Your competitors have mobile friendly web sites.

Do You? – If not – Get One.

12 Reasons Why You Should Have a Mobile Friendly Website

Back in 2012 when we discussed about free awesome tools that help to build a mobile website, we obviously knew how important it is to have a mobile friendly website. We have even shared some statistics to prove our point in that article.

At the present day, when we are almost reaching the end of 2014, some early surveys in the year suggest that only six percent of the website owning SMB population in the U.S. and U.K. have mobile sites. These numbers only goes to show that many businesses around the world have not yet been convinced enough to create a mobile website or optimize their existing website for mobile.

Hence, we have decided to list 12 highly significant reasons that a business or an individual who has customers online must consider before saying no to a mobile friendly website.

1 – Mobile Surpasses Desktop Shopping Activity

According to comScore, a leading internet technology company, 55 percent of all time spent on online shopping in June 2013 was on a mobile device. Out of the 55 percent mobile devices, 44 percent was from a smartphone while the remaining 11 percent was from a tablet device. The rest of the 45 percent shopping activity occurred on desktops and laptops.

A much recent report from The Guardian UK states that 52 percent visits to online retail sites were from mobile devices and 36 percent purchases were made from them too. Out of the sales completed on a mobile device, 18 percent occurred on a smartphone while 82 percent occurred on a tablet.

Important Takeaway:

If you have an online retail store, make sure your site adapts to the screens of a smartphone and also that of a tablet device. Use device emulators or operating system simulators to test the mobile rendering of your site.

Woorank Website On iPhone 5 and iPad Mini

Woorank Website On iPhone 5 and iPad Mini

2 – One-Third Online Traffic Is Mobile

According to a marketing and publishing firm called Walker Sands Communication’s, 31.3 percent of the global internet traffic to North American websites was from smartphones and tablets in the fourth quarter of 2013. It was a substantial increase from the 23.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

A Kleinger Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) 2013 internet trends report proves a constant and rapid growth in mobile traffi, as shown below:¡
Growing Mobile Traffic Over The Years

Growing Mobile Traffic Over The Years

The same study also highlights the fact that the mobile traffic on Android smartphones at 45.6 percent which was closely followed by iPhone at 32 percent and iPad at 13.9 percent. There was comparatively low mobile traffic stats reported on Android tablet at 4 percent, Blackberry at 0.8 percent and other mobile devices accounting together to 3.7 percent.

Important Takeaway:

Owing to the rapidly increasing numbers of mobile traffic among global internet traffic, it is highly possible that if you do not have a mobile friendly website, you are leading your potential mobile traffic to a competitor site.

If you do not currently have a mobile site and want to start off with a basic mobile friendly site, at least make sure that your site renders to the screen size and functionality of mobile devices using Android and iOS operating systems.

3 – Mobile Friendly Sites Benefit Local Business

If you have a local business, you must know that around 50 percent consumers who conducted a smartphone search for a local store, visited the store within 24 hours, according to a study from Google.

On the other hand, the same activity was performed by only 34 percent of consumers who searched on a desktop or tablet device.

18 percent of a local search on smartphones leads to a sale as compared to non-local searches that account for 7 percent.

Sales From Local And Non-Local Smartphone Searches

Sales From Local And Non-Local Smartphone Searches

Important Takeaway:

If you have a local business, and although you depend on word-of-mouth marketing for your business, you must be aware of the changing mobile behavior of your local customers too. As evident from the study above, you must take into consideration the increasing smartphone use in finding a local business and thus design a mobile website that facilitates it.

Among the type of local information sought on a mobile device finding business hours, finding directions to store and locating the store address are the three actions frequently undertaken on mobile than on desktop. Shown below are the stats from the same Google study mentioned previously.

Variety Of Local Information Sought On Mobile Vs Desktop

Variety Of Local Information Sought On Mobile Vs Desktop

4 – Wide Range Of Demographics Own Smartphones

According to Pew Research, 58 percent of American adults own a smartphone among which 61 percent are men and 57 percent are women. The different age groups that use a smartphone is as follows: 18 to 29 – 83%, 30 to 49 – 74%, 50 to 64 – 49% and 65+ 19%. The chart from Pew Research is shown below.

Smartphone Owners Statistic 2014

Smartphone Owners Statistic 2014

Important Takeaway:

A wide range of demographics own a smartphone with the easy internet access in their hands. What age group do your primary customers fall in? Looking at the numbers above, if your major clientele lies in the U.S. you ought to have a mobile friendly site for your users.

5 – Time Spent On Mobile Is More Than Other Traditional Media Devices

According to eMarketer’s research made earlier this year, the average time spent by an U.S. adult on television is on a consistent decline from 2010 to 2014. Whereas the time spent on digital mobile devices is on a constant rise. In fact, the study also predicts a decline in the use of desktop with time. Most of the time spent on mobile devices is on social networking sites and for watching videos.

Important Takeaway:

Although we have found that the average adult in a first world nation spends more time on mobile, most of this time is spent on personal activities like social media. This leaves very little time for browsing websites on the smartphones. And as the attention span of users of the internet is very volatile it is important to keep your mobile friendly site’s response times quicker than that of your desktop sites. Here are a few tips to increase the speed of your mobile website.

6 – Google Click-to-Call Feature Extensively Used To Contact Businesses

According to a research from Google and Ipsos, a global market research company, a massive 94 percent have found a need to call a business directly when searhcing for information on their smartphones. This is irrespective of the click-to-call button present in Google search results.

Google Click To Call Feature

Google Click To Call Feature

Important Takeaway:

This statistic goes to show that smartphone users are looking for a prominent call button on your mobile website. If your business does not show a click-to-call button on Google search a smartphone user will look for calling option in your website.

7 – Mobile Friendly Websites Double Conversion Rates

In a case study, an e-commerce website called A Touch of Class found an incredible improvement in conversion rates and sales after they launched their m-commerce site. The director of information technology of the company confirms that removing the need to pinch and zoom the desktop site on mobile device screens makes a world of difference.

Important Takeaway:

It is not just important that you have a mobile website but it must have mobile friendly elements that makes it easy for your users to perform transactions or get more information in a matter of a few seconds. Here are a few tips for optimizing your mobile site’s landing page.

8 – Increasing Holiday Sales Reported On Mobile Devices

IBM has found that mobile led by iOS finds prominence in holiday e-commerce sales. Mobile traffic accounted to half of site traffic at 52.11 percent in 2014. This is up by 10 percentage of the overall mobile site traffic in 2013 which was 42.57 percent. Mobile sales accounts up to one-third of all online sales. Among the different mobile devices, iPhone and iPad showed more activity than Android phones.

Holiday Mobile Site Traffic And Sales Percentage 2014 By IBMHoliday Mobile Site Traffic And Sales Percentage 2014 By IBM

Also, shown below are the stats from the same study for the percentage of average order value, site traffic and sales on smartphones as compared to tablet devices.

Device Data For US Retail 2014 By IBMDevice Data For US Retail 2014 By IBM

Important Takeaway:

As mentioned earlier in the post, Android and iOS devices are top players when it comes to online shopping. So whether or not your mobile site is friendly in other devices, it must be at its best in iOS and Android devices. Also, the fact that holiday sales are on a constant rise year-by-year on mobile, you must have a mobile-friendly website that attracts your holiday shoppers.

9 – Easy Access To Company Information While On the Go

Owing to the stats shown above, you know by now that smartphones have become an integral part of an average person’s lifestyle. So, it goes without saying that your site is probably being accessed while at work or in transit or even while strolling down the sidewalk. There are many hindrances such as internet speed and not being able to focus 100 percent on a given task on the mobile device.

Important Takeaway:

Limit your website to only information that will immediately help the user take an action. Give users mobile friendly websites that are easy to access even with all possible hindrances while browsing.

For instance, you can lose the sliding carousels and instead use the space above-the-fold to place call-to-action that your users are generally looking for in your website. You can also minimize the text and graphics on the mobile website and offer finger-friendly buttons or radio buttons to avoid having the users type on their smaller screens.

10 – Rise In Mobile Advertising Over the Years

According to an IAB report, the mobile display ad revenue has almost doubled from 2013. As the adoption of smartphones and the usage of internet on mobile phones undergo a drastic increase over the years, digital marketers are finding new ways to reach their marketing messages to their customers via mobile search display ads, social network ads and ads on mobile apps.

Important Takeaway:

In order to be early adopters of this rapidly emerging practice of mobile advertising, you need to have a mobile friendly website with a mobile friendly landing page to retain and convert the users that come to your site through these ads.

11 – Mobile App Vs Mobile-Friendly Website

In this modern digital world of marketing where almost everything is going mobile, you probably are aware of the basic difference between a mobile website and a mobile app. As a business, especially if you are starting on a small scale, it is difficult to decide whether to invest on a mobile friendly website or a mobile app.

An average smartphone or tablet user may have limited memory on their mobile device or may not want to disclose personal details by downloading an app of a brand they hardly know. It is generally a practice for people to download apps of brands that are popularly known and are usually recommended by their friends.

Important Takeaway:

If you cannot have both mobile website and a mobile app due to limited funds, it is better to opt for a mobile friendly website that can be easily accessed on all mobile device screen sizes and mobile browsers. You must make sure that your mobile-friendly website includes functions usually accessible on mobile apps, such as the call button, easy checkout and payment processes, ability to get directions using a map and social sharing options.

12 – Social Mobile Audience

47 percent of smartphone owners access social media on their phones, either using an app or the mobile web, according to a Nielson 2014 Digital Consumer Report. Mobile devices are driving the growth in social media as social media app usage increases every year.

Important Takeaway:

Social media pages such as Facebook often show you suggested post or suggested pages depending on the user’s interest. It may also so happen that your brand advocates have shared your URL on social media sites and eventually that message has reached out to more of your potential target audience.

As most of these messages are accessed on mobile devices, the links contained in these messages that lead to your website, is also accessed on the smaller screens. Hence, to not lose your social mobile audience’s interest, you must have a mobile friendly website.

Now, what’s your excuse for not having a mobile friendly website? The sooner you build a user-friendly website in favor of your mobile audience, the greater your brand reputation will be.


Let us know in comments if you have a mobile friendly website and what led you to create one.

In this modern world of technology the internet is probably one of the biggest and most significant inventions to have come about well… ever. Businesses would be foolish to ignore it as a channel with a substantial route to market. However, whilst there is a lot of money to be made online there are some negatives too. It’s worth considering both the pros and cons of online retail (think websites, online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, and comparison sites) versus a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ approach so that you know what you are taking on and can plan your business accordingly.

The Pros of Online Retail

Quick and easy to get going

It’s much easier to setup compared to a physical store. Online marketplaces, such as eBay, require hardly any technical expertise to get going, and websites are much easier to implement nowadays with both out-of-the-box and customisable ecommerce solutions coming in pre-packaged forms. An added bonus is that if you opt to use online marketplaces to make sales you have a pre-existing route to market that you can tap in to. So you won’t even need to do any marketing in order to make sales.

Cheap to setup

These options are much cheaper than stumping up for a physical location too, and therefore have less risk attached with them if things were to go wrong. Online marketplaces generally charge very small amounts for listing items and so long as you go for a fairly standard website option you can usually get this from an ecommerce software package, which are normally pretty inexpensive or, in the case of open source, might even be free (you may need to factor in design costs though). Neither of these solutions is too time-intensive either compared to the challenges of setting up a physical store. You won’t need to expend efforts buying and putting up your décor, displaying stock, sorting out bills and insurance, or hooking up a security system.

There’s no loss to theft

Light fingers and five fingered discounts need not apply in the online retail world. It’s impossible for people to pocket goods that they haven’t paid for which is good for your margins.

24 hour sales

Online marketplaces and webstores can keep on trading all day, every day. You don’t need to be manning the store in order to make a sale. This means your customers can shop when it is convenient for them and lets you offer your services for many more hours per day than with a physical store. More selling time means more sales so this should allow you to increase the amount of stock you can shift.

National and international reach

Additionally, online channels give you access to a much wider geographical pool of customers. You can sell to people around the globe if you so wish and it certainly worth at least broadening your customer base to include people outside of the local catchment area that a physical store would serve. Again you will be able to increase sales as there is a higher amount of people who will be able to buy from you.

Less employees

Once you have setup a website and/or have uploaded your listings you need far less resources to run them. You don’t need someone to be manning the store to watch for theft and to process transactions. This means you don’t need to pay somebody else to do this for you when you are not around or are too busy with other parts of the business. Saving you money and meaning more of the profits come to you.

Collect more data

You can get much better visibility of your customers buying behaviour online. From age and location demographics, initial search terms, related items they are interested and much more. All this data can be collected easily with a simple analytics program. Tracking this level of detail around a physical store would be extremely difficult and time intensive whereas with a website it’s just matter of adding a piece of code and all the data will be collected for you automatically. This can be used to lead optimisation effort and help you to sell more.

Look bigger than you actually are

A well designed website can help a small operation give the impression of the kind of trust and authority associated with a much bigger business very easily compared to a physical shop. Consumers are more likely to buy from these bigger companies as they are more confident that they will go through on their service promises, such as actually sending the products they’ve ordered, still be around if they want to return them, and therefore yet again you will be more likely to sell more products.

Stock more items

People do not need to actually handle the items you are selling and will not expect to be able to instantly take them home. Therefore you only need a much smaller number of them on hand to ship out, as you can order more in response to demand, and even utilise drop shipping to reduce delivery times, leaving you more space to store other stock lines so you can offer a larger variety. By giving people more choice, you’re widening the potential customer base you can service, which will increase the number sales you can make.

More flexibility

Want to work from home? Need to update your stock levels on a Sunday or in the middle of the night? With your online channels this is easy; you can be based from anywhere you like, as you don’t need to be present in your customer facing store. You get control over when and where you make changes as your customers will be accessing your store remotely and at all hours of the day too. They get more flexibility and so do you.

Environmental factors don’t affect the internet

Your online store or marketplace listings will not be affected by the weather, bad traffic, increasing petrol prices, or difficulty parking. Customers will always have easy access to your products irrespective of these kinds of environmental factors.

No bottlenecks

Bottlenecks in your physical store such as queues being too long or staff not being available to serve will not affect your online channels meaning customers will never be driven away by these bottlenecks.

Customers can promote your products much more easily

Customers’ can be directed to share your website’s products and service via social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, at just the click of a button. Word of mouth marketing is very powerful and it is much easier for you to encourage this via an online store.

The cons of online retail

Marketplaces take a cut

Listing products through a third party website, such as eBay and Amazon, mean they get a slice of your profits. Meaning you don’t get the maximum amount of money you could do for a product. You need to sell more in order to make the same money as your margins are much lower.

More competition

The high street has a limited amount of shops whereas the internet has no constraints on the number of competing businesses than can strive to win business away from you. Also, marketplaces that sell direct to consumer as well (eg Amazon) will be in direct competiton with you too and with their superior buying power will often be able to undercut your prices. Distinguishing yourself from the crowd of competition requires a lot of marketing, an exemplary customer service model and a reasonable pricing strategy. Juggling all three and getting it right in order to maximise your profits is a lot of hard work.

More admin

You will need to write and update detailed product descriptions, take photographs, upload listings, package and post items, as well as the usual stock control that is involved with a physical store. This could be as, or even more time-consuming, than displaying items on shelves for customers to see, fell and collect themselves.

Less customer contact

As you are unable to speak to your customers it is harder for you to upsell other items to them. It is much easier to hold someone’s attention if you are able to get into a real conversation with them. Online they can just click a button and be gone in an instant. Online channels will inspire less loyalty to them for the same reason. People will be more likely to be loyal to the ‘local shop’ than to a faceless website or eBay seller.

No touch or feel

People can’t try things on or feel the quality of item when they shop online. This might mean that you lose out on a sale on a item that, if someone had been able to try it on or feel it in their hand, they would have actually paid good money for. Equally, when poeple buy online there is more chance it won’t fit properly or they don’t like the quality when it arrives at their door. This means that you will have to deal with a lot more returns which can be costly as well as time-consuming.

Lower margins

People will tend to pay more for products that can be viewed and touched in person. Plus if high street shops get it right then people will pay extra for the experience that they get when they go to the store. Physical shops will never be able to compete with the online sellers on price but if the service they provide can outstrip a website quite easily by adding the personal touch or expert advice tailored to the individual above and beyond the scope of a website. For example, a beauty products store assistant could provide a makeover service. People look to marketplaces and the web for a bargain; they go to the high street for an experience.

Postage

Shipping costs can be expensive particularly for bulky or delicate goods. You will need to pay for packaging plus the cost of postage, not forgetting the time it takes to wrap it up and take it to the post office. Often it will make sense to pay extra for recorded delivery as the postal service can be unreliable, or customers may deny receiving items and without getting a package signed for you are pretty powerless to claim the money back. You will need to factor these costs into any online sales you make which will push the price up and might put customers off buying.

No passing foot traffic

You won’t get people walking by your store every day being tempted by your window display or browsing in your store for fun. They will generally only visit an online store or marketplace if they are specifically looking for something. This means it can be more difficult to attract the attention of new customers who don’t even know what they are looking for yet. A physical store lets you create a presence in people’s mind much earlier in the buying cycle which can jump start them into committing to purchases they might otherwise not have made.

Less impulse buying

Whilst online sites have got better at positioning related items or tempting people with special offers they don’t have people walking through the whole store in order to get to the items they are looking for. Plus, physical shops can strategically place enticing items at the checkout which people have to pass and wait by to increase there cross-sell ability. Online checkouts tend to need to be as uncluttered and quick to use as possible in order to maximise sales but this means they miss out on the cross-sell potential that a physical store can utilise.

Dependency on hardware

Hardware can fail whether it is through machine malfunction or disaster (eg fire or flood) and this could lead to lost sales and longer term breakdown of your customer’s trust. In order to maintain uptime you would need to implement a failover service which could be expensive and will probably still not guarantee 100% reliability. The bigger your online store gets the higher the costs will be and this will eat away at your profit margins.

Less trust

Websites and online marketplaces have less trust associated with them than a physical store. Having a bricks and mortar presence suggests that you are financially stable enough to be able to pay your rent, people trust that you’re going to still be there in a week or a months’ time so their warranties will still be valid and they can return items. This assurance helps them to complete purchases that they might not be so comfortable with making in the online environment.

The solution – have both of course

So, if there are pros and cons to both the online and offline channels then how do you get around them? Have both of course – that way you cover all your bases. Of course, this is a lot more work so you may need to start with one and then implement the other however as a long term goal as you scale your business it makes sense to aim to have what’s known as a ‘bricks and clicks’ business model (for more information on the what, how and why of multichannel take a look at this article I wrote for SimplyWholesale.). Hopefully, this post will help you to decide which the best model is for you to begin with by giving you some insight into the benefits and downsides of either option.

The Top 10 Benefits Of Social Media Marketing

To some entrepreneurs, social media marketing is the “next big thing,” a temporary yet powerful fad that must be taken advantage of while it’s still in the spotlight. To others, it’s a buzzword with no practical advantages and a steep, complicated learning curve.

Because it appeared quickly, social media has developed a reputation by some for being a passing marketing interest, and therefore, an unprofitable one. The statistics, however, illustrate a different picture. According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. And according to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media—but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.

This demonstrates a huge potential for social media marketing to increase sales, but a lack of understanding on how to achieve those results. Here’s a look at just some of the ways social media marketing can improve your business:

1. Increased Brand Recognition. Every opportunity you have to syndicate your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing customers. For example, a frequent Twitter user could hear about your company for the first time only after stumbling upon it in a newsfeed. Or, an otherwise apathetic customer might become better acquainted with your brand after seeing your presence on multiple networks.

2.Improved brand loyalty. According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. The report concludes “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.” Another study published by Convince & Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social are more loyal to those brands.

3. More Opportunities to Convert. Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion. Even if your click-through rates are low, the sheer number of opportunities you have on social media is significant. And as I pointed out in my article, “The Four Elements of Any Action, And How To Use Them In Your Online Marketing Initiative,” “opportunity” is the first element of any action.

4. Higher conversion rates. Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates in a few distinct ways. Perhaps the most significant is its humanization element; the fact that brands become more humanized by interacting in social media channels. Social media is a place where brands can act like people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies.

Additionally, studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand, representing social proof. As such, simply building your audience in social media can improve conversion rates on your existing traffic.

5. Higher Brand Authority. Interacting with your customers regularly is a show of good faith for other customers. When people go to compliment or brag about a product or service, they turn to social media. And when they post your brand name, new audience members will want to follow you for updates. The more people that are talking about you on social media, the more valuable and authoritative your brand will seem to new users. Not to mention, if you can interact with major influencers on Twitter or other social networks, your visible authority and reach will skyrocket.

6. Increased Inbound Traffic. Without social media, your inbound traffic is limited to people already familiar with your brand and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. Every social media profile you add is another path leading back to your site, and every piece of content you syndicate on those profiles is another opportunity for a new visitor. The more quality content you syndicate on social media, the more inbound traffic you’ll generate, and more traffic means more leads and more conversions.

7. Decreased Marketing Costs. According to Hubspot, 84% of marketers found as little as six hours of effort per week was enough to generate increased traffic. Six hours is not a significant investment for a channel as large as social media. If you can lend just one hour a day to developing your content and syndication strategy, you could start seeing the results of your efforts. Even paid advertising through Facebook and Twitter is relatively cheap (depending on your goals, of course). Start small and you’ll never have to worry about going over budget—once you get a better feel for what to expect, you can increase your budget and increase your conversions correspondingly.

8. Better Search Engine Rankings. SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic from search engines, but the requirements for success are always changing. It’s no longer enough to regularly update your blog, ensure optimized title tags and meta descriptions, and distribute links pointing back to your site. Google and other search engines may be calculating their rankings using social media presence as a significant factor, because of the fact that strong brands almost always use social media. As such, being active on social media could act as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. That means, if you want to rank for a given set of keywords, having a strong social media presence could be almost mandatory.

9. Richer Customer Experiences. Social media, at its core, is a communication channel like email or phone calls. Every customer interaction you have on social media is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate your customer service level and enrich your relationship with your customers. For example, if a customer complains about your product on Twitter, you can immediately address the comment, apologize publicly, and take action to make it right. Or, if a customer compliments you, you can thank them and recommend additional products. It’s a personal experience that lets customers know you care about them.

10. Improved Customer Insights. Social media also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable information about what your customers are interested in and how they behave, via social listening. For example, you can monitor user comments to see what people think of your business directly. You can segment your content syndication lists based on topic and see which types of content generate the most interest—and then produce more of that type of content. You can measure conversions based on different promotions posted on various social media channels and eventually find a perfect combination to generate revenue.

These are the benefits of sustaining a long-term social media campaign, but if you’re still apprehensive about getting started, consider these points:

  • Your Competition Is Already Involved. Your competitors are already involved on social media, which means your potential social media traffic and conversions are being poached. Don’t let your competitors reap all the benefits while you stand idly by. If, somehow, your competition is not involved on social media, there’s even more of a reason to get started—the field is open.
  • The Sooner You Start, the Sooner You Reap the Benefits. Social media is all about relationship building, and it tends to grow exponentially as your followers tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, and so on. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to start growing that audience.
  • Potential Losses Are Insignificant. Realistically, you don’t have anything to lose by getting involved in social media. The amount of time and money it takes to create your profiles and start posting is usually minimal, compared to other marketing channels. Just six hours a week or a few hundred dollars is all it takes to establish your presence.

Original Article Here ►  The Top 10 Benefits Of Social Media Marketing

6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Business Website

Are you about to start a re-design or perhaps you’re embarking on a new site? Your website can be a vital part of building your business profile, both offline as well as on-line, if you make the most of it. Here are 6 important things to help you get the most out of your website.

1. Know Your Website Goals

What is the purpose of your site and how is it supporting your business? Are you trying to gain sales leads, bookings, provide information, increase newsletter signups or sell products? Whatever the case, you need to be very clear about your website goals so you can design and build the site accordingly. Once you identify these, you’ll be able to measure the success of your website better and know how it’s performing against your goals.

2. Make it Usable

Usability: Measure of the ease of use on a website by its visitors.

– Web definitions

Your website might be the latest responsive CSS3/HTML5 bootstrapped bonanza, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that your visitors can interact with your site in a way that’s meaningful for them. Making sure your site is user friendly helps your visitors complete tasks successfully, engaging visitors and helping conversion.

Usability is a complex and detailed component of good web design, however here are a few pointers to get you started. Implement these accordingly and you’re on your way to helping your visitors achieve the goals you’ve set out for your site, thus

a) Navigation: Make sure your navigation is intuitive and consistent. Not everyone enters your site via the home page so keep navigation consistent across the site and use obvious page names to categorise different parts of your site.

b) Readability: Make sure your text is readable and not obscured by background images or distracting animated elements. Use a decent size font size, Smashing Magazine advises 16px (0.063 em) for body copy. This will of course depend on the type of font that you use.

c) Write for the web: Remember, people read differently on the web than on print. Give your content some room to breathe. Use white space to break up content and don’t be afraid of breaking information up into paragraphs. Small amounts of clear and concise copy will engage your visitors far better than too much information. You can read more here about writing copy for the web.

d) Link recognition: Ensure that your hyperlinks are easy to recognise, so make sure they stand out from your normal body copy. Colour and underline link text so that users don’t ever have to guess where they need to click.

e) Information design: Place important information to the top left of the page (if you are making a website in English). According to research English speakers spend most of their time at the top left of the site.

f) User centered approach: Rather than thinking about all the functions, widgets and slideshows that you think will make your site the coolest kid on the block, think about what your user needs to achieve their goals. Work from here to map out the type of content and functionality for your site.

3. Write Fresh and Engaging Content

Good content will engage your visitors and encourage them to come back. So whether it’s regular blog posts or updated galleries, videos or information, keep it regular and fresh. Make sure you let people know about your new content too, either through your social media profiles, or by enabling people to subscribe to your content by email or sending out updates in regular e-bulletins.

4. Use Quality Photographs

The web is a visual environment, so if you use photographs for your website make sure they are good quality and optimised for the web. This is particularly the case if your site is an online store or gallery; beautifully shot images will get buy in much quicker. So instead of posting those grainy backyard shots of your home made boutique furniture, get some high quality professional photographs that show your product in the actual environment it’s going to be used. Make sure your images are then properly optimised for your website so it doesn’t impact on speed and load time, because a slow site will only drive visitors away.

5. Monitor and Analyze

If you haven’t already installed Google Analytics on your website, then now’s the time! This free and very powerful analytics tool can give you information about how long visitors stay on your site, what they’re reading, the browser or device they’re using when they access your site, or even where they are in the world. All very useful in measuring how your website is performing and how you can better target your content.

6. Mobile Friendly

We’re in the midst of a mobile revolution and more people are accessing the internet on their smart phones and tablets than ever. How is your site performing in these devices? Now’s the time to check. You may have heard of responsive websites, but if you haven’t, responsive websites are designed to fit to any browser no matter what the size. It’s a great way to make sure your site is smart device friendly without having to build an app or a mobile version of your site (thus saving you money and time).

Use your analytics to see what content your visitors’ browse to when they’re on their smart devices. Often it’s contact details, services or information about your business. Responsive design is a clever thing and you can use it to show targeted information easier to your visitors on their devices. This is a great way to help people engage with your business no matter where they are.

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