But assuming you aren’t going to listen and continue to ignore good advice, Ashley has a few tips for you to help look for a web design agency:
Consumers these days have a mindset that won’t let them settle for anything less than perfect. And with the rise of e-commerce, businesses need to maintain a certain amount of online sophistication in order to create the right impression.
If you want to survive in the global market, your website needs to portray your brand’s style and spirit. Therefore, it’s vital to have a web design that is clean, easy to navigate, and highly responsive so that users will love to interact with it.
Just like anything you choose to represent your company, whether it’s the employees you hire — or your brand logo — your web design must be spot on.
The design you achieve decides the future of your company because web design has the power to influence traffic volume, engagement levels, and conversion rates, all of which impact the performance and growth of your business.
So you don’t want to employ the services of any old web design agency. You need to choose the best. But the sheer number of available agencies is sure to make this a daunting task.
Are you in search of a web design agency? If you are
on the verge of starting your online business or are thinking of revamping your
current site, here are 11 questions that you should ask before signing an
1. Do you utilize the right CMS for your websites?
Consider your website as an investment. To make the most out of it, you need to know how to keep it up to date with current trends. Problems often arise when there is a lack of sufficient technical knowledge in the area. Therefore it’s important to understand the terminology that goes into web design.
For anyone who’s not familiar with CMS, it is known as a content management system. It’s a platform that simplifies the updating process so that non-technical individuals can do it themselves. Popular ones are WordPress, Squarespace, and Joomla.
It allows business owners to have more control as they can effortlessly login to the backend and edit text, images, videos, or even add additional pages to the website.
So yes, CMS is something that you need.
<h2>2. Do you have previous experience in designing websites for businesses similar to mine? </h2>
Each business has unique demands. Likewise, your website will need to have features that meet the requirements specific to the industry.
Even if you see examples of a web design agency’s work on their website, verify their qualifications and experience. Have them walk you through the phases of design and development they have previously utilized. Ideally, you want to work with individuals who are experienced professionals.
3. Can I meet the team?
There is a great deal of research that you can do online and over the phone, but nothing beats the old ‘meet and greet’ attitude.
By personally interacting with the team that will develop your website, you can get an idea of how dedicated they are to understanding a client’s needs and goals.
<h2>4. What happens if the site doesn’t perform as you expected it would?</h2>
The website that the firm develops should have the ability to grow with your business and adapt to its growing demands. But even when you prepare yourself with the proper research and ask the right questions, sometimes people are disappointed with the final results.
By asking this question beforehand, the web design agency can provide you with a list of options that will help to keep in line with your expectations. They can also explain the requirements and tasks that a successful website entails.
Remember a good website is only as good as the people who know how to operate it to its optimal potential. And this leads up to the next essential question.
<h2>5. Will you provide training for employees using the website?</h2>
As an owner, you need to take responsibility for your website. An agency can design and develop a site for you, but at the end of the day, you are in charge. With some initial training and guidance, you’ll soon learn the ropes.
The agency should train you on how to keep your site live, whether you need to add more pages, edit content, or post new blogs.
Besides on-site training, ask if your web design partner provides phone and email support, ongoing maintenance, ongoing support and troubleshooting assistance while upgrading, etc.
6. What if I’m unable to update my site on my
You’ll be surprised to learn that the aspect that dictates the success or failure of your site is not the design of your website but rather the critical 18-month period after its development.
The level of engagement and support provided by the web design agency have a considerable impact. While you may be able to update and upgrade some aspects of your website, you may need help for more complex procedures.
Inquire if any upgrades are included in the plan or if there is some support available at an additional charge. Also, understand the schedule of updates that will be necessary for the near future.
7. What other services do you provide?
When you hire a company to design and develop your website, be upfront about any web design services that are included in the package.
As mentioned above, a certain amount of prerequisite training is essential. Ask if they will also design a logo and provide SEO services, both of which are crucial for building your brand’s reputation. Since SEO is vital for digital marketing practices, this should be overlooked.
The site needs to be optimized with respect to structure, content, images, videos, etc. not only for search engine rankings but also to enhance UX. On the plus side, it goes to show that the agency is up to date with the latest SEO and marketing trends.
8. Where will the content come from?
Agencies are responsible for providing the initial content, images, videos, etc. for a client’s site. However, you need to inquire whether it will be handled in-house or outsourced. Real pictures and original text create wonderfully unique websites.
However, it’s quite common for developers to outsource work. If this is the case, you need to know who will support, maintain, or rectify any bugs after the website is launched.
9. What’s the cost and time frame of completion?
As with any other business agreement, these are vital parts of the deal. You cannot sign a contract with a company that does not provide you with an estimated cost or project completion deadline.
Professional web design companies offer a realistic timeline and often adhere to them.
10. Will I have ownership of my domain?
The last thing you need is to discover is that after all the hard work, time, and money you’ve put into your website, you do not have ownership rights to it.
When you complete ownership of your site, you can redirect your domain to another server and maintain your online presence in the event that there is a lapse in the domain or hosting services.
For the security and future of your company, it’s better to opt for a backup storage service, preferably through the cloud.
11. Is my website mobile-optimized?
As Google’s SEO algorithms are constantly changing, the web design agency must be on top of the latest trends, such as fast loading speeds and mobile optimization. Both are equally important and go hand in hand to increase SERP rankings.
Though most offer this service as a part of their SEO campaign, it’s always better to ask if the agency includes this or you are expected to hire third-party marketing agencies to handle the task.
Choose Web Design Agencies carefully (if you must)
When searching for a web design agency, you should not rush into a decision. It’s not enough to simply ask questions. You’ve got to do your homework.
With the help of online research, reviews, testimonials, etc., you can gather adequate info about the agency even before you approach them. Carefully analyze their portfolio.
Peruse their previous successful projects and judge if this company is the right one for you. Lastly, listen to their plans on how their design will help to generate more revenue for your brand, generate leads, integrate automation tools, provide user-friendly navigation, offer secure methods for payments, and anything else your website needs.
Since each business has different requirements, it’s best to make a quick list of everything that you need before you begin your search for a web design agency.
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley
Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she
loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and
sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can
find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.
Negative Reviews on Google My Business can be a bad thing for any self-respecting business. As if running a business wasn’t bad enough, there’s a little bit of management involved to ensure that your presence on the web is not tarnished by a few negative reviews. Ashley is back this week on how to manage your Negative Reviews on Google My Business with Tips on How to Respond to them effectively.
These days, technology has made it possible for businesses to grow much faster than ever before. Companies have several avenues to explore, and multiple aspects consider that never existed before. One such pertinent example is social media marketing.
Another crucial element is online reviews. Where it could take several years to grow customer trust and loyalty in the past, positive online reviews can propel a business’ reputation much faster. Conversely, excessive negative reviews can have a drastically opposite effect.
Google My Business is a valuable tool to manage and respond to online reviews. As Google is the most widely used search engine in the world, it is more than likely that a potential customer will search your business on Google.
If so, it is safe to assume he/she will also read the reviews left about your business and your company’s responses to them. Thus, regardless of the nature of the reviews, it is essential to respond to them effectively and promptly.
Here is a brief guide on how to respond to Google reviews, particularly negative ones:
Do Not Ignore the Review:
When a customer shares their experience on a review platform like Google, they expect to be heard and acknowledged.
If it is a positive review, the customer’s patronage should at least be rewarded with a few kind words. On the other hand, responding to negative reviews can be an effective way to appease disappointed customers.
Perhaps the worst thing to do with a negative review is to ignore them. Business’ may be tempted to think that if they only respond to positive reviews and not negative ones, the negative ones will be drowned out.
However, quite the opposite happens as the negative ones without a reply are further highlighted and stand out.
This reflects very poorly on the business and tells customers that it doesn’t care about their opinions, nor is it willing to change for the better.
On the other hand, if the business makes a habit of addressing both the good and the bad, it sends a message to the readers that the company genuinely cares about their customer satisfaction. In this way, even the most negative reviews can be used to make a positive impact.
How to Respond to the
In responding to negative reviews, a few essential points should be noted. Firstly, the tone of the reply should never be confrontational or condescending. Instead of trying to find excuses, it is better to address what happened and accept your company’s mistake.
Nobody wants to hear excuses. The simple fact is no matter what the problems were; the customer experience should not have been affected.
To start, address the reviewer by name, mention what happened and apologize in an empathetic tone. These help the reply seem personalized rather than a generalized answer.
Make sure to say that your business holds itself to high standards and that the customer’s poor experience is not the norm. Overall the review should not extend beyond two to three short lines.
It is advisable not to mention your business by name in a
negative review as this has a subconscious impact on the reader, and it keeps
the review lower down when your business is searched for. For the same set of
reasons, the brand name should ideally be mentioned in a negative review.
Offer a Short-Term
You need to learn the art and science of how to respond to Google reviews. Being offensive or defensive isn’t going to work. It’s easy to be polite and reply to a customer. It’s not as simple to self-reflect and genuinely see your mistakes.
You should take a moment to stand in a customer’s shoes. If you invested your valuable time or hard-earned money in something and still had a poor experience, you’d be disheartened and at least a bit angry. What you or any unhappy customer would want most is to be done right by.
This is why it is expected of businesses to not only reply to criticism but to offer solutions to the issues that were highlighted actively. For some customers who’ve had a particularly disappointing experience, refunds or discounts can be provided.
This won’t eradicate the customer’s poor experience, but at least they won’t be worried about lost money. Keep in mind though that a business can’t just hand out refund or discounts to all people who leave negative reviews as this would result in loses and potential abuse of the system.
Long Term Solutions:
Reviews are critical not just for marketing but for a business’ growth and improvement. How can a company know it is being perceived well until it takes the time and effort to read online reviews left by customers?
If customers continue to point out issues that are never resolved, they will stop coming. However, if their suggestions are heard and implemented, they will be won over, possibly for life.
Reviews first need to be categorized in order of frequency and urgency. If several customers face a particular problem, it demands more immediate attention as compared to one faced few and far between.
There can be exceptions, though. If there is a minor issue that is easy to fix, why not fix it as soon as possible?
Even the best run businesses have some room for improvement.
It is worth investing in such growth as stagnation is never good. Constant
evolution keeps a company ahead of its competition at all times and prevents
them from ever falling behind the times.
It is important to note that both positive and negative reviews are to be expected for any business. In each case, it is vital to respond to such reviews in a timely and professional manner. This hold even more true for negative reviews. Indeed, as many as 89% of consumers read the business’ responses to reviews, making these responses critical in making an impact on the customers.
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.
So, with Unbounce Vs Convertri? Which one is better? Hard to tell. Easy enough if we dig deeper, eh?
The battle is on with the landing page builders and we see new landing page builders enter the market (almost on a weekly basis, if not sooner).
While Unbounce has been around for a while and has gradually improved to be the best landing page builder in the market today, Convertri is a rather new landing page builder or sales funnel builder that helps you create sales funnels fast.
Unbounce has been, is, and will be a landing page building tool that’ll be hard to beat. It’s one of the oldest, most feature-loaded, and extremely capable landing page builder which has everything you’d ever need as far as landing pages and sales funnels go.
Maybe it’s because the folks at Unbounce have been around for a long time to know exactly what their customers want. Or perhaps it’s the fact that Unbounce has always been a capable piece of software from the start.
With an exceptionally robust PPDD (pixel perfect Drag and Drop) landing page build canvas, you can virtually drag and drop elements anywhere on your sales pages, landing pages, and sales funnel pages.
You’d understand the value of being able to “drag and drop anywhere” when you need the freedom to do that but you’d not be able to when it comes to a few landing page builders (like Clickfunnels doesn’t give you that kind of creative freedom, for instance).
When you need the freedom to move text boxes, images, forms, and boxes around, you’ll be displeased with just how hard some landing page builders make it for you.
Sometimes you’d need to place your elements anywhere on the page (like the logo in the middle of a section, extend the image beyond the borders of a section, etc.).
If you’d prefer to use your own images rather than the stock ones we provide, you can upload your own creations to your Unbounce Media Library and sort them by creation date, name, or file size so you’ll never lose your sweet images, ever.
Use any of those images and add them to your pages, blazing fast.
How to Build Sales Funnels With Unbounce
A lot of people think that Unbounce can only be used for single landing pages and not full-fledged sales funnels (essentially a set of landing pages connected together in a sequence or daisy-chained together).
For that reason, many folks usually go around to shop for sales funnels builders like Kartra, Convertri, and Clickfunnels.
You can build multiple landing pages, sales funnels, and a daisy-chained set of landing pages complete with thank you pages, upsell pages, cross sell pages, and even e-commerce checkout pages (I won’t recommend this).
You can also move the data that your visitors might fill on the opt-in page (the first page of your sales funnel) to other pages further down the funnel by using the “Post form data to a URL” option.
Or you can have form confirmation dialogs, go to some other URL, show an alert message on each page, or open the URL in a light box (and not a page).
Unbounce Integrations (virtually Unlimited)
Unbounce natively integrates with several tools, right out of the box. Recently, Unbounce got itself a separate tab for “integrations” as you build your pages.
For instance, you can connect your Unbounce pages with Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, and others. Of course, Unbounce also integrates with other popular tools like Salesforce, Infusionsoft, Hubspot, and Marketo (you’ll need a premium account for that.
In an industry that’s already full of landing page builders, Convertri has its work cut out for it. Facing stiff competition from the likes of Unbounce, Leadpages, Landen, Clickfunnels, Instapage, Wishpond, and several others, Convertri has a steep hill to climb.
Having worked with Convertri for the last few weeks, I can confidently say that Convertri does have a chance. Given its pricing and the ease of use of the software itself, Convertri already beats Clickfunnels and Wishpond right out of the park.
As for the rest of the tools, it’s too soon for me to tell.
The Convertri Sales Funnels/Landing Page Builder
There are two kinds of landing page builders in this world. The ones that allow you to drag and drop elements “anywhere” on the canvas and the ones that are rigid and allow you to place elements only on rows and columns.
Both types of landing page builders have a role to play (and are built for certain kinds of audiences). Also, there are “good ones” and “not so good ones” for both the categories of landing page builders.
For Instance, LeadPages makes for a good case of rigid landing page design aiming for fast deployment (not too much tinkering there).
Clickfunnels is the “not so good” example of rigid landing page design where everything goes south.
Convertri’s landing page builder (the canvas) is decent enough. The builder is not “near perfect” like that of Unbounce, but it’s decent enough and you can design pretty much anything (but it’s more work than usual).
The Convertri Landing page/Sales funnel builder makes it easy for you to pick a template and start building your funnel right away. Change images, change the copy, move your elements around, and make changes to your elements as you wish.
You can change colors, element properties (like size, colors, position of the elements, etc.)
The fundamental building blocks of your landing pages and sales funnels with Unbounce and Leadpages are “sections”.
When you use Convertri, you don’t have “sections”. Instead, you use “panels”. Everything you put inside a panel is a section. You can then drag and move each of these sections as you want.
Not intuitive, but still works. Despite this weird little thing inside Convertri, it’s still better than Clickfunnels or Wishpond. Period.
A few things that Convertri scores with are the following (compared to Unbounce):
Facebook Comments (but I don’t like to add Facebook comments on a landing page. Basically, anything that distracts people on a page is a no-no for me).
Quizitri Quiz — add interactive quizzes on your page using this feature.
Countdown timer — this is a good one and Unbounce doesn’t have this feature (there are several workarounds to add Countdown timers to Unbounce pages and funnels though).
While Convertri’s UX/UI and ease of use isn’t on the same level as Unbounce or landing pages, it gets the work done.
Look for any more flexibility than what you see above and you won’t find it with Convertri.
With Convertri, while you can add your Images, there’s no direct integration with something like Unsplash and there’s no public (royalty-free stock photos gallery) either.
Convertri Actions & Triggers
One good thing going for Convertri is the “actions” tab on the menu. You can decide to make elements visible or invisible, or have a button show up after a visitor spends X time on your landing page.
On Convertri, you can choose to select page triggers (applicable for the whole page) or element triggers (applicable for a chosen element, like a button).
Forms are important. You’d actually not be able to building landing pages or sales funnels without forms. For such an important part of landing pages or sales funnels, Convertri seems to have given little thought to forms as such.
With Converti, the forms (or the type of forms) you’ll build are limited. At the outset, building forms with Convertri might look like an uphill climb for you.
Forms with HTML? Google Forms? Webinar JEO form? Doesn’t quite fit the bill for me. With a drag and drop builder, I’d expect forms to be native (and drag and drop as well).
How to Build Forms With Convertri?
Instead of choosing “forms from HTML code” or Google forms, you have options to help you build forms easily and quickly with Convertri (some options have workarounds and will involve extra work):
Use WPforms, build your actual forms easily, and drop the code inside Convertri. Or..
Use the “Layers” option inside Convertri to create a form (this is the easiest, by far).
How do Convertri Forms Compare with Unbounce Forms?
With Unbounce, You’d pick the “form” element and place your forms anywhere on your page. Or you’d use a lightbox and place your form in the lightbox.
Like, forms are an integral part of Unbounce (not including Exit Intent pop-ups, opt-in bars, etc., which are directly linked to your lead generation workflows).
Unbounce forms are quick to create (drag and drop), completely configurable, and also come up with options to choose as to what happens after a form is filled (form conversions).
For instance, you can choose to show your thank you page as soon as a form is filled. Or choose to lead visitors to another URL altogether. These are marked as form conversions.
Note: The thank you page (or the other URL of a page that you’ll lead visitors to) is marked as a conversion and you can add relevant pieces of tracking code such as Google Ads conversion code or Facebook Pixel Event code on those pages to track conversions.
Convertri has a few integrations natively built-in and it covers several popular services that you’ll most probably use. Last time I checked, here’s the complete list of integrations available with Convertri.
You can easily connect your Convertri sales funnels and pages with Facebook. If you have an e-commerce store built on Shopify, there’s a direct connection possible with Convertri, of course.
Convertri also connects with Drip, Markethero, Convert Kit, and Platform.ly (and that’s awesome).
Unbounce Vs Convertri: Pricing
There comes a time when you start paying attention to the tool itself and not the pricing. Between Unbounce Vs Convertri, pricing is a moot point.
Convertri pricing might look attractive, to start with, starting from $53 per month (paid annually). The pricing goes up to $166 per month for its most expensive plan. Monthly pricing is available too.
You’ll get the good stuff such as SSL, custom domains, free templates, and A/B testing for all plans. Depending on your plan, you’ll also get Dynamic Text Replacement as well.
Unbounce is priced similarly but with monthly billing options available. Unbounce starts from $99 per month and goes up to $499+ per month.
However, critical features such as Dynamic Text Replacement are available for all plans. You get higher traffic bandwidths, AMP-ready landing pages, client Sub-accounts, Limitless integrations, and an incredibly awesome support team when you go for Unbounce.
Ask every e-commerce store owner what their issue is, and they’d unanimously say, “… Want to Increase e-commerce sales”. Ashley Rosa — a freelance writer and blogger who’s passionate about technology, commerce, and business has a few tips for you on how to increase e-commerce sales by decluttering your e-commerce store.
Take it away, Ashley 🙂
25 years ago,
we did not know about online shopping or the large e-commerce giants Amazon,
Alibaba or ebay. Fast forward to today, these brands have become household
names and our go to places for shopping at a click of the button.
Amazon today owns 49 percent of the e-commerce market, which translates into 5 percent of the total retail across the US.
What started as a simple bookstore, now sells 12 million products on its platform.
reason behind Amazon’s success is its reliable customer service, pricing and
speed of light shipping. However, the underappreciated factor is Amazon’s
user-friendly design, which makes it super easy for anybody to find what they
are looking for.
If you look at Amazon’s design from an aesthetic point of view, it is nowhere beautiful. This is because Amazon rather focuses on the simplicity of the process.
Amazon operates by four key principles when it comes to UX: transparency in terms of pricing, the tangibility of product choices, trust, and helpfulness in anticipating people’s needs. Amazon’s UX has changed little since its inception, which is what makes it relevant to Gen X and baby boomers.
Amazon’s success story highlights the importance of good web design for an e-commerce store. When it comes to generating sales on an e-commerce store, speed is of crucial importance.
Research shows 39 percent of the people will stop engaging with a website if images take too long to load and single added second of page load speed will negatively impact sales by 27 percent.
Hence, you can safely say that good website design is directly proportional to sales. Also, a professional logo can help you grasp the attention of your target audience.
The one thing that will help you out in maintaining a fast and a simple website is de-cluttering.
A lot of clutter slows down the website and makes it annoying for people to find stuff. Here are some ways you can make sure your store remains decluttered.
1. Focus more on visuals than text
When you walk in brick and mortar stores, you immediately pick up the products, check how they would look on you and then buy them.
You don’t spend time reading all the banners and standees for information. An online store is similar.
Although you do need some information about the material, you need to see how the product looks.
The best way
to reduce text clutter is to add more white spaces to the page. Instead of
cramming everything within the width of the page, utilize the length of the
page. Leather skin shop, an online
leather jacket store, has done an amazing job with its store design, which is
minimalistic and easy to navigate.
The best way
to avoid putting in a lot of text is to incorporate videos or slideshows. This
is especially helpful in the case of technical products; your consumers would
rather watch a video than read a whole essay about how the product works. Nine Line hoodies does a great job in
explaining its product within 30 seconds without saying a single word.
2. Get rid of old stuff
Decluttering also involves deleting all the stuff that you no longer need. Your website will surely have images that are obsolete, and there might be products that are no longer manufactured.
Hence, you need to clear your database.
database can be a daunting task when you have thousands of products listed on
your website. The best way is to have a naming mechanism and keep an updating
schedule in order to avoid deleting a whole lot of pictures at once.
According to Gretchen
Roberts, CEO & chief inbound strategist, most websites are a goldmine
of old, forgotten content that can be consolidated, updated, repurposed or even
deleted to create a better user experience and actually boost your SEO rankings
and on-site conversions.
3. Don’t overdo ads
A lot of websites incorporate third-party ads. If you use this strategy for extra money, then be careful with the number of ads that you are placing; always keep an eye on the ad to content ratio because Google does that and it negatively affects your ranking.
Too many ads make the site look cluttered and take away your customers’ focus from the products that you are trying to sell.
There is no
secret formula to determine the optimum ad to content ratio. However, you do
need to keep in mind the simplicity of designs, and straight forward call-to-actions
are what boost sales.
There is a difference between having too much content and having the right content. Product descriptions are no doubt necessary. However, the keywords change over time.
Hence, you need to update and refresh the descriptions regularly, otherwise, they are just clutter that is of no use to you.
When designing a website, keep in mind the end goal. In case of an e-commerce store, your objective is to sell rather than educate or engage; hence, you should design it accordingly.
Also, plan your content strategy; thoroughly search for keywords and instead of cramming your website only use the ones that are relevant.
Acquiring customers is a hard task, but retaining them is even harder. For an e-commerce store, customers judge you from your website. Hence, it should exude professionalism, which means a well-designed logo, a user-friendly experience, and good speed.
These are the ingredients to success; once your customers enjoy their shopping experience, they would want to come back.
One glitch and you risk losing them forever.
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.
SEMrush has a lot to offer inside, but we are on the clock here so we’ll head straight to the backlink audit tool.
However, before you do that, just create a project for your own site (or for a client if that’s what you want to do).
With the options you’ll be presented, pick the backlink audit option.
Click on Backlink audit and you’ll be presented with a dashboard with all the links pointing to your website, your overall toxic score, referring domains, the number of backlinks analyzed, and domains by toxic score.
Each backlink is awarded a “toxic score”. You can choose to keep (whitelist) the links pointing to your website or delete the links.
When it comes to deleting links with SEMrush, you’ll have two options:
If you choose to click on delete and disavow, the link in question is added to your “disavow list” (seen in a separate tab in your backlink audit dashboard).
You can later upload your list of disavowed links to the Google Disavow tool manually or through the Google Search Console.