Currently, the internet is the premier marketplace due to the convenience it offers to consumers. But, as business site owner are you aware of how your products are being assessed by your online consumers before they finally hit the ‘buy’ button?
Design, site speed and product reviews are considered as the ‘great influencers’ on the purchase decision of the online market.
As visuals play a huge factor in attracting and keeping the interest of the readers on the site, we put together this infographic so it's in plain text (LOL!!!)
92.6% of people say that visuals are the top influential factor affecting a purchase decision.
Products are assessed within 90 seconds this is alll the time you have as consumers make quick initial judgments on whether they need to purchase it or not.
More comprehensive-looking photos and alternative images can lead to 58% more web sales but, 25% say that their reason for product return is because the actual product did not match what they expected. Therefore, accurate product images are important.
31% bought the product after being influenced by the video; 1 in 2 customers have more confidence in a product after watching an online video.
Hang in there, because we will be sharing you more infographics about this topic! Some thoughts to ponder before we reveal our next infographic: Is three seconds loading time fair enough to let web visitors stay on your site?
Do you need expert advice on internet marketing? Call us today at (045) 499 1082 or visit our site to view the complete list of the internet marketing services we offer: www.thenorthernoffice.com
Building a successful website is not as easy as putting something out there, hoping for search engine robots to crawl them and everything else runs smoothly. A website’s potential to be successful starts from the planning phase. From the time that a company decides to have a website, we always recommend a careful analysis and strategic planning based on what they want and what their business needs.
Here are some of the common reasons why websites fail to gain revenues.
Website is built without proper planning
Some websites are built without any strategic objective or only exist to serve as an online brochure to customers.While there is completely nothing wrong with that, it is sad to know that some businesses are missing out huge opportunities of being able to generate business leads and provide improved service to customers with their websites.
Everything starts from planning. Understanding what the people would seek in a website is a good head start. Business owners should take advantage of their website’s ability to improve their business and customer service.
Lack of content
Failing to place updated content leaves an implication that a company is delivering a poor, low quality or outdated information. This usually drives people away and could drag website rankings down. Content management is necessary to ensure that a company constantly gives out fresh information about their latest products, services, news and other promotions. Most businesses also make use of effective content marketing strategies to reach desired audiences and pulls in potential customers.
Web design is not about how business owners want their website to look; it’s about how their customers will use it. A well-designed website is not only about having sophisticated graphic elements but also having user-friendly properties such as right navigation placement, neat and functional design.
No Social Media
Not having at least one active social media outlet is unhealthy for businesses most especially if they aim to generate leads and revenue from their websites. Social media helps a business reach a wider number of people, gain loyal visits and build networks. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are helpful when it comes to announcements and promotions while LinkedIn is the best channel to look for a more niched and professional network. Ignoring Geo Targeting Geo Targeting is a method of setting up a website's intended audience by specifying its target geographical areas. Geo Targeting helps businesses drive online local traffic and also allows business owners to add target centric content in their website. For example, if someone based in the Philippines is on one webpage with a specific geo-targeting set, he will only be shown content that are targeted to the Philippines or have no targeted set. Ignoring Geo Targeting decreases a websites potential benefits such as increased conversion rates and ROI. It could also result to confused searchers, angry customers and even lawsuits.
Unresponsive customer support
Having a good website is meaningless if good customer service is not given. They can deny it but some companies lose a lot of money because of a single unanswered call. The purpose of having a ‘contact’ section in a company’s website is to make it easier for people to reach them. If the company fails to give a prompt response, people will more likely resort to the competition. A company should always give attention to how they handle communication with their customers. That way, they are not only giving people a reason to come back but they are also making their company deserving of referrals.
It is not only the site’s web designer and developer that should be aware on how a web responsive site is made. As the owner of the site, one has the responsibility to at least know the concept behind it and how it is done. Since a business owner shouldn't be ignorant of their own website.
Three Building Blocks of RWD
Here are the three things that every businessman should familiarize themselves with when it comes to web responsiveness:
Start small. Like in any business, it is a lot easier to work small than work big. By doing this, the tweaking that needs to be done is minimal preventing unnecessary large scale changes as the design grows.
Minimum content but maximum impact. The soul of the site is its content. But one should be mindful of the different screen sizes that the site is likely to be accessed. So be sure to create a content that will leave a right and long lasting impression on people no matter what the size is.
Play with HTML and CCS. But it doesn't mean one has to be a pro at it. Just familiarize one about the basic things on what makes a site be responsive in terms of coding.
This is to provide a better understanding of what the site needs and demands in terms of its design, layout, and content. A well-informed businessman leads to success.
Criteria of a Good Responsive Design
To know if the site successfully achieved a responsive design, go and check to see if it the quality of the experience is the same in any given gadget and screen sizes. The branding consistency is there, meaning that it is able to truly reflect, mirror what the site stands for. Making people see, feel, and say, “Now this is the company that I know.” They can sense the familiarity of the brand site no matter what the screen size is. To add more attention to the site, remember that there should always be a call to action on the page.
Meanwhile, on the more technical side of web responsiveness, be sure to look into the site’s white spaces and padding. That in whatever size they may be, the site’s content from the text to images is aligned properly and follows proper information hierarchy. Making sure that it’s readable and not too crowded, retaining the site’s integrity and credibility.
Through this one is able to present the site’s content and information in the best visual way possible on different screen sizes.
Consistency of the design and feel is one of the many advantages of a responsive web design. This leads to better branding and on-line presence. That is why this design is not a fad and is here to stay. It is highly recommended for businesses to have their site adaptable and flexible.
With the modern society’s dependence on the World Wide Web as a reliable means of getting information, web sites became the next big thing to companies when it comes to introducing and presenting their business to the world. More companies and entrepreneurs have started to invest on solid and professional-looking websites that increased their income potential.
Here we have listed some things why business owners must have a good website :
A good website establishes business’ credibility to the world. Website serves as a global online sales kit. It presents the company’s profile, products and services to the world anytime, anywhere!
Having a high quality business web site reflects the company’s credibility, trustworthiness and professionalism in terms of giving services to customers. And when a company has successfully established customers’ trust, they are more likely stay.
It could mean MORE MONEY. Having a website opens a lot of opportunities. It builds a brand and most importantly, it also attracts prospective customers.
Ranking in search engines is definitely one thing business owners should aim for if they want to get the most out of their website and earn from it. We highly advise companies to make use of the "white hat (Google/Bing friendly) way of doing SEO in order to get the best results.
It’s easier to tell how business is doing. With the help of modern tools for monitoring web performance, it is easier to track if the website is doing well. It tells which service pages are mostly visited and clicked and which are not. In short, the advantage is that it helps business owners identify its strength and find room for improvement.
It generates potential customers. Few months ago, we published a blog post that tackles about the basic needs of a website in order to become successful; and in that article we made mention of having social media links and share button to make it easier for people to make recommendations. For example, a simple online sharing through social media can result to more traffic; and more traffic would eventually increase until it becomes a lead.
Part III of the blog series takes us into the myths and misconceptions that have been acquired throughout the years by web responsiveness.
RWD (Responsive Web Design) is highly recommended by Google as a site configuration. This is important to take note and remember since Google has a market share of 67% when it comes to searches. With this design, Google is able to easily crawl and index a website. It increases the website to rank higher in terms of page rank and page authority because it is able to accumulate the data into one url. Also, it lessens the amount of time to get used to on the site when visiting it on mobile.
Myths and Misconceptions
Like any new idea or concept, there are a lot of things that are yet to be explored and understand with RWD. This resulted into the creations of myths and misconceptions (M&M).
M&M 1: It is not the solution to the website’s content problems. Just because the site had a great design overhaul and is able to adapt to different screen sizes, that doesn't mean that the site’s lack of content is answered. Now more than ever, the site needs to have better content and call to actions words. As site owners, one would like to give its visitors a reason to stay longer.
M&M 2: It is not just for big Brands, companies, and names. It is for everyone that includes small and medium businesses. Local business owners can gain a lot from having a responsive website. It is able to quickly provide the needed information such as contact and location with the use of handy gadgets. This makes the brand more accessible to people.
M&M 3: Dangerous to Typography. One of the things that are often sacrificed is the site’s readability. It’s because developers and designers have the tendency to use device breakpoints rather than design breakpoints. This doesn't have to be. To maintain the site’s readability use ems for the layout, padding, font-size, and margin.
M&M 4: It makes mobile apps obsolete. Applications still carry an important spot in the mobile world. An app brings brand equity to a company who had a place on one’s digital device. As the owner or the marketing strategy, one has to look into the brand experience that should be provided into the company’s specific audiences. An app is good for frequent users while a responsive site is better for casual users.
M&M 5: It is not just about the design and layout. It is also about the content. Why is this idea being reiterated? It is because many concentrate more on how their site looks like than what their site should have. Remember that having a great site also means good site content.
One by one, these myths are busted with the development of web responsiveness. Each of these statements is mere excuses and reasons for a sloppy work from designers and developers. So before saying yes to a site developer and designer, be sure to have a talk with them about the site’s design and demand on having a great responsive site. With this in mind, one is sure to get the best website design that will be able to adapt to just about any screen sizes.
Posted by John Joe Morgan
Whether it be reality or virtually, pros and cons has been present. With this in mind, part II of TNO’s blog series goes into the advantage and disadvantages of having a web responsive design. 2013 saw the rise of the tablet pc, android, and smartphone market. This resulted into an increase in demand for websites to have a responsive web design. Meaning a website should follow the idea of “one size fits all,” or in this case screen sizes. But what does it offer to site owners? Let’s take a look.
The Good Side RWD
1. Easy Tracking. RWD makes the task of tracing the site traffic easy; especially with the site connected to a Google Analytics account. Analytics is able to dissect the traffic information it received from different browsers and mobile devices.
2. Cost Effective & Low Maintenance. Using a flexible code, the need to have a different content is not needed with RWD. The Cascading Style Sheet (CCS) Code enables for the site content to adjust to the screen size accordingly. Effectively lowering the expenses since building a new site is unnecessary. It also doesn’t require checking two different websites.
3. Future Ready. There is no need to worry about new devices that are likely to be introduced in the market. The site can adapt to the device’s screen.
4. Better User Experience. Users are able to experience a consistent look and feel on the site whether they are browsing the site on a tablet, desktop, android, and smartphone.
5. Good SEO. Having a duplicate content is not a problem with a responsive design since your url is okay for all kind of gadgets. It prevents the site from receiving penalties from Google such as the ever lovable Panda. This web design has a great online marketing gift to companies, small businesses, and organizations that is brand reliability. It gives consumers the assurance that what they’ve visited is of high quality, dependable, and trustworthy. But just like any technological advancement, there is a downside to it.
The Bad Side of RW
1. Design. The graphic designer has to design several layouts through the use of wire frames.
2. Development. Converting an existing site into a responsive one is harder compared to creating one.
3. Implementation. The RWD practice is relatively new so there are problems that developers and designers are still unfamiliar with.
4. Resources. There are little available resources and support that can provide answers to problems that may arise with RWD since it’s still in the process of having a solid foundation of knowledge.
5. Loading Time. This is the downside of a mobile responsive site. The site takes a longer time to load due the html/ccs codes that needs to be downloaded. With all of these disadvantages in mind, one could simply say that making sure that a site is responsive is time consuming. A lot of working hours is needed in assuring that the site is working.
A lot of tests and monitoring on different platforms are done to see if the site looks exactly the way users should see. It may be time consuming but the benefits to both party, the consumers and the company or brand or organization is great. But what do you think about it? Are the advantages outweighs the disadvantages?
Web Responsiveness is time consuming but it has a lot to offer to site owners and its site visitors if done properly.
2013 is dubbed by Mashable as the year of Responsive Web Design. And what better way to end the year by creating a series of blog articles, looking into this design practice. The part I of the series focuses on its growth through the years.
Today, consumers are technologically adept; jumping from one device to the other when doing everyday transactions. Trip planning, financial managing, Internet browsing, and online shopping are some of the most common activities done across multiple devices. Plus the fact that people are always on the go, wanting to do things as quick as possible and receive needed stuff and information with just one click. This fast phase of life has given birth to a screen revolution, we now experience.
The Birth of Responsive Web Design It all began with the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). But it received a lot of negative criticisms because of its poor performance. Mobile devices then started offering internet access, but have limited browser capabilities. But developers were able to come up with a simple solution through HTML. By the time iPhone was out, mobile sites tend to have a separate and different code from their desktop counterpart. Developers had to maintain two different sites.
But people expect to experience the same look and feel on a website even if they use a desktop, a laptop, or a smartphone. This situation resulted to the idea of having a responsive website. The term “responsive web design (RWD)” was coined by Ethan Macrotte in May 2010. He was inspired how architects are able to plan and create a technology that enables it to interact and influence the elements in the surrounding area such as humans and its environment
Defining Responsive Web Design
RWD refers to the ability of a website to bend and adapt to different screen sizes and mobile devices. According to Macrotte, responsive design has three distinct parts:
Without all the technical jargons, a responsive design is about not being boxed and restricted into one size. A web design should always wear the idea of one size fits all, or in this case one look fits all.
Why Care About Website Responsiveness?
It is important for brands and companies to adapt to the changing times. This is why from the traditional media; they are now using the new media or the Internet in reaching out to their audience, industry, and the rest of the world. Things have gone global. The same idea applies to a website’s success and survival today.
A website that is able to adapt into different screen sizes and types of devices is meeting the global demand. In doing so, companies are able to increase their credibility and provide people good user experience when scrolling the site. But remember that not all website needs to have a responsive site. Web responsiveness has put the playing field of web marketing into a new whole level. Consumers are likely to engage more on a versatile site than a one that isn’t.
A study conducted by Google and Ipsos OTX concludes that 81% of smartphone users around the world use their mobile phones for internet browsing. It is very possible that after a few years, more users will browse the web through mobile devices than PC’s. Due to its demand and functionality to the increasing smartphone users worldwide, the digital online world has embraced the mobile optimized concept. Businesses are now beginning to recognize the value of providing mobile web users with excellent browsing experience through a mobile-friendly responsive site.
We have put together a list of advantages on having a mobile optimized website that are worth considering:
Enhanced browsing experience.
The key elements of having a mobile friendly website are compatibility and convenience. Users use their mobile or handheld devices for browsing because they are handy and easy to use. They expect to make handiness count by browsing through a website that is accessible and WORKING on their devices. Mobile websites are specifically intended to give better user experience on hand held devices in terms of speed, usability and scalability.
Faster Loading Time.
Mobiles or handheld devices usually have slower connections; however, users are expecting sites to load as fast as they do on their desktops which is why mobile optimized websites are designed to load quickly while providing the same quality, functionality and security as s typical desktop sites does.
User engagement is easy.
User engagement is easier to push since you can always initiate interaction because of its mobile-specific features such as share, click to call, QR code scanning, mapping functions and a lot more.
Reach growing mobile audience.
Mobile devices are widely used because of their ability to immediatelybring online media as it opened the doors to constant connectivity and opportunity to connect with other users.Having a mobile friendly website helps lessen the barrier between you and your target audience and builds up your mobile presence as it opens up opportunities of being shared and be accessed by a wider range of target audience. With the increasing number of smartphone usage, mobile optimization has now become an important factor in building websites.
1. Everything looks old and outdated. If you haven’t done any updates on your website for years after its creation, then I am sure there’s no need to ask if you should go for a redesign or not. The thing with websites is that once they are created, updating will always be a continuous activity. As technology quickly changes, so is your website’s need to go with these changes. Take this as a step to a better corporate/brand/business identity.
2. It’s dry and boring. A blog article entitled How Design Drives Your Website explains how design helps attract more people in visiting your website. With the world paying a huge attention to visual content nowadays, the necessity of design in websites is definitely something not to be ignored about. Read the article on Seven Website Design Rules and learn some tips on how to build nicely designed websites.
3. It doesn't work well. Nothing can get worse than having a website that exists but does not work. There are a lot of reasons why a website would not work well. Top reasons are: a) Poor coding b) Poor SEO c) Poor design d) Poor hosting service While there’s nothing wrong with relying on free services, professionally made websites often go for full-service (paid) services because they provide the complete services and maintenance that website needs that result to better outcomes.
4. User interface is not friendly. One of the things you should consider when you’re deciding whether to have a website redesign or not is the functionality of its user interface. The article Ten Things Your Website Should Have mentioned the importance of easy navigation to users as these serve as guides that should take your visitors to the information they are seeking for quickly and easily.
5. It does not serve its purpose. A website does not serve its purpose when: a) it does not generate traffic, b) it generates traffic but does not gain sales. If either of the two is happening to you, then it is time to take a step forward and do something about it. This may be a good time to find rooms for improvement and analyze if you executed your marketing objectives very well. Here are some good questions that will help you determine your website’s problems.
The idea of being above the fold had crossover from newspaper to the Internet. Its goal is to catch the attention and interest of readers by placing the most important news on this part. The same goes for the Internet. This position is given to the most integral information about the company such as its name, feature, and social media like/share button. This is a part of a site users see first. It does not need to be scrolled down. Readers are said to stay more and read more when place on this part.
It’s Okay to Go Low
But that doesn’t mean that being below a page cannot work. Today, many brands have adapted the idea of scrolling down below the fold. With the creation of a mouse with a scroll ball, and smartphones, people have become accustomed to scrolling. Sites have become more flexible. They are able to change their resolution from a desktop or laptop monitor to a smartphone screen.Many studies have confirmed that more user engagement are generated below the fold. But with this scenario, the challenge of how to make sure the user continues on with reading the site until the end arises.
Keeping Up With the Engagement
There are two things that will make a person stay on the page longer. These are good content and beautiful design.
Yes, it may be tiring to hear the same thing over and over again. But having good content really works. Content really is the king. People are on the quick search for things. If the site is filled with nonsense drabbles then visitors are likely to go away at first glance. Avoid using the same old information. If it cannot be avoided, present it in a new way. By listening to what is being talked about in an industry and the latest trend in the world be it in the entertainment or fashion industry, content can be curated. Giving a new and refreshing take on a topic that has long been discussed using the same view.
Besides good information, having a good web design should be taken into account. Humans are visual beings. People are attracted to a great mixture of contrasting colors. With this in mind, many sites started using the Parallax scrolling which has been around since the 1940s. This is a computer graphic technique that creates an illusion of depth. The background moves slower than the foreground. Through this interactive fold design, companies are able to keep users engaged. Users are motivated to stay because something new happens with every scroll down. It gives a company the opportunity to share their story about their brand and product. Its design provides instant feedback from visitors.
So be sure to keep this in mind, by having the right blend of content and design, users are definitely going to stay longer on the site. This makes the engagement long lasting and memorable. But remember not all sites need to have an interactive design. Be sure to evaluate one’s site first before changing anything. Sometimes, good and reliable content along with a simple design is all it needs.
While a good content strategy is very important in audience engagement, we shouldn't neglect the necessity of design. Elements like the layout, content, font, colors and positioning also contribute to how your visitors will make decisions. If you’re planning to have your website redesigned, this article can help you make better and effective design decisions.
Below are seven design rules for building effective websites:
). Keep it simple. Cliché but it is the golden rule of every design. A cluttered look simply won’t work. Don’t overpower your website’s essential information with too much information. Just make the important ones visible.
2). Easy Navigation is a must. The idea is to make it easy for your visitors to find their way around your site. Online visitors’ patience is short. If they don’t like what they see or if they can’t find what they like to see, they leave. A good website design should always present a way to keep online visitors on the site.
3). Be consistent. Consistency shouldn't only involve content but also design. Don’t confuse your visitors by having one part of the page work differently to another. Consistency will always make navigation easier for your visitors.
4). Don’t neglect the power of colors. Colors contribute a huge impression on your website. Picking the wrong combination can either weaken your website's visual impact or hurt your visitors’ eyes. It is best to get professional help in choosing the right and consistent color palettes.
5). Pay attention to heat maps. Heat maps are color coded indicator of a website’s “hot areas” or parts where the visitors’ eyes or attention usually lands. Heat maps help you determine the strongest and weakest part of your page. Taking advantage of the hot areas of the heat maps can improve your site’s usability and visibility.
6). Be keen with details. Visitors should have a good impression on your website. A well designed website also means having good quality elements—graphics, photos , CTA’s, fonts used, media and content. Always give your visitors a reason to trust your website.
7). Make sure it’s error free. Always check for errors. Good coding will always make navigation and loading easier. Always make sure that your coding is SEO optimized and content is keyword rich.
Clean, easy and concise describes a good website design.
A good website accomplishes a company’s marketing goals and objectives.
Whatever kind of business you have, when it comes to developing your website, you have to make sure that it contains all the important elements that helps make your products or services are reachable to your visitors. We have listed 10 important elements that should be on your website.
If you are planning to have a website set up for your business, this article would help you understand the important key elements that all top-ranking websites have.
1.) Easy Navigation. The purpose of your website’s menu is to make it easier for your visitors to go about your website. Website navigation must highlight the substantial components of your products and services in a neat, visible and categorized manner.
2.) Neat Design. It is best to go for neatness, conciseness, good functionality and simplicity when it comes to website design. Read the article Seven Website Design Rules to learn some tips on building a nicely designed website.
3.) Optimized Content. Content is the primary and most important key element in a website as we know it. Content builds your business and it is the prime reason why your visitors stick around. If you want to increase your website’s chances of getting indexed by search engines, make sure that you put in optimized content that involves the appropriate keywords and key phrases for your website. Read the article on Content Strategy for tips on content creation.
4.) Optimized Images. Imagery appeals to the eyes and they help sell your products and services. However, robots can’t index images. The best thing to do is put in alt tags so search engines can read them.
5.) Contact Details. One of the essential information that all successful websites should have is contact details. If your visitors are interested with your services but can’t find any means to get in touch with you, they’ll probably look for something else and maybe end up going for the competitor.
7.) Sitemap. Sitemap benefits your website for two main reasons;
1) it helps visitors for an easier navigation, and;
2) it offers better online visibility to search engines. If you want to have these benefits, you should have a sitemap submitted to search engines.
8.) Good Coding. A good website always has a good coding. Good coding helps you gain a better search engine position. Search engine rely on text alone so make sure to have the codes right. Read about On Page Optimization and how you can use this to your website’s advantage.
9.) Search Bar, Subscribe and Social Buttons. A search field helps visitors find a specific content on your site. Some people may not even have the time to browse and will just search through. If your site contains hundreds of pages, it’s really worth having a search field on your website. Subscribe button on the other hand will help keep your visitors sign up for your latest news, offers and products and service updates. Use of social media links also increases your website’s chances of being shared. By engaging socially, you are expanding your methods of reaching out to your customers. Take advantage on the effectiveness of social media sharing. Include social media buttons on your site.
10.) Statistics/Analytics Tracking. There are several tracking solutions you can use for monitoring your traffic status such as Google Analytics. As a website owner, it is important that you know your website's performance to know if your efforts are paying off. It will also help you discover what you need to improve on your website through analytics.
This New Year, have you ever thought of giving your website a new look or a makeover - a better online presence maybe. With a “new” you, prospects may find you interesting to read and look at, but the truth is they have been your regular visitors since your website was launched. You just gave them something exciting to look into. How do we do it? Again, you’ve got yourself a New Year treat from us. As online marketing specialists, we do everything and anything we can to help our clients and future clients achieve their goals.
Here are some tips we’d like to share with you:
1. Read your content carefully, all over again. Your website traffic depends on the viewers that go to your site. And why would they go to your website? Because you have the information they are looking for. If you are into analytics, you can check the bounce rate of your site’s traffic. The lower it is it just means your content is A-Okay! But if it is more than 60%, better read through your content, it might not just be working.
2. Visualize your business’ future, do some visuals. Most website earns higher ranks in search engine ranking pages because of interactive images found in each of their web pages. Yes, websites depend mostly on content, but images and visuals do help a lot in making your website “popular.”
3. Be mobile-friendly. Remember the Online Marketing trends of 2012 that we’ve shared from our previous blog? Most websites continue to innovate, and make sure that your website is already designed to be mobile friendly.