by Caitlin Clement | May 12, 2021 | Business Analysis and Strategy, Marketing and Communicatons, Web Content and Maintenance
In today’s virtual age, a website is an important part of a business’s marketing and communications strategy. As more websites are created everyday, competition for page views and website traffic increases. A website needs more than just an appealing look, although that is a part of the equation, to be successful. Here are five tips to help you optimize your website and increase your conversion rate.
1. Your web design matches your brand
When users come to your website, would they recognize it as your brand? It’s important your brand is consistent throughout all your different platforms. A great example of successful web design branding from a well-known brand is Starbucks. When you go to their website, you’ll notice they use a lot of different shades of green in their design. That’s because their customers have come to associate green with their brand and logo. By utilizing multiple shades of the same color, you can then add some variety while staying consistent with your brand.
Brands will often have accent colors too. They aren’t your main color, so they aren’t used as frequently, but they add that extra pop to call out information or draw in the users eyes to something important.
It’s crucial that your website’s voice is also in line with your brand voice. Starbucks tends to have a professional but also fun voice to their copy. That voice can change a little depending on the product they are marketing and who they are marketing it to. They tend to also have very short and sweet blurbs to market their content. Long form copy isn’t optimal for an information or landing page. It’s okay for blog posts and content that is intended to be longer, but you don’t want users struggling to find basic information.
2. Adaptive To Any Device
With mobile phones being the most prominent device for most individuals and users, it’s important that you optimize your website to work for mobile as well as other devices. Oftentimes, websites display poorly on mobile phones because they haven’t been optimized for a mobile format. This can really affect your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) performance and thus your pageviews and conversions. Google ranks websites higher in their search engine algorithms when they’re mobile friendly.
If you’re using WordPress, you can preview the mobile version of your website with their theme customizer. Simply go to Appearance > Customize. It will open up the theme customizer and there should be icons at the bottom of the menu on the left of the screen. This allows you to flip through multiple devices to see how your website looks.
The way your website functions is just as, if not more so, important as it’s design. In fact, your design should be determined by its user experience. According to Hick’s Law, the more choices a user has, the less likely they are to make a decision. Basically, simple is better. The more complicated the website, the less likely you are to have a higher conversion rate and the more likely your users will get frustrated.
Ask yourself these questions; is it easy to navigate?; Is it interactive? The best way to answer these unbiasedly is to do some user testing if you’ve got the resources. Otherwise, researching the key demographics and psychographics of your audience is a must do for any successful brand strategy, not just websites. If your audience doesn’t typically understand technology very well, then having a website with less bells and whistles would be the route to take.
Placement of information is important too. Looking back at Starbucks’ website, just like a newspaper, they put the information they want their users to see the most “above the fold” or in the main landing page. An important thing to note is that they don’t overwhelm the user with text either. It’s short, simple, and snappy copy that relays the message clearly without having to make the user search for it.
Make sure to put any big promotions, news, or content that is important to your users on the main landing page. The less you can make them search for it, the better. Oftentimes, companies who have more resources hire positions that focus specifically on UX and UI design or copywriting. Or if they’re even bigger, a whole team. This section has only just scratched the surface of UX design, but it’s enough for what we’re dealing with without getting too complicated.
All businesses need their customers to do something––buying a product or service, engaging in content, reading information. A great way to do this is by utilizing “call to actions”.
Sticking with Starbucks again to be consistent, there are three “call to actions” when you first land on their page. One is the “Sign In” button, another is the “Join Now” button, and the third is a call to action to send an e-gift card to teachers and nurses (this, of course, is a timely call to action). Call to actions invite the user to interact with the website, increasing your conversions and SEO.
These can be anything from a button to some bolded or colored text as long as it draws the users attention––keeping with the integrity of your design. This is also where your accent colors could come in handy to draw attention to specific words or visuals.
5. Reference Google’s Core Web Vitals
Last year Google announced an important update for 2021 regarding their Core Web Vitals. These Vitals will become a big part of Google’s ranking algorithm for websites.
There are three Core Web Vitals to keep in mind:
1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Measures the loading speeds and performance of websites. Google says the LPC should occur within 2.5 seconds.
2. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Measures visual stability. It refers to any unexpected layout shifts occurring during the lifespan of the web page.
3. First Input Delay (FID)
Measures interactivity. FID measures the time it takes from a user’s first interaction with a web page element to when it begins processing in response to the user action.
They are a set of signals Google will use to evaluate the page experience of a user. Websites will also get separate scores for desktop and mobile experience. So, your desktop rating could be “good” while your mobile is “poor”. Furthering the importance of mobile friendly websites. This will be a big update for Google and one that all of those wishing to strengthen their website should be aware of.
Don’t Skip On The Quality
It’s important to keep all of the above in mind when running your website. However, make sure you’re still producing quality content. Sometimes companies focus too much on the algorithm and forget about the content they’re producing.
Go for quality first and then figure out ways to optimize it without affecting its integrity. Your users just as easily won’t come to your website if the content they are getting isn’t what they need or want. Also, this can and will be reflected in Google’s many other page experience signals. Negatively affecting your website’s place in the algorithm. Ultimately, great content is going to be nothing but beneficial towards the success of your website and business.
Give these tips a try when you’re ready to take that website to the next level of optimization.
by Morgan Kirby | Mar 9, 2020 | Marketing and Communicatons, Web Content and Maintenance
Why is this important?
It is a well-known fact that the world is becoming an increasingly electronic place. We turn to the internet to buy our clothes, to see where the nearest gas station is located, or to read reviews about a hair salon before booking an appointment. We use social media to connect with our peers and celebrities, stay updated about world events, and be notified of what’s coming next from our favorite companies.
With this rather recent shift in the way that we live our lives, it is important for companies to adapt to this shift as well. Those who do not stay ahead of the curve risk losing relevance in the modern world, hence placing their company in peril.
This is especially important for small businesses and startup companies. Small businesses typically rely on locals for their business, so it is important to have a strong presence in your community—especially when communities are becoming increasingly online. Additionally, the internet makes it possible to extend your small business outside of your local community if applicable, like buying anytime and anywhere from online retailers, for example. For startups, the internet and social media are the best and easiest ways to get your name out there to new customers. The internet can also be a fantastic sole medium to use for startups due to low overhead costs, the ease of connecting with customers, and essentially being “open” 24/7.
Aside from the benefits that websites and social media provide for businesses, there is also risk involved for ignoring this aspect of all of our lives. As a 20-something on the cusp of the Gen Z and Millennial generations, regardless of whether I am a customer online or in-person, I almost always cross-reference any business establishment online (whether that be a website or social media). Let’s take a restaurant for example. I rarely choose a new restaurant without doing research online before going out for dinner. With that said, if I cannot find a link to a website or at least a social media page that allows me to view the menu, I am unlikely to pick that restaurant.
Restaurants are only just an example, but the same rules apply to all kinds of businesses. In general, if I cannot find a website or social media presence to back up the company, the credibility of the establishment is severely diminished in my eyes. There is also a very slim chance that I will choose that company over one that I can do ample research on beforehand.
What information should I include on a website?
The most important element to include on a website is who your company is and what you company is trying to accomplish—include an about page for further details. List products and services offered, even if they are not available for purchase online. Most importantly, list ways to contact the company. This includes but is not limited to: address, phone number, email, and social media links. Other things to include that may not always be applicable are login portals, career pages, help pages, etc.
How do I create the website and maintain it?
There are many good options currently available for website creation. Creating a site from scratch is always an option, but there are also dozens of simple platforms available such as Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, etc. where you have the skeleton of a website already given to you to then fill with content. After purchasing a domain and filling the site with content, the website is ready to go live.
However, websites require maintenance and updating content, themes, and products/services. For further reference, check out the Web Content and Maintenance Service offered by Enterprise Iowa here: https://www.enterpriseiowa.com/services/
Which platform(s) should I choose?
There are dozens of social media platforms available, and it is best to hone in on just a few that will best help your company succeed. Here is a list of some popular social media platforms that business should consider using:
However, not all of these platforms are appropriate for every kind of business. For example, if you are a bank, photo sharing sites like Instagram may be difficult to regularly post content, and therefore while not completely useless, Instagram is likely not the best option. On the flipside, more creative firms would flourish with the Instagram platform. Knowing your company and where your customer’s eyes will be is key when considering which social media platforms to focus on.
How should I upkeep social media?
Social media does require a fair amount of upkeep to stay relevant. However, it is a much cheaper alternative to traditional marketing and a much easier way to connect with your current customers plus attract new ones. Using social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social to plan out content in advance can be extremely helpful, but if you are unable or unwilling to take on that extra cost, live posting within the platform is always an option. All in all, the benefits of connecting with and attracting customers typically far outweighs the cost of neglecting social media all together this day in age. Enterprise Iowa also offers social media management services for your business to utilize.
All in all, the advantages of implementing a web and social media presence can only elevate your business. Especially for small businesses and startups, consider creating a website and utilizing social media profiles on some of the suggested platforms. All of the details involved with starting or owning a business are a large undertaking. To avoid some of the chaos, consider hiring an outside firm to assist with your web and social presence. Visit https://www.enterpriseiowa.com/services/ for more information.
by Leah Champion | Jun 10, 2019 | Marketing and Communicatons, Web Content and Maintenance
Whether you own a small business or lead a large organization, finding new ways to meet objectives can be challenging. Developing a marketing and communications plan can help you identify creative new sources of revenue. From targeting new customers to reeling in potential donors, your marketing strategy is key, and incorporating web services into your overall plan is crucial – after all, your website is the unsung hero when it comes to boosting your brand and increasing earnings.
In today’s digital age, most people rely on the internet to gather information about a potential vendor, investment or product. In many cases, when a user doesn’t know where to look, he or she will engage in a Google search, entering key words to lead them in the right direction.
According to Moz, the average Google search session lasts just under a minute. This means your website needs to appear high in the Google search results listings in order to gain new views, which means paying attention to your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization is the practice of writing and posting web content in a way that encourages search engines to promote it to searchers. Because search engines like Google use an algorithm that helps connect users to content that best matches their search criteria, writing content with this algorithm in mind can be a highly effective marketing and communications strategy for bringing in new business.
Search engine optimization is a complex process that aims to put your company’s name and website in front of more potential customers. While this may not seem like a top priority but instead like a complicated way to spend man hours, it is actually an important strategy for successful online marketing. As a business owner in the Des Moines metro area, this is just another way for you to stay ahead of the competition and see more dollars.
Why Should Your Business Implement an SEO Strategy?
Enhance your company’s web presence by incorporating SEO into your marketing and communications plan. Search engine optimization is a the process of raising your online visibility, and a detailed strategy can help you get the attention and results you need to bring in new customers and encourage repeat clients. In fact, there are three main reasons to implement this type of content strategy: (1) to improve search engine results rankings, (2) to connect with customers more effectively and (3) to establish local authority.
1. You Want to Rank Better in Search Results
Typically, a person uses a search engine to find businesses, choosing — whether they realize it or not — based on rankings. If you’ve performed a Google search for your services and location and noticed your business’s website didn’t show up on the first page of results, you should start looking into SEO strategies. Think about it logically: How are potential customers supposed to find your company when most internet users don’t look beyond the first page of search results? This is where an SEO strategy can make a big difference.
Additionally, by designing content specifically for a local audience, a strategy known as geo-targeting, you can better hone your strategy and bring in more business. Search engines like Google take geo-targeting into consideration when displaying web pages, meaning your company’s website could rank higher with a local-based strategy. An experienced blogging team can not only boost your website’s traffic by increasing visibility with searchers, but also keep up with algorithms, relevant industry topics and local keywords.
2. You Want to Connect With Customers More Effectively
Without the right SEO strategy, it can be difficult to reach your desired audience. In the Des Moines metro area, there is a lot of competition, so you want to have a strong, professional web presence that encourages potential clients to choose you. But if they can’t find you on the web, then they can’t choose you. With a detailed marketing and communications plan that includes SEO, you can better reach your audience and hopefully convert curious searchers into clients.
3. You Want to Establish Your Local Authority
Potential customers want to know that the business they are researching is trustworthy and competent. As a part of search engine algorithms, a large emphasis is placed on having authority as a business, including knowing what you’re doing and providing information to customers effectively. Additionally, if your content uses proper geo-targeting for the Des Moines metro area, for example, people living in Des Moines will see you are knowledgeable on the area and have experience in the industry.
Establishing trust and local authority through SEO can directly influence how your customer base grows. The more content you produce, the more trust you develop with the search engines and the better you will rank, giving your company a competitive edge when it comes to a potential customer’s first impression. In fact, “72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles,” according to a 2017 study by iMPACT. This means that ranking higher for a local Google search for your local services could significantly improve traffic to your website – and hopefully help bring in new revenue. Through detailed web pages, blog posts, and more, you can build a relationship of trust and authority, not only with search engine algorithms but also with searchers.
Should You Hire an Outside Company for SEO?
If you own or operate a business, your time is likely stretched thin already, and curating new content on a regular basis would only further stretch that time. Hiring a company that specializes in web content and maintenance can help you improve your website’s visibility in a simple Google search, as well as posture your business as a local industry expert. Among other things, a company experienced with writing for SEO adapts your website to increase visibility.
If you need help starting a blog or improving SEO on your current website, contact Enterprise Iowa. We help clients generate new, engaging blog content to entice new customers and retain existing ones.