6 Reasons to Redesign Your Website

6 Reasons to Redesign Your Website

Roughly 60% of small businesses don’t have a website, according to a survey cited by Inc. But even if you have a website, you may not be utilizing to its fullest potential. There are times when you must invest in a new design to keep your business’s website ahead of your competitors. Make it Mobile-Friendly If your website isn’t accessible or otherwise optimized for mobile devices, it’s to redesign it. We’ve talked about this before on our blog, but it’s worth mentioning again that mobile Internet usage has surpassed desktop usage. In other words, more people now access the Internet on smartphones and tablets than desktop computers. Without a mobile-friendly design, you’ll omit this huge chunk of traffic from your site, placing you at a serious disadvantage to your competitors. It Looks Old and Outdated Sometimes poor aesthetics alone is reason enough to update a website with a new design. When a prospect lands on your website, he will immediately judge your business/brand based on its appearance. This can either help or hurt your efforts to capture the visitor as a customer. If your website contains outdated designs like blinking text or flash animations, consider redesigning it with a fresh, more modern design. Rebranding It’s not uncommon for businesses to “rebrand” themselves. When this occurs, however, the business must redesign its website to reflect the change in brand. Whether it’s a complete overhaul of the brand or simply the addition of a new company logo, you should redesign your website anytime changes are made to your brand. Needs New Features If your website needs new features, such as a...
How to Lower Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

How to Lower Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

Not every shopper who adds a product to their online shopping cart will buy that product. In fact, statistics show that roughly 70% of shoppers will abandon their cart before following through with the checkout process. As an e-commerce site owner, it’s frustrating to see such a high shopping cart abandonment rates. While there’s no way to completely prevent all shoppers from abandoning their cart, there are steps you can take to lower this rate. Here are some simple ways to lower your site’s shopping cart abandonment rate. Upfront Shipping Costs Don’t make the mistake of hiding shipping fees from your site’s shoppers. According to a study conducted by the Baymard Institute, unexpected shipping fees, taxes and other fees is the single most common reason why shoppers abandon their cart. If a product says “free shipping,” make sure the customer isn’t charged for shipping; otherwise, he or she may abandon their cart and choose to business elsewhere. Mobile Compatibility Is your e-commerce site compatible on both desktop computers and mobile devices? Mobile compatibility is no longer a luxury for webmasters; it’s a necessity. More people now access the Internet on smartphones and tablets than traditional desktop and laptop computers. Failure to provide a mobile-friendly experience could result in a significant loss of sales, along with a higher shopping cart abandonment rate. Speed it Up Not surprisingly, speed at which a website loads will also affect its shopping cart abandonment rate. If your website takes six or more seconds to load, there’s a good chance some visitors will leave without following through with the checkout process. You can optimize your...
Responsive vs Separate Mobile Website

Responsive vs Separate Mobile Website

The beginning of 2014 marked a new era of Internet traffic, with various reports indicating that more people now access the Internet using a mobile device than a traditional desktop computer. Webmasters and small business owners must adapt to this trend by designing mobile-friendly websites. Because if your website does not load and function on mobile devices, you could be losing a significant portion of visitors. Of course, there are several different ways to create a mobile-friendly website, the two most common being a Responsive Web Design or separate mobile domain. So, which of these configurations is the best? What’s the Difference? Let’s first discuss the basics of both RWD and separate mobile websites, as many people are likely hearing about them for the first time. A separate mobile website is exactly what it sounds like: a separate domain that’s used specifically for mobile traffic. It typically contains all (or most) of the content from the original domain, but with a mobile-friendly design. Separate mobile websites can be something like yourwebsite.mobi, or they can be a subdomain on your primary website like mobile.yourwebsite.com. Regardless, search engines will treat them in the same manner. A Responsive Web Design (RWD), on the other hand, is a configuration that involves the use of proportion-based measurements (as opposed to fixed measurements like pixels) along with CSS3 media queries. Technical jargon aside, responsive websites load and function the same, regardless of the device on which they are being viewed. They automatically adapt based on the user’s device. So whether you are accessing a responsive website on a desktop, tablet or smartphone, you can rest...
5 Ways to Improve Your Web Content

5 Ways to Improve Your Web Content

Want to know the single most important element on a website? No, it’s not backlinks; it’s content. High-quality content that’s relevant to your target audience encourages people to visit and engage on your site. And this increased level of engagement usually translates into higher search rankings for your respective keywords. So, what steps can you take to improve your website’s content? Cite Sources When writing content, be sure to cite your sources. Whether it’s a blog, forum or news editorial, you should link back to any sources used to create the the content. This helps readers find other related information, and it also shows search engines that your website isn’t a one-way street. Some webmasters avoid using external links in their content, fearing it will send visitors away from their site. Granted, some visitors may click and leave your site, never to return, but the benefits of using external links greatly outweighs the cons. Check for Errors Of course, you should also get into the habit of checking your web content for errors before making it live. We’re all bound to make a spelling or grammar mistake from time to time — and that’s okay. But if the bulk of your web content is riddled with multiple errors, it could leave a lasting negative impression on your readers. So, run your content through a tool like Grammarly beforehand, checking and fixing any errors. Write for Visitors The golden rule of content marketing is to write for your site’s visitors, not the search engines. This means you should avoid stuffing keywords into your content for the sake of trying to...
5 Things to Consider When Starting a Website

5 Things to Consider When Starting a Website

A website is no longer a luxury that small business owners can overlook; it’s a necessity. Even if your business doesn’t sell its products or services online, it will still benefit from a website. A well-designed website builds credibility, helps customers find your establishment, and gives you an edge over your competitors. But there are a few things you should consider when starting a website. Domain Name One of the first steps in creating a new website is to choose your domain name. Assuming you already have a business, you should try registering your [yourbusinessname].com. Google has said that domain extensions do not affect search rankings, meaning a .com should rank just as easily as a .net, .org or .info. However, .com domains are more trusted and recognized by the general public, so it’s best to stick with a .com when choosing a domain name for your site. Content Management System (CMS) What type of CMS do you plan on using with your website? While there’s no rule requiring webmasters to use a CMS, doing so streamlines the process of creating, editing and managing your site’s content. WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS, as it powers an estimated 1 in 4 websites. Other popular web-building CMS platforms include Drupal, Joomla and Squarespace. Familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of each to determine which one is right for you.  (If you can’t seem to choose, however, you really can’t go wrong with WordPress.) Promotion How do you plan on promoting your new website? From pay-per-click (PPC) marketing and banner ads, to social media, press releases and more, the...
A Crash Course on Usability Testing for Websites

A Crash Course on Usability Testing for Websites

When was the last time that you conducted a usability test of your website? When you’re busy creating new content, building backlinks, and optimizing your site for higher search rankings, it’s easy to overlook something as simple as a usability test. Unfortunately, though, this can result in a poor user experience while hurting your site’s sales and conversions in the process. What is a Usability Test? Usability testing lives up to its namesake by gauging a website’s ability to perform its intended function or functions. Whether you realize it or not, your website is tested on a daily basis. Each time a user visits your website and makes a purchase, he or she is essentially testing it. But the bad news is that you normally don’t have access to this data — not in the traditional sense, at least. This is why it’s a good idea to conduct an actual usability test. By conducting a dedicated usability test of your website on a regular basis, you can identify a wide range of errors and problems, some of which include the following: Long load times Compatibility errors with different web browsers or devices Broken links Failed confirmation emails Typos and grammatical mistakes in copy Poor web design Ineffective call-to-action (CTA) placement Products not being added to shopping cart And much, much more… How to Conduct a Usability Test There are several different ways to conduct a usability test for your website, one of which is to outsource the task to a professional company. Once you’ve found someone to perform the test, you’ll need to explain the objectives. If you run...