4 Easy Ways of Improving the Responsiveness of Your Website

In these days and time when a lot of access the internet on their mobile phones making your business website mobile friendly is a must. It doesn’t matter if you’re a or a full-time blogger, having a responsive website is of the utmost importance.

In most cases, your business site is the first contact point with your potential customers. It’s also where your consumers and fans engage with you. Making a good impression is therefore something you should take very serious. And what better ways to do this than an appealing look in their mobile devices!

That being said it is important to know that these days you can get a stellar internet connection almost anywhere – from the middle of a forest to a sandy beach. Therefore, you don’t have any excuse if your website is slow and clumpy on mobile devices. In fact, around 40 percent of people will abandon a web page if it takes too long to load. It’s an astonishing figure and is one that should be spurring you into action.

How to make your website more responsive

The question you will want to ask at this point is,

How do you improve a website’s responsiveness and ensure it is lightning fast?

Here are my top 4 suggestions:

1. Condense Your Content, and Cut Any Fat

Almost anyone can build a website, and that’s awesome. It can actually be quite simple to make a profitable site, too. That being said, the most popular ones are popular for a reason. They’re streamlined to perfection.

Take a look at your homepage and navigation pages. Do they concisely display all the information you need them to?

Are there any unnecessary features you could cut, like images?

Do you really need that extra ‘archive’ page when a simple search bar would do?

Every single feature of your website takes time to load, so the less you have, the more responsive it’ll be.

2. Switch Your Hosting Provider

The slow nature of your website may simply come down to a case of the wrong provider. Just as mobile phone providers offer you different perks and experiences, web hosts do the same. You can get fast hosting from Siteground to make your site lightning quick and responsive, which cuts unnecessary load times. Above all, shop around. You never know what is right for you until you’ve tried something new!

3. Check Your Site’s Performance from a Variety of Places

This one is especially important given the dominance of smartphones and tablets in recent years. Web giant Google recently stated that there are now more mobile search queries than desktop ones. As such, you need to optimize your site for these different .

Ensure it loads quickly across both mobile and desktop. Adding a ‘mobile view’ to your site is a good way to optimize for mobile without sacrificing the desktop experience. You have to cater to everybody after all, and this is one way to do so.

4. Optimize All Your Images

Images are that one giant feature that can suck the power right out of a page. If possible, use lower resolution images to improve load times – search Google Images and type in a desired resolution to find some. Alternatively, use adaptive images so pictures will detect screen size and adjust themselves accordingly. This is useful if you want to use a high resolution image across a variety of platforms.

Conclusion

Websites are fickle operations. There are a lot of different areas to handle, and it can be hard to make them all cohesive. That being said, it’s worth the time investment. Your site visitors will stick around, and you may gain a customer as a result. As previously mentioned, there’s always room for improvement. So start improving on the responsiveness of your website today!

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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?

3 Surefire Ways to Make Your Online Business a Success

make your business a success

It’s an exciting time to be starting an online business. New entrepreneurs are presented more opportunities than ever before.

We’ve seen dozens of humble startups that have used the World Wide Web to create huge companies in recent years, and yours could be next.

While the potential for profit is greater than ever, so is the competition. Success in the online arena doesn’t come through pure luck. You’ve got to squeeze every last drop out of the available resources by constantly looking for new ways to drive the business forward.

The good news however is, there are a plethora of resources that will help you do this. In the post I want to give you a few tips that you can put to use today to help your online venture stand out from the crowd.

How to Make Your Business a Success

1. Use the Power of Google

Every internet user has encountered Google or another search engine at one stage or another. In fact, most of us tend to use these wonderful resources on a daily basis. The majority of browsing experiences begin with a trip to these platforms, which is why they are such a powerful tool for online businesses.

Most consumers still turn to search engines when looking for a specific product or service. If your business ranks towards the top of those results, you’ll stand a much greater chance of securing increased traffic. This will ultimately result in better sales figures too.

Competition to rank highly on these websites is naturally fierce. Central Iowa SEO can help you edge ahead of the competition. If you’ve got better visibility than your competitors, you’ll naturally have an increased chance of success.

2. Social Media Isn’t Just For Cat Pictures

The phenomenon of social media is something that we’ve all become reliant on over the past few years. Unsurprisingly, this creates ample opportunities for companies of all sizes to shine.

Firstly, platforms like Twitter are a great way to market the company effectively and cheaply. However, the benefits aren’t restricted to your advertising streams. By using social media as a form of customer care, you can actively build stronger relationships with your clients. At a time where the digital age makes it hard to build trust, this can be a hugely influential.

Additionally, offering this service may save you time too. After all, your answers will be published in the public domain. Other customers may be able to find those solutions before needing to hassle you with the same issue. And as we all know, time is money.

social media for business success

3. Blog Your Way to Success

After dedicating so much time to designing the perfect website, the last thing that any business owner wants is to see it fall flat. Unfortunately, without a steady stream of content, that is a very real possibility. Quite frankly, internet users demand more from the sites they visit.

Even if you are a clothes selling business, customers like to see something new. A blog is the perfect outlet to satisfy their needs. Meanwhile, you can use this asset to promote certain items. Moreover, you could run a competition to encourage further interaction. After all, familiarity breeds trust. Ultimately, this could be the key to winning new and continued business.

If you’re extra creative, you may want to incorporate YouTube videos and other media to make your blog stand out. Monetizing the venture through advertising could even turn it into a money-maker in its own right.

So, what more incentives or ways could you add? Or, have you used any these ways in your business? Share your experience with us.

9 Effective Social Media Marketing Tips For Small Business Owners

Social media marketing for small business owners

There is no doubt that social media has revolutionized the world of small business marketing. It has created new avenues for small business entrepreneurs to promote their businesses without putting a dent in their finances.

Unfortunately, not many of these small business owners are making a success of their social media presence. While many have created social media profiles on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr and Linkedin very few know what to make of it. It is not surprising therefore that after a few years of creating these profiles many throw in the trowel in frustration.

For example, in a 2013 social media marketing research published by SocialMediaExaminer.com, only about 29% of small business owners (self employed) agreed that their Facebook marketing was effective compared to about 46% businesses with 1000 or more employees!

This is indeed a testament that many small business owners are not finding it easy with social media marketing. And that shows that social media marketing is more than creating profiles on different social media platforms. You may create these profiles because they are free but if you don’t know how to forge deeper connections with potential customers and turn them into paying customers, you will only be wasting your time.

Related Reading: Social Media Vs Email – Which Is More Useful When It Comes To Small Business Marketing?

In this article therefore, I want to present to you a few ideas for making a success of your social media marketing as a small business owner.

First, let’s answer this very important question…

Why Social Media Marketing?

There are actually various reasons why small businesses want to jump into the social media marketing bandwagon. Apart from the fact that social media marketing is the “new” marketing, the low cost of entry is also a great incentive.

Besides, if used well social media is definitely the best inexpensive tool for acquiring more loyal customers, growing more brand recognition, gaining more repeat business and so much more. This is actually the biggest reason why small business owners, instead of expensive ad buys, are shifting to social media engagements in marketing their wares.

But to make a success of this you will need the right tactics. Here are top nine tactics that will be of great help:

1. Create a Social Media Marketing Plan

Remember time is of essence when it comes to marketing online. To make the best use of your time you need a plan. Creating a plan and setting goals for your social media marketing campaign will help you direct your efforts and also help in measuring what you are doing. Approaching your social media marketing with the “spray and pray” mindset will produce only frustration.

One of the areas your plan should look at is how you are going to integrate social media marketing into your existing marketing strategies. You should be able to lay out what goals and steps you will need to take and the social media tools you need in order to meet your marketing objectives.

2. Learn To Ease In

As mentioned above social media marketing requires time and patience. Most times as a small business owner you are also the marketing department. You must therefore avoid trying to jump in with a big splash!

If you start too big there are two scenarios you might end up with. One, you might end up being overwhelmed and ultimately neglect the whole thing or two, you might end up spending too much time on social media and neglect other importance business duties.

A better route is to start small and then grow things as you learn what works best for your time constraints and business goals. To do this you may need to choose one or two social media platforms where your customers are already congregating and concentrate on these ones instead of trying to work on too many platforms at the same time.

Take some time to research some influencers in your niche and see where they are concentrating their social media efforts on. If, for example you discover that most are spending more time on Facebook than they spend on Twitter, you can take that as an indication that FB is more suitable for your niche than twitter.

Your time can be more effectively used this way rather than trying to focus on all the social media sites out there.

3. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles

Choose social media marketingFirst appearance definitely matters a great deal. Beyond trying to use social media to boost your brand visibility, it is also important that you put “personality” in everything you do. One way of doing this is by optimizing your profiles on these sites. Profile optimization will greatly help you gain more followers and also boost your SEO efforts.

Few things you can do to optimize your social profiles include using a real photo instead of using animals or anything that is not real. Write a good description about yourself or your company with specific keywords that indicate what you do.

A profile with your real photo will help people connect with you more easily while a good optimized description will help you drive more traffic from the search engines.

Recommended: How to Effectively Optimize Your Social Media Marketing For Success!

4. Create and Share Valuable Content

People on social media are looking to be entertained and informed!

Set yourself apart as an expert in your field by creating and sharing valuable content that both engage and entertain your followers. Of course, as a small business owner you are an expert in your target niche and you have sound advice and informed opinions to share with your social media followers.

Even in areas you don’t count yourself as an expert you can always search online and then create content around those questions and problems peculiar to your potential customers. This way your value to customers will skyrocket. If you can create your content with a professional touch providing plenty of links to other sites, blogs, or news articles, you will greatly increase your value.

5. Learn To Listen

You must understand that social media is about building relationships and not marketing. That may sound contradictory but it is the truth anyway. Instead of falling into the error of spending a whole lot of time talking about how great your product is or how great your business is, hoping that that will bring more sales, you should learn to listen to what your customers are saying.

Remember people are using social media to connect and converse with one another. Use it right by being a “friend” who is ready to listen and you will be able to build strong social relationships with you customers which will work great for you in the long run.

6. Cross-Pollination Your Content

Once you have created your social media profiles ensure that these are connected to your business website. One of the advantages of doing this is that it helps you to cross-promote your content reducing the time you would have spend in updating all your profiles. Also, it helps the search engines and social media websites correctly determine which website corresponds to which social media page.

All of these will boost your engagement rate and also traffic to your business site.

7. Make the Best Use of Your Time

Timing is very important as far as social media marketing is concerned. Apart from the fact that people have very short attention span online, these is also so much noise that instead of trying to “force” yourself into that noise, plan and schedule your updates – emails, tweets, status updates and blog posts – so that you can catch your audience when they are more receptive to your messages.

Do your research to know when best to update. Once you know the best time when your target audience is more receptive you can use tools like Buffer and HootSuite to schedule your updates so that they can be published at the right time.

8. Be Personal

As mentioned above social media is about personal interactions. When interacting with your audience on social media it is important that you make them feel they are dealing with another human being and not just a business. Done well this will inspire a greater feeling of loyalty toward your business. As a small business owner you have more opportunity of doing this as you can easily inject yourself and your opinions into every conversation. Nevertheless, remember you are there for business. Knowing this will help you take control of the conversation and then steer it to suit your business objectives.

9. Issue Calls to Action

Various researches have shown that people will not just engage with your content without your asking. For example, a report from the Buddy Media says Facebook posts with questions generate 92 percent higher comment rates than posts without questions. This means putting questions on your social media post will greatly help in engaging with your customers.

Whenever you post an update include some form of call to action that will engage your audience. You may ask a question or even ask them to fill in some blank spaces! These may drive more engagement thereby increasing the chances of your content going viral and bringing you greater success.

Recommended Reading: [Quick Guide] How To Use Social Media Marketing To Acquire Loyal Customers!

Conclusion

If you will implement the above social media marketing tactics for your small business you will definitely make a success of your social media marketing strategy. It will ensure increased business exposure and also more traffic to your business site.

However, driving that huge traffic from the social media sites without a lead generation strategy in place to capture new visitors to your site will amount to a waste of time and effort.

For social media traffic to be useful for your small business, it is important that you capture visitors’ contact info and then implement a system that will help you build long-term relationships with these new contacts.

A good optin builder that will help you build great landing pages and engaging calls-to-action is what you need. There are hundreds of such tools out there but one that I recommend is not only cost-effective but also very easy to use.

You can get more details about this great tool by clicking here.

Your Turn: What social media marketing tactics are you presently using? Will care to share with us in your comments below?

Online Career Ideas: How to Capitalize On Your Popularity Online!

Truth is, you can capitalize on your online presence and benefit beyond your widest imagination. There are various online career ideas that will help you do this. But first, you need to know how to go about it.

Countless tips and ideas abound online on how you can develop your online presence and become the most visible thing on the internet — SEO tricks, neat designs, catchy taglines, subterfuge — but what they don’t tell you is what to do once you’ve established that presence.

Having the most-viewed website on the planet, or being the first result on a Google search page are definitely awesome achievements in their own right, but for those creative types who are not just out to make money from their websites, but actually want to help people or enrich people’s lives, what do you do once you have made it to the top?

There is no doubt about it, the best thing to do with an online presence is to sell something.  Once people recognize you as an authority, or just as a generally amazing internet personality, they will trust you and want to buy things from you. (That last part is scientifically unsubstantiated, but I generally find it to be true.  Take it or leave it.)

The question then becomes what should I sell?  People will buy almost anything, but you probably want to avoid capitalizing on that impulsive kind of attitude just for the sake of making a buck.  In other words, instead of selling something useless just because you can, really think about what you have to offer, and try to spin that into something unique, awesome, and helpful.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

• Niche it up!

Great, you’re thinking, but what in the name of Abraham Lincoln does that mean?  Well, basically it means: Think specifically, not generally, about the service you provide.  The smaller the market, the more success you’ll have.  If that seems counter-intuitive, think about it this way:  There are WAY too many people on the internet to cater to everyone; BUT, even if you are selling something like tagline consultation (check out beawesomeonline.com), which seems like an ultra-specific thing, there are still hundreds of thousands of people in that niche market.  Try to develop a service that will serve a very specific group of people.

• Sell Yourself!

Ok, not literally.  But there is an almost infinite market out there for creative goods, such as music, film, art, crafts, knick-knacks, brik-a-brak, tchotchkes—you get the picture.  People love creativity, and will more often than not pay boatloads for it.  The great thing is, once you have a following online, any time you release something, there will instantly be a buzz about it.  And what’s more, the platforms to publish and upload your art are almost entirely free!

• Be an Expert!

To make another unsubstantiated statistical claim: I’d estimate that 75% of people who go online do so for some kind of advice or information.  That’s what’s so great about the internet; all the answers are right there at your fingertips. Probably the best way to utilize your online fame is to offer expert advice (provided that you are an expert, which, of course, you are).  Again, the more specific the better.  You say you’re the preeminent authority on zoo trip scrapbooking?  Well, offer scrapbooking advice on how to scrapbook after zoo trips.  You won’t believe how many people don’t know how to do that, and will pay for an online course in zoo trip scrapbooking you design.

I hope these ideas make your stay at the top a little more comfortably.  The thing to remember, (warning: extremely nerdy reference alert) as Ben Parker would say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Use that responsibility well and greater success will come your way.

This is a guest post by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for best online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 [@]gmail.com.

Successful Blogging: Is It About Content or Just Presentation?

How many blogging tips have you learned since you started on this journey of blogging? 

How many more do you think you really need to become successful as a blogger?

Have any idea?

Whatever your answer maybe one thing that is sure is the more tips and strategies on successful blogging you know and the more of them you put to work, the more successful you’ll be when the chips are down! I believe that is why you see more of successful blogging tips being written about on blogs these days. Now, in this article I want to share with you a few tips that have helped me, and I’m sure will also help you succeed with your blogging adventure.

If you’re just starting out blogging or you’re working on building that much coveted successful bloggers status, one thing that you might be struggling with right now could be choosing between creating content or working on your blog’s presentation. I know this because as a blogger I faced this dilemma  for a long time.

During this period, I tried resolving whether to concentrate on content or to spend more time on presentation. Of course, it is a fact that we have very little time every day and I wanted to make the available time as productive as possible. And so I spent time in taking this decision. After a long time however, I was able to finally reach a conclusion and here it goes.

1. Your Blog Should Be Attractive And User Friendly

I think you have to start at the beginning. What do visitors see when they first visit your blog? I for one want to see uncluttered, minimalistic look. One thing is for certain. People want to see pleasing layout and soothing colors. Garish and bright front may look good on a Las Vegas gambling spot but is a big no-no for a blog. What’s the point in having great content if you scare off guys in the first instance?

User interaction and navigation is a huge thing and there are tons and tons of instruction manuals which talk about it. After spending days and months pouring over such documents I have reached a final conclusion – Keep it simple. Your blog must not distract from your blog’s purpose. It should tell visitors what to expect right at the outset. To begin with, your website name or domain should be self-explanatory. The blog title should be succinct and clear. The layout must be smart.

2. WordPress Is A Great Blogging Platform

I have been there and have done it. Let me tell you one thing – don’t waste your time experimenting on different platforms. I have nothing against Blogger or Tumblr or SquareSpace or Posterous. I have tried them all and finally reached the conclusion that WordPress is best. It has everything for everyone. There are free themes for amateurs and premium themes for professionals. Actually free themes are also quite nice and can be used by pros. Premium themes cost less than the cost of a single lunch. WordPress is easy to install, pretty easy to learn and you can be up and going in a couple of hours.

3. Content Is King

Once you have put together the ingredients, it’s time to cook a nice good blog. You must, absolutely must, provide excellent content to visitors. There are no two ways to this part of the deal. I have visited sites which are insipid and tasteless. I have never gone back again. Your blog should be buzzing, happening and good to taste. The meal you cook up for visitors must not only be visually appealing but also good to taste – flavor, garnishing and finish – everything must be appetizing. If you offer visitors a great post they will come back again and again.

Conclusion

You need both – looks and content. One without the other will make it an incomplete meal. With WordPress you can create the right look. Content, of course, is a different animal altogether.  You have to tame this animal if you want to be a successful blogger. The best way is to write about stuff which you are passionate about. Think clearly- write clearly – add value.

Over to you: Between creating content and presentation which one will you choose? Let us know your reasons in the comments below.