WANT TO GET AHEAD ONLINE?
Together, we can make your website work for you!

Blog

Category: Ecommerce Web Hosting

First Critical Steps To An Awesome Website

Posted on 22 Feb, 2017
First Critical Steps To An Awesome Website

You do not need to know how to start an online store in order to have a functional business website running. That said all successful business brands do need to have a strong online presence. An awesome, small business website design can be easily realised by observing a few simple, but important steps.

1) Contact a reputable web design company

You can achieve a custom website design by contracting the expertise of a competent web developer. Small businesses have many options nowadays, some offering cheap ways to get online, but be careful not to fall into traps. Make sure the web design company is a reputable one, and has been around a while. Be cautious about contracting an unreliable website designer who will pop up and disappear just as quickly. Check out their web design portfolio, and see if they have believable reviews online.

2) Good Domain Name + Hosting

The next step of how to start an online store is to register a domain name. You and your clients will type this address into a browser in order to access your website. Selecting the right domain name is easy if you follow the tips below:

  • It should be short and memorable
  • Including relevant keywords makes it more search engine friendly
  • It should exclude using ‘clever’ hyphens, spellings and numbers
  • Incorporate a .com.au for Australian businesses or .com for an ideal top level domain (TLD)
  • Register the .org.au and .net.au domain names for your website will allow for redirecting visitors from such TLDs to your .com.au site

It is also critical to have reliable web hosting as it makes your website quick to navigate. A slow site will provide a terrible user experience.

3) Website Design

The process of actually building your small business website design comes after you have secured your domain name and hosting. If it is an online store, make sure there are a minimum number of levels in the menu hierarchy. Also, keep the checkout as short and simple as possible, using techniques to get them to agree to be on your mailing list.

4) Content Creation

It is important to consider various types of content for your website. These include web page text content, visual content, blog content and video content as well as social media content. Creating awesome content involves several steps:

  • Website navigation to be quick and easy if you want visitors to navigate your content
  • Choose carefully the actual web pages to be included in your custom website design
  • Break up text heave pages with high-quality images, relevant to your visual brand
  • Keeping visual branding consistent by employing a set number of fonts (max four), comprising of two to three core colours.

Good quality website developers should help you with creating captivating images for your blog, web pages and social media posts.

5) SEO

Search engines employ complex algorithms to enable them correctly index websites in search results, and a large portion of this is based upon the actual content on your website pages and how the site is constructed. Utilising an SEO checklist or the services of an SEO Company can help to ensure that your website remains highly visible online.

Your checklist should include:

  • Verifying your website with Google using Google’s Webmaster tools
  • Researching keywords and employing them especially within the first 100 words/page
  • Applying keyword-associated phrases
  • Incorporating keywords into headings
  • Providing unique content
  • Employing high-quality in-bound and out-bound links
  • Checking the page-speed of your website using Google page-speed tool
  • Adding alt tag information onto each and every image uploaded
  • Ensure assigning full file-names rich in keywords to your images

A good website designer should employ techniques that incorporate your keywords, meta-data and optimisation of page titles and descriptions to suit your SEO strategy.

The steps above are important for a web designer to follow as they help create an awesome website. Make sure the website developers don not fob off your requests and rush through the initial design stage, in order to complete your project quickly and stay profitable. Also, ensure that they are using quality graphic designer to make sure that your website has a refined, thoughtfully designed look and feel.

The post First Critical Steps To An Awesome Website appeared first on Web Designers.

3 Ways to Capture More Customers

Posted on 09 Nov, 2016
Make e-commerce marketing a big part of your website development process

A big part of running a website is capturing more visitors and potential buyers or clients. Your e-commerce marketing should be a big part of your website development process, and you need to ensure that you are using effective techniques. While it is tempting to use an online marketing company to boost your website traffic, costs for website or ecommerce marketing with a digital marketing company can sometime be a deterrent. Here are some techniques that you can easily put into practice for your website.

A big part of running a website is capturing more visitors and potential clients. Your e-commerce marketing should be a big part of your website development process, and you need to ensure that you are using effective techniques. While it is tempting to use an online marketing company to boost your website traffic, costs for website or ecommerce marketing with a digital marketing company can sometime be a deterrent. Here are some techniques that you can easily put into practice for your website.

Web Designer Point 1  CREATE A MAILING LIST

One of the first things an online marketing company would tell you is that you should create a mailing list for and get into email marketing in a big way! This is something that you are more than capable of achieving yourself. Creating a mailing list is a great e-commerce marketing tool, mainly because it keeps you in contact with existing and potential clients. Generate excitement and keep them updated with offers, and new services you have. This will increase the chances of them remembering your brand and purchasing something from your ecommerce website in the future. If you want to encourage people to join your mailing list, offer to give them something for free or offer money off if they sign up. Remember, the best time to capture their details is during checkout. Build a sign up into the checkout process of your online store. If you have a decent ecommerce software you can probably activate it in the CMS. If you have a custom ecommerce website, then you may need to talk to your website developer.

Web Designer Point 1  INCREASE SOCIAL MEDIA FOOTPRINT

Social media marketing is probably one of the best things you can do for your site and should be included in your ecommerce SEO strategy. Talk to an SEO company about how you can work together with them to make the most of this potentially enormous source of customers. If you are more active on social media, then potential clients will see that you are happy to communicate with them on a more personal level about your services and what you have on offer. Spread The Word! Talk about the services and products that you have on offer right now. Let people know about your success and most popular products in your online store. Try and encourage people to like or share your posts so, naturally growing website popularity even further. All it takes is a share from someone who has a big social media presence and your website could have a substantial increase in hits, traffic and sales!

Web Designer Point 1  ENCOURAGE REVIEWS

If you decide to employ the services of a company that offers e-commerce SEO services, they will tell you that having online reviews is a great way of capturing more clients. Unfortunately, they can’t make these reviews appear, so it is something that you will have to undertake yourself. The good news is that it is pretty simple process and you should have good reviews within a short space of time. All you really need to do is encourage your current clients to leave reviews, either on Google+ or other sites such as local directories. Ask them to give you a star rating and leave some kind words! It’s surprising how many customers are more than happy to do this. In fact, if you have never really paid attention to your Google+ presence, then you may find that you have a lot reviews their already. Again, you can offer incentives to clients so then they feel more encouraged to leave positive reviews. Say that they will be entered into a prize draw of some description, or enter them into a giveaway. It will be worth it, considering how big an impact positive reviews can have on the size of your client base, and also your rankings in search engines.

So there you have it. Three easy ways to capture more clients via your website. Put these into action, and monitor your Google Analytics to see your website traffic grow consistently. If you have any queries, feel free to get in touch with the friendly Online Marketing team at BlueSoap on 1300 788 567.

The post 3 Ways to Capture More Customers appeared first on Web Designers.

Your Site Is Boring!

Posted on 16 Jun, 2016
Tired woman barely keeps her eyes open in front of computer

Simply having written content on your website is not good enough. There is a lot more to it than that. If you really want your website to be popular, then you need to make sure that your content is professional and engaging for readers to look at.

There are many web site designers that use an online marketing agency in order to get this done. If you are working on a tight budget, then employing an online marketing agency may not be entirely unnecessary. There are a whole range of ways in which you can make your site’s content miles better.

Use a Conversational Tone
Imagine you are sitting in the living room of one of your website visitors. Imagine explaining to them what your ecommerce website is about and what it has to offer. This is exactly how your online store content should read on the live pages. It should always read like you are having a conversation with the reader. An online marketing agency or a web design company would be able to handle this aspect for you, but no one will know better than you how to communicate the central goal of your website. That is why it’s best that you are one who writes the content.

Include Awesome Images
Web site designers are now making the inclusion of images in their design process a highly prominent part of their business and with good reason. While cool images are great to look at, they are also a great way of improving the SEO rankings of your website. Search engines like Google are more likely to give you a higher ranking if you use good images and these are optimized for your keywords. So even if you are using a small business website design company, they will recommend that you start including quality images on all the pages of your site immediately.

Use Proven SEO Techniques
If you are living in an area such as Sydney for example, using an SEO company in Sydney would be advisable. Even if you feel quite confident about how to handle SEO, there are almost certainly other more advanced techniques that you are not currently using. These techniques could be the only thing stopping your site from becoming one of the top ranked sites in search engine results for important, target keyword phrases. Ironically, the best way to find an ecommerce SEO company in your location is to search online for them. Sticking with the Sydney example, you should search ‘SEO company in Sydney’ for the best results. Otherwise, some of the more basic SEO techniques could be handled by the website owner. After all, only you will know which SEO keywords and phrases are the most relevant to you, your website and your business.

Create a Sense of Trust
Even a small business website design company will tell you that trust is the most important thing when it comes to online business. If you want to turn website visitors into potential leads without having to use an online marketing company or custom website design company, then it is your job to make your visitors trust you. Simply using a conversational tone is not good enough – you have to be informative as well. You have to give them as much information as you can so then they think of you as an authority figure, without lecturing them.

Create excitement for visitors to your online store website. Your job is not to make them want your products. It is to make them NEED your products!

The post Your Site Is Boring! appeared first on Web Designers.

Custom Ecommerce sites. When a template just won't do!

Posted on 17 Nov, 2015
Custom Ecommerce sites. When a template just won't do!

Whilst there are many successful sites built upon standard site templates, many businesses and individuals require something a bit more bespoke. Building a customised ecommerce website design allows them to achieve the precise look and feel they are after. There are several advantages to a custom website, and also a few disadvantages as well, which we will go through.

The most obvious benefit from having a custom website design is that the resulting site will look different to what is already out there. Indeed, this is perhaps not only the most obvious but greatest benefit, being able to stand out from the crowd, getting your ecommerce website designer to create something unique that reflects your business, its market or your ideals has a real impact on how your visitors perceive your brand.

When discussing how to start an online store, one of the things always pointed out is that customers cannot actually pick up and hold your products to feel the quality and make that physical connection that leads to a purchase. It is the look and feel that they get from your site that replaces all of this and is therefore a vital component in creating a successful online store. Your ecommerce website design is not just an added expense. It has meaning in the sales process itself. This contrasts with standard templates, where, aside from a color or maybe font change, your site will look like many others ecommerce websites and your brand could suffer.

When talking to your ecommerce web developer about a custom online store, ensure that measures are taken to include options for your stock presentation that fit for your needs, rather than the generic display options that come with templates. This can be important for custom made or otherwise unique items. It is this flexibility that is really paramount to allow your new custom online store to fit your exact needs. Your ecommerce website developer will be able to ensure that the site fits your products perfectly, rather than trying to fit your products into an existing template. Usually resulting in some compromise.

A custom website design is also able to be tailored to fit into your stock system much better than a template online store site. If you use a specific backend system then having a custom site that can integrate fully can make a big difference to your efficiency moving forward.

Finally, your ecommerce website design always includes a level of support, and for a custom website design, this is far more likely to be a personal service.  Choosing a template website solution means that you are likely to be taking a support ticket number and waiting for support. If you are just learning about how to start an online store, the custom route can give you access to a wealth of expertise.  This will guide you along and avoid the many pitfalls others ecommerce website owners suffer through by taking the template route.

Of course, there are pros and cons to every solution. The primary downside to creating a custom ecommerce store is of course cost. There is no point beating around the bush. It costs substantially more to have your own custom online store site than it does to get a template ecommerce store. The question you always need to ask is, is the extra expense worth it for the benefits I receive? And in this case, whilst we are all different, for many businesses the answer really would be yes.

The other issue that could create a problem for some is lead time. It takes longer to create a custom ecommerce site.  As such when deciding on the route to take, whether custom or template, it should be made as early as possible to minimize the effect of such extra development time.

If you are still unsure on whether to build a custom ecommerce site or a template online store, you can read more about the topic of how to start an online store. Or feel free to email or call us on 1300 788 567.

We’re really passionate about creating successful online stores of all shapes and sizes, perfectly suiting all budgets.

The post Custom Ecommerce sites. When a template just won’t do! appeared first on Web Designers.