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4 Things You Should Invest In When Making a Website

Low Angle View of Laptop KeyboardIf you finally decide to turn your humble business into an online business, there are certain things you need to consider. Businesses gradually abandon brick and mortar stores to accommodate international orders through an accessible website. What are the things you need to create a functional website? This list includes: a website design, domain name, good host, and creative photos.

Let us begin with the design.

  • Your website’s design should be simple yet professional looking. Like a house, you need to choose the color palette that suits your personality. A colorful design might not be necessary; better get the light and fast design instead. Whether the website will be browsed on a desktop computer or a mobile phone, it has to be responsive in all platforms and devices. People are always moving and traveling so it is imperative to consider your mobile viewers. Here at Scottsdale Website Design, we cater to all types of businesses. If you are working on a budget, we have numerous design packages that will be ideal for you.

You have to invest on a domain name.

  • Your domain name should be relevant to the content of your website, and the same time, it also has to be unique. Add your own flavor so your website will stand out from similar online stores. People might not find your website so keep the name simple and short as possible. Remember that your domain name is going to be your identity so you have to be certain that people can easily recall it. No one likes a very long and complicated website address.

A great host is tantamount to a reliable host.

  • If the domain name is your address, the host is your house. If your house constantly has numerous interruptions, a glowing address is worthless. Ask yourself these serious questions: will the website be assured to be running 24/7? If your web host cannot provide you excellent uptime scores, consider other options. Cheap rates are does not mean good hosting. Your business is online now so it is important to be always open for business to cater to customers from different parts of the world.  Will my website handle huge bulk of orders simultaneously? Make sure your website never goes down despite heavy traffic. For now, it’s fine since you are still starting. But always check if the hosting is flexible for future plans of expansion. Will my website load quickly? The customers’ time is limited so the website’s speed is ultimately relevant. Go for a host that loads content fast wherever the customer might be.

Lastly, get creative!

  • An expensive editing software and a DSLR camera are not necessary. There’s no price for creativity so go get your point-and-shoot camera and experiment. Include images when you are posting on your website or social media accounts. There are a lot of free photo editing softwares online so take time to learn using them. A basic photo editor that allows you to add text, resize, and trim your photos is enough. (Read more on the importance of compressing images here.) Don’t have the photography skills, do not worry because you can always find stock photos online. If all else fails, you can always buy artistic images.

Avoid These Website Blunders

woman searching online

When you have an online business, you have a social media account.

Form follows function.

Functional websites win the hearts of the customers, and they sure make a lot of profit.  But how can you make profit if your website is not organized, or it does not have a clear navigation panel? You would not want to drive away potential customers.

Definitely avoid these website mistakes as much as possible:

  • Dead Links
    Websites should avoid having dead or broken links.  If your website links do not redirect to the desired product, you will definitely lose a customer, and they will leave a negative review of your website. Most of us spend our time online and we constantly search for things we might like, and these links given by websites are important in helping us to find a product we want. If you want to check your website’s links, you can use this free link checker. A page not found error is big NO so better check your links before posting anything!
  • Small Font Sizes
    Product descriptions are extremely important because they will help the customer on which item to buy. How do you expect them to get anything if the text is not clear? Customers like to browse for new things to buy, they are interested on the latest fashion trend, or gadget so make sure that your website’s texts are clear and readable especially if they are links. Customers should be able to clearly see your CTA buttons like Shop Now, or Buy Now. The longer they are, the harder they are to read so break them into smaller paragraphs.
  • Vague “Contact Us” page
    As a veracious reader myself, I am very particular with the books that I buy. I have a prefer hardcovers over paperback editions, and prefer UK publishers over US one because books are sturdier. Rather than searching a stack of over a million books, I just contact the book seller, and have them search for the book. Some websites do not have a clear FAQ page, contact number, or email address.
  • No (or inactive) social media accounts
    This is related to the blunder above. Now, everyone has at least one social media account. According to a research, 85% of Twitter users said that it is important for businesses to provide customer support on Twitter.  Advertise your official social media pages because people tend to search for businesses online and most likely, inquire online too. Answering questions quickly means a superb customer service. You give a positive impression that you want to help your customers.
  • No search boxes
    It is good to provide your customers several options, but when there’s too much options, it confuses your customers. Trust that the customers know what they want so give them an easy access to the product they want. It does not matter if you have one million products, or only ten, it is always  ideal to provide a way to search your website and to refine the existing search results. Prevent Choice Paralysis.

Web Strategies to Gain More Sales

business, charts, commerce

Things to do to gain more conversions.

A lot of businesses now have chosen to put up an online and the public have adapted the concept of e-commerce. You can now buy products from other countries without even visiting that country. As a business owner, you have to know that a good-looking website helps, but it is not everything. This guide can help you gain more customers and eventually, increase sales.

  • Avoid Choice Paralysis. Choice Paralysis happens when there are TOO many choices presented. When customers are given unlimited options, they will probably end up confused. In order to avoid Choice Paralysis, you must give suggestions on what to buy, provide buying guides, highlight the new items, and bestsellers. Take a look at Wordery. You will notice that not every book is listed. On the home page, they have a bestsellers list. If you don’t like that, you can scroll down a bit and see a new releases list. They also provide a book of the week list and a book for students list.
  • Give a Preview of the Product. Whether online stores or  physical stores, the customers always want to see what they are buying.  No one would want a tattered dress or a dented book. To erase doubts, you must show the product. Provide pictures of how it actually looks like, and if you can, allow the customers to zoom in on the photo. Let’s go back at our example, when you browse a book at Wordery, you will see the book cover, dimensions of the book, weight and other details that will be useful to the customer. If you are selling dresses, there should be photos of the dress in several colors, or sizes. Another thing to add is a sizing charts so that the customers can easily compare the different dress sizes.
  • Provide a Trial Version. If you have noticed whenever you are at Costco, the staff would give out a free sample of their products. Even online, it is also important to allow customers to try the product. Nowadays, several software companies give free versions of their apps. As a customer, you do not have to buy these products to be able to use them. If you like a particular product, you can choose to buy the paid version of the app.  As a business owner, it is an effective strategy because when your customers like your product and they find it useful, they will surely rely on it. When they depend on it, they will most likely upgrase and purchase the premium version of the app. Give your customers a glimpse of your product and do not just let them rely on their imagination. Instead, let them try the product, and the product itself will win customers.
  • Generate a Desire for the Product. You have to get the attention of your target audience. Once you have it, gain their interest by telling them how useful these products are. Then, you can give them a limited time offer like free shipping on the all orders placed within 24 hours, or an extra 10% off on books during Christmas.

Things To Do Before You Launch Your Website

multiple computers

Checking a website in multiple computers.

A website looks so easy to make.

Behind the professional and stylish look of a website, there are many things to deal with. One little mistake can cause colossal consequences and things get blown out of proportion. It can truly be very stressful at times. Websites may differ in design and purpose, but usually, there are things you must check before launching your very own website.

  • Read every content. It is important to proofread every posted content. Check the grammar, the spelling, the alignment, the details given. Take your time in reading everything you see. Look closely at the company details: email, business address, social media accounts, every contact detail. Once you are done, read it again. Ask other people to read it because they might see errors you missed.
  • Check all the links posted. Verify all the links if they redirect to the correct product or page. Make sure all the links are distinct and site visitors can recognize them as links. Link descriptions should also coincide with the content. For example, the About Us page should look like …/about.php, and not have a link like …/xs1922.php. This link checker will help you to verify your website’s links.
  • Functionality Check.  It is extremely important to check the login form, registration form, comment section, payment details, and check out. The forms should work accordingly and the data submitted on the forms should be accurate and correct.
  • Cross-Browser Check. Your website should be functional in all browsers, and devices. Do not focus on desktop browsers because these days there are a lot of mobile users. Gradually, people are using their phones in shopping. Make sure that the texts are not too small for mobile users. Use this link to check how mobile friendly your site is.
  • Test the images and videos.  All the photos should be optimized, and have a relevant caption, alt text. Ensure that the file sizes are not too large. More huge images would mean longer loading time.
  • Website back up. It is important to back up your website in case of a cyber attack. You should have a copy of all the data.

More things to check…

There should be designated page that will help your website visitors in case an error occurs. If not, they will say that your website is unreliable.  Multiple 404 errors (page not found) will absolutely discourage website visitors. Inspect your third-party and e-commerce functionality are working properly especially if you are selling items.

Nine Useful Website Links (Part 3)

Person Using Laptop Computer during DaytimeThis guide will help you in searching for images, checking your grammar, calculating different time zones, and many more. There is NO need to sign up and submit any personal information on the websites listed below.

Check out these useful sites:

  • Dot Epub –  This website will transform a web page to an ebook. If you are going to be traveling, this website is helpful when you are on the road and have no internet access. You can convert any page into an .epub or .mobi file.
  • Google Images – Searching an images using keywords is normal, but searching using an image is not usual. Yes, you can now search by uploading an image and Google Images will show you results regarding the uploaded photo.
  • Hundred Zeros – If you love books, this site is for you. The website made simplified Amazon books for you and made a list of free Kindle books. Browse through a vast selection of eBooks, and once click a particular book, you will be redirected to the book’s official Amazon page. There, you can download and send it to your eReader. This simple site is a gem if you are veracious reader.
  • Adobe Color – This tool is really helpful if you are an interior designer, or a web designer. You can experiment on color palettes or follow guides regarding complementary, analogous, triad color rules. There is no need to worry because you can mix and match colors without making a mess!
  • Copy/Paste Characters  – Do you need to type a document in Latin or Greek? This website provides you a variety of special characters. When you need to mathematical equations, you can also choose different arrows and symbols. You just have to copy the characters you need and paste them wherever you want. ☺ (Yes, there are emojis, too!)
  • Random.Org  – If you need to draw winners for giveaways, it’s time to say goodbye to the magical fishbowl. Random.org will save you time, and generate a random number for you. There is also an Integer Set Generator. If you don’t know where to travel next, Geographic Coordinate Generator will help. You can find various generators in Random.org like List RandomizerClock Time Generator, and so on.
  • Polish My Writing – This is a FREE grammar checker. Plus, it’s an easy to use website because you only need to paste your document on box and it will scan your writing. Spelling errors are the red ones, grammar corrections are colored blue, and style suggestions are green.
  • E.gg Timer  – Who said timers are only for bakers? If you need a ten-minute timer, a timer for doing 8 reps, or make your own timer, E.gg Timer has every timer you need.
  • Every Time Zone – As a telecommuter, remembering various time zone can be very hard to do. Calculating the time differences can be difficult for some people. If you need to schedule meetings with clients abroad, or you have a multi-city flight to memorize, Every Time Zone simplified everything about time zones.

Let’s recap!

Part one is about online image editors, sending notes, and private chat rooms. Part two is about internet security, file scanners, and web archives. Lastly, the third part is about numbers generators, timers, and eBooks.

Four Ways to Make a Functional Website

laptop, website, browsing

Online shopping made easy.

People nowadays prefer online shopping than shopping at an actual store. Having a website is a great tool for your business to grow and with that, you can reach millions of people, and you can even cater to clients overseas. Everyone uses the internet to search and shop. They look for directions and contact numbers online before they actually decide to drive for miles just for a thing or two that they have been wanting to buy for a very long time. If you are business owner, this list will help you on how to achieve your website’s fullest potential especially in sales and marketing.

  1. Distinct Call-to-Action buttons.

    You might ask, what are CTA buttons? These are the buttons that will get your customers to browse your website. It could be a “Shop Now!“, “View the Latest Deals” buttons. These are the buttons that customers can click and they can learn more about your products and services. They can also be a “Call Us Now!” sign where you added your business’ phone number or any contact information. Give every important contact details and make the customers can easily access these. Make their browsing experience pleasant and do not make click several buttons just to get want they want.

  2. Sign up shouldn’t be mandatory.

    As much as possible, do not require sign ups. Websites now have an option to shop as guest. If you require a long buying process, your potential customers might change their minds. You will create a stumbling block if you require them to sign up. Help your customers to shop with ease and to buy an item with less textboxes to fill.

  3. Help your customers.

    Do not assume that everyone knows what they want to buy. You have to educate your customers about your products and provide them a buying guide especially if it is their first time to shop online. Help them to shop smoothly and to get a product that will find useful. For example, if you are selling beauty products, you can maybe provide make up tutorials, or create a video about essential must haves.  If you are selling dresses, you can provide style guides. Give out visual guides on outfits for various seasons, different body types, and age groups. Whatever your business might be, guide your customer because if they will like what they bought, they will surely comeback to buy more.

  4. Keep your website design simple.

    You don’t need a colorful design. Using two or three colors will do. There is nothing wrong with embracing the white space because this way your customers can see your products clearly. Give them better product photos and vibrant CTA buttons. Do not focus on the design; make them click that Buy Now instead.