Preventing Common Web Development Missteps

Posted by on Dec 10, 2019 in Website Development |

You’ve recently commissioned a web developer to assist with building your new website. At the face of it, your site is aesthetically pleasing. However, you are not attracting any website traffic or leads. Web development may not be your forte and, furthermore, you don’t necessarily understand the ins-and-outs of what happens behind the scenes, which makes meetings harder. If it makes you feel any better, you are probably just one of the many business owners who are dissatisfied with their websites.  How Do I Know It’s Time to Strategize? If you can identify with at least one of the common complaints below, it’s time to strategize: Your website’s content is poor. Your website is not unique, which means your customers won’t be able to differentiate between your website and your competitor’s website.  Your website is hard to navigate. Your website is slow to load on different devices and browsers.  Your website is not secure, it is unstable and/or expensive to maintain.  How Do I Avoid Issues Down the Line? To avoid issues down the line, we’ve listed three important key steps for your website development project: Set Clear Goals for Your Website Make a list of the priorities for your website, and ensure that your web development team is on the same page as you to avoid any misunderstandings. You need to establish what you want to achieve and by when, providing everyone with strict outcomes and deadlines.  Request a Work Proposal  Whether your website is being developed in-house or you’ve outsourced the project, you should ask for a written proposal before starting on the project. Take the time to read through the proposal carefully, making sure you understand all the content (it is important to ask questions if you don’t understand a certain point or section). The proposal needs to specify your project’s deadline, the scope of work, the roles and responsibilities as well as the approach and the detailed work plan.   Don’t forget to request and to review the web developer’s credentials, experience and reputation before making a final decision. The cheaper quote may not always the better option.  Assign Someone to Manage Your Website Project If you don’t have the time to completely focus on your project, consider engaging a project manager who will handle everything for you, especially if you lack the technical skills. He or she will oversee your project on a day-to-day basis, providing the necessary leadership and decision making required.  Post launching your website, have you given thought to who will be managing and maintaining your website on a regular basis? Assigning an internal project manager or an outsourced project manager would be recommended.  Careful planning, communication and attention to detail are...

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5 things you need to be doing to convert traffic into sales

Posted by on Aug 15, 2019 in Online Marketing |

Much of the talk in the world of online marketing is about drawing readers to your site. But that’s only the first part of the process. Your focus should really be on making sure that, once readers come to your site, they become paying customers.  The principles that drive conversions in online business are not much different to those in brick and mortar retail spaces. It’s all about your product, how you package it, your prices, your service and the environment. If a customer walks into a well laid out and designed shop, is met by competent and helpful staff, and finds good value for money, he/she is likely to make a purchase. In the online space, the same principles apply. Consider these five important actions to convert site visits to sales. Make your USP unmissable from the first click You can’t give visitors time to look around the site, not find what they need and move on – because they will in less than half a minute. From the moment they enter your site, if it is not already apparent from the social media post or email they clicked through from, your USP must be obvious and unmissable. Spell it out. Be classy and clever but never subtle. Engage your visitors Don’t just offer information passively – invite readers to interact with you and your product. Offer a tester of your product and ask for feedback. Keep them thinking about the product and engaging with it.  Avoid clutter and give your clients breathing space Cut down on the text and make good use of white space. Offer only the essential information and allow your customers the space to make their decisions. Add value Everyone loves a bargain. You don’t have a live salesperson on your website to upsell and/ or haggle with your clients, so you have to let the website itself do that work for you. In addition to your central USP, offer add-ins, complementary products and packages deals. Always put a time limit on those to encourage the purchase. Maintain a relationship after the sale From a “thank you” mail to follow-up offers, continued post-sale communication with your customers are always a good idea (unless they say otherwise, of course). Show your appreciation and they will likely return the favour. Contact WSI to assist you in creating a sale-closing website and marketing strategy. Please follow and like...

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Long-tail keywords – the key to boosting your SEO

Posted by on Aug 14, 2019 in SEO |

The prevalence of keywords in SEO content creation is old news. However, chances are that you may not be using keywords to their fullest potential and that, as a result, your website or blog may be lagging behind. The problem with keywords is that they tend to be generic and broad. Hundreds, if not thousands of other websites and blog posts, will be using these short-tail keywords and this means greater competition. If you rely only on short-tail keywords, you will be among these competitors, all vying for the same readers and possibly getting lost in the process. The solution to reducing competition in this arena is to get more specific, and this involves long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords enable you to tailor search items specific to your business, as opposed to those that would be common across your industry. For example, say you’re a musical instrument dealer. If you use a keyword like “guitars,” you are unlikely to get anywhere near the top of a search result list. However, if you focus on a speciality, say “vintage collectible Gibson”, you have now created a long-tail keyword and placed yourself into a far narrower search bracket. The word “guitar” may have a search volume numbering in the millions, while “vintage collectible Gibson” may be searched less than 100 times in the same period. What this means is that you’ve reduced your search competition by a pretty respectable order of magnitude. Focusing on your unique selling point (USP) is an old idea in marketing. The concept of the long-tail keyword takes the USP into the digital realm, enabling you to differentiate yourself from your hordes of competitors. It requires you to think deeper about your business and refine your offerings, an effort that is sure to be rewarded with higher search engine rankings.    Contact WSI to assist you in creating a winning SEO strategy. Please follow and like...

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Collaboration Tips for Designers and Developers in Website Projects

Posted by on Jul 26, 2019 in Website Design |

 Developers and designers can work together effectively to literally change the world.  Most projects tend to start with design and finish with development. The process can be faced with a massive disconnect whereby designers hand over their designs and anxiously wait to see if developers are going to interpret them the right way. However, this shouldn’t be the case; developers and designers need to board the same team showcasing their different skill sets, roles and strengths. So, how can you make the designer-developer relationship work effectively?    Work as a Team from the Outset In traditional web design processes, designers handle the initial phases of researching, analysing and developing prototypes without engaging developers. This leaves developers in the dark; something that leads to the designs being pinged over to the developers’ desks with instructions. It is a process that has many problems. Initially, designers will have a dream of a magnificent design, which eventually turns out to be time-consuming, difficult and downright impossible to execute. The developers, on the other hand, feel that they are disconnected from the project. When developers are involved in the design from the outset, they have an understanding of the problems the product aims to solve and the needs of the users. This way, they are able to validate designs and unearth technical issues that may bring problems down the line.    Have Standards The designers and developers need to have the right knowledge and tools for the job to ensure things are done fast. However, sometimes, a lot of time is wasted on arguing and discussing logistics.  Think of it this way, developers and designers can have lengthy discussions about a WordPress plugin they need to use that can pull together the website design considerations that have technical constraints. This takes a lot of their time, however, when you agree on something, it makes sense to use that plugin as the standard on other forthcoming projects unless it’s not suited for that project. The same should happen for grids, sizes, conventions and margins among other elements of website design. When you standardise the systems and processes, the individuals in the team know what is expected of them. The small stuff won’t bog them down, and they will have more time to concentrate on building a product that will work for everybody.   Create Prototypes It’s often said showing is better than telling. However, experience trumps all. It is important that the web development team, including the designers, start prototyping in advance. This helps the clients or website owners to understand the ideas of the developers and designers, and user testing can start. Prototyping eliminates misinterpretation and it allows developers to know how they...

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Typography Hacks To Enhance Your Website Design

Posted by on Jan 28, 2019 in Website Design |

The design and layout of your website copy have a huge impact on its readability. That’s the obvious part. The not so obvious part is how this affects your conversion rates. A website with text that’s difficult to read is unappealing. If this sounds like your website, customers will likely leave your site, causing your conversion rate to drop. Great typography ensures ease of access to your website’s content, it can highlight important information and it can help communicate your brand personality. Here are a few ways you can use typography to enhance your website design.   Three’s Your Lucky Number   Keep things simple by using a maximum of three font families on your site: one for the headline, sub headline and body text.   Use A Sans-Serif Font   In general, sans-serif fonts are easier to read on the web. Using a clean sans-serif font works well across devices as it’s more readable on smaller screens. But, keep in mind that not all fonts that work on desktop will work on mobile, so choose a font that’s optimal across a spectrum of screen sizes.     Font-Size Matters   15 to 18 px is a good font-size for body and paragraph text. It’s not small enough to make you squint and it’s not too big to have your readers endlessly scrolling or swiping through your content.   Do Some Research   Have a look at your favourite websites and blogs and make a note of the font-families they use. A tool that can help you do this is a plug-in called Fount. From the Fount website, you can drag and drop the plug-in into your bookmarks bar. It’s super easy to use. For all your web design needs, contact WSI OMS today. Please follow and like...

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