What are you forgetting when it comes to your website?

what are you forgetting when it comes to your website

what are you forgetting when it comes to your website

The web has come a long way, and seems to be gaining pace each day. The majority of businesses now have a website, or know that they should have. But with 996 million websites out there, we’re all bound to forget something right? Here’s some basic points of consideration when you’re looking to keep your website in check and in competition.

 

Can people find it?

We have a lot more capability than ever before when it comes to websites. Whatever design you want. On whichever device you want. Saying exactly what you want. About whichever products or services you want to talk about.

However, in this exciting stage of putting everything together, choosing how everything will look and feel. It can be easy to forget, how are people going to actually find all of this hard work? Is this SEO friendly?

I know the phrase ‘SEO friendly’ will send shivers down the spines of some businesses. Those who have worked with overzealous marketing companies. Who pushed the phrase down their throat, but they do have a little bit of a point.

We now live in a customer centric world, with 90% of us saying, when we’re ready to buy, we’ll find you. Our buying habits have changed, and believing the old saying of ‘build it and they’ll come’ will lead you to more disappointment than happiness.

Take a little time to consider your SEO and it may make a bigger impact than you realise. A huge 57% of B2b marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead generation, meaning it may be worth spending those extra couple of days in the creation process, and a regular review during the lifecycle of your website to ensure you are making it as easy as possible for customers to come to you.

Still not quite sure on how SEO works, and why you should be considering it? We wrote a post on this not too long back, which explains a little more about what it is, as well as including a useful graphic that shows all of the considerations that happen for SEO, and how much pull each factor has, so you know what aspects to prioritise on.

 

Can people use it?

Once people have found you, and hopefully for all the right reasons, can they actually use your site? This may sound a daft question, but it’s something we cover a lot in our line of work, with companies making sites for the company, not for their customers.

Not sure what we mean? Well consider as a user how many times you have gone on to a beautiful website, full of gorgeous graphics that leave you dying to know more, but for the life of you, you can’t find the product you need, or even how to contact the company for more information.

Yes, that image of a beautiful city shot with the sun shining down may perfectly encapsulate your urban setting, and that you are one with the business world, but if there’s no other information to complement your picture, your user can’t find anything, it defeats the purpose.

Make things easy to navigate for your customer. How do they think? How do they get to what they need to in the minimum amount of clicks, ensuring you are making the most of their attention for the short time you have it?

47% of website visitors go to a company’s products or services before looking at any other part of the website, and why wouldn’t you want them to get there easily if it means more sales for you?

This doesn’t mean forget design altogether, because well designed websites do stand out! But when you review your website, look at it through a customer’s eyes, not your company’s eyes.

Still not sure on how you can create a user friendly website? You can get a good guide in one of our previous posts on this, as well as a case study on how it worked for one of our clients.

 

Can people read it?

Copy is an aspect many people underestimate. How hard is it to write a few words on a page? Very, as it turns out. To write copy that your users want to read, that is informative and that pulls them through the sales funnel, all whilst being SEO friendly.

There is a lot of hype at the moment about ‘content marketing’, and that’s because it works. Which can be seen with 86% of all marketers are using content marketing. As we mentioned earlier, almost all of us will look for products when we’re ready to buy, rather than waiting to be told about what we should buy.

It can be hard to make this shift. Particularly if you’re a business which is used to dealing with more traditional methods of marketing. But just think of your content as an extension of your sales process. So when people reach your website, they still receive the professional/friendly/technical information they would if one your reps was out on a visit. They receive all the benefits as to how this product or service will help them, and the killer line that makes people buy. And then you encourage them to take action in whatever way fits. Whether that’s making a phone call, completing a form, or reading another blog post.

Take the time when it comes to your copy, and make it something your customers will actually want to spend reading. And if you are struggling, reach out and speak to an agency or freelancer, as there are some very talented people out there, that could really propel your website forward, and ensure important points stand out on the page.

If you want to take on your copy yourself though and need a little help, then we have plenty of articles full of advice and tips, including this post on how to improve your website copy and help generate leads and sales.

 

Can people steal it?

Copy writing your website may not be your first thought. However, it is important to ensure other people don’t steal and potentially profit off your hard work.

In the nicest light it can be seen as flattery that someone is so inspired by what you have done. They want to claim it as their own. But the majority of the time, it is painful to see someone else taking credit and sales from your work.

You should at the very least be ensuring your website includes a copyright. This should have your business name and the year. Also adding clauses in your terms and conditions that anyone who copies content without permission will have action taken out against them.

You can also be proactive in checking whether your content has been used elsewhere by using free tools such as copyscape, to perform a quick check where else your content appears.

If you want to read more about how you can copyright your content, images and design of your website, you can read one of our previous posts on protecting your content, brand and ideas.

 

How are you going to keep people coming back?

Now you have your website all set up, and your content sorted, and you’re getting visits to the site, how do you keep all this going?

By regularly reviewing your website! Again, it’s not just a build and they’ll keep coming. You need to freshen up your content. You need to check that all the links in your site work. You need to check your analytics and see how people are finding and using your site, and adapt accordingly.

Websites are a live document, so even if you can’t constantly be updating, you need to ensure you regularly review how it’s doing to make it successful for your business.

 

If you do require any help or advice with your website, why not speak to the experts? All of our team are friendly, efficient, and have a passion for marketing, so what do you have to lose? Call us today on 01543 495752.

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.

What your website says about your business; the good & bad

What does your website say about your business?

What does your website say about your business?

Your website says a lot about your business. Not just the words, but the look, feel, and usability can influence your audience’s perception of your business.

It’s an online representation of your business and will often be the first experience your target audience have with your business.

That means it has the huge task of appealing to your audience, representing your business / products / services correctly, and encouraging people to convert.

Let’s take a look at what your website says about your business. The good and bad, and what you can do to fix the bad.

 

The bad

Out-of-date

Web design trends change quickly, so it’s easy to spot a website which hasn’t had a major update in the past few years.

Keeping your website copy updated regularly is one thing. But it will probably be quite hard for users to tell when the last time your copy was updated. However, it’s much easier for them to take a look at the design of your website and figure out when it was last updated.

You might think the design of your website isn’t important. But it can have a big impact on someone’s perception of your business. That can be the difference between them becoming a customer or going elsewhere.

Outdated websites might suggest that your business, products, and service are outdated. That perhaps you can’t offer them the best solution to their problem. Even if you actually could offer than a better product than any of your competitors.

Additionally, out of date websites can be associated with suspicious websites. The last thing you want is someone taking a look at your website and thinking you’re going to take their money and never send them what they ordered.

While it’s true that not all suspicious websites look out of date, an out of date website is something people will often see and say “nope”, and hit the back button.

Humans are very visual, and we do judge things and make decisions based on appearances.

How to fix it: If it’s been a few years since your website had a redesign, there’s no time like the present!

 

It’s confusing to use

We’ve all come to expect websites that are simple to use and allow us to find exactly what we’re looking for in as few clicks as possible.

The aim of your website is to get people to convert. But if you’re providing them with a confusing user journey then it’s much harder for them to do that.

A confusing website can put people off instantly. It suggests that you aren’t really interested in providing your target audience with the best experience possible.

There are plenty of websites that do provide a great experience. So someone won’t have to look far to find a competitor whose website is easier to use.

How to fix it: review your website and look at how you can simplify the user experience to make things as easy as possible.

 

You haven’t got a responsive website

Responsive websites have been a hot topic over the past year and there’s a good reason for that.

With smartphones being the most popular device to access the internet on in the UK, it’s imperative that your website is responsive.

If it isn’t, you’re providing a big portion of your audience with a poor user experience. And your search rankings in mobile search results may suffer as a result. If someone is ready to buy and they can’t buy because they’re using their phone and it’s hard work on your website, you’ve just lost a sale.

An unresponsive website suggests to your audience that you are out of date. You don’t think your website is all that important. And that you aren’t focused on providing your audience with the best experience possible. And that’s before you think about any future purchases they may have made. But won’t because their perception is that you don’t care about your audience as much as another company.

How to fix it: update your website to a responsive one to make it easy for users to use no matter what device they’re using.

 

Hard to get in touch with

One of the things people may look for before making a purchase is your customer service details. None of us want to waste money when we make a purchase. We like to know that if there’s an issue we can get in touch with someone easily to get our problem solved.

If your contact details are hard to find, that can set alarm bells off.

“Why are they making their contact details so hard to find? Don’t they want people to get in touch with them? Why don’t they want people to get in touch with them? If there’s a problem, I’m going to struggle to get it resolved quickly. I think I’ll just go somewhere else.” You’ve probably had a similar thought process yourself when you come across a website that makes it hard for you to find contact details.

No matter how good your product is. How many glowing reviews you have. Or how competitive your price is. Hard to find contact details can send a potential customer running.

How to fix it: Create a contact page which is easy to find, and consider putting a telephone number or email address in the header of your website.

 

No reviews or testimonials

People trust reviews more than they trust your marketing material. Looking at reviews before purchasing has become a big part of the buying process. According to Econsultancy, 61% of shoppers read reviews online before purchasing.

Reviews are especially important if someone has never heard of your company before. Or doesn’t know anyone who’s used your company before.

No one wants to be ripped off, and trust is a big thing when it comes to making a purchase decision. A lack of impartial reviews can put someone off and convince them to buy from a competitor who has reviews.

It’s not hard to get reviews or testimonials from your customers. They can make a huge difference to your audience’s perception of your business.

How to fix it: Get in touch with customers a few days after their product should have arrived. Ask them to provide you with a short review or testimonial.

 

Little product or service information

The internet has made us pretty lazy consumers. Which means that we want all the information to be available to us without us needing to actually speak to you. It doesn’t matter how good your customer service is, most people don’t want to call or email you unless they absolutely have to.

If your product information is lacking, then we’ll just find someone else who gives us all of that information up front because it’s easier than getting in touch with you.

A lack of product information can suggest that you don’t really care about your audience. That you don’t want to help them find the solution to your product. Why else would you leave them asking so many questions about the product?

If you are offering a service then your audience may not be able to buy directly on your website. So make sure you give them as much information as you can up front. This gives them chance to think about what questions they might need to ask you when they’re ready to speak to you and arrange the next step.

How to fix it: Make a list of all of the things your audience would want to know about a product / service and make sure all product descriptions / pages contain that information.

Yes, it can be time-consuming. It requires more effort than copying and pasting the manufacturer’s description. But it’s worth it in the long run.

It may also be helpful to review your competitors and look at what information they are providing. Is there anything missing? What else could they have included? Make sure you are giving your target audience a better experience than your competitors.

 

A poor brand

While not restricted to your website, a poor brand can really harm the perception of your business.

As we mentioned earlier, your website may be the first time someone sees your business. Which means that both your website and your brand need to appeal to your audience.

If your brand looks outdated, doesn’t appeal to your audience, or just looks plain bad, it can put customers off.

A poor brand can suggest that you are outdated, untrustworthy, and offer a bad service. Additionally, it can also position you incorrectly and leave your audience to believe that you are too cheap or too expensive for them.

A strong brand on the other hand, will communicate to your target audience. That you are, and offer, exactly what they are looking for.

How to fix it: If your brand is poor, it’s time to look at rebranding. Because it’s likely that your current brand is doing you more harm than good.

 

 

The good

Helpful content

Providing helpful content for free on your website is a good way to impress your target audience and show them that you want to help them find the solution to their problem, and get the most out of it.

There are thousands of different types of useful content you could provide, but here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing:

  • Tutorials on how to do certain things – you might even do beginner, intermediate, and advanced tutorials
  • Recipes
  • Style trends – you could blog about how to wear a certain popular garment, or talk about interior design trends, or popular hairstyles – of course this will depend on your sector
  • Other uses for your product / service
  • Stories about how your customers have used your product / service and how it helped them

You don’t just have to write blog posts either, there are many ways you can share that information with your audience, including: videos, infographics, podcasts, slideshows, and more.

 

Lots of photos

As we mentioned earlier, we are heavily influenced by imagery. Providing your audience with lots of photos, and maybe even a video, of your product from multiple angles, in different colours, and in use can convince someone to hit the ‘buy’ button.

When we can’t go into a shop to see and hold something, we rely on images and videos to;

  • Help us get a feel for the product
  • Look at the material it’s made from
  • See the size of it, where things are located
  • Begin to understand how it is used
  • See the exact colours – it’s ok telling us something comes in blue, red, and green, but exactly what shade of blue, red, and green?

If you’re providing your audience with multiple images of products then you’re doing them a huge favour and making the consideration stage very easy for them.

 

An appealing tone of voice

Your tone of voice and the words you use can grab a customer’s attention and convince them that you’re the best company for them. Or your tone of voice can put them off by coming across the wrong way.

The exact tone of voice and the words you need to use will depend on your business, what you’re selling and your target audience.

If your audience are teenage boys, your tone of voice won’t be the same as a business whose target audience are Mums.

By using a tone of voice that resonates with your audience you’re suggesting that you know who your audience are and what they like.

We like buying from brands who we feel ‘get us’ and share the same values as us, and this can help you gain loyal customers who don’t even consider going somewhere else when they need something that you sell.

 

Trustworthy

There are many aspects of your website and your brand which your audience will use to decide whether or not you’re trustworthy. However, if you’re an ecommerce website there are specific things you can do to show your audience that your website is safe.

Online fraud is always at the back of consumer’s minds whenever they purchase online, and they want to be sure that they’re ordering from a website that will protect their personal information.

If you have SSL certificates and trust badges on your website, such as Symantec, Norton, McAffee, and TRUSTe, it suggests that you are committed to protecting your customer’s data. These badges give users faith that your website is secure and that you are doing your best to keep their information safe.

 

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it covers the key things that your website is saying about your business and your products.

Your website is not something that you just do once every few years and forget about it. To provide your target audience with the best experience, you should be regularly reviewing it and looking at what you can do to provide a better experience and be more helpful.

 

If you do require any help or advice with your website, why not speak to the experts? All of our team are friendly, efficient, and have a passion for marketing, so what do you have to lose? Call us today on 01543 495752.

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.

9 reasons why people are leaving your website

9 reasons why people are leaving your website

9 reasons why people are leaving your website

The goal of your website is to attract visitors and, eventually, convert them into leads and sales. It’s not straightforward, and there are many reasons why people are leaving your website. 

Due to longer and more complex buyer’s journey, you won’t stop 100% of visitors leaving without converting, but there are plenty of things you can do to improve your website and give visitors the information they need.

 

How do I know how many people are leaving my website?

Your website’s analytics can tell you how many people are leaving your website, and where. There are two important statistics to look at:

  • Bounce rate
  • Exit pages

 

Bounce rate

Bounce rate Google Analytics

Your bounce rate shows you the percentage of people who came to your website, viewed one page, and left before viewing any other pages.

There are many reasons why someone might ‘bounce’, but they can be roughly classified into two buckets:

They weren’t happy with what they found: this could mean your product / service was too expensive, you didn’t convince them to buy it, they’re not sure if it solves their problem, or perhaps your content didn’t answer their questions.

They found what they were looking for: this often happens if someone is looking for specific information; your website provides them with all the information they need for now, so they leave without exploring your website further.

“What’s a good bounce rate?” you might ask; well it varies depending on sector and the type of website you have.

An infographic on bounce rates put together by KissMetrics shows the following average bounce rates:

  • Retail websites: 20-40% bounce rate
  • Simple landing pages: 70-90% bounce rate
  • Portals (MSN, Yahoo groups, etc): 10-30% bounce rate
  • Service websites: 10-30% bounce rate
  • Content websites: 40-60% bounce rate
  • Lead generation: 30-50% bounce rate

 

Exit pages

Google Analytics also allows you to look at where people are leaving your website. It doesn’t give you a huge idea of why they’re leaving though. However, reviewing the copy might help you identify the kind of reasons someone might have exited on that page.

For example, if people are leaving your site on a product page instead of converting, it might be because:

  • It’s not quite what they were looking for – but your content was good and told them it’s not what they need.
  • They’re not sure if it’s what they need – your content isn’t clear enough or telling them whether it can do what the visitor needs it to do.
  • It’s too expensive
  • They’re just looking for now and comparing your product / service to others
  • It’s too expensive – but they’ve bookmarked it and will keep checking back in case the price has gone down
  • You haven’t got the size / colour / version they need in stock right now

As you can see, it’s not easy to identify exactly why someone left. However, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you are providing users with all they need to make an informed decision.

 

Why people are leaving your website 

Let’s look at 9 common reasons why people might be leaving your website and what you can do to make them stay.

 

Your website takes too long to load

We’re all impatient, especially online where we expect things to happen in the click of our fingers.

Studies by Akamai.com and Gomez.com found that 47% of users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

If your website takes too long to load, users will leave and visit other websites which load faster.

What to do: Check your website’s loading speed which can help you identify what parts of your website might be slow to load.

 

Your website looks bad or suspicious

Appearance can have a huge effect on perception, and the look of your website can be enough to convince someone that they don’t want to spend their money with you.

When you think about a bad website or a suspicious looking website that looks as if it’s out to scam you, they might look a bit like this:

  • The design is poor
  • The layout is terrible
  • Too many things are fighting for attention and your eyes can’t settle and figure out what you’re supposed to do
  • It instantly looks confusing
  • The text is barely readably
  • Images might not load

Your website should present you as a professional, and trustworthy business, and it’s worth investing in a professional web designer to make sure your website appeals to your target audience and makes you look good.

What to do: Review your website and look at the design and navigation; is it what your target audience want to see? Is it easy to use? You could even ask your customers to fill in feedback forms to find out what they think of your website.

 

It’s not user-friendly

Following on from the point above, don’t make your users click more than they need to.

ASOS homepage usability GIF

Users expect websites to look clean and easy to use now. Even huge ecommerce websites such as ASOS (shown above) manage to keep their website looking simple, and easy to use.

If someone has to visit seven or eight pages to find what they’re looking for, that’s poor user experience.

A few traits of a user friendly website:

  • It loads quickly
  • It’s responsive
  • It has a search bar
  • The navigation is simple
  • The user has no frustrations trying to complete their tasks

What to do: Make your website as easy as possible to use; reduce the number of clicks / things the user has to do to reach the information they’re looking for.

 

It’s not responsive

Rancom Security responsive website

A responsive website will resize and change the layout depending on what device you view it. In the photo above, you can see the same website displaying different to suit each device.

According to globalwebindex, 50% of global internet users accessed Google using a mobile device each month in 2014. That gives you some kind of idea about how many people use mobile devices to search the internet, and how important it is that your website is responsive.

In April this year, Google made mobile-friendly a ranking factor. This means that if your website is not mobile friendly, your rankings in mobile search results may suffer.

Find out how many people visit your website on mobile devices

Desktop, mobile, and tablet traffic in Google Analytics

To find out how many people visit your website on mobile devices:

  1. Log in to Google Analytics
  2. Click on ‘Audience’
  3. Click ‘Mobile’
  4. And select ‘Overview’

You can see the number and percentage of sessions and what kind of device they came from.

Not convinced by responsive websites? Check out our blog post containing 9 reasons why you should have a responsive website.

What to do: Make sure your website is responsive.

 

Your brand is putting them off

We all know the saying “never judge a book by its cover”, but we all do it. If your brand looks outdated or bad, people may perceive you and your products as incompetent, or even as scammers.

Online, people are particularly wary about who they spend money with as they know how easy it is to be scammed. Scam websites often look bad and outdated, so if they perceive you as outdated or suspicious, they will buy from a competitor with a more reputable looking brand.

Another issue you may have with your brand is if it is not quite representing you effectively, and is sending out the wrong message to our clients.

At the end of last year, we rebranded a company whose brand was confusing their target audience and their staff. Their brand was pigeon-holing them because their audience, and existing customers, thought they only offered one type of service, rather than the wide range of services they actually offered.

What to do: Make sure your brand looks professional, is something that appeals to your target audience, and represents you effectively.

 

Your aren’t giving users enough information / you aren’t answering their question

Providing users with as much information as possible helps them to make an informed decision, which is particularly important if you have an ecommerce website.

Think about all the things your audience want to know and provide them with all of the information they need.

Include information about:

  • Sizes – if you’re selling clothing have a size guide with measurements on your website which you can link to
  • Colours
  • How it can be used
  • What it can be used for
  • Have a range of high-quality images of the product from different angles, and in use

If it’s not a product page, you may not be entirely answering users’ questions. Again, think about everything someone would want to know when they visit a page, and link out to other resources which they might need.

What to do: Consider what information your audience want to get from each page and think about any questions they might have and what they might want to know, and provide them with it.

 

You aren’t making your users feel pain

The copy on your website should identify your audience’s pain points and remind them of that. Your copy can then go on to sell the benefits of your product / service and how it can alleviate their pain.

Imagine you sell an online video that helps people to train their dogs to walk properly on the lead. Your audience may have the following pain points:

  • Walking my dog is stressful and sometimes embarrassing because my dog is so badly behaved on the lead and pulls
  • My dog has injured me in the past because of his / her pulling, so I’m hesitant to take him / her out now
  • I’m worried my dog will get injured by pulling into traffic
  • My dog is becoming overweight due to lack of exercise

Your copy should acknowledge those pain points, and you can then inform them of the remedy by selling the benefits of your dog training DVD. You might say something like:

“Our DVD will give you the skills you need to train your dog to walk correctly on the lead, preventing you both from injury. No longer will walking your dog be a stressful or embarrassing situation; you can look forward to walking a well-behaved dog and ensuring he or she gets enough exercise and stays fit and healthy.”

What to do: Write a list of the issues your target audience are facing and make sure your copy is reminding them of their pain, and how you can solve that pain for them.

 

They aren’t convinced your product / service will do the job

Sometimes you can give people all of the information they need, but they still hold back because they aren’t convinced. The phrase “too good to be true” might pop into their head.

Most of us try to be as careful as possible with our money, and the last thing we want is to spend our hard earned cash on something that will disappoint us by not doing the job properly.

What alleviates that worry? Proof that other people have purchased the same product / service and are satisfied with it.

Make use of reviews and testimonials to prove to your audience that you are trustworthy and show how delighted customers have been with their purchases.

Encourage our customers to leave reviews by emailing them a few days after their purchase has arrived and they’ve had chance to use it. You can find out more about how reviews help and how to get them here.

What to do: Remove as much worry as possible by using reviews and testimonials from happy customers.

 

They’re not ready to buy yet

The buyers’ journey isn’t as simple as it used to be. With so many products and services competing for attention, users move all over the place as they thoroughly research the best product / service for their problem.

They might leave your website with the intention of buying from you, but they’re not ready to buy just yet. Maybe they need to save up a little more, perhaps it’s a gift and they want to be sure the recipient hasn’t already got it, or maybe there’s another reason.

What to do: Encourage people to sign up to your email newsletter so that you can remind them of your business / products / services, and encourage them to come back when they’re ready. You could even offer them an incentive, such as 10% off their first order.

 

No matter what you do, it will be near impossible to get a bounce rate of 0%, but doing the above can help you send visitors away with a better idea of what your business offers so that hopefully remember you when they’re ready to buy.

 

If you do require any help or advice with your website, why not speak to the experts? All of our team are friendly, efficient, and have a passion for marketing, so what do you have to lose? Call us today on 01543 495752.

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.

Six tips to improve your website copy and help generate leads and sales

six tips to improve your website copy and help generate leads and sales

six tips to improve your website copy and help generate leads and sales

Words can go a long way towards convincing someone to become a customer, or even put them off.

Many of us research something online before buying it and if we don’t read what we want to read, we’ll look elsewhere.

Good website copy which focuses on how you and your products or services can solve a problem for your customer can help your website generate leads and sales.

Here are six tips to help you improve your websites copy.

 

What’s in it for them?

Too many websites make the mistake of making their copy all about them and not about how they can help their clients or customers.

When you’re writing your websites content you should be thinking about the benefits you can provide your customers with and make sure that’s the main focus of your copy, rather than how wonderful your business is.

 

Keep it succinct

Everyone’s busy and we don’t always have time to read pages upon pages of copy, so it’s important to write succinct copy and remove any unnecessary or uninteresting parts.

As well as keeping it succinct you need to keep it jargon free to avoid confusing visitors.

Don’t be surprised if it takes you much longer to write succinct copy, it’s an issue that’s plagued plenty of writers including experienced ones.

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” – Mark Twain

 

Formatting

Following the above point, most people skim read copy rather than reading every single word.

While it might frustrate you to know people aren’t reading every single word of the copy you spent hours crafting, there are a few things you can do to make it easier for them to skim.

–         Keep paragraphs short.

–         Break the page up using sub-headers.

–         Use bullet points.

–         Make sure the font, size and colour of the text is easy to read and shows up against your background.

 

Tone of voice

When writing copy make sure it aligns with the tone of voice used on any product packaging, your social media and any marketing materials such as leaflets, brochures and emails.

 

Calls to action

Does your website tell your visitors what you want them to do next? Does it tell them to take a look at your offers, download your brochure or whatever it is you want them to do?

Calls to action are a must and need to be succinct, clear and stand out on the page to help guide visitors through your website and hopefully down the sales funnel.

 

Search engine optimisation

We left this point until last because it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t be writing for search engines. They’re very useful but you should be writing with your audience in mind first.

Search engines are becoming smarter, allowing people to search using natural language and still find high quality relevant results.

If you write your copy with your target audience in mind it’s likely you will naturally include plenty of keywords and keyphrases that they would use when searching.

Once you’ve written your copy, read it through and look at whether any additional keywords can be added in.

Don’t be tempted to ram your copy with keywords and phrases because it won’t read right and search engines may decide to punish your website for ‘keyword stuffing’.

 

Writing great copy, whether it’s for your website or a leaflet, takes time but if it impresses visitors and turns them into leads, sales or even loyal customers it’s worth it.

 

If your website isn’t providing you with leads or sales get in touch with us to find what we can do to help your website benefit your business. Call us on 01543 495 752 or fill in our contact form.

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.

How to Create a User Friendly Website.

How to create a user friendly website

How to create a user friendly website

A user friendly website which provides a great experience is vital for encouraging users into your website and steering them down the sales funnel.

Ideally you want everyone who visits your website to become a customer (preferably straight away!). But if your website if confusing or frustrating to use, that won’t happen.

Providing users with an easy to use website and a great user experience will make buying easier. If they don’t buy then and there, they’ll remember your website and may return when they are ready to buy.

 

Design

Your website’s design is important for creating a great user experience and an easy to use website.

As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, your website should look easy to use from the second a user arrives on your website. If it looks confusing or cluttered people may be put off and decide to visit another website instead which looks easier to use.

It is also essential to ensure that your websites branding matches the branding on your marketing collateral. And your social media profiles, to avoid confusing users.

 

Navigation

Gardening Delights menuYour navigation is the core of designing a user-friendly website. If users can’t figure out which page they need to go to or how to find the information they’re looking for, they’ll go to another website where they can.

The page titles in your navigation should give users a good idea of what they can expect to find if they click on that button.

If you have a lot of pages or sections on your website, you might consider having a sub-navigation within each section or page to make things easier.

For example one of our clients, Gardening Delights, has a sub-navigation on the left hand side of root-category landing pages to help users navigate around categories easily.

To ensure you don’t confuse users, ensure your navigation is exactly the same throughout your website. And always make sure to include a ‘Home’ button.

 

Blog

If you have a blog make sure it’s integrated into your website and sits on the same URL as the rest of your website. For example ours is www.themarketingpeople.com/blog. Not only is this SEO friendly, but it also makes it easier for users to find.

It’s also important to use your websites navigation on the blog so users can switch between the two easily. Not only is it website friendly, but it looks much better and more appealing. Rather than having a blog which looks completely different to the rest of your website.

 

Content

Creating concise and useful content is important. As we’re sure you’ll want users to leave your website having learned something about your company or products, even if they don’t become a customer on that visit to your website.

There’s nothing worse than arriving on a website to be met by a wall of unformatted text. Even if it contains the best solution or answer to a user’s question, they’ll be put off by a block of text.

Encourage users to read your content by making it look appealing by using titles, headers, paragraphs and images. You should also consider whether the font’s readable in terms of; the font itself, size and the colour.

 

Mobile

Last year roughly one sixth of all internet traffic in theUK came from a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone, and that number will only continue to grow.

Having a mobile optimised website means that mobile users also get the same great user experience and are able to browse your website easily.

 

Case Study

We recently carried out some work for one of our clients, Gardening Delights, to help them create an easier to user website. This involved; reviewing the website and planning and organising the changes and carrying out the changes themselves.

As part of the websites update we;

  • Re-organised their navigation and renamed pages to make it clearer what kind of products users would find if they clicked on that button.

 

  • Added new categories to make large categories with lots of different yet similar products smaller and easier for users to look through.

 

  • Created and implemented new sliders and graphics for the homepage which linked to the root-category landing pages

 

  • Created three new landing pages which fit with the brands current positioning, which offers users helpful information.

The final result is a website which is much more user-friendly and enables users to find the products they’re looking for quicker and easier.

 

Contact Us

If you’re a small business based in Cannock, Burntwood, Lichfield or Staffordshire and need help making your website more user-friendly, get in touch to us to find out how we can help you. To find out more, call us on 01543 495 752 or fill in the contact form on our website.

 

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.

Four Tips For Writing Pawesome Product Descriptions

four tips for writing awesome product descriptions

four tips for writing awesome product descriptions

Bonjour Humans,

I spent last night surfing the internets for a new iBone cover (Chops chewed the last one). And I couldn’t help feel frustrated at the amount of poor product descriptions.

Being the friendly Marketing Dog I am. I thought I’d give you folks some hints and tips to help you write the best and most pawesome product copy you can!

To explain my points I’m going to use an example product throughout. This is the Holy Grail for most dog owners, a dog proof bin.

 

Get Found – Keywords

To help your products perform well in both search engines and in your websites search function, you need to include keywords in the product title and description.

Let’s imagine this dog-proof bin comes in three colours; silver, black and white.

The colours and the words ‘dog proof’ and ‘bin’ need to be included in both the product title and description. For example, if someone is browsing your website and your product title just says ‘Black Bin’, they won’t know that it’s a dog proof bin, which means you’ve just lost a sale.

It’s very important to include keywords but don’t be tempted to go overboard use too many. This is called keyword stuffing; search engines don’t like it and will punish your search rankings for it, and in some extreme cases they will banish you from the listings all together and send you to your bed with your tail between your legs and no treat after dinner.

 

So What? – List Benefits

Even if it seems really obvious, and most of the time it will do, list your products benefits. The whole time someone is reading your product description and pondering a purchase, there’s a little voice in their head going; ‘So what? If I part with x amount of my hard earned money, how will this product help me or solve a problem for me?’

People are being careful with their money and they want to know that they aren’t wasting it by buying your product and that it will help them.

Let’s think about the dog proof bin, the benefits are obvious, but let’s list them;

  • It holds rubbish
  • Your dog can’t get into the rubbish
  • This means your don’t won’t injure themselves or make themselves ill after raiding the rubbish
  • You won’t have to spend your evening picking the rubbish up off the kitchen floor

Humans are being careful with their money and want to know that your product will help them and won’t be a waste of money.

Thankfully the only money issues us dogs have is, whether that 50p we swallowed is going to cause us problems.

 

Know Your Target Audience – Know What They Want

You’re all good business owners and marketers, so you know exactly what kind of person your customer is and what kind of information they want to know.

There will be certain questions your product description will need to answer for your customer. Such as;

  • Will it arrive fully assembled, part assembled or in bits?
  • If I need to do some assembly what tools will I need?
  • How big is it so I can figure out where to put it in my kitchen?
  • What size liners will I need?

This of course will vary depending on what your product is, but take time to think carefully about what questions your product description needs to answer.

Knowing your target audience also means you can gauge what kind of tone of voice you can use. With something like a dog proof bin, you can get away with a bit of humour and a few puns, but only if all of the information is there.

 

Formatting

Formatting is important, people don’t want to read huge paragraphs of text, so short and succinct sentences and paragraphs are important.

When listing your products advantages, you may have a lot to bark about, so listing them as bullet points will make it easier for people to digest. Figuratively of course, eating a website would be more impressive than raiding a bin.

Keep an ear out for The Marketing Dogs tips for pawesome product listings which will be on the blog next week.

 

Contact Us

If your e-commerce website isn’t performing as well as you’d like, or you need help with your product descriptions, get on the dog and bone and talk to my lovely humans, The Marketing People. You can call them on 01543 495 752, or drop them an email on contact@themarketingpeople.com. Don’t write to them though, I’ll only eat your letter.

 

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.