recognition in the industry we needed to be sensitive in our approach to their brand transition. With the original knee logo mark carrying so much of that equity, a transition logo was created to help ease into the future plans for dropping the knee altogether.
Go Media used our Designer Sites platform to build Rock Medical an intuitive, beautiful and easily managed website. Running on WordPress, Rock Medical’s website utilizes Go Media’s proprietary Page Builder editor – featuring a front end drag and drop interface giving the Rock Medical staff total control over the layout and content of their website. Of course, all Go Media websites are built full screen, responsive and optimized for search engines. The result is a powerful tool to help drive Rock Medical into the future.
Learn more about the full project here:
How to Increase Your Web Presence: 4 Strategies
Nowadays, most businesses operate online. That being said, operating in the digital world means that you must have a well-established presence on the web. The main reason is that the market is overcrowded with various other companies that are competing for their customers and their spot on the market. That’s why you need to find a way to stand out. However, even though businesses operate in the digital world, not every company has a good online presence.
Just because your business is out there, it doesn’t mean that people will notice it or become interested for that matter. Building a web presence means that you must make your company recognizable online and known to your audience. Otherwise, you’ll soon be outrun by your competitors. Building online presence takes time and effort. There are various strategies you can implement, but you must plan ahead and determine which strategies are best for your business. Therefore, here are a few powerful strategies to increase your web presence.
Build an awesome website
Websites are the core of every modern business. Without a good website, you have no hopes of developing your business further or increasing your web presence. The main reason is that websites are the face of companies. Your leads will eventually visit your website to browse through your company information, as well as your products or services. If you cannot provide an exceptional experience for your website visitors, you can be sure that they’ll abandon your pages and move elsewhere.
Online consumers have certain needs and expectations when it comes to browsing company websites. In other words, your website must be fast, responsive, easy to navigate, user friendly and safe, among other things. Being able to meet consumer expectations won’t just guarantee their satisfaction. Moreover, satisfied customers will more likely recommend you to friends and family, as well as give out referrals to other consumers. That way, your web presence will experience an increase, thanks to the satisfaction of your customers.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a cost-effective marketing strategy that can help you improve your presence online. Not only that, but it can also help you boost your visibility, credibility and exposure in the online world. SEO helps you optimize your website so that it ranks high on search engines, such as Google. Ranking for the right keywords helps your website appear on the first page of search results. That way, your website becomes more accessible and easily findable by your audience.
In addition, content marketing, guest posting and link building are also excellent SEO activities that can help you increase your web presence. However, consulting with an SEO company may be a good idea if you have difficulties effectively leveraging such activities. In addition, SEO takes time before it starts showing viable results and it requires constant improvements because search engine algorithms oftentimes change. That’s why it’s important not to give up on SEO, because sooner or later, you’ll start seeing the benefits of your efforts.
Build presence on social media
One of the best ways to increase your web presence is through social media platforms. The main reason is that social media allows you to directly communicate with your target audience, while you effectively build awareness for your business in the meantime. Actively engaging in conversations with your audience on social media allows you to establish more personal relationships with them. After all, the more familiar people are with your business, the better your presence and visibility will be.
However, when building presence on social media, it’s important to determine which social media channels your audience prefers. That way, you can focus on networks that have value to your business, instead of wasting resources on building presence on every social network out there. In addition, you can leverage influencer marketing to gain more publicity and exposure. That way, you’ll increase your web presence by having an influencer supporting your business on social media.
Publish amazing content
Content can easily increase your web presence and help you position yourself as an industry expert. Good content is widely accepted by online consumers and it’s always a good way to deliver value to audiences, while gaining recognition in return. However, you must focus on relevancy and quality of your content. The more relevant and useful your content is, the more impact it will have.
That’s why it’s important to ensure that your content is authoritative, informative, educational and entertaining. Otherwise, it won’t yield the results you need to increase your web presence. If you’re not a well-versed writer or you feel preoccupied with some other aspects of your online marketing strategy, you should consider outsourcing your content to an outside agency. They have both the knowledge and the tools needed to create a solid content creation and promotion plan for you and tailor it to your goals. Remember, only impeccable content can go viral and take your marketing efforts to the next level.
Building and improving your online presence requires a lot of dedication and effort. Not everything you do will get you the positive publicity you need to make your business famous. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and develop a good strategy that will increase your web presence in the best way possible.
Go Media, your favorite Cleveland-based web design, branding and design firm, is so proud to have had the pleasure to work on the website for the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning.
The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning is a non-profit organization that brings unique learning experiences to students through the arts. ‘CAL’ as they are affectionately known has impacted the lives of 7 million students over eighteen counties through arts education. As former board members, it was our great privilege to help them on their mission to ignite student learning, creativity and success by building them a highly functioning, intuitive and fun website. Our goals were to increase awareness, drive fundraising and to have the overall feel of the website reflect the creative nature of the organization.
The new Center for Arts Inspired Learning website was built upon Go Media’s Designer Sites Platform. The site is built in WordPress, the leader in content management systems. WordPress sets the standard for ease-of-use, which is key when you have a number of contributing members to your website. This CAL website is enhanced by Go Media’s Page Builder on page editing tool. This powerful and intuitive content management tool allows members of CAL the ability to make live edits directly to pages without having to use WordPress’ backend.
Take a peek at some of the work we did on the website here:
CAL does a very special place in our hearts and we trust the website will assist them to assist their goals in uniting art and education to change lives. To learn more about their programs or donate to the cause, please head to the CAL website.
We are excited to share the website design we completed for Without Bounds Educational Services, a phenomenal education service that provides young students with the tutoring they need to master concepts and prepare for exams. They work with the most talented and qualified educators to offer tutoring in over 25 subjects. From core classes like Algebra and Grammar to 4 levels of foreign language, Without Bounds is ready to take on the unique needs of every student.
Go Media had the pleasure of helping Without Bounds grow their network by designing a website that showcased all of their offerings on a contemporary responsive platform.
Here are a few previews of the work we did. To view the full project, head to the full project.
Responsive Website Design Cleveland
How to Increase Your Website’s Conversion Rate
Setting up and maintaining an e-commerce site is no joke. It can be very difficult to draw in clients and ensure they proceed with a checkout. Many people simply add items to cart and leave it hanging for one reason or the other. Many times, there are certain elements on your website that can make all the difference, changing your client’s perspective and user experience will help you to capture them for longer and ensure sales. Here we have portrayed some of the most important elements of your e-commerce site that are worth the extra time. They will certainly boost your revenue and fortify your traffic.
- No questions asked
The best approach to ensure your client makes it to the end is to give them the minimal possible opportunities to rethink their decision. This means you need to eliminate the questions and the popup asking ‘whether the client is sure’! Of course, he is sure the first time he clicked the buy button but repeatedly interrogating him may make him think otherwise. Try to leave minimal options for them to select. A simplified approach is as follows:
- Allow clients to add objects to cart
- Prompt all the important info such as billing address, payment method etc. on one page
- Proceed to checkout
This three-step procedure will ensure the buyer has minimal rethinking time and is not irritated with annoying questions. For example, a simple notification saying they have purchased the product suffices, along with the delivery time. This approach helps limit the no. of pages in the final checkout. Moreover, it has significant benefit in ensuring sales.
- Instill trust
Just like buyers and sellers in real life, clients are looking for solid assurance before they proceed to purchase your products. For instance, for an online e-commerce site, certain elements help highlight the authenticity of the site. These include:
- Authentic buyer reviews
- Money back warranties
- Free returns
- Money back testimonials
- Secure payment portals
- Trust pilot
- Encrypted checkout
All of these different aspects help fortify the trust of the buyer. This makes it even more likely, that he will proceed with the checkout.
- Take advantage of the live chat feature
Yes, it can be a bit hectic, having someone to answer the live chat any time of the day. This feature is one of the many ways of building customer confidence and increasing sales. Often clients are simply stuck in a little spot and some small help from the center scores a sale. Online chats are wonderful means of interacting with clients and motivating them towards a purchase. You can also direct them to different items. As for the part where you have to attend to the chat 24/7, there are ways to counteract it.
- You can lay down certain timing every day
- Incorporate an auto-generated message
- Take the chat directly to mail in case of unavailability
- Assign a telephone number
- Incorporate customer feedback
There is nothing like an authenticity stamp than an actual customer review. The more reviews you have, the more people are going to trust you. This is an important way of building confidence. Being a blogger, you may have noticed the positive reviews and feedback on other blogs and e-commerce sites. This feedback leaves a great first impression. In addition, it also helps to highlight your good qualities. People feel reassured when they see that there are other people like them. Plus, a client is more likely to buy an item once they spot a similar customer leaving a good review of the product. We highly motivate the use of authentic reviews on your site. Adjust them along with the associated products preferably which will help to drive in relevant traffic.
- Notification tags
Often clients need to be notified of the products repeatedly. Sometimes you can text them the new offers on certain products. For instance, if your site chooses to put up a sale send over messages describing it as well as occasional messages highlighting different products. This will:
- Peak consumer interest
- Attract potential buyers
- Increase popularity and work as an advertisements
- Convert newcomers into permanent clients
Employing these tactics will help you gain an advantage on multiple fronts. It will also help assure other people of money back guarantees as well as returns. This is because different customers will have a different experience and will certainly share it on the website. An immediate plus for you!
- Countdown timers
This new tactic is a great addition to the e-commerce market. It helps users clinging on to every second. Introduce deals with a countdown timer. Moreover, this will limit the time for the client and motivate him to make an early decision. It also helps ensure that clients actually proceed with the purchase. As they know they might miss the deal, chances are they will proceed with the order, immediately! Countdown timers:
- Effectively create a state of urgency for the client
- Motivate clients to revisit for different deals
- Ensure checkout and reduces cart abandonment
- Include a package
One other element on e-commerce sites is the package where a buyer has to select a certain amount of items to get a lower delivery or free delivery. This allows clients to look for multiple things that he may or may not need necessarily in order to avail a free delivery. Although you will pay for the delivery, the extra surge you got from the additional products the client bought can cover for it. This is one of the latest means of captivating buyers and motivating sales. However, you need to be consistent with this regime and offer reasonably proceed items along with the expensive ones in order to ensure a purchase. If you increase the prices chances are
- Clients will avoid a purchase simply because of cost to high
- Many buyers tend to refuse a checkout when they see a high total
- Multiple cheap items are acceptable for a client but multiple expensive items provoke thought.
Hence, the package deal is something that you need to play wisely. You need to understand the mentality of the person in order to attract a purchase. Where you are gaining orders, you also need to offer clients something in return.
- Prompt delivery options
One thing you can do to improve your site offers a prompt delivery option. However, you need to include a time limit for it. This way, clients who need it will order it for sure, without wasting time rethinking. In addition, the option helps encourage clients to place an order and checkout immediately. It also helps take the clients mind off the price and the actual need in favor of a prompt delivery. The satisfaction of receiving the product at an earlier date helps to outshine other problems. Furthermore, these clients’ will surely shop again and leave a good review, which will boost your e-commerce site in multiple ways. It will
- Boost sales
- Improve reviews and attract more clients
- Increase permanent clients
These different elements will help address the many ways of improving your e-commerce sites. Many of these tips are simple and can be easily incorporated. Use them to boost sales and increase traffic. They are some of the authentic means of advertising and boosting product sales, which will surely boost your business as well.
Right now, you are one click away from making a profitable sale.
A call to action is, perhaps, one of the most important areas of your website. It doesn’t matter if you’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into your website content, if a user reaches your call to action but doesn’t feel compelled to click, it will have all been for nothing.
Writing a call to action that connects with an everyday user’s digital impulse is no easy feat, but there is a foundation of considerations to remember to give you the optimal chance of doing so.
Today, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about writing these effective calls to action, allowing you to maximise your sales and conversions rates.
Note the Benefit
The first and the most important, element you need to consider in your call to action is the benefit that the user is going to get from clicking on your CTA. For example, when signing up for Netflix, the red CTA simply reads;
“JOIN FREE FOR A MONTH”
This is a powerful call to action because the user knows exactly what they’re getting and why they should be clicking it, ensuring high conversion rates.
Start with a Power Verb
The very first word in your call to action needs to be powerful and directive for the maximum effect. In the Netflix example, the word is ‘join’, suggesting that you’re becoming part of a community of watchers.
Other words could be anything you choose, but for some ideas, you could use words like;
- Enhance (your marketing plan)
- Meet (the very best)
- Sign-up (today)
- Be (the best)
- Start (your journey)
Keep Things Short & Sweet
Another important factor to consider is the length of your call to action. Of course, if you’ve got a lot of information to say, by all means, say it, but a call to action is most effective when it’s short and powerful.
“Keeping things short and sweet maximizes the impact it has on the reader (especially since your call to action will stand out from the rest of the page) and the content is, therefore, easily digestible,” shares Jennifer Goodson, a content writer for Paper Fellows.
Writing the Perfects Calls to Action
Since many calls to action will only include a brief amount of text, a couple of sentences at most, the chance that a mistake or error will stand out is high, damaging the credibility of your website and business. Thankfully, there are many online tools you can use to ensure quality;
- Assignment Service / Oxessays – As suggested in Best British Essays, these are two proofreading services to ensure you have accurate calls to action.
- Studydemic / Academadvisor – Two blogs and checkers to help you to make sure your grammar is perfect in your CTAs.
- Revieweal / Essay Services – Two leading proofreading services to help you ensure your calls to action are free from errors, as recommended by the Huffington Post.
- Writing Populist / Lets Go And Learn – These are two blogs full of writing guides to help you improve your general writing skills.
When a reader reads your CTA, they should know exactly what they’re doing by clicking on the button. There shouldn’t be any questions or doubt in their minds. In some cases, if your website has a lot of content, the user may not be sure what the button does, therefore potentially losing you a sale.
Instead, the reader should know exactly what the next step of their journey is and what clicking your call to action will achieve.
Another effective CTA tactic is invoking a sense of urgency in the reader, making them want to click now, rather than thinking about it and coming back at a later date.
For example, if you run an online clothing store and you’re running a sale, asking the user to ‘Click here before the sale ends’ is a great way to tempt the reader into taking action now.
The social proof of testimonials lends a lot of credibility to your brand. It also allows people who might not be familiar with the work you do to see that you have happy customers. When it comes to content marketing, customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective forms of content. In fact, 89 percent of marketers indicate that testimonials are a necessary part of their overall content strategy.
You’ve probably already learned that testimonials are an effective way to reach new customers from the minute they land on your website. However, there are many different ways to implement testimonials into your content strategy. Here are the best types of testimonials and what they bring to your business model:
Taking the time to feature a customer does a couple of things for your brand. First, it helps you get to know your target audience better, which in turn will allow you to perfect your marketing to this demographic. Second, it shows potential customers you have satisfied customers who are already using your product or service.
Your first step is to recruit customers to interview. One easy way to do this is to choose customers who’ve written a positive review recently. Ask them if they’d be willing to be interviewed about their experience. However, don’t overlook customers who’ve complained, but whose issues have been resolved. Your ability and willingness to strive for perfection can be a powerful testimony.
Software AG offers an in-depth look at some of its customers. For example, it tells the story of how a Chinese automaker utilizes its business software platform, how one retailer uses it to build a model for customer success and how it has simplified data-reporting for another company.
2. High-Profile Testimonials
When you think about sharing a high-profile testimonial on your website, your first thought might be using an influencer or a celebrity to tout your brand. While a high-profile testimonial can certainly encompass those elements, another way to show you are an up-and-coming brand is by using big-name companies for this purpose. As a result, you’ll gain the halo effect, where a big name makes the things they endorse look better.
Take a look at your client list. Choose your top five clients as far as how well known they are. As your company grows and you gain new, bigger clients, you can revamp this testimonial list from time to time. One creative way to use this method is to do a case study of how you’ve helped said company and then take snippets to show this to the reader, such as how a campaign helped XYZ Co. increase its conversions by 1,500 percent.
If you aren’t already using video testimonials, this is something you can easily add to your brand to better engage your site visitors or your followers on social media. About 78 percent of people online watch videos every week. Creating a video testimonial does a number of positive things for your brand, such as forming a better emotional connection with your readers and lending a sense of credibility to your marketing efforts.
Hubble features software with real-time reporting that allows for data visualization and integration. It features a video of its customers describing how they personally use Hubble and the benefits. The video features people from different industries to show how flexible the software is.
4. Social Media Posts
If you plan to share testimonials on social media, there are a couple of options. First, you could reach out to customers with a large following and simply ask them to give your company a shout-out. This is likely the most effective way to add a testimonial, because it looks more organic. About 80 percent of Americans look for a recommendation from someone they know before making a purchase.
Your other option is to add short snippets and combine them with a photo of the customer or the product to encourage shares and retweets of the post. If your customer is online, it is also a good idea to tag them in the post.
You don’t have to use a long testimonial in every instance. Creating blocks of quoted text that highlight a small part of what your business does is a smart tactic. You can pull these from a larger testimonial or case studies, or you can simply ask your customers to give you a short, one-line review.
Today’s average person is extremely busy. They might have 10 minutes on the train to work to glance at your website or social media page. If you provide them with snippets of information that can be quickly scanned, then the testimonial is likely to stick with them.
Vanderbilt University’s MBA program does a good job of highlighting students and professors who make the program memorable. Note the short snippet from one of its students who earned an MBA. This allows potential students to see what the program did for someone similar to them.
Reviews are a form of testimonial if you think about it. They highlight a customer and what that customer thinks about the product or service. The last time you booked a hotel, what did you do first? More than likely, you checked out the online reviews. Make it easy for your customers to review your product by adding a review form to your website or sending a push on social media asking for their feedback. You can then pull short quotes from these reviews to highlight elsewhere as testimonials.
Best Types of Testimonials
Companies that were centered on the customer were around 60 percent more profitable than companies without this focus. The benefits to your brand are that you’ll lend credibility to your claims, show you are focused on the customer and reach new customers you otherwise might not have found. Take the time to make testimonials a part of your marketing plan and you’re certain to see positive results.
When on a tight schedule, developers have to think of a way or two to speed up the development process. You can easily fall into the trap of pushing yourself over the edge to develop that website as soon as possible. Why is it a trap? Because the quality of your code will suffer and if you have to come back and fix something or make changes you will pay your time debt.
Time has never been a friend of developers. If you are a coder yourself, then you know what I’m talking about. But don’t worry. There are ways to speed up the development process, while still delivering quality outputs. Here are the six hacks that will make your website development significantly more efficient.
Don’t Jump Straight Into Coding
How many times have you heard “Planning is everything!” before? You know why? Because a good plan is a developer’s best friend. Before you start working on your website, sit down, get a pen and paper and open Google Docs.
What I’ve found particularly useful is to draw a website layout on paper, with all those divs and menus. Use the Google docs to write down the functionality. This practice will save you a great deal of time, trust me. When you are done, the drawing of your website layout and the document you’ve written will serve as the best recipe from the web developer’s cookbook to follow.
Don’t Code It If Somebody Else Did
You might think that you’ve thought of something original that you have to code from scratch. Whenever you find yourself in that situation, take a breather, and Google it. Developers around the world join communities like StackOverFlow and they talk a lot about their problems and various solutions, and you can use these in your own project. There is no need to do it from scratch.
You will be able to find a lot of working and ready-to-use solutions, ranging from the simplest ones done in HTML and CSS to the more complex ones, such as PHP scripts or Python. This alone will save you countless hours of work.
Become the Master of Your Favorite Tools
The coder is as efficient as his knowledge of the tools he is using. It doesn’t matter if you are using Sublime 3, Atom, Microsoft Visual Studio or Photoshop. If you know all the keyboard shortcuts, you will spend less time clicking and remembering where the option is in the menus.
Your ultimate goal is to become the code snippet master. If you manage to put that reusable code embedded in your editor to good use whenever the opportunity arises, you will become the master of productivity and be able to print out complex web pages in several hours.
Use CSS Libraries
There is no need to code like it’s 2005. We live in the age of fully-structured CSS libraries. Instead of wasting time styling your website elements from scratch, use the libraries that impact the entire layout of your website. The most popular one is definitely Bootstrap.
Not only will this save you time while you are developing your website, but it will also save you time in the future too. How? You won’t have to come back and make your website responsive, as Bootstrap CSS classes are made to be responsive.
If you need to add animation or hover effects to your website, use Animate.css and Hover.css libraries. In case you are making a website with a lot of elements, consider using CSS grid libraries such as Flexible Grid System and Semantic Grid System. These will all save you a lot of time.
Test for Errors as You Work
How many times have the errors in your code delayed your entire project? This is why someone more experience than you and me came up with “unit testing”. So instead of coding it all out in one sitting, take your time and test every section of your website.
This applies to both the looks and functionality. It’s much easier to fix the problem while you are still into coding that particular element, than to follow the breadcrumbs after you have come near the end of the project. This can be particularly useful if you are coding the backend of your website.
Use Open Source Plugins
If you perform a simple search online, you will be amazed at how many free jQUery plugins there are. If the one you need happens to be a premium one, do your math. If you have the spare time and skill to code it from scratch, why not.
If you are new to web development, the best way to speed up your coding is to practice as much as you can. Invent your own projects and learn by overcoming challenges. On the other hand, if you have some experience, the above-mentioned hacks will most definitely help you speed up the development of your website.
Improving the CX of your eCommerce Site
More than likely, you truly want to provide the best customer experience (CX) possible to the visitors who land on your website. However, in a rapidly changing digital world, it can be difficult to know just what strategies you should use to create a positive experience.
Experts estimate by 2020, CX will be the most important factor in branding, even topping price and the product. Seventy percent of why customers decide to buy a product is based on their perception of the way the company treats them. Taking time to invest in your customer service model is one thing you can do to stand out from the competition.
1. Consistent Experience
Whether you’re conducting business online or offline, offering a consistent service experience that spans the reach of your business allows customers to embrace your brand, no matter how they prefer to shop. For example, if you have an email list, you might send out a coupon code people can use either on your website or in a store. If a customer comes into your store and you are out of their size or the color they want, you provide a kiosk they can order from.
AutoZone has gotten on board with that consistent user experience. If you go in their store, they can help you, but you can also go online, figure out what you need and pick it up in the store the very same day. Customers can quickly see which locations near them have the part they’re looking for.
2. Target Audience
Before you begin to focus on CX, you must fully understand who your target customer is and how to meet their needs. You can figure out the demographics of the people visiting your site by studying analytics, taking polls and studying buying patterns. Once you have a grasp of your typical site visitor, create a user persona based on that model. This persona is who you will plan everything around. You can have more than one persona for your brand, too.
3. Anticipating Customer Questions
When a consumer chooses to visit your site, he or she likely has a specific purpose in mind. Think through what the different purposes might be and how you can anticipate any questions the user will have. If you get a lot of emails asking the same question about your products, or if you offer a certain feature, this is a good place to start. You’ll provide the answer before the customer ever has to ask you.
Notice how Nitterhouse Masonry Products anticipates customers visiting their site might have one of three product types in mind: architectural, contractor or residential. By narrowing down the choices, they anticipate their different users’ needs and direct them to more information on the specific area.
4. Omni-Channel Customer Service Reps
When someone visits your website, you likely have a variety of options for contacting your company. You might offer live chat, email and even a toll-free number. Is a customer who calls your company getting the same answer you provide via live chat or email? Making sure you not only provide consistent answers, but that you keep a record of customer contacts, is vital to making the customer feel valued.
Customers get annoyed when they must repeat a problem they have with your product to three or four different people. About 89 percent of customers state this frustrates them, and about as many feel brands should try harder to create a consistent customer service experience.
5. Mobile Matters
You’ve heard this one before, but it is worth repeating, because more and more people are using their smartphones to access the Internet. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, or doesn’t provide the main features of your website, you are going to have a lot of irritated users. If the mobile site is not up to par, about 52 percent of consumers are less likely to engage with the brand.
Elf on the Shelf is one of those trends you either love or think is creepy, but their website is a good one to study for how to create a great mobile CX. When you land on their page, you have two choices based on whether you are an adult or a child. Their landing page is very simple and to the point.
6. Customer Service Philosophy
Train your customer service reps thoroughly in your customer service philosophy. It can take an additional 12 positive experiences to make up for one bad experience with service. If your customer is dissatisfied, hurry to minimize the damage and turn a negative into a positive. Make sure everyone who has any contact with your customers understands the value of every customer. Likewise, that they reflect that in their interactions.
7. Social Media
If your site isn’t integrated with social media, you might be missing out on traffic. More than 62 percent of people in North America use Facebook. Integrating your e-commerce site with social media is simple. First, you need to mention your social media channels and make it easy to access them. Second, point your social media followers to specials, sales and new arrivals on your site. Of course, there is a lot more involved with marketing on social media, but understanding the importance of a presence is enough to get you started.
8. Gain the Consumer’s Trust
One of the key components of successful CX is that customers feel they can trust your brand. If you receive a question, do you answer promptly? Did you make your contact information easy to find? Other things you can do to gain consumers’ trust is to add any certificates you hold or positive ratings, and adding customer testimonials.
Optimizing your site’s CX takes time and perseverance. Pay attention to any complaints you receive. When do consumers bounce away from your website? Can you improve their experience and reduce your bounce rate? Putting the time and effort into continually improving your CX will pay off in happy customers who frequent your business time and time again.
Digital Product Development Process
When creating a digital product, whether its an app or simple website, it is important to follow a consistent process in order to produce a consistently successful product. This is going to be a high-level overview of a process that can be adjusted to scale successfully to any project size and complexity.
Step One: Discovering the Problem
Firstly, it is the UX team’s job to understand the problem that is going to be solved. This part of the project involves meetings with the client or product owners, researching the competitive landscape, performing business analysis and analyzing any data that can be provided by previous iterations analytics. When it comes down to a digital product, like a website, it is also important to understand the people using the product, why they are using it and the type of technology they are comfortable with, as this will help the UX team define the best answer to the problem’s question.
Step Two: Defining the Best Answer
Next, the UX team is responsible for using the information discovered in step one to come up with the best solution to the problem discovered. Generally speaking, this second phase is marked with lots of sketches and initial concepts that can be quickly tested and iterated upon to drive towards the best answer to the problem. Wireframing, storyboarding, site-mapping (and information architecture), sketching and whiteboarding are routine elements that make up this phase of the project.
Step Three: Designing the Solution
Typically the design phase is what most non-industry folks picture when they think of when they hear digital product design. This is when the solution that was defined in Step two is crafted into a form that resembles a completed digital product. This means applying branding elements and styles to the structures defined in the wireframes, crafting a seamless digital experience that feels very much a part of the brand. This third phase is also when interaction design is created and generally involves working closely with the development team to ensure a seamless handoff into the next phase, development.
Step Four: Developing The Product
Step Five: Deploying the Final Product
The fifth and final production step of the process is deployment. Here, the final developed product is transitioned from its development environment to the live internet, where it can be accessed by the masses. Generally, this migration is taken care of via the modification of the Domain Name System (DNS), pointing URLs to their correct indexes. This phase can be completed with relative ease, however, a number of situations can arise when moving digital hosting and each deployment should factor in time to allow for bug fixes and code adjustments.
Step Six: Optimization (Constantly Improving the Product and Process)
The final step, optimization, isn’t a typical phase of the digital product production process. This is because Optimization should take place throughout the project and takes a number of different forms. In the initial discovery phase, optimization takes the form of user surveys and interviews to test the assumptions the team is making while performing research. In the second and third steps, it takes the form of prototype user testing, allowing users to interact with wireframes and mockups to test concepts and workflow ideas. In development and deployment, optimization takes the form of quality assurance (QA) testing, making sure to note and quash bugs as they are discovered. Finally, optimization even takes the form of a project post-mortem, analyzing the overall project to see how elements of the process can be improved to provide solid digital solutions in the future.
Expanding Your Brand Presence: 5 Tips
Are you feeling a stagnant air in your business? Strategy planning is a key element of any business, so here are 5 simple ways to further your reach!
How to Further Your Reach
1. Invest in yourself!
Let everyone know who you are by professionally branding your business. Start with a logo and simple website. Creating a relationship with a professional designer will help you throughout your businesses lifetime, you never know when you’ll need something! It helps to have someone on standby who understands your brand and can help support your direction. Designers do a lot more than just create pretty pictures. We create marketing plans, help plan strategies, consult and more. As you grow, your advertising needs change and your designer should be there by your side to guide you. When you are professionally branded and have a user friendly, modern website, it gives your business instant legitimacy in the eyes of your customer. If you are unsure about your logo or website, lots of designers do brand consulting and can help point you in the right direction and show you where you need improvement.
2. Utilize Social Media
The best thing about Social Media is that it is FREE! The worst? You can get lost, easily. The best advice I ever heard was pick the best social media for your business and focus your time and energy on creating great content for your audience there. Do not spread yourself thin posting to countless social media accounts every day. If your biggest audience is on Facebook, utilize groups, events and business pages. Maybe you find your following is more Instagram central. Post updates, stories and go live! Pick your best social media platform and run with it. What about sponsored posts, you ask? Personally, I hardly ever sponsor posts because I know how to reach my target on social media. When I have a post performing exceptionally well, reaching thousands without much effort, I will occasionally boost those. It is already performing for me and converting it to a paid ad will only help my reach!
3. The Right Content
You picked your perfect social media platform, but now you need to post. Create relevant content for your target customer. We’re not talking click bait. Research shows valuable content builds better customer relationships and leads to positive returns for your business! Create each piece with a “Call to Action” or the intent to trigger a specific action in your customer. Pro Tip: Create your content for a few weeks and mass upload them as scheduled posts!
4. Be Engaged
The right content grabs your customer’s attention, now it’s time to engage WITH them! Your created content gets people excited and they want to learn more about you. You start getting comments and messages, engage with them and reply! Your customer base needs to think of you as someone they can count on, someone they are comfortable with. When people feel like they already ‘know’ you from connecting and engagement on social media, you’ve already built the foundation of trust in your relationship with them. Comment on posts in and outside of your social media community. I’m not talking about a sales pitch saying “I’m Sally & I do blah blah blah..”. Comment on things that ENGAGE YOU and that YOU are the expert in. Show off your knowledge, the rest will follow. Engaged networking goes a long way with expanding your reach beyond your own two walls.
5. Get Listed!
Are you listed on the big 7? What is the big 7? Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, Foursquare, YP & Superpages. Maybe your business doesn’t need to be listed on all 7, but you can absolutely benefit from being listed on the others. Not only is it a FREE way to get out to your customer base, it helps populate your website and business on search engine rankings. Listed on these websites goes back to tip #1, instant business legitimacy in the eyes of your customer.
What about you? Do you know or practice any other creative ways to further your reach that should be included in this list? Let me know!
eCommerce websites are becoming more and more popular and prevalent by the day, creating a thriving and competitive market. Although the market is growing, the competition means that it can be difficult for new and existing eCommerce businesses to break through the barrier and get themselves seen and heard. Unfortunately, this can only inevitably lead those businesses to be pushed out of the market. We’ve put together 3 strategies that will make your eCommerce website stand out, and be successful. As with most businesses, time and effort are required, but it will certainly pay off in the long run.
1. Choose the right web host: First and foremost, you must ensure that you choose the right web host for your eCommerce site. There are many web hosting companies to choose from, all offering similar plans and features, but knowing which one is right for you can be difficult, especially if the thought hadn’t even crossed your mind! Here are a few things to consider when deciding on your web host:
- Uptime guarantee – Ensure that your web host has an uptime guarantee, or at least a very good uptime record if they can’t provide a guarantee. Providing your customers, as an eCommerce website, with a site that is available at all times is essential to maintaining a loyal user base, and encourages more traffic to your business’s website.
- Speed – It’s a well-known fact that website visitors are impatient; if your website doesn’t load within 3 seconds, your users and your conversion rate will rapidly decrease. If your web host’s servers aren’t up to scratch or don’t perform well, this could be a huge detriment to your eCommerce website.
- Features – Does your web host offer 1-click installs, such as WordPress, Shopping Carts, etc.? Getting the most for your money is obviously important when purchasing any product or service, but is especially true when choosing your web host. If you’re just starting out your eCommerce journey, you may be surprised at how easy it is to create a website with an online store, with integrated cart and payment facilities all from your web host.
Choosing the right web host is often not something that’s on the top of every eCommerce business’ list, but it really should be. If your website doesn’t load fast enough or isn’t visible to your users, how are you going to generate any business to ensure your eCommerce site is successful? If choosing a web host is a bit of a minefield, there are plenty of hosting reviews available and designed for you to make an informed decision.
2. Implement and update SEO: As we’ve already mentioned, the eCommerce market is rapidly growing and is very competitive, so implementing a solid SEO strategy and keeping on top of it is another high priority task to ensure your website is successful. SEO can be complicated, but there are lots of guides on the internet to help you get on your way.
One of the key things to remember is to keep your SEO updated; we can’t stress this enough. If your SEO is not updated, then your conversion rates will decrease, as well as traffic to your website, and potentially your customer base. Google’s SERP factors are constantly evolving, so your SEO strategy must evolve with it. What you thought was successful last year, may get penalized this year, so research is a must. If SEO is not your specialty, or you’re finding it too hard to keep on top of, don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help. There are plenty of SEO professionals available to take your eCommerce website to the next level, and are certainly worth investing in, even if it is to get your feet off the ground.
3. Optimise for Mobile: As of January 2017, Statista confirmed that 90% of Japan’s mobile phone users were using their phones to access the internet; with 87% in the U.K., and 73% in the U.S. Those figures are quite extraordinary, but they pack a punch, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. When over 70% of a country are using their mobile phones to browse websites, you’ll want to make sure that your eCommerce site is mobile optimized.
If your eCommerce site is not mobile friendly, you could be losing out on a huge customer base, and giving away potential users to your competition – don’t let that happen! Responsive website design doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact, most CMS providers, such as WordPress, have themes and templates at the ready with very little effort required from you. Once created, there are a range of tools available on the internet to confirm how well your eCommerce website is optimized for mobile, outlining areas for improvement if required.