A high converting webpage is to drive traffic to make a sale or complete some type of action like filling out a form. A high converting website is to replace or supplement a traditional business.
When it comes to creating a high converting website, there are a few crucial elements to consider. These elements can be the difference between converting traffic to customers or not. Let's explore some of these elements and how to put these in place to start converting traffic.
As we dig into these elements, not everything needs to be on a website, but having many of these items can help. Even with that said, some of these items, like trustworthiness, are crucial.
A few of the elements that make up a high converting website are the following:
Every single page on your website that a customer may visit needs to have a goal. Without a goal, the chances of a conversion drop. There is no reason to have information on the web page without it serving a purpose.
The strategies behind the website are the reason why a website works or not. The marketing strategy will emphasize web design. So, there is more to a website than selecting a theme. Though it may be beautiful, it doesn't mean that it will convert. This is why there are some very ugly websites that convert very well.
When considering what should go into the strategy behind a website, there are a few items to consider. Those items are layout, unity, and brand.
The website layout is an essential element when it comes to website design. This section will be the roadmap on how the users navigate the website and will guide them to each element. By having an effective layout, users move through the website as you wish them to.
Within the website layout, you need to create unity throughout the site which helps the brand. What this means is that the website, images, and other content all match. The looks, colors, and vibe of the website all help enforce the brand.
When these elements come together, you begin to build trust. With trust, you influence users to become fans of your brand.
Trust is a huge factor when it comes to converting traffic. When a user visits the website, unless they had the intent to visit, they are usually cold traffic. The means they have yet to know your brand and they haven't yet been pre-sold. Without the website creating that trust, it's unlikely this traffic will convert.
There are a few elements that can add trust that can help with adding trust. Though trust comes from many areas such as content, images, and brand, a few others are:
Some of the most powerful items are logos from other brands your company does business with. These can also be awards won and other logo-based items. Logos show that you are an actual company and work with other brands.
Parter logos added to a website may be in a simple row, grid, or carousel. It doesn't matter how they display as long as they can show users the trust they hold.
Another way to build trust on the website is to include client testimonials. These are people that have likely purchased services from your company. They are the best to show others that they can trust you. It shows that these people have done business with you already.
Nobody wants to be the first to try a product or service. By showcasing 5-star reviews on pages that relate to the product or service, you can help add trust. Even if the reviews aren't 5-stars, by adding them helps build trust. This allows people to see how others feel about your service.
Another very useful element to add trust to your website is to show case studies. These are outlines of the success you have had with other clients.
The use of case studies can be proof of how your products and services have benefited others. If possible, include high-resolution photos in the case studies. Text-based content about the project further adds trust. This information shows how your company helped others achieve success.
These are the basics when it comes to high converting webpage design. Once you have these in place, you can begin to focus on high-level conversions. These are analytics that happen when users visit your website.
An overlooked high conversion webpage item is the phone number. It can often be one of the best converting features you have. The phone number can help in a few ways. First, it acts as a trust builder. Having a phone number on the website shows users that you are a company with high standards. A company that holds service in the highest regard. It also gives them the ability to reach you whenever they like and there is
Though the phone number added anywhere helps, one of the best places is the top right of the website. This is often one of the primary high converting items.
Another high-converting location is at the bottom of the website in the footer. Placing the phone number at the bottom allows users to locate it if they've made it through all the content. If they now want to contact you, it's easy to find out how.
On top of that, it gives users a great way to contact you and also helps with localization. If you are a local company, showing a local number shows you are currently working in that area. Some users will want you to be local to do business with your company.
A call-to-action prompts users to take action in one way or another.
These CTAs should ask users to sign up for a newsletter or contact you. These high conversion items should be throughout the website. These can be the difference between a sale or a bounced customer.
A call to action helps because customers usually won't take action on their own. They need guidance and direction to do so. A call-to-action can come in the forms. They may be buttons, banners, forms, giveaways, and many other actionable items.
These items often convert because you are providing value before asking for a sale. For example, if you have a quality blog that people enjoy reading, it makes sense to ask them to subscribe. If you have supplied valuable content, the chance of conversion is higher.
The reality is that people don't call like they used to. Users often would rather chat online than make a phone call. This is why chatbots are exploding in popularity.
A chatbot can help to find out if people want to learn more about your product or service.
It can also help sign people up for newsletters or ask them for email addresses. By adding these elements, you can build a high-converting website.
Chatbots are low-risk and convenient. The idea of a chatbot isn't new. Many companies have been using them for years before they became popular. With the current generation of users, chatbots are now essential for many companies. There are often employees hired and dedicated to answering chats from a chatbot.
Another form that can help a website is a contact form. This high converting item placed on the front page as well as many other locations drives action.
A contact form is an easy way to gather information from users.
This saves you time that would have to go into searching for information in other locations. Email forms or social media are often areas where you may look and end up not finding it anyway.
Contact forms help increase trust because it allows customers to get in touch with you.
Consider adding a contact form to every page. Then, a user doesn't have to navigate to the contact us page to contact you. Instead, they can do it right from the page that they are already on.
Another type of contact form is for downloadable items. This is like a call to action. Once you have captured user information, you can place them into a nurture campaign.
Good content is crucial for a high-converting website. The content should be original, written well, and helpful to the readers. If you have trouble creating your own content, there are many places that you can outsource this work. We can help as well, contact us if you'd like to start a project.
Make sure your website content also has proper grammar. No one prefers to read something that is completely unprofessional. A high converting webpage attracts visitors and is able to engage them. This will help increase your conversions. Your website needs to provide users with some value, otherwise, they can hit the back button.
You need to write your website content at the proper reading levels.
Most content needs to be around the 9th grade or lower, but there are exceptions. If the targeted demographic is more specialized readers, you can write at a higher level.
On top of reading levels, there is user intent. The reason the user is at the website in the first place will determine how the content is about and how it's written. Users are here for information or transactions, the way a page reads should match that intent.
With the release of the Google Core Web Vitals, the speed at which a website loads is more important than ever. Fast-loading websites have always been an important ranking factor. Now it has grown more important with every update.
We have seen conversion rates skyrocket on some of our websites and improve on others. We've seen changes up to a 20% increase on well-established sites we hold. Up to 700% on some older websites that we moved from budget hosts to top-tier hosts.
Google has released code to judge a website based on important vitals. They have said that they want to see these on every site.
From Cumulative Layout Shifts (CLS) to the Time To First Byte (TTFB). It's important to have a website that loads faster than ever.
Now, if you don't want to dig into code, a simple solution is often using a fast web host instead of a budget host. This can be one of the easiest ways to speed up a website. Many hosting companies will migrate your website for free upon signing up.
You want to reduce bounce rates and increase dwell time on a website. This is that the longer you keep people on your website the better. The less they leave to go to another website, the better. This will increase your chances of converting a potential customer.
The best way to increase dwell time on a website is by providing good content that piques the interest. The more interested your audience, the higher the chance of a conversion.
A Good example: "What Makes A High Converting Webpage" (this article). It provides insights for marketers and entrepreneurs about what makes a good website. This will keep readers on the page and encourage them to continue reading.
A website that is easy and/or simple to use (navigation, mobile-ready) will increase dwell time on your site.
A fast-loading website increase dwell times and also aids in SEO. This will allow your website to bring in more traffic. The more traffic your website brings in, the more opportunity for conversions.
You can decrease the file size of images to further speed up your website. The optimal file sizes for images depending on how much traffic your site receives. You should aim for smaller than 1MB to improve load times. It's best to have an image as small as possible. We strive for as few kilobits as possible.
Google says that reducing image file types is one of the best ways to increase page loading speeds.
If you are not familiar with image compression software, don't worry. There are many free or paid tools available to help decrease the size of your images. One of these programs is TinyPNG which can reduce image file sizes by an average of 54%.
You can decrease your images file size by resizing your images before uploading them. The general rule when resizing is to keep the longest side under 1000 pixels on average. unless your site calls for something specific, follow this practice. If you know the largest size an image will be, you can match that size. If you need help with optimizing your website, contact us.
As I mentioned, there will be a few elements that are a must, this is one of them. In the past, we used to make a website for desktops, then a website for mobile. These were two different websites, for the most part. With today's responsive designs, there is one website that changes for different screens.
Web browsing on smartphones has increased by huge amounts in the past few years.
Your business must have a web presence on smartphones and tablets and adjust for each. 65% of online shopping and web browsing happens on mobile devices. This creates new opportunities for people to buy items without leaving their coach.
A great way to build trust with customers is to make sure your website appears well on all devices.Adam Miconi | Rebel Ape Marketing
Google has reduced the traffice they send to websites that arn't mobile friendly.
Designing for mobile first will build trust with customers. With your website looking great on all devices, it will help build trust.
Remember that first impressions matter. Not only should someone be able to locate your website, it should also impress them.
Let's face it, it's hard to convince people to do business with you if they don't know you. On top of that, you want to be the authority in your town and surrounding cities. The best way to do this online is through geodata and localization.
The average user now receives an ad online within 3 seconds of searching for a product or service. Your company must show in that window of time. Otherwise, they will move to another search result. Optimize your website if you want to increase your conversions.
Location is becoming more important online as well. Local businesses can often convert at much higher rates than national brands. Geotargeting, which means you target local users. This is targeting ads and SEO by location and allows you to reach people looking for items near them. It's perfect for reaching the right audience at the right time.
An element that helps a website convert is a sitemap. This is often overlooked by many businesses of various sizes. The sitemap will help users navigate throughout the site with ease.
Not to mention, it can also help with SEO.
The value of a sitemap is that they offer users and search engines a view into the website's structure. It shows how well it's organized and breaks it down into segments. This means that both website visitors and search engine crawlers can find all the pages on the site.
A good sitemap shows your site's hierarchy. It makes sure there is nothing missed or not linked. This allows for better crawling and indexing by Google bots. Don't overlook the importance the sitemaps. Without it, Google may not index or website. Or index only a small amount which would make it hard for your customers to find you.
Well-designed websites allow users to navigate them. I mean, unless it's a simple lead page or sales page designed for that purpose. On most websites the user will visit more than one page if built well and that's the intent.
If a user has to go back or forward a level, or two, or three, they will. If you make it hard for them, you will lose them.
With that, if users have to take more than one click or tap to get from one page to the other then that can be bad. The more clicks or taps a user takes the more chance they will bounce.
You need to think about how people interact with your pages. See what makes sense for you and your business model. These things may come easy without even thinking about them when building a website. If not, you will want to consider how the user should move throughout the site. This motivates visitors and increases the usability of the site in general.
Making navigation too complex can frustrate users. It could drive them away from using any of your features at all because it's a chore to do so. Make sure you stay on top of your site and test it often. That way you can fix issues as they arise.
There's a lot more to think about for building good navigation. We'll leave that up to you to research more if needed, it's beyond the scope of this article. Feel free to contact us as we can give suggestions.
Email opt-in forms are an amazing tool for a high-converting website. By using email, you can often still convert the lead after they have left your site without the intent to return.
Usually, the user might go to your site and read a couple of articles on your blog before leaving. But they might come back at a later date after receiving promotional offers in their inbox from you. An email opt-in form can help for this purpose. It's also used to maintain communication with those users who do become customers!
You can use many effective strategies to increase your email opt-in rates:
Email forms are a great option to stay in contact with your user base. These people who are interested in your product will get value from your emails. It gives the option to nurture the user until they are ready to make a sale.
In the previous section, we mentioned opt-in forms. These opt-in forms often will drive a user to enter their name and email. But how do you get them to do that? The simple answer is, give something away for free. This can be anything from a download to a physical item.
It should match your business model. For example, if you are a florist you might give away a flower pot or plant by entering them into a drawing for it. You need to make sure that whatever you give away is relevant to what you do.
For example: don't go giving away free teddy bears if you're an accountant dealing with tax returns.
This may not be the most obvious way of gaining new leads but it works well.
To make a high converting webpage, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. One of the absolute major players is the layout and responsiveness of the website.
You should do what you can to build the trust of the user with partner logos, testimonials, and case studies.
Even with those great elements, you will want to continue to market to users. Even after they have left your website, you can still market to them. Elements like giveaways and newsletters can be a great way to capture their information. Use the data and continue to nurture them long after they have left.
Marketing isn't a single item. It's a lot of little aspects at play that keep your company in front of users and in their minds at all times. Consider these tips to further enhance your website and build your credibility.
If you have any questions about these strategies or would like to have some implemented on your website. Please feel free to contact us by filling out the form below or visiting our contact page.
This pandemic has struck fear into many people, for good reason. The economy has essentially come to a standstill as the virus has shut down many businesses in an attempt to protect the general public and slow the spread of the virus.
So how do you keep your businesses relevant and functioning through these dark times, especially when you can’t open your doors?
Hidden opportunities exist even in hard times. Taking advantage of the internet tools at your disposal can go a long way toward improving your business and helping you to weather the storm caused by the pandemic.
The vast majority of people turn to the internet to find businesses to purchase from or do business with. This is even more common while people are quarantined inside of their homes. This means that building your website is an important part of helping your business to keep going during this pandemic.
The more content that is available on your website, the more often potential customers will find your website. This means that it is an important time to add to the content on your website.
Sales funnels can be incredibly beneficial additions to your website.
So what is a sales funnel?
Essentially, a sales funnel is a page that operates with the sole intent to do one thing, and accomplish that task particularly well. For example, some sales funnels are intended to build your email list, while others may be designed to sell a product or promote a webinar.
Adding sales funnels to your website can go a long way toward aiding in various functions of your business.
Speaking of sales funnels, now is a great time to focus on building your email list. This can help you to more effectively communicate with your clients and advertise for specific events or products.
An effective way to build your email list is by giving away something that you have that people want. Make sure that you make it valuable and appealing to customers, rather than just providing a sales piece. This can substantially help to draw customers in.
Everyone emphasizes the power of social media, which is why you likely have heard it over and over again. This is because it is an effective way to promote your business. Social media is free advertising for your business, but you shouldn’t try to promote to your family and friends.
Go into a group on a social media site and offer responses with real value. This can go a long way toward improving the image of your company and building your customer base.
Your brand is an incredibly important aspect of your business. An effective brand will help to get your name out and improve the image that customers have of your company. You should strive to promote your brand anywhere possible in order to increase awareness of your company.
Establishing a solid brand image is important in increasing the satisfaction and loyalty of your customers. This means that you need to stay consistent with the colors, fonts, logos, messages, vibe, and additional factors of your website and business’s marketing strategies.
When you focus on establishing a solid brand, you will have more control over the image of your company. This can go a long way toward improving your customer base and building relationships with your customers.
If you don’t feel like your company has a great, well-established brand, you should strive to take the steps to outline your brand and ensure that it is cohesive across the board. Our expert services can help guide you throughout this process.
Do you have or are working on building an email list? Now is an incredibly beneficial time to start making use of it. Send out emails to your customer base to ensure that you remain at the front of their minds. However, it is important to not make every email a sales pitch. The emails you send can include various messages for your customers.
Send value, information, tips, tricks, and more. Then ask for a sale, rather than focusing primarily on the sales pitch. This is incredibly important to ensure that your customers find value in your emails, rather than simply hitting the “unsubscribe” button.
Many people are in the same position as you during this difficult time. The majority of these people will be sitting around while their businesses collect dust. This makes it a great opportunity to build your business and take the lead ahead of your competitors.
It can certainly be hard to accomplish all of these aspects on your own, especially when you are unaware of the best techniques and methods to accomplish this. Here at Rebel Ape Marketing, we are dedicated to providing you with the information and services that you need to optimize your online presence. We can help with a wide array of aspects consistent with your marketing, including building a website, designing superior logos, developing a marketing strategy, and many other things. Not sure where to begin? Let’s talk!
In this difficult time, it can never hurt to take whatever steps possible to protect your business. Though your doors are likely closed, there are many available options that can aid in keeping your business running during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emphasizing your website and creating a superior marketing plan can go a long way toward giving you a step above your competitors. Here at Rebel Ape Marketing, we are capable of providing you with the guidance and expertise necessary to optimize your website and keep your business relevant and competitive.
These services can help you to establish your brand and improve the content of your website. To learn more about how our services can improve your website, as well as how incredibly important it is during this time, contact our experts at Rebel Ape Marketing today!
Learning about the website process can go a long way toward ensuring that you remain involved in every step of launching a new website. Here at Rebel Ape, we are passionate about providing you with a superior website that will meet all of your needs.
Here are 4 steps of the website process to help you obtain the right website for you and your business. Thes steps take you from obtaining a domain name to website design.
In simple terms, a domain name registrar is a service that allows you to buy a domain name for your new website. The domain name is the text you type into the browser address bar. For example: www.example.com. The registrar will tell you if your specific name is available or not and allows you to purchase an address for your website.
The domain name will be the way customers find your website, so this is a vital step in ensuring that your website is built on a firm foundation. Though you can purchase any available domain, we recommend one that will be clear and represent your company's brand.
Website hosting is closely related to the domain name process, but it is a separate function. A great way to think of this is that the domain name is the address of the website, while the hosting service is the physical location of the website, like a home that the address points to.
After a URL has been purchased, it will have to be connected to the hosting location through the domain name system. If you purchase a domain name from the same company that will host the site, this is often done for you. If not, it's a fairly easy step for those who are tech-savvy enough or are great at following online guides. Likewise, we can help you as well.
This is essentially like providing an address for a building in order to provide directions. The purpose of the domain name is primarily to indicate where you wish for the computer to go. For many of our websites, we use Siteground to host.
When a user types in a URL, they will be directed to the hosting site. At this point, the computer will download the hosting files, which will allow the website to be displayed in their browser window. This process works the same regardless of which browser you intend to use, whether it is on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox.
This cross-platform ability allows users to view a website from whichever browsing window they prefer. Keeping the website navigation understandable is very important.
Once these matters have been completed, a website will need to be designed. The website design process goes far beyond just the looks, as it must take into account the importance of functionality along with many other aspects.
From the graphic design to the content creation, every component will come together to create a cohesive, functional, and optimal website. After the design has been finished, the appropriate platform will need to be installed. The design is then moved from our design software into the specific platform.
At this point, they are coded and begin to function. Sometimes this requires a specific developer but is often moving towards the designers handling the front-end process of the website these days.
A great, effective website can provide many benefits to your business. It can help to drive more awareness to your brand, as well as improve the likelihood of growing your customer base.
There are many factors that are consistent with superior website design, so it can be incredibly useful to obtain the services of a professional to undertake this process.
To obtain more information about the website process, contact us at Rebel Ape Marketing today!
Get started with a great social media marketing campaign. As the ad adage goes, content is king – truer now than it has ever been. Content is being created at an astounding rate.
Here are a few stats from some of the most-used social media platforms in 2017: every minute, Snapchat users share 527,760 photos, users send 456,000 tweets on Twitter, and Instagram users post 46,740 photos.
Web designers might have to start coming up with creative ways to display the massive amount of content on their sites.
Even though it is still king, the content has to be seen to pass along a message. If it never reaches your audience in the first place, you will not get a reliable measurement of the quality of the content. This is why every single great campaign has a well-planned strategy behind it.
Strategy can make or break your entire campaign – low-quality content can be made effective due to great strategy while high-quality content can be rendered useless by a poor or total disregard for strategy.
Here’s our approach to creating a great social media marketing campaign.
It often seems like the most important step in any list is always the first one. By setting goals, you will be able to determine exactly what you are looking for to achieve with your social media.
Your goals need to be ones that you can actually accomplish. It would be unreasonable to say that you want to gain a million Twitter followers by next month.
You should pick a broad, but targeted overall goal for the entire campaign and then also set smaller, incremental goals as stepping stones as a path to your main goal.
Here are some examples of campaign goals:
Once your goals are set, you can map out the rest of your strategy.
To effectively execute strategy, you need to know everything you can about your audience. There are no shortcuts to immediately learn all of that information, but thankfully there are some tools you can use to make your life a little bit easier.
They will let you know which channels your target audience is most active on and help you determine the best way to reach them.
In-depth research will tell you which channels and ad locations will have the highest chance of success.
After setting your goals and researching your audience and their habits, you are ready to start acting on what you learned. Finding out that your target demographic tends to use one platform much more than others is a great indicator that ads would perform well on that channel.
Facebook Ads does a wonderful job of simplifying the entire process for clients. It guides you all the way from choosing an objective to setting a budget, and then from picking a format to measuring and analyzing its performance.
Once you have launched the campaign you should be constantly checking to see how it is doing. Your strategy does not stop after launch – you can make tweaks to the campaign to make it perform even better.
Analyzing the campaign throughout its run will ensure that you get the most bang for your buck.
Creating a successful social media marketing campaign is all about the strategy.
If you want to work with one of the best graphic designers and web designers in Utah, contact us! You can see more of our work right here in our portfolios.
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There is no surprise when you hear that it’s important to have a website for your business. After all, we see websites everywhere we look. They are listed on business cards, billboards, mailers, and other marketing material. They are listed on everything. But do you really need a website? Whether a large or small business, a website is often one of the first places your potential customers will go to find information about your business or process.
With responsive websites, we see more and more people doing mobile web searches. They search prices, ratings, reviews, where to find a product, and just about anything you can think of. As the web has become more an more prominent, it’s become more important than ever to start your website. With over one-third of small businesses shutting down or struggling, it helps to use every advantage you can get over your competition, but what if they have a website and you don’t?
With how easy it is to start a website these days, don’t start at a disadvantage. If you’ve been established for a while, add another tool to your toolbelt and jump into digital marketing right away!
Not all companies are brick and mortar these days and everyone knows that but when it comes to your marketing strategies, a website is often overlooked by business owners. However, with the overwhelming about of people of all demographics turning to online search first, it’s important to have a website that works for you day-in and day-out with around the clock access. It’s your sales machine that doesn’t take breaks or leave for the day.
The majority of users now search for ratings and reviews first before buying a product or visiting or calling your business. With the ease of digital marketing, you don’t want to miss out on this huge opportunity to passively invite users to your business.
Chances are, if a customer is interested in your business or product, one of the first places they are going to search is online. Customers expect businesses to be online these days, but if you business is not listed and your competitors are, chances are your potential customer is going to end up on your competitors website. It’s common for a customer to buy from the company that supplied them the information they are looking for so if that isn’t you, you have a very high chance to loose all of those potential sales to your competitor.
With how easy it is to start and manage a website, there isn’t much reason not to have one. If you feel that time is an issue and you have the funding to allow for it, consider having an agency handle the manage this for you. They can make sure your updates are taken care of, articles are being published, pages being build, etc. (*cough cough, we do this!*). It’s important to compete online just as much as it’s important to compete with the brick and mortar counterpart.
With your website being the centralized hub for all your communications you can begin to expand beyond that and integrate with partners sites. Though you want to pull as much relevant traffic as possible to your website since you can control it, traffic actually comes from many various places. With Web 2.0 you can create your own profiles on many different websites as well.
Your Google My Business profile is a great source to further supply your user base with valuable information about your website. When you search for a company, a little info box will often appear next to the search results. If it does, that business has a GMB account. Here you can add additional information such as store hours, location, about your company, amenities, services, photos, and a lot of other information.
This is also one of the main platforms for a customer to review a business. If you focus on your customer service and receive many great reviews, it can boost your website traffic since many people will follow the link over to your site.
With the iPhone and Androids as big as they are, it’s great to be diverse with your online profiles and make sure they all point back to your website. With Android utilizing Google My Business, another industry leader is often forgotten about. However, you don’t want to underestimate the power of Yelp and the integration with iPhones.
By building out your Yelp profile, you are able to achieve similar results and pull a lot of traffic just as you would from your Google My Business account. However, with your audience being in so many locations, don’t overlook other locations like Bing, YellowPages, Yahoo, and other giants.
With your website being accessible at all times of the day, you now have the opportunity to attract new customers and clients at all time. No need to wait for a salesman to go visit a business or hope someone remembers a phone number from a billboard. With your site available at all times, you can attract customers by allowing them to find and contact you on their time that fits into their schedule.
Instead of customers having to put in the work to find your company, you have made it simple for them to find and contact you. This can often be the difference between you receiving the business vs. your competitor receiving the business. Stay on top of your brand and stay on top of the mind of your customers. With the website always being on, it is working for you at all times, even after you brick and mortar company closes for the day. You can’t beat having a salesman that never sleeps, never takes breaks, and is always willing to help. A website may just be one of the best investments you can make.
Your website can allow for instant communication on many levels with it comes to staying in contact with your customers. Not only are you supplying the customers the content they are looking for one the various pages of your website, from information about your various products or services, but you are also supplying them information about your business as well In addition to that, with you can give them more information in a blog and respond to them there.
Once your potential customer trusts your brand and your information enough, they have various ways to contact you which can greatly enhance your customer service. In addition to the forms and chat options on your site, your website can also direct your users to their favorite platforms so they can contact you in other methods as well making your website the hub of communications.
Most websites have an easily accessible contact form. When a customer is looking for a way to contact you, your contact form is often one of the most accessible ways to receive an inquiry and allow you to respond during business hours. Often when a customer uses your contact form, they don’t have a pressing question and are fine with a response when you are available.
A hugely effective communication method on modern websites is to have some form of Live Chat. This has become easier than ever with the integration of Facebook Chat integrations and other Live Chat software. The main thing to know is that if you are integrating a live chat, you need to have a fairly quick response rate or make sure that you have an immediate message saying that you’ll respond when you are available. There are many chatbots or software that masquerade as a live chat feature, though they really aren’t. However, customers still often prefer this method of communication over a phone call.
If you have a blog with an active community, you will see blog comments show up on your website. This will usually occur when you have supplied the user with plenty of valuable information but they are still left with a question. When you have a blog comment show up, if it isn’t immediately answered by your community members, it’s good practice to respond to that. Plus, it sends great signals for SEO.
Social Media is everywhere these days and it makes sense as to why. It’s one of the easiest ways to connect people with friends and family as well as their favorite businesses. Now that integrations such as Facebook Chat, Twitter streams, and other platforms are available, it’s easy to cover many different platforms with ease. We will get into a bit of what each social media platform does and the benefits of them. Keep in mind they are methods to communicate and grow your audience.
The best thing is to maintain control of that which you can control, your website. If any of these social platforms decide to make drastic changes, it can really harm your business overnight. Changes such as Facebook Pages not being shown as much unless paid to boost a post, or the YouTube Adpocolypse which affected so many people.
These social platforms are simply a tool, and extension of your website and not intended to replace it. Knowing there are some dangers lurking on these platforms that you can’t control, it’s also good to know how powerful these platforms can be for your website and business.
Facebook still remains as the largest social media network with 1.74 billion users. This platform is great for businesses to position themselves with the digital market and find their target audience easily. With the use of a Facebook Page, users can easily remain in contact with your business on a platform they most people visit multiple times daily.
In addition to staying in contact with your users, it’s also easy to run Facebook Ads or boost a post which allows you to stay in front of them and maintain top-of-mind-awareness so you remain as their go-to source for information.
With Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, you can further your reach to your audience by maintaining both platforms simply from the Facebook Page dashboard. While you can send and receive messages easily between the two platforms, you can also reach your audience on Instagram using the same Facebook Ads platform. Instagram now has over 1 billion active users.
Twitter still remains a very competitive force when it comes to social media platforms. With over 321 monthly active users, Businesses can easily reach their audience with their 140 characters or less “tweets.” Twitter is a hashtag-driven platform that can further expand your reach beyond your followers and it too allows for advertising options such as PPC and promoted tweets.
There is a very different feel on Twitter than there is on Facebook and often the users like to interact with the businesses different. If you plan on using both platforms, register your account and start getting a feel for the platform of your choice.
With over 250 million monthly users, you don’t want to overlook Pinterest. If you have a retail, manufacturing, travel, or food site, you will fit right in with the Pinterest crowd. That’s not to say that you can’t create a huge following for any niche.
Pinterest is a great platform to share your images and link it directly back to your website. Couple that with their album structure, known as “Boards.” You can categorize all your “Pins” allowing users to get all the information they need and visit your website with the intent to purchase making them a perfect “hot lead” by their own choice.
No matter the product or service you have, you can bet that you have a community just waiting to find you on YouTube. WIth 1.8 billion users per month, you have users that range from people who are simply looking for the latest cat video to people who are looking to build their own home and about anything else you can think of.
If you want to build a strong audience as well as work on being an expert in your field, YouTube is one of the best locations to start with. With its integrations on websites, you can easily post a video and embed it on your website, often in a handful of clicks or less and no coding knowledge at all. Couple that with YouTube ads and you can pour the traffic into your website for a quick sale from anywhere in the world. That’s a pretty enticing offer that is incredibly difficult to get without a website to send the traffic to.
While we are covering so many social platforms, let’s not forget LinkedIn which is one of the best networking websites for businesses. With 260 million monthly users, you can easily share and promote your website on this marketing platform which will also help you become known as an authority and further drive traffic to your website.
With choices such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and so many other platforms with tons of monthly users, it can become very enticing to try to become the Jack of all trades and try to be active on all platforms. Though this seems like a logical thing to do, it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls of trying to manage so many social media accounts without a team.
Though you do need social media, our suggestion is to pick one or two and dominate it until you have enough income generating traffic to hire a social media manager whose sole role is to manage these platforms each and every day so you can focus on your business.
With the popularity of blogging, you can become an expert in your field which can aid in trust and also getting to know your audience. As you begin blogging, you will find that over time you start to gain an audience that you can build a relationship with. This audience will often follow you around your website, read everything you publish, and even reach out on social platforms.
Blogging is a great way to build your content since Content is KING and also let your audience get to know who is behind the business, which is becoming more and more sought after these days. As you tell them who you are, you get to know them in multiples ways as well.
Google Analytics is a great way to get to know very insightful information about your audience. You can acquire information about where they are from, what gender, how long they spend on your website, what pages they visit, etc.
This information can aid you when it comes to working on your website as you can build better content with this data. The better you know your audience, the more you can cater to what they like and what they are looking for. Not only does this let you build a better relationship, but it also creates a relationship where your audience wants to support you and help you succeed.
One of the best ways to become an expert in your field is to share your knowledge and show everyone that you really know what you are talking about. This is one of the best methods for getting clients since you’ve proven you can provide what they are looking for. In addition, when you build out a strong FAQ you will have a lot of content. In the field of content marketing, you will hear the term, Content is King a lot and this is no different. Answer your client’s questions and provide them with insightful content.
Websites are more affordable than ever these days, with the use of budget hosting, cheap domains, page builders, themes, and other tools availbe to you. The cost of building a website vs. the potential for lead acquisition is hard to beat.
If you are looking to go at it on your own, themes are a simple way to get started. Once you choose your platform (we love WordPress) you can simply install your theme and get started adding images and content. It’s hard to pass up the appeal of a well-designed theme.
Though themes are appealing and a great option for getting started, I can’t help but love a custom designed theme, but maybe that’s just because I’m a bit biased since I am a designer. However, if you are looking for a custom one-of-a-kind website design. Then it’s probably best to hand the reigns over to a designer and let them run with what works best for your business.
I know websites might seem a bit daunting at first when you hear terms like the server, PHP, database, etc. but the reality is, websites are easier than ever to keep up-to-date these days. Once installed and running, most updates are a few clicks of the mouse and require no technical knowledge to perform. You simply log in, click the update button, and let it run.
With page builders, even your web pages are easy to keep up to date. Once you have your design or theme in place, you can often go in and edit some text yourself or change an image. Though it’s usually best to talk to your designer before you do that, it’s still easy, none-the-less.
There is no need to ignore your website. As Google is constantly judging and reevaluating we pages, your website will constantly be moving in position. You want to make sure your website is current and up-to-date since besides your logo, it’s often the first interaction people have with your business.
However, with the low maintenance and ease-of-updates, it doesn’t take much to keep your website up-to-date and relevant. From writing posts or hiring to have them written. You can assign user roles and how much authority they have on your website and you can have others update it for you.
If you are a do-it-yourself type. You can easily just jump in once a week to do updates. Though, I recommend more often just to check for contact form submissions and comments.
If you’ve ever hired an SEO, you know that doesn’t come cheap. The SEO’s like myself tend to put in a ton of work optimizing everything and everything we can get our hands on and A/B testing your marketing for optimal results, I also know that hiring and SEO isn’t for everyone. Rest assured though, WordPress has a lot of out-of-the-box SEO features and they can even be expanded on with some plugins such as All-In-One SEO and Yoast SEO.
This makes it easy to quickly update some of the easier SEO elements which will still aid in your webpage rankings. You can always get more technical with an SEO specialist after you start getting some income traffic.
Another powerful SEO feature that Google loves is responsive websites. In fact, if you are starting a website today, it’s likely going to be responsive right out of the gate since that is the norm now. Say goodbye to desktop sites and mobile sites, now you get the same website that will adjust depending on the device you are viewing it on. It makes the site easy to work on, convenient, and SEO friendly.
What good is a company if nobody has ever heard about it or will never hear about it? The reality is that marketing and advertising works but can become costly very quickly. With how affordable websites are, you can easily market your brand fairly inexpensively which can put you on equal playing ground with competition that has been around for much longer.
When customers are able to find you online and all of your marketing materials match from the business card, to the brochure, to the website, you establish a stronger bond of trust with your clients and it becomes easier to market to them without needing to utilize expensive advertising methods.
By using your website to utilize online digital marketing, you can remain relevant to your customers and remove any advantages your competition has had over you. As the saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies closer, maybe it’s time to Google your competition and see if they are already ahead of you in this game. If they are, it’s not too late to get started. However, if they aren’t, it can give you a significant advantage over them.
With all the benefits a website is going to bring to your business, it’s hard to justify not having one. Though it might take a bit of time to initially get set up, there are plenty of resources available to you when it comes to setting up a website. Hosting companies like Siteground, Bluehost, WP Engine, and so forth can link your domain directly to your hosting, many can help you do that, some even offer packages. Even if that seems too much for you to handle, you can always turn to a company that does this every day to handle the heavy lifting for you.
Once your website is up and running, as shown above, it’s easy to link it to your social profiles, start SEO, promote and advertise online, share information, and all the other wonderful things we covered in this article.
If you want to get started but you don’t want to handle this yourself. Reach out to us and we will help you get up and running. If you want a website but don’t want to manage it yourself, we can help you with that too. The most important thing to do is just get started, especially if you competitors are already online. It’s never too late to start and though it might take some time while Google ranks you, it is possible to move up the list and become a very competitive force online and dominate your niche.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us by any of the methods listed above. We are one them all, contact forms, live chat, commenting down below, social media, etc.
Good design vs bad design matters when it comes to your website.
Can your website design hurt your brand? Yes. Bad design can have a devastating effect on your marketing and branding. Your website is a direct representation of your company. The design can help or hurt your brand, product or services, and even the personality of your company.
Your website is often the first impression you make to online visitors. It plays a crucial role in the performance and success of your business. That said, you need to ensure that your brand can be found online and drive traffic to your site. While doing this still create trust through branding.
We are constantly making small tweaks to our site and testing it. We like to see if one metric plays out and increases interaction over another layout or if it’s the reverse. These numbers play an important role when we redesign certain sections of our site. It is important for you to work on your site as well to always increase conversions.
Just as you have your own personality, your company has a personality as well. It’s important to make sure your website reflects that.
Having a strong and consistent personality can help create trust and loyalty. It encourages community growth around the brand. It can also give users a reason to buy from you so they can support their favorite brands. It can help your company by building a trustworthy website people like to follow and hear from.
Likewise, if your brand is inconsistent it may feel untrustworthy. It can create the opposite effect and people won’t return to the site. Users won’t trust your company and will have a low likelihood of purchasing products.
Visitors who are prospective clients depend on the look and function of your website. Though many users will happen upon your website, they may arrive from your marketing. Your marketing strategies have a big impact on your brand.
It’s important that when users move from one media source to another, everything matches. Or better said, is branded consistently. If your colors, fonts, mood, or any other aspect doesn’t match, they may feel that they are in the wrong spot. This will impact their trustworthiness in your brand may suffer.
When your website has brand consistency it starts to build trust and loyalty. Your marketing materials such as packaging, emails, fliers, etc. further increase trust. When they land on the website and it meets expectations, their confidence in the brand grows. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of them buying your product.
Your website colors should immediately reflect your brand. To give examples, if I name a soft drink whose logo is red, most people will respond with Coca-Cola. If I mention a coffee brand utilizing a green logo, people say Starbucks. Fast food with a golden arch logo, McDonald’s, and so on. Your brand has the potential to create this same impact with a little bit of marketing creativity and a whole lot of brand consistency.
So with that said, make sure your colors are consistent, not only on your physical marketing materials but on your website as well. This will be the first indicator of trust to your users and it’s not something that should be overlooked. Colors matter.
Your website fonts can get tricky. Even with the vast library that Google Fonts now has available, it can still be tricky to find the font that your designer used on your marketing material. Since loading a custom font can have a significant impact on your SEO, it’s often best to pick a web font that compliments your brand. If you have trouble selecting one, visit your graphic designer and have them help you choose a font that will represent your brand efficiently.
The mood of your website is often confusing at first. After all, how can a website have a mood? To clarify this, the mood is the overall feel of the website when you visit. Is it designed for happiness, playfulness, despair, horror, elegance, etc? Each website can have a different mood and there will be extremes when it comes to this. Compare a website designed for young children vs. a website designed for the local haunted house on Halloween. Those would be two drastically different websites with very different moods to each of them.
Everyone knows that images are an essential part of web design but we see images used incorrectly all the time on websites. From images that simply don’t match the brand or mood, to generic spammy looking images, to background images. Bad image usage is all over.
A method we use all the time is text overlay on an image. In fact, it’s a pretty common method of web design and you’ve probably seen it all over the web as well. However, when this method becomes bad design is when the background image isn’t tinted or shaded in such a manner that you can actually read the text. I’ve seen plenty of websites with text placed over the top of a fully saturated video or image and it’s next to impossible to read.
Images on a website are great, but it’s important to maintain a good text-to-image relationship. Supply the users with the visual stimulation they need to maintain interest, but not so much that it becomes difficult to find the information you are looking for. Images are a huge factor when it comes to good and bad design. Make sure your images match the company branding and aid in the end goal vs. just being something you happen to enjoy. Not all users share your taste in photography.
A well-designed website will balance beauty and functionality. UI/UX is a term that you may hear from time to time which stands for User Interface, User Experience. In a nutshell, having an easy to navigate site is the user interface which helps guide them through your site and the ease and enjoyment of it is the user experience.
You should really work on testing different forms of navigation, call-to-action locations, content distribution, and interlinking. All these factors play a role in how long the users stay on your website, consume more content, and ultimately, a purchase. How well laid out your page is can quickly allow a user to determine if the page is useful to them or not. Even a few pages with low or useless content can hurt the entire site.
There is a line between creative user interfaces and functional user interfaces. A designer’s job is to narrow that line so you can have a creative interface that is immediately functional to the user. After all, the user is on your website for various reasons, but one reason is not to try to figure out how to navigate your website. Your navigation should be immediately clear and moving in and out of your website pages should be clear and conscise. If a user has to figure out where the navigation bar is on each page, they will quickly become frustrated and leave your website. Clear navigation will let them move between the pages with ease and fulfill their intent as quicly as possible.
A user’s attention span is fairly short and our job as website owners is to supply them the information or products they request as quickly as possible. Often you will see websites with multiple navigation menus. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it’s important to make sure that when you switch to a mobile device that you don’t get multiple hamburger menus that aren’t labeled. Often, when I have multiple menus, my secondary menu will be much shorter and will not toggle to a button when sized to mobile
That way, the menu is very clear that there is only one real selection to make where the multiple choices are, this way your users aren’t confused as to which navigation to choose from and the choice is clear.
Also, be careful with menus that are way too long. I’ve come across many websites that the menu is so long that the flyout or dropdown menus are so long that they actually go off screen. This is not only bad for the user, but it can also causes distrust due to poor quality, and often the code will not work correctly causing even more problems, further reducing the trust of the users. If a menu is going to be incredibly long, try breaking it up into categories to aid in navigation.
The User Interface and User Experience go hand-in-hand. When the interface is easy to navigate, the experience on the website is heightened. The quicker the user can find what they need, how they interact with it, the better experience they will have. Now good navigation doesn’t mean everything has to be laid out in just some form of a list. Users can have interactive boxes that reveal information. There can be expandable sections, animations, and a bunch of other fun and interactive elements that can make the website an enjoyable experience.
However, it’s best not to hide crucial elements such as the navigation as that can negatively affect the user’s experience on the website.
Design goes beyond just the visuals when it comes to websites. With the advancements of coding, you can go as far as modifying how the mouse cursor interacts with the website as well. There are a few times where it makes sense to hijack the user’s scrolling feature but this is usually pretty rare. When a user is used to how their mouse scrolls the page, then suddenly it changes, has elastic scrolling, or smooth scrolling features, though it might look cool, it’s usually not very welcomed by the user. If this feature makes them frustrated, you may lose potential customers.
When it comes to scrolling, it’s usually best to allow the user to keep what they are used to unless there is a very specific feature for this. An example would be a full page scroll at a time. Some sites are set up not to be scrolled, but to be viewed as a slideshow. Though hardly my favorite type of site, they have their place and the experience may not be achieved if the scrolling isn’t hijacked. Don’t just go with what you think looks cool or seems fun to you, think of your audience. Will it enhance or diminish their experience on your website by adding a feature such as this?
The speed of your website can have a direct effect on how well your business is doing online. It’s important to have a website load as fast as possible. Under 3 seconds is best, but each second increases your bounce rates. There are plenty of studies available online that show how site speed relates to user retention. On top of that, even Google has come out and said that website speed is a direct and large ranking factor. There are many ways to speed up your website, some are very easy, some take a little bit of technical skill to accomplish. Here are a few things you can do to speed up your website.
There are plenty of CDN’s available and many of them even have a free service available. My personal favorite is Cloudflare. This is one of the more advanced technical factors of speeding up a website, but even if you have basic knowledge, it’s pretty easy. Though do be aware that if issues arise, the solutions aren’t straightforward and your website can drop and you will probably need a developer to fix them.
However, if the step-by-step process Cloudflare offers goes without a hitch, and usually, it does. It will walk you through each step and at the end request that you update your nameservers. Once those are updated, your CDN becomes active shortly later and your site immediately will speed up, usually be a very noticeable amount. The more you understand about your CDN, the faster your website can become.
A good caching plugin is also very helpful for your website. If you run your website on Siteground like we have many of our sites on, they offer a free caching plugin called SG Cache that’s actually pretty great. However, most of our website we will be running our favorite caching software called WP Rocket. If you prefer another free caching plugin, we also like WP Supercache, W3 Total Cache, and a few others. Try a few and decide for yourself, just make sure you only run one caching program at a time.
As we mentioned above, images are a huge part of your website which makes sense that they show up once again when we are talking about site speed. Having properly sized and compressed images are crucial when it comes to a fast loading website. When you save your images, before you upload them, it’s important to make sure you’ve saved them as small as possible. Photoshop’s Save For Web feature is great for this. You can even further compress them by uploading them to tinyjpg.com and redownloading them before putting them on your website.
We know a lot of people don’t have access to Photoshop, or if they do, they don’t know how to use it. No worries, once you’ve saved your file and uploaded it, run a compression plugin to help you reduce your file sizes. I prefer Imagify for my compression software but ShortPixel, WP Smush, and many others are also available. Once installed, they will start compressing the images as you upload them.
If you’ve already uploaded your images and they are too large, install the plugin and they have a “bulk optimize” feature in them. Simply click on that to optimize all of the images already uploaded to your site. By doing this, you will see another boost in your site speed.
A website speed section cannot be complete without talking about the website host. Though this is sometimes another one of those sections that take some technical knowlege. This is also one of the largest factors taken into account when we talk about website speed. You may have been tempted to sign up for a budget host when you started your website but you will find that even though these hosts are often inexpensive, you outgrow them quickly by needing either more space or a faster website.
As mentioned above, we love Siteground, that’s an affiliate link by the way, but even with that said, they are hands down our favorite host. Not only are our websites fast, but reliable too, but sometimes even that isn’t enough for your needs. Another comparable host in terms of speed is BlueHost. However, if you are running a massive site with tons of traffic, I mean tons! and you cannot manage your site security yourself, you might want to look into a very power managed host like WP Engine, however, a host like that comes with a cost. They are often more powerful than most websites need, but they are worth looking into if you are having trouble getting your website running fast enough.
As I said, moving a website does require technical understanding. The plus side is, both of these hosts offer a migration service and they will move one website for free for you, most of the time. Talk with them first and find out which is best for you.
When it comes to website design, you want to look at the entire picture as a whole. When you think of design, you often just think of the overall look of a website, which is a huge impact on the user, but how great is that design if it loads slow, or the animations are choppy, or maybe an image doesn’t load at all because it times out. No matter how beautiful the site is designed, if it doesn’t have the underlying structure, it will start to fall apart quickly.
Make sure you have all of these factors in place when it comes to a powerful design so it helps keep people on your site for longer, coming back later, and leaving their competitor sites for yours. All this plays an important role when it comes to website design affecting your business.
SEO is constantly changing. In fact, we have to go back and update our SEO articles all the time because of how quickly it changes. Some strategies last year, others seem to change monthly. As we are constantly changing our content, we also have to consider how the page is laid out and designed so we do not hurt our efforts while trying to enhance another section.
Search engine optimization is a marketing strategy that companies, both large and small, are implementing to increase their ranks and online visibility. With the right website design and proper content, your website will increase in relevance to your users. When you rank at the top of search engines like Google, your website is likely to receive a traffic boost and this coupled with an excellent site (content and user-friendliness), leads to higher conversion rates. This makes web design a major factor in your online marketing strategy.
SEO used to be all about getting traffic to your websites by keyword stuffing, spamming low-quality links, and a bunch of other methods commonly referred to as Black Hat. SEO today however, has changed drastically. Now SEO is about giving Google what it’s asking for vs. trying to gain the system and that’s simply making your website’s technical factors match what they are looking for, getting high-quality links back to your site, and other methods in those terms but that’s not what this article is about.
Instead, SEO today is much more user focused. Everything that Google asks for in terms of technical factors also aids with the user in mind. For example, Google wants a proper <h> tag formatting. You can see the proper use of these tags in this article with each headline being larger or smaller, denoting whether the sections are grouped or another topic in the article. Though there is code running behind the scenes, for the user, it makes it very easy for them to scan the article and instantly know what it’s about.
If you want to know more about SEO, there are other posts on this site that cover that topic.
Negative SEO attacks used to have more of an effect on websites a couple of years ago than they do today. One method of this would be a competitor sending massive amounts of low-quality links to your website. This is usually done from low-quality PBN (Personal Blog Networks) with poorly spun content, then linking improper keywords and sending them to your site. It’s a very immoral practice but many people still do it, even today.
It’s easy to overcome a negative SEO attack these days and that’s if it even affects your site, but if you are ranking low, it’s worth looking in to. Use some backlink monitoring software such as aHrefs to find all the bad links coming into your website, disavow them in that program and export the list to a text file and just upload that to Google Search Console in the disavow links section. As simple as that is, make sure this file is set up properly so you don’t disavow important links.
Luckily, Google is already aware of these tactics and if they see a massive influx of poor quality links coming to your site, often, they just ignore all the links anyway. However, Google runs algorithms and sometimes some of these attacks can get by them. Finding and disavowing the links is a quick and easy method to remove all value from those incoming links.
Though negative SEO attacks usually don’t affect you, there are other types of attacks that can break your site functionality. Keep an eye out for those and take care of them if or when they arrive to keep your site beautiful and running properly.
Part of marketing is issuing a strategic call-to-action to your customers that trigger their fear of missing out. A call to action can increase conversions when used correctly, or they can drive traffic away if used incorrectly and overload them with an onslaught of sales pitches.
The right website design will incorporate certain techniques that convert page visitors into leads and finally into sales. When deciding on a call-to-action, it should be noticeable but non-intrusive. You will often see these in sidebars, modals, and overlays. Put thought into these call to actions. Consider a trade, information for an email, for example. If these call to actions have a reason, they can often be welcomed by your guests. However, used incorrectly, it can have them scurry to find the exit.
You need to be careful with any type of intrusive call-to-action. Items like forced pop-ups are being discouraged by Google because they can negatively impact the user experience. Even with that said, they remain as a reasonably effective way to get email signups and other information by them willingly handing it over.
However, modals such as Exit Intent, where the popup loads and locks you out as you go for the exit button, this type of hidden content is becoming highly discourage by Google and can hurt your website rankings. If you currently utilize an exit modal, it might be worth A/B testing this to see if your rankings and on-page interactions improve if it is removed.
Web design is a necessary tool for branding your company and is an essential part of a marketing strategy, but as you can see, it’s important to make sure it is done right and then constantly tested to see where you can improve upon it since the web is constantly changing. By staying on top of regulations, requests, and just looking at how your users interact with your website, you can take a bad website design to a great design fairly quickly.
Here’s a summary of the impact of good design vs bad design and how it may affect your brand:
A website shouldn’t be put up and forgotten about. Though there are always exceptions, most websites should show that your company is always scaling and staying current with the trends while maintaining its history of being a trustworthy and useful website. Whenever you implement a new feature or make a change, make sure that you document what was done, when it was done, and the effects it has.
Whenever you make a change that affects your website negatively, evaluate if it’s going to be a temporary drop due to something new and people are getting used to it or if it’s going to be an ongoing traffic drop. If the answer is the latter, then it’s best to change back to the original option and reevaluate what you were trying to achieve and find a new method to achieve the results.
There are a few websites that are placed online and forgotten about but, usually, you should be constantly working on your website or have a dedicated designer and developer constantly building your site, adding new features, new information, new ways for users to interact and contact you. After all, your website isn’t just for you. It’s for your users, as well. Everything should be done with them in mind.
As you can see, when it comes to your website design affecting your business in a positive or negative way. It goes beyond just the design of the graphics to the design of the infrastructure and hierarchy of your website. You need to design every aspect of your site for your users and your goals and let them work in harmony. A beautiful site on a slow host with beautiful graphics that don’t load, or great hierarchy with virus warning labels on them are all just as bad as a website with poor design and layout.
When you are thinking about the design of your website, think off all the aspects that your user is going to encounter and design them all beautifully. Not only will your users thank you but Google will reward you with better rankings and more traffic.
Share your good design vs bad design story. Have you ever made changes on your website that has resulted in a massive drop in traffic? Was it the design or the functionality that caused that drop? We’d love to hear both the successes and failures of your site and how you fixed them. Leave a comment with your story!
With search algorithms becoming smarter and adding weight to so many variables, you can’t help but wonder, do keywords still matter for SEO? SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, has become a common term over the last few years and keywords are still a very important piece of the ever-growing puzzle of SEO. For businesses to bloggers, just about everyone nowadays knows a little about SEO, but few know how to actually utilize it. In this article, we will go over a handful of different uses for keywords and how to work with them.
Keywords are a popular term thrown around and if you’ve ever spent any time on building your own website, chances are, you’ve heard of keywords. These keywords used to be the cornerstone of any optimization campaign and though still used, the way they are used has certainly changed. We now look at synonyms, relevancy, term frequency, and many other aspects beyond just a simple repeated keyword.
Keywords are the words or phrases (known as key phrases) that you put into the search box to find a top you are looking for. There are multiple classifications on how we, in the SEO world, break these down and how we target them. And though the usage has changed, keyword research is still an essential part of any optimization strategy.
Keywords are single words that are usually fairly generic and incredibly difficult to rank for. Examples of a keyword would be similar to shoes, chocolate, or t-shirt.
Usually, when you are searching for a specific product, you aren’t going to be using one of these phrases. Why? Because if you want something, you usually already have something in mind, for example, instead of “Chocolate,” you want a specific type of chocolate, and maybe even a location on where you can buy it, this moves us into the next section.
Short tail keywords are keywords with two or more words, these terms are easier to rank but usually still don’t have a very good conversion rate to them as these searches are usually still searching for information. You might see this as “German Chocolate” or “Dark Chocolate Chips.” As you can see, they are still fairly vague. Let’s find something that will rank and attract people looking to buy.
To find words people are using to buy products, we need to expand these short tail keywords into something more useful and that moves us into the next section which is long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords are what we want to rank for. These are often the keyword phrases mentioned above. If we used a term such as “german chocolate cake recipe” you can see that the search volume is 14,800 and the competition is .09 which would make this a great keyword to go after since it’s a high volume search and medium competition. Often, it’s good to go after lower volume (though still plenty of searches) with lower competition. You can achieve this by a longer keyword tail or by choosing a similar term with lower competition.
On average, the longer the keyword tail, the more focused and purchase driven the people searching will be. They are actively looking for something specific and if you can fill that need, you can often achieve a conversion. Though “german chocolate cake recipe” is a great long tail keyword, the competition is still a bit to high with it being a .09. We will continue this method until we find a higher converting keyword.
If you have spent any time on WordPress, you have more than likely heard of Yoast SEO or other SEO Plugins and if you’ve used this plugin, you will find out that it’s great, but also focuses heavily on a Focus Keyword.
By using a focused keyword, it can help you target the page on a specific topic, but it’s important not to over-utilize that word. This is where synonyms become helpful and we will get into that soon. When you properly utilize a keyword, you not only help drive traffic to your website, but you can pull from a competitors site that is going after the same keyword but is not properly optimizing their pages. Along with driving organic traffic to your page, you can use that keyword for SEM and drive paid traffic to your site with Google AdWords.
When it comes down to it, keywords matter but don’t hold quite as much weight as they used to as Google keeps expanding it’s ranking factors. Simply writing a keyword rich article isn’t enough anymore and if you write an article and wait for the traffic to pour in, you’ll be waiting a long time if that’s all you’ve done.
The reason why is that search algorithms don’t display results based on only keywords anymore, instead it has multiple facets that look for many variables such as term frequency, density, synonyms, authority, and many others, then displays articles based on relevancy to that keyword, but some of the articles may not even contain that specific keyword but possibly synonyms or other related topics and may often rank higher than articles that utilize that specific keyword.
We see a lot of beginning SEO’s try focus only on a single keyword and try to write for search engines and not users. Writing for search engines is a practice used to work but now can, and more than likely, will hurt your article. By simply repeating keywords, especially if they don’t read naturally, the less likely your article will rank. In fact, with new algorithms, the article doesn’t have to contain the searched for keyword at all!
By writing for people, you will naturally work in the keyword, a synonym of that keyword, or have a topic that is highly relevant without that specific keyword at all. Why? Relevancy. If your article is all about lawn care, but people search the keyword yard care, if your article is relevant, well written, and high authority from SEO, Google recognizes that yard care and lawn care can relate to the exact same thing and there is a good chance you rank for “yard care” even though you targeted “lawn care.”
This is why it becomes very important to write well-written articles that are useful to the users instead of repeating keywords simply to try to rank in the Google SERPs, the old methods just don’t work anymore and you have to adapt to the new ways to implement SEO.
We talked about Google’s algorithm and how it now understands phrases and synonyms. This becomes relevant when you’re writing for users. As an example, if you’re targeting a topic like baking cookies, for instance, one may search for “How bake peanut butter cookies” and they’ll get thousands of results about baking a peanut butter cookie. If your topic is something similar to that, it’s important to stay relevant to the topic you want to write for.
You may be asking why this is important. When it comes to baking cookies, users are going to want specific results. You can talk about the best cookie sheets, ingredients, water to milk ratios, how much peanut butter is required. Google will go through and compare it to other relevant topics but if you start going off topic and talk about computers and linking to computer sites, you’ll lose relevance.
To gain more relevancy, optimizing the page with backlinks from other sources shows Google that this page is relevant to this topic. That is if the sites linking back are also relevant to that niche. Having a contractor link to a baking site can show Google that the page may not be relevant. Getting backlinks from a variety of easy target sites is also an old SEO tactic that no longer works.
Driving targeted traffic is one of the main goals of SEO and utilizing the proper keywords in proper ratios can help with that. However, there is a time where keywords may hurt your traffic and that is….keyword stuffing. Keywords stuffing is an old SEO tactic that is highly frowned upon by Google but is still used today. Keyword stuffing is where a writer places as many keywords into an article as possible and often relates to writing for search engines as mentioned before.
You can drive enough traffic to your website by using the optimal amount of keywords in relation to their synonyms and relevancy along with back-linking and other SEO tactics such as headlines and metadata. You can hurt the traffic with keyword stuff, also known as Negative SEO (though this broader than just keywords).
So do keywords still matter for SEO? Yes, they matter and matter, but the usage has changed, they are just one aspect of what goes into SEO. You can have a website full of great keywords, but if your entire SEO strategy lacks, you will have trouble picking up the momentum you need to drive traffic to your website.
Focus and long tail keywords, build out your content and keep utilizing various SEO tactics to keep your website and your business growing.
Yoast | https://yoast.com/focus-keyword/