How Can Web-Design Using The Top CMS Options Save You Money?

When you are looking for a CMS platform to create a website for you or your client, the choice of the platform makes a lot of difference. One platform might offer you better SEO features, while others may have in-built ecommerce features. Just like everything else, each CMS platform has its own USP. With so many platforms to choose from in 2017, picking the right one for your website design project can be quite a daunting task.

You want the best for your new website, and you want it at the best price as well. While many website design platforms can cost you upwards of $1000, Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress are famous for their generosity. Not only are their completely free, e-commerce open source as well. It means that you can go ahead and tweak with their source code to make room for your own customizations. These 3 are your best options for cutting down your website design cost, and that’s exactly why you need to think wisely before you pick one.

If you are planning on building an e-commerce website, use Joomla as the CMS. There is no better CMS in the market that combines the aspects of SEO and shopping website plugins better than this one. The navigation customizations are incredibly powerful as well. You can create over a hundred pages, yet your customers will find what they are looking for. From live search options to filtering options, you can find it all on Joomla!

Why use Joomla?

One restriction of using Joomla is the requirement of basic technical skills. However, there are millions of tutorials on YouTube as well as Joomla’s own support site that will guide you through the primary know-how’s. Joomla also powers most of the social networking sites around the world due to its powerful organization options and admin panel.

It is the second most used CMS. Needless to say, WordPress leads the way when it comes to CMS options. It is somewhere between WordPress and Drupal in popularity and ease of use. It is not too technical. However, it does not bear the inherent simplicity of WordPress during website designing. Joomla’s support and help portal are unparalleled.

It has a community-based support that keeps you updated with changes that are rolling in. No matter which version of Joomla you are using, you will know all the changes if you follow the forums and communities.

Why use WordPress?

WordPress is indeed the most popular website building platform of 2017. It is powering over 60 million websites right now. It is a hot favorite of all designers and website developers who have a hidden love for simplicity. WordPress leads the DIY market with ease and grace that is difficult to replicate.

It is easy to install. It is not only free; you can install WordPress with the click of a button. It is compatible with almost all Windows versions, Macs and Linux. You can have your website up and running in a matter of minutes if you are acquainted with WordPress. It is also highly customizable. Artists love their freedom of creation and WordPress offers just that to the website designers around the world. Since it is also an open source platform, you can get free tools, plugins, and add-ons from around the globe.

WordPress also has a very supportive community that will help you around the CMS platform. You can tap into the brilliance of millions of designers around the world to create a fantastic website for no cost at all. Even if you want to use SEO tools and other plugins to boost your site, you will cost your company and client only a couple of hundred dollars (sometimes even less than $100).

Why is Drupal a good option as well?

It is third in line, in terms of popularity. Drupal is a great open source platform, but the learning curve can be a bit too steep for rookies. This is indeed one of the toughest platforms to start web designing. However, the complex nature also has a distinct advantage. You can create all sorts of websites using Drupal.

You should choose Drupal if you are technically advanced. We do not mean you need to know how to program a space shuttle. We simply mean you need to know a bit of coding since Drupal will insist you on getting your hands dirty. It also loads pages quicker than both WordPress and Joomla. This is a distinct advantage of using Drupal for e-commerce websites. Customers usually give 2-3 seconds for an e-commerce page to load. This is where your website can have the upper hand over other CMS powered websites.

It is also highly customizable like its counterparts. You can find a wide array of free and paid plugins that will extend its functionalities. You can get down and dirty with its root files. We advise you to leave the root files alone if you are quite new at website designing. You should leave the intrinsic customizations to the experts, as Drupal is one of the most complex CMS platforms discussed here.

Drupal is also free, but you need to choose a paid hosting service. However, you can indeed strike some kind of deal that suits your budget since you will be saving thousands by choosing Drupal in the first place. It requires a secure hosting set up since the website SEO friendly and loading speed optimized. However, if you have too many plugins, you cannot blame Drupal (or any other CMS) for loading too slow!

Conclusion

Making the choice between these 3 depends completely on your need. Are you looking for a simple blog? Then go with WordPress. If you want to create the highest grossing e-commerce site, try using Joomla If you already know what you are doing, simply go with Drupal for a rich experience.

Each content management system has something unique to offer. Try a combination of third party tools and optimization options to get the most out of your chosen CMS.

How to Move from PSD to HTML: the Perfect Website

Moving from Photoshop Design to HTML coding for your website does not have to be as complicated as many people have been made to believe. Several tutorials offering such lessons are simple and easy to follow. They have gone out of the way to condense what used to be a nightmare into something more palatable and enjoyable. Away from the videos and tutorials, you can also learn through reading and implementing the necessary codes.

For a start, one needs to have a concise idea of web design basics. For you to transform PSD to HTML, you must be well versed with the primaries of web building. These include:

  • Planning
  • Wireframing
  • Basic HTML and CSS coding
  • Use of basic Photoshop Tools

For beginners, a wireframe is a visual outlay of the final web. How would you like the finished web to look like? With wireframing, the answer to this critical question lies. It handles the placements of various aspects of the website where they bring out their best. Most importantly, it involves structuring of the general layout without necessarily involving any graphics. It serves as an important step before moving into Photoshop because it serves you with an opportunity of focusing on the crucial components of the website.

Even more, this process saves you loads of time. Perfect wireframing process implies you will not have to do so many corrections when you come to Photoshop work. Instead, you will just be making necessary adjustments to fit your needs. In your wireframe, you should have boxes representing headers, footers, images, sidebars, texts, and even blocks. With the multiple number of wireframing tools available, you will not have to struggle doing the drawing on your own. Let the existing software like Go Mocking Bird ease your work.

Into Photoshop

With everything said about wireframing, we can now focus our attention on the various basic photo shop tools. Apparently, not so many beginners are familiar with the basic Photoshop tools and panels, making the creation of their ecommerce website designs in Photoshop a real nightmare.

Take the Ruler tool for instance, people know the function of this tool but are not certain of how to manipulate it to obtain its full functional properties. To most people, looking for the distance during measuring is a great problem. It becomes even worse when you are using earlier versions of Photoshop. The same is replicated in the use of other Photoshop tools and panels. Take advantage of YouTube tutorials like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqJWjGthNG0 to enhance your knowledge on such tools.

With this secured and done, you can take on the next task of designing in Photoshop with increased boldness. For practical lessons on PSD, you need tutorials like https://youtu.be/A9L9EO7G-UI, which provide basic lessons in simpler ways. Coming up with an ideal design requires a blend of tools so you must be prepared to face it all.

Unto HTML

With the basics of Photoshop designs already bagged in, you will need to have a firm grip of the real coding world. For a start, you need to familiarise yourself with basic HTML tags, structures and even CSS. Before that however, you will need to be at ease with basic tools needed for performing such operations. You need to have a good idea of the best text editors to use for coding. For those with Windows OS, Atom, Notepad++, and Aptana would be ideal for you. They make the editing work easier and more bearable with easy to use functions. If you are using Mac, you can take advantage of Textwrangler, Textmate and coda for your coding.

When it comes to tags, it is important familiarising yourself with the most popular tags evident in websites. For a beginner, you would not need to delve so much into specific details. You just need to know the basic HTML tags for links, images, headings, paragraphs, divisions, and maybe list items. Most importantly, it is advisable to have a firm grasp of HTML mark-up including opening and closing of related tags. As outlined in https://youtu.be/M59YPf7Q9gc, the whole idea of learning the basic coding in HTML is an easy one.

In addition to HTML, you will also require some basic knowledge ofCSS properties. You do not have to dwell deeper into CSS to come design your first website. For a beginner, all you need to know is styling of given elements or tags using basic CSS properties by altering different dimensions like width, height, colours and floats. The skills explained in https://youtu.be/d5OMc_JVTdMare necessary in transforming your HTML mark-up into a nice looking website.

At the end of it all, you realise that moving from your Photoshop design into a glamorous website using HTML is not as complicated or demanding as many would like to view it. With a perfect wireframe, you can transfer your ideas into Photoshop and achieve your dream website in HTML the easier way!

5 Tips for the Best Website Design for Small Businesses in 2017

There’s no time like the present if you’re trying to set up a business. The online world has simultaneously made it easier and harder for small businesses to reach consumers; easier because you can easily target your audience and deliver customized messages that are less costly than the mass advertising forms used before, and harder because you have many more businesses to compete with in your niche.

Creating an official website and ecommerce platform (if selling products and not services) are the two most important steps in establishing your online presence. There are many trends being touted out there, but not all of them will guarantee success for your business. In fact, you may find out that less is more when you’re starting out; far better it is to have a minimalistic but easily navigable and fully functional website than to have a site teeming with the latest design features and trends without offering ease of use or complete functionality. According to an Adobe study, up to 38 percent of website visitors will leave a website if they find that the layout is unattractive or hard to navigate. Good design is therefore essential for consumer engagement.

2017 has introduced many features such as artificial intelligence-powered interfaces, chat robots and virtual reality capability. Before jumping onto the bandwagon as a fresh entrant into the online scene, ensure the following elements are already taken care of in your official and/or ecommerce website design cost.

  1. Minimalism

Minimalistic website design was the highlight of 2016 and it continues to hold sway in 2017 for the following reasons:

  • Websites that feature clean and simple interfaces which provide consistent interactions for consumers on desktop and mobile are a big winner among users
  • Minimalism gets rid of cluttered layouts so that users are able to get things done faster and easier

In fact, many website owners are trying to get rid of elements in order to restore focus to their website content. This means that sites should feature fewer banners and links and have more white space to encourage exploration and scrolling. Such sites also have faster loading speeds, which is a big winner with consumers. Research shows that consumers are likely to abandon a site if it doesn’t load within 2 seconds or less.

The thing to watch out for with minimalistic design is the application of Flat Design, in which links are added so subtly that users can almost miss the clicking points and end up confused. This has now been improved to Semi-flat Design or Flat Design 2.0, in which subtle highlights, layers and shadows are used to guide users to navigate various portions of the site without getting lost or confused.

  1. Micro-interactions

Micro-interactions are a concept publicized by Nick Babich, who explains them as subtle moments involved in undertaking a given task. Micro-interactions may include click animations, hovers and scrolling effects among other techniques that may enrich user experience. Well-designed micro-interactions should:

  • Give the user some feedback
  • Provide the user a sense of control
  • Encourage users to take a certain action

2017 will see many more micro-interactions being included in mobile web design since screen sizes are growing and consumers need to be able to accomplish much more on their tablets and smartphones.

  1. Landing pages

While homepages are still vital to attracting and retaining site visitors, landing pages are becoming more significant in helping business owners to grow their online reach. You need to create dedicated landing pages and ensure they are optimized according to your site-wide content strategy.

Small startups will find this strategy especially useful; you can generate interest in your offerings through social media and guide interested consumers to your site without investing heavily in the mass marketing/advertising strategies.

A study by Imforza.com has shown that over 90 percent of online customer experiences begin from search engines. This means that not all of your site visitors will come in through your home page. It will pay dividends to ensure that your landing pages are well laid out and search-engine optimize to meet your consumers’ needs.

Features of an effective landing page include visible, nice-looking headlines, clear secondary headlines, well-written body copy with strong calls toaction or in-depth content answering user queries, at least one verbatim testimonial with a client’s picture where possible, visible calls to action and click buttons, an attractive and relevant image and good layout (most of the relevant details plus the call-to-action should be above the fold; avoid horizontal scrolling completely).

  1. Animation

Visual elements such as GIFs, cinemagraphs and animations can be very useful in conveying different concepts and/or breathing life into your website. You can use these simple animations which load faster than high-resolution photos or videos and can give your business useful tools to describe abstract concepts.

You can use captivating animations and light-hearted cinemagraphs to increase engagement with your visitors and keep them trained on your site longer. A cinemagraph is simply a classier GIF. It employs more subtle movements which increase their appeal and reduce the annoyance potential that GIFs usually have.

In the past, animations were Flash creations that took up a lot of resources, but this has been streamlined by using CSS coding and JavaScript which run websites with these elements more smoothly. They can be applied to improve user experience as an integral part of your website components.

Conclusion

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that good layout design must be complemented by a strong content strategy that communicates credibility and trustworthiness to your audience. In today’s world that teems with fake advertising and over-selling, trustworthiness is an invaluable resource that can be communicated using various design elements as well as body copy shared on each page.

Ensure your site looks clean and professional, links lead to useful resources, copy is checked for spelling and grammatical errors and information provided is consistent, factual, current and comprehensive. Ensure all relevant information is disclosed upfront, such as shipping fees and return policies for ecommerce websites. Above all, ensure that the site’s security protocols are updated to protect consumer information from cybercriminals.

Google’s Finding Events Feature: How is it changing the SEO Game?

Google is our all-year Santa, rolling out new gifts for all users. This month, Google has launched the event finder for all the mobile search app users. This particular feature is taking the events world by storm already. The newly updated app and mobile browser in the U.S. are helping users find new things to do and events to attend. Top SEO services are already doing their best to cash in on this process.

Let us see what this new update brings us –

The new update will tell you if there are events, concerts, exhibitions, festivals, lectures and even meetups near your search location.

The app uses your location and searches data to come up with event suggestions that might interest you.

Why is Google doing this?

Google has been seeing millions of search queries each day about live events, things to do and activities related to particular locations. This is like an evolution of the local searches Google has been running for ages.

It is easier to understand Google’s inspiration when we take a look at Facebook’s domination of the public events space. 100 million people use the Facebook events feature daily. In fact, since last November, about 650 million people have used it on Facebook. Event managers and companies use Facebook to spread event news like wildfire. It is more of a “click campaign” for Facebook users and event managers. Once someone accepts an invite or shows interest in attending an event, everyone in their friend list can see the event details. The events get the potential to spread like viral news if handled correctly.

Most marketing officials and experts think that the events finder feature is Google’s answer to this continuing threat. Google can finally do what it does best. Provide more consolidated information to the users and make it more available too.

How does this work?

Google is right now pooling event information from SeatGeek. MeetUp, Bookmyshow.com, LiveNation, StubHub, Eventful, Bandsintown and Yext. You can see all locally listed events and event related information on your iOS device. The information will be more organized and interactive.

The working of this new feature is quite simple. If you are using the mobile app to search for “Rock and Roll concerts” from NY, it will automatically show a list of rock and roll concerts by various artists in your nearby locations. The same applies to other events like art exhibitions, sports events and literature meets.

You will receive more than just the event name or organizer information like you used to before 11 May 2017. Now, you will get complete details of the location, time, date and artist information at your fingertips.

We think Google is introducing this feature to stay in touch with all its users. The company does not want any competition in their dominion and seeks to keep all users on Google rather than dedicated events apps or event Facebook.

How can you make the most of this new feature?

Since this is all about company events, and search engines, this gives new businesses a glorious opportunity to be visible. There can only be some incidents in a locality, so it automatically winnows out the competition. This will be a lot easier than staying at #1 position for local searches or general Google searches.

For example – if you are about to launch a new product you can announce that on your blog, website, Facebook page, Twitter and every other imaginable platform. Google can pick up on that and feature your event on top. This is a fresh game of SEO, which you can easily win.

You can approach one of the listed events companies. However, Google has already created developer guidelines for all websites who want to list their events similarly through Google search. This will be a new twist to the search engine optimization story most companies have been hearing since Hummingbird flew in.

Although most SEO companies in and around the country will try to cash in on the new feature, very few will succeed. Google is finally making significant changes in the history of algorithm optimization. Search engines will now be able to distinguish between mentions of events and dates in blogs and website with upcoming events that are to be visible to Google events. This means, any company who are coming up with new events, be it launches, inaugurations, sponsorship events, and promotions will have to work with complete knowledge of Google algorithms and the changes for the top rank.

Why is it different for SEOs this time?

You can seize this opportunity to become more visible to your target market. Your potential customers are out there, waiting for a signal. In any case, what can be more evident than an open invite through Google Search?

As per the patent filed by Google during summer 2016, ranking events will be based on –

  1. Computation of unique mentions scores to determine the popularity of the event.
  2. Computation of official page selection score.
  3. Computation of entity popularity score.
  4. Computation of venue score
  5. Computation of ranking score.
  6. Computation of entity popularity score.

The computation of the total demand of your event will depend on some factors including information about each category of event and generation of demotion values for each even based on higher rank events of the same class. This process is still a mystery to company marketing teams since this involves quite a bit of algorithm and direct SEO factors.

Services to Look for in SEO Packages

SEO companies play an important role in online marketing. They are the ones responsible for search engine ranking and all other aspects of Internet marketing. This means that with the right company, you will be able to concentrate on the core operations of your online business without ever having to worry about its overall performance. All in all, it is important to note that not every company out there will have the resources to help you achieve your desired goals.

When deciding on the company to work with, it is imperative that you pay more attention to their experience. A company that has been in the business the longest understands the strategies better and will have the resources needed to help you achieve exactly what you want without ever engaging in trial and error. Secondly, you have to pay attention to their strategy. How will they help you achieve your goals? It is also a good thing to listen to what the current clients are saying about the services they are receiving from the company. The next thing you need to look at is the SEO packages being offered by the company. These are what determine what you will achieve at the end of the day. The purpose of this post is to help you know what to look for when evaluating an SEO package.

The SEO packages are simply SEO services that have been bundled up together. It is more cost-effective to use these package rather than going for the individual services that you need. You will have the option of choosing from a standard and customized package. The standard package is one that includes predetermined packages whereas the customized package contains unique services that you select yourself. Needless to say, the standard package is much cheaper but less comprehensive than the customized package. With different SEO companies offering different services in their packages, it is important that you learn the key services that a good package should have.

  • Technical audit

This is the first service you should look for. The technical infrastructure, current website architecture and the content management system have a significant impact on your SEO campaign success. This is why the first thing the SEO company should do is to give you a technical audit. This has to be given long before the company starts optimizing your website. Failure to give you a technical audit simply means the company did not take the time to understand the technical part of your website before they started optimizing it. Technical audit should look at the on-page and off-page elements in order to make sure there are no technical impediments to the website’s success.

  • Keyword research

A service that should not miss in the SEO services packages is keyword research. Keyword research is the most important component of any SEO package. It is integral to the overall success of an SEO campaign. There is a set of keywords that an agency will target in the SEO campaign. The number of the keywords will depend on the level of packages that you have bought. There are several methods that are used by the SEO consultant to get the best keywords that will drive more traffic to your site. Some of the methods used include the following:

  • Research tools
  • Using Google analytics
  • Surveying clients/customers/suppliers
  • Reviewing the language that is used on the relevant social media sites

Keyword research is considered to be one of the most important aspects of SEO. This is because the keywords on your website are what determine the level of traffic your website will get and your overall ranking. The ideal keywords need to be relevant to what your website offers.

  • Link building

To boost your search engine ranking, your off-page optimization is very important. When determining the relevance of a website, search engines usually consider the backlinks and citations. If your backlinks are from quality websites, your website will be considered to be more valuable by search engines. This will have a positive impact on your search engine ranking. It is for this reason that link building is often offered as a standard SEO package. The package may include the following:

  • Analyzing the current link profile
  • Analyzing the competitors’ profile
  • Submitting the website to relevant quality directories
  • Writing guest blog posts
  • Social networking and bookmarking
  • Syndicating articles
  • SEO copywriting

Copywriting is a must in search engine optimization. This is a service that has to be included in the package you select. This service will be included if the SEO consultant feels that webpages need to be added or that your website needs to be rewritten. The service involves the creation of optimized copies for your website. The new content should include relevant keywords which have to be insertedin the copy naturally and strategically. This has to strike the balance between engaging for the readers and telling search engine spiders what the web copy is about.

  • Training

This is yet another service you will find in the SEO package. With this package, a professional will educate and empower you with the knowledge on using the CMS, analyzing Google statistics and optimizing your website. The level of training you get will depend on your skill level. At the end of it all, you should feel confident enough to make any basic changes in your SEO campaigns.

  • Dedicated SEO consultants

When using services, you will get a dedicated SEO consultant. Here, you will work directly with a consultant who will be your one point of contact. The consultant will further implement your campaigns as well as provide feedback on the progress.

The above are just the main services you should look for in an SEO package. There are many more services you can find, among them being social media marketing, Google Place Pages Optimization and SEO website design. The rule of thumb is to ensure that the services you get are all relevant to what you want to achieve.

6 Common SEO Services Pricing Models

The question you will have to ask SEO companies over and over is how they price their services. Most business owners consider the cost of SEO as an expense instead of an investment. To be sincere, when it comes to SEO, all you will be doing is making an investment in your business. This is because SEO’s ROI is more traffic and more sales. However, for this to happen, you must hire the right company.

The purpose of this post is to help you understand how much SEO costs. In order to do that, you have to start by understanding the factors that impact the cost of search engine optimization. Below are the two main factors:

       1. Firm size

When hiring an SEO company, bigger is not always better. This is because even though the large SEO firms tend to offer packages that fit all, their large size may cause them to charge you more since they offer high-end, customized services. Your business many not need some of these services.

Still on size, the size of your business will have an impact on how much you end up paying for SEO. If you are a large business with a wide market reach, more work will have to be done to reach all your customers. What this means is that more time will have to be dedicated to your business. The end result is more expenses on the part of the SEO Company. This expense will be transferred to you in the form of a higher service cost.

       2. Target market

The audience you want for your products and services will have a great influence on the cost of SEO. The larger and the more competitive your target market is, the more you will have to pay for search engine optimization. For example, if you sell a commoditized online service which doesn’t have geographic boundaries such as web hosting, you should be ready to spend a fortune. If you are a dentist in a small town, the cost of SEO will be much lower.

The above are the main factors that SEO companies consider when it comes to SEO services pricing. Now that you know that, it is time to take a look at the different pricing models that are used by SEO firms.

  • Monthly retainers

This is where you pay the SEO Company a monthly fee to take care of all your business’ monthly SEO needs. The option is ideal if you have already implemented your SEO strategies and are only interested in management. For small businesses with limited geographic boundaries, the average monthly retainer should be between $250 and $500. Companies running a national or international campaign can expect to pay over $10,000 per month.

  • Project pricing

The second most popular pricing model used by SEO companies is project pricing. This can also be referred to as a one-time fee. This is because you are charged per the project that you are hiring the service provider for. Again, the cost will vary significantly depending on what you are buying. For a basic SEO audit, you can expect to pay between $600 and $2000. Such a project may take the SEO firm between 5 and 10 hours. It all depends on the size of your website and the nature of your business. Detailed SEO audits will cost you between $3,000 and $20,000. Detailed audits take a lot of time and this is a step-by-step manual job. The results are custom-tailored for the client.

  • Hourly

Most SEO firms charge their clients an hourly rate. The hourly rate can be as low as $76 or as high as $200 per hour. Typically, SEO companies charge between $125 and $200. Needless to say, the cost will depend on the company you are working with and the nature of the project. You should also note that these rates are not exact. There are some big companies that will charge as much as $500 per hour.

  • Packages

This is yet another method that is used by a majority of SEO firms. Here, you are charged based on the package that you select. You can go for the standard package which is less expensive or the custom package which is more expensive. The problem with the standard package is that you will be forced into taking services that you don’t need. These packages are often placed under three categories; Bronze, Silver or Gold. Bronze is less comprehensive whereas Gold is more comprehensive. With the custom package, you select the services that you need. The cost of the custom packages will depend on the size of the package as well as the services you end up selecting.

  • Pay on Results

A great pricing option that most companies will not give you is pay on results. This is a very hard-to-find package because SEO firms know that they cannot guarantee results when it comes to search engine optimization. If you can find it, go for it. It will save you a great deal of money since all that is needed is a low down payment and the rest of the payment is only paid when the promised results are achieved. With the pay on results, you may find such models as organic SEO profits performance, keyword-based performance and traffic based-performance models.

  • Pay per lead/ conversion

This is a pricing model that is offered mainly to small to medium sized businesses. It works best when you are running an affiliate program. The SEO firm builds a separate website which promotes your products or services. You will then pay the SEO service provider for the leads you get from their separate website.

There are many more methods used by SEO companies when it comes to pricing. It is up to you to find a service provider that will help you achieve your goals cost-effectively. Do not just choose a package because it is affordable but also because it helps you accomplish your goals.

8 Most Essential Tips to Note for Successful E-commerce Web Design in 2017

Web design itself is a very competitive industry, and when it comes to developing e-commerce sites that need to win the hearts of the consumers at the very first instance, it becomes more challenging. Here we will discuss some tips from the experts that can help you build the best looking and most user-friendly e-commerce websites.

Introduction to e-com web design

E-commerce web designing is not merely about creating an aesthetically pleasing online store. It surely helps to attract people, but the most important part which makes an e-commerce site successful is how quick the customer gets from the initial landing to complete an order. So, efficient e-commerce site design is all about turning the potential visitor into an active buyer. Here are the promised tips.

       1. Give the customers an option to refine their choices

People do not want to waste time, especially on a particular website as there are millions of such sites available online. So, a site should focus on offering the customers the most user-friendly filter options to ease up their shopping endeavors and let them land on their most needed items.

When consumers come to an e-commerce site through different channels, they are surely in a mood to buy, but if they get a very complicated process of finding items or buying online, they instantly start looking for an alternative store. For example, if an online clothing store fails to give accurate information regarding size, customers will have difficulty finding the items that will be a perfect fit for them. Most buyers in this instance will leave the website. However, on the off chance, even if someone makes a purchase, they may end up with a poorly fitted clothing item, which will leave them disappointed and even upset!

       2. Let them navigate back easily

While browsing through the selection of items, customers may narrow down their choices inside various categories, and they may sometimes make mistakes or change their minds in between. So, it is crucial to implement a reverse option on the site so that the buyer can get back to previous stages of the short-listing.

Forcing them to use the back button clicks may cut off their browser connections. That is why there should be an option within the site that allows them to go back a few steps. This feature has to be made mandatory for all e-commerce sites as it offers the maximum ease of browsing through the different products.

       3. Keep search bar easily accessible

You may have noted that the common thing on amazon.com is a prominent search bar that is easily noticeable and accessible. You may not realize how frequently you use the search option when you are on an e-com website, but it is one area people use to find the desired items.

Considering this, while doing ecommerce website design, the search bar can be made prominent, not only on the homepage but also on the inner pages of the site. This will help the users to stick to the website for things they need rather than going back to a search engine to find out different products.

       4. If a particular item is not in stock, inform it at the first point.

While it is not a designing tip, it is surely one of the common mistakes that e-com websites make. Removing a product that is out of stock from the main list may not do you any good in terms of SEO, but it will surely add to the user-friendliness of the site. No one likes to make the effort of finding the item he or she wants only to discover that it is “currently out of stock.” If a product is unavailable, make it clear to the users rather than misleading them to waste time.

       5. Use original and high-quality photographs

Images play a vital role in e-commerce success. You can find that the popularity of photo sharing social media applications is also increasing, which offers a lot of opportunities for the online businesses. Compared to conventional sales, ecommerce is more about buying with the users’ eyes rather than the touch and feel of a product.

Having quality photos and the minute details of products is a sure-shot way to get more people attracted. A designer needs to plan the page layout by keeping this factor in mind to deliver the best. You can use responsive tiled thumbnails, a slideshow of the products, or even a high-quality video on the screen. The quality of these images is vital as a puffy low-pixel photo may always give off a negative impression about the quality of the product.

       6. Visible shopping cart

The advanced e-com shoppers want to redirect to the shopping cart page each time after putting in an item. So, it is essential to show the shopping cart on every page of the site. Designers previously used to choose the sidebar for this purpose, but with this, you may have to compromise on your valuable promotion space. Similar to the search bar, the shopping basket should also be displayed on every page for the users to access easily. The shopping cart also should contain the all the necessary information, and not just the number of items. You can add thumbnails for the products to make it much easier for the users to view.

       7. Easy navigation

Most e-commerce sites have a number of categories. The options of fly-out and or super menus, which drop down when the users hover over, are identified as the most effective approach to preventing the pages from being cluttered while ensuring maximum accessibility.

       8. Ensure consistent SEO

Increasing competition has made optimization a necessity for e-commerce businesses. Without a properly optimized site, you can only attract some customers through paid methods, which may also not work out well if your acceptance rate is low. At the latest, relevant and useful content is an essential aspect, which you need to keep a close eye on.

The above tips are meant to help the designer, developers, and site owners alike. However, it is also essential to keep an eye on not ‘overdoing’ things if you want to get a good grip on the results. Along with building a good e-commerce site, it is also essential to sell good quality products and create an efficient customer support system to find success.

A few things about on-page SEO you need to know in 2017

We have heard ad nauseam about SEO and its benefits. SEO is here to stay, and people will not stop talking about it. In the hustle bustle of commodification, the real beauty like optimization is in neglect. We need to understand why SEO is here to stay rather than why we should buy SEO packages and stuff our websites with “meaningless” elements to make it search engine friendlier!

Quick fixes and SEO hacks are inundating the market. Amidst this chaos, we need to find the attributes of optimization that our websites need. Each business has its values, and instead of warping our brands around the optimization strategies, we can tailor the elements of the SEO plans to suit our brands.

On-page elements for your company website –

On-page refers to all the elements that are and can be present on your website page. It includes text, image, video, links, and forms. Now, we have all heard about optimization of text, but what are image and video optimization.

Why is multimedia optimization important for your website?

Firstly, if you have a website and a blog, you need multimedia. An online presence without any video is utterly passé. Secondly, you need to optimize this multimedia so your users can find the images and videos online via Google or Bing.

You can optimize any image by giving it the right Alt Tags. This is not hard depending on what platform you are using for your website. It is the easiest for WordPress sites. You can just access the backend and go to the edit images option to add a new Alt Tag to your pictures. Do not forget to include a couple of important and relevant descriptions while you are in there. To make sure your image and video show up in a picture search, always include a couple of trending keywords into the description.

You can always go back and change the description later on. It is so simple for WordPress sites that you can do this for all your images and videos on your own.

Why should you optimize text content?

Optimization of text is easy too. Having a keyword tool and an SEO tool helps. Yoast is a great way to pimp up your website content and your blog. This tool will tell you everything about trending keywords, keyword use, and density. You will also get a comprehensive analysis of readability and grammar from Yoast SEO tool. Other keyword tools from the WordPress repertoire work great too. You can also check Google Adwords and Keyword Planner for a great working idea on trending keywords.

Implementing hierarchy of content –

The key to finding your website in the #1 position of the SRL is to organize your content is a proper hierarchy. Start with your Title Tag. Always include your keyword in your Title Tag. Do not forget to add modifiers like “2017”, “best,” “review” and “guide” to your main title. Then move on to Header 2 or H2 and H3. There are the sub-heads of your content.

Get some good “link juice” –

In 2017, on-page SEO is all about linking. Outbound links and inbound links need to be in perfect symbiosis for your page to be in rank 1. Add 2-3 inbound links to all your posts. Wikipedia is an excellent example of inbound links. (Why do you think Wikipedia shows up for every search we conduct?)

Outbound linking is cost-effective Whitehat SEO. The pass the link juice onto your site content from other valuable sites. Always remember outbound links are more valuable than inbound links. However, including too many outbound links will annoy your readers. There is an upper limit, but you should limit it to about one every 200 words for your readers’ sake.

Link building is now one of the most integral parts of on-page SEO. Without on-page optimization, you will get no organic traffic. Organic traffic is what a “normal” Google search sends your way. When a user clicks on an SRL that directs them to your website, it is organic traffic. This is what most marketers are dying to achieve today.

The biggest reason you should get on-page SEO –

The most primary reason your brand should be doing on-page optimization is to save money. Come on! Which company does not want to save a few bucks on a good deal? On-page will make sure your website is search friendly and will keep your content shipshape.

Not having on-page optimization means working double to optimize your off-page techniques. Off-page techniques include customer service, advertising campaigns (online and offline), web analytics and social media marketing. These are as expensive as they sound. On-page is a wonderful way to build a platform for any brand. You can use this platform to promote your products and services. However, if you do not have a platform like this, it will not only be difficult, it will also be extremely confusing and time consuming for any marketer and optimizer.

In the end, can your optimization preserve your business values?

SEO increases the visibility of your business. This provides a glorious opportunity for your business to thrive online and find a sound customer base. Have an online presence with verifiable parameters makes your business more credible to future investors as well. Optimization automatically works towards guiding a client from the top of the funnel to the very bottom. If your website optimization is better regarding visibility, navigation, and design, you will automatically see your conversion rate increase.

SEO is one of the integral parts of online marketing. If you have an official website, you should think about optimizing it. It will bring in new visitors, potential customers and it will give you more ways to analyze your web presence and website performance. You can be the owner of a startup, the CEO of an SMB or the marketing head of a multi-national corporation; you will never be able to enjoy the benefits of having a website unless you make it visible to your target audience.

5 SEO Benefits You Can Gain from Responsive Web Design

The world we live in today has already moved from desktop as the main search tool to mobile search. Consumers are now addicted to their tablets, iPads and mobile phones. As such, responsive web design has ceased to be innovative and turned into a requirement.

Web has changed drastically over the last year. The top of that list is the moment mobile web searches worldwide exceeded the volume of desktop searches. According to research, there are now twice as many people using smartphones as those using desktop computers among the people who only access the internet on a single device.

Neither of the above developments came by surprise; we’ve been leading to this from 2014 when mobile search exceeded desktop search in the USA. It is therefore surprising to find small business owners in 2017 that haven’t taken to improving their mobile accessibility and visibility. As high as 60 percent of websites had still not embraced responsive design by the end of 2016.

This is a major cause for concern given the disadvantage that such businesses are at, particularly those targeting local search traffic. Google’s top priority is to service their users’ needs. You can therefore expect that, no matter how good a desktop site you have, Google will not be leading its users to a non-optimized site when they’re searching on mobile.

If you’re an SEO expert that still doesn’t understand the importance of responsive design, there’s simply no salvation for you. These are some benefits of responsive design.

  1. Improving user experience

Users will not stick around on a site that is difficult for them to navigate. Google weighs session duration as an indication of the value of a site for a user query. Through responsive web design, you can make it easy for site visitors to read and navigate your site. This results in overall improvement in user experience, which translates to longer site durations.

High usability scores means that your visitors will return more often and are likely to convert. Google is all about satisfying user queries, and users coming to your website repeatedly will prove your worth and have you ranking higher and attracting even more users.

Mobile responsive web design is pivotal for good mobile customer experience. Therefore, the importance of usability cannot be overstated. Digital marketing agencies must take every step to ensure consumer expectations are fulfilled because this is the biggest driver of conversions. As you get more traffic and good reviews, you’ll have an increase in branded searches and all of these can contribute to better rankings on SERPs.

Online businesses must work hard to map out their mobile consumers’ journeys and ensure that their needs are met at every turn.

  1. Faster loading speeds

Page loading speeds are a well-known ranking factor. Every website must be optimized to load within the shortest time in order to increase chances of ranking well within search results. In fact, loading times that exceed 2 seconds can lead to more than 40 percent of consumers to abandon a website.

Google has been consistent in stating that sites which load fast will have more favorable search results. Responsive design ensures that only the most important elements are loaded depending on the size of the device the consumer is searching with. Speed is more important on mobile devices than desktops because users are often on the move and have little time to wait for slow-loading sites.

  1. Lower bounce rates

Bounce rates are higher depending on the user experience. If users come to your page from search results and they are unable to easily and quickly find what they need, they will bounce back to search results. This is interpreted badly by Google, that your site does not fulfill user requirements for that particular query. You can then lose you ranking position. The result of this negative vibe is that you’ll have less visitors coming to your site.

Having a well-designed website that is easily navigable can keep users on your site longer, which is where responsive web design comes in handy. You can have stellar content, but this will be of no use if users cannot read it quickly and easily.

Such is the importance of responsive design.

4 Factors That Can Spoil ROI from SEO

When you have created a website and invested money in SEO hoping for ranks and leads but it’s not working, the situation can be very frustrating. You get confused because many other companies in your niche are getting web and mobile traffic, but it seems that customers are simply not paying any attention to your website. What could have possibly gone wrong? Well, today, I will discuss the most common reasons for not getting ROI from SEO.

Considering traffic is equal to income: Do you know that 55% of visitors leave a website within 15 seconds? The common myth is that the more traffic you can direct to your site, the more customers you have. The fact is SEO can bring traffic to your website, but unless they take an action (sign-up for newsletter, download e-books, purchase a product, donate money), depending on the purpose of your site, you will not get any return on investment.

Thinking that the more you invest in SEO, the better results you get: It is true that SEO costs a huge amount of money, but there are many companies that spend as much as $3000 per month for SEO but still get no improvement in terms of conversion rate. Let’s make this simple for you. People only notice first page or maximum second page search results. That means all the other businesses that spent money to be among the top 100 results, get a minuscule return from their investment. It takes quality content and brand recognition to get a spot on the first page and it takes time to reach there. Just because you spent $10000 on SEO during the very first month of the website launch, you can’t expect to secure a position on the first page.

Wrong timing: Content strategy plays a key role in SEO and if your timing is not right in terms of keyword usage and PPC then you will not see the results you want. Here is an example, suppose you sell gift items and 15 days before Christmas you post a blog and invest in PPC targeting keywords such as “Christmas shopping”, “Christmas gift ideas”, “best Christmas gift” etc. then you will notice a spike in the conversion rate. But if you start the marketing too early (4 months ago) or too late (23rd December), then you will waste your money.

Ignorance about the influence of social media: Nowadays, SEO and SEM are the two most formidable factors to rank well on SERP. The engagement on social media can help you bring millions of genuine customers without spending a penny. A fan page on Facebook or a Twitter profile can help you stay in touch with the consumers instantly. The more people share your content on social media, the more backlinks you get. So, if you don’t have a corporate profile on popular social media platforms, the possibility of people noticing you is very thin.

Conclusion

If you have made any of the mistakes mentioned above then don’t feel sorry. Even the veterans make mistakes while optimizing a website. The important thing is to understand why you are not getting the return on investment and rectify your mistakes so that the money you spend on SEO can help you generate revenue.