web design SEO

5 Web Design Tips with SEO in Mind

Search Engine Optimization or SEO has a very big impact on the success of a website. SEO is responsible for making websites highly searchable to users. This searchability, in turn, creates traffic to a website and ultimately business.

Here are five tips to keep in mind when creating a kick-ass web design with SEO in consideration.

Strategize keyword placement

web design SEO

Keywords are the lifeblood of SEO. But just placing them all over the place without careful planning can have a detrimental effect. Today’s search engine ranking algorithms put more value in the user experience and reward sites accordingly.

Sites that are deemed rich in content that is user relevant are given higher search engine rankings as opposed to low-quality content sites. In fact, overuse of keywords can even lead to penalizations. Place keywords strategically in titles, meta tags, photo and video titles, headers and footers, and product descriptions, for example.

Keywords should offer value and not appear haphazardly placed. Plan keyword placement ahead of time so that it doesn’t appear out of place, and it feels organic to the site. This will make more sense to the user and to site rankings as well.

Find out which keywords are currently trending and which ones are usable for your site objectives.

Create site-maps that are crawl-friendly

Improve SEO using a strategic site map that will promote web-crawling. Prompt web-crawling of all site pages and establish priority pages for crawling by using site maps to deliver URL lists. Promoting web-crawling pays long-term dividends in terms of search engine ranking.

Optimize site loading speed

web design SEO

Slow loading speeds cause users to just pack up and leave despite the elaborate web design you made, and this puts a negative outcome on SEO.  Set up your sites in such a way that it utilizes tools and processes that greatly improve loading speeds.

To do this, you need to lessen factors affecting loading speeds on the server side like unnecessary plug-ins. Avoid redirects if possible, and make use of compression. Remove unnecessary characters from your code to streamline and make it more efficient. These are major factors that affect a site’s loading speed.

Create a social site presence

web design SEO

Search engine ranking puts a premium on website users’ experience. This engagement is recognized by web crawlers and is counted towards a higher search engine ranking. Design your sites to have social sharing buttons, stunning visuals, and anything else that will make social sharing easy. Sharing works wonders in boosting SEO by increasing overall user engagement and also driving subsequent traffic back to the site.

Choose your links properly

web design SEO

Choosing your links carefully goes a long way in positive SEO results. Utilizing a lot of broken links, outbound links, and questionable links put its toll on SEO outcomes.

Provide content-rich links that users can actually use to further improve on user experience and being careful not to overdo it. Bad links and overuse of unnecessary links on your web design only result in search engine penalties and in worst-case scenario negative impression on user experience.

e-commerce websites

Consumer-Centric Ways to Boost E-Commerce Sales

Yes, we all do want to succeed as online marketers. However, what does that “success” actually mean?

We can just as easily track analytics or count how many social media followers we have or even watch as the number of visitors of e-commerce websites grow.

But how do you know you’re successful? Well, there’s only one group who can judge whether you have a successful marketing campaign.

The Customers.

Despite there being dozens and dozens of “best practices” and “how to” guides available online, the truth is if your audience does not connect with your marketing campaign, then your success is for nought.

For a marketing campaign to truly develop, you need to understand your customers. That’s basically the only thing you need to do.

Approximately 80% of online stores have failed to generate sales because of one simple reason—these brands have focused too much on their products than on their customers.

Below are some customer-centric tips to help you boost your sales.

Put Emphasis on Social Selling

e-commerce websites

A consumer-centric approach requires earning the trust of your customers. This is nearly impossible to earn with advertising alone, unless of course if you already have built an incredible brand.

Additionally, this is particularly challenging for e-commerce websites since they do not get to interact face to face with their consumers unlike in brick-and-mortar stores.

Now, how do you go about this?

One is to provide social proof. Second is to engage with your audience.

Social media platforms could be an avenue where you can build rapport and interact with your audience. You should show your audience that you too are a genuine human being, not merely a business venture looking at consumers as prey.

Here is a 3-step process for you to create an amazing social selling campaign:

  • Determine your brand’s core message
  • Share valuable, relevant content supporting your brand’s message
  • Respond as quickly as possible to your customers

Don’t ignore social selling since this could be the future of e-commerce industry.

A Too Automated Marketing Automation

e-commerce websites

Running your e-commerce business demands an immense investment of resources, including your time. Since you need to seek ways in order to eliminate redundancies in the business as much as possible, you turn to instant messaging and marketing automation, which are incredible ways to streamline your marketing strategy.

The only drawback with this is the possibility of taking it too far.

Marketing in the twenty-first century has evolved, requiring more interaction with consumers. What once was the fully automated marketing in the 1990s isn’t possible anymore. Back then, companies could just as easily stuff a site with relevant keywords and wait for search engines to pick them up and send traffic to the site to generate sales.

These sites did not have to make any changes or engage with their audience.

Yes, you can still use automation software for smooth operation, yet you need to engage with consumers yourself. Make it a point to actually read consumer replies and come up distinctive responses.

Base PPC Ad Copy on Consumer Needs

e-commerce websites

One of the best ways to generate sales for your store is PPC ads or pay-per-click advertising. However, there are far too many online e-commerce entrepreneurs who are doing it wrong. More often, their ads copy do not focus on the needs of the consumers, but rather puts emphasis on the benefits of their products.

Take a look at the following headlines for a few weight loss ads:

“16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast”

“Top FDA-Approved Weight Loss”

“Top 3 Diet Pills of 2018”

These ads simply inform the consumer what their product is. They’re not particularly good, per se.

Since business owners spend an enormous amount of money for PPC ads, it only makes sense to actually make sure they convert. Create ads around the needs of your consumers.

Put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself: Why would he or she buy your product?

Conclusion

The e-commerce industry is at a rapid growth, and it will only get bigger, but not easier. Not only do you have to work hard to earn consumer trust, but also ensure your e-commerce websites’ marketing strategy revolves around the buyers.

e-commerce websites

Your Landing Page Can Do Better: Here’s How

Yes, landing pages are indeed overrated.

Yes, you’ve spent hours and hours building your site’s landing page only to eventually discover it didn’t exactly work in your favour. They barely converted. Admit it, they were weak.

Although landing pages have been praised by many as the ultimate solution to magically boost conversion problems, they are not as simple nor easy as many believe. And don’t even think of believing once you build your landing page, the conversion rate of your e-commerce websites will skyrocket.

The average conversion rate per site significantly varies across different industries, though the average is about 2.35%, according to the CEO and co-founder of Lander.

What does this mean?

For every 50 visitors or users, only 1 will convert. Just 1.

Isn’t that a bit depressing since you’ve spent so many resources creating the most captivating landing page you could think of?

THE GOOD NEWS

Of course, there’s always light at the end of a dark, depressing tunnel. Your landing pages can indeed be made to do better than just 1 conversion.

A majority of landing pages only “look pretty,” though not really optimised for conversions. These pages are not living up to their expectations since they are flawed.

Below are some tips on how you can improve the conversation rates of your landing pages. But before that, let’s first talk about what a landing page is and what it is meant for.

Landing Page: Definition

In a nutshell, it is the page you land on, though there’s more to this than meets the eye.

For example, a visitor clicks one of your ads, redirecting them to your e-commerce website’s homepage. So by definition, the homepage is the landing page.

Did you know that many companies are making this terrible mistake?

If you want to build general awareness about your brand, products or services, then you send visitors to your homepage. But if you’re trying to successfully convert them, then this might not be the page to redirect them.

There is only one singular goal for the landing page—to CONVERT.

Yes, that’s it. This page should not do anything else other than that.

There are 2 key points you need to remember:

  1. These pages are individual pages tasked with a singular goal.
  2. These pages are meant for one purpose—receiving “traffic from campaigns.” These could be click-throughs from social media campaigns or ads, emails, or PPCs.

Additionally, you need to run a successful campaign with the right traffic to be redirected to your landing page.

After all, your landing page will be pretty useless if there are visitor “landing.”

e-commerce websites

Now, let’s assume you have successfully created your ad campaign and have a positive CTR. Your landing page should have at least of the following purposes:

  1. Capturing leads so you can market and communicate with them in the future when they find themselves further down the sales funnel
  2. Warming up prospective customers, getting them ready and excited to avail of your services or purchase your product before closing the deal

Each of the abovementioned purposes requires different types of landing pages.

Now, if you’ve been wondering about the benefits of these pages, then don’t fret. You can promote a positive first impression with your prospective consumer.

Did you know that it only takes 1/20th of a second to form a first impression?

This is where landing pages are advantageous. They can be customised and designed to create a quick, strong, positive first impression of your brand, visually.

These pages also help make a lasting impression on visitors, especially if they’re designed with images, graphics and videos. They can also be used to take advantage of trust elements.

Remember that most people remember 80% of what they actually see, and recall 20% of what they read.

Thirdly, the “lander,” as others refer to landing pages, also help promote consumer focus. Why? Simple, there’s less distracting noise.

Now, if all these are done correctly, then your lander is the perfect place for your audience to actually convert.

So, why are landers so overrated?

This isn’t because they do not work.

But it all boils down to business owners using a generic template or hastily slapping together something, yet doesn’t accomplish their goal.

Here’s how to make sure your landing pages do their jobs right!

Sync the Lander with the Ad Campaign

As earlier mentioned, the first step is having an effective and successful ad campaign. Nothing else matters unless you hit the right audience for your landing page.

Additionally, consistency is still key. So your ad and lander possess a consistent feel and look.

Mobile-Friendly

e-commerce websites

Since Google switched to mobile-first index, mobile optimisation is now vital if you want your site visible and to succeed.

Every day, the number of mobile users is exponentially growing. In fact, they are expected to dominate web traffic.

So if you want to actually capture your audience, you need a mobile-friendly plan. There are 2 critical aspects when it comes to mobile traffic—simplicity and speed.

Simplicity. As the term suggests, you need to cut everything down to the bare necessities. You need to optimise your site for mobile and make sure your CTA is fully visible; otherwise, it defeats its purpose.

Load speed. This might not entirely be the first thing you think about when designing your lander, yet it is not only critically important for desktop but also for mobile traffic.

In fact, starting July 2018, page speed will be one of the ranking factors for mobile searches according to Google’s announcement last January. If your landing page takes more than 3 seconds to load, expect that 40% or higher of your visitors will likely abandon your page.

By simply fixing your load speed could significantly impact conversion rates for your site without having to change the other elements of the lander.

Additionally, Google pointed out that the longer the loading time of your page, the higher the bounce rate. Again, speed is a vital factor.

Take Out All Distractions

Remember that landing pages should serve only one purpose. That being said, remove the navigation bar.

Why?

Check out the image below.

e-commerce websites

By removing the navigation bar on your lander helps increase the conversion rate by 100%. However, only a handful of landing pages removed their navigation menu.

This is, in fact, a simple fix that could spell the difference between profit and loss, and you should definitely take advantage of it.

Another way of distracting your audience is using too many words on your lander. Keep the page as visual as possible with infographics or bullet points and avoid putting too much text.

Using as little words as possible, deliver your message loud and clear, informing your audience clearly which of their problems you’re trying to solve. Though this requires some creative juices, you need to continually test your landers to match the ever-changing needs of consumers.

Check If Your Heading Actually Work

The headings and subheadings are the most noticeable features once your page has loaded. And when it comes to landing pages, first impressions are crucial. This is where your headline should make a memorable impact.

Not only should your headline be attention-grabbing, but also it should reflect the lander’s purpose and clearly deliver the message that sells. Straightforward. Simple.

Meanwhile, the subheading should reinforce, building on the main heading, and supplement the information without being too distracting or long. It has one purpose—provide more information to the readers or audience while still engaging them and enticing them to continually scroll down.

The Right CTA

Remember that your lander only needs ONE CTA. Although more than 68% of sites have over 5 CTAs on their lander, statistics show that only one CTA could boost conversions.

So you need to only pick one specific goal and call to action for each lander. Stick to it.

Then, ensure your CTA is consistent and relevant to your brand’s offers. Avoid using vague CTAs such as “Submit,” “Click here,” or “Continue”. These will not convert visitors.

Don’t Ask Too Many Questions

One of the biggest triggers for abandonment in landers is asking too much information. Simply focus on important data, although you don’t have to limit the form fields. One thing you can do is adding a progress bar so visitors know whether they’re almost done.

Check out this example below.

e-commerce websites

Use the Right Visuals

Let’s get this straight first—Visuals are more than just images today. In fact, there are video landing pages with conversion rates of up to 56%.

Among the benefits of using a video for your lander are as follows:

  • Increasing audience retention
  • Increasing trust
  • People prefer watching videos
  • Great way for product or service demonstration

Don’t forget to embed a CTA to your video as well as on your landing page. But you have to remember not to make your videos too long, else lose your point and the audience’s attention.

If you’re using images, they should be relevant to the service or product you are offering. Now, there are certain criteria you need to follow with using pictures:

  • Large, high-quality format
  • Relevant to your service or product
  • Don’t use stock images

Testimonies

e-commerce websites

The best advertisers and salesperson for your brand are testimonials from your previous or current customers. Why?

Simple. People trust other people. Testimonials help build trust for your brand. That’s you should keep using testimonials or consumer reviews on every landing page. Also, include trust indicators, reassuring consumers that your website is definitely safe.

Test, Re-test and Test More

Not only is there a science behind building landing pages, but also there’s an art to it. The only way for you to find the best lander for your campaign is to periodically test them.

You need to find what works best for you, and testing has been proven to help boost conversion rates.

Conclusion

Many expect landing pages should effortlessly convert visitors; however, the average conversion rate is only around 2%.

Does this mean the problem lies on the landing page?

Not exactly, but how these pages are being built and used.

These pages only have one goal, and every single part of a landing page has to be designed to move visitors toward that specific goal.

Now, it’s up to you to finally design a landing page for your e-commerce websites that will boost conversion rates, is consistent with your ad campaign and is optimised for mobile, with increased load speed times, with a short but sweet and direct to the point CTA.

Finally, make sure to always test your pages to check which features are working or not and which ones need to be improved.

e-commerce websites

Top 5 Social Media Trends Taking Over 2018

Social media played a vital role in businesses seeking to expand their visibility in 2017. However, 2018 will seek to fully capitalize on the trends set forth in the previous year with even better viewership and conversion rates.

Average social media dependency of the current generation has seen a steady rise, and if you look at the latest projections, you will have found your next target market. So if you haven’t already considered tapping into the social media market for your e-commerce website, then it’s high time you did.

Take a look at what which social media platforms are taking over this 2018.

The Rise of Gen Z

e-commerce websites

The Gen Z (those who were born in 1995 and later) are the true digital babies. From birth, they were already exposed to the social media lifestyle, and they have continued that affinity into adulthood.

Trending only predicts more growth into this segment, and it is too significant to ignore. But be aware of the social media apps that appeal to them because Facebook just doesn’t cut it for them.

Instagram and SnapChat seem to have a profound influence on them, so be prepared to tap into those apps for your next marketing spiel.

“Stories”

e-commerce websites

Take note of new features from their favourite sites that have become successes themselves. For example, a feature on Instagram called “Stories” is enjoying a huge success nowadays.

It is a feature where users or company brands can publish daily content which only lives for 24 hours; after which, it is gone. This keeps viewership up by being engaging because of fresh content every day. No brand should post content more than once per day anyway.

“AR” Is a Go

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Remember Pokemon Go?

The “augmented reality” game has set a gaming trend that is here to stay. “AR” for short is a game feature that allows your device to superimpose images of gaming characters on real or live scenes in the real world, giving the user the experience of having their favourite gaming characters right there in front of them, wherever they are.

Trending predicts that your marketing strategies should include this feature to give potential customers the ability to simulate “owning” your product right there and then to see or feel if it’s for them.

Imagine being able to superimpose the image of a dress on a potential customer so that she can see for herself if it is the right one. The possibilities are endless.

The Growth of Influencer Marketing

e-commerce websites

Influencer marketing will see a huge rise in 2018. Since social media content has the tendency to become stale with sometimes limited viewership, it may be wise to partner with so-called “influencer marketers”.

These people have a huge fanbase or followers that they can easily “influence”.  It only makes sense to work with somebody who already has the numbers rather than starting from scratch and trying to reach those same numbers yourself.

Video Will Continue to Dominate

e-commerce websites

Finally, don’t forget the power of video contents. With viewing devices becoming more mobile and capable of producing more stunning images, video contents are rising in popularity.

One report shows that on the average, 45% of people watch more than an hour of YouTube or Facebook videos. Plus add to the fact that video contents tend to generate more views or likes than any other social media content.

Do not ignore this trend and start producing more video content on your e-commerce websites for your target market and enjoy viewership that you never thought possible.

The Takeaway

Although social media trends come and go, it is still important to remain informed on consumer behaviour when it comes to the latest social media craze and the platform’s latest tools and features.

But one this is for sure—giants like Instagram and Facebook are providing businesses more ways to actually come up with fresh content and easier avenues of publishing them.

It’s a good idea for your your e-commerce websites to stay aware of such features like “Stories” and then decide which ones should you invest resources on.