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.

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.

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.

Achieving Website Development Success – Part 3 – The Build Process

This is the final instalment of our three-part series explaining the website development process. In previous blogs, we explained what you need to do to plan for a new website, as well as how to find, select, and engage a website developer.

In this blog, we’ll look at the build process.

Of course, much of this part of the process will be looked after by your website developer. It is important, however, that you understand key elements of the process, as well as the elements you will need to be involved in.

The Key Stages of a Website Build

  • Discovery – this involves a meeting with you to decide on the scope and specification documents. This includes outlining the specific functionality you want the website to have so the developer can ensure it meets your expectations.
  • Content strategy and sitemap creation – you will be involved in approving both, although your website developer will create them.
  • Wireframes presentation – you will be expected to provide feedback on the wireframes and proposed website design.
  • Revised designs – you will need to give your approval before the website developer can move to the next stage.
  • Frontend development – this will typically involve creating a bespoke template that will deliver the look, feel, and functionality of your new website.
  • Content creation – this happens in tandem with frontend development and involves writing the website’s content as well as creating other assets like images and video.
  • CMS setup and third-party integrations – this involves coding the administration elements and backend of the website.
  • Upload content – with the CMS in place, it will be possible to upload the content.
  • Test – the developer will then test everything on the website before recommending it is ready to launch.
  • Launch – this involves moving the website from the development platform to your server, live on the internet.

Key Roles at You Website Developer

Depending on the size of website developer, you may speak to several different people as part of the development process. This includes:

  • Project manager – who has overall responsibility for the delivery of the project
  • Content manager – this could be the project manager and it usually involves an element of SEO
  • Copywriter – the person responsible for writing the content on your website
  • Website designer – this person is involved in creating the website’s visual appearance
  • Website developer – this involves using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and your CMS to create the website’s functionality.

Other Things You Need to Know

  • Sitemaps – sitemaps outline the navigational structure of your website. In other words, the sitemap determines how visitors to your website will find information. The importance of getting this part of the process right cannot be understated.
  • WordPress – WordPress is undoubtedly the biggest and most widely used CMS in the world. It also offers significant advantages. If your website developer proposes not using WordPress, make sure you understand and agree with the reasons why.
  • Content – content includes images and video as well as text. Text should always be written from the perspective of your website visitors, not from your company’s perspective. You should also consider video if it is within your budget, and images should be relevant and unique.
  • SEO – your website developer should build in SEO features to your website from the start.
  • Responsive website design – your developer will probably use a responsive website design. This will ensure your website looks right regardless of the size of screen. When you are reviewing the website, make sure you think about how it looks on mobile as well as a computer. This is because the developer might include design features aimed at mobile users.

Finally, you will need to have a post-launch plan for things like maintenance, website backup, and visitor acquisition. This will ensure you maximise return on investment from the website development.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

SEO Is So Much Easier Than You Think

What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It involves optimising your website to increase the number of visitors by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results pages of a search engine.

Why is it so important?
SEO is the number one priority when it comes to website publishing. After all, according to Search Engine Journal, 90% of online experiences start with search. If people can’t find your website they can’t read it, use it, or share it with others.

Over the years, SEO tactics have changed with modern strategies that focus on user experience. Before these modern strategies, there were keyword-based optimisation methods and other black-hat practices, although these are now obsolete.

That said, throughout its history, SEO has been a cost-efficient and valuable strategy for website owners.

Is it really difficult?
Website owners who are unfamiliar with the technical side of coding believe Google’s search algorithm is something extremely complex. As a matter of fact, it is complex, but that doesn’t mean you cannot understand it.

Despite the complexity of Google’s search algorithm, it is possible to achieve positive results with simple strategies. The main goal of Google is to provide the best online experience to its users which means giving them appropriate and relevant search results.

Anyone can learn
Google uses complicated techniques to calculate search rankings. In fact, even search experts don’t understand it fully because Google has never published its search algorithm. However, we do know that you must complete two requirements to rank high on a search engine:

  • Providing high-quality content
  • Demonstrating you are an authority

Thankfully, these search engine requirements can be achieved by basic strategies. Today, SEO strategies come in two flavours: onsite and offsite.

Onsite Content
Onsite content involves making sure your website pages, titles, tags, content, and overall structures are optimised for your target keywords.

Another important factor is to include strong headlines and compelling paragraphs on the main pages of your website including the homepage and product pages. On these pages, use words and phrases that explain your business.

In addition, you should implement a blogging strategy as this is a great way to boost your online presence. Write at least one or two blog posts per week about topics related to your business and make sure you engage with your audience.

Offsite/ Inbound Links
Offsite SEO is a little tougher than onsite SEO. Offsite SEO involves building authority. To understand the authority of your website, major search engines look at other websites that link back to yours.

If lots of websites link back to you then Google will think you have good content. This will rank you higher although this has also been the source of many black-hat SEO tactics in the past.

Social and local integrations
Building a social media presence is now considered compulsory in order to attract a bigger audience. So, you should create profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc and post regularly to engage with your audience. This will ultimately improve your online reputation.

Challenges of SEO
Basic SEO strategies are easy to adapt. However, you might encounter the following challenges:

Find your audience?
Challenges in finding the right audience occur when you don’t know what type of articles you should write on your blog or what keywords you should include. The best solution is to first describe your business. This will help you find out who your customers are.

Time is money!
SEO is very time-consuming and it is certainly not a one day job. It requires a lot of figurative sweat and blood to implement properly. In addition, you may have other responsibilities and tasks to do along with optimising your website. Remember, you can always hire an SEO company if you can’t manage it yourself.

While SEO is easier than you think, the time-consuming nature of the task means it is not always possible to do it by yourself unless you are able to dedicate time to it.

At Kiwi Website Design, we create websites and provide SEO services using the latest techniques to help increase the online presence of your business.

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