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Posted 9 July 2019

Website Creation Fundamentals That Small Business Owners Often Neglect

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It’s becoming hard to ignore the fact that websites present small businesses with enormous benefits.

As people become more connected to the digital world, the brick and mortar store isn’t the only option anymore. Creating a website is more effective and trackable in terms of opportunities and results.

In a 2018 survey, 92% of small businesses said that they will have a website ready by 2020.

Luckily, creating a website has never been easier. Even if you don’t have coding or design skills, there are many services, tools, and guides available at your disposal. There’s really no excuse not to have one.

Unfortunately, it can still be intimidating. Many small business owners don’t have tech backgrounds, and there are a lot of mistakes to make.

This article will dive into key components that small business owners sometimes overlook when creating their websites and focus on the four areas you need to get right.

Shopping Cart

Selling goods without having a proper ecommerce component is like cooking a cheesecake on a stovetop: it might get the job done, but it wouldn’t be nearly as delicious as something baked in an oven.

Take, for instance, this website for adhesive products…

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The site looks pretty easy on the eyes. It even has the trendy parallax scrolling effect and an HTML5 video background to boot. But when you go further down the site to view their catalog, you’ll see that the only option you’d get is to either download the pricing in a spreadsheet format or view photos and descriptions of specific offerings.

Instead, why not showcase all your products and product numbers, but add “call us for pricing” CTA’s on the title or description of an item?

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There are also websites where there will be no CTA buttons at all on product pages.

You’d still buy these items anyway if you like them or need them enough. But you would probably think twice about it, and the conversion rate would be seriously low. Manual ordering can be too tasking and inconvenient for some consumers in these modern times.

If you own a business and you’re trying to sell your items online, you’d want to give the customer the full experience; you’d want to give them options even if they don’t intend to purchase right away.

Contact Info

Maybe you offer just two or three items; or maybe you’re selling a service instead of tangible products.

In these cases, putting up a shopping cart may not be appropriate. In this case, it’s important for your customers to be able to reach you instantly.

Make your business number prominent on your website, or create a contact form that’s suitable for your target audience.

Some small business owners would even go as far as adding a click-to-call button that will prompt customers for their numbers, connect them to a phone service, and make the phone service ring their number.

Here are a couple examples:

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When you click on the buttons, you’ll be able to call the company’s number but won’t be charged for the call because it will be shouldered by the called party. Think of it as if you’re placing a toll-free call, but instead of a desk phone, you’re using your browser.

About Page

Often, the creation of your website’s About Page is an after-thought – thrown together from the website’s theme with few changes.

On the internet, establishing trust is the name of the game.

To truly make a good and lasting impression among potential customers, you need to make sure that you can convey your values and passions through this page right away.

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Charm your way into your audience’s hearts by highlighting how you started, or by defining what problems do you want solved. Answer questions like, “What makes my brand stand out?” or “What’s in it for them?” Give your customers the confidence that you are a real person, and that you continuously strive to provide them with only the best products or services.

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About pages can trigger emotions that can inspire website visitors to support your small business. Don’t succumb to the practice of filling it with jargon commonly seen on some sites – like the one you see above – that although sounds smart, sounds somewhat impersonal.

Mobile-Friendliness

Moz has noticed how Google is dedicating a lot of its efforts towards “evangelizing and forcing a change of mindset from desktop to mobile.” If you’re a business owner, you should expect that visitors will be using different devices to visit your site.

Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure that your website is designed to be accessible on any screen size. Don’t be part of the alarming statistic that says only 30% of small business websites are mobile-friendly.

To get started in making your website mobile-friendly, you should first determine the possible format for the mobile version you plan to make.

Check out the approaches you can use below:

  • M.dot. The first-generation mobile approach in which users who visit a website using their mobile device automatically get redirected to the mobile version. The advantage is that you can create one quickly because you’re pretty much just creating a no-frills version of your main website with less content and less navigation. However, because they’re treated as a separate entity from your website (with a different URL), you also have to maintain them separately. M.dot is the least recommended option nowadays.
  • Adaptive. The Adaptive approach uses multiple page layouts then chooses what to display depending on the size or width of your screen. Adaptive design snaps your content into a defined environment or layout. Responsive. It uses CSS media queries to adjust the content according to screen size, so the display will be fluid and smooth. Because all content is delivered using just one URL, SEO and social sharing is easier to improve.
  • Progressive. Supports app-like features like the home screen and an offline mode (among others) to enhance the user’s experience. It’s faster when compared to the other approaches, too.

People are more likely to stay longer if they see that you’ve placed a premium on usability or user experience. When you get them to stay longer on your site, you get a bigger chance of convincing them to purchase something from you.

In Conclusion

While creating a website for your small business might be easier today due to the wide availability of tools and services that you can get for cheap (or even free, in some), this doesn’t mean that you should neglect the fundamentals that make a website fit with your business goals.

As customers’ attention spans get shorter, it will be harder for you to convince them to make a purchase. You don’t have to get it right the first time, though. Don’t be scared to adjust and just keep working on making your message clear. Carefully constructing various elements on your website will pay off, and it will make you stand out from the rest.

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Posted 26 June 2019

Why Isn’t Anyone Buying On My Ecommerce Website?

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The goal of an ecommerce website should be simple: to have customers buy your product or service online.

If your website has solid traffic coming in but you don’t see very many visitors purchasing, the following items may help you determine the reasons why people aren’t buying from your ecommerce website.

Products are Hard to Find

Ideally, for an ecommerce website, the product categories should be listed in the main navigation menu so they are front and center. They should be sorted into logical groups by how a customer would use a product or by the product type. For example, a clothing store’s site would be grouped into men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes, and then subdivided into items such as tops, pants, shoes, and more. For a food store, the options could be displayed by size, flavors, or occasion.

If your products are not listed in your main navigation or under a “Product” or “Shop” section, how are your users supposed to know you sell items on your website?

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Having your ecommerce section under a separate URL, such as shop.url.com or store.url.com, which looks different from the rest of your website, can also be a deterrent for customers.

Hard to Understand Navigation

Your website’s navigation menu should contain terms that every user can understand. It shouldn’t include your corporate jargon or acronyms that a customer wouldn’t understand. For example, while “design your own” and “custom” may be two very different categories for your company, those terms are interchangeable to the average user.

Your menu also shouldn’t include your internal product or style name – unless you’re a nationally recognized product like Air Jordan Sneakers – because a new user probably won’t recognize what it is. For example, a trampoline park may refer their tickets as a “flight pass”, but new users would probably be looking for a simpler term of “tickets” or “reservations.”

In another example, a sock ecommerce site should include their products in the menu based on the activity the end user would wear the socks for – hiking, running, basketball, or tennis – versus sock product names. Unless a user has purchased in the past, they won’t understand what an “OAQU” or “84N” or “XDXW” sock is.

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A well-sorted, non-confusing navigation.

Forcing Customers to Create an Account

Forcing your customers to create an account is the #1 conversion killer.

If a customer is required to create an account to place an order, it might be a reason why they are not buying from your site. See how your direct competitors handle needing an account – probably a number of them offer guest checkout options, therefore you should too.

Many customers buy gifts on sites they don’t frequent themselves, such as for a wedding gift or baby shower. That gift-giving customer may have no intention of shopping on your website again. Forcing that person to create an account before they order the gift will make it less likely for them to want to finish that transaction.

Some other customers might get frustrated trying to remember yet another set of usernames and passwords. Some may have concerns about the site storing their personal information and credit card number. Other customers may have concerns that creating an account will sign them up for your email newsletter, and they don’t want any more messages cluttering up their inbox.

When you do ask your customer to create an account, be sure to share with them the benefit of doing so, such as being able to check on the status of their order or to get discounts on future orders.

Product Page Issues

If you have good traffic to your website and an easy to use navigation, customers should be flocking to your product pages. A bad user experience once the customer visits those pages can be another reason they decide not to purchase on your website.

Here are some product page issues that can result in people not buying from your ecommerce website:

  • No checkout button on product pages – Once a customer has added an item to their cart, it should be very easy for them to navigate to the checkout if they are done shopping.
  • Product options unclear – If there is more than one size, color, or flavor available of your product, it should be easy for the user to select these options.
  • No quantity field – If your customer wants to buy more than one of your product, they should be able to do so on the product page. Some websites are set up so you can only purchase one of an item at a time, forcing users who want to buy more than one to have to revisit the product page repeatedly – a bad user experience.
  • No product image – If the item you are selling is a tangible item, you should show a picture of the product. Not having an image of something where looks matter, such as clothing, housewares, or decorations, will deter customers from purchasing from you.
  • Missing breadcrumb navigation – When a customer is searching through categories, a breadcrumb navigation makes it easy for them to go back and return to the main category pages. If this navigation is missing, the customer may find they have to go back to the main menu and re-click through all the subcategories to get to the section they want – not an ideal user experience.

Pop-ups

Pop-ups can be a great way for you to advertise deals to customers, share new products, and get more newsletter subscribers. But for a lot of customers, pop-ups can be an annoyance and make them less happy with your website.

If you do choose to have pop-ups on your site, be sure there is an obvious way to close the pop-up without having to fill out the form. If they can’t figure out how to close out the pop-up, users might leave your site altogether.

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Shipping Rate is too High

If your shipping rate is too high, it could be another reason customers are visiting but not purchasing on your website.

Ideally on an ecommerce website, the shipping rate for lightweight items within the US should be just a few dollars. This is especially true if your exact product or a very similar product is for sale on Amazon.com, whereby Prime members can get the item in just two days for no shipping cost. If you’re selling a product that weighs less than a pound and cost less than $100, a shipping rate over $5 would be considered unreasonable by a lot of consumers.

Real life example: A few years ago, on the burtsbees.com website, a customer could purchase an individual lip balm for $2.99. To get that item shipped to them, it would cost $5.00. Or they could purchase that exact same item on Amazon for the same $2.99, add it the other items they were already buying, and pay no shipping fee. Or they could pick up that same lip balm the next time they were out at WalMart, Target, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, CVS, and other retailers. Which option do you think most customers chose to do?

It’s also recommended to offer a discounted shipping rate after a certain price point is met. Many websites have free shipping once you purchase $25, $35, or $50 worth of their product.

Especially pay attention to your competition here. It’s not uncommon for users to look around your site, add items to their cart with every intent to buy, and then abandon the cart if your shipping rate is too high. And then most likely they’ll go to Amazon or your competitor who has a lower shipping rate and purchase very similar items from them.

Shipping Takes too Long

Similar to the point above, if the shipping time on your site takes too long, you may be losing customers. It should be clear to your customers not only the shipping time to their location but also how long your processing time is. There’s a number of times I personally bought an item for an event based on the shipping time of two days but didn’t realize there was a three-day processing time prior to my item shipping and the item did not arrive for my event and I was disappointed.

Again, Amazon Prime members can get items shipped to them within two days for free (starting to see a trend here?). Or with the new Prime Pantry, in certain cities, they can get items delivered to them in just two hours. So, if a customer visiting your website needs an item for this weekend and it’s a Tuesday, know that if your shipping and processing time are not fast enough, that customer may not end up purchasing through you.

It’s understandable if you don’t have the infrastructure or your third-party logistics aren’t set up to be able to ship items quicker or to send them out of your location faster, but know that that may be an item affecting sales on your ecommerce website.

Your Site is not Secure

Users may not be willing to enter their credit card information on your website if your URL does not begin with HTTPS.

Per our blog about HTTPS security, “Communications over HTTPS are encrypted between the client and the server so eavesdroppers don’t listen in, no one tampers with the data, and your website data isn’t forged.”

If your website does not have HTTPS security, when a user first visits your page, they may get a security error which includes the text “not recommended” about continuing to your website – which really doesn’t look good. Many users will stop at this point and not go through to your website at all. If they do continue to your website, they will probably be less confident to buy items on your site.

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If your ecommerce website doesn’t have an HTTPS url, reach out to our support team to get the security certificate installed.

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Posted 25 June 2019

The Importance Of Updating Your Website Regularly

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Your business is important to you, and you’d like it to be important to your clients too. A boring and hard to navigate website can scare clients away before they even know what you are about. You want to be sure that you put your best foot forward when seeking out new clients, and keeping your website up to date is one of the most important things you can do for this.

The top three things to focus on when updating your website are:

  1. Updating Your Website Security
  2. Keep Your Content Fresh
  3. Updating Your Website Design
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Updating Your Website’s Security

In our present day and age, security should be one of the top priorities for businesses both large and small. We hear all too often about large companies that get hacked, compromising information such as credit card or social security numbers of their clients. This leads to a lack of trust and also hurts the business – clients may choose to go to their competitors in fear that their information might be compromised again.

Choose a Secure Website Platform

One of the top reasons websites get hacked is because of the vulnerability in the framework and platform on which their website is built. Wordpress is not only one of the easiest platforms to use, but it is one of the most secure sites for your business to be built on.

New releases come out every few months for WordPress, and the software is easy to update to the latest version. There are security features built into practically every new release of WordPress. They spot the vulnerabilities and improve their software before the issues affect your website. Websites that stay on older versions of WordPress are more likely to get hacked, as hackers can find out what WordPress version your website is on and worm their way in through backdoor portals.

Choose a Company That Understands Website Security

Be sure that the company you choose to build and/or host your website holds the security of your website in high regard. Your security should be their top priority. Even when using a secure website platform, the backend configuration of your website can play a key role in the security of your website. A poor backend configuration can lead to security breaches.

It’s important for your website hosting company to be aware of possible security issues and have a plan in place to protect your site against them. Ask your hosting firm how often they update the version of WordPress your site is on or the plugins within it – the best firms offer a plan where they will update them on a quarterly basis to ensure your site is secured often. See how often they backup all the data on your website. Ideally, they will do so daily, so if there is a breach or an issue that takes your website down, they can quickly restore to the working version from the previous day.

Keep Your Website Content Fresh

Keeping your website’s content updated can help your business in a number of ways.

Better Content Gives You More Traffic

Keeping the content up to date on your site helps build trust between you and your customers. Most likely, customers rely on your site for useful information on whatever market you are in.

Updated information also helps build domain authority. Domain authority, briefly explained, is how much of an authority on a particular subject your website is. For example, Wikipedia.org has one of the highest Domain authorities out there, because it’s content is always well researched, reviewed by editors, and you’re not distracted with unsightly or unrelated ads. Google holds this in high regard when trying to match search inquiries with useful and relevant information.

Have you ever visited a website that’s copyright is 2014 and the latest blog post is years old as well? Does it make you wonder if they’re still in business, or if they still service your area? Having outdated content on your site, mentioning things like an old location of your business or not-modern technology, can be perceived by your potential customers that your business doesn’t keep up with the latest trends. Anytime a customer reads content on your site that makes them go “wait, I don’t understand that” or “wait, that’s not right”, you’re hurting your credibility.

Keyword Content Strategy

Another place to update your website is your keywords. Having pages on your website that speak about a specific topic is only useful if the keyword(s) are mentioned. For example, if your company provides A/C Repair, then you should have a page on your website dedicated to A/C Repair. Businesses can also use city-specific pages to help them get found in particular city markets, such as Montreal, Raleigh, Durham, or Cary, NC.

It’s important to keep the keywords on your website fresh as well as the content. Perhaps you’ve expanded into another city in the past few years, or are selling a new product or service. If you don’t update your keyword focus, you’ll continue to get traffic for your first city and service, but not for your new ones.

Updating Your Website’s Design

Many businesses focus only on content and internet marketing but fail to address the design and navigation of their website. Some of the things to avoid on your website include difficult navigation, colors that are either too boring or far too obnoxious, and unnecessarily long customer contact forms. All of these things can lead to a website that steers customers away even if your content is top notch.

Mobile-Friendly Web Design

60% of web traffic now comes from mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, Android Phones, and Tablets. This means that if your website is not mobile-friendly and easy to view on a smaller screen, you could be missing out on over half of your potential customers. It’s that simple!

Keep the Target Market in Mind

A website’s design should focus around the needs of the target customer. This means providing easily accessible, engaging content that the ideal customer within your target market will find useful. It also means that the website is ultimately focused around converting those visitors into customers. Your target market may change over time as you expand your business, hire new employees, or invest in new tools, so be sure you’re adapting the content of your website accordingly.

In Summary

Our country and lives are driven around having the latest and greatest. We like for things to be new, refreshing and up to date. If this is how our culture is driven, why should your website be out of date and stale?

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Posted 18 June 2019

7 Tips For Designing A Great Website

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Design is everywhere. From the screen you’re reading this on, to the chair you’re sitting in, to the roof above your head, design influences how we interact with the world around us. Those interactions can be pleasant and even enjoyable, or they can be frustrating and confusing. The difference is good design. There are plenty of resources defining “good design”, so in this article we’ll focus on how good web design benefits your website and, in turn, your business.

Smart businesses recognize the value that quality design provides. Companies like Apple, Nike, IBM, and Coca-Cola have made design a focus and have greatly benefited from doing so. A 2015 study showed that over the previous 10 years, design-led companies maintained a significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by an extraordinary 211%. These companies understand that design is an investment. Good design establishes your company within the market, builds trust, and spurs growth. It’s a key differentiator between your company and the competition. Good design is measurable and profitable.

So what does quality design mean in the context of websites? How can you make sure that your website offers people a great experience? Here are 7 things we’ve learned designing and building websites at DUBUB Marketing Agency that guide our design process:

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1. WEB DESIGN IS AN ART, BUT IT IS NOT ART

Design is the visual component of the content strategy. It’s interwoven throughout the entire process of building a website. It isn’t just a “finishing touch” or “making things look pretty”. Design isn’t decoration. Quality web design renders everything with intent. There are reasons for where it is positioned, what size and color it is, how it moves, etc. Those decisions are based on analytics, standard conventions, and solid user experience (UX). While aesthetics are an important component of web design, they’re not the driving force. Good design helps a potential customer understand who your company is, what you do, and why they should choose your product or service. It also makes your product or service easily accessible, so that it’s easy to convert a potential customer into a repeat client.

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2. DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE

Know what you’re designing for. Before you can take advantage of design as a method of problem solving, you have to know what problems you’re trying to solve. The next step is to decide the best way to solve them. Setting goals with trackable metrics is key to evaluating those web design decisions. Here at DUBUB Marketing Agency, we focus on 3 key things:

  • Awareness. People need to know that you exist, and they need to know exactly what product or service you offer. There are thousands of messages bombarding people all day, every day. Good web design cuts through the clutter. Not only does it help you stand out against your competitors, but it also helps you compete with every other ad that your potential customer sees that day. You need to be memorable, creative, and engaging to make it through consumers’ “attention wall”. We measure this by tracking page views and social media impressions.
  • Conversion. Once potential customers are aware of your brand, the goal is to convert them from *potential* customers to *loyal* customers. Good design informs consumers and helps them feel confident about their decision to go with your product or service. We measure this by tracking form entries, email open rates, and social media engagement.
  • Experience. The key to helping a potential customer become a loyal customer? A positive, enjoyable experience interacting with your brand online. Make it easy for them to navigate your site and find the information that they’re looking for. We measure this by looking at screen recordings to see how people are interacting with the site, as well as bounce rates, page exits, and funnels.
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3. MAKE A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION

It takes about 50 milliseconds for people to form an opinion about your website. You have the blink of an eye to convince people that your product or service is worth exploring further. According to one study, first impressions are 94% design related. Although meaningful content is important, no one is going to read it if it’s stuck on a poorly designed site. Quality web design establishes trust and credibility. If your content is easily accessible and clearly communicated, people’s snap judgments about your website are far more likely to be positive. Google’s own research affirms that the more prototypical (i.e. conventional) a website appears, the higher users will rate their first impressions of its design. Layout, consistency, typography, color, and style are all key components of a well-designed site. Your website may be the only impression you’re able to make, so it’s crucial that it’s a good one

First impressions are 94% design related. Quality web design establishes trust and credibility.

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4. FOLLOW BEST PRACTICES FOR USABILITY & CONVERSION

Web conventions exist for a reason; it makes it easier for people to use your website. It’s helpful to know what to expect when clicking on a link or on a small “x” in the corner. One of Dieter Rams’ principles for good design is that it is “as little design as possible”. Reduce the complexity whenever practical and don’t let aesthetics get in the way of usability. Make clear calls-to-action using active language, and try guide users through your site by indicating next steps. For example, instead of a vague “Learn More” button, tell people what to expect next by saying “Explore our Services” instead. Format and organize your content with a logical hierarchy. The vast majority of people aren’t going to read more than a few sentences on your site, so the more skimmable/scannable you can make your content, the better. Potential customers are more likely to convert if your value proposition is communicated early and succinctly. Use white space effectively to draw attention to important content. Strategic visuals can elevate your design and help illustrate concepts that might difficult to communicate concisely. Design for effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction.

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5. LEAVE PEOPLE TO THEIR OWN DEVICES

You need to be where your consumers are. And they’re on their phones. And their laptops. At the same time. According to a 2012 Google study, 90% of people use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time. That means that their experience across these devices need to be seamless. Consistency is key. We’ve been hearing about responsive web design for years, so it’s no surprise that websites need to be accessible on any screen size. There are plenty of theories on the best way to approach this challenge: Mobile first, progressive enhancement, graceful degradation, etc. Rather than rallying for one approach or another, what’s more important is that we’re designing for the content. Part of this content-driven design is deciding what information is important at which screen sizes. For example, on a large screen using 4k video might be an optimal experience, but that high resolution on mobile devices wouldn’t add the same value, and may actually be a detriment since a video of that size would increase page load time. Quality web design takes all of this into account.

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6. RECOGNIZE THAT LAUNCHED IS NOT FINISHED

Your website has been built, tested, and launched. Hooray! Time to kick back and bask in the glory of your brand-spankin’-new site, right? Nope. Now it’s time to test, analyze, and refine your website even more. The web is a malleable medium. Your website shouldn’t be static; it needs to grow and change along with your company, the market, and your customers. Use analytics gathered to see how users are interacting with your site and where their pain points are. We use services like Google Analytics and Hotjar to understand where improvements can be made in achieving the website’s goals. Once we’ve gathered the data, we can take what we’ve learned and make adjustments. Quality web design is adaptable. Being agile and unafraid of change will yield measurable benefits.

7. LET DEVELOPMENT BE YOUR ALLY

Quality web design depends on an intimate understanding of the medium in which you’re working. Whether designers should know how to code has been a controversial topic for years. We’re of the opinion that a web designer who knows how to code has a couple key advantages:

  • Efficiency. They know how to work within the constraints of the web and how to implement best practices throughout their designs. They have a vision for their designs on any screen size, which often eliminates the need for multiple mockups or meetings and makes the developer’s job easier.
  • More creativity. Not only do they understand the constraints, they also understand how to use the tools available to them to be even more creative and how to work within those parameters to innovate. There’s a lot you can do within the browser that just isn’t possible in a static web design composition.

If you’re interested in making sure that your website is designed to produce better marketing results, get in touch with DUBUB Marketing Agency for a free consultation.

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Posted 11 June 2019

Research Shows Having A Bad Website Can Hurt Your Business

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Here’s a sad scenario.

Someone sends a prospective client your way. They’re a warm, maybe even a hot lead.

Before contacting you, they do what everyone else does — they visit your website to check you out.

But then, nothing happens. They don’t call for an appointment. They don’t email you.

Nothing. Just crickets.

What happened?

Your poorly designed website scared them away.

Instead of giving them confidence you know what you’re doing and can actually help them, your site did just the opposite. It created doubt, uncertainty and a general feeling of uneasiness about you and your company.

So they click the back button on their browser and go somewhere else — probably to one of your competitors with inferior services to yours, but with a better website.

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What Makes A Good Website?

Rather than just give you my personal opinion, we scoured the internet and compiled data on this topic from a variety of reputable sources. Here’s your Executive Summary:

* * * * * *

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10 Scientifically-Backed Ways to Increase Sales by Making Your Website More Credible by Jayson DeMers.

Key takeaways:

  • Prominently display your address and phone number + make it easy for people to contact you via email or contact form.
  • Have your website professionally-designed. It shouldn’t look like it was built by a 6th grader.
  • Provide a good user experience when they visit your site. Make sure your content is organized and easy to navigate. Get rid of superfluous content and other distractions that don’t contribute to your overall message.
  • Display testimonials from actual customers, with their pictures if available.
  • Keep your site’s content up to date. Visitors also want to see content that is current and relevant
  • Profile the people behind your company. People do business with other people. Prospective clients want to know who they’ll be dealing with. Tell your story. Let people get to know you.
  • Make sure your content is free of typos and errors. Nothing screams amateur like misspelled words and grammatical errors.

(Source: Forbes.com)

* * * * * *

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Just Say No: 7 Website Design Mistakes That Can Hurt Conversion by Maricel Rivera.

Key takeaways:

  • 75% of consumers admit that they judge a business’ credibility based on their website design.
  • Poor website loading speed can be extremely harmful to businesses. Most consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. 79% of shoppers reported that they would not return to purchase from a slow loading website.
  • Websites must be mobile-friendly and optimized to adapt to various interfaces. According to comScore, the number of users accessing content online through their mobile devices has surpassed those who use a desktop.
  • Website clutter is a a huge deterrent. Ex: Too many Flash animations, ad prompts, auto-play videos, background music, etc.
  • Once again, site navigation is a factor that hurts conversion. Confused, frustrated prospects don’t buy.
  • A missing or confusing call-to-action. You must let your visitor know what you want them to do next. Don’t assume they’ll know. Be direct and specific. Gently nudge them where you want them to go.

(Source: Business.com)

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Research Shows Having A Bad Website Can Hurt Your Business 28

10 Small Business Website Errors That Drive Customers Away by Brad Shorr.

Key takeaways:

  • Quickly explain what’s in it for them. Avoid droning on about endless features, benefits or all your accolades. Prospective clients are interested in one thing, “Can you help me?”
  • Make sure to use credibility elements such as customer testimonials, BBB and other well-known accreditations. Otherwise your visitors have only your marketing propaganda to go by.
  • Your site must be mobile-friendly. As mentioned above, more people today access the Internet from mobile devices than from desktop computers.
  • Creating user-friendly website navigation is far more complex and nuanced than meets the eye. Good navigation is intuitive and simple, and makes it easy for visitors to quickly find what they need.
  • Eliminate fluff and weak language. “We’re the best,” “we’re the cheapest,” “we’re the most innovative,” tells your reader nothing. Provide details about why your company is different or what they can expect when they do business with you.
  • Stay away from cringeworthy, cheesy stock photos that everyone uses. These make you look phony and amateurish. When possible, use your own custom images. It’s ok to use custom stock imagery if it’s professional and high-quality, but be prepared to dig a little bit to find the good stuff.
  • As mentioned above, your site needs to be mobile-friendly. Mostly to provide a good user experience to your visitor, but also for search engine rankings. In April 2015, Google publicly stated that it’ll give preference in the search listings to web pages that are mobile-friendly vs. those that are not.

(Source: Forbes.com)

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Research Shows Having A Bad Website Can Hurt Your Business 29

What Different Consumer Groups Really Want from Local Business Websites by Myles Anderson.

Myles Anderson surveyed 800 people in all age groups. Here’s what he discovered:

  • The 4 pieces of website info most likely to influence a consumer to use that business are: (1) Details about the business (e.g., company origins, products, services, people), (2) Business proximity, (3) Clear address and contact details and (4) Customer testimonials.
  • The 4 biggest negatives for a local website are: (1) Poor quality content, (2) No phone number displayed, (3) No prices displayed and (4) The business not being local enough.
  • Most consumers of all ages prefer to contact local businesses by phone after viewing their website.

(Source: SearchEngineLand.com)

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