Simple Ways to Delight Your First-Time Visitors: 6 Dos & 4 Don’ts

My Post - 2019-11-14T152314.891.pngWant to delight your first-time visitors?

Above all, get to the point right away.

So with that in mind, this post has two parts:

  • Things you should ALWAYS do.
  • Things you should NEVER do.

6 Things You Should Always Do

1. Make the Landing Page Purpose Crystal Clear Obvious (& Relevant) to the Visitor

If you take only one thing from this post, it would be to ask this two-part question when you’re developing the creative and messaging for your landing page:

  • How did the visitor get here?
  • Why did they click on whatever link led them to the page?

There can be multiple answers to each question.

For example, as far as “how” is concerned, the same landing page may be used for a paid search, email, and an ad on Facebook.

In terms of  “why”, it might be to check the price, learn more, check availability, see evidence that the product/solution meets the specific visitor’s need, etc.

Remember that some part of the creative/copy in the referral source (ad, email, link, meta description, etc.) made a promise.

The anticipation of seeing that promise fulfilled led to a click. That click led the visitor to the landing page in order to see that promise met.

Did you meet it?

To get this part right:

  • Review the referral source (again, the ad, the email, the link, the meta description, etc.) and note the promises made.
  • Now review the landing page and make sure that it delivers on all of those promises made prior to the click. If not, the referral source is promising too much or the landing page is under-delivering. Either way, this is where you fix it.

Important note: Succeeding in making the landing page crystal clear to the visitor may sometimes result in a quick exit. Most likely, you’re not a fit for that visitor so at the very least you didn’t waste their time which they’ll (at least subconsciously) appreciate.

2. Load Quickly 

This one should be obvious. Slow loading pages will destroy the experience for the visitor and you will likely not recover.

There are plenty of other options available and the visitor knows it.

Load quickly and the visitor will be delighted at the near-instant access.

3. Display Properly

File this one also under the category of “obvious”.

Visitors will be happy when you reduce friction – and delighted when you take it away.

A page the doesn’t display properly on whatever device the visitor happens to be using means a high level of friction that will likely kill any chance of a conversion.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t show properly on an iPhone 4 (released in 2010 so it’s well past time for that user to upgrade), but as a general practice, I always test backward compatibility for whatever operating systems were widely used during the past three years.

4. Provide Reassurance to the First-Time Visitor

Remember that time you clicked on a link, went to a page, and just had a gut feeling you’re in the wrong place?

Either you didn’t immediately see what you thought you were there for or the site looked sketchy. Chances are you were less than delighted and didn’t stick around long.

On the flip side, there was probably another time you clicked on a link to a page you’ve never been to before and you immediately knew you were in the right place. This page:

  • Had exactly what you were looking for.
  • Did NOT look to be the least bit sketchy.

To reassure that first-time visitor, here are a few things that will always help:

  • Crystal clear relevance to the visitor intent (see point #1).
  • Speak directly to whatever the visitor hopes to achieve by looking at your product.
  • Key trust elements present on the page (testimonials, reviews, security, privacy links, history, etc.).
  • Minimal interference pop-ups.

Read more

7 To-Dos Before Launching a Business Website

My Post - 2019-11-12T143714.170.pngThese seven steps will increase your ranking on search engines and boost conversions.

Launching your new website can be very exciting. You’re about to unveil a new look for your brand. It’s important, therefore, to have everything in place to ensure a successful launch.

There are several common mistakes that developers and business owners make when launching a site. You can avoid them by planning your launch carefully and well in advance. These seven tips will give your business a great new start as you launch your website.

1. Use calls to action.

A well-designed website with compelling content is ineffective without calls to action. CTAs give users something to do with the information they’ve received from your site. It makes their interaction on your website feel complete. It can also direct the user further along your sales funnel.

It’s important to place CTAs on nearly every page. You can use them to influence user behavior. It’s very common to ask visitors to read more content and stay on your site longer. You can also ask them to share a post or sign up on your site. Membership sites often use CTAs to convince people to sign up to access gated information.

You can use CTAs strategically to increase conversions. Launching your website without them leads to missed opportunities.

2. Add analytics.

When you’re creating a website, you may put off adding analytics until later. Very often, the front end of the website is a priority, which leads to back-end features being neglected. If you don’t add analytics before your website launches, you won’t have the ability to measure web traffic and glean other insights from day one.

Tools like Google Analytics let you know if your marketing strategies are working. It also tells you more about your site visitors so you can figure out what’s not working. If you have an online store, you need Google Analytics Ecommerce Reports to understand what products are making the most conversions. You can track your lead conversion rate or the changes and your website revenue in Google Analytics.

3. Create a Coming Soon page.

Build anticipation and create user engagement before your website launches. You can create an attractive Coming Soon page to give users information about your business in advance.

You can also use it to create an email list while your site is still under development. If you don’t have a Coming Soon page, you miss a lot of opportunities to make your brand memorable. Use a tool like SeedProd to create a Coming Soon page and to get analytics before your website launches.

4. Apply SEO before the website launch.

Incorporating search engine optimization before you launch your site saves time and resources later. Ranking on search engines matters, because 95% of people don’t search beyond the first page. You avoid having to redesign your website when you make SEO part of the design process.

Search engines rank websites that are well structured and offer good user experience features. By applying SEO guidelines, you get a faster-loading site and good navigation. SEO best practices also ensure that you use keywords appropriately in page titles, URLs and metadata.

It’s an enormous challenge to add SEO to your site once it’s done. Apply SEO strategies before your website launch, or you may find yourself redesigning your website. – Read more

PPC Landing Pages Not Converting? 10 Ways to Optimize

My Post - 2019-11-12T142941.242.pngLanding pages form the backbone of any PPC campaign.

All the keywords, ad copy, and targeting in your PPC account are instrumental in getting visitors to your landing page, but are you keeping visitors engaged? Are they taking the action you want them to take?

If you find yourself struggling with low conversion rates and high bounce rates—even though clickthrough rates are soaring—chances are your PPC landing page is the problem. There are a few best practices to follow when creating your landing page, and after that, it’s a constant cycle of testing and more testing until you find that winning combination that makes your conversion rates soar.

PPC Landing Page Best Practices

1. Establish Landing Page Goals

Consider this before launching your landing page: What action do you want people to take when they visit your landing page? Depending on your industry, the answer could be to watch a demo, sign up for a free trial, sign up for a newsletter, or schedule a call.

Once you’ve established the goal of your landing page, everything else—content and offers—should center around that goal.

Ideally, you’d want your landing page to focus on one specific goal in order to keep page visitors focused on one action.

2. Consider Your Target Audience

When building your landing page, the first thing to consider is who your target audience is and what they are looking for. The copy, hero image, call to action, and lead form should be geared toward capturing user attention.

Understand the search intent of your audience by putting yourself in their shoes. Someone searching for a small business CRM has a significantly different intent than someone searching for a CRM for lawyers. By gearing your landing page to your audience’s search intent, you gain their trust because you’re offering them exactly what they’re looking for.

3. Capture User Information

You’re directing visitors to a landing page because you want their information. At the very least, you want their name, phone number, and email address. This is the information that people find the most difficult to part with because it’s personal. When they provide you with this information, it’s because they find your landing page meaningful.

Keep your lead forms short and focus on the information that you need, not the information you want. If a name and email address fulfills your purpose, don’t ask them to fill out 10 different form fields.

4. Use a Clear CTA

Consider this: You visit a beautiful, intuitive website that doesn’t have a call to action. You can appreciate the design, but what is your next step? Lacking a clear CTA impacts your bounce rates and is one of the most common reasons behind PPC landing pages not converting.

Always have a clear CTA above the fold. For paid traffic, this not only serves as a reminder for why they are on your landing page, but it also reinforces the action you want them to take. – Read more

 

4 Essential Landing Page Elements

My Post - 2019-10-25T144847.172.pngEvery marketer seems to be talking about the importance of building an email list, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.

For us, it’s pretty simple- the easiest way to start growing your list is to offer a valuable lead magnet or a free incentive that is given to subscribers in exchange for their email address.

As you determine what lead magnet to offer, you’ll want to think about how you are going to get your lead magnet in front of more people. And when you’re ready to launch your lead magnet, it’s best to create a dedicated landing page where you can highlight its benefits and give more information.

Why use landing pages

Utilizing landing pages for your business will make it easier to:

Increase your email list

Your email list is one of the only platforms you own, meaning that you have full creative freedom and control over what content you send, when you send it, and to whom. You don’t have to deal with algorithm changes or the fear of certain social media platforms dissolving.

Instead, you can convert your social followers into email subscribers so you always have a direct line of communication to them.

If you want to start growing your email list today, sign up for a free trial of ConvertKit!

Sell more digital products

If you are an online educator, content creator, or influencer, you may already be thinking about how you can use email marketing to boost your digital product sales on autopilot. The great thing about digital products like online courses and ebooks is that once they’ve been created, you can put more of your energy into promoting your offers through various lead magnet-focused landing pages.

With a landing page, you can create messaging that is directed to one niche audience. And when your lead magnet is delivered through ConvertKit, it will also trigger an automated email sequence with a series of emails where you can further educate and sell your digital products. You can easily build this with our Visual Automations tool.

Attract more leads for your services

As a freelancer or service provider, you are probably in search of ways you can generate more quality leads without it taking over your schedule. You’d rather work with clients than spend all of your time trying to market yourself, so connecting your email marketing strategy with landing pages is one of the best ways to simplify your lead generation process. – Read more

Is Changing Your URL Structure a Bad Idea?

My Post - 2019-09-16T120716.410.pngThis week for “Ask An SEO”, we have a question from Emma in Yorkshire, UK. She asks:

“My blog has little traffic. If I change the structure of my URLs, is this a bad idea? Or, is it good to do it now whilst the traffic is low?”

The answer is the same as when we examine so many SEO other scenarios – it depends.

But why does it depend?

Your reasons for making a change of this nature should be deliberated carefully. Why are you making this change?

If you do not have well thought out business or platform reasons for doing so, it would be best not to entertain the effort.

However, there are times when such a change is unavoidable.

The most common reason to change the structure of your URLs is during a company rebranding, site migration or redesign where some site defining element like domain name, product types, topical focus, or platform changes no longer allows you to keep the same URLs.

There are good reasons to make a change that affects your URL structure, but the question is:

Should you change your URL structure?

The answer is if you can avoid it at all costs – do.

Why You Should Try to Maintain Your URL Structure

There are definitive reasons you want to try to maintain your URL structure, whenever possible, outside of SEO.

For instance, a change might break bookmarks users have saved in their browser from visiting your site or emails you have sent out.

Changing the URL structure, in essence, removes the direct link relationship the user has to your site. – Read more

5 Web Design Turn-offs To Avoid

My Post (68).pngThe Internet of today is a highly competitive place.

With so many individuals and businesses spending money and time on digital marketing and SEO — trying to outperform their rivals and sit at the top of the Google heap — it’s harder than ever to get users to visit any given website over another.

Given the difficulty of acquiring new visitors, you might think that all the webmasters of the world would do everything in their power to provide a delightful user experience and ultimately retain each hard-won customer, but we all know that there are a number of unpleasant and off-putting bad habits that seem to crop up time and time again.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common offenders making users leave in frustration…

1. The Site is Too Slow

In a world where almost everybody has a super-powered smartphone in their pocket, the Internet has become synonymous with instant gratification. A user who might be idly wondering about some half-remembered trivia can have the answer delivered to them via Google within a few seconds, and if they want to contact a friend in another country thousands of miles away, they can do so basically as quickly as they can type the Facebook or Whatsapp message.

We’ve all become spoiled by the speed and responsiveness of our hyper-connected world, and so when we click on a search result and sit on a blank loading page for three seconds or more it can seem like an eternity. If the original click was motivated by nothing more than frivolous curiosity, the user is very likely to think, “ugh, never mind” and try somewhere else.

The BBC reported in 2018 that they’d found that every additional second spent loading pages tended to cost them around 10% of their users, which in Internet terms is huge (by this measure, the passing of ten seconds can mean that your traffic is all but gone).

Google have also stated that according to their research, more than half (53%) of mobile users will abandon a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. After six seconds, it’s almost a guarantee that they’ll look elsewhere. 

Of course, the functional needs of the majority of websites are not very complicated — the average e-commerce store or blog site really has no excuse for taking longer than a couple of seconds to load. – Read more

How Does Web Design Affect SEO?

My Post (27).pngHow Does Web Design Affect SEO?

When we hear the term, “SEO” or Search Engine Optimisation, we usually think of the content of the website and the keywords that go with it.

Yes, that helps the site to rank higher in search engine results pages, but we are missing another essential aspect that contributes to SEO – Web Design.

The trick is, if the keywords and design are well-integrated together, will make the website to come on top.

Many businesses fail to recognise the importance of a professional-looking design and how it brings a significant impact on their marketing efforts.

It is a common misconception that web design pertains only to impressive graphics. No, it’s not. It is more than just aesthetics.

To understand the role of web design to your SEO efforts, we have outlined the crucial points below:

Images

It’s true that a picture paints a thousand words and the same principle applies in web design.

Images can capture the attention of the audience and lure them to the site.

When putting images to your site, you must put in mind that it affects the load speed.

That means that when a user visits your site with large images, chances are they will leave the site because it loads at a slow rate.

To solve this matter, images need to be compressed and optimised to load faster.

Another important thing is how relevant the images are in line with the content of the site.

The header, tagline, titles, and the captions must be connected to the images and be able to reflect the business.

Don’t go with the trends. Yes, they are popular, but if you want to boost your SEO efforts, you should think about long-term results.

Trendy designs are great, but it is a unique design that will bring a lasting impression and higher online visibility. – Read more

Web Design & Seo: Everything Designers Should Know

My Post - 2019-04-12T160607.830.jpgUX design and a solid SEO strategy go hand in hand.

Design is here to boost user experiences, inspire users to spend more time on your pages, and ensure they don’t leave your site frustrated. This way, it minimizes bounce rates and turns your visitors into leads and, ultimately, sales.

However, designing a spotless website is pointless if it’s not visible on Google. This is where SEO shines. It increases your site’s exposure in the SERPs, drives greater traffic to it, and gives you the opportunity to delight a visitor with your gorgeous website design and quality content.

When merged together, web design and SEO are indicators of your credibility and professionalism.

So, let’s see how to combine them for a better online performance.

The Basics of Implementing SEO and Web Design

In the world of digital marketing, building your online presence on strong foundations is critical. If some basic aspects of your site are poorly managed, you cannot expect your web design or SEO to deliver exceptional results.

Here are key elements of any strong web design:

CHOOSING A DOMAIN NAME

Stuffing your domain with a bunch of keywords won’t help. They look spammy and may hurt both your rankings and user experience.

Remember that there are millions of domain names out there. So, your goal is to make your domain name catchy and memorable. It needs to be relevant to your business’ focus and be easy to spell and pronounce. To make your site easier to find, it’s always good to use your brand name as your domain name, too.

INVESTING IN THE RIGHT HOSTING PROVIDER

Choosing the right hosting plan directly impacts your website speed, server performance, and uptime/downtime. These are all important UX factors Google considers while indexing and ranking your site.

BUILDING YOUR WEBSITE USING A RELIABLE CMS

A solid CMS is one that is easy to use and manage. You should be able to design your site however you want, without taking additional courses in web design. It should also help you make your site mobile-friendly, add social media integrations effortlessly, and use various content management tools. The most popular CMS option is definitely WordPress, followed by Joomla, Drupal, TYPO3, and Squarespace.

When choosing the right CMS for your business, ask yourself how it will impact your online performance. For example, does it allow you to customize your URLs? Can you make on-page changes without changing the URL? Some systems create meta tags (meta descriptions and title tags) automatically, so you should check whether you can modify them. – Read more

What Does PPC Have to Do With Website Design?

My Post - 2019-03-15T155627.927.jpg

If you’re relatively new to PPC, you might not think much about website design.

Instead, your focus is more likely on things such as ad groups, ad messaging, and conversion tracking.

After all, what does the design of your website have to do with PPC performance anyway?

Quite a lot, actually.

It isn’t just about how your website looks.

It’s also about performance.

While getting qualified users to click on your ads is a crucial first step in any paid search program, everything that happens after that click is equally important.

And if users don’t like what they see or experience when they’re on your site or landing pages, then your PPC campaign performance will suffer.

This post will outline just some of the ways your website design can impact your PPC program.

1. Responsiveness

We live in a mobile world. Whereas people might have saved some online activities (such as shopping) for their laptop or desktops just a few years ago, today more of these activities are being conducted on mobile devices, such as tablets and phones.

The percentage mix of mobile versus desktop visitors varies. But even B2B businesses (often the last holdout for “people don’t visit our site on mobile” type thinking) are seeing more mobile visitors.

It used to be that having a mobile-friendly website was the gold standard for mobile usability. But not anymore.

Today, visitors want and expect a responsive site. Unlike mobile-friendly sites, the content on responsive websites is dynamic.

Images and content blocks can reposition themselves on the page, depending on the screen size on which they are viewed. In this way, they’re easier to view and navigate. – Read more

4 ways to attract customers by simplifying your website design

My Post (80).jpgThere are times when customers want as much content as possible, as many design elements and drop-downs as possible.

They saw some cool sites and they wanted a little of everything.

That’s quite understandable, but we’re trying to explain that a site with a lot of content and complicated design is not necessarily easy to use, sometimes even having the opposite effect for users.

That’s why we’ve created a mini guide of 4 Ways To Simplify Your Website Design To Attract Customers:

1) Shorten the content of the website:

Web visitors rarely read line by line, usually, they only scan the web pages and their focus is only on a few words and images. However, there are many web pages that have content that is not needed to send the message. You can clean up a lot of the content of a website by limiting the number of words on the screen. Try refraining text to remove parasite words.

How can you do that? You can practice by expressing a single idea in a single paragraph – it’s a good way to write and helps readers “scan” the text with the look. Another way to write is the “pyramid” format, that is, start from the conclusion and add content along the way. A site that I really like for the simplicity offered is Apple.com.

2) Delete the visual decorations:

When it comes to visuals, it often happens that we want to add extra elements because it ‘looks good’. Everyone desires a design that looks good and unique. But although intentions are good, the end result may be disastrous. Try to have as little decoration as possible or other items that won’t distract the reader from what is important.

Below I attached a screenshot on the Vconcept.com page. It can be noticed that they do not have a lot of text, but the text is very difficult to understand and they have a problem with the fonts. They use plain text, underlined text, some words have a different color, and the first word that represents the company’s logo is a different font. We can also talk about all triangles flying in the background, a decoration that does not bring any benefit to the site. – Read more