In this day and age, it’s pretty clear that a website is one of the most, if not the most, important parts of your digital presence. A lot of times, it can be the first and only touchpoint you get to impress your potential customers. So how come so many websites still load funky on mobile devices or completely ignore the rules of aesthetics?
What can you do to not be that person with a weird, flash website?
It’s best to enlist the help of a professional designer. Yet, if you feel brave enough to conquer the laws of design, remember these rules.
1. Make it fast
A modern website needs to be designed for the modern browsers. Not only does a cleaner site create a better user experience, it also improves its functionality. One of the most important things to constantly monitor is the speed of your site.
Did you know that 40 percent of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load?
It’s hard to resist installing all the coolest software, and making some money displaying ads, but these things slow down your site. Your site speed might really suffer, and you’ll lose your readers along with it.
2. Make it responsive
I don’t need to tell you that a lot of site traffic will come from mobile devices. If your website is still not responsive, you have to take care of that right now. It is a horrible experience when a website takes too long to load, the text appears way too small to read, and your fingers are too fat to click on one thing instead of three. Guess what? People won’t tolerate this. They will simply leave your site.
Additionally, Google now penalises sites that are not mobile-friendly. Forty-eight percent of consumers start mobile research with a search engine. So you’re losing out on potential sales in more ways than one.
3. Make it stylish
Be clear on what mood and impression you want to project, and what colour palette will help you achieve that. Select a palette, and stick with it. It makes people think you have bipolar disorder, when different pages have inconsistent background colours. It’s generally a good idea to have one neutral colour and one bright colour to balance the two.
4. Make it legible
Select a font that will complement your overall imagery and that will be easy to read. Please don’t use Comic Sans or Times New Roman. While there is nothing wrong with those fonts, they don’t convey an image of a polished, well-defined brand.
5. Make it easy on the eyes
Just because you’ve got so much space on a screen, doesn’t mean you have to use it all. Nicely space out text and images, and employ the power of white space.
It makes reading easier and creates an overall pleasurable experience; whereas websites that are too crowded create a sense of information being crammed onto website and pushed onto readers.
6. Make it easy to navigate
Your navigation should be as minimal as possible. You neither want, nor need every single page to be represented under the navigation tree.
Instead, it might be a clever idea to have a general page underneath each option that further directs traffic with various links or buttons.
If you can’t decide among all the pages you have, you can gain a great insight into how your traffic flows through your site by visiting Google Analytics and selecting behaviour.
7. Make it clear
When people visit your website for the first time, make sure you screen them out with a clear mission or even a slogan right up front. This way, only people, who are looking for the types of information you provide, will stick.
One way to see if you’re doing a good job at attracting the right kinds of readers is to look at entry rates, exit rates and bounce rates for individual pages.
If a page has a high number of entries, but 80 percent of that traffic is bouncing, there is clearly an issue with the page.
8. Make it focused
It’s ok to have varied interests and be knowledgeable in more than one topic.
Yet, you have to narrow in on a couple of topics or less. You may select wider topics such as “digital marketing” instead of “social media marketing.” But it goes back to being useful to a very specific group of people. Drive that focus and usefulness home before taking on any more topics.
9. Make it valuable
Provide value all the time. Provide value with your blog, your online sales and your copy that not only sells but educates. Make visitors want to stay on your website for as long as possible.
Remember, your company’s website is your first and last chance to impress website visitors. Make sure it’s a pleasant experience – with clean copy, a well-defined objective and a relaxing experience.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Here Is Why Your Facebook Ad Campaigns Aren’t Producing Results
Below are 5 expert tips to help you create Facebook ads campaigns that will convert more visitors into customers.
With over a billion daily active users scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed on a daily basis, Facebook presents a massive opportunity that can help grow any business. Business owners underestimate the amount of attention Facebook yields.
Twenty years ago, if you wanted to tell customers about your products you had to rent a newspaper ad, or pay for a billboard next to the road. Not only was this way of advertising expensive, but it was also a hassle. Contracts needed to be drawn up, quotes needed to be passed around, and it could take weeks to kick-start a campaign.
Today, with the push of a button, Facebook can help you show your product and service in to millions of users through something called Facebook Ad Manager. All it takes is a few clicks, and a couple of bucks of course.
However, getting your ads onto people’s news feeds is the easy part. The harder part and the part you’re most likely after, especially if you are a small to medium sized business owner, is how to make your ads convert into qualified leads or potential customers!
In my experience, a lot business owners doubt the power of social media, and the main reason for this is because they’ve experimented with it themselves and no “luck”.
My question to the business owner in return is usually, who’s going to utilise a hammer and a nail the best, me or a professional carpenter? I might be able to start the process, but only a professional is going to be able to create a modern kitchen cabinet.
In the same way, just because you’ve boosted a post on Facebook that didn’t produce any results doesn’t meant the platform is the issue.
If you want to market your product, service or offer effectively, ads need to be tailored to the market, and the business in a way that makes the offer irresistible.
A great way to do this is by narrowing your target audience and placing the right message in front of the right people at the right time.
Below I’ve outlined 5 expert tips to help you create Facebook ads campaigns that will convert more visitors into customers.
You Don’t Have Any Social Proof
As simple as a social proof might seem, it’s a very effective tool when it comes to building trust in potential clients. People are already scared of getting scammed, that is why you need to help them overcome the hurdle by ensuring them that your offer or company is real.
A social proof is a figure that indicates the number of people using a product or service.
For instance, a company’s social proof might be something like this “join over one thousand satisfied customers”. This shows that there are over a thousand people who are happily using the product.
With such a large happy customer base using the product, potential customers will be more willing to trust your brand. After all, over a thousand people are satisfied, so why shouldn’t they be too?
There is No Incentive
How do you draw a user’s attention to your ads amidst the loads of competitors present in the news feed?
Customers are wiser than ever and won’t be sweet talked into buying a product any more. Nowadays, nothing draws people’s attention more than a good incentive.
In order to grab a user’s attention and to convert someone into a customer; offering an irresistible incentive is your best bet.
By granting incentives, in the form of coupons, discounts, freebies, user’s attention will not only be drawn to your ads, but it will also cause excitement, and most likely, sales.
There is No Time Stamp
Adding a time stamp offer to your offer will help create urgency when it comes to getting the customer to seal the deal. If there was no end date, the customer has all the time in the world to think about whether this offer is really the best offer at hand.
People are always afraid of missing out on a great deal and studies have shown that customers are just more inclined to take action the moment they are aware that a deal might expire. The emotion of loss is a powerful psychological marketing tool.
You Are Not Testing
Facebook offers numerous ad placement options and below are just some of the ones you can look into:
- Desktop newsfeed
- Mobile newsfeed
- Right hand column on desktop
- Instagram newsfeed
- Instagram stories
- Facebook Messenger home screen etc.
Knowing this, how do you determine the best position to place your ads for maximum conversions?
To do this, you can go with the A/B testing tool which rotates your ads between the different positions while providing real-time stats about the performance of your ads. By finding the best can help you lower cost per engagement while increasing the number of conversions.
You Are Not Consistent with Your Message and Offering
Customer expectations are high when it comes to promotions and offers. It’s essential to not leave them disappointed. How many times have you clicked on an offer and then realised it’s only when you spend an X amount or only at a certain store.
To further boost your conversions, ensure that your message is crystal clear and that there is no room for customer disappointment.
You Are Not Targeting the Right Audience
Be honest, as a business owner, have you ever boosted a post from your page hoping it might translates to sales?
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with boosting a post, however, if you want to ensure you get the best bang for buck, and if your main goal is to ensure you are targeting the right people at the right time, then your focus is going to be in Facebook Ad Manager.
This is where you can access your Facebook Pixel’s data and either retarget specific customers or target ones that showed interest but never converted.
Example, you can create a Facebook newsfeed ad and only target people who clicked on the services page but never took the plunge. There’s a reason they didn’t submit their details? What could it be? You might never know, but at least now you have a second chance to help them convert.
Custom Content Via E-commerce Heralds The Future Of Marketing
Informative, catchy content is key to ecommerce engagement. It is an affordable marketing strategy with high impact on ROI.
Content does not demand huge resources; a blog can be launched fairly quickly. However, consumer attention spans are pulled in many directions, so they demand the best on offer.
With two hours per day spent by the average person on social media, it makes sense to harness the potential of these platforms for product inspiration and building hype and desirability of your brand. Studies have shown that most consumers value posts written by other consumers above scripted advertising. Advertising does still have a role to play, but the approach needs to be fresh in enhancing customer experiences alongside customers’ peer reviews to build relationships.
Millennials are so aware of an oversaturated market place that they are difficult to sell to. Images and messages are easily crafted and edited into being what they are not.
Likewise, influencer support can be faked or bought. Supposed sponsorship can be off-putting when relied on in excess to lend gravitas to a post. While influencer endorsement is rife, it must be approached with discernment. Fake engagements are equally rife. From buying followers to staging fake boosting of your friends’ posts, fraud is everywhere, but ultimately cannot sustain.
What does sustain is authenticity, and this is what Millennials are searching for. Brands are wise to allow consumers inside the real stories that make their brand what it is.
Consumers value brands that stand for more. Ethics, social welfare, and edu-commerce. Content that encourages development, both personal and communal is a draw card. Enlightening consumers as to how to get the most out of your products means you are concerned about maximizing value. In the age of ecommerce, transparency and authenticity, brands need to be clear on their vision and mission. In this way, a brand can consistently stay true to its values, and build relationships and trust with the consumer. Next level transparency means revealing all aspects of what makes your product what it is; taking pride in manufacturing, reviews, and individual relevance.
Shopping via the ecommerce is undeniably where it’s at for a myriad of reasons. Ease of price and product comparison, convenience, Generation X time constraints and techno affinity are all factors. Consumers now expect a slick, omnichannel shopping facility that meets their unique lifestyles and personal needs. A majority of customers value customer experience over price when choosing a brand. With sound content enhancing ecommerce engagement, the future of marketing has great potential.
Staying Relevant In The Facebook Age Of Meaningful Social Interactions
With Facebook announcing that it is pushing brand and publisher content out of news feeds, how can businesses, especially small and medium enterprises in South Africa, remain relevant?
It was deemed a “rude awakening” early in January 2018 when Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that the social networking platform had changed its algorithm, basically meaning it had changed what users see on their news feeds.
This follows a pretty harsh year for Facebook, where it was criticised for not having the right countermeasure to stop the spread of fake news and propaganda. So now its set of rules has changed; bumping up users’ friends and family members’ status updates and photos, and underplaying public news articles and content published by brands.
But where does that leave the small or medium businesses reliant on communicating their brand messages through Facebook? How do they now reach Facebook users (estimated to be approximately two billion)?
There is still a way
“’Meaningful interaction’ is not something new to Zuckerberg’s focus on how brands engage with their Facebook audience,” explains Jodene Shaer, international business owner and head strategist of social media engagement specialist, Chat Factory.
“There is a place for paid media, but if a brand is trying to be seen organically, then it must feel like it is part of the flowing content people want to see from friends and family. It is pushing for the reason that Facebook was created in the first place – to be social.”
Truly embracing the power of live videos and video content on Facebook – and then creating reasons for the public to engage with those posts – is an excellent move for any business that is budget conscious, Shaer adds.
“The ranking for visibility of organic content is highest when live. Live videos are absolutely the route to go, as followers receive a notification that you are live and there is greater chance of visibility. A big advantage is that you can save that content to the page and it becomes shareable, and can be uploaded to YouTube, where there is still a strong call for business content.
“And it doesn’t have to be high budget either, but it must be authentic, informative, engaging and encouraging. Of all things, ensure that all comments are responded to and shares and reviews are acknowledged.”
Looking beyond Facebook
Shaer believes that smaller local businesses can make their ad rands stretch further on Facebook by moving onto Ads Manager, instead of simply using the Boost button. “The reach is different, so invest in watching some YouTube videos as tutorials,” she recommends. “Boost to unique target audiences and turn the boosting into a science, by watching your reach. Set up smaller boosts and spread your spend across a few posts instead of one big boost. Track your stats and see which audiences work best.”
“One way that South African SMEs could also make use of InstaStories, as these are gaining organic reach. They could also look at varying hashtags, but using a few to reach a very specific audience.
Related: Marketing Tips For Start-ups
“We’ve seen the opening up of the use of LinkedIn and had people return to using the power of Twitter, so it’s worth investigating how to maximise other platforms while trying to keep your budget low.
“None of this should put a small business off, but should create exciting and challenging opportunities to shift how social media is used and explore the outcomes of each post, to truly develop a social media presence,” she adds.
Shaer will be one of an entire panel of dynamic, expert presenters speaking at the upcoming Madex 2018 show, the ultimate marketing, advertising, design, social media and all that good stuff expo.
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