In many cases, your website is the core of your online presence. This is especially true for businesses which are depending on their sites to convey a whole slew of impressions upon the visitor – who are you, what you do and so on.
Depending on how you use it, tangibly it can be as little as a mere presence or as much as a sales channel which never stops at any time of day. What isn’t often seen though is the impression your website creates on your customer – which impacts your brand.
Creating a website experience that is flawless can go a long way towards winning the hearts of your visitors. This isn’t as easy as it seems and today, we will discuss some of the aspects which can guide your design for maximum User Experience (UX) benefits.
Do More with Less - Thanks to rich multimedia content, there is a tendency for users today to have shorter attention spans. In fact, there are claims that the average user today has an attention span of approximately 6 to 8 seconds. That is the amount of time you have to win them over.
While your homepage is certainly an important anchor in your site, make sure that you don’t overpopulate it. Stick to only core elements on that page and make use of sub-pages to elaborate or extend.
While there have been cases where business owners have complained of pages that look too Spartan, white space is an essential element of good design. It gives users a sense of freedom and openness.
The drawback of this is that white space does take up space, so an optimal design must be balanced. Keep in mind that the key area of your site will be above the fold (the portion users see before they must start scrolling).
Focus on Speed - Technology has served us well, but it has also spoiled many of us. We have little patience to wait for things and if a website keeps us waiting, we’ll simply visit an alternative site. The loading speed of your site directly influences the chances of increased traffic, not just with your visitors but also affecting your search engine rankings.
As an example, there have been studies showing that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds. About 47% expect websites to load within 2 seconds. All of this means that you are losing visitors if your site is slow.
There are a ton of ways to increase website speed and performance that doesn’t involve paying a ton for more web hosting resources. Look towards optimizing your site first before buying more resources. For example, make use of gzip or image compression, optimize the coding in your css files and choose the best-performing theme you can find.
When all else fails, then it is time to look for a hosting option that offers more resources. If you are on shared hosting, you might want to consider moving to VPS hosting to increase your site speed.
It’s Past Time to Go Mobile - Thanks to the explosion in mobile technology, more users today are surfing the net on their mobile devices than ever before. In fact, more than half of all web pages today are served up to mobile devices and that number is steadily increasing.
Switch between desktop and mobile formats easily in the Wix interface
It is vital that your website be able to accommodate mobile users. How this is done depends on your site. If you’re using WordPress, look for a responsive theme that can handle both desktop and mobile traffic. If you’re using a site builder like Wix, they often have a segment that will let you manage the mobile portion of your site specifically.
Secure Your Site - Security is an increasing concern and thanks to moves by major web browsers, users are becoming more aware of this than ever. Almost all browsers today will visually indicate to users if a website they are on is secure or not.
Securing your site involves the use of an SSL certificate and helps reassure users that any data they share with the site is safe. This is especially important if you are running a site that processes user data such as emails and passwords, or even an eCommerce site that needs to manage payment information.
Be Careful with Images - Everyone loves big, beautiful visuals, but they can be a killer drain on resources. Also, they tend to take up a lot of space which could otherwise be more strategically used. Using the wrong image can also influence your visitors greatly.
The type of images you choose needs to resonate with your target market. Visitors need to see images associated personally with your brand and not visuals of anything else even if it’s in the same category.
Use them in key locations that will support your content – for example as breaks between lines of text to let users rest their eyes, or to support a specific point you are trying to make such as the free ranges cows roam, if you’re trying to sell milk.
Conclusion - UX is an entire science on its own and these tips while important are only a fraction of what site owners need to learn. There are both technical as well as human aspects of UX and by using the right mix of both you can create the perfect balance that suits your site.
It can also help you create better overall site results through a combination of consistent branding and clear calls to action.
Achieving goals of any sort involves doing more of the right—and less of the wrong—things. Marketing and social media goals are no exception. How can you better ensure your social media efforts will help you accomplish your brand’s objectives in this new year? These Dos and Don’ts should help.
Think first. Then post. Remember that what you post on your personal social media accounts can affect how people view your company. Think carefully about how posts that issue commentary on hot-button topics like religion, politics, or gender issues might impact your relationships with customers, vendors, and others in the business community.
Let them hear your voice. On your blog and social media channels, let your readers see your personality shine through. Many people follow bloggers because they like what the writers are saying AND how they’re saying it. Share your unique insight and strike a conversational tone that engages readers. My client, Lennie, an elder law attorney, is an excellent example of a blogger who does this well. While many writers in his field cover the standard stuff like “10 things to put in your will,” Lennie writes about how smart seniors do dumb things, and he infuses his perspective into his content.
Be real. Show your audience that you have real people behind your logo; it will make it easier for them to relate to your brand. Some ways to do that are to introduce members of your team, show videos with “behind the scenes” glimpses of your staff doing what they do best, and take photos of your team at special events and activities. Also, consider promoting the personal brand of your business owner or a high-level manager to put a face to your business name. Many organizations are doing that and it’s an effective way to facilitate loyalty and trust.
Set realistic expectations. Realize that social media alone can’t grow sales. Yes, it can help immensely by building your brand reputation, generating awareness, and increasing visibility of your business. However, many other areas of your company impact customer acquisition and revenue growth. Examples include the performance of your website, the quality of your products and services, your sales team’s skills, and your customer service. You must pay attention to your business as a whole for social media to succeed.
Write for your readers. Focus your content on what will help your audience and write it in a way that they will understand it. Simplifying your content doesn’t mean you have to dumb it down, but avoid overly complicated wording and sentence structure. For instance, I once edited a post for a client in which he used an example of bilingual translation to illustrate his point about communication. It was complex, and I feared readers might not grasp the meaning. I simplified his content to discuss communication via text message instead, something his millennial readership could relate to better.
Put personalization into practice. Customers expect that brands will tailor deals and discounts to their unique interests and needs. Consider embracing the potential of targeted advertising and retargeting campaigns on social media to cater to the demand for individualized content and offers.
Engage with haters, trolls, and other negative influences online. Battling them is—and always will be—a lost cause. If you do, you’ll waste time, energy, and creativity that you could be using to build your brand and serve your customers.
Try to be everywhere and do everything. Not every social media platform will deliver results for your business. And by trying to maintain too many channels, you’ll become overwhelmed and dilute your effectiveness on those that matter most. Stay active only on the accounts that give you the best return on your time and effort.
Post without proofreading. If you publish posts with careless grammar and misspellings, it will reflect poorly on your brand. Before making posts live, review what you wrote and fix mistakes. Review the content again after you publish it because sometimes sneaky errors can slip by despite initial proofreading efforts.
Ignore your followers’ questions, comments, and messages. Although this seems like a logical no-no, it happens often. Ignoring your audience is the fast track to causing hard feelings, missing opportunities, and damaging your brand. Keep tabs on activity on your social media accounts and respond promptly to your followers.
Use AI as a substitute for human interaction. Marketing automation saves time, but never use it as a replacement for person-to-person communication on social media. Your followers expect to develop a relationship with your brand, which can only be done if you’re genuinely, humanly engaged with them.
Dwell too much on your competition. Watching your competition is essential, but more critical to your success is developing your business and delivering excellent service to your customers. Leverage and nurture your brand’s unique strengths and capabilities rather than trying to be a carbon copy of another company.
The Year is Young—Start Doing the Right Things Now. Take charge of your social media strategy, and don’t look back! Now is the ideal time to revisit and refine your plans. The positive changes you make now will position your business for better outcomes all year long.
The online industry is versatile and full of possibilities to put your talents into work and launch a successful career. Through blogging, many people have already found a way to earn a steady income by sharing their stories and experience with the online community. Moreover, blogs are a perfect method of business promotion that can increase your website traffic, increase your sales, and enhance the overall user experience.
Successful bloggers don’t rely only on their talent for writing. There is a whole lot of extra work included in making the blog content compelling, valuable to the audience, and engaging enough to make readers want to comment and share blog posts. The number of helpful blogging tools that make a blogger’s life easier grows larger almost every day. Our current article will show some of the most useful blogging tools that will help you make the most of your blogging experience.
An excellent time-saving option for everyone from individuals to business owners that provides holistic marketing campaign management. CoSchedule puts together all social networks that you plan to use during your marketing campaign. Instead of publishing your posts on one platform at a time, this tool shares your posts on all social accounts at the same time. Moreover, analytics show the most engaging posts, tracks which social network provided most visits, etc. so you can coordinate your campaign and make the best of it.
A simple tool that provides an abundance of data that shows your visitors demographics, creates live traffic statistics, and a series of other information that helps you improve your blog and find out which is your target audience. All you need in order to use Google Analytics is a Google Account and you’re good to go.
It’s important to have impeccable content if you want to really move your audience and help them understand the message you’re trying to convey. Online editing services can edit, proofread, and improve your writing so all visitors read your message loud and clear.
Knowing what your competitors are doing is of paramount importance if you want to keep up with the market flow. SEMrush helps you keep track of the most popular posts your competitors publish and provides insight into the most popular keywords relevant to your niche. The better you understand your competitors, the more chance you’ll have in changing what you’re doing wrong.
The safety of your blog is another issue that should be on your mind. LastPass helps you keep all of your passwords in one place, safely encrypted so nobody but you can gain access to your data. This piece of software can also generate complex passwords that can’t be easily hacked.
Some writers get distracted easily and need a way to remove anything that would keep their attention away from work. This is a simple word processor that turns your computer into a typewriter, leaving you with nothing but a blank page and your keyboard. This way writers can focus on their work instead of looking at various buttons and icons.
A browser-based online tool that helps you fix any spelling or grammar mistakes. Grammarly also helps with punctuation and wording so you can improve the readability of your work. What’s good about Grammarly is that it keeps the formatting of your text once you’re done editing.
Blogs should have both visual and informational appeal to the audience for a more enhanced user experience. Pixabay is one of the best free stock photo platforms for downloading various photos to go along with your topic and make it more appealing to readers.
One of the most downloaded WordPress plugins allows you to optimize your posts and make them SEO-friendly. This plugin allows adding keywords, meta descriptions, and a whole lot of other optimization features that will bring your post closer to the top page of any search engine.
Email represents a marketing option that shows great long term potential. It allows bloggers to communicate more directly with their audience and send them the content that really holds personal value for the reader. Ontraport does more than sending emails to the target audience, it informs you of the progress you’re making with each mail sent and allows you to correct the potential mistakes you’re making during your campaign.
There is so much more to blogging than writing, it’s time-consuming and takes a lot of effort. However, with the proper tools, your experience as a blogger acquires a new dimension and becomes much easier. Ultimately, blogging will certainly improve your writing and communication skills which you can utilize sometime in the future.
The Google Quality Rater Guidelines received a new update in late July. For SEO experts and writers, things suddenly got a bit clearer.
That’s because Google shed some light on their process, as well as on what makes low quality content.
Let’s dig in!
What are the Google Quality Rater Guidelines?I know you’ve heard all about bots and AI. But, lo and behold, Google also has manual raters. Yes, the human kind.
Their main responsibility is to evaluate the Google algorithms. They do so by testing them against different web pages.
When they check to see whether a page has low or high quality content, they always refer back to this document – the Quality Rater Guidelines.
However, you don’t have to think about these raters as IRS inspectors. They don’t make any decision on their own. They simply report all their findings back to Google.
They do, however, play an important part in algorithm creation and updating.
Let’s see what the update is this time!
The definition of low quality pages In a nutshell, the update defines low quality pages as pages that “miss their mark”. In other words, they do not achieve what they set out to achieve.
The two main reasons why this happens are:
Make sure that they know their stuff and that they won’t be stuffing the copy with keywords. Also, link to reputable websites to show you’ve done your research and your content can be trusted.
Other factors that raters are looking at:
Roland G. Cardoza