Posts Tagged ‘Website’

6 Key Website Updates to Make More Money

make more money website

There is no over-stressing how important it is for your company to have a great website, yet while some business owners do, many of them are not taking full advantage of its selling potential. Your company’s website nears the top of the list for the most important investments in your business, so you should know how to maximize its return and make it work for you. If you’re not yet ready for a complete website redesign, here are some key updates you can make now that will increase revenue, retain customers, and make you more relevant in your field.

1. Go Responsive

This year, mobile commerce sales are expected to top $100 billion due to the fact that an increasing amount of shoppers are making purchases from their mobile devices. That number is projected to hit 54% by 2018, according to Forrester. And if your company’s website isn’t functional on mobile devices, you can expect a lot of lost opportunities. Over half of mobile users will abandon a website if it doesn’t function on their device.

With the need for a responsive website growing, it’s smart to prepare for the future. New devices are emerging and the way consumers shop is evolving, so ensuring your company’s website has a responsive design is like having insurance for the future; no matter what new device comes next, your customers can access it with no problems. Responsive websites also rank higher in SEO so you can be found above your competitor, and make more money.

2. Implement WordPress

Have you ever thought about how much revenue you’re missing out on because you cannot easily manage your company’s website to post a simple event, store promotion, or new product? Website management systems are moving toward novice-friendly platforms and our favorite is WordPress. It allows for owners to easily learn how to make quick, simple changes to their websites so their latest promotion or event is relevant. No more relying on your developer to make these updates, which cost you the very money you’re trying to bring in. Posting new content engages customers and keeps them coming back. By implementing your site into WordPress, you are partnering with a powerful tool that helps increase sales through ease of use. Learn more about having a WordPress website.

3. Use Videos

Because people have different learning styles, you should have an array of content to capture your audience so they will stay engaged on your site. One of the most engaging methods is video content. Use it to show off your office through a tour, explain how your products work, relay customer testimonials, and offer expert tips and advice. People process visual information much faster than reading text, so adding video to your company’s website can be a great way to boost sales.

4. Scale Down Your Website

Website abandonment is a huge loss for company profits. The average online user expects your website to load in 2 seconds or less. After 3 seconds, nearly 60% of users will abandon your site. By making a key update to scale down the images, JavaScript and CSS files, you can dramatically decrease the load time and prevent customers from abandoning your company’s website, therefore increasing conversion. Here are some other tips for speeding up your load time.

5. Show Customer Reviews

Word of mouth continues to be the most trusted avenue for business referrals. By posting testimonials on your website, prospective customers develop a sense of trust from reading real-life experiences from their peers on what it’s like doing business with you. Even the negative feedback, if handled tactfully, will increase sales through your website by allowing customers to see their concerns are addressed and dealt with respect.

6. Add a “Buy Now” Button

make more money

Simple, right? But how many times have you searched a website, looking for a way to “check out”? Adding this handy little e-commerce tool makes it stupid simple for customers to quickly get what you’re advertising without having to go through a round-about process. Not to mention people like to push buttons, so why not give them a big, obvious one they can’t resist and improve your conversion rate at the same time?

Making updates like these can increase your sales exponentially and who doesn’t want to make more money? With all the effort and investment you put into your company’s website, it makes sense to squeeze it for everything it’s worth and maximize your return. Most importantly, it helps to keep in mind that any update you make to your website should center around customer usability. Keep it simple, quick, and engaging. What tweaks have you made to your company’s site that has increased sales? Share some of your success tips in the comments section below.

WordPress – Why Your Company’s Website Needs It

wordpress website logo

As an agency specializing in WordPress design, we often hear business owners say their company already has a website. Then when we begin explaining the value of having a WordPress website to them, they quickly want to know why their current website isn’t good enough and why they should switch. Sound like you?

Or maybe you have already ruled WordPress out because it’s designed for blogs, which your company doesn’t use (although you should!). WordPress has been around since 2003 and in the beginning it was targeted toward bloggers, but it has evolved into the #1 most popular content management system (CMS) for good reason! Over 24% of the internet’s websites are powered by WordPress, with that number rising every year.

So why is it different? What are the benefits? Though there are literally thousands of reasons to convert your site to WordPress, I’ll give you the most popular ones:

WordPress is Free!

This fact still excites my developer husband. With thousands of design themes and plugins to suit any website need, it truly is amazing that WordPress is a free software service. It’s free because it is run by a volunteer group of consultants interested in expanding the software. It’s a community where experts are invited to create a theme, write a plugin, answer tech support issues, and generally contribute. Once you begin using WordPress, all those community benefits become accessible to you. You receive support, downloads, themes, etc. And many are also free to install and modify, which makes WordPress so universal and loved.

The open source code is also especially helpful for beginners wanting to learn how to maintain their own website. It enables anyone to view, study and change the source code of the software. The only investment required is on hosting and a domain in order to operate WordPress.

WordPress is User Friendly

wordpress website cms

No coding experience required. Novices are able to upload video and pictures, edit blog posts, manage content and create new pages. WordPress offers hundreds of articles for beginners. The WordPress platform allows you to log in from any computer, day or night, and make changes so you don’t have to wait until Monday morning to contact your design company. You have control. And because blogging was the original target for WordPress, it remains to be the simplest platform on which to blog. Blogging is already built in to WordPress and ready to use, so every site from e-commerce to photo gallery will gain from its benefits.

WordPress is SEO Friendly

If your company’s website is struggling for first page placement on Google searches, then powering your site through WordPress is a good option for you. WordPress’ code is written to be highly compliant with search engines. It’s clean and simple, making it easy for search engines to index your site. Additionally, you can prime your WordPress website using keywords to make search results very specific. And because Google loves new content, the fact that you can easily and regularly upload changes and modify your company’s site will boost your SEO.

WordPress is Safe

A lot of novices feel insecure with their ability to maintain their own website, fearful they might “break it” or that it might be susceptible to hackers. Rest assured, WordPress is secure. There is a specific process to “harden” a WordPress website installation that doesn’t exist in traditional websites. And with the right agency, your site will be safe even with multiple users. You, as the administrator, have the ability to appoint users on your site and grant them varying access levels and capabilities.

WordPress Can Grow

Your company’s website is not limited to its original design and functionality with WordPress. There is no need to start from scratch and build a new site because your business changed its marketing strategy or branding method. Want to add an event calendar, calculator, or email sign-up form to your site down the road? That’s not a problem for your WordPress engine. Even if you need to expand your site by adding pages or a video, WordPress is adaptable and none of it will negatively affect the performance of your company’s website.

A huge way WordPress grows a business is by recognizing mobile devices. If your company does not currently have a mobile-friendly website, WordPress covers that by configuring your site to adapt when being read on mobile devices so that it is viewed appropriately. Brilliant, huh?

There are so many benefits for companies that convert to a WordPress website, it’s impossible to name all of them. But if you are beginning to see the value of hiring a WordPress expert agency, feel free to fill out our contact form to discuss your project and we will be happy to set you up and on your way to managing and maintaining your own website. WordPress training comes standard, of course.

Have you already experienced the benefits of powering your site through WordPress? We’d love to hear it! Post below your favorite WordPress qualities and plugins to share.

3 Reasons Your Company Needs an Online Presence

online presence

A recent study conducted by Verisign discovered a sad majority of companies don’t realize the benefits of having a great online presence. Many times the business lacks the technical know-how to develop a web presence, while others fear that it’s just not affordable. But the truth, backed by this research, is that those implementing it are experiencing formidable profits.

It was also discovered the companies that do take advantage of online resources elect for social media instead of their own internet space. And those with e-commerce ability choose to establish themselves on sites such as eBay and Etsy. Though these avenues are tempting because of ease of use, companies are missing out on the value of possessing their own website.

1. Great Online Business Presence Builds Trust

A Weebly survey found 56% of consumers would not trust a business without a website. Developing a great online presence goes beyond purchasing a domain name and posting a picture of your business with contact information. It should reflect a digital version of your company. Establishing your business online heightens credibility. Those potential customers who check you out online and find a well maintained website will see you as an expert instead of an amateur mom-and-pop shop. Giving potential customers a positive impression of your business makes future sales more likely. Also, having branded email that advertises your company’s domain name boosts customer trust and business credibility, making you appear as a legitimate business.

2. Online Presence Builds a Greater Clientele.

With web-influenced predicted sales reaching $1.409 trillion in 2014, those without an online presence are at a clear disadvantage. Avoiding this crucial marketing avenue is like saying, “I don’t need any new business.” Even if you are already a well-established business, coupling that with an awesome online presence will set you apart. Your company’s website is not limited to the address at which your business stands. Your online presence stretches to the ends of the earth, reaching potential customers that word-of-mouth and newspaper ads never could.

3. Great Online Business Presence Makes Marketing Easier

No matter what your message is, why you are communicating it, or what it may look like, you will be unable to engage with customers without relevant technology. If you allow your website to work for you, potential buyers won’t feel pressured by a salesman. Posting great descriptions of your products or services online lets the customer make relaxed decisions. Online marketing is also faster than conventional printing and mailing, as it reaches a wider audience in less time. Remember that online, special preference is given to local business so take advantage of the opportunity to out-do big business competitors.

Verisign also found that prior to the creation of websites, the greatest perceived inhibitor of businesses was lack of technical knowledge and cost to develop the site. However, after developing a website, only 8% of company’s respondents found the investment to develop their website as a real barrier and technical know-how concern decreased from 45% to just 22%. Even though businesses  expressed several perceived and actual barriers to developing their own space online, more than three-fourths said they would recommend investment in a website to other businesses, concluding that the value of having one’s own website outweighs all feared or actual barriers. Some other obstacles included investment of time, security and ongoing website maintenance. Finding a digital marketing agency you can trust will ease those concerns.

Usability: Does Your Website Pass The 5 Second Test?

Usability

What determines whether a user stays on your website? Is your target audience clearly receiving your intended message? Within 5 seconds, the usability of your website will determine whether visitors deem your site worthy of their reading time or decide to abandon ship. Failure to pass the 5 second test could mean lost customers and conversion opportunities. Some commonly-made usability mistakes can be easily remedied by checking your site with the guidelines below.

Load Time

The average online user expects your site to load in 2 seconds or less. After 3 seconds, 40% of users will abandon that site. Nearly a quarter (and rising) of website traffic comes from mobile devices; users are on the move and expect sites to respond quickly. A longer than average load time heightens your page’s risk of abandonment.

Usability

To check how long it takes for your site to load, plug it into tools.pingdom.com. If your site’s load time exceeds 3 seconds, try these changes to improve usability:

  • Use a JPEG for complex images like photos and compress the file size by up to 60% without compromising quality
  • Only use a PNG when you need transparent images
  • Use a sprite instead of individual images to decrease download time
  • Wherever possible, use CSS and text in place of images

Responsive

An enormous amount of website traffic comes from mobile sources and if your site is not responsive, (that is, uniformly viewable on your customer’s laptop, tablet and smartphone) your site appears scrambled on their device and unreadable. Your visitor will not stick around to decode the jumbled mess. Ensure you are avoiding this silly mistake by having one existing version of your site that is clearly visible on whatever platform your user chooses.

Important Information is Above the Fold

The Fold is all the information visible before ever scrolling and it’s the prime real estate of your website. Users spend 80% of their time looking at content above the fold, so that is where all your important information should be. If you make your visitors have to scroll to learn what products/services you have to offer and how to contact you, they will likely leave.

If you have a lot of important content that your customers need to know, try creating a slider on your home page above the fold to convey the information. Separating content between slides is a good way of keeping mass clutter in check. But remember to keep slide transition time under 5 seconds so your user sees it before making their decision.

Informative Headlines &Titles

If your users can’t find who you are and what you have to offer, they are not going to search for it. 8 out of 10 people read a page’s headline, yet only 2 out of 10 read the first paragraph. So be certain information such as who you are and what you do are positioned obviously in as few words as possible. For relevant examples of how to do this, check out my article Top Web Design Trends for 2013.

Usability

Visually Attractive

Engage your audience’s visual attention with a large, stunning image that portrays your product or service accurately and conveys the message you want to send. Strategic placement of images to text and whitespace improves usability by creating a clean, clutter-free page that mobile users will especially appreciate.

Also be cautious of poor color combinations as certain pairs are harsh on the eyes and turn your user off. Experiment with hues and tones of the same color that aren’t offensive when matched with your background. Annoying color clashes and clutter-rampant content will almost certainly turn your visitor away.

Ease of Navigation

Your site’s navigation should be easy to use and intuitive. Be certain the highest-level tier of your navigation conveys the most important, easy to understand content. Make it simple for your visitors to know where they should go next in your site’s progression and how they can contact you, otherwise your call to action is lost on your users.

The success and conversion rate of your website is based on many factors, with usability being one of the most influential. After comparing your site to these factors, does yours pass the 5 second test? Please share any additional marketing tactics that keep visitors’ attention.