How to Optimise E-Commerce Pages on Your Website – 8 Essential Tips

Getting people to your site to look at the products you offer is only part of the process of making your e-commerce website successful. You also need to optimise your product pages so you can maximise the number of sales. As an experienced e-commerce website design company in Auckland, here are our eight essential tips for optimising e-commerce product pages.

Use High-Quality Product Photos

Never compromise on the images you use on your product pages. They should be to a professional standard, and they should showcase the product in the best possible way. Pay particular attention to lighting and make sure there is nothing distracting in the photos.

Provide a Selection of Photos

Following on from the last point, it is also important to add a selection of photos to each product page on your site. This includes photos of the product from a variety of different angles. Photos of the product being used are also helpful, as well as photos for size referencing where relevant.

If you offer a range of options on your product pages, the best approach is to include photos representing each option.

Include Product Videos

You can take the above two points to the next level by also including a video in addition to photos on each product page on your site. Again, the video must be professional, and it should be as informative as possible.

Make Sure Your Calls to Action Are Clear

The calls to action on your product pages are among the most important elements.

You need a well-designed button that is easy to spot, i.e. you don’t want a situation where potential customers have to search for the button to make a purchase. Make sure you use buttons, too, rather than just text. Online shoppers are familiar with looking for buttons when they are ready to buy.

Make sure the button is high up on the page and give clear instructions on the button. On the button to buy a product, the text could be “Buy Now” or "Add to Cart". Once a product has been added to the cart, you should display additional options such as “Checkout" and "Continue Shopping".

Include Reviews & Ratings

Including reviews and ratings of your products helps to deal with concerns the purchaser may have. You should put them close to the bottom of the page so they are not a distraction, but you should highlight and link to them at the top of the page.

Make the Text Clear, Concise, and Engaging

The text on the product pages of your e-commerce website should explain the product, justify the price, and help customers imagine using the product. The best text is aspirational and appeals to the customer’s pain points.

Make sure you include enough text on the page too. You don’t want the text to be repetitive or irrelevant, but you need to properly describe the product. Also, a good amount of text helps with SEO.

If you are concerned that lots of text will impact the design of the page, use a click to reveal feature where visitors first see a compact page and can then click to reveal all the text if they are interested.

Display Similar Products

This tip is borrowed from some of the biggest e-commerce websites in the world, including Amazon and eBay. They all display similar products on their product pages. They use headlines like “Customers also purchased” or “You may also like”.

Displaying similar products helps you to upsell and cross-sell, increasing the average revenue per purchase.

Include Detailed Product Information

Make sure you include all the detail that a customer might need when making a decision. This includes sizing information, for example, compatibility information, etc.

Bonus Tip

We have one bonus tip also – test, test, and test again.

The best way to optimise the product pages on your website is to regularly test the various elements to see what works best.

What are EMDs and PMDs, and Can They Benefit Your SEO Campaign?

EMD and PMD are abbreviations used in the SEO and digital marketing industries. Let’s start by defining them.

EMD stands for exact match domain. So, it refers to the address (or URL) of your website and whether it is exactly the same as a commonly used keyword in Google search, i.e. a keyword that people regularly search for on Google.

A fictional example of a keyword that this would apply to could be “best widgets online”. A website with an exact match domain would have the URL bestwidgetsonline.com. In other words, a URL that is exactly the same as the keyword.

PMD stands for partial match domain. This is a URL made up partly of a commonly used keyword and partly of additional words. Examples using the above fictional scenario could be widgetsauckland.com, comparewidgets.com, or widgetshub.com.

We use a PMD here at Kiwi Website Design.

EMDs and PMDs in Your Business

If the name of your business matches a commonly used keyword, you may be using an EMD or PMD without knowing it. You may also decide to use an EMD or PMD as your website’s URL, even though it is not the name of your business. While the latter is not as common, it does happen.

What is the best approach and can EMDs and PMDs benefit your SEO campaign?

EMDs are the more complicated of the two, as they present both problems and opportunities.

A Brief Background to EMDs and SEO

Let’s start with the problems. They stem from how exact match domains were used by some people in the past.

EMDs became popular with people experienced in SEO and digital marketing because it used to be almost a certainty that you could get an exact match domain to a very high ranking in Google, including the number one spot. EMDs were regarded by many as being a top SEO ranking factor.

This even applied to highly competitive keywords. In many cases, the EMD website could rank in a higher position than a better-quality website simply because of the EMD boost.

As you might imagine, this quickly became recognised leading to some people taking advantage of the opportunity. They would find a keyword (usually a product or service) that people search for on Google. They would then purchase the exact match domain for that keyword before getting get a good ranking on Google through the EMD boost and a bit of SEO for their new site.

This high ranking would bring traffic to their website, which would be monetised in some way.

The approach described above started as a trickle but, as with a lot of things in SEO, it soon became exploited.

As a result, Google started to view a lot of EMD websites as offering a poor user experience, particularly those that were highly specific, i.e. those that targeted long-tail keywords so were three or more words long.

To counteract this, Google released an update to its search algorithm to prevent these poor-quality sites from ranking well on search results pages, even though they were EMD sites.

What About Your Website?

Does this mean you can’t get a good ranking for an exact match domain name?

The simple answer is that exact match domain names can still do very well in Google search. When all other things are equal, you may even get a boost over your competition with an EMD.

There are some things you need to think about, though.

  • The structure of the domain name – not all EMDs are the same. You will probably find it harder to get a good ranking if your domain name is more than three words long, whether it is an EMD or not. Including dashes in your domain name is also not recommended, even if it enables you to use an EMD.
  • Keyword stuffing risk – you are at greater risk of being perceived as keyword stuffing when you use an exact match domain name. Going back to our fictional example, an inner page on your website could be bestwidgetsonline.com/widgets. That’s two mentions of the keyword “widgets” in one URL, which could be problematic, particularly when the situation is replicated with other inner page URLs. It’s not just inner page URLs either, as you can also run into difficulties with anchor text. A lot of people who link to your website will use the name of your business. If this is an EMD, Google could take the view that you have over-optimised anchor text, which could hurt your rankings.
  • Different industries – it’s important to consider your industry too. In highly competitive industries, such as in the financial sector, you will probably find it difficult to rank an EMD. In less competitive industries, including industries where EMDs already rank, you will do better.
  • Ensure your website delivers a great user experience – there are no shortcuts to SEO. You should also remember when thinking about SEO that Google wants you to earn a good ranking on its search results pages. Nothing will gift you that ranking, including an EMD. So, whether you have an EMD or not, make your website as good as possible for your visitors.
  • Implement an effective SEO strategy for your Christchurch business – following on from the above point; an EMD is not an SEO silver bullet. You will still need an effective SEO strategy.

 

What About PMDs?

In many situations, PMDs are the better option as they solve some of the problems highlighted above.

In general, the same advice applies:

  • You can rank a website that has a PMD (our website is the perfect example)
  • Don’t expect a good ranking just because you have a PMD
  • You will still need a good website and SEO strategy
  • With those things in place, having a PMD can give you a boost

 

So, what’s the summary? For a start, don’t panic if you have an EMD or PMD because you have heard negative stories. You can still rank EMDs, and they can be beneficial. Also, whether you have one or not, you’ll still need SEO.

How Long Does It Take a Brand-New Website to Start Getting Organic Traffic?

Launching a brand-new website and getting people to visit it are two very different things. Still, a common question often asked by business and website owners is how long it will take to start getting organic search traffic from Google.

There isn’t really a way to give a definitive answer to that question as there are so many variables to consider, not least being the amount of organic traffic that you would regard as being a success.

While most businesses and websites want to get as much traffic as possible, more targeted micro niche websites will assess the success of SEO very differently to larger sites aimed at much wider audiences.

In general, however, most websites will start to see some traffic from Google very shortly after they launch – usually in days, a week or two at the latest. Remember, though, that success doesn’t lie at the start of your SEO journey, but instead by continuous improvements that increase traffic numbers over time.

Factors That Impact Google Traffic Levels for New Websites

There are several factors that will impact the amount of traffic you get from Google immediately after launching a new website, as well as the rate at which you can improve those numbers. Understanding these factors at an early stage in the process can help you take actions to maximise results.

Level of Optimisation

If organic traffic is important to your website, you will need SEO whether your target audience is in Christchurch or anywhere else. Therefore, you need to optimise your website from the start.

Some of the most important elements for achieving this include:

  • Including relevant keywords in the content of your site’s pages
  • Making sure there is enough content on the pages
  • Properly structuring the various elements of your site’s pages including the URL, page title, and header tags
  • Ensuring your website is mobile responsive
  • Ensuring your website loads quickly

 

There are other things you will find on your onpage SEO checklist that will also benefit your website, but the above points will give you a solid foundation to build on.

It’s also important that you set-up your website on Google Search Console, the free Google tool that you can use to manage and monitor your website in Google search.

Competition

If you are in a niche or industry where there is a lot of competition, you will find it more difficult to rank in a high position on Google search results pages. SEO will help with this, but competition is a major factor when launching a new website.

This is because Google is highly unlikely to display your new website over others which it already knows well and understands, particularly for competitive search terms.

You will get some traffic as the Google algorithm learns more about your site, but you shouldn’t expect your site to immediately dislodge those that are already established.

Achieving this goal is a medium-to-long-term objective that requires a sustained and effective SEO strategy.

Standard Vs. Long-Tail Keywords

You will also find in the early days, weeks, and months of launching your new website that a lot of the traffic you get comes from long-tail keywords rather than standard keywords.

Don’t view this as a negative, however. It’s true that, in general, standard keywords have higher levels of monthly searches than long-tail keywords. However, people using Google type in long-tail keywords more than shorter ones.

In addition, long-tail keywords help with the learning process as Google gets a better understanding of your website, plus long-tail keywords often bring highly targeted visitors to your site, i.e. people with a very specific query that your website can help with.

Local Business Websites

The location of your target audience is also a factor in relation to how quickly you will start seeing traffic arriving at a brand-new website. This is because you can use Google My Business to provide the search engine with additional info about your business. This can lead to your website appearing in the local search section of search results pages, even if you are not in the main search results.

This can not only bring visitors to your website, but it can generate calls to your business too.

Link Building and Marketing

Your ability to build links and get your website’s brand out there in advance of the launch and in the early days and weeks will also impact the organic traffic you will get. It’s important to remember that Google doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Instead, it uses a wide variety of sources to build up a more complete picture of your site.

This includes mentions in the news, press releases, activity on social media, and more. So, the more marketing and link building activities you can do, the better your results will be.

Gradual Build

The summary of the above is that you shouldn’t expect to see massive amounts of traffic arrive at your new website overnight as it is more of a gradual process. A more realistic objective is to see increases month on month to develop an overall upward trend. The rate of growth in that upward trend will then depend on the level of SEO activity you implement for your new Christchurch site.

10 SEO Ranking Strategies That Still Work in 2020

If you have tried to follow trends and developments in SEO for any period of time, you will know it is enough to make your head spin. There are so many ideas and suggestions, tips and advice.

Some of it is bogus, a lot of it is out of date, and much of it doesn’t really apply to SEO in small and medium-sized businesses in Auckland as it is too niche.

For example, here’s one we read on a leading SEO expert’s website recently – target keywords in other languages and other jurisdictions as there is less competition. If your customers are in Auckland or New Zealand, this tip is pointless.

So, we’ve compiled 10 of the most important SEO strategies for Auckland businesses.

1. Target the Right Keywords

Keywords are essential in SEO, so you will have to spend time getting familiar with the various types and those that are most important to your business. Here is a summary of the key points:

  • Search intent – just because lots of people use a particular keyword doesn’t mean you should prioritise targeting it. This is because you should consider the intent of those using that keyword. The best ones to target are keywords that indicate the person searching is interested in buying, or is close to making a decision about, the products or services that you sell.
  • Long-tail keywords – most small and medium-sized business owners in Auckland ignore long-tail keywords, but they can be very effective. Plus, you will find less competition as not as many people target them.

 

2. Make the Content on Your Website Fantastic

This is the most important element of onpage SEO. In fact, if you do nothing else with SEO in 2020, you should spend time and resources improving the content on your pages.

Even if you think your content is already good, it could be improved further.

One effective strategy is to use your competitors and/or the best websites in other locations as a benchmark. The content on the pages of your website should be better than these pages.

3. Add Regular High-Value Content to Your Website

In the past, digital marketers would create lots of micro niche websites as part of their SEO strategy. The aim was to go hyper-specific on a single keyword to get a high ranking on Google.

The opposite is true now, as the best approach in 2020 is to work towards creating an authoritative website with lots of great content that you update regularly.

4. Ensure Your Website is Secure

This is one of those SEO factors that used to be considered optional but is now essential. In technical terms, it means adding SSL encryption technology to your website. Your website developer or SEO agency can help with this.

5. Optimise the Page Load Speed of Your Website

This one was never optional, but it is more important today than ever before. A slow-loading website is bad for users and it will kill your Google rankings as Google cares about user experience. In other words, it doesn’t want to send users to websites that deliver a bad user experience.

If your website is not fast loading, prioritise getting this rectified.

6. Optimise for Local Searches

Google search results pages can feature lots of different elements including website snippets, shopping results, image results, video results, news results, and more.

One of the most important elements on search results pages for small businesses in Auckland is the local search listings that appear on local searches. These listings usually appear above the organic search results, making them arguably more important to local Auckland businesses.

Therefore, take steps in 2020 to optimise your website and online presence for local searches on Google.

7. Ensure the User Experience on Your Website is as Good as Possible

As mentioned above, Google cares about its users, i.e. the people it sends to your website. This is why you need to make your website as fast as possible. Good user experience is not just about speed, however.

You also have to ensure other elements of your website deliver a good user experience. Key things to look out for include the navigation and structure of your website as well as the content on your pages – is it useful, helpful, or informative?

8. Add Structured Data to Your Site

Structured data helps Google get a better understanding of your website and the content on your pages. This, in itself, can help improve your rankings.

In addition, Google often displays structured data elements directly on its search results pages. When this happens, websites with structured data elements stand out from others on the page.

So, to make your pages stand out in Google search, and to improve Google’s understanding of your website, add structured data.

9. Monitor Results

SEO is a constantly evolving field of marketing, so it is important to continuously monitor your website, analyse the results, and take action whenever you identify an area for improvement or a potential problem.

10. Promote Your Content to Earn Links

Last but by no means least, we come to links. Links have always been and continue to be an important part of SEO. Getting links to your website is a complicated topic, however. Get it wrong, for example, and you will slip down the rankings instead of moving up.

One thing you can do that doesn’t carry any risks is to promote the content you publish on your website. Share content on your social media channels, for example, and include your website’s content in your email marketing campaigns.

After all, the more people who know about your content, the more will read it, which increases the chances of getting links.

Prioritising What Is Important

SEO for small and medium-sized businesses in Auckland is about prioritising the most important elements and focusing on those. The above list is a good place to start.

10 Must-Have Elements of a Perfectly Optimised Page

One of the most important parts of an SEO strategy for your Christchurch business is known as on-page SEO. A crucial component of on-page SEO involves ensuring the pages on your website are optimised. This is a pre-requisite for an effective SEO campaign.

What does a perfectly optimised page look like, though? Here are 12 of the most important elements.

1. Optimised URL

The URL of your page is as much a part of the page as the content or design. It also plays an important role in SEO. Therefore, it should be optimised according to the following pointers:

  • URLs should be descriptive rather than strings of numbers and/or letters
  • Your URLs should be as short as possible
  • The main keyword for the page should be included in the URL
  • If you are a local business, it is also helpful to include your target location

2. Optimised Page Title

Page titles and URLs are often connected, but not always. In other words, if the page title of a page on your website was Our Capabilities and Services, the URL of that page could be: YourWebsite.com/our-capabilities-and-services.

Whether your page titles and URLs are connected or not, similar advice applies to both. The exception is that page titles can be longer. In fact, they often benefit from being longer.

This is because Google displays your page titles on search results pages. It has a maximum length for page titles, though, which is about 60 characters. Keeping your page titles below this is the best approach.

3. Optimised H1 Tag

Your page should have one – and only one – H1 tag. This is a header tag, so it should be highly descriptive, and it should include the main keyword of the page.

4. Additional Header Tags

Header tags have a hierarchical structure, i.e. H1, H2, H3, etc. You should use additional header tags throughout the page to break up the content and provide the reader with sub-headings.

Following the hierarchical structure will help Google better understand the page. It is also beneficial to include variations of the main keyword, or alternatives to the main keyword, in the other header tags.

5. Keyword in the First Paragraph

The main keyword should be included in the first paragraph of text that appears on the page. If possible, include it in the first sentence. This applies to all keywords, including long tail keywords.

6. Keywords Elsewhere in the Text

You should also use the main keyword elsewhere in the text, but only where it makes sense to do so. If a sentence doesn’t read properly with the keyword inserted, or it looks out of place for any other reason, you should change or remove it.

Be careful not to overuse the main keyword, either. This is known as keyword stuffing and can have a significant negative impact on your Google rankings.

One thing that can be helpful, however, is to use variations of the main keyword and alternatives. This will happen naturally if you write engaging content that is useful to readers, although it is helpful to understand the principle.

7. Sufficient Content

Many business owners think website visitors don’t want to read lots of content on website pages, so they keep content to a minimum. The downside to this is that it can impact your Google rankings as Google needs content to properly understand and rank your pages.

Therefore, make sure your pages have sufficient content. Even for smaller product and services pages, around 200 words should be the minimum.

8. Well-Written Content

Google is getting much better at distinguishing between poorly written, SEO-focused content and content that has been written to be genuinely helpful to readers. So, the text on your website needs to be as well-written as possible. Here are some tips:

  • Use every day, informal language, being careful with jargon and other phrases readers might not understand
  • Doublecheck your spelling and grammar
  • Use short sentences and paragraphs
  • Use lists as they can help break up text

9. Internal Links

Internal links are an important part of on-page SEO, so the pages on your website should feature links to other pages. This provides Google with additional context and helps it identify the most important content on your site.

10. External Links

This is one that some people struggle with. After all, why would you include links that send your visitors to another website?

Again, however, this is all about helping Google get the fullest possible understanding of the content on your page and how it can help users. The fact that you provide external links, particularly if those links are to reputable sources, helps with this.

11. Image Alt Tags

An image alt tag is a short, written description of the image. This provides Google with further information about the page.

12. Unique Meta Description

Writing unique, descriptive, and engaging meta descriptions is essential too. Meta descriptions are important for a range of reasons, not least because Google usually displays them on search results pages. In other words, users will read the meta description when deciding whether or not to visit your website.

Adding keywords to meta descriptions and making them as compelling as possible will help.

Maximising the Effectiveness of Your SEO Campaign in Christchurch

SEO strategies have a lot of moving parts, but you need a good foundation in place first for your campaign to be successful. The above page optimisation elements are a good place to start.

7 Tips to Improve E-Commerce SEO

Do your competitors rank higher than you in Google search? Even if you have a better business, better offering, better customer service, and better products, the higher ranking alone will almost certainly mean they will get more visitors to their website.

More visitors mean more sales, sales that could have been yours.

The solution is e-commerce SEO to improve the ranking of your website in Google. E-commerce SEO is a big topic, but here are seven tips to get you started.

1. Get the Basics Right

If you don’t get the basics right, you won’t get far, so start with this point. Some of the crucial e-commerce SEO basics you should look at include:

  • HTTPS – does your website have an SSL certificate? If not, you’ll need to correct this urgently.
  • Page load speed – if your website is slow, you will need to optimise the structure and design elements to improve it.
  • Responsive design – does your website look good on mobile devices? Do all the features work? Is it easy to make a purchase using a mobile device?
  • Breadcrumb navigation – breadcrumb navigation helps visitors understand where they are on your website and how to find what they are looking for.
  • Streamlined shopping cart – the process to make a purchase on your website should be straightforward, intuitive, and fast.

2. Focus on the Right Keywords

One of the main e-commerce SEO mistakes is to target overly broad keywords. The problem with broad keywords is competition. Big websites, including eBay, Amazon, and major national retailers, are likely to hold the top positions in Google for broad keywords related to your online store.

Not only will they hold the top positions in Google, but you will find it very difficult to dislodge them. They are simply too big and have too much money to spend for you to compete.

So, you should target more specific keywords instead. Keywords that are more specific will have less competition, making it easier to achieve a high Google ranking. Plus, the more specific the keyword, the closer a person is to making a purchase.

3. Write Unique Product Descriptions

Another big SEO mistake made on e-commerce websites is duplicate product descriptions. This usually occurs when the website copies product descriptions from manufacturers. You will get almost zero SEO benefit from taking this approach. It could even harm your Google ranking.

The solution is to write unique, informative, helpful, and compelling descriptions for all the products you sell.

4. Optimise the Page Title and URL

The page title and URL of your product pages should include the product name and/or the target keyword. For category pages, your URL and page title should include the main target keyword.

5. Optimise Meta Descriptions to Improve CTR

You should write customised and unique meta descriptions for all the products you sell on your website. The main reason for this is the fact that Google will probably display your meta descriptions on its search results pages. Therefore, meta descriptions are important for maximising CTR – click through rate.

Some things to include in your meta descriptions include:

  • The product’s name.
  • The target keyword of the page.
  • The phrase “buy online” or a similar variation.
  • Anything that makes your offering stand out. Free shipping, for example.

6. Create Engaging Content

Regularly creating new content for your website shows Google that your site is active. It also helps Google understand your business and the products you sell.

Most importantly, however, content helps you engage with your audience, particularly if the content is helpful, entertaining, and/or informative. When you engage your audience, you will get likes and shares on social media.

Others will also link to your site. As links are a crucial part of SEO, this will help improve your ranking.

7. Hire an Experienced SEO Agency

Optimising your website for Google search and improving your ranking is possible but, as you can see from the points above, you may need expertise to achieve these objectives.

For example, how do you write unique meta descriptions if you have hundreds or even thousands of products? Do you have the technical knowledge to improve page load speed? How do you optimise page URLs?

These are all questions an experienced SEO agency in Auckland will have the answers too. Let them make the necessary changes and optimisations, see your search rankings improve, and watch the new sales start to come in.

Tips to Optimise the Navigation on Your Website

Tips to Optimise the Navigation on Your Website

All websites need both a planned out navigational structure as well as navigational elements, i.e. menus. How do you ensure the navigation on your website is fully optimised? What do you need to do to your website’s navigation to optimise its performance?

The following nine tips are essential to optimise website navigation. The company you use for website design in Auckland will need to be involved in the implementation of some of them but, as it’s your website, you should know the elements and features that should be included.

1. Optimise both the mobile and desktop versions of your site

Never think first about the desktop version of your website’s navigation while leaving the mobile version to last. They are both equally important. In fact, if most of your website traffic accesses your site using a mobile device, you should consider optimising for mobile first.

2. Remember the most important objective of your website’s navigation

There are a lot of business owners whose primary focus when considering their website’s navigation is to showcase all their services, products, and other essential business information. These things are important, of course, but there is something that is even more important.

Your website’s visitors.

The most important objective of your website’s navigation is to ensure visitors can quickly and easily find what they are looking for. You should approach every decision with this in mind.

3. Create a Sitemap

A sitemap plans out the hierarchy of your website’s pages. This usually starts at the top with your home page and then moves down to one and sometimes two levels below. There are two things to remember when it comes to sitemaps:

  • Make sure you create one early in the website design process. Your website designer in Auckland will be able to advise you, but you will need to make the final decision.
  • Don’t go any deeper than two levels below your home page. What does this mean? Imagine the main menu on a website – that is one level. If an item on that menu has a sub-menu, that is the second level. Don’t go lower than that, i.e. sub-menus of sub-menus. If you have a complex website structure and/or lots of content, the tip below will help.

4. Keep drop-down menus as simple as possible

Instead of having sub-menus of sub-menus, create a page. Visitors can navigate to that page from the main menu where they will find the rest of the options and what they are looking for.

5. Add a menu to your footer that includes all the important pages on your website

You should have a footer menu and it should be big. In particular, it should contain links to all the main pages on your website, including those not in your main menu.

6. Make the most important pages on your site the most visual in the menu

This is to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find those pages. Remember, though, the second point on this list, i.e. “most important” ideally means most important to visitors.

7. Add breadcrumbs to your website

Breadcrumbs are fantastic UX (user experience) enhancing tools, so make sure you add them as a navigational element.

8. Fix the main menu to the top of the page

Fixing the main menu to the top of the page ensures it stays visible to the visitor as they scroll. This is another UX feature that enhances the experience of visitors and helps them quickly and easily find what they are looking for.

9. Test your menus rather than just assuming they’re okay

Finally, make sure you test your website’s navigation on various devices, including phones and tablets. On phones, it’s important to test on both Android and iOS devices. Getting feedback from users can be invaluable too.

Everything You Need to Know About Social Proof and Your Website

Social proof is a term used to describe certain features on your website. It’s also a marketing tool that has been used unashamedly and successfully for decades. What is it, though, and how can you take advantage of social proof in relation to your website?

Your website designer in Auckland should be aware of social proof features, but you are likely to be involved in putting them together, so it’s important you have an understanding of them too.

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is about giving potential customers increased confidence in your products or services. They get this confidence because they can see that others have used the product or service before and have been happy with the experience, performance, and/or results.

There are lots of different ways to use social proof. Plus, as mentioned before, it’s nothing new in the world of marketing.

Celebrities were endorsing products long before the internet and companies have always used the testimonials of customers. Businesses also regularly use a range of social proof tactics not directly related to websites. Some examples include:

  • Restaurants with people waiting in a queue for a table
  • Golf clubs or similar clubs with a waiting list
  • Manufacturers that develop limited edition products

The thought process that the above is trying to generate is something like:

  • “If it’s good enough to wait on a table or go onto a waiting list, I want it too”
  • “I’ve only got one shot at getting this, and the price may even go up, so I have to act now”

Social Proof and Your Website

Adding social proof features to your website will encourage visitors to get in touch with you or buy your products. Here are the main social proof features you should consider discussing with your website developer in Auckland to have them added to your website:

  • Testimonials – where customers give their views on your products, services, and/or business
  • Reviews and ratings – a popular feature on e-commerce websites selling products as well as on restaurant websites, websites for businesses in the tourism industry, and more
  • Statistics – examples of stats you could mention on your website include the number of customers you have, the number of subscribers to your email list, the number of successfully completed projects, etc
  • Endorsements – from celebrities and other well-known people in your industry that your potential customers know, trust, and respect
  • Case studies – where you go deeper into a project to outline what your customer needed or wanted, how you went about delivering for the customer, and the results achieved
  • Mentions in the media – include the logos of publications where your business has featured
  • Customer logos – include the logos of your customers, particularly well-known companies
  • Professional body membership – including badges and logos from professional bodies that you are a member of can also help
  • Certifications – as with the above, details of certifications you have can also be beneficial
  • Bestseller labels – like the labels you see when shopping on Amazon. They indicate product popularity so give potential customers increased confidence.
  • Customer behaviour features – this is another effective technique used by Amazon and other websites. Examples include “customers also bought” or “customers recommend” features.

As you can see from the above, to make your website a true success, you need to do more than explain what you do and how you do it. You also need to demonstrate social proof to move the visitor closer to making a buying decision.

The Difference Between a Business Website and a Lead Generation Website

There are websites and then there are lead generation websites. Both look different, they have different objectives, and they deliver vastly different results. Understanding this difference and knowing the type of website you want is essential before your website designer in Auckland starts building your site.

Of course, there are other types of website that don’t fall into the two categories that are the subject of this blog. E-commerce websites, news websites, blogs, and more are all examples.

The crucial determining factor is the objective of the website. Here are some examples:

  • Business websites – explains what your business is, what it does, and enhances your brand while also providing contact information
  • E-commerce websites – for selling products online
  • News websites – displaying news articles and building a community of readers to display ads to
  • Blogs – building a community of readers while also establishing the author as a thought leader in their field
  • Booking websites – for businesses in the tourism industry, entertainment industry, and similar industries where the aim is to generate bookings
  • Subscription websites – where the goal is to generate new subscriptions
  • Informational websites – to provide valuable information to visitors
  • Lead generation websites – bring leads into the business that can then flow through pre-determined marketing processes and/or be followed up on by the sales team

Businesses that Benefit from Lead Generation Websites

If you want your website to bring leads into your business, you should choose a lead generation website. If you want people to contact you directly about the products or services you offer, you should choose a lead generation website.

Common industries where lead generation websites are effective includes:

  • Construction industry, particularly in the residential sector although all companies in the construction sector can benefit from having a lead generation website
  • Accounting and other providers of professional services
  • Financial industry businesses
  • Real estate and property
  • DIY and home improvement companies including electricians, plumbers, landscape gardeners, HVAC companies, painters, and more
  • Photographers

These are examples of businesses that sell either products or services to customers using their website but where direct contact has to be made for the transaction to take place. If this description fits your business, a lead generation website is the best choice for you.

Features of a Lead Generation Website

The key difference between a standard business website and a lead generation website is the features included on a lead generation website. These are features aimed at encouraging visitors to give you their contact details so you can follow up with them.

If you are using a good website design company in Auckland, they will understand the importance of these features. This includes:

  • Including your contact number on every page in an easy to find location
  • Putting forms on every page
  • Giving visitors a compelling offer that convinces them to become a lead. Examples are a discount, a free consultation, or a free assessment. You could also provide a gated offer. This is where you give the visitor something – a case study, white paper, or tool, for example – in exchange for contact details.
  • Adding social proof such as testimonials
  • Including content that talks to the visitor. This is different from content that explains what your business can do.
  • Using words and phrases that resonate with the visitor and directly address the visitor’s problem or pain point
  • Including trust-building features such as details of professional body memberships, case studies, or client logos
  • Featuring well designed and written calls to action

 

Including the above features – and having lead generation as the primary focus of the website design process – will give you a website that brings more leads into your business and, ultimately, more sales.

Why Getting a New Website Is a Good Investment for Your Business

Should you invest in a new website for your business over the coming months? If you are weighing up the pros and cons, here are some things to think about which will help you come to a decision.

You see, there is an issue with this question of whether or not to get a new website. That issue is motivation.

Too many businesses get a website because it’s something you do or because their competitors have one. In other words, there is no real thought or strategy behind what the website is for and how it can help the business.

In this situation, getting a new website is classified as a cost – a cost that you have to pay to a website developer in Auckland. In this situation, everything comes down to first deciding whether you want to spend the money and then deciding how much you want to spend.

We’re Talking About Investment Rather than Cost

The above is not the best approach, however. After all, when you properly progress through the process of getting a new website, you will end up with a tool that you can use to improve your business.

For most businesses, that improvement comes in the form of increased leads, enquiries, and sales. In other words, the improvement is quantifiable.

By looking at the question of whether or not to get a new website in this way, the focus shifts to whether to make an investment or not, i.e. it is about investment rather than cost.

Plus, when you make an investment, you should expect a return. This is exactly what you’ll get if you take the right approach to getting a new website.

Think of Your Reasons for Getting a New Website

The first step to achieve the above is to think about your reasons for getting a new website. Examples of reasons that have a business strategy or commercial aspect include:

  • Getting more enquires about your products/services
  • Generating more leads that your sales team can follow up on
  • Getting more sales
  • Improving your ranking in Google search, particularly if you are behind your main competitors
  • Because your existing website looks dated, has out-of-date information, or is broken so is presenting a poor image of your business
  • Because you want to invest more in online marketing strategies like advertising campaigns, social media marketing, or email marketing – a new website is often required to make your campaign successful

 

By deciding on the above, you can provide a more comprehensive brief to the developer you decide to use in Auckland.

You will also have a reliable method to analyse the success of your new website as well as to calculate your return on investment.

Make the Commitment

You also need to properly commit to making your website work. This is because websites are not a marketing tool that you simply publish and forget about. Instead, you need a wider online marketing strategy that has your new website at its core.

Providing you are willing to make this commitment, investing in a new website is absolutely the best strategy for your business. Plus, you will get a return.

10 Tips to Improve Website Form Conversion Rates

Forms are an important part of your website. They make it easy for visitors to get in contact with you, of course, but they are also an essential part of your lead generation process. Therefore, you should spend time to ensure the forms on your website are as good as they can be.

Below are 10 tips to improve the forms on your website, particularly in relation to enhancing your conversion rate. You may need the help of a website designer in Auckland, but it will be worth going through these optimising steps.

If you are getting a new website designed, make sure you have the below elements in place from the start.

1. Put the Form in the Right Place

This applies to all forms, but it’s particularly important for lead generation forms. The best place to put them is above the fold, i.e. close to the top of the page so users on computers can see the form before they scroll.

2. Include a Compelling Call to Action

Tell your website users what you want them to do and give them a compelling reason for doing so. Examples include “book a free consultation” or “get your free customised analysis”.

3. Keep the Form Short

If your website form asks for lots of information, you will find that people will be unwilling to use it. So, only ask for what you absolutely need.

Also, make as many of the fields as you can optional.

4. Make the Form as Simple to Use as Possible

Practical tips for making your website forms easy to use include:

  • Use colour contrasts to ensure the form is easy to read
  • HTML5 input types make it easy for users to enter information like dates, so incorporate this structure in your forms
  • Avoid using captchas if you can. They are frustrating for users and there are alternative methods for preventing spam.
  • Add predefined options to applicable fields
  • Ensure the user has to type as little as possible

 

5. Add Privacy Information

Give a brief explanation of your approach to privacy and include a link to your privacy policy. After all, you are asking website visitors for their personal information. You need to give them confidence you will respect their privacy and protect their data.

6. Give Users a Clear Message Once their Form is Sent

There is nothing more frustrating than a website that gives you no information after you hit the submit button. Therefore, confirm the form has been successfully sent and explain to the user what happens next.

You should also give the user links to other information or parts of your website they might be interested in.

7. Make Sure the Form is Responsive

Ensure the form is usable on as many devices as possible. The most important devices are computers, mobile phones, and tablets.

8. For Long Forms, Use a Multi-Step Design

Sometimes long forms are necessary. They work best when using a multi-step format rather than putting all the fields on one page. Lots of form fields on a long page will look daunting, so walk users through the process using a stepped approach.

9. On Multi-Step Forms, Include a Progress Bar

Progress bars are a great tool for improving user experience.

10. Split Test to Optimise Results

Finally, split test elements of your form to see which delivers a better conversion rate. A split test involves changing one element on the form and testing it against the original. For example, you might change the call to action, or you might make a field optional that was previously required.

Forms can always be improved. Split testing will give you tangible information to work from.

What Is an Acceptable Bounce Rate for My Website?

If you have a website for your business, you will want it to deliver the best possible results. This means getting people to visit your website but if you have talked to a website developer in Auckland or any other expert in the industry, you will know that the number of visitors is only one measure of success.

Where does bounce rate fit into this?

Bounce rate is a metric that comes up a lot – it’s even one of the main summary metrics on Google analytics.

What is bounce rate, though?

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit your page but leave without doing anything else. So, they visit one page and then leave without looking at any other pages or clicking on any links.

Your instincts are probably telling you that a high bounce rate is unlikely to be a good thing. After all, you want people to engage with your business for as long as possible. Part of doing this would be viewing more than one page on your website.

With bounce rates, however, it’s not as simple as saying high bounce rates are bad and low bounce rates are good. That leaves an obvious question: what is an acceptable bounce rate for your business?

What is a Good Bounce Rate to Have?

This is an almost impossible question to answer as the acceptable bounce rate for your website depends on your industry, your audience, your business, and the type of website you have.

For example, if you have a news website that gets a lot of traffic from social media as well as Google, you might have a high bounce rate but deem that to be acceptable. This is because people using news websites often click on a news article they find on social media and then leave the website once they have finished reading it.

A service business, on the other hand, or an e-commerce store is likely to want as low a bounce rate as possible.

Other Factors that Impact Bounce Rate

  • Determining an acceptable bounce rate also depends on the page in question. For example, a high bounce rate on a contact page might be a good thing as it is an indication the user has found what they are looking for.
  • Remember that focusing too much on bounce rate can negatively impact user experience. For example, putting lots of features and elements to keep people on your site by attracting them to other sections could make your website look cluttered, messy, and distracting.
  • For a range of complicated reasons related to how people use website browsers and how Google works, the bounce rate you see in Google Analytics is not 100 percent accurate.

 

What Should You Do?

So, taking all the above into consideration, what should you do to improve the bounce rate on your website. The best advice is not to focus on bounce rate too much but instead concentrate on user experience, making it as good as possible.

This will involve your website designer as it includes everything from the layout of your pages to website load times to the structure of the navigation to the content on the page.

That said, a website that is optimised for user experience is more likely to achieve an acceptable bounce rate.

What You Need to Know About Website UX and Why It’s Important to Your Small Business

Digital marketing jargon is unlikely to be your favourite topic of conversation, but UX is one term you should get a basic understanding of. This particularly applies if you are in the process of getting a new website developed.

The reasons for this are simple – and it takes zero jargon to explain them.

UX impacts on the performance of your website which means it also impacts on sales in your business, profitability, and return on investment.

As the above are topics are likely to be of much greater to interest to you, here are the basics of UX, including the things you should be talking to your website developer in Auckland about.

What is UX?

UX is an unnecessarily complex abbreviation for the term User Experience.

In other words, when a website developer or marketeer talks about UX, they are talking about User Experience.

What is User Experience, though?

Website User Experience covers a wide range of things. Here are some examples:

  • Does the website load fast?
  • Does the user find the website visually attractive?
  • Does everything on the website work
  • Are there things on the page that distract, annoy, or frustrate the user?
  • Does the content on the page live up to the expectations of the user?
  • Is it easy for the user to find what they are looking for on your website?
  • Is your website straightforward to use? For example, is it easy for website users to contact you? If you have an e-commerce website, it is safe and easy for users to make a purchase?
  • Is there a natural flow to your website and/or clear cues to the user as to what they should do next?

How UX Ties in With Your Objectives

It’s easy to see how UX ties in with your objectives. For example, if your website takes an age to load, it is offering a poor user experience. As a result, a proportion of users will leave which translates to lost sales.

Functions on the website not working, content elements that are distracting, and websites that users don’t find appealing are also reasons that visitors may choose to leave without doing anything further. This means more lost sales as well as a direct impact on both profitability and return on investment.

What Can You Do About UX?

Your website’s User Experience is largely the responsibility of your website developer. For example, your website developer will create the navigation elements, including menus, that make it easy for users to find the information they are looking for.

Your role involves ensuring User Experience is high up on your developer’s priority list.

In other words, has your website developer thought about all the questions above and are they taking a User Experience-focused approach to building your site?

The other way you can help improve the User Experience of your website is to listen to the advice of your developer during the design process.

For example, a developer might put a content element in a specific location to improve the User Experience. Examples include the formation of the menu, the location of calls-to-action, and the location of your phone number.

So long as your website developer has UX knowledge and experience, you should listen to their advice.

Think About Your Own Internet Experience

Finally, consider your own internet experiences when thinking about UX. You will have encountered websites that you couldn’t wait to leave, or which caused you frustration. Make sure users don’t end up with the same opinion of your new site by focusing on UX.

4 Tips When Choosing Images for Your New Website

Part of the website design process is choosing images to use on your new website. Your website developer in Auckland will be able to help you with this process, particularly in relation to purchasing stock images.

However, you will still need to be involved, especially with custom images. Below are four tips for choosing images for your new website but, before that, let’s look at the range of image styles you can use.

Types of Image You Can Use on Your Website

When most people think about images for their new website, they think of photos. However, photos are only one type of image you can use on your site. Other options include:

  • Illustrations
  • Charts
  • Graphs
  • Infographics
  • GIFs

Photos are arguably the easiest to get, but the other options on the list above can really make your website stand out from the competition. They can also help visitors properly understand your capabilities, services, or the products you sell.

You may have to get a designer to help you create the images above or it could be an additional service offered by your website designer. However, it will be worth the additional investment.

Let’s now get on with the tips.

1. Use Custom Images as Much as Possible

Finding, buying, and uploading a stock image to your website takes just minutes, plus the cost of stock images is relatively small. Despite this simplicity, however, custom images are far superior than stock images.

After all, stock images can appear on other websites, so they are not unique, plus the vast majority of stock images look like stock images.

You will make a better connection with your website visitors by using custom images wherever possible, i.e. your own photos as well as graphics and designs you have had created specifically for your business.

2. Relevancy Is Important

It is common for websites to use images just for decorative purposes. They are also often used to break up text. While the latter is important as it makes text on websites easier to read, it still isn’t using images to their maximum potential.

The best images are those that have direct relevancy to the problem a person is trying to solve by visiting your website. They should also match the text on the page.

Put another way, the best way to use images on your website is to use them in a way that helps visitors make a purchasing decision.

3. Your Images Must Be High-Quality
Internet users have very high expectations for the websites they visit. Furthermore, those expectations are increasing. As a result, the best website developers in Auckland constantly seek to improve the quality of websites they produce.

Put simply, low-quality, poorly framed, poorly lighted, and poorly designed images just don’t cut it anymore – if they ever did. Your website visitors expect more.

So, to protect the authority and reputation of your brand, and to attract the attention of your website visitors, make sure the images you use are high-quality.

4. Keep Your Images Consistent

Consistency is important in the images you choose for your website too. For graphics and illustrations, this means ensuring your brand is visible on each design. Photos, meanwhile, should have a consistent style and tone. This will make your website flow.

The Benefits of Images

Using the right images on your website will help ensure it delivers for your business by appealing to customers and generating conversions.

7 Straightforward Website Design Tips that Will Get Traffic to Your Site

SEO, PPC advertising, and other digital marketing strategies are the primary methods of getting traffic to your website. The goal of your website’s design, on the other hand, is to encourage visitors to convert. That said, there are website design tips that will help bring more traffic to your website.

Before getting started with the seven tips in our list, here is a bonus one – design your website for your audience, not for you. Your website must properly represent your business, of course, but you will get more people to visit it if your audience finds it appealing.

Let’s now get on with the seven website design tips that will get traffic to your website.

1. Optimise Your Content

There are three main aspects to this tip:

  • Make sure you have enough content as a lot of the analysis that Google does on your website is based on text. Therefore, you need enough text on each of your website’s pages to ensure Google knows what they are about.
  • Ensure each page has a main target keyword. You will need to delve into SEO for this point as you will need to know what keywords you should be targeting. It’s important you then use those keywords on the pages of your website.
  • Finally, make sure the text is easy to read. This means making it conversational and friendly while also using everyday language.

2. Ensure Your Content is Properly Structure

There is the right way to add content to a website and there are lots of wrong ways. The right way is to use header tags (in the right order), image alt tags, and, where appropriate, structured markup.

By doing this, you will help Google analyse and understand your site’s pages while also ensuring your website adheres to Google’s recommendations for optimised website design.

3. Make the Website Load Fast

Your website needs to load as fast as possible – it really is as simple as that. An experienced and skilled website developer in Auckland will know how to ensure your website is optimised for speed.

4. Add Social Sharing and Follow Icons

Social sharing and follow icons will increase traffic to your website from social media. They can also help with your social media strategy which, in turn, can benefit your SEO efforts, bringing even more traffic to your website. So, it’s better to have them than to not.

5. Optimise Your Website for All Devices

Your website should be responsive, so it displays properly on all devices. You should also take this a stage further, however, by making sure the website also looks and performs properly on all devices. Even though it is responsive, the responsive functionality might need tweaks to ensure it is as good as possible.

6. Secure Your Website

Getting an SSL certificate for your website will not only protect the data of your visitors, but it will also improve trust levels in your site when it appears in Google search.

7. Add Email List Sign-Up Forms

The final tip on our list is to add email list sign-up forms to your website. You should be continually building your email list to improve your email marketing strategy. After all, email marketing will bring traffic to your website.

Focus on Your Audience

None of the above seven points are complicated or expensive to implement. In addition, they will help make your website more appealing to visitors and they will bring more visitors to your site.

Page Titles: Why They’re Important and How to Write Them

Page titles are a part of your website that need special attention, particularly from an SEO perspective. They need to be formatted properly and written well to ensure you get maximum results. This is because page titles can help improve your rankings in Google and get more people to visit your website.

What is a Page Title?

A page title is a special type of tag on each page of your website. Web browsers, search engines, and social media networks use this tag to get the HTML title of the page.

The tag is <title>.

Importantly, page titles are not the same as the header on the page. Page titles and headers can match, but headers are a different type of tag known as a H1 tag. So, even though you have headers on the pages of your website, you still need to give special attention to page titles.

What Are Page Titles Used For?

Why is it important to write and format your page titles properly? Understanding where and what page titles are used for helps to answer this. There are four main things:

  • Search rankings – page titles are a ranking factor in Google. In other words, Google uses page titles to understand what your page is about and to give it a ranking in search. Page titles are by no means the only ranking factor (there are over 200, in fact), however they are among the most important.
  • Search engine results – Google usually uses page titles on its search results pages. It is the part of a search result that is blue. Therefore, page titles can help get people to click to your website.
  • In web browsers – web browsers also use page titles to label the tab which your website is displayed on.
  • On social media networks – when someone shares your page on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or another social media network, the social channel uses the page title in the post.

As you can see, page titles are used in lots of different ways, demonstrating their importance. How do you optimise page titles for SEO, however? Here are the main points you need to know.

Every Page on Your Website Should Have a Unique Title

The most important point is to ensure every page on your website has a unique page title. While it might take time to write unique page titles for every page, particularly if you have a large site, it’s essential you do so.

Page Titles Should be the Right Length

You won’t be penalised by Google if your page titles are too long, plus long page titles can work well when your website is shared on social media.

However, on a search results page, Google usually only displays 50-60 characters. This includes all letters, numbers, spaces, and symbols. Google cuts anything over this, replacing it with “…”.

So, if you want the full page title displayed on search results pages, keep it to 50-60 characters.

Include the Page’s Main Keyword

The main keyword of your page should be in the page title. Don’t overstuff the title with keywords, however. Using it once is enough.

Also, the closer you can get it to the start of the page title, the better.

Make the Page Title Clickable

Finally, you should write page titles for your customers. In other words, make them interesting, compelling, and clickable.

Things that can help with this include using a brand name in the page title (your brand or the brand of a product you are selling) and including your location if you are a local business.

The idea is to attract attention and get people to click.

Balancing Experience, Quality, and Cost When Choosing a Website Developer in Auckland

If you want to get a new website, you will need to choose a website developer in Auckland. Getting your decision right is important because, as you might expect, not all website developers are the same.

The key is to get the right balance between experience, quality, and cost. When you can get a website developer that delivers on all three, you have the most chance of success.

Don’t Base Your Decision Only on Cost

The starting point to achieve this goal is to ensure you don’t base your decision on the website developer that is the cheapest.

Of course, budgets are important, but cost shouldn’t be the only reason you choose a website developer. Quality and experience are equally as important, so you should get a good balance between the three.

By choosing the lowest cost option, you will probably get a developer with minimal experience.

You should avoid this as experience of website development is crucial. This is because there is much more to developing a website than simply understanding the technical parts of the process.

The website developer must also have a good relationship with you, and they must be able to communicate well. They must also understand your business, and they must understand marketing.

This knowledge comes from experience.

Getting the Specific Skills Your Website Needs

It’s also important you choose a website developer who has all the skills required to build a website that meets your objectives and delivers for your business.

If you have a website that gets a lot of traffic, for example, it’s essential you choose a website developer who has experience building websites capable of coping with lots of visitors. If you don’t, your website will first start to run slowly, then it will prevent some people from accessing it, then it will stop working altogether.

An experienced website developer will know how to mitigate these issues.

Ensuring Your Website Looks Great

Here is a secret that not many website developers and designers want you to know. The secret is about WordPress, the content management system (i.e. website development platform) that most websites in Auckland are built on.

The secret is that it is not difficult for someone comfortable with using technology to learn how to use WordPress to the point they can build a website.

Building a website that looks fantastic, fresh, and original is a completely different ball game, however. Ensuring the website is optimised for all devices, has built-in SEO features, and runs fast, takes the development process to yet another level. To get this, you need skills and experience.

Furthermore, there are some website developers marketing their services in Auckland who only use templates. You can easily spot them because they have portfolios that don’t look fresh or modern.

Only by getting the right balance between experience, quality, and cost will you get a website that looks fantastic and that properly represents your brand.

Investing Now Pays Big Returns Later

A badly designed cheap website will cost you nothing but frustration and additional money. A well-designed website built by an experienced and skilled developer for a competitive price, however, will deliver returns for your business for years.

10 Essential Elements for Your Website’s Homepage

Website homepages come in all types of design. For small businesses looking for professional website design in Auckland that delivers for their business, there are some essential elements that should be included on your homepage.

This is because your homepage must do multiple things. As a result, it is a unique page on your website. After all, other pages will have a specific focus:

  • Your product or services pages will talk about your products or services
  • Your about page will explain more about your business
  • Your contact page has your contact details

Your homepage, however, has to do some/all of these things and more.

It needs to introduce your business, demonstrate your capabilities, and show that others are happy with the products/services you offer, among other things.

9 Essential Elements for Website Homepages

1. Headings

You should have an attention-grabbing and informative main headline on your homepage. With the main headline, get to the point and use clear and simple language.

You should also have a sub-heading that contains more information. It should ideally focus on the pain points of your customers, not on your business.

2. Calls to Action

You should have a primary call to action high up on the homepage in a visible position.

Previous advice was to put this above the fold. However, this only applies to those people visiting your website on a computer as all your mobile visitors will still need to scroll before they get to the call to action.

As more and more people are now using mobile devices when searching for products or services, having calls to action above the fold is less important.

That said, the primary call to action on your homepage should still be in a prominent position and it should stand out.

You should then have secondary calls-to-action in addition to this.

3. Use Strong images, Including the Main Image

Don’t use simple or cheesy stock images on your homepage. Instead, use your own images or stock images that get attention and that showcase your brand.

4. Benefits of Your Business, Products, and/or Services

Don’t just tell people about your business. Focus on benefits to the customer instead.

5. Well-Written Text

There is a misconception that homepages should be practically free from text to make them look clean and modern. Text is important, however, both for user experience and for search engine optimisation.

Not only that, you can still add text that keeps the homepage clean-looking. Rather than making your homepage text-free, the text should be easy to read with straightforward language.

6. White Space

You don’t need to fill every part of your homepage as whitespace can actually improve its appearance and usability.

7. Social proof

Make sure you include testimonials from real customers talking about positive experiences they have had with your business.

8. Easy to Use Menu and Navigation

This is essential to make it easy for visitors to find the information they need.

9. Newsletter Signup Form

Not everyone who visits your website will become a customer. Therefore, you should try to get as much as possible from every visitor, rather than just letting them leave.

Often the best approach to achieve this is to ask visitors to sign up to your email list to receive your newsletter by adding a form on your homepage.

A better way, though, is to offer something free in return for the visitor signing up. A report or an eBook are good examples.

By including all these elements, you will enhance your homepage and improve your website’s overall ROI.

Business Website Design in Auckland Part 1 – The Absolute Basics

If you’re getting website design in Auckland for the first time, the process can seem alien. You know how to run your business and you know how to please your customers, but talk of responsive design, UX, dedicated hosting, CMS, caching, meta descriptions, etc, etc, is like another language.

So, for Part 1 of this business website design in Auckland series, we’ve gone back to basics to give you the essential information you need when getting started with your first website.

Identify Your Goal

Start by thinking about why you need a website. In most businesses, the main objective is to get customers. Building your brand, selling products online, and providing a service to your customers are some of the other goals you might have for getting a website.

Get a Local Website Designer

You have a number of options available to build a website. This includes building it yourself using online tools that require no programming knowledge. This is a time-consuming process, however. In addition, building a website without code involves compromise, so your site will never look as good as one that is custom-developed.

That leaves going to a developer. You could choose to off-shore the design as this can often appear to be the cheaper option. It’s almost always more expensive in the end, though, plus the process is difficult.

The best option by some distance is to choose a local website designer in Auckland, i.e. a company that understands your needs and customers, and who you can work with in person.

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is your website address. So, our domain name at Kiwi Website Design is kiwiwebsitedesign.co.nz.

To get a domain name, you’ll need to register it with a domain name registrar, but your website designer will help you do that.

You will also need to choose the name. Most businesses use their business name, providing it’s available. Again, your website developer will be able to advise on your options.

What is Hosting?

Once your website is developed, it lives on a host. This is essentially a company that operates servers connected to the internet which your website gets loaded onto.

This is another thing your website developer can help you get set up.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a platform used to build websites.

In other words, website developers don’t build websites from scratch as many of the early tasks and stages of the process would be very repetitive. This is because the underlying infrastructure of most websites is the same.

WordPress is the solution. It’s also the most commonly used platform in the world.

So, your developer will use WordPress to build your website and you will then use WordPress when you want to update it.

There are alternatives to WordPress, of course, but for most SMEs in Auckland, WordPress is the best option.

Up Next

In Part 2 of our series on business website design in Auckland, we’ll look at the website design essentials needed to ensure your new website delivers for your business. This includes the importance of mobile, the pages your website will need, optimising for Google, and more.

What Are Internal Links, How They Help SEO, and How to Optimise Them

Internal links are links you add to the content of your website to link one of your pages to another. They are a great way to keep visitors on your website as well as to help them find what they are looking for. Internal links are important to SEO as well.

Why Internal Links are Important to SEO?

Internal links help Google understand how content relates to other content. They also help Google find content on your website.

Link value, or link equity, is another important factor to consider.

Google attributes a value to backlinks you have on a website page. The page that gets the backlink isn’t the only one that gets that value, though. This is because Google passes on link value to all the other links on that page, i.e. the internal links.

So, adding internal links to your website’s pages maximises the benefits of each backlink you get.

Internal Links in Menus and Other Navigational Tools

Links in your main menu, secondary menu, and other navigational elements are important to a good internal linking strategy. As a result, ensuring your menus are optimised is important.

You need to go further than this, however, by adding links to the content of your pages. There are lots of ways you can do this, including adding related posts and popular posts sections.

Linking within text on the page is essential too. Let’s look at how to do that effectively as it requires a bit of planning to get right.

Identify Your Most Important Content

The first step is to identify the best content on your website. This is usually content that is core to your business, products, or services. It is your cornerstone content.

Put simply, you need to link to this content as much as possible

Contextual Links

So, taking the above point, should you create lots of blog posts and add a link on each of them to your cornerstone pages?

Yes, but that’s only part of it. You also need to internally link between non-cornerstone content. These links will provide context to Google and your visitors by connecting content on similar topics together.

It also helps to add internal links from cornerstone content to other pages on your site, particularly those that link to the cornerstone content

An Example

Here is an example of how the above might work.

Homepage

Blog

  • Blog post 1
  • Blog post 2
  • Blog post 3
  • Blog post 4
  • Blog post 5
  • Blog post 6

A good internal linking strategy will look like this:

  • The homepage should have a link to the cornerstone content
  • All the blogs should link to the cornerstone content
  • The cornerstone content should also link to each of the blogs
  • Blog posts 1, 3, and 6 are all on similar topics in this example. Therefore, they should all link to each other.
  • Blog posts 2, 4, and 5 are all on similar topics, so they should all link to each other.

Don’t Over-Optimise Anchor Text

One final thought in relation to this topic concerns anchor text. Anchor text is the text that contains the link on your website’s page. It’s important as it’s potentially damaging to over-optimise anchor text.

Back to the example to explain this, let’s say the topic for the cornerstone content is “Home Renovations Contractor”. You will over-optimise the anchor text when linking to this page if you always use the phrase “home renovations contractor”. The better approach is to vary the anchor text as much as possible.

Implementing an Internal Linking Strategy

If you don’t already add internal links to your content, you will need to spend time or resources adding them. Once you get in the swing of it, though, adding internal links to your content will start to happen naturally.

Responsive Website Design in 2019 – What You Need to Know

Responsive websites have been around for some time now, so they are a common feature of website design in Auckland. Any good website designer creating a new website for you in 2019 will make your site responsive.

Not all responsive websites are the same, however. At the bottom end of the scale, you have websites that are technically responsive, but which don’t deliver a good user experience. At the top end of the scale, on the other hand, are optimised responsive websites.

Website design has moved on considerably since responsive websites were first introduced, so it’s no longer good enough to just have a responsive site. Instead, yours needs to be optimised.

What is Responsive Website Design?

Let’s first do a quick recap on responsive website design. A website that has a responsive design will respond to the user’s size of screen. So, when a user views your website on a desktop computer with a large screen, they will see the full-size desktop view of your website.

When users view your website on tablets or mobile devices, however, the screen dynamically resizes to fit on the smaller screen.

Why Responsive Website Design is Important for Users

For users, responsive website design is essential. This is because there is no need to pinch-to-zoom to see the content on the page.

In addition, responsive website design eliminates the need for sideways scrolling, keeping all scrolling vertical.

Why Responsive Website Design is Important for SEO

Google has been promoting responsive website design for years now, plus its been gradually moving its strategy to a mobile-first policy.

For example, Google prioritises websites that are responsive on search results pages where the searcher is using a mobile device. In addition, Google now uses mobile-first indexing. In simple terms, this means it checks for a mobile version of your website before checking for a desktop version.

Google’s focus on mobile means you could lose rankings and, ultimately, traffic if you don’t deliver a good user experience to mobile users.

Key Factors to Consider

You might be thinking you already have a responsive website, so what’s the big concern. As mentioned above, having an optimised responsive website is crucial in 2019. This means going beyond ensuring the content displays on the screen properly. You also need to look at a range of other factors, the most important of which include:

  • Site structure – is the structure of your website confusing for mobile users with multiple layers of navigation and sub-menu options?
  • Menu design – is the menu on your website when viewed on a mobile device easy to use?
  • Content – is the content on your pages easy to read on a mobile device? The text font and size are important in this regard, but the structure and layout of the text is important too. For example, do your pages have large paragraphs or chunks of text? This can be off-putting to users on mobile devices.
  • Functionality – do all the functions on your website work, or are some of the features only available to desktop users?
  • Links and buttons – people visiting your website on a phone or tablet will navigate it using their fingers. This is quite a bit different to using a mouse and a mouse pointer on the screen. Are your links and buttons easy to tap using a finger which is much less precise?
  • Speed – there is a greater chance that mobile users will access your website on a slower internet connection, so mobile page load speeds are incredibly important. Does your website load fast enough?

If you have concerns with any of the points above, you should prioritise getting them sorted.

9 Website Design Tips for Companies in the Building Trade

If you run a business in the building trade, your potential customers will use the internet when looking for the services you offer. This applies whether you are a building contractor, plumbing company, electrician, painting contractor, landscape designer, or any other company involved in the building trade.

This means you need a website, but to really stand out from the competition and catch the eye of potential customers, you need a website with the following nine elements. They are all important to include on building trade-related websites, so keep them in mind whenever you’re looking for website design in Auckland.

1. Go for a Modern, Clean Look

Customers looking for your services do not expect a cutting-edge website and futuristic design. Instead, all they want to know is whether or not you’re capable of completing the work, the experience you have in the industry, and why they should choose you. They also want to know if they can trust you.

The following points will help you give this information to potential customers, but it all starts with having a modern website with a clean and crisp appearance. Leave the bells-and-whistles to the media companies and tech start-ups.

2. Add a Separate Page for Each Main Service

There are two main reasons for adding a separate page for each main service you offer:

  • Let’s you fully explain your experience, skills, and capabilities
  • Gives Google more information about what your business does which can help the ranking of your website in Google search

So, if you’re a painting company, for example, you could have separate pages for interior and exterior painting.

3. Make Sure All Your Main Services Appear on Your Homepage

Even though you have services pages, make sure you include all your main services somewhere on your homepage. This will ensure you don’t lose anyone who quickly scans your homepage to check if you offer what they need.

4. Include Your Contact Details on Every Page

As a company in the building trade, you need customers to contact you. Only then can you arrange to quote for the project. Therefore, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. This means putting your contact details, ideally your phone number, on every page of your website.

5. Use Calls to Action on Every Page

You also need to explicitly tell people what you want them to do. As you want them to call you, ask them to do so with calls to action… on every page.

6. Use Attractive, Professional Images

There are two main types of image you can use on your website:

  • Bespoke images created and owned by your business
  • Generic stock images

Most websites for companies in the building trade have a combination of both.

In terms of the bespoke images you create, make sure they are as professional and attractive as possible. This means considering things like background, lighting, the appearance of people in the photos, and more.

7. Add Customer Testimonials

Customer testimonials alone won’t help you win new contracts from your website, but they do help build trust.

8. Add a Gallery Page

Again, a gallery page is unlikely to seal the deal on a new contract or project, but it does help potential customers get a better understanding of your capabilities. It also demonstrates that you are proud of the work you complete for customers.

9. Add Badges and Logos of Professional Organisations and Affiliations

Finally, add badges and logos of professional organisations and any relevant affiliations you have. Often, these appear in the footer of your website so they are always visible, although you may choose to include them on the homepage only.

Bonus Tip

Here’s one bonus tip to finish off – when looking for website design in Auckland and deciding on a company to build your new website, choose one with experience of creating websites for companies like yours.

Great Website Design –the Key Component of Online Success

Whether you sell products online or not, you can find new customers for your business using online marketing. There are lots of marketing channels you can use to reach and convert those customers. Central to your success in achieving this objective, however, is your website, so it needs to be as good as possible. What is great website design in Auckland, though?

Focus on the Goal

There are lots of technical, structural, and design elements that make up a website. The most important thing to remember, however, is that every decision taken when designing your website must be focused on making your online marketing efforts a success.

This applies to the colours you choose, the content you include, the design of the navigation, etc. Everything must have the right focus.

This might sound like a straightforward approach, but when looking for website design Auckland, you’ll encounter a lot of designers whose objectives won’t be in line with yours.

So, here’s the first tip – make sure you get a website designer who understands how to develop websites that generate leads and/or sales.

Here are some pointers to help you determine if a website designer has your online success in mind.

Usability and Navigation

This is a huge topic, but the main points to consider are:

  • Is the website super easy to use? For example, there shouldn’t be any requirement for pointers or tips as everything should be self-explanatory.
  • Does the structure of the content and the design of the navigation make it quick and easy for users to find what they are looking for? Ideally, they should be able to find what they need in one or two clicks.
  • Does the website work on mobile devices and is it as easy to use on mobile as it is on desktop? For example, are the buttons as easy to tap on with a finger as they are to click on with a mouse?
  • Are key sections of your website smooth and fully functional? Contact forms and checkout processes are two of the most important as these are the sections that will help you generate sales.

Appealing to Your Audience

As well as having good navigation and an easy to use website, your website should also be appealing to your audience. It should be modern too, so it looks fresh and up-to-date.

Content and Calls to Action

The content on your website – the text, images, and video – should be focused on your customers. Specifically, it should answer questions that a user will have when they visit your website.

Here are some examples of the questions that visitors might have:

  • “Does this company understand what I need/the problem I have, and do they have a solution?”
  • “Does this company have experience delivering similar solutions, i.e. will they be able to deliver on their promises?”
  • “Do I trust this company?Do they have a good reputation in the industry?”

The content on your website should answer these questions as well as others that visitors to your website might have.

Additionally, you must have well-worded and, in the case of buttons, well-designed calls-to-action. This is where you directly ask the visitor to do something. Examples include:

  • Phone you
  • Complete a contact form
  • Send you an email
  • Add a product to a shopping cart
  • Buy a product

In summary, when looking for a company that offers website development services to develop your new online presence, make sure their focus isn’t on delivering a technically brilliant or heavily design-oriented website. Instead, their focus should be on things like the above to help make your business an online success.

Website Design Principles That Increase Conversion Rates

Having an attractive and modern website design is not enough to increase your online conversion rates. You also need website design that adopts tried and tested principles.

Below are some of the things a website designer will consider when their focus is on increasing your conversions.

Present the Value Proposition Well

Your business must first have a value proposition that will be appealing to customers. If it doesn’t, conversion-focused website design will make no difference.

For businesses that have a good value proposition, the website must present this succinctly and in a way that appeals to visitors.

Distraction-Free Pages

Pages should be free from distractions and you should present as few choices as possible to visitors. This is because the more choice that people have, the less likely they are to make a decision.

Crucially, white space on a website is okay. Simply filling up sections with content for the sake of removing white space is likely to reduce conversions.

Easy to Use

Your website should be intuitive to the point a visitor should be able to use it without having to think about how or what they should do. This applies to mobile users as much as desktop users.

In addition, your website should conform to common internet design principles. Examples include putting your logo either in the top left corner or top middle part of the website. Login/logout buttons are most commonly found in the top right, and menus are most commonly found horizontally close to the top of the page. These are just some examples of design principles that will make your website easy to use.

Appeals to the Audience

It’s also important your website appeals to your audience. After all, what works for one type of audience may not work for another. This applies to various design elements and aspects including colours, images used, tone of voice, fonts, and more.

Information Is Easy to Find

Visitors to your website should be able to find what they are looking for easily. This primarily means having clear and easy to follow navigation and menus. A good search function can also help, particularly if you sell multiple products on your website.

The Most Important Content Is the Most Visible

The most important content of a page should be close to the top of the page. The most important section of this part of the page is the first two-thirds reading left to right.

Content that should be in this section include (depending on what you offer):

  • Key selling points
  • Benefits to the customer
  • Value proposition (low-cost, excellent service, high-quality etc)
  • Price
  • Options (size, colour, etc)
  • Call to action
  • Conversion button

The above information can be expanded further down the page. In fact, it’s probably a good idea from an SEO perspective to have plenty of content on the page. The most important things need to be at the top, though.

Number of Clicks Kept to a Minimum

When a visitor is converting (making a purchase, filling in a form, etc), they should be able to do this with as few clicks as possible. The more clicks you have, and the more complicated the process, the more likely they are to leave before completing it.

Think About the Visitor

With all the above, the focus should always be on the visitor to your website. If you want to increase conversions, they are all that matters.

How Adding a Blog to Your Website Will Help You Get Sales

Adding a blog to your website may seem like a daunting task. Even when you get through the technical part of creating a blog section, how are you going to write content to keep it regularly updated?

Add this to the fact that many people find it hard to identify a tangible return on investment from adding a blog to their website. As a result, they don’t.

Even when people do, they don’t know where to look to see how the blog is benefiting their business. The blog section then becomes neglected.

The reality, however, is that adding a blog to your website and keeping it regularly updated will get you sales. Therefore, you will get a return on investment from having a blog on your website.

The Blogging Strategy

Blogs give Google more content to evaluate when looking at your website. The result is that Google will add your website (via the blog page) to the search results pages of more keywords. In addition, many of those keywords will be longtail keywords where people are looking for very specific information. These keywords usually have little competition, so it is easy to rank in a high position.

For keywords that are more competitive, there are things you can do to help you move up the rankings:

  1. Wait – older content typically ranks higher in Google than brand new content. So, wait it out a bit.
  2. Keep it up-to-date – you must keep the content up-to-date, however. This ensures Google knows the blog is not only well-aged but is also fresh. For example, let’s say you write a blog with the title Top 10 tips for Buying a Diamond Engagement Ring. The longer it stays published the better, so long as you go back to it regularly to update it with new information and to remove anything that has become obsolete.
  3. Promote the blog – the next thing you need is links. There are lots of strategies you can use to achieve this, some of which can be quite expensive and/or time-consuming. There are some simple things you can do, however. This includes sharing the blogs you publish on social media as well as in your email marketing campaigns (if you don’t use social media or email marketing, you should consider starting).

How the Above Blogging Strategy Gets You Sales

When you do all the above, your website will:

  • Appear in Google for a greater number of keywords
  • Appear in a higher position for those keywords

Three main things will result from this:

  1. More people will see your brand on Google
  2. More people will visit your website
  3. Your reputation in the industry will be enhanced

This, in turn, will lead to customers thinking of you when they are making a buying decision. After all, they will already have had an interaction with your brand. They could do this immediately after doing the Google search and reading your blog, or it can happen hours, days, weeks, or months later.

It’s a simple equation – more of the right type of person visiting your website will increase your sales.

So, speak to Kiwi Website Design today about getting a blog added to your website or full SEO Services.

5 Ways to Reduce Bounce Rate and Increase the Dwell Time on Your Website

Bounce rate is a metric you should be familiar with as it is important to SEO. It is also important to the success of your website as a high bounce rate is often an indicator there is something not right. This isn’t always the case as there are some situations where a high bounce rate is understandable. Most of the time, however, you should take steps to reduce bounce rate as much as possible.

What is Bounce Rate?

Understanding bounce rate is essential before you attempt to implement solutions to reduce it.

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit your website but then leave after looking at just one page. On most of the pages on your website, this is not a good thing. After all, someone who visits your website and leaves after looking at one page is unlikely to have been interested in what you offer.

Google takes a view that is similar to this too. Specifically, a visitor “bouncing” off a page is an indicator to Google that the person didn’t find what they were looking for. The faster the user bounces, the greater the likelihood this is the case.

How to Decrease Bounce Rate

Speed Optimisation

Users don’t wait around for slow loading pages. In fact, if the page takes longer than a couple of seconds to load, you risk losing the visitor because it is not fast enough.

If this is the case with your website, you should take steps to make it faster. Don’t forget the mobile versions of your pages too, as they should also load fast.

Internal Linking

One of the reasons that people bounce from your pages might be because you don’t give them enough options to stay. Internal linking where you add links to your content on other pages is one solution to this.

It is an essential solution, in fact, if your content includes elements that require more detailed explanation. If you don’t provide an internal link to that explanation, the user will leave your website to find it.

Also read: Backlinks Explained – Everything a Small Business Owner with a Website Needs to Know

Engaging Content

Having content on the page the interests and engages visitors is important too.

If the page is mostly text, you also need to make sure it is readable as large blogs of text and long sentences will put off visitors. This applies even when the content itself is fantastic – if it looks daunting to read, visitors will never know how good it is as they will “bounce” to find an alternative that looks less like a chore.

Adding Media

Following on from the last point, a great way to make your content more engaging is to add media. This includes videos, animations, images, infographics, and more. This gives visitors an alternative to reading text, plus it is often easier to explain a concept, service, or product in a short video than in words.

Target the Right Keywords

As mentioned above, people will bounce from your page if they don’t think it answers their query. This can happen if your content is not good enough, but it can also happen by accident, i.e. your pages appearing on search results for keywords not related to your industry, products, or services.

The solution is to refine your keyword strategy to ensure you target the right ones.

By going through each of the steps above, you will see your bounce rate start to fall.

8 Benefits of Having WordPress-Based Websites for Your Business

You have several options available to you when getting a new website. One of those options is to get a WordPress-based website. In fact, in most situations, this is the best option. Here are eight reasons why.

1. Robust, Free Infrastructure

WordPress is the most widely used website platform in the world. In fact, more than 50 percent of all websites in the world are a WP website.

One of the reasons businesses, website owners, and developers use WordPress is because it is robust. It has a well-tested infrastructure and all the tools required to create any type of website. Plus, it’s free.

2. Strong Developer Community

The above point is made possible because WordPress has a strong developer community who help to secure it, identify bugs, and generally support the platform.

In addition, this strong community means it is easy to find help whenever it is required.

3. Regular Updates and Patches

WordPress patches and updates are released on a regular basis. These can be to get rid of bugs, to enhance the functionality, or to make the platform more secure. This protects your website and keeps it working in the ever-changing world of the internet, website browser updates, new phone models, and more.

4. Extensive Plugin Library

You can find a plugin for just about any tool or feature you want to add to WordPress. Many of these are free, but even premium plugins are usually inexpensive. In other words, you can add functionality to your WordPress-based website without the need to write the code from scratch.

5. Faster Development Time Compared to Building from Scratch

As the platform provides the basic infrastructure of your website, and plugins are available for all common functions, development time is kept to a minimum on WordPress-based websites.

One other option you have available is to get the website built from scratch, but this takes much longer. WordPress gives your developer a head start. This means they can focus on WordPress home page design with a customised WordPress theme to ensure your website looks great.

6. With a WordPress-Based Website, It Is Easy to Add and Change Content

Another of the big advantages of WordPress is the fact it is super simple to add and change content. The user interface and text editor mean you can add attractive and highly professional pages and blog posts without needing to learn a single line of code.

7. WordPress-Based Websites Are Easier to Update When You Want a Fresh Design

The look and feel of a WordPress-based website comes from its theme. All the features (via plugins and other code), as well as the content of your website, are separate from the theme. This makes it much easier to change the design of your website.

8. More Flexible and Powerful than Website Builders

Finally, WordPress is a much better option than other common website builders on the market. Examples include Wix and Weebly. They do make it easy to get a website online, but the options you have for customisation and features are very limited.

WordPress-based websites offer a range of benefits over free website builders. This includes:

  • They are much more flexible and powerful
  • They look better
  • They are faster
  • They are more reliable
  • And more

Choosing WordPress

So, whatever business you are in, whatever type of website you want to build, and whatever your budget, WordPress is the best option.

Backlinks Explained – Everything a Small Business Owner with a Website Needs to Know

If you have heard the term backlinks before, it is probably in relation to SEO. In fact, most SEO professionals believe that backlinks are one of the most important factors to consider when trying to improve the ranking of your website on Google.

What are backlinks, though, and how do you get them?

What Are Backlinks?

The term backlink is used to refer to a situation where a third-party website links to another website. We just did it in the previous sentence. The phrase “term backlink” is linked to the backlink entry on Wikipedia. Therefore, we just gave Wikipedia a backlink.

Another term you might hear in relation to backlinks is anchor text. This is the word or phrase that makes up the link. In the above example, the anchor text was the phrase “term backlink”.

How Does Google Use Backlinks?

The Google search platform is based on a computer algorithm. Of course, that algorithm is big, very advanced, incredibly complex, and, as far as computer programmes go, intelligent.

It is still just a computer programme, though.

So, how can the Google algorithm determine the ranking of two web pages on the same topic? In real life, there are usually hundreds or thousands of web pages on any particular topic that Google has to rank, but for the purposes of this explanation, we’ll limit the example to two.

Google uses what’s called ranking factors to determine which of the two pages is better than the other. As it is a computer algorithm, these ranking factors are objective, i.e. page A has ranking factor 1 which is good, but lacks ranking factor 2, which is bad.

Okay, that is a bit over-simplistic, but you get the idea.

The fact that ranking factors are objective is important, however. After all, if a person was making the same decision, they would use subjective and objective reasoning.

One way that Google gets around this shortcoming (that it can’t use subjective reasoning) is to tap into the subjective reasoning of humans. It does this using backlinks.

So, backlinks are a ranking factor that helps Google decide which of the two pages in this example is better than the other.

For example, page A might have more backlinks than page B. From Google’s point of view, this means more people have used their objective and subjective reasoning in favour of page A than B, therefore it should rank higher.

Other factors come into consideration too, of course – around 200 of them. Backlinks are one of the most important.

Not All Backlinks Are the Same

Before going any further, it is important to also understand that not all backlinks are the same. Here are the main examples:

  • Website authority – a backlink from a website that has high authority on the internet will be worth more than a backlink from lower authority websites. Therefore, getting links from trusted websites that get high levels of traffic and that regularly appear on Google search results pages will help to improve your ranking in Google.
  • Links from the same source – getting a backlink from a website is good, but the more links you get from the same website, the less powerful or helpful they become. Google’s thinking behind this is that lots of backlinks from the same source don’t hold as much weight as backlinks from multiple sources. Also, lots of backlinks from the same source could be an indication that a website is trying to game the system.
  • Related content – it is also better to get a backlink from content that has some relevance to the content of your own website. For example, let’s say you own a jewellery store and your wife owns a construction company. Getting your wife to put a backlink on her construction company website to your jewellery store website is unlikely to very helpful to your SEO efforts. It is much better, in this situation, to get backlinks from jewellery blogs and other websites in the jewellery industry.
  • Do Follow / No Follow – when a third-party website gives you a backlink, it can either be a Do Follow backlink (which has a dofollow tag) or a No Follow backlink (which has a nofollow tag). The dofollow and nofollow tags tell Google whether or not the website wants Google to follow the link to see the content on your web page. Therefore, Do Follow links are the much better option.

Backlink Warnings

The above section highlights some of the dangers when trying to increase the number of backlinks to your website to improve your ranking in Google. After all, on the surface, there is a simple solution – Google likes backlinks so get as many of them as possible from wherever you can.

Lots of people have come before you with that thought, though, with many of them using dishonest practices to obtain backlinks. Over the years, Google has responded to this by implementing updates to its algorithm which help it separate good and honest backlinks from those that are trying to trick the algorithm.

So, here are a few things you should avoid when getting backlinks to your website:

  • The anchor text warning – it is good when third-party websites use keywords when they give you a backlink. If this happens too often, however, it can look like over-optimisation which can get you hit with a penalty. Therefore, there must be variety in the anchor text of your backlinks.
  • The getting lots of links, including paying for them, warning – this usually doesn’t work and even when it does, the positive effects don’t last. The much more effective strategy is to get good backlinks from high-quality websites on a consistent basis.
  • The source of backlinks warning – there are steps you can take to encourage websites to give you backlinks, but they should come in naturally. The example above of a jewellery website getting a backlink from a construction company is a good example of a forced or unnatural backlink strategy.

If you can’t do these things, what can you do to get backlinks to your website? There are lots of strategies and methods you can use that are all above board. However, they all centre around one essential and indispensable point… a point which is our number one tip for getting backlinks.

Number 1 Tip for Getting Backlinks

Create content that is valuable to your readers and that they love reading.

People will give you backlinks without you even asking them if you create fantastic content on your website. This could be infographics, blogs, articles, reports, white papers, discussion documents, help guides, or anything else that will be helpful, informative, or entertaining for your audience.

The more of this type of content you create, the more good-quality and useful backlinks you will get.

3 Reasons Why WordPress Is Such a Popular Platform for Building Websites

A simple Google search for the best website platforms will return names like Shopify, WIX, Weebly, WordPress, and more. However, if you’re looking for a list ordered by popularity, WordPress will always come on top.

As it turns out, 23 percent of the top 10,000 websites in the world use WordPress. In addition, more and more businesses consider it every day as the go-to platform for their needs.

So, how did a blogging platform become the number one choice for business websites in New Zealand and elsewhere in the world? Let’s have a look at why WordPress is so popular.

1. It’s Free and Constantly Updated

Despite being one of the most popular CMS (Content Management Systems) out there, the WordPress platform is free to download. In addition, all WordPress users get full access to feature and security updates.

Furthermore, WordPress is open-source. This means developers from all over the world can work on improving the platform, plus there is a strong community supporting the entire project. This gives users access to plenty of information, tools, tutorials, and other valuable elements that you can’t find for free (or at all) with other platforms.

There are also tens of thousands of WordPress plugins available to enhance the functionality of your website, as well as themes to customise the appearance.

What does this all mean to you? After all, most of the above is more relevant to your website developer than you.

The above is important, however, as it means your website developer doesn’t have to code the website from scratch. Instead, they use WordPress as the basis for the code, plus they can also customise plugins and themes. This reduces development times and costs.

In addition, the strength of the WordPress CMS and community means it is a robust platform to build your website on.

2. The Platform is Highly Flexible

Back in 2003, when WordPress was first released, it was a blogging platform. However, the CMS evolved in the last 15 years and, nowadays, is a fully-grown online system that allows users to create any type of website they want.

For instance, WordPress can be used for business brochure websites, portfolio sites, e-commerce websites, membership websites, business presentation pages, galleries, blogs, personal sites, and a lot more.

One of the secrets to its success is the clean, easy to use, and simple interface that can then be transformed using themes and plugins.

3: You Are in Control

There’s nothing more frustrating than working with a framework that doesn’t allow full freedom. This is one of the reasons why the WordPress platform is more popular than website builders such as WIX, Squarespace, or Weebly.

Plus, while a lot of website builders claim to be free, most are not. For example, many offer a built-in eCommerce system while not allowing in-depth customisation or expansion unless you buy expensive plugins (and sometimes not at all). Also, many have fixed hosting, which may not be the best option for your needs.

There’s also the problem of code editing with website builders as you don’t have access to all the files.

Speaking of code, website builders don’t all use the standard combination of HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, and/or PHP. Some platforms use unique languages instead, that can only be understood by someone specialised in working with the platform. This is yet another example of website builders being difficult to customise.

You have none of these problems with WordPress, however.

In Conclusion

Overall, WordPress is a platform that gives you and your website developer in Auckland the freedom to create any type of site. It will also give you the foundation you need to get your website launched and improve your online reach.

The Benefits of Owning a Website Built Using WordPress

There are lots of reasons why website developers in Auckland like using WordPress. There are also benefits to you of getting a website built on the WordPress platform. In terms of the latter, those benefits include shorter development times and lower costs.

What happens when the website developer finishes and gives the site to you? Are there any benefits to owning a website built using the WordPress platform? Or will it present you with challenges?

The answer is most definitely the former – there are benefits to owning a WordPress website. Here are the four main ones.

1. Anyone Can Use It

According to a 2017 W3Tech survey, WordPress holds 59 percent of the market share and is used by 31.9 percent of all websites. This makes it the most popular CMS on the market.

The main reason for this popularity is its ease of use.

Of course, it takes a high level of technical expertise to properly develop and design a good WordPress website. Once your developer hands the website over to you, however, the platform is easy to use.

In fact, you don’t have to be tech savvy at all to understand the user-friendly interface, plus there are lots of manuals and tutorials (written and video) if you need pointers.

2. Low Maintenance Costs

When compared to other open-source platforms such as Joomla or Drupal, customisation and maintenance costs are significantly lower on WordPress websites. Also, WordPress is a reliable platform and there are plenty of developers continuously working to solve any issues that may show up in testing.

Even more important, there are lots of WordPress developers in Auckland and elsewhere, which reduces the costs of customisation. In other words, you don’t have to go back to the developer who originally built your website if you want to give it a new look or add new functionality. Instead, you simply need a website developer in Auckland who understands WordPress, which most do.

3. It’s Easy to Create Content

Whether you need to create blog articles for SEO, presentation pages for your sales team, landing pages for your AdWords campaigns, or galleries for your portfolio page, WordPress has everything laid out.

The tools available for content creation are among the most powerful and elegant on the market right now and they provide help for both beginner and advanced users.

For instance, as the admin of a WordPress website, you can setup multiple users as contributors or editors. Also, posts can be scheduled in advance, which allows you to work on a long-term content strategy.

Finally, the formatting and media tools available in WordPress make creating a post as easy as writing a Word document, i.e. no coding skills are necessary!

4. Built-in SEO

Another feature that makes WordPress so popular is the built-in SEO. The CMS automatically generates title tags, for example, which are useful in the race for a better place on search results pages.

In addition, WordPress also offers access to a wide range of tools and plugins (free and paid) that take SEO several steps further. Plugins and tools like Yoast SEO, Schema, or Broken Link Checker are great for optimising your website and helping you stay ahead of the competition.

Summary

As you can see, WordPress is not just a website development tool. It is also a powerful platform that makes owning and updating a website easy, plus it helps make your digital marketing efforts a success.

The Importance of Page Titles and Meta Descriptions in Website Design

A crucial part of all good website design is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). More specifically, a good website designer will put the right SEO foundation in place, so you can improve or maintain your website’s position on Google search results pages.

Two important components of SEO in website design which are often overlooked, however, are page titles and meta descriptions. When a website designer doesn’t place enough emphasis on them, you end up with auto-generated versions that will not deliver for your business.

This is despite the fact that page titles and meta descriptions play a huge role in the success of your website in Google search, not least because page titles are one of the search giant’s key ranking factors.

When getting a new website designed, here’s what you need to know about page titles and meta descriptions.

The Role of Page Titles and Meta Descriptions in SEO

In technical terms, page titles are an HTML element – or tag – which lets Google and other search engines know the title of a webpage. If you’re writing a blog entry, it is the title of the blog. If you are writing copy for your sales page, it is the title of your sales page.

It is important to remember, however, that when we discuss page titles, we are not talking about headings. Headings use header tags (H1, H2, etc) and they are completely different things.

Page titles go in the middle of <title></title> HTML tags. While that is technical, it is important as Google uses page titles to help it understand the content of the page. If you don’t use the correct HTML tag, it can’t do this.

You can see page titles on every search results page – they are the clickable headline for each search result. Therefore, page titles are important for SEO and user experience. As a result, page titles should be a concise and accurate reflection of the content on the page.

Meta descriptions, on the other hand, are short descriptions which summarise the content of your page for the benefit of search engines and the end-user. While meta descriptions are nowhere near as important as they used to be for SEO purposes, they still help.

Specifically, they help encourage Google search users to click on your website rather than one of your competitors. This is because the main function of a meta description is to display a short piece of information underneath the title in search engine results.

In summary:

  • Page titles help Google understand what your web page is about
  • Google uses this information to help it decide where to rank your website on its search results pages
  • Google also displays the page title on its search results pages
  • It displays the page’s meta description too
  • Both help convince users to click on your link

Writing Page Titles That Are Clickable

As page titles are so important both in terms of SEO and your click-through rate, knowing how to write them properly is crucial. In fact, taking the time to write an effective page title is a simple, high-impact task which can give your SEO a major boost.

Here are five simple tips to help you write killer page titles:

1. Keep Your Page Titles Concise – But Not Too Concise

Google simply cuts page titles that are too long, so users won’t see the full wording on a search results page. On the flip side, nobody is going to click on something which is half-complete.

The general rule is to keep page titles between 40 and 70 characters.

For a more technical explanation, the exact limit for a page title is based on a 600-pixel box. This is the width Google allocates to the page title. So, if your page title has lots of wide letters such as “W” or “O”, you are going to have less pixel space to play with. If, however, your page title features letters like “I” or lowercase letters such as “t” and “p”, you will fit more in.

2. Use Keywords Wisely but Don’t Spam

If you stuff your page title full of keywords, Google will penalise you and you will not rank very well. After all, page titles that are a list of keywords or keyword variations do nothing to improve user experience. Quite the opposite, in fact, which is why Google takes it so seriously.

Don’t try to outsmart Google, either, as its algorithm is now very good at spotting spammy page titles.

That said, your page title should include the main keyword of the page. In fact, this is critically important to SEO. Ideally, place the keyword at the start of the page title. While on the topic, it is also helpful to include the page’s keyword in your meta description.

3. Avoid Other Spam Triggers

Avoid anything else in your page title which could be considered as spam. A good example is the unnecessary use of capital letters – avoid this and instead use normal sentence or title capitalisation.

Another example is the use of special characters such as $ or ! or *. You should avoid using these too.

4. Write with Your Target Market in Mind

If you don’t focus on your target market through your title, what’s the point? After all, these are the people you are trying to make click on it.

So, write your titles in a way in a way that will attract clicks from people who are likely to have an interest in your product, service, or what you have to say.

Remember, your page titles are a potential visitor’s very first interaction with you when they find your website through a search engine result. This highlights the importance of writing page titles that present your brand in the best light possible.

5. Avoid Writing Page Titles that Could Be Considered as Clickbait

Clickbait is a term that often refers to page titles. Specifically, page titles that sensationalise or misrepresent the actual content on the page in order to get people to visit.

For some, it is a tempting approach, particularly if you are in a competitive market. However, the best advice when doing anything in relation to SEO is to never lose focus on users.

It is not hard to see that clickbait page titles do not add anything of value to users. In most cases, in fact, they cause frustration and annoyance.

Your page title can be confident, but you should never drift into sensationalism and you should always ensure the content behind the title delivers on expectations.

The SEO Payoff

Page titles and meta descriptions, particularly the former, are too often ignored by website designers. One of the reasons for this is that modern website design platforms will automatically fill in the gap to ensure your web page works.

However, this approach results in page titles that are not optimised so won’t help your SEO. By manually writing and optimising, you will get a competitive edge.

Everything You Need to Know About Mobile SEO

Smartphones are not just for younger generations anymore. In fact, one of the fastest growing demographics for smartphone and general smart device usage is the 55 – 64 age bracket. In other words, smartphones have taken a serious grip on our society and, for many of us, they are the first things we check when we wake up in the morning, we carry them around with us always, and we use them more and more for day-to-day tasks.

Consequently, smartphones have changed the way we engage with not just each other, but the internet itself. One area where smartphones have had the largest impact is SEO as mobile SEO helps businesses and brands reach potential customers. Therefore, it is not something which can be ignored.

Why is Mobile SEO Important?

Mobile traffic towers over desktop-based traffic. Each day, more people become reliant on smartphones to perform even the most basic of tasks. They are all-encompassing pieces of technology which house our lives. To take advantage of this and reach the people using them, you need to have a mobile SEO strategy.

Google studies have shown that smartphone users have more buying intent than their desktop counterparts – these people are there and waiting, ready to buy, and it is your job to ensure your website is one of the first results they see when performing a Google search.

Many webmasters assume there is no difference between desktop and mobile SEO, however. This is wrong. Yes, desktop SEO tactics do work for mobile SEO in some ways. However, desktop SEO and mobile SEO are not wholly interchangeable, so it is best practice to have two separate SEO strategies.

Google is Beginning to Prioritise Mobile

This year, Google will switch to a mobile-first index, making the importance of mobile SEO clear beyond doubt.

What does this mean? Previously, Google stored the desktop version of your website in its index. Now, however, it will use the mobile version instead. This doesn’t mean it will ignore the desktop version of your site. Instead, it now gives greater priority to the mobile version.

Even if your website is not geared towards a smartphone audience you still need to optimise it for mobile. The most efficient approach is to make your website responsive. If you don’t have a responsive website yet, you should make this your number one digital marketing priority. As a website development and SEO company in Auckland, we can help you do this.

What Does Google See As “Mobile”?

Many people consider smartphones and tablets as mobile devices. However, Google categorises tablets as devices in their own right and does not include them under the “mobile” umbrella.

This means Google only considers smartphones to be mobile devices. This isn’t a hugely important point though, because the idea with SEO is to optimise your website for all devices, not just smartphones – i.e. by making your website responsive.

Mobile SEO – Five Essential Tips

Your website needs to be optimised for mobile so that, regardless of the user’s device, everyone has a positive experience. Mobile SEO mostly relates to your website’s design, structure, and other technical aspects. Here are our five essential mobile SEO tips:

1. Focus on Speed

Google expects websites to load in half a second or less. In addition, research shows that a loading time which exceeds more than two seconds is enough to put off most consumers. Ensuring that your site loads quickly is crucial to ranking highly on both desktop and mobile search results pages. Simple speed optimisations include:

  • Correctly sizing your images
  • Removing unnecessary code
  • Utilising browser caching to store site resource files
  • Reducing the number of redirects on your site

2. Have a Responsive Design

Responsive designs are the way forward for mobile SEO and SEO in general. If you use WordPress or other content management systems, most modern themes come responsive as standard. Also, it is possible optimise existing website designs and themes by adding a few lines of code.

To get the most stable, functional, and visually attractive website, however, you should get a bespoke responsive theme.

The best responsive designs eliminate all flash elements and pop-ups plus they have a design that makes it easy to browse using a finger, reducing the possibility of accidental tapping of elements.

3. Optimise for the Local Area

This applies mostly to businesses that have a localised presence such as a physical premises or offices. If you do operate a physical location, it is important you optimise your website for local searches.

There are two ways to do this: a) include your city/town/region in your site’s content, in page titles, and in page meta descriptions, particularly the homepage; and, b) sign up for Google My Business, a free tool that lets you add important details about your business to Google such as opening hours and contact information.

4. Check for Blocked CSS, JavaScript, and Images

CSS, JavaScript, and images can enhance your website but there used to be a time when mobile devices could not properly support them. As a result, many web developers blocked them for mobile devices. Developers may also have blocked these elements because of mobile data concerns.

Today, however, these elements are crucial for helping Google determine whether you have a responsive site. Therefore, it is worth checking that your website isn’t blocking them, especially if your website has been around for some time.

5. Optimise Page Content

Remember, with mobile devices, you have much less screen space to work with. Also, the layout is different than a desktop as most people browse websites on mobile devices while holding them in a portrait position. In other words, they look at your website vertically rather than horizontally.

This means you should think about the layout of the content on your pages. Long paragraphs of text are a simple example as they could fill up all or most of a mobile screen. This is off-putting for visitors.

So, when writing content and structuring the layout of your website, always think mobile.

Mobile SEO Shouldn’t Be Scary

Many webmasters have been up in arms about Google’s mobile first index. However, mobile devices are the future and it makes sense that you optimise your website for them. Doing so will only deliver benefits, particularly over the long-term.

So, how do you know if you have a mobile optimised website? Here are some questions to ask:

  • Does your website load quickly on mobile when on a mobile network, i.e. not on a Wi-Fi connection?
  • Does your website look good on your phone and on any other phone or tablet you can check it on?
  • Does all the content on your website display on mobile?
  • Do all the features and functions of your website work on mobile?

If you are unsure about any of the above, you should get the help of an SEO agency in Auckland.

What Is Search Engine Friendly Website Design?

Search engine friendly website design means designing your website according to Google’s guidelines. This helps Google understand what your website is about, it ensures Google can find all the pages, and it helps improve your ranking on search results pages.

A good website developer and/or SEO agency in Auckland will look after all the elements below on your behalf. However, it is good to have an overview of the topic, so you can ensure you get a fully optimised search engine friendly website.

Here’s how you make your website search engine friendly.

Make Sure Google Can Easily Index Your Most Important Content

Website developers can add content to your pages in lots of different ways. This includes using HTML, the standard tagging system for most websites on the internet. It can also include other code such as Java or Flash as well as other types of content including images, video, and audio.

Search engines understand and use HTML more than any other type of content, however. Therefore, the most important content on your pages should be in HTML.

This means, for example, transcribing audio and video content into text. You should also use image alt tags for the images you include on your website. Image alt tags let you describe the image, so Google understands what it is.

Image alt tags look like this:

<img src=”YourImage.jpg” alt=”Description of the image”>

The Importance of Keywords

Keywords are crucial to SEO, so they are crucial to building a search engine friendly website too. Therefore, you should ensure you include the main keywords you want to target on the main pages of your website.

You should include keywords in the following locations:

  • Page titles
  • Page URLs
  • In H1 headers
  • In the first paragraph of a page, ideally the first sentence
  • A couple of times in the text on the page
  • In the image alt text of at least one image on the page
  • In the page’s meta description

You should also include variations of the keyword too. For example, if your keyword is “how to train your dog”, a variation of that could be “learning to train your dog”.

When structuring your website, there are two important things to avoid in relation to keywords:

  1. Don’t keyword stuff – this means adding keywords to the page multiple times in the hope it convinces Google your page really, really, really, really, is the best. This simply doesn’t work and can actually lower your ranking in search. Keywords should appear naturally and strategically on your website pages.
  2. Don’t cannibalise keywords – this means using a single keyword as the target keyword on multiple pages of your website. For example, having three pages on your website targeting the keyword “how to train your dog”. Doing this simply spreads the value of your content across three pages, rather than directing that value to one page.

Optimising Page Titles

Google uses page titles as a ranking factor, plus they appear in a number of important places. This includes on search results pages:

seo

Web browsers also use page titles on tabs:

image

Follow these tips to optimise page titles for SEO:

  • Ensure your page titles are 70 characters or less. If you make them longer, Google will snip them on its search results pages.
  • Write readable and meaningful page titles that are useful to users. Remember, one of the objectives of page titles is to encourage users to click.
  • Make sure you include the main target keyword in the page title, ideally at the start.
  • Include your company/website name at the end of the page title.

Optimising URLs

Many websites use page titles to create the URL for the page. Therefore, following the SEO guidelines for page titles will ensure you optimise URLs too.

There is one additional point to consider, however. Research shows short URLs are more likely to rank higher than long URLs. For your most important keywords, therefore, you should look at shortening the URL.

So, for example, you could shorten this URL:

YourWebsite.com/blog/how-to-train-a-dog

To this:

YourWebsite.com/how-to-train-a-dog

Optimising Content

Optimising the content on your website will also make it more search engine friendly. Here are the main tips:

  • Make sure the content is well-written with no spelling or grammatical mistakes.
  • Write and present the content so it is easy to read. This means using short sentences, short paragraphs, bullet-point lists, sub-headings, and everyday language.
  • Include keywords in the content following the tips above.
  • Ensure the content is unique.
  • Make the content useful and engaging for readers.

Ensure There is a Link to Every Page You Want Google To See

Google follows all the links on your website to discover all its pages. This includes your menus, for example. There are often occasions when there are pages you want Google to index, but which Google doesn’t know about because it can’t find a link.

Here are some examples of when this situation might occur:

  • Pages that only display after a user completes a form. Google doesn’t complete forms when crawling your website, so will not find these pages.
  • Links in JavaScript, Flash, or Java.
  • Links blocked by your robots.txt file or Meta Robots tag. These two tools perform the same function – they let you tell Google’s crawler which pages on your website you want them to ignore. It is easy to make a mistake when doing this, however, accidentally restricting Google’s access to pages you want it to find.
  • Pages only accessible using a search tool. As with forms, Google’s crawler does not use search boxes on your website.
  • Pages that are linked by a link-stuffed page. Google’s crawler only follows a limited number of links on a page. Therefore, if the only link to a page on your website is from another page that is stuffed with links, Google might not find it.

Duplicate Versions of Content

Google does not like duplicate content, i.e. content that appears in multiple locations on the internet. This can be on different websites, but it also doesn’t like duplicate content on a single website either.

The problem is there are many legitimate reasons for having duplicate content on your website. For example, having a print-friendly version of a page.

There is a solution to this, though – the canonical tag, which you should add to all duplicate pages. The purpose of this tag is to tell Google there is a master copy of the page.

The canonical tag looks like this:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”URL”/> where URL is the website address of the master page.

Meta Description

The importance of meta descriptions to SEO is disputed. That said, Google does use meta descriptions on its search results pages:

image

So, even if Google doesn’t use meta descriptions as a ranking factor, they are important as they encourage users to click the link to your website.

Here’s how you can optimise meta descriptions:

  • Make sure they are no longer than 120 characters. Google clips meta descriptions that are longer than this.
  • Create unique meta descriptions for each page on your website
  • Ensure your meta descriptions are readable and meaningful
  • Include the main keyword of the page in the meta description, ideally at the start

Laying the Foundations

Creating a website that is search engine friendly is the starting point for any effective SEO strategy. Once you have the above in place, you can move onto more advanced SEO techniques, but it is important to have the right foundation in place first.

The Importance of High-Quality Content to SEO

There is a huge amount of content on the internet – Google’s index contains billions of pages. Not all content is equal, however, as some can be current or dated, up-to-date or out-of-date, high-quality or low-quality, engaging or uninteresting. From an SEO perspective, there is clear evidence that high-quality content is important to your website’s rankings.

Why is this? Google has a tough job when you think about it. On every topic, niche, and keyword, hundreds if not thousands of web pages exist on the internet. How does Google determine which of those pages to display on page one of a search results page?

Relevance is important. After all, pages that are closely linked to the topic, niche, or keyword are the ones most likely to give Google’s users the information they need.

Even filtering by relevance, however, still leaves a large number of pages to rank. This is where quality becomes important. It is logical, after all. Imagine Google has two website pages on exactly the same topic. How should it order those two pages? Placing the higher quality page first is the logical answer.

High-Quality Content and SEO

Of course, there are many factors that Google looks at when ranking website pages. The quality of the content on the page is an over-arching term that covers several of those factors.

For example, we all know backlinks are important to SEO in Auckland. When content is high-quality, it is more likely to get backlinks. Keywords are important to SEO too, as is including variations of the main keyword on a page. This is much more likely to happen on a high-quality website page than one that is low-quality.

Google itself gives us good indications of the importance it places on quality. It stresses repeatedly, for example, that you should create content for users and not search engines. It also says your website should be “unique, valuable, or engaging”.

There is research to back this up too. Backlinko is one of the web’s leading authorities on SEO. It conducted research that included one million search results pages. In relation to content, it found that in-depth and long-form content generally gets higher rankings.

What Is High-Quality Content?

Your aim should be to make the content on your website pages better than your competition’s. You can even take this a stage further by striving to make the content you create the best there is on the internet.

How do you do that? Here are seven tips:

  1. Only publish original content
  2. Ensure the content is well-written or produced
  3. Make the content useful to visitors
  4. Ensure you support the content with references
  5. Include plenty of detail
  6. Make the content interesting and engaging
  7. Make it long but not repetitive

Let’s go a bit deeper into each of these seven tips.

Only Publish Original Content

You probably already know duplicate content (copying content from another page or website) is a big no-no in SEO, even if you own the content. In other words, all the content on your website must be unique.

Publishing original content goes further than this, however. After all, a good writer can rewrite an article from the internet to make it unique. It is not original, however, as it will still contain the same points and ideas as the source article. It may even have the same structure.

Publishing original content involves developing and presenting your own ideas. This applies to all types of content including written content as well as images, infographics, videos, and more. A good SEO agency in Auckland will help you achieve this.

Ensure the Content is Well-Written or Produced

According to Google, you should avoid publishing content that has spelling or grammatical errors and that is “awkward or poorly written”.

Google is getting much better at identifying content that is poorly written too. There used to be a time several years ago when you would click on a search result in Google to a page that contained text on the topic you were interested in, but where all the words and sentences were jumbled so made no sense. This doesn’t happen anymore as Google can now distinguish between well-written and poorly-written text.

Make the Content Useful to Visitors

We’ve already talked above about making your website better than your competitors’ websites. Achieving this usually involves ensuring the content on your website is genuinely useful to visitors.

Google recognises this is several ways. For example, visitors are more likely to bounce from a web page they don’t find useful. Bouncing means visiting a website and leaving in a short period of time (sometimes within just a few seconds) without visiting any other pages on the site.

In addition to the SEO benefits of useful content, making the content on your website useful will increase levels of engagement and will help improve your website’s conversion rate.

Ensure You Support the Content with References

Adding outbound links improves the quality of the content on your website, particularly if the outbound links are to authoritative sources.

There are several reasons for this, including the fact that outbound links help Google understand what your page is about. Outbound links are also helpful to users as they give enhanced context and detail on the topic.

Research indicates that authoritative outbound links help with SEO too.

Include Plenty of Detail

The Backlinko research mentioned above found that in-depth content on a topic often performs better in Google than lighter content. So, you should go into as much detail as possible when publishing content on your website.

Of course, you must ensure the content remains relevant and doesn’t drift or go off on tangents. The more information you give on the topic, however, the more likely it is to rank well on Google.

Make the Content Interesting and Engaging

It is possible to have content that follows all the tips above but that is boring and unengaging. Google will identify this by the reaction of users to your content. Bounce rate is something talked about above. Other indicators are shares on social media, how long the user stays on the page, whether they complete a form or make a purchase, etc.

Of course, this is another tip that not only helps with SEO, but also with improving your website overall, especially its conversion rate.

Make it Long but Not Repetitive

Another of the Backlinko findings mentioned above was that long-form content generally performs better than short posts or articles. How long should your content be, though?

This depends on the topic as it is important you don’t make the content long for the sake of being long. When you do this, your risk repeating information just to increase the word count.

On the flip side, don’t restrict the length of articles, i.e. they should be as long as they need to be to cover the topic in-depth and in as interesting a way as possible.

The Value of High-Quality Content

SEO is not just about producing high-quality content, of course. For example, a large website with an international footprint that produces high-quality content following the tips above will still probably rank better than a smaller website, even if the smaller website produces content that is better. This is because other factors like domain authority and website backlinks matter too.

That said, high-quality content is a crucial part of SEO, as well as being crucial to the success of your website overall.

Top Reasons Your Website Is Not Ranking

Website owners across Auckland dream of their website appearing on the coveted first page of Google, where 40,000 search queries are conducted every second.

It’s likely you have the same wish.

As a result, you probably invested a significant amount in your website to make it look great. You may have even engaged the services of an SEO agency Auckland.

Despite these efforts, you may still be asking: “why isn’t my website ranking?”.

It’s frustrating when your website appears lower than your competitors on search results pages as you know you are losing potential customers. After all, websites that appear on the first page get almost all the traffic, with the greatest proportion of traffic going to those at the top.

Below you will find the top five reasons that prevent a website from ranking well in Google search. Identifying where your problems are and then resolving them will mean you can leave your frustrations behind.

Reason 1: Fierce Competition

Over 3.5 billion Google searches are made each day with website owners working hard to get to the front page of search results that are relevant to them. With so many websites using every trick available to compete for the attention of readers, it is often difficult to achieve a solid rank.

While true, the above paragraph is a broad generalisation. In fact, the level of difficulty you face ranking on Google depends on the niche you operate in. For example, it is probably far easier for a blogger writing about miniature figurines to rank well than it is for a blogger writing about rugby or movies.

This is because the more popular the subject, the more content there will be available. If you are a blogger writing on a popular subject or a local business operating with a lot of competitors, it will naturally be more difficult for you to rank highly.

If you’re going up against fierce competition, you will need to operate with a rigorous SEO Auckland strategy to find success.

Reason 2: Poor Long-Tail Keyword Strategy

The most popular and most general search terms usually return results from the largest and most well-established websites.

For example, an iPhone owner doing a search for “iPhone screen” will probably see search results from Apple’s website as well as the websites of major national and online retailers.

However, a user with a cracked iPhone screen searching for “iPhone screen repair in Mount Albert” will see results from local businesses offering iPhone screen repair. In other words, these businesses should target their SEO efforts at keywords like “iPhone screen repair in Mount Albert” rather than more general terms.

This example demonstrates how websites should focus on developing a strong long-tail keyword strategy. This means optimising for keywords with a low SEO difficulty. With this strategy, your website will see a boost in traffic that comes from searches that are more specific.

Reason 3: On-Page Optimisation

Search engines rely on crawlers to categorise and rank pages. Those crawlers look at important meta information and the structure of pages to determine what the page is about and confirm it is of an appropriate level of quality.

There are essential steps that every website owner must take when it comes to on-page optimisation.

Luckily, there is a lot of advice and guidance available. With over five million installations, Yoast SEO is the world’s most popular WordPress SEO plugin and can help website owners make sure they’re ticking all the on-page optimisation boxes, including (but not limited to):

  • Keywords used correctly in titles, descriptions, and URLs
  • Pages are the optimal length and structured efficiently
  • Alt tags are used properly
  • Sentences are the right length
  • Text uses an active rather than a passive voice

Thinking properly about on-page optimisation is an important step to improving your ranking and boosting your traffic.

Reason 4: Black Hat Practices

Google and other search engines use complex algorithms that constantly evolve.

SEO professionals try to keep up with these changes, regularly monitoring which techniques achieve results and which ones are outdated. You can find a register of all the announced algorithm changes on moz.com, where you can see the regularity of updates.

Working according to accepted SEO best practice, taking note of algorithm changes, and following Google’s rules, is often referred to as White Hat SEO.

In an effort to get traffic, however, some website owners (or others working on their behalf) turn to Black Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO involves using techniques that break Google’s rules to get to the top of search results pages as fast as possible.

Google and other search engines are increasingly effective at fighting back against these techniques. That said, there are still some who persist in using Black Hat techniques.

The stakes are high: domains caught using Black Hat techniques can see their ranking diminished or they can even be blacklisted entirely.

If you haven’t actively engaged in these techniques your website should be fine. If you have used them in the past, or someone else has used them on your website, this could be another reason it is not ranking.

Reason 5: Poor Technical Optimisation

The content found on your website isn’t the only ranking factor as the structure and technical performance of your website is becoming more important.

In November 2016, mobile traffic officially overtook desktop traffic for the first time. It is still becoming more and more common for audiences to turn to mobile devices, and those users expect a speedy and smooth experience, regardless of the device they choose.

In response to this, Google announced in January 2018 that the loading speed of mobile websites would factor into the ordering of search results. Mobile-first indexing has arrived too, which means Google uses the mobile version of websites to index and rank pages.

Therefore, ensuring your website loads fast on mobile has never been more important. So, poor technical optimisation could be the reason your website is not ranking.

In fact, you can use Google’s Test My Site tool to get an idea of how your website performs on mobile.

This tool reveals how many seconds your website takes to load and how this impacts the percentage of visitors you stand to lose.

Bring It All Together

Any of these factors could be the reason your website is not ranking, if not a combination of multiple ones.

Conducting an accurate and thorough audit of your website according to the points above should help when it comes to ensuring your website ranks as highly as possible on Google.

Top Tips for Effective Product Description Writing

How important are product descriptions? After all, some products appear to sell just fine even though the description is poor. This doesn’t mean product description writing are not important, though.

Here are some reasons why you should optimise your product descriptions:

  •         Helps the customer understand what the product does
  •         Explains the benefits of the product to the customer
  •         Helps the customer imagine using, wearing, or consuming the product
  •         Helps with SEO as a product description gives Google more content to analyse

Top Tips for Good Product Descriptions Writing

  •         Make each product description unique – this can be a challenge if you have a lot of products. It is important to make them unique, however, both to help potential customers when they are viewing your website and for Google. Remember, even though some of your products may be very similar, using the same description on each one could be classed as duplicate content on Google. Duplicate content is one of the things Google does not like.
  •         Don’t get fixated on word count or length – there is no fixed length that your product description should be. In fact, there is no recommended length either as it simply depends on the product. This is because some products will require long descriptions, particularly if you have to describe what the product does. Others, however, will only need a brief sentence or two. An example is a pair of jeans, i.e. there is no need to describe what a pair of jeans does.
  •         Explain the product as clearly and concisely as possible – this means avoiding repetitive sentences and statements. It also means sticking to the point
  •         Explain the benefits – most buying decisions are made on the basis of benefits. Therefore, your product descriptions should not simply be a list of the technical specifications of the product. Instead, you should explain how the customer will benefit from owning the product.
  •         Include all information on the product – the last thing you want is for a customer to go to another website to find something out about the product because you didn’t give them that information on your website. If a customer does that, they might never come back to you to complete the purchase. Therefore, if the information is relevant to the customer, you should include it.
  •         Write for your customers – this might sound like an obvious thing to do, but many product descriptions on the internet are not aimed at customers. Instead, they give the seller’s perception of the product with very little regard to what the customer thinks. To write good product descriptions for your customers, you must first understand who your main customers are. You should then tailor each product description to that audience.
  •         Make the description easy to read – this includes writing in a way that is informal and conversational. In addition, you should structure the text in a way that is easy to read. For example, you might think some customers will want to read a detailed description of the product and/or its technical specifications. Don’t push this content on customers who are not interested, however. A way of avoiding this is to put the additional content behind a link or tab, only leaving a brief description in the main section.
  •         Use bullet points – following on from the last point, lists of benefits or key features will improve your product descriptions.
  •         Think about SEO – where it makes sense, include keywords in your product descriptions to help improve the page’s ranking in Google.
  •         Always use images – in product descriptions, images are almost always more important than the text that accompanies them. A good approach for adding images to products is to follow Amazon’s guidelines for sellers. After all, when it comes to selling online, Amazon knows what it is doing.

In general, product descriptions should be quick to read, they should keep the viewer on the page (rather than going elsewhere to get additional information), and they should encourage the viewer to make a purchase. The above tips will help you achieve this so you can sell more.

product description writing (Focus) 1K – 10K Medium Use minimum 4 times, in Para and headings
product description template (Sec.) 1K – 10K Low Use minimum 3 times, in Paragraphs
ecommerce product description(Sec.) 10 – 100 Medium Use minimum 2 times, in Paragraphs
ecommerce seo (LSI) 1K – 10K Low Use minimum 1 times, in Paragraphs
production optimization (LSI) 100 – 1K Low Use minimum 1 times, in Paragraphs

The Importance of Having Objectives for Your Website’s Pages

Our website should be an extension of the sales and marketing efforts of your business. In other words, if your website is not helping you attract and retain customers, there is something wrong. The best way to make your website effective at generating sales is to have clearly defined objectives on each page.

An objective is an action you want the visitor to take as a result of visiting the page or your website in general. Examples include:

  • Call your business
  • Visit your business
  • Send a query
  • Become a lead
  • Download something
  • Make a purchase
  • Register with your website
  • Sign up to your email list

All the examples above either generate an immediate sale or give you the opportunity of making the sale at a later date.

You Can Have More than One Objective Per Page

You don’t need to pick just one of the above for the pages on your website. In fact, it is better to offer multiple options relevant to the particular page, as well as multiple options per page.

For example, a visitor might research the products or services you offer but are not ready to buy immediately. In this situation, you might encourage them to sign up to your email list. In other words, this page will have two objectives depending on the visitor’s intentions.

The Importance of Defining a Page’s Objectives

Your website developer will be responsible for implementing the objectives on the pages, i.e. the developer will add the forms, call-to-action elements, shopping carts, maps, and more that will deliver on the page’s objective.

In addition, a good website developer will help create the right user flow, so the visitor gets presented with objective one and then objective two if objective one is not immediately applicable.

Defining the page’s objectives, however, is crucial to this process. Here are some examples using the objectives in the list above:

  • Call your business – include your phone number in a highly visible location on every page as well as including it as a call-to-action with the text on each page.
  • Visit your business – ensure there is a prominent and easy to use map on the contact page of your website and possibly also the home page.
  • Send a query – include a form that enables visitors to send a query. You should also ensure the form is in a highly visible location on each page.
  • Become a lead – include a positive and persuasive message as well as a prominent form encouraging the visitor to send you their details for your sales team to get back to them.
  • Download something – you have multiple options with this objective depending on the download. They include offering the download within the page, in a timed popup, or in a popup that appears when the visitor goes to leave your website.
  • Make a purchase – include large and highly visible Add to Cart buttons and ensure the checkout process is as easy and secure as possible.
  • Register with your website – make the registration option visible on all pages, give a compelling reason for registration, and make the registration process easy to complete.
  • Sign up to your email list – strategies for this objective include adding welcome mats, in-content calls-to-action, popups, and more.

Whatever industry you are in, and whatever type of website you have, every page should have a clear objective. By doing this, you are more likely to make it clear to the visitor what you want them to do next. This will improve the results you get from your website.

How to Minimise Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

If you sell products directly on your website, you will have a shopping cart abandonment rate. Unfortunately, shopping cart abandonment is a fact of e-commerce websites. This doesn’t mean you have to accept your current level of abandonment.

In fact, there is quite a lot you can do to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates. They are all cost-effective, and they will all help you increase sales.

What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment is when a visitor to your website adds items to a shopping cart but then does not fully complete the purchase. They could abandon the purchase immediately after they put the items in the cart or they could abandon it at any stage up to the point of giving final confirmation.

There are many reasons for visitors abandoning shopping carts. They include not feeling the website is secure, being surprised by an additional price, or becoming frustrated with a complicated checkout process.

How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

  • Add SSL encryption to your website. More and more people are now familiar with what this shopping cart abandonment rate, plus their website browser often tells them whether or not the website they are visiting is secure.
  • Make the checkout process on your website as simple as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to go through the process yourself using both a computer and a mobile device. You should also get someone you trust from outside your business to go through the process and give you honest feedback.
  • Ensure the pages on your website load fast. Even though the visitor is in the checkout process and is in the frame of mind to make a purchase, they will quickly go somewhere else if your pages take too long to load.
  • Include delivery and other added costs upfront. This is one of the most important tips as forcing customers to get into the checkout process before you give them a delivery price results in a bad user experience. It also increases your shopping cart abandonment rate.
  • Offer guarantees, such as money back guarantees, to make the purchase feel less risky to the customer.
  • Don’t force people making a purchase on your website to register an account. You might like them to register an account for various reasons, but this additional layer in the checkout process often leads to a higher shopping cart abandonment rate. Therefore, give visitors the option of checking out as a guest.
  • Add a call to action to your shopping cart to remind and encourage visitors to complete the checkout process.
  • Add multiple ways to pay to stop visitors from abandoning the shopping cart because they can’t pay using the method you require.
  • Adding a progress indicator is a simple but effective method of showing the visitor how much more they have to do to complete the checkout process. This clarity will keep them engaged for longer.
  • Add trust logos such as Verified by Visa, Norton Secured, MasterCard SecureCode, etc.
  • Analyse how visitors progress through your checkout process, paying particular attention to stages where they drop out. You can get this information from Google Analytics and it can help you identify areas for improvement.
  • This final tip accepts the fact that even when you do all the above, you will still have visitors who abandon their shopping carts. These may not be completely lost, however, if you use remarketing advertising campaigns to win them back.

Recommended:

7 Website Design Tips That Will Increase Sales

Do you want your website to generate more sales for your business? Are you in the process of getting your website redesigned and want to make it the best it can possibly be? At Kiwi Website Design, we have extensive experience building websites that increase websites sales.

Here are our seven design tips you should ensure are included on your site.

1. The Value Proposition

There is very little a website design can deliver if the value proposition you offer to customers is not compelling enough for them to make a purchase. Therefore, the first step to increasing sales on your website is to decide what the value proposition is. The next step is to properly communicate it to your website’s visitors.

The value proposition specifics will depend on your business. You can base it on price, quality of service, quality of product, innovativeness of product, or something else.

Whatever it is, the important thing is the website visitor understands it and is attracted to it.

2. Include Compelling CTAs

A CTA is a call-to-action. It is one of the most important elements you will have on the pages of your website.

The first step is to make sure your website has CTAs, as not all do. The next step is to look at the position, design, and wording of the CTA. Here are some questions you should ask:

  • Would a change of colour make the CTA button standout on the page more?
  • Could the text be more interesting or positive?
  • Is the CTA in a prominent enough position?

3. Add Videos to Your Website

Videos on websites increase sales. In fact, for some businesses, videos can increase sales by over 140 percent. You should, therefore, consider adding videos to your website.

This could be product videos demonstrating the benefits of the product or showing it being used. If your business offers services, you can use videos to explain the service and how it is different from your competitors.

4. Make Sure the Design Appeals to the Audience

This tip is about matching the style, colour, and tone of the website to your target audience. For example, bright and flashy colours with relaxed text will probably not work very well on a website for a company offering professional services to other businesses.

This one can be difficult as many business owners select colours and make design decisions based on their own preferences and likes. This is understandable as you must live with the website and you should be proud of it. That said, never lose sight of your customers and what they like.

5. Ensure Your Website is Easy to Use

The navigation and structure of your website should be simple and intuitive. Therefore, don’t place unnecessary restrictions on visitors in relation to navigation and avoid situations where the visitor lands on a dead-end page.

Instead, try to create a logical flow for the user.

6. You Need a Secure and Simple Checkout

If visitors can buy directly from your website, your shopping cart and checkout are crucial elements. Get them wrong, and you will lose sales.

To get the checkout process right, make it as easy to complete and use as possible. In addition, ensure it is secure using SSL encryption.

7. Add Trust Elements

Trust elements include testimonials and case studies that show the user you are capable of delivering on your promises. They also include badges and logos to show you have the necessary qualifications and/or skills. You can also use badges to show how you have made the website and checkout process secure.

Implementing the above tips will require resources and, usually, help from a professional website developer. The increase in sales you will get as a result, however, will make it worth the effort.

How Much Does Website Design Cost?

How Much Does Website Design Cost?

You probably won’t be surprised to hear there is no simple answer to the question how much does website design cost. It’s a bit like asking how much does a car cost. After all, you could probably get a car for a couple of hundred dollars if you wanted to. It will get you from A to B but it won’t look very good and it will probably break down a lot. Equally, you could buy a car that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, but for most people that is complete overkill.

The same applies when considering website design costs, i.e. it depends on what you want and how you get your website designed. At the bottom end of the scale, you can get a website that will cost you almost nothing if you build it yourself. If you want a professionally designed website, however, you can expect the cost to be in the thousands of dollars’ range.

As most SMEs in New Zealand will need a professionally designed website, this article focuses on professional, custom website design costs.

Website Design Auckland: Cost

The average cost of website design in Auckland is $1,000 – $10,000+ for a custom website built by a professional website design company.

The things that will affect the cost include the functionality you need and the services you want from the website designer. The website designer’s skills and experience also impact the price you pay.

As with most things in life, not all designers work to the same standards, with high-quality workmanship demanding a premium.

Starter Business Website
Design & Development

From $1500 + GST

Small Business Website
Design & Development

From $3000 + GST

Enterprise Website
Design & Development

From $5990 + GST

Starter E-commerce Website
Design & Development

From $3000 + GST

Full E-commerce Website
Design & Development

From $5990 + GST

Custom Website
Design & Development

From $8990 + GST

What Your Money Gets You

There are five main elements of website design, all of which influence the cost. This is what you can expect from your website design agency for its fee:

  1. Server setup – the configuration of your website’s server, implementing a CDN, installing an SSL certificate, setting up email on the domain, installing a CMS, and more.
  2. Website design including UX – this part of the process involves designing the layout of the website. This usually means customising an existing template or creating a fully customised option. UX is important too. This involves looking at the navigation, user flow, and ease of use to ensure the user experience is as good as possible.
  3. Adding functionality and custom code – this is where your website designer works on the website’s engine adding the functionality you need. This can be anything from web forms to shopping carts and checkouts to integrations with your existing systems.
  4. Content creation – your website needs text and images. Your website designer will coordinate this part of the process and may also provide copywriting and graphic design services.
  5. Ongoing maintenance – a website is never fully finished as it requires ongoing maintenance and updating. This will be included in the price you pay for the website for a fixed period of time. You will need a maintenance contract once this time expires.

The Cost of Your Website

As mentioned above, you can get a website online for next to nothing if you want to. Why, then, should you invest several thousand dollars in a website design? Firstly, nothing is really free. There are costs involved even if you build the website yourself, plus you will need to spend time learning how to do it – as your time is money, there is a cost associated with this too.

The main reason for getting a professionally designed website at the above design costs, however, is results. Your website will look better and it will function better when it is professionally designed. This will help ensure your website achieves its objectives.

10 Essential SEO Tips for Your Website

If you just build a website and do nothing in relation to SEO, it is unlikely many people will visit it. Here are 10 essential SEO tips that will increase your visibility in Google. This, in turn, will bring more traffic to your site.

1. Move your website to WordPress

There are lots of tools and platforms you can use to build a website. For most, however, the best option is WordPress. It is the most popular platform, it has powerful functionality, and it’s easy to use. Plus, it has great SEO plugins you can install – more of that later.

2. Optimise for mobile

When going through the process of getting a website designed, most people think about the desktop version first. This is not the way Google looks at your site, though. In addition, a significant proportion of your visitors will use mobile devices to browse and use your site. You should, therefore, concentrate on optimising for mobile first both in terms of appearance and functionality.

3. Fix errors

Google hates errors on websites so you should find them and fix them. One of the best tools you can use to do this is Google Webmaster Tools. It shows you what Google sees when it looks at your site, including the errors.

SEO

4. Do an SEO audit

The next stage is to run your website through an SEO audit service. There are many services available for this including Neil Patel’s SEO analyser and SEMrush, plus you can do a search on Google for alternatives. Most offer a free initial analysis that will give you enough information to work on. This includes information on your site’s keywords, backlinks, page load speed, and more.

5. Optimise your content

This step includes:

  • Installing Yoast on your website. It is an SEO plugin with features like checking the keyword density on a page, showing you how the page looks in Google, analysing the quality of writing on the page, and more. There is a premium version, but the free version has enough features to get you started.
  • Ensure the writing on your website is high-quality and error free. It is usually a good idea to use a professional proof reader, copywriter, or editor to do this for you.
  • Ensure the visuals on your website are fantastic. This includes adding infographics and making images personal to your business rather than using stock images.

SEO Tips

6. Create and submit a sitemap

The Yoast WordPress plugin will create this. You should then submit it to Google Webmaster Tools and to Bing. The sitemap helps search engines understand the content on your website.

7. Start blogging

A blog will bring more traffic to your website, plus it helps with SEO. For example, a blog will bring more long-tail search traffic to your site. It also helps with the following tips.

8. Submit content to RSS feeds

Google doesn’t take RSS feed submission into account but this tip can still help with SEO. By submitting your content to RSS feeds, more people will see it which will generate traffic as well as backlinks and follows on social media. Google does take these things into account.

9. Get Backlinks by guest blogging

Guest blogging on popular websites in your industry will bring additional traffic to your website. It also helps to increase your profile and reputation. Plus, guest blogging will generate additional backlinks to help with SEO.

10. Add a related posts section

Google looks at a number of factors in relation to your website. Generally speaking, it regards it as good when people who visit your website look at more than one page. Plus, the more time they spend on your site the better. Adding a related posts section helps keep people on your website for longer.

There is quite a bit in the above 10 tips and you might need help implementing them. They are all, however, important for SEO.

Google Mobile First Index and What It Means for Your Website

Google is working on what it calls the Google mobile first index. As with any significant change in Google’s search algorithm, it could impact your business by affecting the rank of your website in search results. To help you prepare, here’s what you need to know.

Before the Smartphone Age

To understand what is happening you need an overview of how Google works. It scans all the websites and pages it can find on the internet and puts those pages into its index. Its search algorithm then matches a user’s search to web pages in the index. This is how Google produces its search results pages.

Google used to only look at the desktop version of a website. This was back before smartphones when everyone used Google’s search tool with a computer or laptop. Over recent years, however, more and more people started to use their phones when searching for something in Google. In fact, we have now gone past the tipping point – more people search on Google using a mobile device than a computer.

Mobile Indexing

This change in user behaviour is driving Google’s shift in focus. In 2016, it started prioritising mobile-friendly websites when its users searched on a mobile device. The search engine is now taking this a step further with the mobile-first index.

What is the Mobile-First Index?

Currently, Google’s main index contains the desktop version of websites. In other words, it looks at the structure, content, links, and other criteria of the desktop version and uses that to determine search rankings.

The mobile-first index will change this focus from desktop to mobile to reflect the majority of its users. This means Google will crawl and index the mobile version of your site and will use that index to determine your position in search, even when the user searches with a desktop computer.

Google Indexing

In other words, Google is working on switching its primary index of the world’s web pages to contain mobile versions of those pages instead of desktop versions.

What Will Be the Impact of the Mobile-First Index and What Should You Do?

There is a strong possibility that your search rankings could be damaged when the mobile-first index is introduced if the mobile version of your website is not fully optimised. Here are some things you need to consider:

  • Responsive design – Google has recommended you use responsive design for many years. These are websites that dynamically adjust to fit the user’s screen. It means you can have one website, with that site automatically changing in size as required. This is the minimum you need to ensure you are not impacted by the mobile-first index.
  • Optimised for mobile – often, a technically responsive design is not enough. This is because there is a wide range of screen sizes that users can have. Optimising your website means carefully structuring the content for each grouping of sizes, focusing heavily on usability and not just appearance.
  • Content – the beauty of responsive sites is you have content on one website which displays regardless of the screen size. There are some responsive website designs where the content displayed changes as the screen gets smaller, i.e. websites that show less content to mobile users than desktop users. If this applies to your website, you will need to take action.
  • Optimise the content – you should also look at the structure of the content on your pages as this should be optimised for mobile too. This means having a clean and uncluttered design with text that is super easy to read. You may also need to adjust your images so they look better on mobile devices. After all, your laptop or desktop computer’s screen has a landscape orientation while your phone is typically used in a portrait orientation. Images on your phone will, therefore, look different than on your computer.
  • Speed – speed has always been important to Google. Focus on making sure the mobile version of your site loads as fast as possible.
  • Interstitials – these are popups that you might have on the mobile version of your website asking visitors to sign up to your newsletter or offering them a discount. If you have interstitials, you might need to review your strategy as Google doesn’t like them.

The best advice is to take steps now to ensure your website is ready for the mobile-first index.

Launching a Website Without a Brand or Money

Successfully Launching a Website Without a Brand or Money to Promote It

So, you’ve got a great idea for a website or business, but have no money to promote it. You can make it a success, so long as you adopt the right strategy. Here’s how to successfully launch a website without a brand or money to promote it.

What You Shouldn’t Worry About

There are two things you shouldn’t worry about and the first is SEO. Of course, you should make your website SEO friendly and you should follow good SEO practice, but SEO should not be a priority in your marketing strategy. The reality is you simply won’t be able to beat the main websites in Google searches for your products or services. In fact, you probably wouldn’t be able to beat them even if you had a big budget. So, do the basics, but at the start don’t worry about SEO.

Secondly, don’t worry about advertising either. Sure, if you’ve got the money to allocate to a campaign and the time to learn how to make it work, advertising is a great way to generate new leads and sales for your business. If you don’t have money or time to allocate, forget about advertising.

Launching a new website

How to Launch a Website with No Money or Brand

Right, let’s get onto what you should do. There are three broad strategies you should adopt:

  • Get referrals
  • Become an industry expert
  • Meet real people

Let’s look at each in more detail.

Get Referrals

Getting referrals is a tactic that businesses have used for decades – long before the introduction of the internet. In fact, most successful salespeople have a referral strategy. With a bit of thought, you can implement a referral strategy for your website that won’t cost you anything.

Here are two techniques you can use to achieve this:

  • List your products on marketplaces or listing websites – this normally only applies if you sell products rather than services, but it’s an excellent way to get instant visibility when you’re unknown. The most well-known marketplace is Amazon and eBay is one of the most popular listing sites. The downsides include the marketplace taking a cut from your sales and the fact the transaction takes place on its website, not yours. That said, you’ll get sales you might not otherwise get plus you’ll increase the exposure of your brand, including in Google.
  • Offer an incentive – this can take many forms, but it usually involves offering existing customers an incentive to refer your brand to their friends and family. This incentive could, for example, be in the form of a discount.

Become an Industry Expert

The next zero-cost strategy you can use is to enhance your reputation as an expert in your industry. You can do this by having an active presence on social media, participating in discussion groups, and offering help on questions and answers websites. These will all help, but the best approach is through guest blogging.

The process involves finding relevant blogs and industry websites that publish guest posts. You then need to reach out to them to become a contributor, usually offering an idea for a post. Once published, you’ll get referral traffic to your website plus you’ll raise your profile online.

Meet Real People

The final step involves getting away from the computer as you can get more traffic to your website and grow it faster by meeting more people. This includes attending industry events, local business events, networking events, and more. The connections you make today can turn into sales in the future.

Making a new website successful involves thinking outside the box and using strategies that have a track record of success. The above will get you off to a good start.

Here is How to Generate Leads from Your Website

It doesn’t matter how good your website looks or how much traffic it attracts if you don’t get any leads. The fact is, leads won’t come in on their own. You need to take steps and include features on your website that encourage people to give you their information.

Once you start successfully collecting leads you can begin optimising to ensure you get as many as possible. You can also work on your conversion rate to turn more of those leads into sales and profits. It all starts with getting leads, though.

The Lead Magnet

If you don’t give your visitors a compelling reason to give you their contact information, they won’t. One of the best methods of getting leads on a website is by using lead magnets.

Lead magnets are something that you offer the visitor in exchange for their contact information, which is usually their email address. Examples of lead magnets include:

  • eBook
  • Report
  • Resource, such as “100 best…” or “50 tips to…”
  • Free trial if your product or service is suitable
  • Video such as a video tutorial
  • Discount
  • Free analysis or assessment such as “free analysis of your business Facebook page…”

To make lead magnets work, they must be targeted at your customers and they must be genuinely valuable. In other words, they must be worth the exchange of contact information.

Lead magnets are beneficial for several reasons:

  • They generate leads
  • The leads they generate are from people at all stages in the buying cycle
  • They help to build your reputation as an expert in your industry
  • They allow you to start a conversation with the potential customer

Essential Website Elements for Getting Leads

There are lots of things your website should have that will help you get more leads. The two most important are:

  • Well placed buttons – you should have “Free Quote” or “Free Consultation” buttons in prominent positions on each page of your website. In addition, the button should be big and should have a design that gets attention.
  • Exit overlay – an exit overlay displays a popover when the user’s browser detects they are about to leave your website. It gives you one last chance to offer the visitor something in return for their contact information. This can be your main lead magnet or something additional that will get their attention.

Additional Tips to Get Leads from Your Website

The above tips are the most important elements to increase the number of leads you get from your website, but there are other steps you can take. This includes:

  • Live chat – adding a live chat feature to your website lets visitors quickly and easily ask you questions or find information. It is unobtrusive and the user is in control, so it doesn’t put visitors off, plus it’s effective at getting leads.
  • Social proof – adding testimonials to your website increases confidence and trust levels. This will encourage visitors to give you their contact details as it shows you have a proven track record.
  • Add trust signals – other trust signals you can add include details of awards you’ve won or certifications you have.
  • Call to action – it is also important to include calls to action on your website. If you don’t ask your users to give you their contact details or request a quote, they won’t.
  • Blog – blogging improves your reputation and level of authority which can also generate leads.

The final tip is to work with a website developer that understands lead generation, keeping in mind that not all do. At Kiwi Website Design, we specialise in lead generating websites and have a long track record of success. To find out more, contact us today.

Why Your Google AdWords Ads Aren’t Making You Money Plus Steps to Take to Improve Them

Running a Google AdWords campaign can be a frustrating process. After all, you can see loads of ads when you do a search for your targeted keywords, so somebody must be making money. Also, if you read about digital marketing you will know that many businesses achieve significant returns on investment from AdWords. Why, then, are your campaigns not making you money?

In the list below you will find some of the main causes of AdWords failure. The most important thing to remember, however, is that AdWords is not as simple as it looks.

AdWords Knowledge is Power

Of course, it is correct to say that almost anyone can set up an AdWords campaign, and you can complete the process quickly. The process, however, is misleading.

The real key to success is not completing the form on the AdWords’ interface to launch your campaign. Instead, real AdWords success comes from digging much deeper into the process and understanding how Google works. When you do this, you can get better positions for your ads, higher click through rates, and improved conversions. You can also lower your costs.

That sounds great, doesn’t it? It often means getting help from a company with a proven track record of AdWords success. Working with an AdWords professional is also often the fastest way to improve ROI.

Eight Common Reasons Why AdWords Campaigns Fail

  1. Failing to optimize – many people, including some who provide AdWords management services, operate a “set and forget” approach to AdWords campaigns. In other words, they don’t regularly check the performance of keywords, bids, audiences, and more to make improvements. Optimization is absolutely essential to the success of an AdWords campaign, however.
  2. Using too many broad keywords – broad keywords often result in irrelevant clicks. This brings traffic to your website but it is not traffic that will ever convert. That is bad enough on its own but those irrelevant clicks can also damage the performance of your overall campaign. This is because while the user that clicks is irrelevant to you, your website can also be irrelevant to them. That means they have a bad user experience which Google does not like. Reducing the number of broad keywords or making the keywords phrase match or exact match are the solutions.
  3. Not using negative keywords – another method of reducing the number of irrelevant clicks you get on your ads is to use negative keywords. Negative keywords are an option when setting up an AdWords campaign, though, so many people don’t use them. If you don’t, this could be one of the reasons your ads don’t make money.
  4. Not focusing on click through rate (CTR) – all AdWords metrics are important, but CTR is one of the most crucial to a successful campaign. Of course, a higher CTR means more traffic to your website but it is also important for the position of your ads. Remember, Google is a business so it wants users to click on its ads to make it money. Therefore, it puts the ads it thinks will get the most clicks in the best positions on search results pages. If you have a good CTR rate, you will increase the chances that this will be you.
  5. Not including unique selling points in ad text – the text you use in your ads must give users a reason to click on them rather than one of the other ads they can see. This means you need a unique selling point. This could be discount or price related, but it can also be about quality of service, more customer benefits, or another reason that makes your ad stand out and makes the user want to find out more.
  6. Not using keywords in the ad text – keywords help you target the right audience to get relevant traffic, but they can also help users understand what your ad is about and how you can potentially help them. You should, therefore, include keywords in your ad text.
  7. Not split testing – one of the most important split tests to perform in AdWords campaigns is the ads themselves. You should have multiple versions running to see which performs better. This should be a constant process too, as just because one ad performs better than another doesn’t mean you can’t come up with something that performs even better again. You should always tweak, change, and try new ideas, testing different variations of your ads against others.
  8. You have a website that doesn’t convert – getting a click on your ads is only part of the process of making money from an AdWords campaign. This is because you must also convert that click into a customer. This means having a website that converts. If yours doesn’t, you will have to make changes which typically means getting help from a reputable website design company.

While these are the most common, there are other reasons why AdWords campaigns fail. This demonstrates how complex the process can be. It is possible to find success, however, by getting the help you need and/or taking steps to optimize and improve your campaigns.

12 Ways to Boost Your Website Conversion Rate

Getting traffic is only one part of making your website successful, and it is not even the most important. Maximising your conversion rate is where you should focus most of your efforts. Here are 12 ways you can boost your website conversion rate.

1. Create Urgency

Your objective is to get visitors to your website to convert now. If they leave to think about it, they won’t come back. Creating urgency is a great way to encourage visitors to take immediate action. There are several ways of doing this including mentioning stock numbers or making the offer time limited. You can even add a countdown timer to your pages to make the urgency more real.

2. Optimise Forms

The forms on your website should be quick and easy to complete. This particularly applies to email opt-in forms – the more fields you ask visitors to complete, the less likely they will be to give you their email address.

3. Optimise the Checkout Process

Make sure your checkout process is intuitive and fast to prevent customers from starting it but not finishing it. It also helps to make your checkout look secure.

4. Add an Exit Popup

Exit popups are an excellent way of making a final pitch to your visitors before they leave your website. Depending on the conversion you want to achieve, they can significantly increase your conversion rate. The offer you make should be compelling plus you should follow the above points – make it time limited and optimise any forms you use.

5. Take Away Risk

Another effective way of increasing conversion rates is to remove doubt or worry from the minds of your visitors. You can do this by offering a guarantee – a 100 percent money back guarantee will be the most effective. Another tactic is to offer a free trial.

6. Add Testimonials

Nobody wants to be the first to try something so it is important you show customers your experience and standards of service through testimonials. Testimonials should be relatable to the customer and should not only be genuine but should also look genuine too.

7. Focus Above the Fold

The area of your website above the fold is the part of the screen that you can see without scrolling. This is where you should put your conversion elements including offers, buttons, and forms.

8. Keep Designs Simple and Distraction-Free

Simple designs often get the most conversions. There are a number of reasons for this including the fact that flashy designs do not help visitors make a buying decision. You should also remove all unnecessary distractions.

9. Personalise

Your conversion rate will improve the more personal you can make your content. You can do this through the copy on your website, plus you can use tools that geotarget your visitors. Geotargeting involves dynamically showing personalised content to your visitors based on their location. You should also personalise your emails as much as possible, particularly including the recipient’s name.

10. Use Dedicated Landing Pages

If you run PPC campaigns, you should use dedicated landing pages.

11. Remarketing

Remarketing helps you win back the people who visit your website but don’t convert. Assuming they plan to make a purchase from someone, remarketing helps increase the chances that it will be you.

12. Test and Measure

You firstly need to measure your website’s conversion rate then you should test all the strategies you use to see what works so you can make refinements.

Finally, treat conversion rate optimisation as an ongoing process that you continuously work to improve.

Increase Your Traffic by Getting Your Website Added to Google News

Google News generates billions of clicks to publisher websites every month. Just think: what if you could get just a few thousand of those clicks to your website?

It would be great, wouldn’t it, but what if you are not a publisher or a news organisation? The truth is this in itself does not exclude you from inclusion in Google News. Whatever type of website you have, you can get into this high-potential Google platform if you follow the right steps and think the right way.

It takes daily effort, but if you believe Google News traffic is potentially beneficial to your business, you can do it. Here’s how.

You Must Publish News

There are several things you should consider when planning how to get your website included in Google News. In fact, Google itself publishes a long article on how to maximise your chances. At the top of the list, however, is you must publish news.

What does that mean, though? Here are some general guidelines:

Cover recent events – news organisations publish stories covering recent events. Generally, this excludes opinion articles, advice articles (like this one), or information articles (like reporting on the weather). In addition, while evergreen content is great for general SEO, it won’t work on Google News.

Publish original stories – copying content published by others will not work on Google News. This doesn’t mean you can’t write a story about a topic covered elsewhere. Instead, you must find your own angle, add new information, or move the story along in some way.

Write objectively – good news reporting is balanced so you should keep your articles as objective as possible.

Write the story well – this includes straightforward standards like getting the spelling and grammar correct. You should also structure your article like a news article. This means giving the main details of the story in the first paragraph and generally structuring the article throughout by giving the most important information first. As you might expect, there are lots of other standards you should learn to help you write good news articles including using an active voice and writing in the present tense. A good starting point to learn these standards is the Associated Press style guide.

Publish regularly – news organisations publish stories regularly so you should too. This means aiming for at least two per day.

Other Factors to Consider

If you feel you can meet the above requirements, here are some other things you should consider before applying for inclusion in Google News. They will increase your chances of approval and also help to maximise your traffic once your links start appearing.

Be honest and transparent with your readers – firstly, don’t mislead your readers about who is behind your website. You should also publish online and offline contact details, i.e. email addresses as well as a physical address and phone number.

Build credibility as an author – publish on websites other than your own to build up your author profile.

Follow the technical guidelines – this includes making sure the URLs of your stories are unique and permanent. Your articles must also be in HTML, i.e. Google News doesn’t index PDF documents or JavaScript content.

Write good headlines – include keywords and make sure the headline is informative to readers.

Make your website mobile responsive – this will help improve the visibility of your stories in Google News searches on mobile devices.

Once you have all the above in place, and you have checked your content does not breach any of Google’s general guidelines, you can apply to have your website included in Google News.

10 Ways To Build Quality Backlinks

Link building has become one of the most important practices for better SEO performance. Backlinks are like votes of popularity for your website to search engines. The higher the quality of the links and the more of them you have, the greater ranking potential your web pages will have.

According to a recent survey by Moz, 37% of business owners spend $10,000 to $50,000 per month on link building. That’s how important it is.

Backlink quality is measured from the source the link comes from. One of the important factors is that your backlink is inserted with proper content. Otherwise, it will look like spam.

For example, a backlink to a tech blog would have great value if the link is inserted in an article that gives tech information. That would be a credible backlink with good contextual relevancy.

The other variable that determines the quality of a backlink is the authority of the link’s source. Google puts a measure of authority on all websites, ranging from 0-10. It is called PageRank, or PR for short. So, a website with a PR7 (high authority) offers greater link value – or link juice – than a PR1 (low authority) website.

Building quality backlinks for SEO involves a combination of utilising high authority link sources and sources that offer some degree of contextual relevancy. This is the foundation of SEO link building best practice. Read this blog post for good SEO practices to get you started.

Here are 10 techniques to create high-quality backlinks for search engine optimisation:

Blogging: Create and maintain a blog that is a separate domain from your money site (the web site receiving the links). Build the blog around a niche topic that relates to your money site and frequently publish content with backlinks integrated into the blog post’s copy.

Guest blogging: Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to build backlinks on higher authority blogs. This takes some effort as you must find good blogs, contact the blog owners, and inquire about writing a blog post for their blog.

RSS feed: Have an RSS feed on your blog. Doing this is free and easy to set up. An RSS feed is advantageous as it allows people to syndicate your content to generate greater interest and increase the popularity of your blog. This can then result in others providing attribution links back to your pages.

Press releases: Write and distribute press releases regularly. The key here is to publish your press releases through distribution sites that allow you to add backlinks in the copy, as well as other sites that offer great coverage and authority.

Create case studies: Writing a case study about a client who has succeeded through your services will not only display credibility in your company but also generate interest from the client. Quality clients will often link back to your website out of respect for your solid PR stunt.

Link to other relevant blogs: Often, linking to other related blogs can generate link reciprocity. In other words, some blog owners are likely to return the favour. In some cases, you may want to make it known that you are linking to their blog as not all blog owners check their backlinks.

Create visual content: Consider diversifying from text to visual content such as images, infographics, charts, and cartoons. Not only will these techniques attract readers, but they will also earn and retain backlinks.

Social sharing widgets: Social sharing widgets on your web pages and blog posts – like Twitter’s “tweet this” or Facebook’s “like this” – can go a long way to propagating your content and generating link popularity.

Write reviews: When you give a positive review of a company or a piece of content (like a book), chances are the author or website owner will link back to your website.

Offer free tools: If you have skills in a particular service or niche, create and offer free tools and resources. This is one of the best ways to attract new business and quality backlinks.

We hope these ten link building techniques will get you on your way to generating quality links to start raising your rankings in search engines. If you find it difficult to do this, you may need to hire a backlink building service.

What is On site SEO?

On-site SEO involves optimising web pages to rank higher and gain more traffic in search engines. On-site SEO includes optimising the content and HTML source code of a webpage. Off-site SEO, on the other hand, involves optimising external links.

So, do you want your website SEO optimised to get more traffic from search engines?

If your answer is yes to the above question, you should consider optimising your website.

There are two factors to consider when it comes to optimising a website:

  • On-Site optimisation
  • Off-Site optimisation

Today I will focus only on the on-site element and will share basic information that impacts website optimisation.

The Domain Name
The domain name is an important part of on-site SEO. However, with Google’s EMD update, having an exact match domain name no longer matters a lot in SEO. Nonetheless, the domain name adds credibility and relevancy to your blog. It can help users decide if the blog is the right one to get the information they are searching for or not.

The Meta Description
Another important component of on-site SEO is the meta description. This is a short overview of what the blog is all about. The statement that you input here will be used by search engines to describe your blog. This will also be the short statement that will appear in search results pages.

The meta description can heavily influence the search user’s decision on whether to check out your site or not. This is also used by the search engine crawlers when ranking websites for certain keywords. Therefore, make sure that your target keyword term is present in the meta description.

Web Content
Web content is a key area that greatly matters in on-site optimisation. Quality and uniqueness of the post must be given due focus so each post must be unique. Ideally, it should not be published elsewhere so it is distinct to your site. Aside from that, it should contain highly valuable information and an eye-popping title that effectively grabs attention.

Internal Links
Another factor in on-site SEO is internal links as they must be properly placed. Each page should, ideally, have a link from another page or from the homepage. The internal link structure should also be flawless to ensure visitors can quickly and conveniently find the right pages relevant to their search.

Metatags
Metatags are HTML elements that provide information about a web page for search engines and website visitors. These elements must be placed as tags in thesection of an HTML document.

Anchor Text
The anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. The words contained in the anchor text can determine the ranking that the individual page will receive by search engines.

Rick Media Files
Another important component of on-site SEO is rich media files. These are the relevant photos and videos included your web pages. These files further add value to your posts, while the relevancy of the photos and videos can reinforce the search engine’s assessment of the webpage. These files should be properly inserted with alt-tags that are relevant to the main target keyword phrase.

Loading Speed and Bounce Rate

Loading speed and bounce rate have little SEO value but they can add up to give you better page ranking due to enhanced user experience. The loading speed of the webpage can affect bounce rate and it can also cause some visitors to leave if the page loads too slowly.

How You Can Improve your Website Ranking On Google Yourself

Google Ranking

Everyone wants their website to have a better Google search ranking to increase website traffic and enhance visibility. The Google search engine uses various algorithms to rank pages in its search results. Its algorithm is a secret so is not shared by Google, although there are many basic ways to improve your rank in search results. This involves using techniques known as Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.

SEO takes time and there is no quick solution. If someone tells they will get you fast results then it’s probably a scam. The most important thing you need to make sure is that you have a website that people want to visit. Also, never use black hat techniques that can, at a later stage, be detected by Google as you will end up getting blacklisted.

The following tips can help you increase your website visibility and search ranking:

Tip 1: Keyword Phrases

Keywords

When someone is on a search engine to find your website, they will write a relevant word or phrase – this is called a keyword phrase. Your keyword phrases should appear in your content, ideally in the first paragraph. You should also use words in your articles that people are most likely to use when searching. For instance, what keyword phrase might people use to search for your website? Try this with your potential customers to find the best words for your content. In addition, it is highly recommended you use one key subject per page. Also, avoid irrelevant content completely.

Tip 2: Keyword Density
Keyword density refers to the number of keywords used in your content. It is recommended you use natural phrasing. Overusing the keyword to trick the search engine can also get you banned. Your first paragraph should be a strong opening to tell people what your page is about. This practice also helps search engines find your page.

Tip 3: Title of the Page
Giving a descriptive name to the title of your page is essential. The first thing you notice on a search results page is the page titles of the results, so your titles must be related to the topic and appropriate. Best practice is to include the page’s keyword phrase in the title.

Tip 4: Links
Links from other websites to your website determine the PageRank of your website. More links mean a higher PageRank. You can exchange links with other relevant websites or blogs. Furthermore, links to the content on your pages should include keyword phrases in the anchor text.

Tip 5: Social Networking
Promoting your website on social media sites can affect your rank in search as well as bringing more traffic to your website. So, make sure you publish engaging titles and images that link back to your website.

Tip 6: Mobile Friendly
According to The Verge, more than half of Google searches are now done through mobile. If your website is not mobile-friendly, Google will rank you lower in search results pages. Google also indicates onsearch results pages if a website is mobile friendly or not. Therefore, don’t forget to make it responsive.

What Is Infographic And How To Double Your Website Traffic With Infographics

So, what is Infographic? According to Wikipedia, infographics are visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. In other words, infographics are a way of presenting information that is uncomplicated and easy to read.

You may have seen infographics while surfing the net or on social media. They are simple, easy to understand, and interesting to read. Nowadays, infographics rule the internet. According to Unbounce, the demand for infographics has increased by 800% in the last two years.

Info Graphics

Recent research by WebMD stated that a human brain can register visual information 60,000 times faster than normal text. In addition, 65% of people are visual learners.

Infographics can certainly double your website traffic if you do them right. However, not all infographics go viral. There are some important factors you should take into account when creating infographics for marketing purposes.

The Method You Use
How you visually present the collected data in your infographic is a very important part of the process. You can use graphs or flow charts, for example, but make sure you consider how the audience will perceive the data.

Another important factor is the title you give your infographic. For instance, if the infographic is a how-to,you should title it accordingly.

Use Correct Statistical Data
Your content should be statistically correct or verified from a reliable source. You won’t convince your audience with information based on your personal opinions so don’t base your infographic on them.

Develop a Unique View
Use a unique approach for your infographic. For example, don’t follow the same format your competitors use. Instead, your infographics should have interesting graphics and characters that tell a unique story that is quick to read.

Pick the Right Topic
Choose interesting topics that people will love to read. It is not easy to grab the reader’s attention unless you have a trending topic to talk about. The best way to achieve this is to search for topics on Google Trends to find out what people are talking about.

Create Useful and Shareable Infographics
Creating useful infographics means providing readers with a deep insight into the topic that they can read and understand in short span of time.

According to Buzzsumo, content with images gets the most shares. In addition, infographics are among the most shared content on the internet as people share what they find useful.’

The Design of Your Infographics
Make sure you get your infographic professionally designed. After all, if you have good-quality content but don’t have an attractive design, your infographic will fail. This is often because people will be hesitant to share the infographic. So, it is best to get it designed by a professional graphic designer.

Generating an embed code
Use an embed code generator to make it easy for users to share and embed your infographic. When you do, your infographic will have a link back to your original social media page or website. This will bring you additional traffic.

Conclusion
Infographics definitely increase traffic. It is best to use them to optimize your website for conversions so you generate more leads and sales. You can attach promotional messages with your infographics as well, to market your business.

Social Media Marketing Made Simple

Social Media is one of the world’s fastest growing industries. If you are not taking advantage of social media platforms you might be leaving lots of money on the table. Social media marketing strategies can be complex, however,because of the increase in the number of social media platformsthat are available. Furthermore, growing a social media account requires time and hard work.

Let’s take a look at some of the largest social media platforms, each of which can be used to grow your business and increase sales:

  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest
  • Vine
  • Tumblr
  • Medium
  • Quora
  • Periscope

If you want to market your business or website through social media platforms, keep the following points in mind.

Find Your Audience
First and foremost, you must find your target customers. This requires proper research to discover where your customers are most active on social media. You must look if your target audience is made up of Facebook users rather than Twitter users, for example. This will save you energy and time.

Focus on quality, not quantity
The quality of the content you post on social media is very important. If your content is interesting,the user will share the post which will increase your reach. Therefore, it is important to have content your users will love to read and/or content that benefits them in some way. In addition, reposting a link from another website for the sake of keeping your page active will be of no use. Consequently, your content should be unique and compelling so that it gets clicks.

Appeal to Influencers
Influencers on social media play an important role. You should find influencers that appeal to your customer profile, who reflect your business philosophy, and who have a high-quality audience. Connect with these influencers and create a positive relationship with them. If your content and services come across as interesting or show you are an authority on the matter, they could introduce your business to a range of new customers using their social media presence. This kind of exposure is very valuable since you donot have access to this audience on your own.

Be Visible
Don’t post something and then just disappear for a few weeks. Social media audiences have too many choices available and if you’re not visible, you can be cut from their list very easily. Make sure you have a clear calendar set out with a social media plan to publish content and posts on set days and at set times to encourage interaction with your users.

Be Available
When users post queries and requests do not ignore them. Answer comments and messages as soon as possible with a solution or ask for their details so you can contact them immediately. Business pages where queries are ignored are a red flag for many customers who worry that they will be ignored should they make a purchase or order something. How you manage your social media accounts is a reflection on how you manage your business, even if your business runs smoothly and without issue – your users won’t see it that way. Many people turn to social media for reviews and to see how a company handles its customers, so put on a good show.

Be Consistent
Consistency is key

Keeping your posts and messages consistent on social media pages can help you increase engagement with your customers. Moreover, it will help you develop trust with potential customers. For instance, if a customer comes to your Facebook page and sees that you have not posted in a month, they could assume you are out of business or are not a reliable company. In other words, not posting regularly gives a negative impression of your business. Therefore, it is necessary to be consistent and keep your social media page active.

A Website Designed To Look Good Or Designed To Get Leads?

In today’s fast-paced world, every business or individual has a basic website. Sadly, most of these websites are poorly designed or not focused on lead generation. These types of website are not going to help your business or your reputation.

So, the first question that comes to mind is: should your website focus on design or leads?

My website looks great but I am not generating enough sales

Studies of user behaviour by ImpleMedia have found that first impressions are 94% design-related. So, website design is important but if it is not generating sales or revenue then the design is of no use. We usually hear from customers that they want a fresh look for their website. If that is the only requirement there are many cheap solutions available. However, if you want to invest in a website to boost your business, the website should focus on generating leads and converting sales. For example, avoiding website designs that are too complex as they often turn visitors away. In fact, this is one of the reasons some incredibly good-looking websites fail to deliver sales.

Your website should focus on leads, not design

Investing in a well-designed website that builds interest and converts leads is a great way to boost your business. Therefore, your website must be designed correctly so it attracts more leads for your business.

According to research by Peep Laja, the founder of ConversionXL, it takes about 50 milliseconds for visitors to determine whether they like your website and will stay, or don’t like it and will leave. So, the first impression of your website matters. From the first impression, your visitors should immediately know that what they are looking for is likely to be on your website. In order to do that, let’s take a look at the tactics you can use on your website to get leads:

Offers
Include offers like downloadable eBooks, guides, and checklists on your website. Videos are also a great way to engage customers.

Smart CTAs
Place Calls-To-Action (CTAs) in strategic locations throughout your website. For example, they can be installed as a sidebar ad where the customer can fill out their contact information. This is a great way to generate leads when you have people looking to find out more information about your products or services.

Smart Content
Smart content provides the buyer with relevant content based on their interests or the stage they are at in the buying cycle. Smart content best practice is to move your website to a content management system so you can update the content on a daily basis. Also, writing a blog at least twice a week can help attract more traffic.

Layout
The layout of your website is also critical to generating more leads. The right layout means the correct placement of content. This will help your visitors to concentrate on the areas that will help them the most. Some of the tips that you should keep in mind include:

  • Always keep your message simple and to the point.
  • Place CTAs strategically throughout your site.
  • Place CTAs on all pages.
  • Use social proof like client lists or testimonials.
  • Don’t forget to include graphics where appropriate. Otherwise, your website will bore your visitors.

Landing Pages
Landing pages are the last point of contact before a visitor fills out a form. They should use the same design as the rest of the pages with a few differences. Things you should keep in mind when designing landing pages include:

  • Keep the layout of the landing page simple
  • Don’t include the top navigation to reduce distractions
  • Use short forms to gather contact information
  • Make the form button text more creative than “Submit”. For example, use phrases like “Get Your eBook” or “Free Mock-up”
  • Keep content on the right but keep it short
  • Use appealing visuals