User-Friendly Websites: A Basic Guide for Non-Techy Entrepreneurs

When you’re in the process of putting together your business website, you’re going to receive a lot of advice on what to do and not to do. One such advice that has become very common these days is the idea that your site needs to be user-friendly for it to effectively achieve its purpose.

While this may seem to be like some basic advice which you can pretty much ignore the fact is that you definitely want your site to be user-friendly. Or, what’s the point of having a website if it’s not going to be able to be used by those your business is looking to target?

But,

What Really Is Website User-Friendliness?

User-Friendly Websites

When website designers talk about user friendliness or user experience (UX) they are basically referring to the art of making your website simple and easy to use. The idea is to make the presentation of information in a clear and concise way. The arrangement of content and important items on the site should be free from any form of ambiguity. To achieve this you need to understand your customer’s online behavior. Without this insight building user-friendly websites can be daunting.

In these days when more and more people are using the internet for their shopping and other activities having a user-friendly website is not just something to be desired but a necessity. Applying the concepts of usability into your website design will significantly improve how easily visitors move through your website. This will in turn increase the amount of visitors who stay on your site, improve your conversions, and ultimately grow your business profits.

It’s tempting to think this is something that good website design will largely take care of for itself – and that might well be the case. However, you’d be surprised how many poorly designed sites there are that miss this vital component. It’s important therefore that you perform a check on your website to make sure you’ve got your grips on all of the following factors necessary for a user-friendly website.

What Makes a Website User Friendly?

1. Text Should Be Easy To Read

The easiest way of ticking this box is by choosing a dark text on a light background. It doesn’t have to be jet black on pure white; in fact, a cream background is thought to be easier to read off than perfect lily white. However, something within this general area will suffice.

Don’t use a dark background and light text anywhere on your site. It’s difficult to read for anyone, never mind those who might have vision impairments. It can also make a site look out of date, as this was a design “feature” many of the early websites used.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time worrying about the size of the text. Make sure it’s readable to your eyes, but aside from that, this is something most users will do for themselves by adjusting the screen size.

Power of Social Media

2. The Process Should Be Intuitive

If you’re guiding people towards a purchase of goods or services, then you don’t want to have them guessing at any step along the way. Keep contact details at the top of the site, along with a brief flowchart of what they should do to place an order or make a purchase online.

If this is a particular concern for you, then use sites like Fiverr and ask someone to complete a task on your site. They can then tell you what the experience was like with new eyes, rather than you trying to judge based off how you know the process works.

Website User-Friendliness

3. Keep the Basics Front and Center

It’s great if you want to talk about a new innovation on your business site – you should be doing that. Nevertheless, there are some sites where the “news” and other marginally irrelevant pieces of information dominate the landing page.

The most important thing for you to do is direct someone to using your site to make a purchase. That means the essentials for this should be easy to access from anywhere on the site. Place links to the about, contact, and ordering pages on every single page – this is easy to do using permanent headers, footers, or sidebars.

You don’t ever want to have someone lost in your site, wanting to make an order, and not sure where to click next!

What Makes a Website User Friendly?

Conclusion

All in all website usability or user-friendliness is about simplicity and ease of use. The above are just some suggestions on what you can do right now to improve the user experience on your business website. While there are many other things to consider start with these and you will see improvements.

Top 7 Small Business Website Mistakes and How to Overcome Them

In these days when digital commerce is the in-thing if your business does not have a website you’re indeed sabotaging your own success. But having a business website is not enough. That website should be able to meet the challenges of doing business online.

As you may be aware already, your small business website is most times, the first “touch-point” for potential customers. These days’ buyers use the search engines and social media platforms to research potential businesses before they buy. Whenever such potential customer finds you through such a search and visits your site they expect to meet a business that can help them with the solution they are looking for.

But how do they know if you can help them do this?

They can know that by what they see on your website. In a matter of seconds if they think otherwise, your competition is a click away!

Yes, First Impression Do Matter!

In this article I want to share with you a few mistakes of many small business websites in today’s internet culture. I will also attempt to proffer a solution for each.

So here we go…

Small business website mistakes you must avoid at all cost

7 Mistakes Your Small Business Website Should Avoid

1. Infrequent Updates

What is really the purpose of your business site? Well, one is helping your current and potential customers know your business better. And how do you do this? Through the content on your site.

This means to have a website that gains the most business, you must have the best, most up-to-date website possible. If a visitor feels that you do not properly maintain and update you business site, then chances are they will leave and find a similar business that does.

Solution: Constantly update your website content. If you’re not good with writing it’s advisable to get a professional web content writer to do this for you. Besides knowing that writing for the web is something that many small business persons do not have the experience of, the best route is definitely hiring the services of web content writers.

2. Javascript Pop Ups

A JavaScript pop up is a notification window that opens when you visit a website that states a message and has an “ok” button at the end. This was extremely popular during the website boom, but quickly become a no-no, mainly because people over used it. Not only would they add the pop up to the main page of their website, but they would also add one to each and every sub page.

Typically these pop ups did not contain any information that would be viewed as important to the viewer. It was annoying back then when e-commerce was in its infancy and it is much more annoying even now, since newer computer system also have a noise that goes with the popup.

Solution: There is a whole lot of things you can do to grow your business but Javascript is definitely not one of them. So, avoid the use of Javascript on your business sites. If you have a message that MUST display to the user before they can go further on your website, then a JavaScript pop up may still be a good option, but I strongly caution you to not overuse it.

3. Heavy Graphics

A lot of researches have shown that slow loading websites puts off visitors and ultimately affect your business, negatively. Here are some stats that will interest you: 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less and 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. (Source)

It is important to note this especially since a good percentage of your visitors will be on a dialup connection. This means they will have trouble downloading your website if you have a large number of graphics on your website.

Solution: Unless your website is in flash (which I would advise against anyway) I suggest you try and avoid using any type of animated graphic, since they typically have large file sizes.

4. Using Heavy, High Contracting Colors

This was another thing that was popular during the internet boom that quickly became unpopular due to overuse. It was once believed that high contracting colors would grab the user’s attention. While this is true, it also has a negative effect since it would hurt the user eyes, and sway them away from the website.

Solution: Case studies like this one on colors and its effect on ecommerce success can help you when you choose your business website’s colors. The choice of your website color is actually based mainly on your business type. My website design company can greatly help you in this area if you need a professional touch!

Avoid these website mistakes for more success

5. Clutter Up Pages

If your website seems to be cluttered visitors will be less likely to view further into it, especially if they think they will have to weed out the information they need from the information that is useless to them.  Your site visitors have a lot of things fighting for their attention. You need therefore to make it easy for them to find what they want on your site so they can get about other things!

Solution: Do not have too much information on each page. You shouldn’t put more than one topic on each. Besides, you should have a good navigation system on your small business site and this will eliminate any problem you may have.

6. Lack of a Navigation System

As mentioned in point #5 above, a good navigation system is a good help in eliminating the problem of clutter. This was something that was lacking in many of the websites created during the internet boom. Once a visitor clicked on a page they were taken to a new page without a way to return or access additional pages within the website. Unfortunately, many small business website are still making this mistake today.

A navigation system insures that the visitor will be able to view your entire website. It will take the visitor back to the page that they originally come from, to the main page, and to the other major parts of the website. Additionally, the navigation (typically near the bottom of the page) should have links to things such as website polices and term and conditions.

Solution: Read solution to #5 mistake above!

Recommended: Best Ways To Easily Get Your Website Noticed Online!

7. Overusing Advertising

This is actually a fairly new problem with website, especially since Google started their Adsense program. Many websites have more ads then information on the page. A visitor does not want to have to weed though the ads to find the content that they are looking for.

The irony of the situation is: A visitor is more likely to click on an advertisement link if they do not feel that they are being bombarded by them. This is defiantly a situation where the saying “less is more” is true.

Solution: If you must place adverts on your small business website then understanding where to place them on the site matters. This article is a good read on this topic.

Conclusion

Your small business needs a website to compete favorably in our today’s digital economy. However, not all websites are built the same. Stay away from these website mistakes when building your business website. More importantly, ensure your business website is constantly updated.

From experience we’ve discovered that most small business persons do not update their business website because of the technicalities involved. But you can overcome this if your business website is built with a simple and understandable CMS like WordPress.org. It will do your small business great good therefore if you have such a website that you can easily update and maintain without resorting to some “experts”.

If you need such a great website solution for your small business then check out my website design company today.

Save

Save

Save

5 Key Elements to Consider When Designing a Professional Website

Are you considering a professional website design for your business?

Do you feel your business website is not presenting a professional image of your brand?

If you answer yes to any of these questions then you must understand that there are some key elements that a professional website must have if it’s to effectively convert visitors to buyers.

You see, a lot of online businesses are lacking in profitability not because they are selling the wrong products or because they are implementing the wrong traffic strategies but because their websites lack these basic elements.

Recent studies shows that these days, most people turn to the Internet when they want to find a particular product or business. This is because visiting a business website is much easier for a consumer to see what a business has to offer without leaving the house. The website is therefore the first point of call for many businesses. Considering this, a professional website is a MUST-HAVE for practically every business owner.

Professional Website Design Elements

 

If a first time visitor comes to your business site and, instead of being met by an appealing site, he/she is met by some amateur-looking site that first impression will definitely affect their response to what you’re offering. Now, don’t forget that your competition is a click away!

Indeed, first impressions do matter, especially when it comes to building your business website.

So how do you avoid losing business to your competitions because of your website design? The answer is by incorporating these five key elements.

Five Elements of a Professional Website

1. Captivating Images

Captivating images are a great addition to a website regardless of what a business owner is selling. In fact, many online shoppers notice the images on a website before they read a single word on the page. As an example, the owner of an online shop that sells pet supplies may want to put up several colorful images of dogs and cats at play. This serves to grab the attention of shoppers and makes it more likely that they will stay on the website to check out the products for sale.

Use captivating images for your site design

2. Clear, Succinct Text

Most online shoppers scan any text they see on a website. They want to find out what a website has to offer in a matter of seconds. This is why having clear, succinct text is so important. After scanning this type of text, shoppers are likely to peruse the merchandise on the site and, perhaps, make a purchase. A savvy online business owner understands that he or she only has a few seconds to make an impression on a potential customer.

3. Ease of Use

Online shoppers appreciate a website that allows them to find the products they want to see in a matter of seconds. For instance, the owner of an online clothing shop should set up her website so men and women can find exactly what they are looking for. Some owners of online clothing shops organize their merchandise by color, size or style. A website that provides shoppers with an easy, pleasant experience is likely to be successful.

Highlight product images in your site design

4. A Secure Method of Payment

Business owners who invest in a custom web design can set up a secure method of payment to ensure that they protect the personal information of their customers. This is a critical element of a professional website. A business owner’s customers must feel at ease with submitting their credit card numbers or bank account information when they are making an online purchase.

5. Accessible Contact Information

The last element that goes into making a professional website is giving shoppers a way to contact the business. Generally, a business owner provides a phone number for all types of customer service questions. Also, many owners display an email address for customers who want to contact the business via computer. Displaying contact information lends credibility to a business.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that creating a professional website is an owner’s first opportunity to make a positive impression on online shoppers. Your business website is your 24/7 sales rep. equip it with the design and it will effortlessly give you the results you so desire.

Over to you: What other elements of professional website design would you suggest be added to this list? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Have Live Chat on Your Business Website!

Designing a website for your business is something you should take very seriously. Why? It’s because there are lots of advantages to it.

However, simply putting together any website is not enough. You should ensure that it has everything needed to make it a success. And so, before you go live and allow regular people to use it you must make sure that the site is simply perfect .

You must understand that today’s customers want a site to have different things if they are going to use it on a regular basis. Failure on your part to install these features into your site could mean a loss of customers that is quite significant.

It is critical therefore that you have your finger on the pulse of what features the general public wants when they are doing their online shopping.

The question you will want to ask at this point is, what are these things that will make your business website successful?

While there a lot of things that will make your business site successful one that is very important is live chat. This has revolutionized the way that people do their online shopping. If your business website lack this feature you’re definitely going to struggle keeping your customers on the site or bringing them back again and again.

At this point, let’s discuss a few benefits of using a live chat service on your website.

Live Chat Services for your website

Some Benefits of a Live Chat on Your Business Website

1. Conversations Can Be Confidential

You may be at work or in a crowded place like a coffee shop. You have some free time and you want to do some shopping online. However, there are people all around you and you do not want all of them to overhear your conversation with the customer service representative. Live chat makes it possible to have all of your questions answered without saying a single word.

It’s also nice because people who do this sort of thing at work will not get yelled at by their boss. The people will look like they are working because they are typing at their computer.

Live chat makes it possible to get a lot of business done on your computer without letting the rest of the world know.

2. It Is Fast and Easy

Live chat services offered by many sites could not be any simpler to use. They are also much faster than the phone in many cases. The reason for this is not difficult to understand. The majority of the people prefer using the phone instead of live chat. This is because most people prefer talking instead of typing. Therefore, there is usually a significant wait to talk to a customer service representative if you call any major company.

However, you can immediately start an online chat in a matter of seconds because the representatives handling the live chat do not have as many people to deal with. That is why there is usually no wait at all.

3. No Accents to Deal With

One of the biggest problems people have when they call a company is the accent of the person answering the phone. It is no secret that many large companies save a lot of money by outsourcing their customer service jobs to places like India. It is hard for many Americans to understand these people because English is not their native language. Their accents are sometime very thick. Therefore, some important info might be lost in the conversation.

The good news is that this issue is not a factor at all when live chat is used. You will not need to strain to understand what the representative is saying since he or she will be typing and not talking to communicate with you.

Conclusion

Having a live chat on your business website is indeed a good way of getting more from you website. It doesn’t matter your target market or the size of your business. Implement this wonderful technology today and you will see the results.

So, why wait any longer? Go get a live chat service for site today!

Should I Get A Professional To Build My Business Website? [FAQs]

Having a quality presence for your business is a MUST these days. This is because many businesses now depend on online trade to carry out their operations. But even businesses that aren’t running an online shop, or providing some form of online matching service, need a quality site.

Why?

Simple, when anyone hears about your company for the first time, they’ll go straight to your website to find out more about you. This means, the way you present yourself online is important since how you’re perceived by your potential customer matters a great deal to your business success.

So, having the right image could mean the difference between gaining their business and not. If a customer arrives at your website and it looks, amateurish; or if it looks like the web page was made back in the 1990s, it’s going to put them off.

Professional website design

Now, you could opt to make your own website using a free website maker. But it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to produce a site that looks professional and actually meets all your needs. If you’re doing anything other than the most basic of blogs, it’s probably a good idea to think about investing in professional web design.

Here are top reasons why you should invest in a professional webdesign:

1. Get a Great Design

This is perhaps the top of the list of reasons for choosing to go with a professional, rather than . Professional website designers have an uncanny ability to generate the look that you want. This is the case even when your instructions seem garbled and confused.

They know the industries they’re making websites for, and they get what works in those industries and what doesn’t.

They will also allow you to escape the generic, template look of DIY website builders like Godaddy and Wix. Customers will get the sense that you’re a true professional, and your company has significant backing.

One last thing before we move on. Don’t forget that Google ranks your website on both desktop and mobile versions. Professionals will make sure that your site is optimized for both.

2. Customize Your Site to Your Brand

If you’ve got a company logo or company colors it’s often hard to seamlessly integrate these into your website. A good web designer, on the other hand, will be able to consult with you on exactly how you want your logo to be integrated. And they’ll probably come up with a theme to match.

3. SEO  Optimization

Getting somebody to optimize your website for search engines is essential. It can mean the difference between to your website and not.

It might seem like a straightforward task, but ensuring that your website is optimized is far from easy. Often the searches people make when they’re looking for the service you provide are not what you think.

Professionals like Pixelate Web Design Services have tools at their disposal to find the exact words most commonly used in your industry. They can then use these to optimize your website’s SEO.

4. Ongoing Support

Finally, business needs change all the time. That’s why quality website builders will always offer ongoing technical support. Some even offer tutorials on how to make edits to your website so that you can make changes on the fly.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that there are various free and DIY options out there for you to build your . As much as these options may come cheap at first ultimately, the cost will outweigh what you may have saved both in terms of finance and time. Getting a professional to do your business website from the beginning will help you not save now but in the coming years of your business operations.

Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it. So, if you think otherwise, why don’t you share your thoughts with us in the comments section?

Save

Website Checklist: 5 Critical Things Your Small Business Website Should Have

When planning on creating a new website for their business, many small business entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed. Now that is understandable as creating a new website for your business is not something that should be taken lightly.

Your business website is essential to the success of your business in today’s highly digitalized and overly connected world. Before ever committing to building the website you need to think carefully about what your website needs to succeed.

Of course, you can get the services of an expert to help you with this. However, here are some of the essentials to get you started.

Steps to a successful business website

1. A Concise Address

The key to creating a strong web address is not making it more complicated than it has to be. It makes no sense to make the address long and complex. This just makes it more difficult for people to read and remember. Your web address should say something about your brand and what you do. It can be one word, or it can combine your brand name with a word that summarizes the service you provide. But try to keep it simple and on message for the best possible outcomes.

2. A Navigable Layout

A website that is too complicated and difficult to find your way around is always a failure. People have very short attention spans when they’re browsing the internet, so you need to satisfy their needs quickly. If you fail to do that, they will quickly leave your website and find a better one to use. You should take advantage of free web templates if you want to find out how to achieve an easy to navigate layout. This will take a lot of the work and confusion out of the process for you too.

3. Contact Information

Every business should see the importance of making it as easy as possible for potential customers to get in contact with them. If you don’t make it simple for them to ask you a question or contact you via email or phone, you could lose a customer permanently. It doesn’t take much time to include your contact details at the top of the page, so make sure you put them there. It’s also a good idea to create an ‘About’ section on the website, so people can find out more about the business.

4. Obvious Calls to Action

You should tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do when they log onto your website. That doesn’t mean only giving them one option; it means pointing them in the direction you want them to go in. Of course, they’ll make their own decision. But if you don’t make it clear what link they should click, they might not be sure where everyone on the website is. So, make sure you have a bar at the top of the page that makes it all clear. You could also use banner adverts that link to specific parts of your website.

5. A Friendly Design and Style

Making sure your content is simple to read and understand is only possible if you have a design and style that’s user-friendly. This means picking the right colors. They need to be clear and simple. Making them too bold and loud is never a good idea. And making sure the fonts stand out and can be read clearly against the background is also vital. The fonts should also be chosen very carefully for their readability. The simple fonts are always better. Classic, minimal designs are very popular at the moment, so you could consider one of these.

Conclusion

While there are a few other things that your business new website needs to succeed, at the very least, ensure the above is not missing. Your customers will love you for it and your business will be the better for it!

Blog Marketing: What Every Small Business Owner Should Know!

Over the years blogging has become an essential tool for business online promotion. Unfortunately, many small business owners, till this day, still look at blogs as personal journals. Worst still, many others simply consider blogs as some social networking tool that is popular among young people out there in cyber space!

If you have that opinion back in 1995 you would be correct but not today!

One thing you can be sure of today is, Blogging Has Evolved!

The question is no longer, should you blog? Rather it is, do you have a blog?

Let me say it categorically that if as at this day you’re not blogging, as a small business entrepreneur, then you’re missing out BIG! And so, you must move from defining blogs as personal journals. They are presently powerful marketing tools. Savvy business owners are using blogs for brand recognition, connecting with clients/customers and of course, create more opportunities for their businesses.

But in this blog article we are talking about blog marketing.

Small business blog marketing tips

So,

What Is Blog Marketing?

It is important that we have a clear understanding of what blog marketing is for us to better appreciate its benefits. Over the years I have to tried to really get a grasp of this. I want to say that of all the definitions of blog marketing that I have come across, I think this clearly captures the true meaning:

Blog marketing is any process that publicizes or advertises a website, business, brand or service via the medium of blogs. This includes, but is not limited to marketing via ads placed on blogs, recommendations and reviews by the blogger, promotion via entries on third party blogs and cross-syndication of information across multiple blogs.

As you can see blog marketing involve a whole lot of things. But for this article I will restrict myself to the aspect that is concerned with using your business blog to directly market your business online. This consists of creating blog articles and using same to drive traffic to your business website.

Why Blog Marketing?

There are various benefits your business can get from blog marketing. Please read this article to understand some of the reasons why you should add a blog to your business website.

But to really understand the importance of business blogging, here are some stats that will interest you:

  • B2B marketers that blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
  • Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
  • Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.
  • By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human.

As a small business owner it is sure you wouldn’t ignore such stats, or do you?

 5 Tips for Effective Blog Marketing

Here are some ways you can ensure good results from your blog marketing efforts:

1. Link Your Business Blog to Your Website

If you have a website for your business, link your blog to it. This is a good way letting your customers/prospects know you do blog. This could create an immediate surge of traffic to your small business blog thereby making it popular in a short time.

2. SEO Optimized Content

When you are marketing a blog, you pretty much do it the same way that you would market a website. It is going to need keywords, and content. You can write the content yourself, or pay someone else to write it for you. That part is totally up to you. However, you will want to be sure that the content is decent and something that your readers will want to read. This will keep them coming back.

Make sure that the content is written from special keywords that you choose. You will also want to become familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO will help you to optimize your blog to get a better ranking with the search engines.

3. Exchange links with relevant sites

Once your blog is up and running with the right keywords and some content published, you will need to get it out there some more. Link exchanges are wonderful for marketing your small business blog. You want to try and exchange links with sites that are relevant to yours, but not in direct competition. If you try to exchange links with sites in competition with yours, you are going to find that many of them will turn you down in fear of losing business to you.

4. Submit To Blog Directories

While this may not really make much impact today but it is not a bad idea to do this. There are many online directories that caters specifically to blogs. Submitting your business blog to these directories is a big part of small business blog marketing. You can pay some directories to list your blog URL in their directory under the specific category that it falls under. However, some of these even have specific qualifications that you must have to get in. Follow all of the application steps, and you should be ok. Just do not try to submit your blog to a directory that it does not qualify for, or fit in.

5. Make Your Business Blog Truly Interactive

This is important for small business blog marketing. For example, if someone leaves a comment on your blog, acknowledging and responding to it make your blog a truly interactive platform.

You can also comment on other blogs that are relevant to yours, and leave a link to your blog as well. This will help bring in visitors to your blog, and you will begin to see more and more traffic.

Conclusion

Small business blog marketing is something that anyone can do. It’s not rocket science. Having a blog and keeping it up to date with the latest information is not hard. All you need to have is a plan and you will be set to market any type of business from your blog. Whether you are selling a product or a service, it does not matter. A blog that is marketed the right way will be beneficial to any business whatever it might be.

The 5 Elements of Fantastic Web Design

As a regular reader of the Web Income Journal, you will understand that we place much emphasis on your business website. Without a website, your business will definitely be missing out on thousands of potential customers. But, a website is just the starting point. It’s how you design it that really matters.

Now, different web designers take a different approach when building a website. However, they have some form of standards to follow – a checklist if you may so call it! If this is so, then it means there are certain elements every website should include.

In trying to understand therefore what truly separates a fantastic web design from the rest or, what makes a good website stand out from a bad one, we spoke to some of the top designers out there, and got their advice on modern web design essentials.

In this post, I want to share with you the thoughts of these design experts on what qualities a great website should have. Hope this help you in building a website that will truly help you drive the right clients and customers.

Website design essentials

Modern Web Design Essentials

1. Responsive

The number one trend in web design right now is making sure it is responsive. What do I mean by that? Quite simply, it means that your website works on whatever device opens it. In other words, the website will look fantastic whether you’re on a mobile, a tablet, or a desktop. More than 50% of all internet access now takes place on a mobile device. That makes it more important than ever to cater for alternative devices. To find out more about responsive design, visit the experts at http://perfectlysimpledesign.com/.

2. Simplicity

We’ve covered the multiple platforms, but what exactly should the website look like? Well, the exact design is up to you. But, one thing we must stress is the importance of simplicity. The best designs are minimal, simple, and straight to the point. Remember, your web design exists to point users in the right direction. It should tell them who you are, and where to go next. Anything that distracts from this one simple task should be removed. Aim for simple, powerful designs.

Responsive web design is essential today
Make sure your design works on all device

3. Usability

Most people think that web design is all about being creative and artistic. To an extent, they’re correct. But, the best designers are far more focused on usability. They care more about how the website works than how fancy it looks. They understand that the most important aspect of a website is how easy it is to use. That means making sure that usability is a priority. If you’re looking for a great blog on usability, visit https://uxmag.com.  It will help you ensure the navigation is simple and intuitive. Ensure that visitors know where to go, and can find out basic information.

4. Speed

You might not think it’s the web designer’s job to consider web speed, but it’s very important. For example, the more complicated and fussy the website, the longer it will take to load. There are more images to download, and more coding required to make it work. That takes time to load up. And, if you’ve been keeping up with our latest blogs, you’ll know that slow websites damage sales and conversions! Don’t sacrifice speed for a fussy design. Keep it simple, keep it fast.

5. Branding

Before we leave, a quick note on branding. In terms of artistic and creative design, always stick to your core brand. Create a logo that works, and stick to a simple and iconic color palette.

Conclusion

The above are some of the common elements users expects of any modern website. Take each of these factors into account, and you’ll create a powerful website. These are just a selected few from the a long list of design elements but I hope you find these useful.

So, what other website design essentials you want to add to the list?

4 Simple But Very Effective Steps to Make Your Website Load Faster

Do you know that your site’s load speed can greatly affect your business profits? Maybe you don’t know how much impact website speed has on the success of your business. But then let me tell you what amazon has to say about this.

Recently, Amazon (undeniably the world’s biggest ecommerce brand) revealed that they would lose $1.6 billion a year if their website slowed down.

That’s some incredible statistic, right? But that simply shows the importance of website load speed. Studies upon studies have shown that internet users are very impatient when they visit any website. A high percentage wouldn’t wait more than three seconds for a website to load. This means you could be losing out on thousands of potential visitors every day if your website is slow.

Not only that, but website speed also plays a big part in Google’s algorithm. If your website is sluggish, it may impact your ranking on Google. And of course, this means you would be missing out or more traffic to your business site.

Now, don’t you think it’s time to do something about your site load speed? The good news is, it’s easier than you think to speed things up. Here’s a simple guide you can implement today.

How to boost website load speed

How to Speed Up Your Website

1. Find a Better Web Host and Server

First of all, let’s reveal exactly how load speed works. There are two main aspects at play here. First, your server has to respond to a request. The user clicks on your website, which is essentially asking the server to send over all the information. If this process is slow, then your entire website is going to grind to a halt. So, your first job is making sure it’s fast as lightning. Try upgrading from a cheap web host to a more professional service. They’ll provide you with a faster server. (It will also be more secure against hackers). This is the engine of your website. Make sure it’s fast enough.

2. Regular Monitoring

Now that you’ve set up a faster, more reliable web server, it your job to keep an eye on it. Our advice is to subscribe to a server monitoring service. They’ll measure your response time on a regular basis. If your server appears to slow down or return poor results, you’ll get an email notification. It’s a good indication of how fast your server is at any given time. This back-end of your website is much more important than you think. Sometimes it can be tricky to get your head around, but it’s well worth taking the time.

3. Use a Content Delivery Network

A content delivery network (or CDN) uses a variety of different servers all over the planet. Let’s say your website is based in New York. If someone accesses the site from Australia, it’s going to take a long time to load. The information has to physically travel across the ocean via cables and satellites. And that takes time. A CDN hosts your information on different servers all over the globe. So when your Australian visitor clicks on your site, it activates a server closest to them. Much faster.

4. Compression and Caching

The second aspect of web speed is all the elements on your website. The images, text, coding etc. The bigger they, the longer they take to load. Simple. With that in mind, compress all the images, and indeed the site itself. It reduces the file size, and makes it much faster to load. Finally, enable caching on your website. It means that people’s browsers (Firefox, Safari etc) will ‘remember’ your site. Instead of requesting all the files again, it has them stored safely. It will quickly reload for your returning visitors.

The above, if carefully implemented, is sure to give your website the speed kick it needs. So, what are you waiting, go give your website some traffic boost!

Worried About Hiring A Bad SEO Company? Here’s How To Spot & Avoid Them!

These days you have to do more than just design a kick-ass website. You need to apply SEO or “search engine optimization” techniques as well.

Why?

Because you want to increase the number of people that visit your site!

As you can imagine, a website with few visitors to it isn’t going to be of much use. But, if you have thousands of regular visitors, you’ll get higher conversions. And if you sell products on your website, that also means a better return on your investment.

Most people just hire an SEO company to look after that side of things for them. The problem however, is that most SEO companies do what is referred to as blackhat SEO. Falling into the hands of these group of SEOs could spell a BIG problem to your business website ultimately.

Hiring an SEo company

So, how can you avoid ending up with a “bad” SEO firm? How can you ensure you do not waste you money in hiring the wrong SEO Company if you need to use one?

The following scenarios will raise red flags and help you to avoid them:

How to Identify “Bad” SEO Companies

1. They Send You Unsolicited Emails

Do you get emails from supposed “offshore” SEO consultants offering their services? If so, some of what they say might pique your interest. But, you shouldn’t engage with people that spam your inbox.

They might say that they’ve visited your website and can improve your SEO for you. They may even tell you how “impressed” they are with your content. But what they fail to mention is they are lying!

Most, if not all unsolicited emails of that nature use a marketing list as their source. Yes, that’s right; someone has BOUGHT your email address from somewhere! The best place for such correspondence is the junk mail folder in your email program.

2. They Don’t Have A Website

You would think that all SEO companies have a website that tells visitors more about what they do. The ones that don’t are usually scammers or novices. You can often tell that because they use a generic email address instead of one with their own domain.

When looking for SEO companies, the best tool at your disposal is Google. For instance, if you’re searching for a Perth-based firm, you’ll come across perthseocompany.net. Don’t talk to anyone that only has an email address like “superstarseo123@yahoomail.com”!

Google SEO guide

3. They Make Promises They Can’t Keep

As Judge Judy always says on TV, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is! I’ve lost count of the number of so-called SEO companies that make fantastic promises.

For example, they guarantee to get you “to the top of Google” or they can deliver results in just 24 hours. There is no magic formula to guarantee success in the world of SEO.

It’s an ongoing process and, if done right, you will get to “the top” at some point. There is no service to buy or people to bribe at search engines for guaranteed results.

4. They Claim To Have “Secret” Methods Of Success

The biggest alarm bell should be when an SEO company tells you about how they have secret ways of success. Everything that all good SEO consultants know about is available to learn online. Even Google offer a free PDF to help you tune up your site for SEO purposes!

It goes without saying that you should also avoid SEO firms that claim to have “people on the inside.” Google employees aren’t allowed to sell any confidential information. Not if they want to avoid going to jail, of course!

Avoiding a bad SEO company

Conclusion

Search engine optimization is important for your business website however, if you must hire a search engine optimization company for that aspect of your business you must invest in the right one. Any expense on SEO is a cost on your business and so must be able to give you the right ROI. Be wise, use the above to check out any SEO company before committing to any agreement.